Songs of Kabîr
Category: Hindu
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Songs of Kabir is a 1915 book consisting of 100 poems of Kabir, the 15th-century Indian poet and mystic, translated to English by Rabindranath Tagore. In this book Kabir has combined the philosophies of Sufism and Hinduism. The book had an introduction by Evelyn Underhill and was published by Macmillan, New York. This book has been translated to Persian and Kurdish by Leila Farjami and Sayed Madeh Piryonesi, respectively.

Kabir’s Poems

I

I.
13. Mo Ko Kahân Dhûnro Bande

O SERVANT, where dost thou seek Me?
Lo! I am beside thee.
I am neither in temple nor in mosque: I am neither in Kaaba nor in Kailash:
Neither am I in rites and ceremonies, nor in Yoga and renunciation.
If thou art a true seeker, thou shalt at once see Me: thou shalt meet Me in a moment of time.
Kabîr says, “O Sadhu! God is the breath of all breath.”


II

I.
16. Santan Jât Na Pûcho Nirguniyân

It is needless to ask of a saint the caste to which he belongs;
For the priest, the warrior. the tradesman, and all the thirty-six castes, alike are seeking for God.
It is but folly to ask what the caste of a saint may be;
The barber has sought God, the washerwoman, and the carpenter —
Even Raidas was a seeker after God.
The Rishi Swapacha was a tanner by caste.
Hindus and Moslems alike have achieved that End, where remains no mark of distinction.


III

I.
57. Sâdho Bhâî, Jîval Hî Karo Âs’â

O FRIEND! hope for Him whilst you live, know whilst you live, understand whilst you live: for in life deliverance abides.
If your bonds be not broken whilst living, what hope of deliverance in death?
It is but an empty dream, that the soul shall have union with Him because it has passed from the body:
If He is found now, He is found then,
If not, we do but go to dwell in the City of Death.
If you have union now, you shall have it hereafter.
Bathe in the truth, know the true Guru, have faith in the true Name!
Kabîr says: “It is the Spirit of the quest which helps; I am the slave of this Spirit of the quest.”


IV

I.
57. Sâdho Bhâî, Jîval Hî Karo Âs’â

Do not go to the garden of flowers!
O Friend! go not there;
In your body is the garden of flowers.
Take your seat on the thousand petals of the lotus, and there gaze on the Infinite Beauty.


V

I.
63. Avadhû, Mâyâ Tajî Na Jây

TELL me, Brother, how can I renounce Maya?
When I gave up the tying of ribbons, still I tied my garment about me:
When I gave up tying my garment, still I covered my body in its folds.
So, when I give up passion, I see that anger remains;
And when I renounce anger, greed is with me still;
And when greed is vanquished, pride and vainglory remain;
When the mind is detached and casts Maya away, still it clings to the letter.
Kabîr says, “Listen to me, dear Sadhu! the true path is rarely found.”


VI

I.
83. Candâ jhalkai yahi ghat mâhîn

THE moon shines in my body, but my blind eyes cannot see it:
The moon is within me, and so is the sun.
The unstruck drum of Eternity is sounded within me; but my deaf ears cannot hear it.

So long as man clamours for the I and the Mine, his works are as naught:
When all love of the I and the Mine is dead, then the work of the Lord is done.
For work has no other aim than the getting of knowledge:
When that comes, then work is put away.

The flower blooms for the fruit: when the fruit comes, the flower withers.
The musk is in the deer, but it seeks it not within itself: it wanders in quest of grass.


VII

I.
85. Sâdho, Brahm Alakh Lakhâyâ

WHEN He Himself reveals Himself, Brahma brings into manifestation That which can never be seen.
As the seed is in the plant, as the shade is in the tree, as the void is in the sky, as infinite forms are in the void —
So from beyond the Infinite, the Infinite comes; and from the Infinite the finite extends.

The creature is in Brahma, and Brahma is in the creature: they are ever distinct, yet ever united.
He Himself is the tree, the seed, and the germ.
He Himself is the flower, the fruit, and the shade.
He Himself is the sun, the light, and the lighted.
He Himself is Brahma, creature, and Maya.
He Himself is the manifold form, the infinite space;
He is the breath, the word, and the meaning.
He Himself is the limit and the limitless: and beyond both the limited and the limitless is He, the Pure Being.
He is the Immanent Mind in Brahma and in the creature.

The Supreme Soul is seen within the soul,
The Point is seen within the Supreme Soul,
And within the Point, the reflection is seen again.
Kabîr is blest because he has this supreme vision!


VIII

I.
101. Is Ghat Antar Bâg Bagîce

WITHIN this earthen vessel are bowers and groves, and within it is the Creator:
Within this vessel are the seven oceans and the unnumbered stars.
The touchstone and the jewel-appraiser are within;
And within this vessel the Eternal soundeth, and the spring wells up.
Kabîr says: “Listen to me, my Friend! My beloved Lord is within.”


IX

I.
104. Aisâ Lo Nahîn Taisâ Lo

O HOW may I ever express that secret word?
O how can I say He is not like this, and He is like that?
If I say He is within me, the universe is ashamed:
If I say that He is without me, it is falsehood.
He makes the inner and the outer worlds to be indivisibly one;
The conscious and the unconscious, both are His footstools.
He is neither manifest nor hidden, He is neither revealed nor unrevealed:
There are no words to tell that which He is.


X

I.
121. Tohi Mori Lagan Lagâye Re Phakîr Wâ

To Thee Thou hast drawn my love, O Fakir!
I was sleeping in my own chamber, and Thou didst awaken me; striking me with Thy voice, O Fakir!
I was drowning in the deeps of the ocean of this world, and Thou didst save me: upholding me with Thine arm, O Fakir!
Only one word and no second — and Thou hast made me tear off all my bonds, O Fakir!
Kabîr says, “Thou hast united Thy heart to my heart, O Fakir!”


XI

I.
131. Nis’ Din Khelat Rahî Sakhiyân Sang

I PLAYED day and night with my comrades, and now I am greatly afraid.
So high is my Lord’s palace, my heart trembles to mount its stairs: yet I must not be shy, if I would enjoy His love.
My heart must cleave to my Lover; I must withdraw my veil, and meet Him with all my body:
Mine eyes must perform the ceremony of the lamps of love.
Kabîr says: “Listen to me, friend: he understands who loves. If you feel not love’s longing for your Beloved One, it is vain to adorn your body, vain to put unguent on your eyelids.”


XII

II.
24. Hamsâ, Kaho Purâtan Vât

TELL me, O Swan, your ancient tale.
From what land do you come, O Swan? to what shore will you fly?
Where would you take your rest, O Swan, and what do you seek?

Even this morning, O Swan, awake, arise, follow me!
There is a land where no doubt nor sorrow have rule: where the terror of Death is no more.
There the woods of spring are a-bloom, and the fragrant scent “He is I” is borne on the wind:
There the bee of the heart is deeply immersed, and desires no other joy.


XIII

II.
37. Angadhiyâ Devâ

O LORD Increate, who will serve Thee?
Every votary offers his worship to the God of his own creation: each day he receives service —
None seek Him, the Perfect: Brahma, the Indivisible Lord.
They believe in ten Avatars; but no Avatar can be the Infinite Spirit, for he suffers the results of his deeds:
The Supreme One must be other than this.
The Yogi, the Sanyasi, the Ascetics, are disputing one with another:
Kabîr says, “O brother! he who has seen that radiance of love, he is saved.”


XIV

II.
56. Dariyâ Kî Lahar Dariyâo Hai Jî

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