Estate of the late
Rev. G.
StaAley Russell

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KABIR'S POEMS .

LTD.MACMILLAN AND LONDON CO. LIMITED BOMBAY CALCUTTA MELBOURNE THE MACMILLAN COMPANY NEW YORK BOSTON CHICAGO SAN FRANCISCO DALLAS THE MACMILLAN CO. OF TORONTO CANADA. ..

ONE HUNDRED POEMS OF KABIR TRANSLATED BY RABINDRANATH TAGORE ASSISTED BY EVELYN UNDERBILL MACMILLAN AND ST.. LIMITED MARTIN'S STREET. CO. LONDON 1915 .

COPYRIGHT 688073 .

the great twelfthcentury reformer of Brahmanism. had This revival initiated in the South. and probably about the year 1440. is one of the most interesting personalities in the history of Indian mysticism. Born in or near Benares. was in part a reaction against the I increasing formalism of the orthodox . he became in early life a disciple of the celebrated Hindu ascetic Ramananda. of Mohammedan parents. Ramananda had brought to Northern India the religious revival which Ramanuja.INTRODUCTION THE Kabir. a selection from whose songs is here for the first time poet offered to English readers.

It took in Ramanuja's preaching the form of an ardent personal devotion to the God Vishnu. appears to have been a man . mediaeval revival a large element of syncretism.KABIR'S POEMS vi cult. whom Ramananda. and which creeds and philosophies are powerless to love kill. the exaggerated monism which that philosophy proclaimed. such Though digenous in expression in Bhagavad a devotion Hinduism. as representing personal aspect of the Divine " Nature that mystical religion of the : " which everywhere makes its appearance at a certain level of spiritual culture. in mands part an assertion of the deof the heart as against the intense intellectualism of the Vedanta philosophy. is and in- finds passages of the there was in its many Gita. its spirit is through said to have reached Kabir.

spiritual culture met. that in their teachassert. its discussion is not life : but as this is We may safely attempted here. were on exercising a powerful the thought of India. vii and full of missionary enthusiasm./ Some have regarded both these great religious leaders as fluenced also by Christian thought in- and a point upon which competent authorities hold widely divergent views. and Hafiz. Sadi.INTRODUCTION of wide religious culture. two perhaps three apparently intense streams of antagonistic ings. Jalalu'ddin Rumi. however. Attar. as Hellenistic thought met Jewish and in the early . religious influence he dreamed of reconciling this intense and personal Mohammedan mysticism with the traditional theology of Brahmanism. Living at the moment in which the impassioned poetry and deep philosophy of the great Persian mystics.

A hater of religious exclusivism. the spontaneous expressions of his vision and his love . not by the didactic name. the founder of a sect to which nearly a million northern Hindus still belong. But his wonderful songs his memory by survive. teachings associated with that he makes his immortal appeal to the heart. and seeking above all things to initiate men into the liberty of the children of God. In these poems a wide his . A great religious reformer. his followers have honoured re-erecting in a new place the barriers which he laboured to cast down. His fate has it is been that of many revealers of Reality.KABIR'S POEMS viii Christian Church : and one of the it is outstanding characteristics of Kabir's genius that he was able in his poems to fuse them into one. and it is by these. yet supremely as a mystical poet that Kabir lives for us.

as he says the child of Allah at once or Vaishnavite.INTRODUCTION ix range of mystical emotion is brought into play from the loftiest abstrac: tions. and to Whose joyous friendship he sought to induct the souls of other men. the most other-worldly passion most intimate for the Infinite. transcended whilst He included all metaphysical categories. " himself." Whom That Supreme Spirit he knew and adored. yet each contributed something to the description of that Infinite and Simple Totality Who revealed Himself. pressed in It is impossible to say of their author that he was ist Brahman He is. to the and personal realization of God. or Sufi. to the faithful lovers of all creeds^ f . ex- homely metaphors and religious symbols drawn indifferently from Hindu and Mohammedan belief. Vedant- '' and of Ram. all credal definitions . according to their measure.

The boy Kabir.KABIR'S POEMS x surrounded by contradictory legends. and claim him by turns as a Sufi and a Brahman saint. Some of these emanate from a Hindu. Sufis and Brahmans appear to have met in disputation the most spiritual members of both creeds frequenting the teachings of Ramananda. His name. the city in which the chief events of his life took : place. whose reputation was then at its height. however. on none of which reliance can be placed. in whom the religious : . In fifteenth -century Benares the syncretistic tendencies of Bhakti re- ligion had reached full development. some from Kabir's story is a Mohammedan source. is practically a conclusive proof of Moslem and the most probable tale ancestry is that which represents him as the actual or adopted child of a Mohammedan weaver of Benares.

He therefore hid upon the steps of the river Ganges. Kabir then declared that he had received the mantra of initiation from Ramananda's lips. but knew how were the chances that a Hindu would guru accept a Mohammedan as slight disciple. thus exhibiting in action that very principle of religious synthesis which Ramananda had sought . trod upon his body unexpectedly. name of the incarnation under which ! he worshipped God.INTRODUCTION xi passion was innate. and was by admitted to discipleship. where Rama- nanda was accustomed to bathe . and exclaimed in his " Ram Ram ! " the astonishment. coming down to the water. In spite of the protests of orthodox Brahmans and Mohammedans. both it equally annoyed by this contempt of theological landmarks. with the result that the master. saw in Ramananda his destined teacher . he persisted in his claim .

. Takki of JhansI. the manner in which his spiritual genius developed. we are ignorant. as Kabir's master in later life. joining in the theological and philosophical arguments of which his master held with all the great Mullahs and Brahmans of his day and to this source we may pertrace with his the haps acquaintance terms of Hindu and Sufi philosophy. /the I Hindu to saint whom is the only in his songs indebtedness/ The little that life contradicts human teacher he acknowledges we know many of Kabir's current ideas concerning the Oriental mystic. He seems to have remained for years the disciple completely Ramananda. and though Mohammedan legends speak of the famous Sufi Pir. appears to have accepted him. Of the stages of discipline through which he passed.KABIR'S POEMS xii Ramananda to establish in thought. .

