Bulleh Shah

Bulleh Shah‘s real name was Abdullah Shah, was a Punjabi Muslim Sufi poet, a humanist and philosopher.

Born: 1680 Uch, Bahawalpur, Punjab, Pakistan
Died: 1757 (aged 77) Kasur, Punjab, Pakistan

Early life and background

Bulleh Shah is believed to have been born in 1680, in the small village of Uch, Bahawalpur, Punjab, now in Pakistan. His ancestors had migrated from Bukhara in modern Uzbekistan.

When he was six months old, his parents relocated to Malakwal. There his father, Shah Muhammad Darwaish, was a preacher in the village mosque and a teacher. His father later got a job in Pandoke, about 50 miles southeast of Kasur. Bulleh Shah received his early schooling in Pandoke, and moved to Kasur for higher education. He also received education from Maulana Mohiyuddin. His spiritual teacher was the eminent Sufi saint, Shah Inayat Qadiri.

Little is known about Bulleh Shah’s direct ancestors, except that they were migrants from Uzbekistan. However, Bulleh Shah’s family was directly descended from the Prophet Muhammad(PBUH).

Career

A large amount of what is known about Bulleh Shah comes through legends, and is subjective; to the point that there isn’t even agreement among historians concerning his precise date and place of birth. Some “facts” about his life have been pieced together from his own writings. Other “facts” seem to have been passed down through oral traditions.

Bulleh Shah practiced the Sufi tradition of Punjabi poetry established by poets like Shah Hussain (1538 – 1599), Sultan Bahu (1629 – 1691), and Shah Sharaf (1640 – 1724).

Bulleh Shah lived in the same period as the famous Sindhi Sufi poet , Shah Abdul Latif Bhatai (1689 – 1752). His lifespan also overlapped with the legendary Punjabi poet Waris Shah (1722 – 1798), of Heer Ranjha fame, and the famous Sindhi Sufi poet Abdul Wahad (1739 – 1829), better known by his pen-name, Sachal Sarmast (“truth seeking leader of the intoxicated ones”). Amongst Urdu poets, Bulleh Shah lived 400 miles away from Mir Taqi Mir (1723 – 1810) of Agra.

Poetry Style

The verse form Bulleh Shah primarily employed is called the Kafi, a style of Punjabi, Sindhi and Siraiki poetry used not only by the Sufis of Sindh and Punjab, but also by Sikh gurus.

Bulleh Shah’s poetry and philosophy strongly criticizes Islamic religious orthodoxy of his day.

A Beacon of Peace

Bulleh Shah’s time was marked with communal strife between Muslims and Sikhs. But in that age Baba Bulleh Shah was a beacon of hope and peace for the citizens of Punjab. While Bulleh Shah was in Pandoke, Muslims killed a young Sikh man who was riding through their village in retaliation for murder of some Muslims by Sikhs. Baba Bulleh Shah denounced the murder of an innocent Sikh and was censured by the mullas and muftis of Pandoke. Bulleh Shah maintained that violence was not the answer to violence.Bulleh Shah also hailed Guru Tegh Bahadur as a ghazi (Islamic term for a religious warrior) and incurred the wrath of the fanatic muslims at the time.

Banda Singh Bairagi was a contemporary of Bulleh Shah. In retaliation for the murder of Guru Gobind Singh’s two sons by Aurangzeb, he sought revenge by killing common Muslims. Baba Bulleh Shah tried to convince Banda Singh Bairagi to renounce his campaign of revenge. Bulleh Shah told him that the same sword which fell upon Guru Gobind Singh’s sons and innocent Sikhs also fell upon innocent Muslims. Hence killing innocent Muslim was not the answer to Aurangzeb’s reign of oppression.

Humanist

Bulleh Shah’s writings represent him as a humanist, someone providing solutions to the sociological problems of the world around him as he lives through it, describing the turbulence his motherland of Punjab is passing through, while concurrently searching for God. His poetry highlights his mystical spiritual voyage through the four stages of Sufism: Shariat (Path), Tariqat (Observance), Haqiqat (Truth) and Marfat (Union). The simplicity with which Bulleh Shah has been able to address the complex fundamental issues of life and humanity is a large part of his appeal. Thus, many people have put his kafis to music, from humble street-singers to renowned Sufi singers like the Waddali Brothers, Abida Parveen and Pathanay Khan, from the synthesized techno qawwali remixes of UK-based Asian artists to the rock band Junoon.

