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SONGS OF KABÎR, translated by Rabindranath Tagore

June 23, 2015

SOK6Sikhism was not on the menu when I did my degree but I did my first teaching job in an area where there was a considerable Sikh population and my teacher and friend Owen Cole had just written the first textbook about this religion and there were references to Kabir. As I became more secure in my subject knowledge, I found out more about this remarkable man and mystic from this book.

Anyone who says that Christianity is the only way to God has obviously not read about this man’s intense relationship with God.

Kabir was born about 1440 (probably), and was a contemporary of the founder of the Sikh religion, Guru Nanak (possibly his mentor). A weaver by trade, and a mystic by nature, his spiritual vision accepted no division between Life and Creator, man and God, as evinced by the following excerpts; “I Laugh when I hear that the fish in the water is thirsty: You do not see that the Real is in your home, and you wander…listlessly! Here is the truth! Go where you will…if you do not find your soul, the world is unreal to you.” and …”Kabir says, God is the breath of all breath”. Many of these songs contain criticism, not of “worldly” people who lived materialistically, but of renunciates who sought God outside of life and relationships; “The infinite dwelling of the Infinite Being is everywhere: in earth, water, sky, and air…He who is within is without; I see Him and none else”.

As do the Psalms of King David, Kabir’s works range across human emotions, from the depths of despair to the heights of an overwhelming love.

SOK5Kabir’s faith and love of a Divine Being he experienced personally, in his ordinary life as a weaver, could not be boxed by traditional religions, and his impatience with rituals and rules that increase the distance between man and the Divine is clear (“…The Kazi is searching the words of the Koran, and instructing others: but if his heart be not steeped in that love, what does it avail, though he be a teacher of men? The Yogi dyes his garments with red: but if he knows naught of that colour of love, what does it avail though his garments be tinted?…” [Poem LIV]

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.
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.

sadho ram bina kachhu nahi Nothing separate from God   O holy man, there is nothing separate from God.
God is in front and also behind.
And it is God speaking through me.
God is in the North and the South.
He is also in the East and the West.
God pervades Heaven, Hell and Earth,
And He reposes in the universe.
God is in your standing and sitting,
And he is in your waking and sleeping.
I see nothing but God everywhere.
For He is immanent in His creation.
God resides in all things that do not move,
And in all beings that do move.
Realize Him in the Word, full of love.
God’s existence is eternal,
He is the universal speaker.
Continuously devote yourself to Him,
And always sing His glory.
Kabir says, “God abolishes your ego”.

intoxication with God’s love   I am intoxicated with God’s love!
I have no need for cleverness,
Since I am a free being in this world.
I do not have any need to court
The friendship of the worldly ones!
He who is separated from the lover,
Wanders longingly from door to door.
But my dearly Beloved is in me,
So I do not have to keep looking for Him.
People everywhere struggle for name and fame,
And they endure much suffering.
But I am replete with the Lord’s wisdom,
And have no need for such vainglory!
My Beloved is never away from me.
And I am surely never separated from Him!
If such is my deep love for Him always
What need do I have for restless longing?
Kabir says, “I am united with my Beloved.
I have given up duality from the heart!
This is indeed a most delicate path,
And I traverse it without a burden of sins”.

Sing the glories of God   O man! Sing the glories of God.
Do not be remorseful later!
The sinner is engrossed in greed,
But soon all will be lost.
People waste their life in greed,
Deceived by illusion and doubt.
Do not be proud of wealth and youth.
They dissolve as paper in water.
Think of the God of Death,
Clutching you by the hair.
On that day you’ll have no dwelling place.
You refrained from reciting God’s name,
And stayed away from devotion.
You banished compassion from your heart.
Think of the slaps you’ll endure,
When the Upholder of Law checks your credentials.
What face can you show Him?
Kabir says, “Listen to me, dear brothers,
Go in the company of holy people,
And you will easily have liberation”.

Beautiful maiden, wake up   O beautiful maiden, wake up!
Why are you now sleeping?
The night has gone,
Why sleep through the day?
The one who stays awake,
Gets the precious gem.
You sleep, wasting your life.
Only severe suffering will follow you.
Your Beloved is truly wise,
But you are indeed a foolish lady.
Why did you not adorn
The bed for your beloved?
Wake up! Lookl!
Your beloved is not in the bed!
He departed early in the morning.
He has abandoned you!
Kabir says, “That lady wakes
Whose heart is pierced
By the Master’s Word!”

