Written by Kazi Nazrul Islam (1899-1976), national poet of Bangeladesh and anti-colonial revolutionary
I do sing of equality
In which dissolves
All the barriers and estrangements,
In which have been united
Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Christians.
I do sing of equality.
Who are you?—A Parsee? A Jain? A Jew?
A Santal, a Bheel or a Garo?
A Confucian? A disciple of Charbak?
Go on—tell me what else!
Whosoever you are, my friend,
Whatever holy books or scriptures
You swallowed up or carry on your shoulder
Or stuff your brains with—the Quran, the Puranas,
the Vedas, the Bible, the Tripitaka, the Zend-Avesta,
the Grantha Sahib—why do you waste your labor?
Why inject all this into your brain?
Why all this—like petty bargaining in a shop
When the roads are adorned with blossoming flowers?
Open your heart—within you lie
All the scriptures,
All the wisdom of all ages.
Within you lie all the religions,
All the prophets—your heart
Is the universal temple
Of all the deities.
Why do you search for God in vain
Within the skeletons of dead scriptures
When he smilingly resides in the privacy
Of your immortal heart?
I’m not lying to you, my friend.
Before this heart
All the crowns and royalties surrender.
This heart is Neelachal, Kashi, Mathura,
Brindaban, Buddha-Gaya, Jerusalem, Madina, Ka’aba.
This heart is the Masjid, the temple, the church.
This is where Jesus and Moses found the truth.
In this battlefield
The young flute player sang the divine Geeta.
In this pasture
The shepherds became prophets.
In this meditation chamber
Shakya Muni heard the call of the suffering humanity
And decried his throne.
In this voice
The Darling of Arabia heard his call,
From here he sang the Quran’s message of equality.
What I’ve heard, my friend, is not a lie:
There’s no Ka’aba
Greater than this heart!