The Mango


Shah Inayat was the head gardener of the Shalimar gardens of Lahore. These gardens are Mogul gardens. The shrine of Madho Lal Huseyn can be found there. Bullha Shah visited these gardens and as it was summer, he roamed in the mango-groves. Desirous of tasting the fruit he looked round for the guardian, but, not finding him there, he decided to help himself. To avoid the sin of stealing he looked at the ripe fruit and said: “Allah, al-Ghaneey!” (Allah, the Rich One).

On the uttering of this invocation a mango fell in his hands. He repeated them several times and thus collected a few mangoes. Tying them in his scarf (a long piece of cloth wound round the shoulders by Panjabi men) he moved on to find a comfortable place where he could eat them. At this time he met the head gardener, who accused him of stealing the fruit from the royal gardens. Considering him to be a man of low origin and desirous of demonstrating his ‘powers’, Bullha said ironically: “I have not stolen the mangoes but they have fallen in my hands as you will presently see”.

He uttered the same invocation again and the fruit fell into his hand. But to his great surprise the young descendent of the Prophet (s.a.w.) found that the gardener was not at all impressed but was smiling innocently. The great embarrassment of Bullha Shah inspired pity in the gardener’s heart and he said: “You do not know how to pronounce properly the holy words and so you reduce their power”. So saying he used the same invocation and all the mangoes in the gardens fell on the lovely lawns. Once again he repeated the same and he fruit went back on to the trees.

This defeat inflicted by the gardener, who was of course the Sufi teacher Shah Inayat, but whom the young saiyid Bullah Shah considered ignorant and low, revolutionized his whole thought. Falling at the feet of Shah Inayat he asked to be classed as his disciple, and his request was immediately granted.

Bullha Shah in his verses often speaks of his master and thanks his good luck for having met such a murshid:

Listen to the story of Bullha Shah,
He got hold of his pir
And shall have salvation.
My teacher, Shah Inayat,
He will take me across.