Recite God’s Name   O man! Recite God’s Name!
Realize the Absolute!
Understand His indescribable glory!
God’s grace showered on you
Will awaken you from the illusory world.
The mind is verily trapped by illusion.
The five senses quarrel,
Wanting their special enjoyments.
They make a loud noise.
Cravings assail the body,
That is the home of all desires.
The mind is not destroying them.
The world is burning
With the fire of cravings,
But the liberated soul rejoices.
It’s hunting the wild animals –
Lust, anger, greed and egotism.
Kabir says, “That person is knowledgeable
Who understands this teaching.
He obtains liberation and liberates others.
I accept such a one as guru”.

Dwelling amidst the waves of knowledge   O renunciate! The devotee made his dwelling
Amidst the waves of knowledge.
In the divine unstruck melody
He has purged his worldly cravings,
And his soul ascended
The mountain peak of meditation.
He drinks the nectar of God’s love,
And he becomes intoxicated,
With the fruit of eternal knowledge.
The fruit yielded without cultivation.
The enlightened soul weaves a beautiful fabric,
Using the thread of noble actions.
On the peg of meditation
The soul casts the warp and weft
And makes the beautiful fabric.
Kabir says, “Listen to me, dear brothers,
The enlightened state is an experience
That’s unfathomable.
By God’s grace, the elephant-like mind
Passes easily through the needle’s eye”.

You are in the sleep of ignorance   O Sleeper! You are in the sleep of ignorance!
How long will you sleep?
How long will it be for your eyes to open?
For how long you’ll be engaged
In only making preparations
To seek the refuge of the Master.
Your childhood days of play are gone,
And your youth will be short-lived.
In old age you’ll endure suffering.
For how long will you remain ignorant?
You have a beautiful decorated home,
And a beautiful wife.
You have become intoxicated
As your wealth increased.
For how long will you remain lost?
Ceremonies and rituals are fruitful
Only for attaining temporary happiness.
They cannot abolish your rebirths.
For how long will you endure suffering?
Kabir gives you instruction
But to accept or not is your right.
Whether you listen or not,
When will you contemplate truth?

SOK426 of Kabir’s Sayings     

 On the Guru’s greatness

What can I give in return,

so great is the Name of Ram? (1)

What gift of mine could please the Guru?

The wish remains [unfulfilled] in my heart .

There is no relative closer than the Satguru, (2)

no bounty equal to spiritual awakening,

There is no greater Benefactor than Hari,

no community equal to that of Hari’s devotees.

If the Guru be blind

the disciple is born blind:

When the blind lead the blind

both fall into well! .

I was drowning but I was saved

when the Guru’s wave rose up;

I saw the vessel fall to pieces

and I myself jumped clear! . (3)

  To find the Guru is a great boon:

without Him, you are lost,

As the moth attracted by the lamp’s flame

falls into it in full knowledge! .

(4) Maya is the Lamp, man is the moth,

circling arround [the flame], he falls:

Says Kabir, thanks to the Guru’s wisdom,

a few are saved.

  On [God’s] omnipotence

I have done nothing and nothing can I do,

this body is capable of nothing:

Whatever is done is the work of Hari,

It is He who made Kabir `Kabir’! . (5)

  If I made the seven seas my ink

and the trees of the forest my pen,

If the whole expanse of earth were my paper,

still I could not write greatness of Ram! .

  Kabir, what good deed can you do,

if Ram comes not to your aid?

Since every branch you step upon

yields and gives way!

  Nothing is [really] done [by you],

what has been done is not yours,

For if you had done anything,

there would be another creator.

  On Death

Kabir, the lute is silent (6)

for all its strings are broken:

What can the poor instrument do,

When the Player has departed?

Scorched by the forest fire,

standing, the tree cries aloud:

Let me not fall into the Blacksmith’s hands, (7)

lest he burn me second time! .

Kabir, the dear is lean, (8)

despite the greenery round this pond:

For a single living being, there are many thousands of hunters, (9)

how many times will he escape the arrows? .

  Man is but a doll made from five elements,

to whom a human’s name is given …

We are but guest of four days,

yet we take up so much room!

