Background – While listening to Devi Bhagavatam series and earlier Bhagavad Katha, I heard from Swami ji deep phrases from Naaz Khiaalvi’s Sufi composition “Tum Eak Gorakh Dhanda ho [Thou art a puzzle]”, which was sung by Nusret Fateh Ali Khan.  Swami ji also did an Audible series called “Jeevan Eak Gorakh Dhandha Hai / Life is a Puzzle”, and in which he read a phrase from this, at start of each episode.  Swami ji quoting him in 2012, and then in 2019, and a series in 2018, got me to pay attention. Then the depth of the phrases just pulled me in to this profound composition. 

Below are the verses in Hindi, with English Transliteration, and meanings compiled from various sources. I have added some commentary in a few places. Some of these refer to historic stories and have tried to provide Wikipedia link.

If you want to listen to the Qawwali sung by Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and read along (strongly recommended), you can find the embedded video at the bottom.

Tum Ek Gorakh Dhanda Ho

कभी यहाँ तुम्हें ढूँढा, कभी वहाँ पहुँचा, तुम्हारी दीद की खातिर कहाँ कहाँ पहुँचा,
Kabhi Yahan Tumhein Dhoonda, Kabhi Wahaan Pahuncha Tumhari Deed Ki Khaatir Kahan Kahan Pahuncha
 Sometimes I looked for you here, and sometimes I went there. To have your glimpse, I have been everywhere

ग़रीब मिट गये, पा-माल हो गये, लेकिन, किसी तलक ना तेरा आज तक निशाँ पहुँचा
Gareeb Mit Ga’ay, Paa-maal Ho Gaye lekin, Kisi Talak Na Tera Aaj Tak Nishaan Pahuncha
The poor have disappeared, they have been ruined, but till date, no one has found your lead, trace or sign of you.

हो भी नही और हर जा हो, तुम एक गोरखधंधा हो
Ho Bhi Nahi Aur Her Jaa Ho, Tum Ek Gorakh Dhanda Ho
You are not present, yet you are at every place, You are a puzzle/enigma.

हर ज़र्रे में किस शान से तू जलवानुमा है, हैरान है मगर अक़ल, के कैसा है तू क्या है?
Her Zarray Mein Kiss Shaan Say Tu Jalwa Numa Hai, Hairaan Hai Magar Aqal, Ke Kaisay Hai Tu Kya Hai?
With what divine splendor you can be seen in every particle/atom. But the mind is confused, what you look like and what you are.

तुम एक गोरखधंधा हो
Tum Ek Gorakh Dhanda Ho
You are a puzzle

तुझे दैर-ओ-हरम मे मैने ढूँढा तू नही मिलता, मगर तशरीफ़ फर्मा तुझको अपने दिल में देखा है
Tujhay Dair-O-Haram Maine Dhunda Tu Nahi Milta, Magar Tashreef Farma Tujhko Apne Dil Mein Dikha Hai
I looked for you in the houses of worship – temples & mosques, but couldn’t find you, Yet I found you residing in my heart,

तुम एक गोरखधंधा हो
Tum Ek Gorakh Dhanda Ho
You are a puzzle

जब बजुज़ तेरे कोई दूसरा मौजूद नहीं, फिर समझ में नहीं आता तेरा पर्दा करना !
Jab Bajuz tere koi Dosra Maujood Nahi, Phir Samajh Mein Nahi Aata Tera Purdah Karna
When there is no one except besides you, then I dont understand why you are in veil/ remain hidden. If thou art the only one, Then from who do you conceal thyself? 

तुम एक गोरखधंधा हो
Tum Ek Gorakh Dhanda Ho
You are a puzzle

जो उलफत में तुम्हारी खो गया है, उसी खोए हुए को कुछ मिला है,
Jo Ulfat Mein Tumhari Kho Gaya hai, Usi Kho’ay Huay Ko Kuch Mila Hai
He who is lost in your love, only that lost person has found something. Blessed are those who are lost in thy love, as only that lost person has found something.