Bulleh Shah’s popularity stretches uniformly across Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims, to the point that much of the written material about this philosopher is from Hindu and Sikh authors.

Modern Renditions

In the 1990s Junoon, Asia’s biggest rock band from Pakistan, rendered such poems as Aleph (Ilmon Bas Kareen O Yaar) and Bullah Ki Jaana. In 2004, Rabbi Shergill successfully performed the unlikely feat of turning the abstruse metaphysical poem Bullah Ki Jaana into a Rock/Fusion song, which became hugely popular in India and Pakistan. The 2007 Pakistani movie Khuda Kay Liye includes Bulleh Shah’s poetry in the song Bandeya Ho. A 2008 film, ‘A wednesday’, had a song, “Bulle Shah, O yaar mere” in its soundtrack. In 2009, Episode One of Pakistan’s Coke Studio Season 2 featured a collaboration between Sain Zahoor and Noori, “Aik Alif“.

Bulleh Shah’s Poetry

– Makkeh Gaya, Gal Mukdee Naheen (Going to Makkah is not the ultimate)

Makkeh Gaya | Bulleh Shah

Makkay gayaan, gal mukdee naheen
Pawain sow sow jummay parrh aaeey

Going to Makkah is not the ultimate
Even if hundreds of prayers are offered

Ganga gayaan, gal mukdee naheen
Pawain sow sow gotay khaeeay

Going to River Ganges is not the ultimate
Even if hundreds of cleansing (Baptisms) are done

Gaya gayaan gal mukdee naheen
Pawain sow sow pand parrhaeeay

Going to Gaya is not the ultimate
Even if hundreds of worships are done

Bulleh Shah gal taeeyon mukdee
Jadon May nu dillon gawaeeay

Bulleh Shah the ultimate is
When the “I” is removed from the heart!

– Bulleya Ki Jana Main Kaun (Bulleya to me, I am not known)

Bulleya Ki jaana main Kaun

Bulleya to me, I am not known

Na main momin vich maseetaan
Na main vich kufar diyan reetaan
Na main paakaan vich paleetaan
Na main moosa na firown

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

Bulleya Ki jaana main Kaun
Bulleya! to me, I am not known

Na main andar ved kitaabaan
Na vich bhangaan na sharaabaan
Na vich rindaan masat kharaabaan
Na vich jaagan na vich saun

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

Bulleya Ki jaana main Kaun
Bulleya! to me, I am not known

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

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

Bulleya Ki jaana main Kaun
Bulleya! to me, I am not known

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

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

Bulleya Ki jaana main Kaun
Bulleya! to me, I am not known

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

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

Bulleya Ki jaana main Kaun
Bulleya! to me, I am not known

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

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?

Bulleya Ki jaana main Kaun
Bulleya! to me, I am not known

– Verhe Aa Varh Mere (Do come to me)

Translation:

by Kartar Singh Duggal

You may not take notice of me
But do come to me

I am a sacrifice unto you
Do come to me

I’ve looked around in fields and forest
There is none like you
Do come to me

Cowherd you are to others
You are my faith, my beau
Do come to me

Leaving my parents, I am tied to you,
Oh Shah Inayat, my beloved teacher
Do come to me

Bulleh enterd the great palace
And had a spledid treat
What have we gained in the world
A black face and blue feet?

– Main Jana Jogi De Naal (I’m going together with Jogi)

Lyrics with Translation:

translation by Fazeel Azeez Chauhan

1) Makeh gaya gal mukde naheen
2) Pawain so so jummay parrh aeey

Going to Makkah is not the ultimate
Even if hundreds of prayers are offered


3) Ganga gaya gal mukde naheen
4) Pawain so so gotey khaeey

Going to River Ganges is not the ultimate
Even if hundreds of cleansing (Baptisms) are done


