Monday, June 05, 2006

Bulleh and Sarvagna

I came across this number by Rabbi Shergill called Bulleh ki jaana main kaun, and I found it awesome. I mean, when was the last time you heard lyrics like that coming from the world of IndiPop, known more for mind numbing and banal lyrics. The best way to watch these is with the volume muted :D That way you wont miss all those skimpily clad bombs gyrating around. (I am not complaining about *that* :D )

I did some googling around, and found out about Bulleh Shah, a sufi mystic from Punjab, who had originally written these beautiful words.

Something interesting that I noticed in the song composed by Bulleh Shah, he uses the word "Bulleh Shah" as a kind of anchor to end stanzas. You could see parallels with the "vachana sahitya" originating from the veerashaiva movement in parts of Karnataka state in modern India. There is also a strong contempt for ritualism and all forms of authority in both.

I am reproducing the lyrics of the song here from here

Bulleh! ki jaana maen kaun Bulleh! to me, I am not known

Na maen momin vich maseet aan
Na maen vich kufar diyan reet aan
Na maen paakaan vich paleet aan
Na maen moosa na pharaun.

Bulleh! ki jaana maen kaun

Na maen andar ved kitaab aan,
Na vich bhangaan na sharaab aan
Na vich rindaan masat kharaab aan
Na vich jaagan na vich saun.

Bulleh! ki jaana maen kaun.

Na vich shaadi na ghamnaaki
Na maen vich paleeti paaki
Na maen aabi na maen khaki
Na maen aatish na maen paun

Bulleh!, ki jaana maen kaun

Na maen arabi na lahori
Na maen hindi shehar nagauri
Na hindu na turak peshawri
Na maen rehnda vich nadaun

Bulla, ki jaana maen kaun

Na maen bheth mazhab da paaya
Ne maen aadam havva jaaya
Na maen apna naam dharaaya
Na vich baitthan na vich bhaun

Bulleh , ki jaana maen kaun

Avval aakhir aap nu jaana
Na koi dooja hor pehchaana
Maethon hor na koi siyaana
Bulla! ooh khadda hai kaun

Bulla, ki jaana maen kaun

Not a believer inside the mosque, am I
Nor a pagan disciple of false rites
Not the pure amongst the impure
Neither Moses, nor the Pharoh

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

Not in the holy Vedas, am I
Nor in opium, neither in wine
Not in the drunkard`s intoxicated craze
Niether awake, nor in a sleeping daze

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

In happiness nor in sorrow, am I
Neither clean, nor a filthy mire
Not from water, nor from earth
Neither fire, nor from air, is my birth

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

Not an Arab, nor Lahori
Neither Hindi, nor Nagauri
Hindu, Turk (Muslim), nor Peshawari
Nor do I live in Nadaun

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

Secrets of religion, I have not known
From Adam and Eve, I am not born
I am not the name I assume
Not in stillness, nor on the move

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

I am the first, I am the last
None other, have I ever known
I am the wisest of them all
Bulleh! do I stand alone?

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

And to end this, I quote some of the writings of sarvagna a great wandering monk from Karnataka, India

suTTa bUdiya tandu daTTawAgi baDidu
neTTaneye sreshTa swargawa padEwaDey
katte tA paTTa keDenenda sarvagna

If only heaven could be reached just by wearing ash thickly, even a donky that rolls in ash will be able to go to heaven.
(Wearing the sacred ash as religious markings, especially on the forehead, is common among hindus (shaivaites))


Anonymous Manu said...

hmm...nice...sarvagna indeed!!
I wish someone does a good job of disseminating that kind of wisdom - I believe there are plenty of willing takers if only its packaged nicely for the YutH ;)

1:46 PM  

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