Bulleh Shah

The poetry of Bulleh Shah is both profound and mesmerising. A Sufi poet living in 17th century Sindh, which is now in Pakistan, followed the teaching of great Sufi poets like Shah Hussain. Bulleh Shah’s life and work is well documented, from his love for his teacher to suffering banishment. The tyrannical reign of the Mogul emperor Aurengzeb profoundly shaped the thoughts of Bulleh Shah and he remains an original thinker. His writing is timeless, touching on the realms of truth and reality. A profound critic of the establishment, including religious leaders his work continues to be relevant today. Crevasses, fault-lines, fissures of the human soul are the points of discussion in much of this great Sufi poet’s work. His most famous being “Bulleh! To me I am not known”. Enjoy.

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

Not a believer inside the mosque, am I
Nor a pagan disciple of false rites
Not the pure amongst the impure
Neither Moses, nor the Pharaoh

Not in the holy Vedas, am I
Nor in opium, neither in wine
Not in the drunkard’s intoxicated craze
Neither awake, nor in a sleeping daze

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

In happiness nor in sorrow, am I
Neither clean, nor a filthy mire
Not from water, nor from earth
Neither fire, nor from air, is my birth

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

Not an Arab, nor Lahori
Neither Hindi, nor Nagauri
Hindu, Turk, nor Peshawari
Nor do I live in Nadaun

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

Secrets of religion, I have not known
From Adam and Eve, I am not born
I am not the name I assume
Not in stillness, nor on the move

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

I am the first, I am the last
None other, have I ever known
I am the wisest of them all
Bulleh! do I stand alone?

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

2 Responses to “Bulleh Shah”

  1. MysticSaint Says:

    Bulleh Shah is a great personality, who’s message has so much relevance for today’s world.

    thanks for sharing this.

  2. Amjad Says:

    Bulleh Shah was a Punjabi, he lived and died in Kasur.

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