! All the legends agree on that Kabir was a weaver. . Boehme the cobbler. order to devote himself to bodily mortifications and the exclusive pur- suit of the contemplative life. thai. a simple and unlettered man. he knew how to combine vision and industry the work of his hands helped rather than .INTRODUCTION He may or may xiii not have submitted to the traditional education of the Hindu is or the Sufi contemplative : it clear. Side side /with interior life his of adoraby tion. who earned his living at the loom/ Like this point : Paul the tent-maker. Tersteegen the ribbon-maker. Bunyan the tinker. he never adopted the life of the professional retired or from the world in ascetic. at any rate. its artistic expression in music and words' for he was a skilled musi- cian as well as a poet he lived the sane and diligent life of the Oriental craftsman.

who has a great beard and matted locks. Here his works corroborate the traditional story life. and beauty the proper theatre of man's quest in order to find that One Reality Who . the value and reality of diurnal existence. pouring contempt upon the profes" sional sanctity of the Yogi. but a heart." and on all who think it necessary to flee a world pervaded by love.KABIR'S POEMS xiv hindered the impassioned meditation of his Hating mere bodily he was no ascetic. and looks like a goat. the father of a family a circumstance which Hindu legends of the monastic type vainly attempt to conceal or explain and it was from out of the heart of the common life that he sang his rapturous lyrics of divine love. life of his Again and again he extols the of home. married man. with tunities for love its oppor- and renunciation . joy. austerities.

INTRODUCTION " has out xv spread His form of love throughthe world. as alike the duty and the joy of every soul. Poems Nos./ the God whom he proclaimed was 1 1 Cf. all external institutional re- observance which was as thorough and as intense as that of the Quakers themselves completed. was independent both of ritual and of bodily austerities . From the point of view of orthodox sanctity. frank dislike of all ligion. Kabir was plainly a heretic and his . LXXVI. The simple union Divine Reality which he perpetually extolled. LXVI. whether Hindu or Mohammedan." * all It does not need much experience of ascetic literature to recognize the boldness and originality of this atti- tude in such a time and place. XL. XXI. so far as ecclesiastical opinion was concerned. his reputation as a danger" " with ous man. b . XLIII.

scriptures and priests were denounced by this inconveniently clear-sighted poet as mere substitutes for reality $/ dead things intervening between the soul and The images its love lifeless. I have seen.KABIR'S POEMS xvi " neither in Kaaba nor in Kailash. Hindu and Moslem alike temple and mosque. The Purana and the Koran are mere words 2 lifting up the curtain." Him needed not awaited to go far. LXV. idol and holy water. are all : for I I : This sort of thing cannot be tolerated by any organized church . and it is not surprising that Kabir. know. . having 2 1 Poems I. washerwoman and the carpenter " Those who sought than to the self-righteous holy man. they cannot speak have cried aloud to them. XLI. II. LXVII. for He discovery " more accessible to the everywhere. 1 Therefore fthe whole apparatus of the piety. Poems XLII.

preserves the memory of the fear and dislike by the with which he was regarded ecclesiastical powers. with the and technically Sufis. by her sudden encounter with the initiate of a higher love.INTRODUCTION his head-quarters in Benares. was outside the authority ! of the classed Brahmans. like the Magdalen. The well-known legend of the beautiful courtesan sent by the Brahmans to tempt his virtue. a ruler of considerable culture. and converted. after the performance of a supposed miracle of healing. to whom . and charged with claiming the possession of divine powers. the xvii very centre of priestly influence. he was brought before the Emperor Sikandar Lodi. was tolerant of the eccentrici- persons belonging to his Kabir. Once at least. medan birth. was subjected to considerable persecution. But Sikandar Lodi. being of Moham- ties of saintly own faith.

the centre of a group of disciples . though he was banished in the interests of peace from Benares. Therefore. This seems to his life was spared. and with hands so feeble that he could no longer make the music time. broken in health. have happened in 1495. continuing in exile that life of apostle and poet of love to which. he died at Maghar near Gorakhpur. A beautiful legend tells us that after his death his disciples Mohammedan and Hindu disputed the possession of . when he was great theological latitude nearly sixty years of age ." which he loved. an old man. he was destined " from the beginning of In 1518. as he declares in one of his songs. it is the last event in his career of which we have definite knowledge. Thence- forth he appears to have moved about amongst various cities of northern India.KABIR'S POEMS xviii was allowed.

As it is the special vocation of the mystical consciousness to .INTRODUCTION his body . and told them to lift the shroud and look at that which lay beneath. Kabir appeared before them. and half carried by the Hindus to the holy burned fitting which had made city of Benares to be conclusion to a life fragrant the most beautiful doctrines of two great creeds. half of which were buried by the Mohammedans at Maghar. xix which the Mohammedans wished to bury. II of mysticism might be the one hand as a tempera- The poetry denned on mental reaction to the vision of on the other. as a form of Reality : prophecy. and found in the place of the corpse a heap of flowers . the Hindus to burn. As they argued together. They did so.

? they were deliberately addressed^ like the vernacular poetry of Jacopone da Todl and Richard Rolle-4-to the people rather than to the professionally religious class .KABIR'S POEMS xx mediate between two orders. by constant appeals to needs. Written in the popular Hindi/ feabir's : not in the literary tongue. . passions. artistic It is love-poetry. but love-poetry which often written with a missionary is intention/ songs are of this kind outbirths at once of rapture and of charity. It is j by the simplest metaphors. re- life. going out in loving adoration towards God and coming home to of Eternity to other tell the secrets men . so the self-expression of this consciousness has also a double character. and all must be struck by the constant employment in them of imagery drawn from the common the universal experience.

all aspects of the universe possess equal authority as sacramental declarations of the Presence of God/. the pilgrim. and their fearless employment of homely and physical . humblest details capable of revealing the Player's mind. the guru and disciple. For them. /This willing acceptance of the here- and-now as a means of representing supernal realities is a trait common to the greatest mystics. the farmer.INTRODUCTION lations which all xxi men understand the bridegroom and bride. when they have achieved at last the true theopathetic state. everything is a part of the creative Play of God^ and therefore even in its Transcendent. the migrant bird that he drives home his intense conviction of the reality of the soul's intercourse with the There are in his uni" " verse no fences between the natural and " supernatural " worlds .

the most subtly philosophical. The need for this alternation. and its entire naturalness for the mind which emrooted in his concept. swift alternations J between the most intensely anthropomorphic. tions of this law. of the Nature of God t and unless we make some attempt to ploys it. Boehme. or vision. The works of great Sufis. ways of apprehending man's communion with the Divine.KABIR'S POEMS xxii often startling and even revolting to the unaccustomed taste is in direct proportion to the exaltation symbols of their spiritual life. and amongst the Christians of Jacopone da Todl. abound in illustra- Therefore we must not be surprised to find in Kabir's songs his desperate attempts to comhis ecstasy and persuade municate other men to share it a constant juxtaposition of concrete and metaphysical language . Ruys- the broeck. is .

we shall xxiii not go far in our understanding of his poems. the tran- scendent and immanent. static and dynamic aspects of the Divine Nature! . Ruysbroeck. ^Kabir belongs to that small group amongst whom Augustine." and perceived as the completing opposites of a per- . the synthetic These have resolved call the perpetual opposition between the personal and impersonal. They have done not by taking these apparently incompatible concepts one after the this.f but by ascending to a height . other merged in the Unity. as Ruysbroeck said. and the of supreme mystics St. between the Absolute of philosophy and the " sure true Friend " of devotional religion.INTRODUCTION grasp this. of spiritual intuition at which they " melted and are. Sufi poet Jalalu'ddln Rumi are perhaps the chief J-who have achieved that which we might vision of God.

