Read the First Alphabet and be Free!

By Bulleh Shah
Translated by Muzaffar A. Ghaffaar

Read the first alphabet and be free
The first alphabet became two bodies, then four
Then became thousands, lakhs, a crore
From there became countless more
The unique alphabet’s dot a lone pedigree

Read the first alphabet and be free
Cartloads of books why have you read
A bundle of torments carry on your head
The face of tyrants you have bred
The way beyond is hard and heavy

Read the first alphabet and be free
Of the Qur’an became a memoriser of consequence
Reading, re-reading, diction purify with diligence
Then focus your mind on comforts, affluence
The mind’s a mad dog on a spree

Read the first alphabet and be free
Bullha, the seed of the banyan first was sown
Then that tree became full grown:
When it was shown the finite zone
Then remained the seed-solitary

Read the first alphabet and be free

Extract from, “Bulleh Shah Within Reach” by Muzaffar A Ghaffaar, part of the Masterworks of Punjaabi Sufi Poetry series.

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