Sunday, June 20, 2010

I Know Not Who I Am


To consider oneself something emanates from the sense of ego. Such a person is still under the sway of maya, and has not had a vision of Truth so far.
It is said I that "once Bulleh Shah was engaged in meditation inside his chamber. It was the month of Ramzan. Some of his disciples were sitting outside eating carrots. After some time a group of orthodox Muslims who were keeping the fast happened to pass them. When they saw the disciples sitting at a faqir's abode and violating the fast, they were enraged. " They shouted in an angry voice, " Are you not ashamed of eating in the month of Ramzan, and that also at the abode of a faqir?" The disciples replied, "Brother believers, take your path. We are feeling hungry. That is why we are eating. "
The group of believers felt suspicious about their faith. So they asked, "Who are you?" They replied, "We are Muslims. Don't the Muslims feel hungry?". The believers again commanded them to stop eating, but the disciples did not heed. The believers who were on horses, alighted. They snatched the carrots from the hands of the disciples, and threw them away. They also gave a few blows to them. As they were about to leave, it struck them that the pir of these impious people must have been cast in the same mould. So they turned back to ask him what kind of instruction he had given to his disciples. They went to his chamber and said, "Who are you?" Baba Bulleh Shah who was meditating with his eyes closed, raised his arms and moved his hands. They asked him again, "Why don't you speak? Who are you?" Bulleh Shah once again raised his arms. The riders taking him to be a mad man, went away. Soon after they left, the disciples entered the chamber, raising a hue and cry that they had been beaten. Bulleh Shah told them that they must have done something to provoke the believers. The disciples denied to have done any such thing. Bulleh Shah said, "What did they ask you?" The disciples replied, "They asked us who we were, and we said we were Muslims." Bulleh Shah retorted, "That's why you were beaten. You became something and you suffered. I didn't become anything, and they said nothing to me."
One who has had such a vision comes to know his true Self and gets liberated from the bondage of caste, religion and country. There are numerous instances in the poems of Bulleh Shah, which show that the soul, like the Lord, has no religion, no caste, no country. All these distinctions are born out of time and space, but the soul is timeless. It has neither a beginning, nor an end, nor is it bound by the limitations of caste and religion. Bulleh Shah recognizes only the primeval relationship of soul with God.

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