5) Gaya gaya gal mukde naheen
6) Pawain so so pand parrhaeey

Going to Gaya is not the ultimate
Even if hundreds of worships are done


7) Bulleh Shah gal taeyon mukdee
8 ) Jadon May nu dilon gawaeey

Bulleh Shah the ultimate is
When the “I” is removed from the heart


9) Parrh parrh alam fazal hoya
10) Kadee apnay aap nu parrhaya ye naeen

[He] Read a lot and became a scholar
But [he] never read himself


11) Ja ja warrda mandir maseetey
12) Kadi man apnay which warrya ye naeen

[He] goes enters into the temple & mosque
But [he] never entered into his own heart


13) Aewaien roz shaitan naal larrdaan
14) Kadee nafs apnay naal larrya ye naeen

He fights with the devil every day for nothing
He never wrestled with his own ego


15) Bulleh Shah asmani udeeyan pharrda
16) Jayrra ghar baitha onu pharrya ye naeen

Bulleh Shah he grabs for heavenly flying things
But doesn’t grasp the one who’s sitting at home

17) Ratee jagayn tay shaikh sada wayn
18) Parr raat nu jaagan kutay, tay to utay

Religious scholars stay awake at night
But dogs stay awake at night, higher than you

19) Ratee bhonkon bass na karday
20) Fayr ja larraa which sutay, tay to utay

They don’t cease from barking at night
Then they go sleep in yards, higher than you

21) Yaar da buha mool na chhad-dey
22) Pawain maro so so jutay, tay to utay

They [dogs] don’t leave the beloved’s doorstep
Even if they’re beaten hundreds of times, higher than you

23) Bulleh Shah utth yaar mana lay
24) Naien tay bazi lay gaay kutay, tay to utay

Bulleh Shah get up and make up with the beloved
Otherwise dogs will win the contest, better than you

25) Raanjha chaak na aakho kurryo
26) Nee aynu chaak kehndee sharmawan

O friends, don’t call Ranjha a shepherd
I shy away from calling him a shepherd

27) May jaee aan lakh heeraan iss nu
28) Tay may kiss gintee which aawan

I am like a thousand Heers to him
Who am I, like countless others

29) Takht hazaray da eh malik
30) Tay may Heer sayal sada waan

He’s the ruler of Hazara’s throne
And I am forever the plain Heer

31) Bulleh Shah Rub kook sunay
32) Tay may chaak dee chaak ho jawan

Bulleh Shah may God hear my wail
And I’ll become shepherded by the Shepherd

33) Raanjha jogi aa ban aya
34) Aey ney anokha bhayche wataya

Ranjha became a Jogi and arrived
He exchanged into a unique disguise

35) Ahdo-n Ahmad naam dharaya
36) Nee may jana Jogi dey naal

He changed his name from Ahad (One God) to Ahmad (Prophet Mohammad PBUH)
I’m going together with Jogi

37) Koi kissay day naal koi kissay day naal
38) May jogi day naal naal

Someone’s with someone else, this one’s with that one
I’m together with Jogi

39) Jidoon dee may jogi dee hoyee
40) May which may na reh gayee koi

Since I have become Jogi’s
I have no “I” left in me

41) Ranjha Ranjha kardee
42) Nee may aapay Ranjha hoee

Repeating Ranjha Ranjha
I became Ranjha myself

43) Sadyo nee maynu Peedo Ranjha
44) Heer na akho koi

Call me Ranjha
Nobody call me Heer

45) May naheen woh aap hay
46) Apney aap karay dil joi

It’s not me, it’s he himself
He amuses his own self

47) Jiss day naal may neun lagaya
48) Ohdey wargee hoye sayyon

The one with whom I connected my heart
I became just like him, O friends

49) Jogi meyrey naal naal
50) May jogi day naal naal
51) Nee may jana jogi day naal

Jogi is with me
I am with Jogi
I’m going together with Jogi

52) Kannee mundaran pa kay
53) Mathay tilak laga kay

After putting earrings in my ears
and decorating my forehead with Tilak

54) Nee aye jogi naeen
55) Koi roop hay Raab da

Hey he’s not [a] Jogi
He’s some form of God

56) Bhayce jogee da iss nu phab-da
57) Iss jogi mayra joorra khassya

He’s disguised as Jogi
This Jogi has attracted me

58) Aye jogi mayray munn which wasya
59) Such aakhan aye qasmay Quran ay

This Jogi has established residence in my heart
I swear by the Quran it’s true

60) Jogi mayra deen eman ay
61) Iss jogi maynu keeta rogee

Jogi is my belief and faith
This Jogi has marked me

62) Nee may iss jogi
63) Hun hore na jogee

Hey I belong to him
Now I’m not worth any one else (Now there’s no other Jogi)

