I. 102. tarvar ek mûl vin thâdâ
THERE is a strange tree, which stands without roots and bears
fruits without blossoming;
It has no branches and no leaves,
it is lotus all over.
Two birds sing there; one is the Guru,
and the other the disciple:
The disciple chooses the manifold
fruits of life and tastes them, and the Guru beholds him in joy.
What Kabîr says is hard to understand: "The bird is beyond
seeking, yet it is most clearly visible. The Formless is in the
midst of all forms. I sing the glory of forms."
I. 107. calat mansâ acal kînhî
I HAVE stilled my restless mind, and my heart is radiant:
for in Thatness I have seen beyond That-ness. In company I have
seen the Comrade Himself.
Living in bondage, I have set myself
free: I have broken away from the clutch of all narrowness.
says: "I have attained the unattainable, and my heart is coloured
with the colour of love."
I. 105. jo dîsai, so to hai nâhîn
THAT which you see is not: and for that which is, you have
Unless you see, you believe not: what is told you you
He who is discerning knows by the word; and the
ignorant stands gaping.
Some contemplate the Formless,
and others meditate on form: but the wise man knows that Brahma
is beyond both.
That beauty of His is not seen of the eye: that
metre of His is not heard of the ear.
Kabîr says: "He who
has found both love and renunciation never descends to death."
I. 126. muralî bajat akhand sadâye
THE flute of the Infinite is played without ceasing, and its
sound is love:
When love renounces all limits, it reaches truth.
How widely the fragrance spreads! It has no end, nothing stands
in its way.
The form of this melody is bright like a million
suns: incomparably sounds the vina, the vina of the notes of truth.
I. 129. sakhiyo, ham hûn bhâî vâlamâs'î
DEAR friend, I am eager to meet my Beloved! My youth has flowered,
and the pain of separation from Him troubles my breast.
wandering yet in the alleys of knowledge without purpose, but I
have received His news in these alleys of knowledge.
I have a
letter from my Beloved: in this letter is an unutterable message,
and now my fear of death is done away.
Kabîr says: "O my
loving friend! I have got for my gift the Deathless One."
I. 130. sâîn vin dard kareje hoy
WHEN I am parted from my Beloved, my heart is full of misery:
I have no comfort 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.
Kabîr says: "Listen, my friend! there is no other satisfaction,
save in the encounter with the Beloved."
I. 122. kaum muralî s'abd s'un ânand bhayo
WHAT is that flute whose music thrills me with joy?
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?
I. 112. s'untâ nahî dhun kî khabar
HAVE you not heard the tune which the Unstruck Music is playing?
In the midst of the chamber the harp of joy is gently and sweetly
played; and where is the need of going without to hear it?
you have not drunk of the nectar of that 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 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?
Kabîr 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."
I. 73. bhakti kâ mârag jhînâ re
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.
the secret of this love.
I. 68. bhâi kôî satguru sant kahâwaî
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 breath, and renounce the world:
Who makes you perceive the Supreme Spirit wherever the mind attaches
Who teaches you to be still in the midst of all your
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 Infinite Being is everywhere: in earth,
water, sky, and air:
Firm as the thunderbolt, the seat of the
seeker is established above the void.
He who is within is without:
I see Him and none else.
I. 66. sâdho, s'abd sâdhnâ kîjai
RECEIVE that Word from which the Universe springeth!
word is the Guru; I have heard it, and become the disciple.
many are there who know the meaning of that word?
O Sadhu! practise
The Vedas and the Puranas proclaim it,
is established in it,
The Rishis and devotees speak of
But none knows the mystery of the Word.
leaves his house when he hears it,
The ascetic comes back to
love when he hears it,
The Six Philosophies expound it,
Spirit of Renunciation points to that Word,
From that Word the
world-form has sprung,
That Word reveals all.
says: "But who knows whence the Word cometh?
I. 63. pîle pyâlâ, ho matwâlâ
EMPTY the Cup! O be drunken!
Drink the divine nectar of
Kabîr says: "Listen tome, dear Sadhu!
From the sole of the foot to the crown of the head this mind is
filled with poison."
I. 52. khasm na cînhai bâwari
O MAN, if thou dost not know thine own Lord, whereof art thou
Put thy cleverness away: mere words shall never unite
thee to Him.
Do not deceive thyself with the witness of the Scriptures:
Love is something other than this, and he who has sought it truly
has found it.
I. 56. sukh sindh kî sair kâ
THE savour of wandering in the ocean of deathless life has
rid me of all my asking:
As the tree is in the seed, so
all diseases are in this asking.
