Lal meri, pat rakhiyo bhana jhulelaalan
Is one of my favourite songs, and when I did ask someone they told me it was a Sufi song. Religious scholars always said Jhulelal was Krishna; their justification was Jhulelal was the son of MataDevki.
My own learning from the various articles published by the Sindhology study group said that the Hindu Sindhi’s believed he was the incarnation of Varuna the Lord of waters. Now this is really interesting as Varuna is part of the Vedic triad, also Sindhi’s are seafarers. I am sharing an article from the scroll that has quite adequate information on Jhulelal for us to begin a journey. http://scroll.in/article/801677/jhulelal-or-zinda-pir-of-river-saints-fish-and-flows-of-the-indus
When In Jamnagar, I saw for the first time a shrine dedicated to Jhulelal, there was the slogan written in Guajarati and Urdu. It was interesting to observe, that the older wall paintings, were of Jhulelal, who looked like a Persian Guru Nanak, and a picture of MataDevki like a river goddess. But there were also newer pictures of calendar art version of Lakshmi and Krishna.
The ritual in the shrine was also very different from the Brahmanical ones, there was incense laden dhoop and low nasal Sufi like chants it was soothing.
What interested me the iconography and the slogan Jeko chawundo Jhule Lal Tehnija Theenda Bera Paar (جيڪو چوندو جهولي لال ، تَنهن جا ٿيندا ٻيڙا پار)’ meaning whoever says Jhule Lal his/her ship will reach the shores
The fish, the lotus, the wisdom represented by an old man, the fish the symbol of plenty and nourishment coming from the sea, the lotus the symbol of abundance that floats on water, Sindhi the travellers, the craftsmen, the tradesmen who sailed the waters of Sindhu. Please note this is what the iconography told me, I have not yet researched this, but crossing the seas safely to reach the shores is the practical need of every sailor, though we can give it metaphysical intonation.
Someday I guess I shall find answers to these questions and newer questions will arise.
http://www.sindhology.org/ for those who are interested in knowing more.
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