Saturday, September 12, 2009

Enquiry into Fakir Lalon Shah's Spirituality



Evidence proves Matijaan and Malaam reared Lalon in what were to be tragic and profound times in his life. In all probability the trauma of small pox, abandonment by his biological parents in a raft to Mercy of Fate – together with the devastating effects of the disease greatly disturbed his psychological equilibrium that quite possibly slipped him into near permanent amnesia and he was unable to recall his past.

Also as a consequence it is not unlikely that his highly evolved mind moved on to realms of what may be considered ‘paranormal’ mental planes, i.e. and if legends are to be believed, it is very likely that he instinctively acquired knowledge in extra sensory perceptions, precognition and maybe even psychokinesis.

Fate therefore placed Lalon in a critical juncture in history not only in his time in life and that of Bengal, but indeed that of all humanity. What we are bearing historical witness here, is the resurrection, re-evolution and transmutation of the spirit of Essence Man with all his frailties and all its possibilities.

In Lalon the Man, there is evidence of kindred hope in the horizon. To let this opportunity pass us by with supremacist ideals, fractious, fragile and divisive ‘religious beliefs and sentiments’, would be sentencing ourselves to death of reason – a moral crime worse then treason, yet ironically researchers over 200 years have locked horn over claims and counter claims on Lalon by both Hindus (Shonaton hereafter) and Muslims being adherents to their respective faith and/or religion.

The reality of the misunderstood legacy of Fakir Lalon Shah’s spirituality was his challenge and direct confrontation of grounded norms of the times he lived, when he very cruelly earned the ire of Shonaton Purohit priests and Islamic Mullahs and it had all to do with his interpretation of their respective ‘holy’ text and scriptures.

Where they failed as much as later day enthusiast and researchers: Lalon was an Agnostic Sage, who reaffirmed faith by remaining firmly ingrained to Monotheism – or belief in one gOD – with its origins rooted from the times of Abraham – the founding father of monotheistic faith, Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Thus the initial perfidious enquiries by the curious about Lalon met with stoic resistance from the Sage himself when he oft repeated his song – which later went on to become a Baul anthem:

Shob lokey koi Lalon ki jaat shongsharey
People are curious about the caste of Lalon
Fakir Lalon e koi jaater ki roop,
Fakir Lalon says, the face of caste
Ami dekhlam na dui nojorey
Oh…I have not seen with thine two eyes

The question of caste, creed and religion thereafter became an unimportant and insignificant aspect in the study of the Sage. Having said that, it matters very little the ‘caste, creed or religion’ one is born into – for essentially it is not a matter of individual choice, but belief systems imposed upon offspring’s for guidance by their biological parents.

Lalon’s snycretic ‘fusion faith’ if we may elaborate - revolves around belief and disbelief, existence and non-existence of the ‘Supreme Being’ being delicately balanced on rationale, logics, enquiry and commitment.

Simply put agnosticism is often implied as ‘acceptance of the Unity of God’ but a rejection of ‘religious rituals’, in Lalon however the rejection was limited to prevalent dogmas or meaningless practices which was in direct contradiction to what he viewed were the laws of nature, or even the natural process.

If Belief and existence be the North Pole, and Disbelief and Non-Existence the South, Fakir Lalon Shah was the Equator of our times – an ‘imaginary line’ but one which faithfully delineates the axis of the Universe – yet has necessarily revolved in a straight line even when there is no such thing as a straight line!

Didactically between [A--------B] since we do not know where A starts or B ends, all we can safely deduces is the so-called ‘straight line’ is a cyclic circle, going round and round, in as much as the Universe, its many Solar, Lunar and Planetary systems and very much in the ways of time.

There is no such thing in the bAUL pantheon as a ‘rolling stone gathers no moss’ – for ‘moss’ in the Soul are aberrations – and the Soul as such needs constant redefinition and reaffirmation. ‘What goes around comes around’ is an easier way to define the ‘straight line’ of faith. The ‘forces’ in question were centripetal – not centrifugal.

So did the kO'RAN or Islam have anything to do with Fakir Lalon Shah’s orientation into ‘faith?

© Ongoing Documentation: Maqsoodul Haque - Mac 1st April 1, 2009

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