  On The Living Death

Death after death, the world dies,

but no one knows how to die:

The servant Kabir has died such a death,

that he will never have to die again!

When the saint dies, why do you cry?

he is going home …

Weep over the wretched Sakta, (10)

who is sold from market to market!

I yearn for death, but if I die,

may it be at Ram’s door!

And may Hari not ask: `Who is he

who has fallen at my door?’ (11)

  On Slander

 The wretched people slander,

for they have not found wisdom

But those who are drunk with the Liquor of Ram

have taste of nothing else!

  Seeing the defects of others,

they just keep laughing and making fun:

They do not see their own faults

have neither begenning nor end!

  Keep the slanderer near you,

build him a hut in your courtyard —

For, without soap or water,

He will scurb your character clean!

  Do not keep the slanderer away,

treat him with affection and honour:

Body and soul, he scours all clean,

babbling about this and that.


Do not praise yourself

not slander others:

There are still many days to go

and any thing could happen!

On The Experience

When I was, Hari was not,

now Hari is and I am no more: (12)

All darkness vanished,

When I saw the Lamp within my heart.

  The effulgance of the supreme Being

is beyond the imagination:

Ineffable is His beauty,

to see it is the only `proof’.

It was a good thing the hail fell to ground, (13)

for it lost its own selfhood:

Melting, it turned into water

and rolled down to the pond.

  Him whom I went out to seek,

I found just where I was:

He now has become myself

whom before I called `Another’!

1 Ram — One of the most revered god in India. In this context it means God.
2 Satguru = true+guru, synonym of Hari or God
3 wave is also a sudden desire, This sudden flashing of the Guru’s wave suggests the sudden, unexpected illumination of the disciple soul though the Guru’s grace. vessel, The ramshackle boat is the human body, may also mean ego.
4 Maya — not real, illusion, here related to sensual pleasure.
5 there is a pun on the name of Kabir, which means `great’ in Arabic and is also epithet of Allah
6 lute — the musical instrument symbolizes human body
7 The blacksmith is Kal or Death, who will use the scorched tree as charcoal for his own fire. `forest fire’ symbolizes the suffering of wordly existence, which besiege man on every side.
8 The deer is the human life, living amongst wordly pleasures, yet constantly on the run. Its Hunter is `Kal’ or Death, here multiplied into countless bowmen, representing the innumerable dangers which threatens the deer’s fragile life.
9 Not all poems are written by him, his followers have also contributed!
10 Sakta means slave. Market symbolises human life, which has to undergo countless rebirths in the unending cycle of the world.
11 i.e., may He recognize me as His own.
12 here `I’ is refered to ego. Hari means God
13 Hail, to which soul here is compared is nothing but water (i.e. the One Reality, God); once it has fallen on the ground, i.e. once soul was incarnate in human body, through the Experience, it lost the consciousness of its own falsely assumed identity and was reabsorbed into the One.

SOK3Other quotations:

 Reading books everyone died, none became any wise
One who reads the word of Love, only becomes wise

I searched for the crooked, met not a single one
When searched myself, “I” found the crooked one

Tomorrows work do today, today’s work now
if the moment is lost, the work be done how

Slowly slowly O mind, everything in own pace happens
Gardner may water a hundred buckets, fruit arrives only in its season

Like seed contains the oil,  fire in flint stone
Your temple seats the Divine, realize if you can

Kabir’s mind got cleansed like the holy Ganges water
Now everyone follows, saying Kabir Kabir

Don’t be so proud and vain
Looking at your high mansion
Death makes one lie on bare land
And grass will grow thereon

When you were born in this world
Everyone laughed while you cried
Conduct NOT yourself in manner such
That they laugh when you are gone

Ages have passed shaving the head, yet union with Ram is not here
Recitation of Ram Naam is futile, when mind is engaged elsewhere

What harm have the hair done, you shave them hundred times
Why not shave the mind, that’s filled with poisonous thoughts

Between the conscious and the unconscious, the mind has put up a swing:
all earth creatures, even the supernovas, sway between these two trees,
and it never winds down.

Angels, animals, humans, insects by the million, also the wheeling sun and moon;
ages go by, and it goes on.

Everything is swinging: heaven, earth, water, fire,
and the secret one slowly growing a body.
Kabir saw that for fifteen seconds, and it made him a servant for life.

