Main NeevaaN Mera Murshid Uccha
Main UcchiyaaN naal sang laayee

I am lowly my spiritual guide is lofty!
I have tied my fate to such lofty ones!

Bulleh naaloN chullaah changaa
jis te ann pakaaee daa
ral faqeera majlas keetee
bhora bhora khaaee daa

A stove is better than Bulleh
because at least you can cook food on it
Saints sit together to eat
and share their food with each other

Bulleh Pi sharaab tey kha kabab,
par baal haddaan di ag,
Chooree kartay bhan ghar rab da,
ais thuggan de thug noo thug.

O Bulleha, Drench yourself in wine and feast
ignite the fires flaming out of the bones.
stealing, break into the house of God
and swindle the cheat of cheats.

Mulla tay mashaalchi dohaan ikko chit
Loukan karday chananan, aap anhairae vich

Mullah and the torch-bearer, both from the same flock
Guiding others; themselves in the dark

17 Responses to A stove is better than Bulleh

  1. Sidhusaaheb says:

    Waah! Zabardast! Mazaa aa gyaa! Thanks for posting this! 🙂

  2. Sidhusaaheb says:

    The amount of wealth that is swindled by the self-proclaimed representatives of God in His name and the amount of black-money that gets accumulated in the ‘houses of God’ can make it appear as if He were the cheat of cheats. All of that should definitely be redistributed among the needy.

    I hope I’ve been able to correctly comprehend the point that Baba Bulleh Shah is trying to make here. 😛

    • LAXMAN SINGH says:

      sir,
      in my opinion ,by saying pee sharab………thuggan de thug noo thug,poet says live a hedonistic life,live to the fullest possible even if it asks for doing wat religion forbids(hypocritical religious ideas).u will not be denied heaven for this(choorey kar te bhan….),this way u will cheat the cheats who cheat society by claiming themselves to be men of god an dthat they only can lead u to the house of lord if u fallow as they say.

  3. Naveed Siraj says:

    Sidhusaaheb, i think that in “thuggan dey thug noon thug”, the scorn is heaped on the head mulla or in general the clergy that has put domga and ritual before faith in unity. I do not think that the Divine (“He” as you put it) is the target but I could be wrong.

    RR, the first verse reminds me of Pathanay Khan’s intro “mairaa ranjhan hun koor hor” when he blows my mind with “tussee wee uchhay, tohaadee zaat vee uchee, tusse vich uch day randay, assee kasooree, sadee zaat kasooree, asee vich kasoon day randay”. Could you guide me if I ucchaa [of high esteem] and kasooree [full of blame/blemish/sin] mean what i think they do as i have indicated in brackets or is Uch Sharif and Kasoor also hinted at (perhaps intentionally with duality of meaning] since these two towns have had religious figures with huge following hence town names as well as literal meaning of the words causing this added dimension

    I refer to this verse jokingly at work when some colleague pretends to be high and mighty 🙂

  4. RR says:

    Naveed Bhai
    Many thanks for the comments – as always illuminating.

    Yes you are absolutely right – there is a word play. Bulleh Shah was from Kasur and therefore he calls himself “Kasoori ‘low – sinner-
    His master and Pir Inayat’s ancestors had come from Ucch – and here he calls that medieval town – an abode of the Sufis “Uccha” (higher, exalted).

    The third dimension also needs to be stated: malamati Sufis often put themselves at the lowest rung of society and relate to those who are looked at as the scum of the earth. It is through this sort of annhilation of ego and self that they make themselves empty of illusions thereby surrendering themselves to divine love.

    And, here Bulleh Shah also puts that qasoori element.

    Lastly, at another level there is typical Bulleh Shah wit and irony at work too. He did not believe in caste and neither did his murshid – Inayat was an Arain and Bulleh Shah a Syed – they broke the caste barriers. So for the unitiated populace, this was another way of playing up the irony – here a Syed – highest rank in Muslim hierarchy is calling himself ‘low’.

    Your joke is therefore absolutely valid and continues the wit of Bulleh’s expression.

    Sidhu ji- your interpretation is absolutely correct. Clergy in all religions uses faith for political and economic power – and Sufis/Bhakats had no patience for that….

    The more profounder message is how organized religion keeps human spirit in ritualistic darkness not highlighting the real connection between Man and God!

  5. Naveed Siraj says:

    Raza Bhai – The beauty of this word-play (Ucch Sharif & Kasoor) is very touching. Thanks for making the point about the caste difference between the ustad/murshid/divine and shagird/mureed/follower

    A thousand prayers for Pathanay Khan; May his soul rest in peace; the whole day i have been humming this kafi

  6. shahidain says:

    For RR, Good work. Keep it up.

    For Naveed Siraj, this “tussee wee uchhay, tohaadee zaat vee uchee, tusse vich uch day randay, assee kasooree, sadee zaat kasooree, asee vich kasoon day randay” has been added by Pathnay Khan himself we don’t find these refrains in any of the book written on Bulleh Shah. What I believe that there is not any word play, it has only been said to have a high regard/admire for the Murshid.

    For Sidhusaahab. I have left a brief introduction on Baba Farid Life and Khawaja Farid Life at “Khawoja Fareed- The mystics voice of Soutern Punjab” you might find it informative.

    A few couplets said by Bulleh shah regarding Mullas.

    “Mulla tay mashaalchi dohaan ikko chit
    Loukan karday chananan, aap anhairae vich “

    Mullah and the torch-bearer, both from the same flock
    Guiding others; themselves in the dark

    “Parh parh masley roz sunaavey
    Khaanaa shak shubey da khaweyn
    Daseyn hor te hor kamaaweyn
    Ander khot baahir suchyaar”

    You deliever sermons everyday
    You eat the food of suspicion and doubt
    You preach something and act inversly
    Inwardly you are corrupt but outwardly you are pious

    “dharamsal vich dharvi rahinde, thakur dware thug
    vich maseet kusatti rahinde, aashik rahin alag”

    In temples reside the ruffians, in gurudwaras, the thugs
    In mosques reside the liars, the true lovers (of the Divine), stay aloof from all these.