I. 48. sukh sâgar men âîke
WHEN at last you are come to the ocean of happiness, do not
go back thirsty.
Wake, foolish man! for Death stalks you. Here
is pure water before you; drink it at every breath.
Do not follow
the mirage on foot, but thirst for the nectar;
and Shukadeva have drunk of it, and also Raidas has tasted it:
The saints are drunk with love, their thirst is for love.
says: "Listen to me, brother! The nest of fear is broken.
for a moment have you come face to face with the world:
You are weaving your bondage of falsehood, your words are full of
With the load of desires which you. hold on your head,
how can you be light?"
Kabîr says: "Keep within you truth,
detachment, and love."
I. 35. satî ko kaun s'ikhâwtâ hai
WHO has ever taught the widowed wife to burn herself on the
pyre of her dead husband?
And who has ever taught love to find
bliss in renunciation?
I. 39. are man, dhîraj kâhe na dharai
WHY so impatient, my heart?
He who watches over birds,
beasts, and insects,
He who cared for you whilst you were
yet in your mother's womb,
Shall He not care for you now that
you are come forth?
Oh my heart, how could you turn from the
smile of your Lord and wander so far from Him?
You have left
Your Beloved and are thinking of others: and this is why all your
work is in vain.
I. 117. sâîn se lagan kathin hai, bhâî
NOW hard it is to meet my Lord!
The rain-bird wails in
thirst for the rain: almost she dies of her longing, yet she would
have none other water than the rain.
Drawn by the love of music,
the deer moves forward: she dies as she listens to the music, yet
she shrinks not in fear.
The widowed wife sits by the body
of her dead husband: she is not afraid of the fire.
all fear for this poor body.
I. 22. jab main bhûlâ, re bhâî
O BROTHER! when I was forgetful, my true Guru showed me the
Then I left off all rites and ceremonies, I bathed no more
in the holy water:
Then I learned that it was I alone who was
mad, and the whole world beside me was sane; and I had disturbed
these wise people.
From that time forth I knew no more how to
roll in the dust in obeisance:
I do not ring the temple bell:
I do not set the idol on its throne:
I do not worship the
image with flowers.
It is not the austerities that mortify the
flesh which are pleasing to the Lord,
When you leave off your
clothes and kill your senses, you do not please the Lord:
man who is kind and who practises righteousness, who remains passive
amidst the affairs of the world, who considers all creatures on
earth as his own self,
He attains the Immortal Being, the true
God is ever with him.
Kabîr says: "He attains the true
Name whose words are pure, and who is free from pride and conceit."
I. 20. man na rangâye
THE Yogi dyes his garments, instead of dyeing his mind in
the colours of love:
He sits within the temple of the Lord,
leaving Brahma to worship a stone.
He pierces holes in his ears,
he has a great beard and matted locks, he looks like a goat:
He goes forth into the wilderness, killing all his desires, and
turns himself into an eunuch:
He shaves his head and dyes his
garments; he reads the Gîtâ and becomes a mighty talker.
says: "You are going to the doors of death, bound hand and
I. 9. nâ jâne sâhab kaisâ hai
I DO not know what manner of God is mine.
The Mullah cries
aloud to Him: and why? Is your Lord deaf? The subtle anklets that
ring on the feet of an insect when it moves are heard of Him.
Tell your beads, paint your forehead with the mark of your God,
and wear matted locks long and showy: but a deadly weapon is in
your heart, and how shall you have God?
III. 102. ham se rahâ na jây
I HEAR the melody of His flute, and I cannot contain myself:
The flower blooms, though it is not spring; and already the bee
has received its invitation.
The sky roars and the lightning
flashes, the waves arise in my heart,
The rain falls; and my
heart longs for my Lord.
Where the rhythm of the world rises
and falls, thither my heart has reached:
There the hidden
banners are fluttering in the air.
Kabîr says: "My heart
is dying, though it lives."
III. 2. jo khodâ masjid vasat hai
IF God be within the mosque, then to whom does this world
If Ram be within the image which you find upon your pilgrimage,
then who is there to know what happens without?
Hari is in the
East: Allah is in the West. Look within your heart, for there you
will find both Karim and Ram;
All the men and women of the world
are His living forms.
Kabîr is the child of Allah and of
Ram: He is my Guru, He is my Pir.
