Eight: Farid. This is the man I have spoken of before – but not in English, in Hindi. Farid, the Sufi mystic, a contemporary of Kabir, Nanak and others. I love him. In his songs he calls himself Farida. He always addresses himself, never anybody else. He always starts, “Farida, are you listening? Farida, be awake! Farida, do this, do that!” In Hindi, when you use the name Farid it is respectable. When you use the name Farida it is not respectable; one only calls the servants in that way. Farid calls himself Farida of course because he is the master; the body is the servant.
The great king Akbar used to come to Farid to listen to his songs. Akbar once received a gift, a very precious gift, a pair of golden scissors studded with diamonds. Gudia would have loved them – any woman would. Akbar also loved them, so much so that he thought they would be a good present for Farid. He came and gave the precious scissors to Farid. Farid looked at them, turning them this way and that, then returned the gift to Akbar saying, “This is of no use to me. If you want to give something to me as a gift, bring a needle.”
Akbar was puzzled. He said, “Why a needle?”
Farid said, “Because the function of scissors is to cut things into pieces, and the function of a needle is to join pieces together. My function is not that of the scissors, it is that of the needle. I join things together, I synthesize.”
Farid would not have agreed with Sigmund Freud, nor with psychoanalysis, because psychoanalysis is the golden scissors, going on cutting everything to pieces. He would have agreed with Assagioli and psychosynthesis. Join, put things together, to oneness. Do you see my tears? They are for Farid…Farida…yes, for Farida. There can be no homage for him. He will understand the tears, not the golden scissors. Alas, could Akbar have fallen to the feet of Farid and wept, that would have been the real gift to the master.
Farid has not written a book, but his songs have been written down by his people. His songs are tremendously beautiful, but you have to listen to them sung by a Punjabi. He lived in the Punjab, and his songs are in Punjabi, not even in Hindi. Punjabi is very different from Hindi. Hindi is mild, the language of a businessman. Punjabi is like a sword, the language of a soldier. It is so penetrating. When you hear Farid’s songs sung in Punjabi your heart starts breaking.
When I used to travel in the Punjab, I used to ask people, “Can you sing Farid for me?” – and once in a while I found a singer who was ready, who knew how to sing Farida. And all those beautiful singers…all those beautiful moments…. Punjabi has a quality of its own. Every language has a quality of its own. But Punjabi is certainly a sword, you cannot sharpen anything more.