He is " the Mind within the mind. nonsuccessional. ^ .KABIR'S POEMS xxiv Whole. God. and that which is 1 Being. yet He conditioned. This proceeding entails for them-j and both Kabir and Ruysa broeck expressly acknowledge it feet universe of three orders Becoming. indeed inhabits." teaching and companioning each soul."j But all these are at best partial aspects of His nature." i. both the dura- world of Becoming and the unconditioned. Considered as Immanent Spirit. VII and XLIX. the omnipresent Reality] the^ "the within Whom "All-pervading" ^ is worlds are being told like beads. /God is here felt | to be not the final abstraction. utterly finite transcends themj)oth. but the one actuality. tional. infinite world of Being ." In His personal aspect He is the 14 beloved Fakir. He inspires.e. supports. : " More than Being. 1 Nos.

As Ruysbroeck discerned a plane of reality " upon which we can speak no more of Father. is the Ineffable Fact " compared with which the distinction of the Conditioned from the Uncon" ditioned is but a word at once the utterly transcendent One of Absolutist philosophy. " that the limited both says beyond and the limitless is He. then. and the personal Lover of : the individual soul 1 " No. and Holy Spirit. but only of One Being." l Brahma. common to all . the Pure of the Divine Persons Being. the very substance " so Kablr .INTRODUCTION mutually corrective xxv as the Persons : in the Christian doctrine of the Trinity to which this theological diagram bears a striking resemblance represent different and compensating experiences of the Divine Unity within which they are resumed. VII. Son.

The need felt by both these ways of describing Reality is a proof of the richness for and balance of his spiritual experience which neither cosmic nor anthropo.KABIR'S POEMS xxvi and special to each. passionate intuitions of the heart. the unique satisfaction His creative word is the Om or " Everlasting Yea." The negative philosophy. He is the Great Affirma- includes all tion. the source of and love. He Brahma therefore exceeds whilst all the concepts of philothe sophy. more personal than the human fc mind. he says. taken alone." is abhorrent to this most vital " of poets. which strips from the Divine Nature all Its attributes and denning Him only by that which He " reduces Him to an is not Emptiness. the fount of energy. More absolute than the Absolute. may life of desire/ . could express. Brahma. morphic symbols." as one Christian mystic Kabir has it.

1 Nos. which results from an unrestricted cult of Divine Personality. though they tell. and those who know Him thus share. he escapes the excessive emo- tendency to an exclusively anthropomorphic devotion. XC. in Europe in the sentimental extravagances of certain Christian saints. eludes the three great dangers which threaten mystical religion. . First.INTRODUCTION xxvii never be found in abstractions. 1 never Now thesis i Kabir. the worship. XXVI. discerned in His fullness only by the eyes of love . especially under an incarnational form \ seen in India in the exaggerations of Krishna tionalism." is He One Love who pervades the the world. the joyous and inmay effable secret of the universe. achieving this syn- between the personal and cosmic aspects of the Divine Nature. VII. LXXVI.

the identity of pressed home substance between God and the soul. . : corollary of the total absorption of that soul in the Being of God with its as the goal of the spiritual life." 1 The soul's union with Him is a love union. yet ever united knows the spiritual as well as the " be no more than His footstool.KABIR'S POEMS xxviii protected from the souldestroying conclusions of pure monism^ inevitable if its logical implications are Next. realization " that the wise man . / For the thorough-going monist the soul. he is that is. VII and IX. the which finds expression in " the Vedantist formula That art thou. a mutual material world to l 1 Nos." But Kabir says that Brahma and the creature are " ever distinct. /is substantially identical with God/ and object of existence patent of this is latent the the true making identity. in so far as it is real.

/ which is so passionately and frequently expressed in Kabir's poems. is a necessary doctrine of all sane for no scheme which fails mysticism to find a place for it can represent more than a fragment of that soul's . balances and controls those abstract tendencies which teacher. intercourse with the spiritual world. the principle of which had descended through Ramananda to Kabir. and bridegroom. not a self -mergence which leaves no place for personality. Its affirmation was one of the dis- tinguishing features of the Vaishnavite reformation preached by Ramanuja . human and direct God as the supreme the warmly apprehension of Object of love. . the souj's comrade. xxix that essentially dual- which all mystical religion expresses. the mysterious union-in-separateness of God and the soul.INTRODUCTION inhabitation. This istic relation eternal distinction. //Last.

All is soaked in love that : love which he described in almost " Form Johannine language as the The whole of creation is of God. and the common factor which unites the finite and infinite : worlds. especially Nos. f As these twin living. " " the unique absolute sole Lord source of the more abundant life which he enjoys. so beyond the mists 1 Cf. passions preside over the generation " of human life. . LXXV. the growing expression of Brahma's love and joy. XCI. changing. school. he has little 1 Love is throughout his approbation." the Play of the Eternal Lover . LXVII. XC. LIX. as for the mere pietist.KABIR'S POEMS xxx are inherent in the metaphysical side of his vision of Reality } and prevents it from degenerating into that sterile which worship of intellectual formulae became the curse of the Vedantist For the mere intellectualist.

1 I In accordance with this con- cept of the universe as a Love-Game which eternally goes forward. Though the Eternal and Absolute is ever present to his consciousness. c . a progressive manifestation of one of the many notions Brahma which he from the common stock of adopted Hindu religious ideas. forms an by poetic part integral of genius Kabir's vision of Reality. yet his concept of the Divine I Nature dynamic. of act glad is love affirmation . It is by the symbols of motion that he most 1 is essentially Nos. rhythm. is joy. and illuminated his movement.INTRODUCTION xxxi of pleasure and pain. XVII. perpetual change. XXVI." Kabir finds them governing the creative acts of activity one His Creation springs from His manifestation God. LXXXII. perpetually uttered within the depths of the Divine Nature. LXXVI. the : Everlasting Yea.