  7. shahidain says:

    “Parh nafal namaaz guzaarey
    Uchiyaan baangaa chaaagaa maarey
    Mimbar te charh waz pukaarey
    Keetaa teynoo hirs khawaar”

    You say prayers upon prayers
    You scream and yell loudly
    Sitting on the pulpit, you deliver sermons
    Greed has brought disgrace upon you ( Prof Saeed)

    Another version of translation

    Endless extra prayers you offer
    Jarring prayer-calls are released from your coffer
    Mounting pulpit, sermon you proffer
    Wretched you became through greed ( Muzaffar Ghafar)

  8. samina says:

    BULHE NU SAMJHAWAN AAINAN BHAINAN TE BHARJAIAN
    MAN NE BULHYA SADA KAHNA CHAD DE PALLA RAIAAN
    AAL-E NABI AULAD-E NABI NUN TOON KION LEEKAN LAINAN

    JEHRA SANOON SYED SADDE DOZAKH MILAN SAZAIAAN
    JO KOI SANOON RAEEN AAKHE BHISHTEEN PEENGAN PAIAAN
    RAEEN SAEEN SABHI THAEEN RAB DIAN BE PARWAAIAN

    SOHNIAN PARE HATAIAN NE TE KOJHIAN LE GAL LAAIAN
    JE TU LOREEN BAAGH BAHAARAN CHAKAR HO JA RAEEAN
    BULHE SHAH DI ZAAT KI PUCHNA-EN SHAKAR HO RAZAAIAN

  9. Naveed Siraj says:

    Shahidain – I sort of suspected this since any verse before the kafi is the work of the kafi singer but this appeared in one of Abida’s kafi’s when she covered Bulley as follows

    “Tussan uchay tusandi zaat uchi,
    Tussan Uch shahar day rahan walay,
    Asaan kasoori, sadi zaat kasoori,
    Asaan shaher Kasoor day rahan walay”

    Taken from http://www.folkpunjab.com/abida-parveen/assan-ishq-namaz-jadoon-neeti-ae-2/

    So it must be a lesser known poet albiet a popular one among kafi singers like Abida & Pathanay Khan

  10. Sidhusaaheb says:

    Thank you Naveed Siraj, Raza, Shahidain! 🙂

  11. shahidain says:

    Naveed Siraj

    I do agree with your comments. This kafi was first sung by Pathanay Khan and then followed by Abida Perveen. If you recall that we intially thought that ” Umraan-langheean-pabhaan-phaar” is Khawaja Ghulam Fareed kafi, whereas it is written by a poet Mazhar Tirmizi.

  12. shahidain says:

    Samina – A very popular Kafi sung by Abida Parveen. The English translation of kafi is:

    BULHE NU SAMJHAWAN AAINAN BHAINAN TE BHARJAIAN
    To counsel Bulleh, his sisters in law have come

    MAN NE BULHYA SADA KAHNA CHAD DE PALLA RAIAAN
    Pay heed to us and give up mixing with the low caste Araeen

    AAL-E NABI AULAD-E NABI NUN TOON KION LEEKAN LAINAN
    You are a scion of Ali,the Prophet, why must you shame our fair clime.

    JEHRA SANOON SYED SADDE DOZAKH MILAN SAZAIAAN
    Those who call me Syed, are destined to hell made for them

    JO KOI SANOON RAEEN AAKHE BHISHTEEN PEENGAN PAIAAN
    Those who call me Araeen, have the swings in heaven laid for them

    RAEEN SAEEN SABHI THAEEN RAB DIAN BE PARWAAIAN
    The low caste and the high caste, are created by God who cares not for family

    SOHNIAN PARE HATAIAN NE TE KOJHIAN LE GAL LAAIAN
    He regards the beautiful and cherishes the not so comely.

    JE TU LOREEN BAAGH BAHAARAN CHAKAR HO JA RAEEAN
    If you wish to enjoy the glory of the Garden, go and serve the Araeen

    BULHE SHAH DI ZAAT KI PUCHNA-EN SHAKAR HO RAZAAIAN
    Why bother about Bulleh’s caste? Obey the command that comes from Saeen

    (Translation by K S Duggel)

  13. Naveed Siraj says:

    Shahidain & Samina – “Bulley Nu Samjhavan” appeared on sound track of “Khuda Kay Leeyay”, the GEO production released last year. The kafi is titled banday-ya on the CD

    Pathay Khan’s version of this kafi (and incidently tusse vee uchay) is on this link

    http://www.apnaorg.com/video/pkhan/

  14. shahidain says:

    Naveed Siraj

    Thanks for info

  15. Zafar Awan says:

    I appreciate all the participant of this discussions about the sufis and their poetry. You all are wonderful people. SIDHUSAAHEB I am e specially grateful to you for giving an excellent explaination of one of the most complicated verse of Baba Bulleh Shah, that says ” pee shrab tay kha kabab”. I shall use this explaination to explore this verse further to make it even more easy to understand. Sidhusaaheb you are great. For the last three years, off and on I used to try to solve the mystry of this verse but could not go beyond certain limit. Regards

  16. jahffer says:

    Every word of Bullah Shah is spiritualism and trending towards the self and soul piousness and for that his guidance and teachings train the reader-in-fact that to prefer the needs of others upon yours and to sacrifice yourself by body+blood+bones that one claims of its own in actual property.

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