ना बुतखाने, ना काबे में मिला है, मगर टूटे हुए दिल में मिला है,
Na But-Khanay, Na Kabay Mein Mila Hai, Magar Tutay Huay Dil Mein Mila Hai
You could not be found either in a temple or Kaaba mosque, But you could be found in a broken heart

अदम बन कर कहीं तू छुप गया है, कहीं तू हस्त बन कर आ गया है,
Adam Bun Ker Kaheen tu Chup Gaya Hai, Kaheen To Hast Bun Ker Aa Gaya
Sometimes you are hidden as non-existence, and somewhere you appear as existence. Thou art hidden as barren, and thou appear as life

नही है तू तो फिर इनकार कैसा ? नफी भी तेरे होने का पता है ,
Nahi Hai Tu To Phir Inkaar Kaisa, Nafi Bhi Tairay Honay Ka Pata Hai
If thou art not, then why deny thee? Even the negation confirms your existence

मैं जिस को कह रहा हूँ अपनी हस्ती,अगर वो तू नही तो और क्या है ?
Mein Jiss Ko Keh Raha Hoon Apni Hasti, Agar Wo Tu Nahi To Aur Kia Hai
The one I call my existence, If that is not you, then what else is it ? 

नही आया ख़यालों में अगर तू, तो फिर मैं कैसे समझा तू खुदा है ?
Nahi Aaya Khayaloon Mein Agar Tu, To Phir Mein Kaisay Samjha Tu Khuda Hai
If you didn’t come into my thoughts, Then how did I understand you are God?

तुम एक गोरखधंधा हो
Tum Ek Gorakh Dhanda Ho
Thou art an enigma

हैरान हूँ इस बात पे, तुम कौन हो , क्या हो? हाथ आओ तो बुत, हाथ ना आओ तो खुदा हो
Hairan Huoon Is Baat Pay, Tum Kaun Ho Kya Ho? Haath Aao to But, Haath Na Aao to Khuda Ho
What puzzles me is who and what are you? When palpable then thou become an idol and when not thou become God.

अक़्ल में जो घिर गया, ला-इंतिहा क्यूँ कर हुआ? जो समझ में आ गया फिर वो खुदा क्यूँ कर हुआ?
Aqal Mein Jo Ghir Gaya La-Intiha Kiyoon Ker Hua? Jo Samajh Mein Aa Gaya Phir Wo Khuda Kyun Ker Hua?
How did the one who entered wisdom could be boundless How did the one who is surrounded by wisdom become everlasting?  How did one who comes into mind’s grasp/understood become God?

फलसफ़ी को बहस के अंदर खुदा मिलता नही, डोर को सुलझा रहा है और सिरा मिलता नही
Falsafi ko Behas ke Ander Khuda Milta Nahi, Dor Ko Suljha Raha Hai Aur Sira Milta Nahi
The philosopher doesn’t find God in an argument. He is trying to untangle the cord but cannot find the top

तुम एक गोरखधंधा हो
Tum Ek Gorakh Dhanda Ho
You are a puzzle.

छुपते नही हो, सामने आते नही हो तुम, जलवा दिखा के जलवा दिखाते नही हो तुम,
Chuptay Nahi Ho, Samnay Aatay Nahi Ho Tum, Jalwa Dikha K Jalwa Dikhatay Nahi Ho Tum
You don’t hide, You don’t reveal Yourself. You show the miracles/manifestation but don’t show yourself

दैर-ओ-हरम के झगड़े मिटाते नही हो तुम, जो असल बात है वो बताते नही तो तुम
Dair O Haram K Jhagray Mita’tay Nahi Ho Tum, Jo Asal Baat Hai Wo Batatay Nahi To Tum
You don’t remove the conflicts, and fights in the manner of worship. You don’t tell the reality. 

हैरान हूँ मैरे दिल में समाये हो किस तरह, हाँलाके दो जहाँ में समाते नही तो तुम,
Hairaan Hoon Mairay Dil Mein Sama’ay Ho Kiss Tarah, Haan’la K Do Jahan Mein Samatay Nahi To Tum
I’m surprised how you fit in my heart. When the two worlds are not enough for accommodate You. I am perplexed that how thou art housed in my heart. Even though thou could not be contained in both the worlds.

