Category Archives: Bulleh Shah

this love — O Bulleh — tormenting, unique


this love — O Bulleh — tormenting, unique
the face of the idol akin to the divine in heaven
can there be divinity without my beloved
even if I have to contest the scriptures
this love is fearless, marches to death in defiance
dances and whirls like a street prostitute,
to win a single smile from the beloved

– Bulleh Shah

One Point Contains All



One point contains all;
Learn about the One, forget the rest.
Forget hell and the terrible grave;
Leave the ways of sin and purify
Your heart.
That’s how the argument is spun:
It’s all contained in One!

Why rub your head against the earth?
What point in your vain prostration?
Your Kalimah read, makes others laugh.
You do not grasp the Lord’s word!
Somewhere the truth is written down:
It’s all contained in One!

Some go to the jungle in vain
And starve and cause themselves some pain;
They waste their time with all this
And come home tired, nothing gained!

Find your master and become God’s slave.
In this way you’ll be free of care;
Free of desire, free of worry,
And your heart truthful, pure.

Bulleh has discovered this truth alone:
It’s all contained in One!

– Bulleh Shah

Repeating the name of the Beloved


Repeating the name of the Beloved
I have become the Beloved myself.
Whom shall I call the Beloved now?

– Bulleh Shah

You’ll find variations of this notion in sacred poetry and mystic writings throughout the world. What does it mean? How does repeating the name of the Beloved make you become the Beloved?

Many Sufi traditions practice zikr, he remembrance of the name of God, often through all-night prayer circles that involve devoutly repeating the names and attributes of God. You’ll find similar practices in Hinduism and Buddhism with the recitations of divine names and word formulations through mantra and japa. In Catholicism, there is the repetition of the rosary. In Eastern Orthodox Christianity, there is the Jesus Prayer…

The purpose behind all of these practices is a gentle but persistent assault on the mind. By taking the name or words that most remind you of the Divine, and repeating it over and over again, with attention and devotion, a cleansing process starts to occur in the awareness. The mind, at first, likes the sense that it is ‘doing something good,’ focusing on sacred things; but it soon becomes impatient, wanting to return to its old fixations, its comfortable patterns and habitual ways of viewing the world. Continuing the practice of sacred repetition allows the mind no quarter, bringing it back again and again to focus on the Divine. Do this long enough, and the mind starts to see empty spaces in itself — a terrifying experience for the mind, since it normally expends great energy to hide its essentially empty nature behind constant activity and attachment. But continue the practice further still, deeply, and an amazing thing happens: The mind not only sees its emptiness, it sees THROUGH its emptiness to the radiance within. It recognizes that that shining presence was what was being named all along. And, since the mind has finally admitted that it has no solidity or boundary, that it has no essential reality in itself, it recognizes that there is no separation from that living radiance. The identity is finally understood to have always resided There, within the Beloved all along — you have “become the Beloved” yourself!

But, for the devotee, this leaves a dilemma of language: Recognizing the Beloved as one’s true self, the Self of all selves, who then shall you call the Beloved?

This is a verse worth… repeating.

I have been pierced by the arrow of love, what shall I do ?


I have been pierced by the arrow of love, what shall I do ?
I can neither live, nor can I die.
Listen ye to my ceaseless outpourings,
I have peace neither by night, nor by day.
I cannot do without my Beloved even for a moment.
I have been pierced by the arrow of love, what shall I do ?
The fire of separation is unceasing !
Let someone take care of my love.
How can I be saved without seeing him?
I have been pierced by the arrow of love, what shall I do ?

O Bullah, I am in dire trouble !
Let someone come to help me out.
How shall I endure such torture ?
I have been pierced by the arrow of love,
what shall I do ?
I can neither live, nor can I die.

– Bulleh Shah

He Who is Stricken by Love…


He who is stricken by Love
Sings and dances out of tune.

He who wears the garb of Love
Gets blessings from above.

Soon as he drinks from this cup
No questions and no answers remain.

He who is stricken by Love
Sings and dances out of tune.

He who has the Beloved in his heart,
He is fulfilled with his Love.
No need he has for formality,
He just enjoys his ecstasy.

He who is stricken by Love
Sings and dances out of tune.

– Bulleh Shah

Look into Yourself…


You have learnt so much
And read a thousand books.
Have you ever read your Self?
You have gone to mosque and temple.
Have you ever visited your soul?
You are busy fighting Satan.
Have you ever fought your
Ill intentions?
You have reached into the skies,
But you have failed to reach
What’s in your heart!

– Bulleh Shah