KABIR'S POEMS xxxii as in often tries to convey it to us reference to dancing. them." is l a marked characteristic of mystical literature that the great contemplatives. in their effort to convey communion to us the nature of their with the supersensuous. Our normal human i consciousness so completely com- is mitted to dependence on the senses. xvi. are inevitably driven to employ some form of sensuous imagery coarse : and inaccurate as they know such imagery to be. even at the best. that the fruits of intuition itself are instinctively In that intuition mystics and that partial all referred it the 1 NO. to the dim cravings apprehensions find perfect fulfilment. to seems of sense Hence their . or his constant : the strangely modern picture of that Eternal Swing of the Universe which is " It held by the cords of love.

Him and spiritually hearing Him delectably smelling and sweetly swallowing. they hear the celestial melody. they know an ineffable the fragrance. they feel the very contact " of love] Him verily seeing and fully feeling.INTRODUCTION xxxiii constant declaration that they see the uncreated light. cell. These are excessive dramatizations of the sym- bolism under which the mystic tends instinctively to represent his spiritual intuition to the surface consciousness. present themselves to consciousness in the form of hallucinations as may : the light seen by Suso. the celestial perfumes which filled St. the music heard by Rolle. Teresa. felt by St. they taste the sweetness of Lord." as Julian of Norwich In those amongst them who develop psycho-sensorial automatisms these parallels between sense and spirit has it. . Catherine of Siena's the physical wounds Francis and St.

Creation. He " seen without tells us that he has | " the effulgence of Brahma. felt the ecstatic contact of Reality. in the special sense-perception which he feels to be most expressive of Reality. Richard Rolle. smelt the sight tasted the the heavenly flowers J (But he was essentially a poet and musician rhythm and harmony were of fragrance : him the garments of beauty and Hence in his lyrics he shows truth.. At the full of music : heart of the Universe is " blossoming : " love white music weaves the . his peculiar idiosyncrasies come out..KABIR'S POEMS xxxiv Here. divine nectar. Now we might expect Kabir. things /a musical mystic. uses by turn all the symbols of sense. he saysj again and again/ is it is music. as in one whose reactions to the spiritual order were so wide and various. to himself above to all like be.

Nos. . Everywhere Kabir discerns the " Unstruck Music of the Infinite " that celestial melody which the angel played to St. LXVIII. LIII. Moreover. as rhythmical movement that mysterious dance of the universe before : the face of Brahma. 2 He sees the supernal music. " the source of all music. LXXXIII. which 1 Nos. too. XVIII." plays. is that of Krishna the Divine Flute Player. LXXXIX.INTRODUCTION xxxv melody. is at once LIV. discerned common men by the trained by as well as senses of the ascetic. XXXIX. L. in its visual embodiment. the body of every man is a lyre on which Brahma. that ghostly symphony which filled the soul of Rolle with ecstatic joy. LXXVI. XLI. Francis. whilst renunciation beats the It can be heard in the home as time. XCVII. XVII. well as in the heavens the ears of . 1 The one figure which he adopts from the Hindu Pantheon and constantly uses.

\The constant insist- ence on simplicity and directness." alike material 1 Nos. never forgets the common life. 1 Yet in this wide and rapturous vision of the universe Kabir never loses touch with diurnal existence. the hatred of all abstractions and philoso2 phizings. controlled by the activity of a sane and vigorous intellect. LXXV. . LXXVL Nos. the ruthless criticism of external religion these are amongst his : most marked characteristics. " " and " spiritual.xxxvi KABIR'S POEMS an act of worship and an expression of the infinite rapture of the Immanent God. LXXX. XC. XXVI. His feet are firmly planted his upon earth and passionate apprehensions lofty are perpetually . LXXVIII.! God is the Root whence all manifestations. by the alert common sense so often foun4 in persons of real mystical genius. XXXII.

INTRODUCTION and God xxxvii the only need of man happiness shall be yours when l Hence to you come to the Root. creeds. that he seems by turns Vedantist and Vaishnavite. ." " one those who keep their eye on the proceed " . Brahman and Sufi. so vast and yet so near." denominations. and are may approach Brahma useful only in so far as they contribute to this consummation. life. They represent merely the from which the soul different angles that simple union with which is its goal. Pantheist and Transcendentalist. are matters of comparative indifference. is thing needful. So thorough- Kabir's eclecticism. which controls twines together 1 he seizes and as he might have his No. the conclusions of philosophy. LXXX. ceremonies. the disciplines of asceticism. In the effort to going tell is about that ineffable the truth apprehension.

if he is ever to suggest the character of that One whom the " the Sun-coloured Upanishad called " Being who is beyond this Darkness as all the colours of the spectrum are needed if we would demonstrate the : simple richness of white light. In thus adapting traditional materials own use he follows a method common amongst the mystics who to his . All are needed.xxxviii KABIR'S POEMS woven together contrasting threads upon his loom symbols and ideas drawn from the most violent and conflicting philosophies and faiths. They will pour their wine into almost any vessel that comes to hand generally using by : preference of beauty and and lifting to new significance levels the re- ligious or philosophic formulae current in their own day. seldom exhibit any special love for originality of form.some of Kabir's finest poems have . Thus we find that '.

INTRODUCTION

xxxix

as their subjects the commonplaces
of Hindu philosophy and religion
:

the Lila, or Sport, of God, the Ocean
of Bliss, the Bird of the Soul, Maya,
the Hundred-petalled Lotus, and the
"

Formless Form."

Many, again, are
Sufi imagery and feeling.

soaked in
Others

use

as

their

material

the

ordinary surroundings and incidents
of Indian

the temple bells, the
ceremony of the lamps, marriage,
suttee, pilgrimage, the characters of
life

the seasons

;

:

all felt

by him

in their

mystical aspect, as sacraments
the soul's relation with Brahma.

of

In

many of these a particularly beautiful
and intimate feeling for Nature is
shown. 1
In the collection of songs here transthere will be found examples

lated

which

illustrate nearly

of Kabir's thought,
1

Nos.

and

every aspect
the fluctua-

all

XV, XXIII, LXVII, LXXXVII, XCVIII.

KABIR'S POEMS

xl

tions of the mystic's emotion
ecstasy, the despair, the

:

the

still

beatitude,
the eager self-devotion, the flashes of
wide illumination, the moments of

intimate love.