ये माबद-ओ-हरम, ये कालीसा-ओ-दैर क्यूँ, हरजाई हो जॅभी तो बताते नही तो तुम
Yeah Mabud O Haram, Yeah Qaleesa-o-Dair Kiyoon, Harjayii Ho Jabhi To Bata’tay Nahi To Tum
Why we have the temple and mosque, and churches [ so many forms houses of worship]. You are everywhere, that is why you don’t tell us.
Why art these temples & mosques and church and synagogue? Thou are faithless for not showing thy countenance

तुम एक गोरखधंधा हो
Tum Ek Gorakh Dhanda Ho
You are a puzzle

दिल पे हैरत ने अजब रंग जमा रखा है, एक उलझी हुई तस्वीर बना रखा है,
Dil Pe Hairat Nai Ajab Rung Jama Rakha Hai, Aik Uljhi Howi Tasveer Bana Rakha Hai
The puzzle taken strange possession of my heart. A confused picture it’s drawn within it. The mysticism has taken strange possession of my heart. A confused picture it’s drawn within it.

कुछ समझ में नही आता के ये चक्कर क्या है? खेल क्या तुम ने अजल से रचा रखा है?
Kuch Samajh Mein Nahi Aata K Yeah Chakkar Kia Hai, Khail Kia Tum Nai Azal Say Yeah Racha Rakha Hai
I do not understand what all this puzzle is. What is this game You’ve been playing since the beginning of time. I do not understand what all this puzzle is. What is this game thou have been playing since time immemorial?

रूह को जिस्म के पिंजड़े का बना कर क़ैदी, उस पे फिर मौत का पहरा भी बिठा रखा है
Rooh Ko Jism K Pingray Ka Bana Ker Qaidee, Us Pay Phir Mout Ka Pehraa Bhi Bithaa Rakha Hai
You made the soul the prisoner of the body’s cage and then put the guard of death on it. Thou had made the soul a prisoner of the body, and then had put the sentry of death on it.

दे के तदबीर के पंछी को उड़ाने तूने, दाम-ए-तक़दीर भी हर सिम्त बिछा रखा है
Day K Tadbeer K Panchi Ko Uraaney Tune,Daam-E-Taqdeer bhee Her Sumt Bicha Rakha Hai
You make the bird of contrivance fly ‘ yet you’ve spread the net of fate everywhere

कर के आरैश-ए-क़ौनाईन की बरसों तूने, ख़तम करने का भी मंसूबा बना रखा है,
Kar K Araish-e-Qounain Ki Barsoon Tu Nai, Khatam Karne Ka Bhi Mansooba Bana Rakha Hai
For years thou have decorated the world and hereafter thou have made the plan of its destruction

ला-मकानी का बहरहाल है दावा भी तुम्हें, नहन-ओ-अक़लाब का भी पैगाम सुना रखा है
La-Makaani Ka Bahr Haal Hai Dawa Bhi Tumhein, Nahan-o-aQalab Ka Bhi Paighaam Suna Rakha Hai
Though you claim to be homeless. Yet you preached about home, kith and kin. Yet thou preached places of worship.

ये बुराई, वो भलाई, ये जहन्नुम, वो बहिश्त, इस उलट फेर में फर्माओ तो क्या रखा है ?
Yeah Burai, Wo Bhalai, Yeah Jahannum, Wo Bahisht, Is Ulat Phiar Mein Farmao To Kia Rakha Hai
This is bad, that good, this is hell, that is heaven. Please tell me what is in this perplexity?

जुर्म आदम ने किया और सज़ा बेटों को, अदल-ओ-इंसाफ़ का मेआर भी क्या रखा है?
Jurm Aadam Nai Kiya Aur Saza Baitoon Ko, Adl O Insaaf Ka Mi’aar Bhi Kia Rakha Hai
For Adam’s crime you punish his children Is that the standard of your justice?

दे के इंसान को दुनिया में खलाफत अपनी, इक तमाशा सा ज़माने में बना रखा है
De K Insaan Ko Dunya Mein Khalafat Apni, Ik Tamasha Sa Zamanay Mein Bana Rakha Hai
By giving the earthly kingdom to the man,Thou have made it into a spectacle

अपनी पहचान की खातिर है बनाया सब को, सब की नज़रों से मगर खुद को छुपा रखा है
Apni Pehchaan Ki Khaatir Hai Banaya Sub Ko, Sub Ki Nazaroon Say Magar Khud Ko Chupa Rakha Hai
For thy own recognition thou created all, but thou hide thyself from all.