Having crossed the river,
where will you go, O friend ?

There’s no road to tread,
No traveler ahead,
Neither a beginning, nor an end.

SOK2There’s no water, no boat, no boatman, no cord;
No earth is there, no sky, no time, no bank, no ford.

You have forgotten the Self within,
Your search in the void will be in vain;
In a moment the life will ebb
And in this body you won’t remain.

Be ever conscious of this, O friend,
You’ve to immerse within your Self;
Kabir says, salvation you won’t then need,
For what you are, you would be indeed.

He’s that rascally kind of yogi
who has no sky or earth,
no hand, foot,
form or shape.
Where there’s no market
he sets up shop,
weighs things
and keeps the accounts.
No deeds, no creeds,
no yogic powers,
not even a horn or gourd,
so how can he
go begging?

“I know you
and you know me
and I’m inside of you.”

When there isn’t a trace
of creation or destruction,
what do you meditate on?
That yogi built a house
brimful of Ram.
He has no healing herbs,
his root-of-life
is Ram.

He looks and looks
at the juggler’s tricks,
the magician’s sleight-of-hand —
Kabir says, saints, he’s made it
to the King’s land.

Hey brother, why do you want me to talk?
Talk and talk and the real things get lost.

Talk and talk and things get out of hand.
Why not stop talking and think?

If you meet someone good, listen a little, speak;
If you meet someone bad, clench up like a fist.

Talking with a wise is a great reward.
Talking with a fool? A waste.

Kabir says: A pot makes noise if it’s half full,
But fill it to the brim — no sound.

hiding in this cage
of visible matter

is the invisible

pay attention
to her

she is singing
your song

I burst into laughter
whenever I hear
that the fish is thirsty in water.

Without the knowledge of Self
people just wander to Mathura or to Kashi
like the musk-deer unaware
of the scent in his navel,
goes on running forest to forest.

In water is the lotus plant
and the plant bears flowers
and on the flowers are the bees buzzing.
Likewise all yogis and mendicants
and all those who have renounced comforts,
are on here and hereafter and the nether world-

Friend, the Supreme Indestructible Being,
on whom thousands of sages meditate
and even Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh,
really resides within one’s self.

Though He is near, He appears far away-
and that is what makes one disturbed;
says Kabir, listen, O wise one,
by Guru alone is the confusion curbed.

I’ve burned my own house down,
the torch is in my hand.
Now I’ll burn down the house of anyone
who wants to follow me.

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 that 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.

lift the veil
that obscures
the heart

and there
you will find
what you are
looking for

Many hoped
but no one found
Hari’s heart.
Where do the senses rest?
Where do the Ram-chanters go?
Where do the bright ones go?
Corpses: all gone
to the same place.
Drunk on the juice
of Ram’s bliss,
Kabir says,
I’ve said and I’ve said,
I’m tired of saying.

O Slave, liberate yourself.

Where are you, and where’s your home,
find it in your lifetime, man.

If you fail to wake up now,
you’ll be helpless when the end comes.

Says Kabir, listen, O wise one,
the siege of Death is hard to withstand.

still the body
still the mind
still the voice inside

in silence
feel the stillness move

this feeling
cannot be imagined

I went looking for Him
And lost myself;
The drop merged with the Sea —
Who can find it now?

Looking and looking for Him
I lost myself;
The Sea merged with the drop —
Who can find it now?

The Lord is in me, and the Lord is in you,
As life is hidden in every seed.
So rubble your pride, my friend,
And look for Him within you.

When I sit in the heart of His world
A million suns blaze with light,
A burning blue sea spreads across the sky,
Life’s turmoil falls quiet,
All the stains of suffering wash away.

Listen to the unstruck bells and drums!
Love is here; plunge into its rapture!
Rains pour down without water;
Rivers are streams of light.

How could I ever express
How blessed I feel
To revel in such vast ecstasy
In my own body?

This is the music
Of soul and soul meeting.
Of the forgetting of all grief.
This is the music
That transcends all coming and going.

The self forgets itself
as a frantic dog in a glass temple
barks himself to death;
as a lion, seeing a form in the well,
leaps on the image;
as a rutting elephant sticks his tusk
in a crystal boulder.
The monkey has his fistful of sweets
and won’t let go. So
from house to house
he gibbers.
Kabir says, parrot-on-a-pole:
who has caught you?