64) Tarr gaye way may tarr gayee loko
65) Akh jogi nal larr gaye loko

I’m floating, I’ve drifted across, O people
My eyes inter-meshed with Jogi’s, O people

66) Maynu jogan jogee dee aakho
67) Heer salayte mar gaye loko

Call me Jogi’s female Jogi
Heer is dead, O people

68) Khayrray karday koorriyan gallan
69) Jogi dey mayrrhay may cir tay jhallan

In Khayrray they have deep talks
I have to listen to accusations about

70) Hore kissay nu kuj na janan
71) Janan tay jogi nu janan

I don’t know anything about anyone else
If I know anything, I only know Jogi

72) Iss da paya kissay na paya
73) Iss da hay do jug uttay saya

No one has attained what he has attained
His shadow is on both worlds

74) Iss diyan dhumman do jug dhummiyan
75) Iss diyan juttian arsh nay chummian

His fame is celebrated in both world
His shoes were kissed by Heaven

76) Aye jogi jogi mat wala
77) Hath which Ill’Allah dee mala

This Jogi is full of wonders
In his hand is the rosary of “There is Nothing But One God”

78) Nee naam hay iss da kamli wala
79) Jay jogi ghar away mayray

Hey, his name is [Mohammad] “The One With The Shawl”
If Jogi comes to my home

80) Muk jawun sub jhagray tayray
81) Nee may lavan seenay naal
82) Lakhan shagan mana kay

All your fights will end
I will embrace him
And celebrate a million praises

83) Bulleh Shah ik jogi aya
84) Dar saday aynay dhuan paya

Bulleh Shah a Jogi came
To our door….(… ?… )


85) Aynay lut layee Heer sayal
86) Aya bhayce wata kay

He stole away Heer of Sayal
He came in a disguise

– Aa Mil Yaar (Come my love)

Lyrics:

Meda Ishq Vi Toon Meda Yaar Vi Toon
Meda Deen Vi Toon Eeman Vi Toon

Meda Jism Vi Toon Meda Rooh Vi Toon
Meda Qalb Vi Toon Jind Jaan Vi Toon

Meda Kaba Qibla Masjid Mimbar
Mushaf Te Quran Vi Toon

Mede Farz Fareezay, Hajj, Zakataan
Soum Salaat Azaan Vi Toon

Meri Zohd Ibadat Ta’at Taqwa
Ilm Vi Toon Irfan Vi Toon

Mera Zikr Vi Toon Meda Fikr Vi Toon
Mera Zouq Vi Toon Wajdan Vi Toon

Meda Sanwal Mithra Shaam Saloona
Mun Mohan Janaan Vi Toon

Meda Murshid Haadi Peer Tareeqat
Shaikh Haqaa’iq Daan Vi Toon

Meda Aas Ummed Te Khattaya Wattaya
Takia Maan Taran Vi Toon

Mera Dharam Vi Toon Meda Bharam Vi Toon
Meda Sharam Vi Toon Meda Shaan Vi Toon

Meda Dukh Sukh Ro’wan Khilan Vi Toon
Meda Dard Vi Toon Darmaan Vi Toon

Mda Khushiyan Da Asbaab Vi Toon
Mede Soolaan Da Samaan Vi Toon

Mera Husn Te Bhaag Suhaag Vi Toon
Meda Bakht Te Naam Nishaan Vi Toon

Meda Ishq Vi Toon Meda Yaar Vi Toon
Meda Deen Vi Toon Eeman Vi Toon

Meda Jism Vi Toon Meda Rooh Vi Toon
Meda Qalb Vi Toon Jind Jaan Vi Toon

Meda Kaba Qibla Masjid Mimbar
Mushaf Te Quran Vi Toon

Meda Ishq Vi Toon Meda Yaar Vi Toon
Meda Deen Vi Toon Eeman Vi Toon
Meda Ishq Vi Toon Meda Yaar Vi Toon

