Bulleh Shah and Rumi 4/5

Cover of BullahThe striking similarity:

Four centuries prior to Bulleh’s outpouring, Rumi sang the story of abandon. The poem below has not unsurprisingly proved to be much popular in the US:

What is to be done, O Moslems? for I do not recognize myself.
I am neither Christian, nor Jew, nor Gabr, nor Moslem.
I am not of the East, nor of the West, nor of the land, nor of the sea;
I am not of Nature’s mint, nor of the circling’ heaven.
I am not of earth, nor of water, nor of air, nor of fire;
I am not of the empyrean, nor of the dust, nor of existence, nor of entity.
I am not of India, nor of China, nor of Bulgaria, nor of Saqsin
I am not of the kingdom of ‘Iraqian, nor of the country of Khorasan
I am not of the this world, nor of the next, nor of Paradise, nor of Hell
I am not of Adam, nor of Eve, nor of Eden and Rizwan.
source:”Selected Poems from the Divani Shamsi Tabriz,” Edited and translated by R.A. Nicholson, Cambridge University Press, 1977

 The identity of the messages in these poems speaks a common language of existential anguish. Confronted by racial profiling, wars and bonfire of vanities, the ordinary humans relate to the subtext of a transcendent spiritual yearning regardless of their backgrounds and nationalities. Three strands of mystical poetry are clear: conflicts of identity wear people down; the illusions of adherence to creed at the end of the day does not solve anything; and overplay of the ritual and the formal is at the expense of inner peace.

Cont [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

Published on July 25, 2006 at 8:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

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