His wide and deep
"

vision of the universe, the
Eternal
"
of creation (LXXXII), the
Sport
"
"
worlds being told like beads within

the Being of God (xiv, xvi, xvii,
LXXVI), is here seen balanced by his

and delicate sense of intimate
communion with the Divine Friend,

lovely

Lover, Teacher of the soul (x, xi,

XXXV, LI, LXXXV, LXXXVE,
LXXXVHI, xcn, xcin; above all, the
XXIII,

beautiful

poem xxxiv).

As these
views

of
paradoxical
Reality are resolved in Brahma, so
all
other opposites are reconciled

apparently

in Him
bondage and liberty, love
and renunciation, pleasure and pain
Union with
(xvii, xxv, XL, LXXXIX).
:

Him

is

the one thing that matters

INTRODUCTION
and

to the soul, its destiny

xcvi)

and

;

this

covery of God,

most natural of
but grasp

it

is

XCIII,

union, this disthe simplest and

all things, if

(XLI,

need

its

LXXIV,

LXX,

LIV,

LII,

(LI,

xli

we would

XLVI, LVI, LXXII,

The union,
brought about by love,

LXXVI, LXXVIII, xcvii).

however,
not by

is

observances
xci)

;

that

or

knowledge

(xxxvm,

ceremonial

LIV,

LIX,

LV,

and the apprehension which
union

confers

is

ineffable

"neither This nor That," as Ruysbroeck has it (ix, XLVI, LXXVI).

Real worship and communion is in
Spirit and in Truth (XL, XLI, LVI,
LXIII,
is

an

(XLII,

LXX), therefore idolatry
insult to the Divine Lover

LXV,

LXIX)

and

the

devices

of

professional sanctity are useless apart

from charity and purity of soul
LXV,

LXVI).

especially

the

Since

heart

all

of

(LIV,

things,

and

man,

are

God -possessed LXXXIX. bondage and freedom. In the home is reality. (in. joy and pain play by turns and it is from their upon the soul conflict that the Unstruck Music of " Kabir says the Infinite proceeds." Brahma can evoke its . human. XLVIII. existence. .KABIR'S POEMS xlii God -inhabited. of material xxxix. can reach the goal without crossing the not the cloister but road" (LXXVI) the home the proper theatre of is and he cannot find God there. LXXII). xcvii). XLIII." There love man's efforts : if and detachment. may now : in the normal. life (xxvi. " the mud vi. iv. " We XL. he need not hope for " success by going farther afield. He best be found in the here-andLXXVI. bodily " xxi. LVI. : None but melodies.

a large collection of poems and hymns to which Kabir's name is attached. Rabmdranath Tagore. We have also had before us a . and carefully sifted the authentic songs from the many spurious works now attributed to him. Kshiti Mohan Sen who has gathered from many sources sometimes from books and manuscripts. These painstaking labours alone have strels made the present undertaking possible. a peculiarly of Kabir's been based upon the printed Hindi text with Bengali translation of Mr. sometimes from the lips of wandering ascetics and minvision It has . the trend of whose mystical genius makes him as all who read these poems sympathetic will see interpreter and thought.INTRODUCTION xliii III This version of Kabir's songs is chiefly the work of Mr.

and a prose essay upon Kabir from the same hand. . From we have derived great assistance. whilst several of the facts mentioned in the essay have been in- corporated into this Introduction. Ajit Kumar Chakravarty from Mr. Kshiti Mohan Sen's text.KABIR'S POEMS xliv manuscript English translation of 116 songs made by Mr. Our most grateful thanks are due to Mr. Ajit Kumar Chakravarty for the ex- tremely generous and unselfish manner in which he has placed his work at our disposal. E. these A considerable number of readings from the translation have been adopted by us . U.

.

F. . 1910-11. mohan For some assistance in normalizing the transliteration we are indebted to Prof. 4 parts.The reference poems is of the headlines of the to: Santiniketana Kabir by Sri KshitiSen. J. Bolpur. Blumhardt. xlvi . Brahmacharyas'rama.

ko kahdn dhunro bande SERVANT. If thou art a true seeker. 16. " O Sadhu ! breath of all God is Me the breath. nor in Yoga and renunciation. am neither in temple nor in mosque I am neither in Kaaba nor in : Kailash Neither am : I in rites and ceremonies." II 1. Kabir says. where dost thou seek Lo 1 I ! am Me ? beside thee.I. . IT is santan jot na pucho nirgur^iydn needless to ask of a saint the caste to which he belongs . mo 13. thou shalt at once see Me : thou shalt meet in a moment of time.

Hindus and Moslems alike have achieved that End. : you under- for in life . whilst live. the tradesman. where remains no mark of distinction. but folly to ask what the caste of a saint may be alike are seeking for It is . The barber has sought God. For the priest. Ill I. and the carpenter Even Raidas was a seeker after God. jwat hi karo add FRIEND live. O 57.KABIR'S POEMS 2 the warrior. The Rishi Swapacha was a tanner by caste. sddho bhdi. the washerwoman. and all the thirty-six castes. ! hope know Him for whilst you stand whilst you live deliverance abides. God.

O ! . that the soul shall have union with Him because it has passed from the body If He is found now. know the true Guru. If not. If you have union now. 58. bdgo ndjd re Do ndjd not go to the garden of flowers I Friend go not there In your body is the garden of flowers. you shall have If : it hereafter. we do but go to dwell in the City of Death." IV I. He is found then. of this Spirit of the quest. . Bathe in the truth. have faith in the true Name " Kabir says It is the Spirit of the I am the slave quest which helps ! : .KABIR'S POEMS 3 your bonds be not broken whilst living. what hope of deliverance in death ? It is but an empty dream.

body my my So. Maya away. 63. And when greed is is vanquished. dear . mdyd taji TELL me. how can Maya na jay I renounce ? When I gave up the tying of ribbons. when I give up passion. in still I covered its folds. greed with me still . Brother. Listen to me. still it casts clings to the letter. And when I renounce anger. avadhu.KABIR'S POEMS 4 Take your seat of the lotus. pride and vainglory remain When the mind is detached and . still I tied garment about me : my When I gave up tying garment. I. on the thousand petals and there gaze on the Infinite Beauty. I see that anger remains . Kabir " says.

but is deaf my So long as man clamours for the / and the Mine. then away. THE moon shines in my mdhm body. then the work of the Lord done. candd jhalkai yahi ghat 83. The unstruck drum of Eternity sounded within me ears cannot hear it. his works are as naught When is is all : love of the / and the Mine dead.KABIR'S POEMS Sadhu the true path ! 5 is rarely found. and so my : the is sun." VI I. . : work is put . but blind eyes cannot see it The moon is within me. For work has no other aim than the getting of knowledge When that comes.