तुम एक गोरखधंधा हो
Tum Ek Gorakh Dhanda Ho
You are a puzzle.

नित नये नक़्श बनाते हो, मिटा देते हो, जाने किस ज़ुर्म-ए-तमन्ना की सज़ा देते हो?
Nit Naye Naqsh Banatay Ho, Mita Daitay Ho, Janay Kiss Jurm-e-tamanna Ki Saza Daitay Ho
Thou draw pictures and erase it thyself; I don’t know for which crime of desire thou you punish us.

कभी कंकड़ को बना देते हो हीरे की कनी , कभी हीरों को भी मिट्टी में मिला देते हो
Kabhi Kanker Ko Bana Daitay Ho Heeray Ki Kani, Kabhi Heeron Ko Bhi Mitti Mein Mila Daitay Ho
Sometimes you’ll turn a pebble into a diamond, Other times you’ll turn a diamond into dust.

ज़िंदगी कितने ही मुर्दों को अदा की जिसने, वो मसीहा भी सलीबों पे सज़ा देते हो
Zindagi Kitnay He Murdoon Ko Ata Ki Jiss Nai, Wo Maseeha Bhi Saleebon Pay Saja Daitay Ho
The prophet who gave life to many dead, thou made him adorn the cross

ख्वाइश-ए-दीद जो कर बैठे सर-ए-तूर कोई, तूर ही बर्क- ए- तजल्ली से जला देते हो
Khuwahish-E-Deed Jo Kar Baithay Sar-E-Tuur Koi, Tuur Hee Bark- e- Tajaali Say Jala Daitay Ho
The one that longed to have thy sight on the Mount Sinai, thou reduced the Mount to ashes with the Lightning of thy Manifestation.

नार-ए-नमरूद में डळवाते हो खुद अपना ख़लील, खुद ही फिर नार को गुलज़ार बना देते हो
Naar-e-Namrood Mein Dalwatay Ho khud apna Khaleel, Khud Hee Phir Naar Ko Gulzaar Bana Daitay Ho
Thou wished Abraham to be thrown into Nimrud’s Fire. Then thou turned that fire into flowers thyself

चाह-ए-किनान में फैंको कभी माह-ए-किनान, नूर याक़ूब की आँखों का बुझा देते हो
Chah-e-kinaan Mein Phainko Kabhi Maah-e-Kinaan, Noor Yaqoob Ki Aankhon Ka Bujha Daitay Ho
Sometimes you throw a Canaanite into the well of Canaanites, And then deprive Jacob of his sight

दे के युसुफ को कभी मिस्र के बाज़ारों में, आख़िरकार शाह-ए-मिस्र बना देते हो
Day Ke Yusuf Ko Kabhi Misr K Bazaaron Mein, Aakhir Kaar Shah-E-Misr Bana Daitay Ho
You make Joseph to be put into the slave-mart of Egypt, And then you also make him the king of Egypt

जज़्ब -ओ- मस्ती की जो मंज़िल पे पहुचता है कोई, बैठ कर दिल में अनलहक़ की सज़ा देते हो ,
Jazb O Masti Ki Jo Manzil Pe Pohonchta Hai Koi, Baith Ker Dil Mein Analhaq Ki Saza Daitay Ho
When someone reaches to the destination of higher spirituality, thou make him to voice: I’m the Truth

खुद ही लगवाते हो फिर कुफ्र के फ़तवे उस पर, खुद ही मंसूर को सूली पे चढ़ा देते हो
Khud He Lagwatay Ho Phir Kufr K Fatway Us, Khud He Mansoor Ko Sooli Peh Charha Daitay Ho
Then allow the verdicts of infidelity against Him, You send yourself Mansoor to the crucifix

अपनी हस्ती भी वो इक रोज़ गॉवा बैठता है, अपने दर्शन की लॅगन जिस को लगा देते हो
Apni Hasti Bhi Wo Ik Rooz Gawa Baith’ta Hai, Apne Darshan Ki Lagan Jiss Ko Laga Daitay Ho
One day he too loses his life, whom You make to see Your sight

कोई रांझा जो कभी खोज में निकले तेरी, तुम उसे झन्ग के बेले में रुला देते हो
Koi Ranjha Jo Kabhi Khooj Mein Nikle Teri, Tum Usay Jhang K Bele Mein Rula Daitay Ho
If a Ranjha goes in Your quest, you make him in the charity of Jhang.