Friend, hope for the Guest while you are alive.
Jump into experience while you are alive!
Think… and think… while you are alive.
What you call “salvation” belongs to the time
before death.

If you don’t break your ropes while you’re alive,
do you think
ghosts will do it after?

The idea that the soul will rejoin with the ecstatic
just because the body is rotten–
that is all fantasy.
What is found now is found then.
If you find nothing now,
you will simply end up with an apartment in the
City of Death.

If you make love with the divine now, in the next
life you will have the face of satisfied desire.

So plunge into the truth, find out who the Teacher is,
Believe in the Great Sound!

Kabir says this: When the Guest is being searched for,
it is the intensity of the longing for the Guest that
does all the work.
Look at me, and you will see a slave of that intensity.

The light of the sun, the moon, and the stars shines bright:
The melody of love swells forth, and the rhythm of love’s detachment beats the time.
Day and night, the chorus of music fills the heavens; and Kabir says
“My Beloved One gleams like the lightning flash in the sky.”

Do you know how the moments perform their adoration?
Waving its row of lamps, the universe sings in worship day and night,
There are the hidden banner and the secret canopy:
There the sound of the unseen bells is heard.
Kabir says: “There adoration never ceases; there the Lord of the Universe sitteth on His throne.”
The whole world does its works and commits its errors: but few are the lovers who know the Beloved.
The devout seeker is he who mingles in his heart the double currents of love and detachment, like the mingling of the streams of Ganges and Jumna;
In his heart the sacred water flows day and night; and thus the round of births and deaths is brought to an end.

Behold what wonderful rest is in the Supreme Spirit! and he enjoys it, who makes himself meet for it.
Held by the cords of love, the swing of the Ocean of Joy sways to and fro; and a mighty sound breaks forth in song.
See what a lotus blooms there without water! and Kabir says
“My heart’s bee drinks its nectar.”
What a wonderful lotus it is, that blooms at the heart of the spinning wheel of the universe! Only a few pure souls know of its true delight.
Music is all around it, and there the heart partakes of the joy of the Infinite Sea.
Kabir says: “Dive thou into that Ocean of sweetness: thus let all errors of life and of death flee away.”

Behold how the thirst of the five senses is quenched there! and the three forms of misery are no more!
Kabir says: “It is the sport of the Unattainable One: look within, and behold how the moon-beams of that Hidden One shine in you.”
There falls the rhythmic beat of life and death:
Rapture wells forth, and all space is radiant with light.
There the Unstruck Music is sounded; it is the music of the love of the three worlds.
There millions of lamps of sun and of moon are burning;
There the drum beats, and the lover swings in play.
There love-songs resound, and light rains in showers; and the worshipper is entranced in the taste of the heavenly nectar.
Look upon life and death; there is no separation between them,
The right hand and the left hand are one and the same.
Kabir says: “There the wise man is speechless; for this truth may never be found in Vedas or in books.”

I have had my Seat on the Self-poised One,
I have drunk of the Cup of the Ineffable,
I have found the Key of the Mystery,
I have reached the Root of Union.
Travelling by no track, I have come to the Sorrowless Land: very easily has the mercy of the great Lord come upon me.
They have sung of Him as infinite and unattainable: but I in my meditations have seen Him without sight.
That is indeed the sorrowless land, and none know the path that leads there:
Only he who is on that path has surely transcended all sorrow.
Wonderful is that land of rest, to which no merit can win;
It is the wise who has seen it, it is the wise who has sung of it.
This is the Ultimate Word: but can any express its marvelous savour?
He who has savoured it once, he knows what joy it can give.
Kabir says: “Knowing it, the ignorant man becomes wise, and the wise man becomes speechless and silent,
The worshipper is utterly inebriated,
His wisdom and his detachment are made perfect;
He drinks from the cup of the inbreathings and the outbreathings of love.”

There the whole sky is filled with sound, and there that music is made without fingers and without strings;
There the game of pleasure and pain does not cease.
Kabir says: “If you merge your life in the Ocean of Life, you will find your life in the Supreme Land of Bliss.”

What a frenzy of ecstasy there is in every hour! and the worshipper is pressing out and drinking the essence of the hours: he lives in the life of Brahma.
I speak truth, for I have accepted truth in life; I am now attached to truth, I have swept all tinsel away.
Kabir says: “Thus is the worshipper set free from fear; thus have all errors of life and of death left him.”

