How do I know who am I

When I first saw Rabbi Shergill’s video for the song Bulla ki jaana main kaun, I knew instantly that I would be spending more time on it.

After researching the lyrics for 8 hours and listening to it several times to firm up the lyrics, I found my own translation to be the most convincing. Come on folks, I’m not even Punjabi. I even found the guitar tabs here

Baba Bulleh Shah (1680-1758), has surely been an excellent writer of songs. No other song in an unknown langauage would have impressed me more. Though he lived during the time before the printing press, most of what we know about him has come to us through unreliable anecdotes and folklore. The limited authentic historical record, based on sporadic references to events of his life in his poetry and in the writings of his contemporaries, is barely enough for a brief sketch of his life.

I’ll read more – if only I find time. Anyways, here is my translation of the song:

Bulla ki jaana main kaun 	Bulla, how do I know who am I
Bulla ki jaana main kaun 	Bulla, how do I know who am I
Bulla ki jaana main kaun 	Bulla, how do I know who am I
Bulla ki jaana main kaun 	Bulla, how do I know who am I

Na main moman vich maseetan 	Neither am I believer in a Mosque
Na main vich kufar dian reetan 	Nor a pagan practising false rites
Na main pakan vich paleetan 	Nor am I the Pure amongst impure

Na main andar bed kitaban 	Neither am I in any Holy Books (Vedas)
Na main rehnda phaang sharaban 	Nor high on any drugs or alochol
Na main rehnda mast kharaban	Nor am I an idle delinquent

Na main shadi na ghamnaki 	I am neither happy union nor lonely misery
Na main vich paleetan pakeen 	Nor am I pure or impure
Na main aaabi na main khaki	Nor am I water or earth
Na main aatish na main paun	Nor am I fire or air

Bulla ki jaana main kaun 	Bulla, how do I know who am I
Bulla ki jaana main kaun 	Bulla, how do I know who am I
Bulla ki jaana main kaun 	Bulla, how do I know who am I
Bulla ki jaana main kaun 	Bulla, how do I know who am I

Na main arabi na lahori	        I am neither an Arab or a Lahori (Pakistani)
Na main hindi shehar Nagauri	Nor am I from the (Indian) town of Nagaur
Na hindu na turk pashauri	Nor am I a Hindu or a Peshawari Turk

Na main bhet mazhab de paya	I did not create any differences in faiths
Na main aadam hawwa jaya	Nor do I know of any Adam or Eve
Na koi apna naam dharaya	I did not name myself

Avval aakhar aap nu jana 	I know only of the Self
Na koi dooja hor pacchana 	and recognise no Other
Mai ton na koi hor syana	There is nobody wiser than I

Bulle shah kharha hai kaun?	Bulleshah, who is standing (in your place)?

Bulla ki jaana main kaun 	Bulla, how do I know who am I
Bulla ki jaana main kaun 	Bulla, how do I know who am I
Bulla ki jaana main kaun 	Bulla, how do I know who am I
Bulla ki jaana main kaun 	Bulla, how do I know who am I

Na main moosa na pharaoh	Neither am I Moses nor the Pharoah
Na main jagan na vich saun	Neither am I awake nor asleep
Na main aatish na main paun	Neither am I am fire nor wind
Na main rahnda vich Nadaun	Nor do I live in Nadaun
Na main baitthan na vich bhaun	Neither am I at rest nor in a storm

Bulle shah kharha hai kaun?	Bulleshah, who is standing (in your place)?

Bulla ki jaana main kaun 	Bulla, how do I know who am I
Bulla ki jaana main kaun 	Bulla, how do I know who am I
Bulla ki jaana main kaun 	Bulla, how do I know who am I
Bulla ki jaana main kaun 	Bulla, how do I know who am I

Oh! Oh! Oh!  Oh! Oh! Oh!

Bulla ki jaana main kaun 	Bulla, how do I know who am I
Bulla ki jaana main kaun 	Bulla, how do I know who am I
Bulla ki jaana main kaun 	Bulla, how do I know who am I
Bulla ki jaana main kaun 	Bulla, how do I know who am I