Bedil as Militarist-Sufist: the Realization of Characteristics of Bedil’s Society in his Poetry
Abdul-Qādir Bedil’s life is full of contradictions and paradoxes. These paradoxes are the result of his dualistic life as soldier-poet or soldier-Sufist, a phenomenon which is unique in Iran. Meanwhile, the poets or writers with such paradoxical experiences are also very rare in the world. Bedil’s life is concerned with the difficult, fearful, adventurous, humoristic, rude atmosphere of militarism on the one hand and with ascetic, Sufistic, seclusionist life of a Sufist on the other hand. Therefore, Bedil can be contrasted to the typical figure of Iranian poets which are generally writer-poets. Focus on colloquial language, sympathy towards people, candor and divulgence are symptoms of rudeness of militaristic life in the turbulent society of late eleventh and early twelfth century (Hijri) India. On the other hand, his sufistic life is a combination of Iranian Sufism and the Indian mysticism of Upanishads. Bedil is not resentful of his or his fathers’ militarism and is prepared for it. Meanwhile, like the typical examples of Iranian-Islamic Sufism (e.g. Sanai, Attar, Jami and Rumi) and Indian Sufism (Buddhism and Hinduism), he seeks asceticism, avoids relations with royal court and focuses on the hidden aspects of Being. These two different worlds become unified with the unique language of Indian style. The extensive formalism of this language makes possible “secret speaking” and criticizing “governing power” with least harms and does not destroy his relations with the political system of Indian states. On the other hand it allows Bedil to express the everyday life (mostly with deriding and satirizing people’s life) by metaphors adopted from the colloquial language. Then Bedil’s formalism is not an elitist formalism (unlike Iraqi style) which is focused on aesthetic obligations of the poet, but is a formalism which can resolve the dualistic contradictions of the poet as militarist-Sufi. This does not mean that the understanding of Bedil’s poems is easy and he is obligated to speak clearly. In his view, artistic form should make people try hard to grasp its meaning. This meaning is fluid from a poststructuralist point of view and never reaches certainty. This is why the understanding of Bedil’s poetry and prose requires a “fast comprehension” in his own view. By giving examples from some of the Bedil’s poems, this article tries to show what kind of relationship exists between Bedil’s society and his poetry and how he uses language to resolve the contradictions of his dualistic life
Article Type:
Research/Original Article
Sociology of Art and Literature, Volume:10 Issue:1, 2018
37 - 62  
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