A visit to Baba Bulleh Shah's Shrine, Kasur, Pakistan
Among all Punjabi Sufi Poets, Baba Bulleh Shah () is the most celebrated for his exceptional flair for creating verses and boldness of expression. Bulleh Shah is truly the sufi poet for the masses, who was never shy of raising voice for humanity and equality of all beings. No other Sufi poet has influenced Punjabi Literature and Folk Music more than Bulleh Shah. Whether it is Abida Parveen singing sufiana kalaam or Rabbi Shergil doing a modern rendition of Bulleh ki Jaana, Bulleh Shah's kalaam is timeless and without boundaries.
It was a cold night in this small city and the entire
place was blacked out due to load shedding (regular power shutdowns due to shortage of
electricity). Despite the night time and black-out, there were still
to the shrine, which was lit reasonably using a small electricity generator
and a few gas lanterns.
The city area of Qasoor is a small and old town with
narrow streets. Street vendors are present on both sides selling groceries and
household items. There is a lot of two-wheel traffic similar to Lahore
Photo: A visitor at Baba Bulleh Shah Mazaar in Kasur
They read all the sacred texts and call themselves Qazis (Judge/Scholar)
They make a hundred pilgrimages to Mecca and add the suffix Haji to their name
They wield their swords bravely, and call themselves Ghazis (Warrior)
But Bulleh Shah says, you've done nothing, if you haven't pleased your Pir (Spiritual Master)
He had to be buried outside the boundaries of the
city. However, hundreds of year later, now this shrine is the truly the hub of
Qasoor city, where millions of people
pay a visit every
year. Although the rest of
old city structure have been swallowed by time, Baba Bulleh Shah's
Mazaar is the biggest visitor's attraction of Qasoor
now. God knows best.
Bulleh Shah,including Takhti and Jubbah
If you happen to visit there, Qasoori Andrassay (a type of sweetmeat) is recommended buy, which can be found in all Halwai (Traditional sweetmeat shops) in Qasoor. Qasoori methi is also a must-buy condiment for cooking, which is well renowned for its aroma in many dishes. You can also find several handicrafts such as Changair, a woven plate to keep chapati and colourful hand woven fans.
Map of Baba Bulleh (Bulley) Shah Mazaar, Kasur, Pakistan
SELECTED POEMS OF BABA BULLEH SHAH
At the same time, I do acknowledge that the translation of Bulleh Shah's Punjabi is no ordinary feat. For instance, take the poem 'Sab Ikko Rung Kapaa Da Hai'. It literally means that all the cotton forms i.e. thread, cotton-balls have the same colour. However, the essence reflects more on the reflection of God in every form and being. The actual language of the verse in Punjabi when translated in English loses beauty of the message.
literature such as Baba Bulleh Shah, Heer Waris Shah and Sultan Bahoo is
becoming endangered as fewer and fewer people read and understand the language anymore. I
could not find any authentic English translation of Baba Bulleh Shah so
I've included Prof. Nicholson translation as it is since it is still a
commendable endeavour. If someone can suggest
a better translation by any other academic, I will be very happy to
publish it with compliments.
Selected Baba Bulleh Shah Poetry with English Translation by Prof Nicholson18
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