Aaa Ooo (Chants…)
Meda Dekhan Bhalan Jachan Jochan
Samjhan Jaan Sunjaan Vi Toon

Mede Thadray Saah Te Monjh Munjhari
Hanjroon De Tofaan Vi Toon

Mede Tilk Tilo’ay Seendhaan Mangaan
Naaz Nihoray Taan Vi Toon

Medi Mehdni Kajal Misaag Vi Toon
Medi Surkhi Beera Paan Vi Toon

Meda Ishq Vi Toon Meda Yaar Vi Toon

Medi Wehshat Josh Junoon Vi Toon (Aaa)
Meda Garya Aa’h O Faghan Vi Toon (Aaa)

Meda Awwal Aakhir Andar Bahir
Zahir Te Pinhaan Vi Toon Tooon

Meda Ishq Vi Toon Meda Yaar Vi Toon

Aaaa Meda Waal Aakhir Andar Baahir
Zahir Te Pinhaan Vi Toon

Meda Badal Barkha Khimniyan Gajaan (Aaa)
Barish Te Baraan Vi Toon

Meda Mulk Malir Te Maro Khalra
Rohi Cholistaan Vi Toon

Je Yaar Farid Qabool Karay
Srikaar Vi Toon Sultaan Vi Toon

Na Taan Kehtar Kamtar Ahqar Adna
La-Shay La-Imkaan Vi Toon

Meda Ishq Vi Toon Meda Yaar Vi Toon
Meda Ishq Vi Toon Meda Yaar Vi Toon.

Translation:

You Are My Ardour
You are my ardour, my friend, faith, creed.
You are my body, you are my spirit, heart, soul.
You’re the direction towards which I pray.
You are my Mecca, my mosque, my pulpit.
You are my holy books and my Koran.
You are my religious obligations,
My Hajj, charity, fasting, call to prayer.
You are my asceticism, worship,
My obedience and my piety.
You are my knowledge and you’re my gnosis .
You’re my remembrance, my contemplation
You are my tasting and my ecstasy.
You are my love, my sweet, my darling, my honey
You are my favourite, and my soulmate!
You’re my spiritual preceptor, my guide ,
You are my Shaykh and my Enlightened One
You are my hope, my wish, my gains, losses.
You’re all I see, my pride, my deliv’rance.
You’re my faith, my honour, modesty, glory
You’re my pain, sorrow, my crying, playing
You are my illness and my remedy.
You are what lulls me to a peaceful sleep.
You are my beauty and my fate, fortune, fame.
You are my looking, enquiring, seeking
You are my understanding, my knowing
You are my henna, my collyrium,
My rouge, my tobacco, my betel-leaf!
You are my terror, my passion, madness
You’re my crying and my lamentation.
You are my Alpha and my Omega,
My Inner, Outer, Hidden, Manifest.
If, O’Belovéd, you accept Farid
You are my Sovereign and my Sultan.

– Uth Gaye Gawandon Yaar (There goes my Love!)

Translation:

by Kartar Singh Duggal

Uth gaye gawandon yaar
Rabba hun ki kariye

There goes my Love!
What do I do, my Lord?

Uth chaley hun rahinde nahin
Hoya saath tiyar
Rabba hun ki kariye

He’s already made a move
His staying back is hard
With his wayfarers all packed
What do I do, my Lord?

Dhandh kaleje bal bal uthdi
Bin dheke deedar
Rabba hun ki kariye

My heart is afire
Like half-backed shard
What do I do, my Lord?

Bulle Shah piyare bajhon
Rahe uraar na paar
Rabba hun ki kariye

My love having gone
I am in midstream hauled
Wwhat do I do, my Lord?