Brahma brings into manifestation That which can never be As the seed seen. in the plant. as the void is in the is sky. but it seeks not within it itself : it wanders in quest of grass. VII I. the Infinite comes and from the In. . The musk is in the deer.KABIR'S POEMS 6 The flower blooms for the fruit when : the fruit comes. as the shade is in the tree. in the creature : and they are ever distinct. finite The the finite creature Brahma is is extends. 85. sddho. WHEN He Brahm alakh Idkhdyd Himself reveals Himself. the flower withers. yet ever united. in Brahma. as infinite forms are in the void So from beyond the Infinite.

is the manifold form. He Himself is Brahma. He Himself is fruit. the Pure less He : Being. the breath. the and the shade. is seen within the Supreme . He Himself infinite He He is space . He Himself is the flower. and the sun. and the meaning. the the lighted. is the and Immanent Mind in Brahma in the creature. Himself is the limit and the limit- and beyond both the limited and the limitless is He. light. the Maya. and the germ. the word.KABIR'S POEMS He Himself is 7 the tree. and creature. the seed. The Supreme Soul is seen within the soul. The Point Soul.

soundeth.KABIR'S POEMS 8 And is within the Point. the jewel- appraiser are within And within this vessel the Eternal . up. Kabir says friend in. and within Creator it is the : Within and the unnumbered The touchstone and this vessel are the seven oceans stars. 101." ! and the " : My Listen spring to me. beloved Lord is wells my with- . is ghat antar bag baglce WITHIN this earthern vessel are bowers and groves. Kabir he has this blest because is supreme vision 1 VIII I. the reflection seen again.

HOW may word O how and nahln taisd lo lo I ever express that secret ? He can I say He is is If I say that this. He is neither manifest nor hidden. aisd 104. The conscious and the unconscious. both are His footstools. tell that which . He is neither revealed nor unrevealed : There are no words to He is. it is falsehood. the ashamed He is : without me. He makes the inner and the outer worlds to be indivisibly one . like that ? If I say that universe not like is He is within me.KABIR'S POEMS 9 IX I.

" says. and Thou didst save me : upholding Fakir me with Thine arm. O Fakir " ! . me striking with Thy voice. O Only one word and no second ! Thou my Kabir made me hast bonds.KABIR'S POEMS 10 I. mori lagan lagdye tohi re phakir To Thee Thou wd hast drawn my love. and Thou didst awaken me . heart to O Fakir and tear off all ! Thou hast united Thy my heart. O Fakir! I was drowning ocean of in the deeps of the this world. 121. O Fakir! I was sleeping in my own chamber.

sakhiydn sang I PLAYED day and night with my comrades. friend : : he understands who loves. " Kabir says Listen to me. it is vain to adorn your body. my body Lover I and meet . : Mine eyes must perform the ceremony of the lamps of love." . vain to put unguent on feel your eyelids. if I would enjoy is my : His love. ni4 din khelat rahl 131. and now I am greatly afraid. If you not love's longing for your Beloved One. My heart must cleave to my must withdraw Him with all my veil.KABIR'S POEMS 11 XI I. my heart trembles to mount its stairs yet I must not be shy. So high Lord's palace.

O Swan. and the fragrant scent " He is I " is borne on the wind ol : There the bee of the heart immersed. O Swan ? to what shore will you fly? Where would you take your rest. awake. ! There is a land where no doubt nor sorrow have rule where the terror : Death is no more. and what do you seek ? Even O this morning. 24. hamsd. From what land do you come. kaho purdtan bat TELL me. Swan. There the woods of spring are a-bloom. desires is deeply no other . and joy. follow me O Swan.KABIR'S POEMS 12 XII II. arise. your ancient tale.

They believe in ten Avatars Avatar can be the for he suffers the deeds . the Ascetics.KABIR'S POEMS 13 XIII afigadhiyd devd II. the Perfect : Brahma. the Sanyasi. the Indivisible Lord. who will serve Thee? Every votary God of his worship to the creation each day offers his own : he receives service None seek Him. O brother ! he who has seen that radiance of love. are disputing one with another : Kabir " says. he saved. The Yogi. results of his : The Supreme One must be other than this. but no Infinite Spirit. 37." is . O LORD Increate.

no longer be considered as ? the Supreme Brahma. . where ? named as wave. the worlds are being told like beads Look upon that rosary with the eyes : of wisdom. 56. . THE and waves are one surf where is the difference between the river and its waves ? river When its the wave and when : rises. the same is Sir. water again.KABIR'S POEMS 14 XIV dariyd kl lahar dariyao hai jl II. Tell is the distinction Because it shall it water Within has been it the water me. it is it falls.

KABIR'S POEMS 15 XV II. Where millions of Brahmas are reading the Vedas. where millions of Krishnas stand with hands folded. . Where the demi-gods and the munis are unnumbered. Unstruck Music There the streams of light flow in directions Few all . Where millions of Indras dwell in the sky. reigneth. are the that shore men who can cross to ! There. Where millions of Vishnus bow their heads. 57. jdnh khelat vasant riturdj WHERE Spring. there the sounds of itself. Where millions of Shivas are lost in contemplation. the lord of the seasons.

KABIR'S POEMS

16

Where

millions of Saraswatis, Goddess

of Music, play on the vina

There

is

my

Lord

self-revealed

the scent of sandal

and

:

and

flowers

dwells in those deeps.

XVI
II. 59.

jdnh

cet acet

khambh dou

BETWEEN

the poles of the conscious
and the unconscious, there has the

mind made a swing
Thereon hang

all

:

beings and

all

worlds,

and that swing never ceases

its

sway.
the sun
Millions of beings are there
and the moon in their courses are
:

there

:

Millions of ages pass,
goes on.

and the swing

the sky and the earth
and the air and the water ; and

All swing

!

the Lord Himself taking form

:

KABIR'S POEMS
And

the sight of this has

17

made Kabir

a servant.

XVII
II. 61.

grah candra tapanjot
barat hai

THE

moon, and

light of the sun, the

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

the

fills

heavens

;

and

Kabir

says,

"

My

Beloved One gleams

like

the

lightning flash in the sky."

Do you know how

the

moments

per-

form their adoration ?
Waving its row of lamps, the universe
sings in worship day and night,
There are the hidden banner and the
secret

canopy

:

KABIR'S POEMS

18

There the sound of the unseen

bells is

heard.

