Baba Farid’s poetry was later to influence the Sikh religion and especially their Holy Book "Sri Guru Granth Sahib" by the founder Guru Nanak. Such was the universality of Baba Farid, the Sufi poet laureate from Punjab.Revered by Muslims and Hindus, he is also considered one of the fifteen Sikh Bhagats within Sikhism and his selected works form part of theGuru Granth Sahib, the Sikh sacred scripture
He is generally recognized as the first major poet of the Punjabi language and is considered one of the pivotal saints of the Punjab region.
Laden with my load of misdeeds,
I move about in the garb of black garments.
And the people see me and call me a dervish
My promise to my love, a long way to go and a muddy lane ahead
If I move I spoil my cloak; if I stay I break my word
He lived in the Punjab, and his songs are in Punjabi, not even in urdu. Punjabi is very different from Urdu. Urdu is mild, the language of a businessman. Punjabi is like a sword, the language of a soldier. It is so penetrating. When you hear Farid′s songs sung in Punjabi your heart starts breaking.
Fareed, do not turn around and strike those who strike you with their fists.
Fareed, when there is greed, what love can there be? When there is greed, love is false.
In my childhood in the Punjab, I used to ask people, "Can you sing Farid for me?" - and once in a while, I found a singer who was ready, who knew how to sing Farida.
And all those beautiful singers... all those beautiful moments.... Punjabi has a quality of its own. Every language has a quality of its own. But Punjabi is certainly a sword, you cannot sharpen anything more.He is very modern and echoes every emotion, alienation, Doubt.
For instance, read this couplet;
I thought I was alone who suffered.
I went on top of the house,
And found every house on fire.
The only difference between him and "every house" around him is that he has finally surrendered to the process and his awareness has been swept up to the top of the house where the "fire" is recognized as bliss and not suffering, fullness and not loss. There, standing atop the burning house, we finally realize our true nature: We are the fire and not the house at all. And the entire universe is already lit up!
In his songs he calls himself Farida. He always addresses himself, never anybody else.
He always starts, "Farida, are you listening?
Farida, be awake! Farida, do this, do that!"
In punjabi, when you use the name Farid it is respectable. When you use the name Farida it is not respectable; one only calls the servants in that way. Farid calls himself Farida of course because he is the master; the body is the servant.
Why do you roam the jungles with thorns pricking your feet?
Your Lord dwells in your heart.
And you wander about in search of Him.
Akbar was puzzled. He said, "Why a needle?"
Farid said, "Because the function of scissors is to cut things into pieces, and the function of a needle is to join pieces together. My function is not that of the scissors, it is that of the needle. I join things together, I synthesize."
He says in his poetry;
Nizam-ud-Dauliya told Nasir-ud-din, a disciple of his, that one day when he went to visit Baba Farid he stood at his door, and saw him dancing as he sang the following :
This 1st Muharram, I decided to visit his shrine on my visit to Pakistan. When one enters into the city of Pakpattan in Punjab,one soon learns that most of the city of Pakpattan is named after Fareeduddin Shakarganj, or Baba Farid, as he is widely known.
Families who have come together separate here and then meet inside after passing the rigorous security search: there are metal detectors and the frisking hands of policemen; for women the frisking is done by policewomen inside a curtained enclosure. No cameras are allowed inside the shrine.
|A devotee at shrine
This new-looking mosque, built by the Auqaf Department, was the site of an historical mosque said to be from the time of Baba Fareed.
Next to this chamber are ancient waan trees whose fruit Baba Fareed is said to have eaten. Waans can live up to several centuries. There are a few graves underneath. The great irony is that rich people have purchased the right to be buried next to the wealth-renouncing Sufi. The grave of Baba Fareed is inside a modest building, which is adjacent to the waan trees.
So I offered Fatiha there and hoped I could also welcome Death as a friend as Baba Farid did;