Song Sketch

Glory Be To The Hazrat – Dama Dam Mast Qalandar – Runa Laila

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Old traditions of religious coexistence. Isn’t it wonderful? It is manifested in our souls deep down. It is something which is beyond the narrow confines of one’s orthodox thoughts. Music happens to be one such medium which takes us beyond those confines, with sufi music being the major contributor. When it comes to sufi music, there are a few kalaams, qawwalis, prayers which are very popular amongst masses and singers alike. Dama dam mast qalander tops the popularity charts for sure. Hearing these lines, one name which comes to our mind is Runa Laila. Though the qawwali is rendered in different styles by almost all the sufi singers or for that matter even the other popular singers, it is Runa Laila who took this qawwali to dizzying height of fame. Her version happens to be the most famous of all. The clear, melancholic voice of this Bangladeshi singer takes the qawwali to another level. Sufi music does wonders to one’s spiritual thirst.

O laal meri pat rakhio bala jhoole laalan
Sindri da Sehvan da Sakhi Shahbaaz Kalandar
Dama dam mast kalandar, Ali dam dam de andar

A spiritual verse which is said to have been written by Amir Khusro initially was later adapted and reshaped by Baba Bulleh Shah. The song is in honour of the most revered Sufi Saint of Sindh, Shahbaz Qalandar of Sehwan/Servan Sharif, Pakistan. Also widely known as Jhulelal in India. It became widely known after Bulleh Shah added verses to it. The small pearls of lyrics are brought together to make this devotional beaded necklace. The meaning of these lyrics further beautifies its glory.

The one who wears the red robe, may I always have the honour of your warm hearted, benevolent protection. Jhulelal, the friend, the sire of Sindh, glory be to you. The one who has mastered life and has Ali (God) in his every breath and thus exhilarated by His name. Dam means breathing in and Adam means breathing out. It is jointly sung as Dama-dam.

Char charaag tere baran hamesha
Panjwa mein baaran
Aayi balaa Jhulel Laalan
Sindri da Sehvan da Sakhi Shahbaaz Kalandar

Your shrine or the temple is always lighted by 4 lamps. Today I bring forth to you the 5th lamp, myself. I offer myself to you, O sire of Sindh.

Hind Sindh peera teri naubat vaaje
Naal vaje ghadiyaal bala jhoole laalan
Sindri da Sehvan da, sakhi Shabaaz Qalandar

All the Naubat Khanas in the Hind and Sindh ring out your revered, knightly name. The gongs there sound loudly your name day and night. Naubat is an ensemble of 9 traditional musical instruments played in the sufi qawwalis or songs. It consists of a harmonium, tabla, shehnai, daff/tambourine, drum, gong, Rubab, Nafiri and the flute. Naubat khanas are the feature in Mughal architecture which used to have arcades designed for these musicians to sit and play the instruments or announce the arrival of the royal dignitaries.

Har dam peera teri khair hove
Naam-e-Ali beda paar laga jhoole laalan
Sindri da Sehvan da, sakhi Shabaaz Qalandar

In the name of Ali, I ask you to ferry my boat across this life safely. I also pray for your well being, O Omnipresent one.

This mesmerizing piece of sufi music sends the listeners in a trance. The sufiana magic in Runa Laila’s voice adds to the unparalleled emotions, feelings and faith. Experience the magic weaved in this appeal to the Hazrat from the heart.

Avid music lover and Dev Anand fan


  1. Avtar chauhan

    November 17, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    Beauty all the way! The great singer of her time!

    • Deepa

      December 26, 2016 at 10:58 pm

      Thank you!!

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