"

There adoration never
there the Lord of the
ceases
Universe sitteth on His throne."

Kabir says

:

;

The whole world does its works and
commits its errors but few are the
:

lovers

who know

the Beloved.

he who mingles
in his heart the double currents

The devout seeker
of love

is

and detachment,

like the

mingling of the streams of Ganges

and Jumna

;

In his heart the sacred water flows

and thus the
day and night
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
!

" What a ! wonderful lotus it is.KABIR'S POEMS 19 the Ocean of Joy sways to and fro . heart's bee drinks its nectar. and a mighty sound breaks forth in song. and there the heart partakes of the joy of the Infinite Sea." Behold how the senses thirst of the quenched there is ! five and the three forms of misery are no more ! Kabir says "It is the sport of the : . " Kabir says Dive thou into that Ocean of sweetness thus let all errors of life and of death flee : : away. Music is all around it. See what a lotus blooms there without water " My and Kabir says. that blooms at the heart of the spinning wheel of the universe Only a few ! pure souls know of its true delight.

. There the drum beats. Look upon and death there is no separation between them. There love-songs resound. and behold how the moonbeams of that Hidden One shine in you." There the rhythmic beat of and death falls life : Rapture wells forth. and all space is radiant with light. and the worshipper is entranced in the taste of the heavenly nectar. There millions of lamps of sun and of moon are burning . three worlds. and light rains in showers . The right hand and the left hand are one and the same. and the lover swings in play. life . There the Unstruck Music is sounded it is the music of the love of the .KABIR'S POEMS 20 Unattainable One : look within.

have found the Key of the Mystery. They have sung of Him as infinite and but I in my meditations have seen Him without sight. and unattainable : none know the path that leads there : Only he who is transcended on that path has surely all sorrow. I have come I I to the Sorrowless Land : very easily has the mercy of the great Lord come upon me. have drunk of the Cup of the Ineffable.KABIR'S POEMS Kabir says " : speechless 21 man is truth may There the wise for . this never be found in Vedas or in books. That is indeed the sorrowless land. ." I I have had my Seat on the Self-poised One. Travelling by no track. have reached the Root of Union.

. he knows what joy it can give. the ignorant man becomes wise." There the whole sky is filled with and there that music is made without fingers and without sound. The worshipper is utterly inebriated. and the wise man becomes speechless and : silent.KABIR'S POEMS 22 Wonderful is that land of rest. to which no merit can win It is the wise who has seen it. His wisdom and his detachment are made He perfect . it is . Kabir says " Knowing it. but can Ultimate Word the wise This is the : any express He who its marvellous savour has savoured it ? once. strings . who has sung of it. drinks from the cup of the inbreathings and the outbreathings of love.

have accepted I speak truth. and . I am now to truth." life you will the Supreme Life. for I truth in life . There the sky is filled with music There it rains nectar : : There the there the harp -strings drums beat." : . jingle. Kabir says attached all tinsel " Thus is the worshipper set free from fear thus have all errors of life and of death left him. " Kabir says If you merge your life : in Ocean of the find your Land of Bliss. I have swept away. in What a frenzy of ecstasy there is in and the worshipper every hour ! pressing out and drinking the essence of the hours : he lives in is the life of Brahma.KABIR'S POEMS 23 There the game of pleasure and pain does not cease.

the Infinite and the finite are united I am drunken with the sight of this : All! This Light of Thine fulfils the uni- . no sorrow.KABIR'S POEMS 24 What a secret splendour is there. perfection of joy ! One in Bliss my of the universe : " ! body the sport have escaped I from the error of this world. no struggle There have I seen joy No place for error Kabir says " : known . is Joy for ever. day and night are felt to be one. There have I witnessed the sport of I have is to the filled brim. there. The inward and the outward are become as one sky. In the ocean of manifestation. in the mansion of the sky There no mention made is ! of the rising and the setting of the sun . which the light of love.

and the conflict of life and death is felt no more. In the wondrous effulgence of each hair of His body. 77. . my His delight. where the pure and white Lord takes music blossoms. wherein the spirit dwelleth. the brightness of millions of suns and of moons is lost. " Kabir says There error cannot enter." : XVIII II. is radiant with the music of light . There. On that shore there is a city. maddh dkdd dp jahdn baithe THE middle region of the sky. where the rain of nectar pours and pours. and never ceases.KABIR'S POEMS verse : 25 the lamp of love that burns on the salver of knowledge.

my great Lord's Durbar." ! XIX paramdtam guru nikat II. is near you heart ! : oh wake ! Run for to the feet of your Beloved your Lord stands near to your head.KABIR'S POEMS 26 Kabir says and see " O Dharmadas : Come. the wake. great Master. tu par utar kdnhjaiho shore would you cross. O heart ? there is no traveller To what my before you. : You have slept for unnumbered ages this morning will you not wake ? . 20. XX man II. O MY virdjain the Supreme Spirit. 22. there is no road : .

no ford earth. There is . much so as to tow the boat. there no shore." . man. nor a draw No 27 a rope man to it. O my heart ! go not elsewhere. Be strong.KABIR'S POEMS Where the movement. no time. : and enter into your own for there your foothold is Consider it well. " Kabir says Put all imaginations away. no sky. and stand fast in that which : you are. no thing. There is there not is . no boat- is rest. where is the on that shore ? no water no boat. there is and where still body nor mind the place that shall neither is : the thirst of the soul shall find ? You naught in that empti- ness. is ! : There. body firm.

! One day your eyes shall suddenly be and opened. is near : The Brahman priest goes from house to house and initiates people into faith : . and you cannot see them. Because he lives in solitude. O LAMPS burn one blind in every house. Your Lord yet you are climbing the palm-tree to seek Him. it is he who there is nothing to do is : is living. yet dead. 33. who shall never die again. and you shall see : the fetters of death will fall from you. There nothing to say or to hear. therefore the Yogi says that his home is far away.KABIR'S POEMS 28 XXI ghar ghar dlpdk barai II.

38. Kabir says " : I may how sweet my Lord is up a never express is. BROTHER. and my offers it then to me. and gives the true Vision of Brahma reveals the worlds in Him. : : . He removes the veil from the eyes. and : He makes me to hear the Unstruck Music He shows joy and sorrow to be one He fills all utterance with love.KABIR'S POEMS Alas ! 29 the true fountain of life beside you. virtue and vice these are naught to Him. who fills the cup of true love." XXII II. Yoga and the telling of beads. and drinks of it himself. so satgur mohi bhdwai heart yearns for that true Guru. O sddho. and you have set stone to worship.

