Oct 26 2012
Remove duality and do away with all disputes
by Bulleh Shah
English version by J. R. Puri and T. R. Shangari
Remove duality and do away with all disputes;
The Hindus and Muslims are not other than He.
Deem everyone virtuous, there are no thieves.
For, within every body He himself resides.
How the Trickster has put on a mask!
— from Bulleh Shah: The Love-Intoxicated Iconoclast (Mystics of the East series), by J. R. Puri / Tilaka Raja Puri
/ Photo by GollyGforce /
Today is the beginning of Eid ul Adha, the Muslim holiday of sacrifice, a time to offer what is precious in life to God.
That word “sacrifice”… many of us instinctively recoil on hearing it. It conjures ideas of self-impoverishment, a sort of self-cruelty. We imagine giving up something valuable, handing it over to some other vaguely defined person we name God. Sacrifice, properly understood, is not that at all.
Sacrifice is really about opening the heart and the recalibration of our relationship to every person and every thing. It is consciously acknowledging the value of what is specific, while recognizing it as part of the greater Whole. Doing this, we restore the vision of vast Unity, establishing that at the center of the heart; orienting from that perspective, we can then understand the true value of a human relationship, a job, a home, a meal, a possession.
When we don’t regularly do this, we start to take the Trickster’s game too seriously. Instead of delight at the endless variation of existence, we become bewildered by the mask and forget how to see into the heart of things. Seeing, we once again become participants in the game, not pieces.
Sacrifice, in other words, is not about loss; it is about balance and clear vision. It is about removing duality. To sacrifice means to make sacred, to reawaken awareness of the sacred.
Have a wonderful weekend, with renewed awareness of the sacred everywhere.
Mir Bulleh Shah Qadiri Shatari, often referred to simply as Bulleh Shah (a shortened form of Abdullah Shah) lived in what is today Pakistan. His family was very religious and had a long tradition of association with Sufis. Bulleh Shah’s father was especially known for his learning and devotion to God, raising both Bulleh Shah and his sister in a life of prayer and meditation.
Bulleh Shah himself became a respected scholar, but he longed for true inner realization. Against the objections of his peers, he became a disciple of Inayat Shah, a famous master of the Qadiri Sufi lineage, who ultimately guided his student to deep mystical awakening.
The nature of Bulleh Shah’s realization led to such a profound egolessness and non-concern for social convention that it has been the source of many popular comical stories — calling to mind stories of St. Francis or Ramakrishna. For example, one day Bulleh Shah saw a young woman eagerly waiting for her husband to return home. Seeing how, in her anticipation, she braided her hair, Bulleh Shah deeply identified with the devoted way she prepared herself for her beloved. So Bulleh Shah dressed himself as a woman and braided his own hair, before rushing to see his teacher, Inayat Shah.
Bulleh Shah is considered to be one of the greatest mystic poets of the Punjab region.
His tomb in the Qasur region of Pakistan is greatly revered today.