There the sky is filled with music:
There it rains nectar:
There the harp-strings jingle, and there the drums beat.
What a secret splendour is there, in the mansion of the sky!
There no mention is made of the rising and the setting of the sun;
In the ocean of manifestation, which is the light of love, day and night are felt to be one.
Joy for ever, no sorrow,–no struggle!
There have I seen joy filled to the brim, perfection of joy;
No place for error is there.
Kabir says: “There have I witnessed the sport of One Bliss!”

I have known in my body the sport of the universe: I have escaped from the error of this world.
The inward and the outward are become as one sky, the Infinite and the finite are united: I am drunken with the sight of this All!
This Light of Thine fulfills the universe: the lamp of love that burns on the salver of knowledge.
Kabir says: “There error cannot enter, and the conflict of life and death is felt no more.”

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.”

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.

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.

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.
Kabir says: “Listen to me, my Friend! My beloved Lord is within.”

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.

WHEN I am parted from my Beloved, my heart is full of misery: I have no confort in the day, I have no sleep in the night.
To whom shall I tell my sorrow?
The night is dark; the hours slip by.
Because my Lord is absent, I start up and tremble with fear.
Kabir says: “Listen, my friend! there is no other satisfaction, save in the encounter with the Beloved.”

WHAT is thea flute whose music thrills me with joy?
The flame burns without a lamp;
The lotus blossoms without a root;
Flowers bloom in clusters;
the moon-bird is devoted to the moon;
With all its heart the rain-bird longs for the shower of rain;
But upon whose love does the Lover concentrate His entire life?

HAVE you not heard the tune with the Unstruck Music is playing? In the mist of the chamber the harp of joy is gently and sweetly played; and where is the need of going without to hear it?

If you have not drunk of the nectar of One Love, what boots it though you should purge yourself of all stains?

The Kazi is searching the words of the Koran, and instructing others: but if his heard be not steeped in that love, what does it avail, though he be a teacher of men?

The Yogi dyes his garments with red: but if he knows naught of that colour of love, what does it avail though his garments be tinted?

Kabir says: “Whether I be in the temple or the balcony, in the camp or in the flower garden, I tell you truly that every moment my Lord is taking His delight in me.”

SUBTLE is the path of love!
Therein there is no asking and no not-asking,
There one loses one’s self at His feet,
There one is immersed in the joy of the seeking: plunged in the deeps of love as the fish in the water.
The lover is never slow in offering his head for his Lord’s service.
Kabir declares the secret of this love.

HE is the real Sadhu, who can reveal the form of the Formless to the vision of these eyes:
Who teaches the simple way of attaining Him, that is other than rites or ceremonies:
Who does not make you close the doors, and hold the rath, and renounce the world:
Who teaches you to be still in the midst of all your activities.
Ever immersed in bliss, having no fear in his mind, he keeps the spirit of union in the midst of all enjoyments.
The infinite dwelling of the Infinity Being is everywhere: in earth, water, sky, and air:
Firm as the thunderbolt, the seat of the seeker is establishes above the void.
He who is within is without: I see Him and none else.

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


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.”

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.

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.

SOKFor 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.

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


Kabîr says, “O brother!  he who has seen that radiance of love,

he is saved.”

The river and its waves are one

surf: where is the difference between the river and its waves?

When the wave rises, it is the water; and when it falls, it is

the same water again.  Tell me, Sir, where is the distinction?

Because it has been named as wave, shall it no longer be

considered as water?

Within the Supreme Brahma, the worlds are being told like beads:

Look upon that rosary with the eyes of wisdom.

Where Spring, the lord of the seasons, reigneth, there the

Unstruck Music sounds of itself,

There the streams of light flow in all directions;

Few are the men who can cross to that shore!

There, where millions of Krishnas stand with hands folded,

Where millions of Vishnus bow their heads,

Where millions of Brahmâs are reading the Vedas,

Where millions of Shivas are lost in contemplation,

Where millions of Indras dwell in the sky,

Where the demi-gods and the munis are unnumbered,

Where millions of Saraswatis, Goddess of Music, play on the vina–

There is my Lord self-revealed: and the scent of sandal and

flowers dwells in those deeps.

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