Sir te topi, te niyat khoti - Bulleh Shah

Sir te topi, te niyat khoti
Lena ki topi sir dhar ke.

Tasbi pheri par dil na phireya,
Lena ki phir tasbi hath phar ke.

Chille kitte par rab na mileya,
Lena ki Chillyan wich warh ke.

Bulleya, Jaag bina dudh naeo karhda
Bhanwen lal huve karh karh ke.


You wear a prayer cap, but still you harbour ill intent
So what good is wearing a cap on your head?

You spend time in recitation over prayer beads,but don't feel it in Your heart,
So what do you get out of holding prayer beads in your hands?

You performed all your rituals, but didn't find god
What good will observing such rituals do?

You can't curdle milk without rennet,
Even if you make it red by trying.

Jaag here can be "Guru" or "Love"


  1. Jaag here is 'Tapasya'.
    You can't reap the final fruit, you can never reach final destination, or find your lover or god or guru. without utter hardwork/tapasya/jaagna(staying awake)
    Paaven laal hoye karh karh key.

    1. Again these lyrics are open to interpretation.
      That is the beauty of these lines.
      I might be totally wrong, pardon me if I am.
      That is what my understanding is.

    2. You are right. It can be tapasya. It can also be remembrance or Jap.

    3. I'll disagree, if hardwork was the meaning, the whole poem's meaning would not be there. The whole poem's meaning is that hardwork won't get you anywhere, you did all your rituals, you got the prayers done, but nothing happened, you did all that hardwork and its a waste. Jaag is love or guru.