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Sheikh Fareed is not the starving ascetic they show


May 28, 2024
Like 10vi patshahi, Baba Fareed values his deh (body) and knows that it is thru this deh that akaal purakh can be found. The Dr. Brahmin Vedic misinterpreters instead link him to extreme ascetism and stories of self-inflicted torture. They use insulting paintings like these

to portray him as someone who renounces his body.


If we read his baani on Page 1382-6 as told by 5th mahalla, we can see that the opposite is true.

He writes,

fareedaa umar suhaavarhee sang suvannrhee deh
Hey Fareed, life is beautiful in the company of a beautiful/healthy body.

virlay kay-ee paa-ee-an jinhaa piaarey nayh. ||83||
They are rare who possess it, those who love akaal purakh

He goes on to further emphasize the importance of the physical body in connecting with akaal purakh.

fareedaa tann sukaa pinjar thee-aa talee-aan khoondeh kaag.
Hey Fareed, the body has deteriated to a skeletal frame, and the palms have been peckered by crows

ajai su rab na baahurhio deykh bandey key bhaag. ||90||
Even now akaal purakh has not connected to him, look at the person's love (for akaal purakh)

He is not telling us his personal story here, but questioning the false love the ascetics use to try to connect with akaal purakh. They fast unto death, but do not connect because their love is false.

Further on, he further praises the human body in opposition to the Vedics who want to paint him as a manmukh ascetic.

kaagaa choond na pinjraa basai ta udar jaahi.
Hey crow, don't pecker at my skeleton, fly away from my body

jit pinjrai mayraa saho vasai maas na tidhoo khaahi. ||92||
Do not eat flesh from the body in which my akaal purakh resides

He equates his body to a gurudwara, a "home" for his akaal purakh.

Baba Fareed, like other gurumukhs such as 10vi patshahi, does not accept renounciation of the world as a valid path to merger (simran) with Akaal purakh. He appreciates his human body. He would not subject it to harmful rituals such as cessation of movement (tapp), nitnem recitations, fasting and other manmukh austerity rituals meant to force akaal purakh and not borne of love
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