III. 9. s'îl santosh sadâ samadrishti
HE who is meek and contented., he who has an equal vision,
whose mind is filled with the fullness of acceptance and of rest;
He who has seen Him and touched Him, he is freed from all fear and
To him the perpetual thought of God is like sandal paste
smeared on the body, to him nothing else is delight:
and his rest are filled with music: he sheds abroad the radiance
Kabîr says: "Touch His feet, who is one and indivisible,
immutable and peaceful; who fills all vessels to the brim with joy,
and whose form is love."
III. 13. sâdh sangat pîtam
GO thou to the company of the good, where the Beloved One
has His dwelling place:
Take all thy thoughts and love and instruction
Let that assembly be burnt to ashes where His Name
is not spoken!
Tell me, how couldst thou hold a wedding-feast,
if the bridegroom himself were not there?
Waver no more, think
only of the Beloved;
Set not thy heart on the worship of other
gods, there is no worth in the worship of other masters.
deliberates and says: "Thus thou shalt never find the Beloved!"
III. 26. tor hîrâ hirâilwâ kîcad
THE jewel is lost in the mud, and all are seeking for it;
Some look for it in the east, and some in the west; some in the
water and some amongst stones.
But the servant Kabîr has
appraised it at its true value, and has wrapped it with care in
the end of the mantle of his heart.
III. 26. âyau din gaune kâ ho
THE palanquin came to take me away to my husband's home, and
it sent through my heart a thrill of joy;
But the bearers have
brought me into the lonely forest, where I have no one of my own.
O bearers, I entreat you by your feet, wait but a moment longer:
let me go back to my kinsmen and friends, and take my leave of them.
The servant Kabîr sings: "O Sadhu! finish your buying and
selling, have done with your good and your bad: for there are no
markets and no shops in the land to which you go."
III. 30. are dil, prem nagar kä ant na pâyâ
O MY heart! you have not known all the secrets of this city
of love: in ignorance you came, and in ignorance you return.
O my friend, what have you done with this life? You have taken on
your head the burden heavy with stones, and who is to lighten it
Your Friend stands on the other shore, but you
never think in your mind how you may meet with Him:
is broken, and yet you sit ever upon the bank; and thus you are
beaten to no purpose by the waves.
The servant Kabîr asks
you to consider; who is there that shall befriend you at the last?
You are alone, you have no companion: you will suffer the consequences
of your own deeds.
III. 55. ved kahe sargun ke âge
THE Vedas say that the Unconditioned stands beyond the world
O woman, what does it avail thee to dispute whether
He is beyond all or in all?
See thou everything as thine
own dwelling place: the mist of pleasure and pain can never spread
There Brahma is revealed day and night: there light is
His garment, light is His seat, light rests on thy head.
says: "The Master, who is true, He is all light."
III. 48. tû surat nain nihâr
OPEN your eyes of love, and see Him who pervades this world
I consider it well, and know that this is your own country.
you meet the true Guru, He will awaken your heart;
He will tell
you the secret of love and detachment, and then you will know indeed
that He transcends this universe.
This world is the City
of Truth, its maze of paths enchants the heart:
We can reach
the goal without crossing the road, such is the sport unending.
Where the ring of manifold joys ever dances about Him, there is
the sport of Eternal Bliss.
When we know this,, then all our
receiving and renouncing is over;
Thenceforth the heat of having
shall never scorch us more.
He is the Ultimate Rest unbounded:
He has spread His form of love throughout all the world.
that Ray which is Truth, streams of new forms are perpetually springing:
and He pervades those forms.
All the gardens and groves and bowers
are abounding with blossom; and the air breaks forth into ripples
There the swan plays a wonderful game,
the Unstruck Music eddies around the Infinite One;
There in the
midst the Throne of the Unheld is shining, whereon the great Being
Millions of suns are shamed by the radiance of a single
hair of His body.
On the harp of the road what true melodies
are being sounded! and its notes pierce the heart:
Eternal Fountain is playing its endless life-streams of birth and
They call Him Emptiness who is the Truth of truths, in
Whom all truths are stored!
There within Him creation goes forward,
which is beyond all philosophy; for philosophy cannot attain to
There is an endless world, O my Brother! and there is the
Nameless Being, of whom naught can be said.
Only he knows it
who has reached that region: it is other than all that is heard
No form, no body, no length, no breadth is seen there:
how can I tell you that which it is?
He comes to the Path of
the Infinite on whom the grace of the Lord descends: he is freed
from births and deaths who attains to Him.
"It cannot be told by the words of the mouth, it cannot be written
It is like a dumb person who tastes a sweet thing--how
shall it be explained?"