I know not who I am

Rabbi Shergill

Rabbi Shergill sings “Bulla Ki Jaana”

Bulleh Shah was a classic Punjabi Sufi poet who lived from 1680 – 1758 in what is now Pakistan. “His writings represent him as a humanist, someone providing solutions to the sociological problems of the world around him as he lives through it, describing the turbulence his motherland of Punjab is passing through, while concurrently searching for God. His poetry highlights his mystical spiritual voyage through the four stages of Sufism: Shariat (Path), Tariqat (Observance), Haqiqat (Truth) and Marfat (Union). The simplicity with which Bulleh Shah has been able to address the complex fundamental issues of life and humanity is a large part of his appeal.”

I don’t normally post a Sufi prayer, but when you listen to Rabbi Shergill sing this mournful tune (Bulla Ki Jaana) based on Bulleh Shah’s poetry, you might appropriate some of the sentiment. He was born Gurpreet Singh Shergill, 1975 – an Indian musician famous for his debut album Rabbi and the chart-topper song of 2005, Bulla Ki Jaana. His music has been described variously as rock, Sufiana, and “semi-Sufi semi-folksy kind of music with a lot of Western arrangements.”

You may not know who you are, as Bulleh Shah wrote, but let me nudge you to find who you are in Christ as I note in “Whose I am as a clue to who I am.”

Bulla! I know not who I am

Nor am I a believer of the mosque,
Nor am I in rituals of the infidel
Nor am I the pure inside the impure.

Nor am I inherent in the vedas,
Nor am I present in intoxicants.
Nor am I lost nor the corrupt.

Nor am I union, nor grief,
Nor am I intrinsic in the pure/impure
Nor am I of water, nor of land.

Nor am I fire nor air.
Bulla! I know not who I am

Nor am I Arabic, nor from Lahore,
Nor am I the Indian city of Nagour.
Nor hindu or a turk from Peshawar.

Nor did I create differences of faith,
Nor did I create Adam and Eve
Nor did I name my self.

Beginning or end, I just know the self,
Do not acknowledge duality.
There’s none wise than I.

Who is this Bulla shah
Bulla! I know not who I am.

Nor am I Moses, nor Pharoah
Nor am I fire nor wind.
I do not stay in Nadaun city. (City of innocents)
Bullashah, who is this man standing?

Bulla! I know not who I am
Bulla! I know not who I am.


About R.H. (Rusty) Foerger

As I enter the third third of life, I am becoming aware of the role of elders today “to enlarge spiritual vision, being devoted to prayer, living in the face of death, as a living curriculum of the Christian life” (Dr. James M. Houston). I am a life long and life wide learner who seeks to: *decipher the enigma of our worth *rescue from the agony of prayerlessness *integrate spiritual friendship.
This entry was posted in Poems, Prayers and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to I know not who I am

  1. stacilys says:

    Great post Rusty. It has actually inspired my next post, in which I will link this post to it.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Pingback: Belonging | A God Colored Girl in a Grey World

  3. prior.. says:

    Came here from staci’s blog (late) but glad I was able to check out the post! Inspiring .

    Liked by 1 person

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