– Bas Karjee Hun Bas Karjee (Enough is enough, my friend)

Translation:

by Kartar Singh Duggal


Bas ker jee hun bas ker jee
Ek baat asaan naal hans ker jee

Enough is enough
Talk to me with smile

Tusi dil wich merey wasdey-o
Aywein sathoon door kion nasdey-o
Naaley ghaat jadoo dil khasdey-o
Bas ker jee hun bas ker jee

You live in my heart
And yet you me beguile
I am charmed with your name on my lip
You try as usual and give me a slip
Enough is enough

Tusi moyiaan noo maar mukadey se
Naat khaddoon wang kuthandey se
Gal kardia da gala gutheey se
Hun teer lagaya kas ker jee
Bas ker jee hun bas ker jee

You killed the ones who was already dead
Tossed like a ball with your baton on head
You choked my words in my throat
Your arrow hit the quarry and smote
Enough is enough

Tusi chupdey-o asan pakrrey-o
Asaan naal zulf dey jukrrey-o
Tusi ajey chupan toon takrrey-o
Hun jaan na milda nas ker jee
Bas ker jee hun bas ker jee

Trying to hide, I’ve caught you
Tied you with the lock of my hair
You are yet trying to flee
This time I’ll allow no plea
Enough is enough

Bulleh Shah mai teri bardi-aan
Tera mukh wekhaan noo mardi-aan
Nit so so mintan kardi -aan
hun beth hijr wich dhas ker jee
Bas ker jee hun bas ker jee

Says Bulleh, I am your slave, my Master
I long to have a glimpse of you
I plead with you time and again
Make ky heart your shell of an oyster
Enough is enough

– Tere Ishq Nachaya (Your love has made me dance)

Translation:

by Kartar Singh Duggal

Tere Ishq nachaiyaan kar key thaiyaa thaiyaa
Your love has made me dance like mad

Tere Ishq ne dera mere andar keeta
Bhar ke zeher payala main taan aape peeta,
Jhabde wahudi tabiba nahin te main mar gaiyaan
Tere Ishq nachaiyaan kar key thaiyaa thaiyaa

Falling in love with you
Was like taking a sip of poison
Come my healer, forsaken, I am sad.
Your love has made me dance like mad

Chupp giyah ve suraj bahar reh gayi laali
Ve main sadqey hova, Devein murrjey wikhali
Peera main bhul gaiyaan tere naal na gaiyaan
Tere Ishq nachaiyaan kar key thaiyaa thaiyaa

The sun has set, its flush only is left
I’ll give my life for a glimpse of you
My fault I came not when when you bade
Your love has made me dance like mad.

Ais Ishq de kolon mainu hatak na maaye
Laahu jaandre berrey kehrramorlaya
Meri aqal jun bhulli naal mhaniyaan dey gaiyaan
Tere Ishq nachaiyaan kar key thaiyaa thaiyaa

Dissuade me not from the path of love
Who can hold the boats on the move?
Stupid, I joined the boatman’s squad
Your love has made me dance like mad

Ais Ishq Di Jhangi Wich Mor Bulenda
Sanu Qibla Ton Qaaba Sohna Yaar Disenda
Saanu Ghayal Karke Pher Khabar Na Laaiyaan
Tere Ishq nachaiyaan kar key thaiyaa thaiyaa

A peacock calls in the grove of passion
It’s Qibla, It’s Kaaba where lives my love
You asked not once after you stabbed
Your love has made me dance like mad

Bullah Shah na aounda mainu Inayat de buhe
Jisne mainu awaye chole saave te suhe
Jaan main maari aye addi mil paya hai vahaiya
Tere Ishq nachaiyaan kar key thaiyaa thaiyaa

Bulleh Shah Sits at Inayat’s door
Who has dressed me in green and red
And caught me the instant I flew from the pad
Your love has made me dance like mad

– Ilmoun Bas Kari O-Yaar (Aik Alif) (Enough of learning, my friend!)

Translation:

by Kartar Singh Duggal

Ilmoun bas kari oo yaar
Eko Alif terey darkar

Enough of learning, my friend!
An alphabet should do for you

Ilm n awey wich shumar
Jandi umer, Nahi aytebar
Eko Alif terey darkar
Ilmoun bas kari oo yaar

To it there is never an end
An alphabet should do for you
It’s enough to help you fend.
Enough of learning, my friend!

Ilmoun bas kari oo yaar
Enough of learning, my friend!

Parh parh, likh likh ladain dher
Dher kitabaan, cho pheyr
Kerdey chanan, Wich unheyr
Pecho: “Rah?” tey khabar n satar

You’ve amassed much learning around
The Quran and its commentaries profound
There is darkness amidst lighted ground
Without the guide you remain unsound

Ilmoun bas kari oo yaar
Enough of learning, my friend!

