Stay silent to survive

2005 was an important year for India. On August 25th, National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) and on October 13th, the Right to Information (RTI) Act were passed by the parliament of India. Both great events for the development of the Indian masses. But another great but itsy-bitsy event of the year to me, was the release of the chart-topper poem-song video called  "Bulla ki jana" by Rabbi Shergill.

"Bulla ki Jana" is the poem written by the Sufi Saint Bulleh Shah. An immense poem that tries to destroy the religious ideal-idols in the many ways possible. The poem tries to connect the reader to the truth.

"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."

Must watch

This is a must watch video. Rabbi takes us on a trip to different parts of the country, he shows the diversity, in it's unison with the itsy-bitsy truth that he sings. He brings out his Punjabi persona all over the place, regal indeed. I found his strumming and quick head movements attractive and confident. It's also interesting how the video focuses on electric posts. Indeed the song was just electric, whatever machines you are, that noumenon called electricity is used to run you all.

An essence that I see in the song is the idea of "unity through diversity" and yet this unity is unknown. We know nothing of everything, as an individual or as a whole.

I remember an interview show of Rabbi Shergill just after this song made him famous, the interviewer lady asked him, his favorite rock song? And then he answered that the one song that changed the landscape of Rock music was the song "I still haven't found what I am looking for" by U2, where Bono and his mates wander and sing around in a Las Vegas street.

The lady then asked him to sing the song, so he started singing, but he forgot the words of some lines and he was honest enough to say that he did not know the words of the song totally. I liked that so much about him. Because it's not the words of the song thats so important, it's the idea behind them.

"I still haven't found what I am looking for" is already rated as one of the greatest songs of all time by Rolling Stones magazine, but I think this song, this gospel song is one of the greatest songs on Jesus Christ too, teaching us that Jesus was just a sign post, and that we have to move on in the path that he showed us and not to worship the signpost. We are here looking for that unfathomable one called God.

"I believe in the Kingdom Come

Then all the colors will bleed into one, bleed into one

but yes I'm still running

You broke the bonds

and you loosed the chains

carried the cross

of my shame

oh my shame

you know I believe it

but I still haven't found what I'm looking for"

I remember an incident on a bus journey from Shimla to Delhi, I was in the bus looking through the window, and I saw this pretty looking foreigner lady standing outside the bus, somehow I just had the feeling that she would come and sit right next to me. I saw her enter the bus and to my surprise, the lady comes towards my seat and sits right next to me...

We became friendly in no time, she was a mid-wife who used to work in many African countries including my country-of-upbringing, Uganda. She said she was from Ireland and as soon as she mentioned "Ireland", I started smiling so much... I said to her, "Oh I am a great fan of an Irish man, his name is Bono...of U2." Then she replied, "Oh yeah Bono, I know Bono, he comes to our club for a drink." Then I said to her, "Wow, this Bono writes great lyrics, the songs are so relevant...and and and his family and the band U2 are one good team". And then she went on to say, "Ah when he is at the bar, no one talks to him, always alone, I remember once my mom was laughing and feeling sorry for him, because after all that life gave him, he keeps singing that he still hasn't found what he is looking for! hahaha". 

I went on to say that Bono has done a lot for Africa's development, he has already achieved so much in life yet he keeps going. Then again she began saying negative this and negative that about him. So, then I just kept silent, kept humming my songs until I reached Delhi. When I was leaving the bus, I did not feel like asking for her contact details but then, I could feel it, she was sad about the way she had behaved with me and she said to me in a soft motherly voice "God bless you". And I left. Well, so that's the power of Silence. 

That brings me to bring you back to our Sufi Saint, Bulleh Shah. Here is a poem and some quotes by others, quotes that we could savour for many days to come. 

Stay silent to survive

Stay silent to survive. People cannot stand to hear the truth.

They are at your throat if you speak it. They keep away from those who speak it.

But truth is sweet to its lovers! Truth destroys shara (shariah).

Brings rapture to its lovers, and unexpected riches, which shara (shariah) obscures.

Those lovers cannot remain silent who have inhaled the fragrance of the truth.

Those who have woven love into their lives, leave this world of falsehood.

 Bulleh Shah speaks the truth. He uncovers the truth of shara (shariah).

 He opens the path to the fourth level which shara (shariah) obscures.

 ~ Bulleh Shah 

 “That which you cannot express is Love.

That which you cannot reject/renounce is Beauty.

That which you cannot avoid is the Truth.”

~ Sri Sri Ravishankar

"I have climbed the highest mountains, 

 I have run through the fields,

only to be with you, only to be with you

I have run, I have crawled

I have scaled these city walls, these city walls

only to be with you 

but I still haven't found what I'm looking for,

 but I still haven't found what I'm looking for."

~ Bono


  1. Loved this post....awesome thoughts ,specially the part about silence and the kalam of bulleh shah(ks) ....

    got your blog link while reading the comments in inspirations and creative thoughts blog....

  2. Thanks Vimesh, keep visiting.


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