जोत सस्सी के अगर मन में तुम्हारी जागे, तुम उसे तपते हुए तल में जला देते हो
Jot Sassi K Agar Mun Mein Tumhari Jagay, Tum Usay Taptay Hoay Thal Mein Jala Daitay Ho
If Your love awakens in Sassi’s heart, you scorch her in a burning desert

ज़ुस्त्जु ले के तुम्हारी जो चले कैश कोई, उस को मजनू किसी लैला का बना देते हो
Justujo Lay K Tumhari Joh Chalay Qais Koi, Us Ko Majno Kisi Laila Ka Bana Daitay Ho
If some Majnun goes in Your quest, You make him a beloved of some Laila

सोहनी गर तुम को महिवाल तसवउर कर ले, उस को बिखरी हुई लहरों में बहा देते हो
Sohni Gar Tum Ko Mahiwaal Tassawur Ker Le, Us Ko Bikhri Howi Lehroon Mein Baha Daitay Ho
If Sohni imagined you as her Mahinval, You drowned her into the ragging currents

खुद जो चाहो तो सर-ए-अर्श बुला कर महबूब, एक ही रात में मेराज करा देते हो
Khudh Joh Chaho To Sar-E-Arsh Bula Ker Mehboob, Aik He Raat Mein Mairaaj Kara Daitay Ho
You do as You wish by summoning to the Heaven, and in a single night You can make the Prophet’s Ascension to Heaven

तुम एक गोरखधंधा हो
Tum Ek Gorakh Dhanda Ho
You are a puzzle

आप ही अपना पर्दा हो
Aap hi apna parda ho
You are your own veil

जो कहता हूँ माना तुम्हें लगता है बुरा सा, फिर भी है मुझे तुम से बहरहाल गिला सा,
Jo Kehta Hoon Mana Tumhein Lagta Hai Bura Sa, Phir Bhi Hai Mujhay Tum Say Baharhaal Gila Sa
I accept what I say You mind it a little, But still I’ve a little complaint to make

चुप चाप रहे देखते तुम अर्श-ए-बरीन पर, तपते हुए करबल में मोहम्मद का नवासा,
Chup Chaap Rahay Daikhtay Tum Arsh-E-Bareen Per, Taptay Hoay Karbal Mein Mohammad Ka Nawasa
You sat quiet on your throne and watched Muhammad’s grandson in the scorching desert of Karbala.

किस तरह पिलाता था लहू अपना वफ़ा को, खुद तीन दिनो से वो अगरचे था प्यासा
Kiss Tarah Pilata Tha Laahu Apna Wafa Ko, Khud Teen Dino Say Wo Agarchay Tha Piyasa
How he was giving his blood for Your Love though he was thirsty for three days

दुश्मन तो बहर तौर थे दुश्मन मगर अफ़सोस, तुम ने भी फराहम ना किया पानी ज़रा सा
Dushmun To Bahar taur Thay Dumshun Magar Afsoos, Tum Nai Bhi Faraaham Na Kia Pani Zara Sa
His enemies were after all enemies, but it’s sad even you didn’t provide him with a little Water

हर ज़ुल्म की तौफ़ीक़ है ज़ालिम की विरासत, मज़लूम के हिस्से में तसल्ली ना दिलासा
Her Zulm Ki Taufeeq Hai Zaalim Ki Wirasat, Mazloom K Hissay Mein Tasalli Na Dilasa
Every favour of oppression is the inheritance of the oppressor, But the oppressed is neither consoled nor comforted.

