Friday, April 29, 2011


While describing the idea of Buddhism in his monumental book (and TV series) - the Story of India; the British historian Michael Wood writes - "The idea is deceptively simple. The human condition, by its very nature entails suffering. Suffering is caused by the human ego, by desire, clinging, attachment and greed. Humanity can find tranquility only by removing attachments that are at the root of all human unhappiness, anxiety and aggression. The way to liberation is not through worship of a god (or anything else), but by becoming a fully autonomous and compassionate human being......

..... the implication of the Buddha's logic is that even belief in god is itself a form of human desire and clinging, a product of ego. Another cause of suffering in that it prevents a person from becoming an autonomous and free human being. This was nothing less than a rebellion against history."

As the wheels of time rolled by, Buddha and his thoughts were slowly overtaken by subsequent religious upheavals - whether they be Hindu, Islamic or otherwise in origin. A few thousand years later, another set of mystics happened to come by. Like the Buddha, they too roamed from place to place, expounding nothing but love. These were the Sufis as the world knows them today and they too were labelled rebels, radicals, infidels and what not....

But pray read these lines by one of them, Bulleh Shah...

Makke Geyan Gal Mukdi Nahi , Bhawein Sau Sau Jumme Padh Aayie
Ganga Geyan Gal Mukdi Nahi, Bhawein Sau Sau Gote Khaiye
Gaya Geyan Gal Mukdi Nahi, Bhawein Sau Sau Pund Padhaiye
Bulleh Shah Gal Ta-iyon Mukdi, Jadon Mainy Dilon Gawaiye

A hundred prayers at Mecca, a hundred dips in the Ganga or a hundred rituals at Gaya will get you God. Bulleh Shah, you will truly attain Him, only him you lose all desire for Him

Sir Te Topi, Bhawein Neeyat Khoti, Laina Ki topi Sir Dhar Ke
Tasbeeh Phiri, par Dil Na Phireya, Laina Ki Tasbeeh Hath Phad Ke
Bahron Dhoye Lattan Mode, Te Andar Rahi Paleeti
Bulleya, Jhaag Bina Dudh Nahi Jamna, Bhawein Laal Howe Kar Kar Ke

A prayer cap on your head is no good, nor is a rosary. What's the point of washing yourself - when your dirty from inside. To truly attain him, clean yourself from or it'll just be like trying to curdle milk without acid.

Bulleya Chal Othe Chaliye, Jitthe Rainde Saare Anne
Na Koi Saadi Zaat Pehchane, Te Na Koi Saanu Manne

Bulleh Shah, lets go to a place where everyone is blind
Only then will someone take you for who you are without wondering about your caste or religion

In a nutshell, the only desire we should retain is the desire to lose everything. Only then will we gain everything. But that's too hard, isn't it?


Sidhusaaheb said...

I beg to differ on one point.

"...jadoN meiN nu diloN gawaaiye" implies, as far as I am aware, humility and nothing else.

When one gets rid of the 'meiN'('I') or an inflated sense of self-importance can one surrender oneself to the will of God.


Sriram said...

Profound stuff. Like you said, it's hard. But for those who dont try it, its beautiful :)