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The Word - Mushtaq

In my teenage years and early years of youth, I was very interested in poetry, particularly Urdu and Punjabi poetry. So, new words greatly intrigued me and my curiosity to know new words, knew no bounds. Later on this habit or hobby greatly helped me in understanding Gurbani because Gurbani contains words from many different backgrounds. There are some words and dialects that Gurbani alone has preserved.

Back in those days, there was a guy from Pakistan whose name was Mushtaq. As soon as I heard this word, the mind very much liked the sound of the word. I asked Yousef Sahib who was an elderly person from Pakistan and a Fazil (expert) of Farsi, as to the meaning of this word. He told me that Mushtaq means one who has Ishtiaaq. My next question was naturally that what was the meaning of Ishtiaaq. He explained that this word means longing, shauq, desire etc. So Mushtaq he said means one who is longing or desirous of something.

Soon I read a Ghazal of the legendary Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib where this word was used: Hum hain Mushtaq aur voh Bezaar, Yaa ilaahi yeh Maajra kya hai... It was great to hear this word then but when I first heard this word in Gurbani, it brought a storm of Vismaad. The Pankiti was

ਨੈਣ ਪਸੰਦੋ ਸੋਇ ਪੇਖਿ ਮੁਸਤਾਕ ਭਈ ॥
(ਨੈਨਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਸੋਹਣਾ ਲਗਣ ਵਾਲਾ ਭਾਵ ਨੈਨਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਪਸੰਦ ਆਉਣ ਵਾਲਾ ਮੇਰਾ ਮਾਹੀ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ, ਉਸ ਨੂੰ ਦੇਖ ਕੇ ਮੈਂ ਮੁਸ਼ਤਾਕ ਹੋ ਗਈ ਹਾਂ।)

I have become ਮੁਸ਼ਤਾਕ for what? The above Pankiti makes it clear that the eyes have seen him and liked him (Nain-Pasando) but now I have become ਮੁਸ਼ਤਾਕ i.e. desirous to have Him. The eyes have liked him and now I can't wait to have Him as my own. I want to be absorbed by Him. Guru Sahib has used the metaphor of a woman who sees her husband and likes him very much. Now she wants to be one with him.

This word ਮੁਸ਼ਤਾਕ comes in Gurbani two more times as follows and the use of this word in Dakhne Pankiti is just incredible. The Lehndi Punjabi or Multani Punjabi itself is extremely sweet and use of such words as ਮੁਸ਼ਤਾਕ greatly enhances the beauty and sweetness of it.

ਡੇਖਣ ਕੂ ਮੁਸਤਾਕੁ ਮੁਖੁ ਕਿਜੇਹਾ ਤਉ ਧਣੀ ॥
(ਮੈਂ ਇਹ ਦੇਖਣ ਲਈ ਮੁਸ਼ਤਾਕ ਹਾਂ ਕਿ ਤੇਰਾ ਮੁਖ ਹੇ ਧਣੀ ਕੈਹੋ ਜਿਹਾ ਹੈ। )

I am ਮੁਸ਼ਤਾਕ (desirous) of seeing how your face looks like, O my beloved (Waheguru)).

ਕਰਤੇ ਕੁਦਰਤੀ ਮੁਸਤਾਕੁ ॥
(O Karte, O Qudrati (one who possesses Qudrat i.e. powers), I am your Mushtaq i.e. desirous of you).

Gurbani is Agam Agaadh Bodh.

Kulbir Singh

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