Parh perh shekh mashaikh khawein
Ultey masley gharoon bata dein
Bey ilmaan noon lut lut khawein
Jhotey Sachey karain aqrqr

Learning makes you Sheikh or his minion
And thus you create problem trillion
You exploit oyhers who know not what
Misleading them with wild opinion

Ilmoun bas kari oo yaar
Enough of learning, my friend!

Parh parh nafal namaz guzarien
Achian bangaan changha mari
Manber tey chaRRh waaz pukarein
Keeta teeno ilm khawar

You meditate and you say your prayers
You go and shout at the top of the stairs
You cry reaching the high skies
It’s your avarice which ever belies

Ilmoun bas kari oo yaar
Enough of learning, my friend!

Jed main sabaq Ishq da parhaya
Derya dekh Wahedat da warria
Ghuman gheraan dey wich uRRia
Shah Inayat laya paar

The day I learnt love’s lesson
I plunged into the river of devine passion
An overwhelming gale. I was confused and lost
When Shah Inayat cruised me across

Ilmoun bas kari oo yaar
Enough of learning, my friend!

– Ishq De Naween Naween Bahar (Love is ever new and fresh)

Translation:

by Kartar Singh Duggal

Ishq dee naween naween bahar
Love is ever new and fresh

Jaan main sabq Ishq da parhya
Masjid kolon jeyorra darya
poch poch thakur dowrey warrya
Jithey wajdey naad hazaar

The day I learn the lesson of Love
I was scared of the mosque and dreaded fasts
I looked around and entered a temple
Where sounded many a drum-blast

Ishq dee naween naween bahar
Love is ever new and fresh

Ved, Quran parh parh thakey
Sajdey kardiyaan ghis gaye mathey
Na Rab Tayrath, na Rab Makkeh
Jis paya tas nur anwaar

Tired of reading the Vedas and Quran
Kneeling and prostrating my forehead shorn
At Mathura or Mecca He does not dwell
He who has found Him, only he can tell

Ishq dee naween naween bahar
Love is ever new and fresh

Phok musaleh, bhun sat lota
Na parh tasbeh, aasa, sota
Ashiq kehndey dey dey hoka
“Tark hlaalon, kha murdar”

Burn the prayer mat, break the water pot
Quit the rosary, threw away the staff
Lovers say at the top of their voice
Leave the kosher and eat the shot

Ishq dee naween naween bahar
Love is ever new and fresh

Heer Ranjhey dey hogaye meeley
Bholi Heer dhondi beley
Ranjhan yaar baghal wich kheyley
Surt na rahya, surt sanbhaar

Heer and Ranjha have already met
In vain she looks for him in the orchard
Ranjha lies in the folds of her arms
Having her love, she has gained him hard

– Ghoonghat Ohle Na Luk Sajna (Hide not behind the veil, my love)

Translation:

by Kartar Singh Duggal

Ghonghat ohley na luk sajna
Main mushtaq dedar de haan

Hide not behind the veil, my love,
I long to have a glimpse of you.

Terey bajh dewani hoi
Tokaan kardey luk sbhoi
Jeker yaar karey diljoi
Taan faryaad pukaar de haan

Without my love, I feel like mad,
People around me laugh at me.
He should come and cheer me up,
This alone remains my plea,

Ghonghat ohley na luk sajna
Main mushtaq dedar de haan

Hide not behind the veil, my love,
I long to have a glimpse of you.

Muft dukandi jandi bandi
Mil mahi jind aweien jand
Eik dam hijr nahi main sahndi
Bulbul main gulzar de haan

Your slave is being auctioned free
Come my love and rescue me
No longer can I perch elsewhere
I am the Bulbul of your tree

Ghonghat ohley na luk sajna
Main mushtaq dedar de haan

Hide not behind the veil, my love,
I long to have a glimpse of you.

