Bulleh Shah (1680-1758) of Kasur in Central Punjab is an extraordinary voice that provided a mystical message beyond caste, institutionalized religion and ideologies of power. Born in 1860 and named Abdullah Shah in a Syed family, he found a Murshid (spiritual master) in Shah Inayat who was an Arain
Rumi on the beauty of spiritually intimate associations..
It is a sign of intimate friendship
when speech flows freely from the heart;
without intimacy, the flow is blocked.
When the heart has seen the sweetheart,
how can it remain bitter?
When a nightingale has seen the rose,
how can it keep from singing? […]
An essay contributed by the celebrated singer,writer and spiritualist Vidya Rao
I often ask myself the question why I choose, above all things, to sing, and then to sing a traditional gayaki like thumri. The images that are gleaned from its poetic texts are so often open to misunderstand: pining nayikas, heartless piyas, rakish Krishnas, divine Rams. I ask myself that question again today when tradition is in danger of being smothered by sectarianism, communal violence and a whole culture lies bleeding.
I turn to the music itself for my answer. It has never failed me before it does not fail me now. […]