कल ताज सजा देखा था जिस शख्स के सर पर, है आज उसी शख्स के हाथों में ही कासा !
Kal Taaj Saja Daikha Tha Jis Shaqs K Sir Per, Hai Aaj Usi Shaqs K Haathon Mein Hi kasa
Yesterday he who had a crown on his head, Today I see him with a begging bowl

यह क्या है अगर पूछूँ तो कहते हो जवाबन, इस राज़ से हो सकता नही कोई शनसा
Yeh Kia Hai Agar Pochon To Kehtay Ho Jawaban, Is Raaz Say Ho Sakta Nahi Koi Shanasa
What is this? If I ask, your answer is, That no one can get acquainted with this secret

तुम एक गोरखधंधा हो
Tum Ek Gorakh Dhanda Ho
You are a puzzle

राह-ए-तहक़ीक़ में हर ग़ाम पे उलझन देखूँ, वही हालात-ओ-खयालात में अनबन देखूँ
Aah-e-Tehkeek mein har gam pe uljhan dekhoon, Wohi haalat-o-khayalat mein anban dekhoon
Inquiring about you causes confusion at every place. There is discord between ideas, thinking and reality.

बनके रह जाता हूँ तस्वीर परेशानी की, ग़ौर से जब भी कभी दुनिया का दर्पन देखूँ
Ban ke reh jaata hoon tasweer pareshani ki, Ghaur se jab bhi kabhi duniya ka darpan dekhoon
Whenever I carefully see the mirror of the world, I become a picture of troubles. 

एक ही ख़ाक़ पे फ़ित्रत के तजादात इतने ! इतने हिस्सों में बँटा एक ही आँगन देखूँ !
Ek hi khaak se fitrat ke tazaadat itnay, Kitnay hisson mein bata ek hi aangan dekhoon
I see so many contradictions in a single glance, and I see one place divided into so many parts.

कहीं ज़हमत की सुलग़ती हुई पतझड़ का समां, कहीं रहमत के बरसते हुए सावन देखूँ
Kahin zehmat ki sulagti hui patjhar ka samaan, Kahin rehmat ke baraste huay sawan dekhoon
Somewhere I see the autumnal smoke of hardship, Somewhere I see the monsoon showers of blessing.

कहीं फुंकारते दरिया, कहीं खामोश पहाड़!, कहीं जंगल, कहीं सहरा, कहीं गुलशन देखूँ
Kahin phunkaarte darya, kahin khamosh pahaar, Kahin jangal, kahin sehra, kahin gulshan dekhoon
Somewhere, I see hissing rivers and somewhere silent mountains, Somewhere I see a forest, somewhere desert and somewhere else I see a garden.

ख़ून रुलाता है ये तक़्सीम का अन्दाज़ मुझे, कोई धनवान यहाँ पर कोई निर्धन देखूँ
Khun rulata hai yeh takseem ka andaaz mujhe, Koi dhanwaan yehan par koi nirdhan dekhoon
This style of division writhes me and I cry tears of blood. I see some rich and some poor here

दिन के हाथों में फ़क़त एक सुलग़ता सूरज, रात की माँग सितारों से मुज़ईय्यन देखूँ
Din ke haathon mein faqat ek sulagta sooraj, Raat ki maang sitaron se muzzayyan dekhoon
In Day’s share, I see only one scorching sun. While the night is bedecked with millions of stars

कहीं मुरझाए हुए फूल हैं सच्चाई के, और कहीं झूठ के काँटों पे भी जोबन देखूँ !
Kahin murjhaaye huay phool hain sacchai ke, aur kahin jhoot ke kaanton pe bhi joban dekhoon
Somewhere I see the withered flowers of truth, and somewhere the thorns of lies blooming.

रात क्या शय है, सवेरा क्या है? ये उजाला, ये अंधेरा क्या है?
Raat kya shai hai saweera kya hai Yeh ujala yeh andhera kya hai,
What is night and What is morning? What is light and What is darkness?

मैं भी नायिब हूँ तुम्हारा आख़िर, क्यों ये कहते हो के “तेरा क्या है?”
Mein bhi nayib hun tumhara akhir, Kyon yeh kehte ho ke tera kya hai
After all I’m also your deputy, why do you say “what is yours?”

तुम इक गोरख धंधा हो !
Tum ek gorakh dhanda ho
Thou art an enigma.

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Comprehensive version of Qawwali 

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Nusret Fatah Ali Khan live performance, in presence of Amitabh Bachchan, Imran Khan.