Bulleh Shah owh kon utam tera yaar
Ows dey hath Quraan hey owsey gul zanaar

Bulleh! Who is He?
A queer type friend!
He has the Quran in His hand and
And in the same the holy thread

– Gharyali Diyo Nikal Ni (Sack the gongman)

Translation:

by Kartar Singh Duggal

Gharyal diyo nikal ni
Aaj pe ghar ay nikal ni

Sack the gon-gman
My love has come home today

Gharri gharri gharyal bajavey
Rain wisal di piya ghatawey
Merey man di baat jey pawey
Hathoon chasey gharyal ni

He strike the gong time and again
And shortens my night of dance and song
If he were to listen to me
He would throw away the gong

Gharyal diyo nikal ni
Sack the gong-man

Ikahd baja bajey sohana
Matrab sukhrra maan sohana
Bhlla soam, salat, dogana
Mudh piyalla deen klaal ni

Here is the unstruck melody
With a master player and a colorful hue
I’ve forgotten, my prayers and fasts
The barman offering cups of brew

Gharyal diyo nikal ni
Sack the gong-man

Dukh diledar uth gaya sara
Mukh dekhaan tey ajab nazara
Rain wadhi kuch karo pasara
Din aggey dharo diwal ni

Seeing him is an enchanting sight
One forgets all aches of life
Let the night spread out long
And the morn wait a strife

Gharyal diyo nikal ni
Sack the gong-man

Toneey kaman kesey batry
Sehrey aaye wadey wadeerey
Taan jani ghar aya merey
Ranh likh warehey is naal ni

I have indulge in magic a lot
With necromancers and many a seer
Now that he has comeback home
We’ll live together a million years

Gharyal diyo nikal ni
Sack the gong-man

Bulleya shah di seej pyaari
Ni main taar noharey tari
Kiweain Kiweainmeri aai waari
Hin wichran hoya mhaal ni

He has saved me from many a hazard
Bulleh’s bed is cosy and warm
After much wait my turn has come
No happenstance may do us harm
Sack the gong-man

Gharyal diyo nikal ni
Aaj pe ghar ay nikal ni

Sack the gong-man
My love has come home today.

– Meri Bukkal De Vich Chor Ni (There is a thief in the folds of my arms.)

Translation:

by Kartar Singh Duggal

There is a thief in the folds of my arms.
Whom shall I tell?

There is a thief in the folds of my arms
He has, of late, escaped on the sky
No wonder there is a stir in the sky
And the world there is a hue and cry.
Whom shall I tell?

The Muslims are afraid of fire
And the Hindus dread the grave
Both of them have their fears
And keep on sharpening their staves.
Whom shall I tell?

Ramdas here and Fateh Muhammad there
This has kept them emitting spleen
Suddenly their quarrel came to an end
When someone else emerged on the scene.
Whom shall I tell?

There was furore in the flushed sky
It reached Lahore, the capital town
It was Shah Inayat who crafted the kite
It’s he who moves it up and down.
Whom shall I tell?

He who believes, he alone has known
Everyone else id floundering
All the wrangling came to an end
When Bulleh came to town.
Whom shall I tell?

– Ek Nukte Wich Gal Mukdi Ae (At this one point, all talk ends.)


Translation:

by Kartar Singh Duggal

It’s all in One contained.
Understand the One and forge the rest.
Shake off your ways of an apostate pest
Leading to the grave to hell and to torture
Rid your mind of dreams of disaster
This is how is the argument maintained
It’s all in One contained.

What use is it bowing one’s head?
To what avail has prostrating led?
Reading Kalma you make them laugh
Absorbing not a word while the Quran you quaff
The truth must be here and there sustained
It’s all in One contained.

Some retire to the jungles in vain
Others restrict their meals to a grain
Misled they waste away unfed
And come back home half-alive, half-dead
Emaciated in the ascetic postures feigned
It’s all in One contained

Seek your master, say your prayers and
surrender to God.

It will lead you to mystic abandon
And help you to get attuned to the Lord
It’s the truth that Bulleh has gained
It’s all in One contained

– Ek Nukta Yaar Parhaya Ae (I have learnt a secret)

Translation:

I have learnt a secret
A secret I’ve learnt

He is the same
From this end to that.
It’s only we
Who fuss like a brat

I have learnt a secret
A secret I’ve learnt

To win over Sass
He comes as Punnun
I am wedded to Innayat
Who cares not for caste.

I have learnt a secret
A secret I’ve learnt