Tora Man Darpan…

It was Sahir Ludhianvi’s birthday a few days ago, and someone pointed out Sahir’s song ‘Tora Man Darpan’… Great song, by a great poet…

Have a look.

In the youtube link, someone had asked for an English translation of the song… Here’s a free English translation which I posted there..


The creature asked the Creator
By what way shall I find you?

The Lord replied,
Find your mind, and youll find me.
Your mind is known as the mirror.
Deeds, good and bad,
it watches and shows all!
(Your mind is known as the mirror!) …

Mind is celestial, mind is God,
None there is higher than the mind.
Whenever, wherever
The minds light spreads
(Then, there) the world is lit!
On this mind-mirror, O Creature,
Let not dirt ever set!
(Your mind is known as the mirror!)

Flowers of pleasure,
Thorns of sorrow,
Mind is the basis of all!
Nothing at all
Can hide from the mind,
The mind has a thousand eyes!
Maybe someone
Can run away from the world,
But none
Can run away from the mind!
(Your mind is known as the mirror!)

The wealth of the body
Is but a fleeting shadow,
Whereas , Priceless
Is the wealth of the mind!
Because of the body
Do not rub and ruin
The wealth of your mind
In grime!
Those who are in forgetfulness
Of the value of the mind,
Live a life of waste!
(Your mind is known as the mirror!)



5 Responses to “Tora Man Darpan…”

  1. GLN MURTHY Says:

    Dear sir, Thank you for taking me back to my sweet 16 (now 61)when I saw this movie along with a friend.I was unable to follow anything then because i do not know the language at that time.Your trnslation has now filled my mind and after seing the video clipping i could follow it very clearly.Any way it is “Mana Eva Mansuhsyanam Karanam Bandhamokshayoh”.it is that at our bond.It is that “I” of Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi’s teachings.-Murthy

  2. Ashu Says:

    Some really stupid, blockheaded comments follow …
    It could be interesting to peek into the way the word “man” has been used by successive lyricists. Perhaps it is the chronological evolution of society’s “manomaya kosha”.

    So while the erstwhile Sahir, alludes to “man”, taking cue from tradition, with some visible humility, Gulzar in Guddi is sort of gently-firm and full of self-confidence. (ham ko man ki shakti dena, man vijay kare,doosron ki jay se pehle, khud ko jaya kare)

    Now of of-course the confusion of 2000s, the introspection of the modern man is brought to life by Javed akhtar in, “mere man ye bata de tu, kis or chala hai tu/ kya paaya nahi tune/kya dhoondh raha hai tu”.


  3. gkamesh Says:

    Thanks Murthy sir. and thanks Ashu…

    The word ‘man’, ‘atma’, ‘citta’ etc have been used variously and interchangeably in different literary works, contexts …

    Sri Ramana says,

    मानसं तु किं मार्गणे कृते
    नैव मानसं मार्ग आर्जवात्


    Nice line of thought Ashu. Here’s some introspection from modern man of 1960s!

    मन रे तू काहे ना धीर धरे
    वो निर्मोही मोह ना जाने, जिनका मोह करे
    मन रे …

  4. Srinivasa Says:

    Great song and a very good translation.

    Couple suggestions: ‘man’ in Hindi is perhaps more easily rendered as ‘heart’ than as ‘mind’ – as this is a bhajan. Also, the influence of stock themes like ‘aaina-e-dil’ on Sahir can not be ruled out. Also, I feel ‘mind is celestial’ does not have the impact of ‘man hi devta’.

  5. gkamesh Says:


    Great points. Thanks.

    ‘Mind’ for ‘man’ was a percentage-shot. I went ahead with the ambiguity, becoz of the inherent nature of the subject. Also, Sahir could used have ‘Dil’ instead – Tora Dil Darpan Kahlaye – in terms of sound and metre it fits well. But he has used ‘man’.

    Also, ‘mind’ puts the ball directly in the seeker’s court – he is responsible and capable. If he wishes to, he can strive to take care that ‘dust does not settle’ on the mirror. ‘Heart’ seems a bit beyond (or below) one’s reach, beyond one’s control.

    These and such thoughts…

    Re, ‘man hi devta’ – any suggestions?


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