40. and be the sky of love ." ! the my . behold Lord is in this vessel of : body. has such a Guru to lead him Kabir says : to the shelter of safety " ! XXIII tinwir sdnjh II. THE shadows kd gahird dwai of evening thick fall and deep. Open the window to the west.KABIR'S POEMS 30 who " Verily he has no fear. and the darkness of love envelops the body and the mind. Drink the sweet honey that steeps the petals of the lotus of the heart. lost in Receive the waves in your body splendour sea is : what in the region of the ! Hark ! the sounds of conches and bells are rising. Kabir says " O brother.

It is like a wife. beyond open its reach. MORE than else all apdr jagat men do I cherish at heart that love which to live a limitless makes me life in this world. 48." . She burns and lets others grieve. : they petals. It which lives in the water and blooms in the water yet the water cannot touch its is like the lotus. This ocean of the world is hard to waters are very deep.KABIR'S POEMS 31 XXIV jis se rahani II. who enters the fire at the bidding of love. O cross its : : Sadhu ! reached few there are who have its end. *' Kabir says Listen to me. yet never dishonours love.

Om . . ALL The onkdr siwde koi sirjai things are created by the love-form is His body. and He Himself heals their strife. but never can I forget my Lord I will offer my : ! XXVI II. 45. and my wonderfully reveals Himself My Lord : Lord has encompassed me with hardness. and my Lord has cast down my limitations. body and mind to my Lord I will give up my life.KABIR'S POEMS 32 XXV Hari ne apnd dp chipdyd II. 75. MY Lord hides Himself. My Lord brings to me words of sorrow and words of joy.

when they are touched by His great He joy. He dances in rapture. all joys. He has no beginning and no end is . immersed in all consciousness. His form is infinite and fathomless. . and all sorrows . He holds all within His bliss. without quality. without decay : is Seek thou union with Him 1 that formless God takes a thousand forms in the eyes of His But creatures He is : pure and indestructible. The body and the mind cannot contain themselves.KABIR'S POEMS He 33 without form. and waves of form arise from His dance.

KABIR'S POEMS

34

XXVII
satgur sol daya kar dlnhd

II. 81.

IT

the mercy of my true Guru that
has made me to know the un-

is

known

;

I have learned from

Him how

to walk

to see without eyes,
to hear without ears, to drink with-

without

feet,

out mouth, to
have brought

fly

without wings

;

and my
my
meditation into the land where
there is no sun and moon, nor day
and night.
Without eating, I have tasted of the
sweetness of nectar and without
water, I have quenched my thirst.
I

love

;

Where

the response of delight,
the fullness of joy. Before

there

there

is

whom

is

can that joy be uttered
"
The Guru is

?

Kabir says
great
the
is
and
words,
beyond
great
good fortune of the disciple."
:

KABIR'S POEMS

35

XXVIII
nirgur} age sargurj, ndcai

II. 85.

BEFORE

the Unconditioned, the Conditioned dances
Thou and I are one 1 " this trumpet
:

4

proclaims.

The Guru comes, and bows down
before the disciple
This is the greatest of wonders.
:

XXIX
II. 87.

Kabir kab

GORAKHNATH
'

Tell me,

O

se bhaye vairdgi

asks Kabir

Kabir,

:

when did your
Where did your

vocation begin ?
"
love have its rise ?

Kabir answers
" When He whose forms are manifold
when
had not begun His play
:

:

KABIR'S POEMS

36

was no Guru, and no disciple
when the world was not spread
when the Supreme One was
out

there

:

:

alone

Then

I

became an

my

Gorakh,

ascetic

love

;

then,

O

was drawn to

Brahma.

Brahma

did not hold the crown on

the god Vishnu was not
anointed as king; the power of

head

his

;

Shiva was

was
"I

instructed in

became

;

when

I

Yoga.

suddenly

Benares, and

me

unborn

still

revealed

in

Ramananda illumined

;

I brought with
Infinite,

and

me
I

the thirst for the

have come for the

meeting with Him.
In simplicity

O

will

I unite with the

Simple One ; my love will surge up.
Gorakh, march thou with His
"
music
!

there does and flies comes it away it have tell me nest : and and says in the evening in the morning. the and the Eternal and no one marks when it comes and goes. It is neither coloured nor colourless it has neither form nor outline It sits in the shadow of : : love. None knows where it is and who knows what the burden of its : music may be ? Where the branches throw a deep shade. ON this tree is a bird joy of : it dances in the life. : ! .KABIR'S POEMS 37 XXX yd tarvar men ek pakheru II. of this bird that sings within me. . " Kabir says O brother Sadhu Infinite. 95. It dwells within the Unattainable. not a word of that which None its it means.

and I cannot sleep I long for the meeting with my Beloved. the temple is revealed : I meet my husband. The gates of the sky are opened. XXXII II. 100. DANCE. and leave at His feet the offering of my my body and mind.KABIR'S POEMS 38 the mystery. and my father's house gives me pleasure no more. ndco re mero man." XXXI II. ntt din sdlai ghdiv A SORE pain troubles me day and night. . 103. matta hoy my heart ! dance to-day with . Let wise men seek to know where rests that deep is bird. joy.

life and death dance to the rhythm of this music. Why put on the robe of the monk. WHERE is love mast hud tab kyon bole the need of words.KABIR'S POEMS 39 the days and the nights with music. and live aloof from the world in lonely hills pride ? Behold ! my light of Creator heart dances in the de- a hundred arts is . The and the sea and the earth dance. and the well pleased. XXXIII man II. has made drunken when the heart? I have wrapped the diamond in my . and the world is listening to its melodies The strains of love fill : Mad with joy. 105. The world of man dances in laughter and tears.

who ravishes my eyes. the pan of the balance went up now it is its : where full. is the need for weigh- ing? The swan has taken its flight to the lake beyond the mountains . mohi tohi Idgl kaise chute How could the love between Thee and me As the sever ? leaf of the lotus abides on the .KABIR'S POEMS 40 cloak . again When why open again and it ? load was light. has united Himself with me." XXXIV II. why should it search for the pools and ditches any more ? Your Lord dwells within you : why need your outward eyes be opened ? " Kabir says Listen. my brother ! : my Lord. 110.

113. and servant. : From the beginning until the ending there is love between of time. so Thee. mine ? I . bride. shall such love be extinguished ? Kabir says : "As the river enters my heart touches into the ocean. vdlam. my am Thy for I touched Thy heart with Then what is this love of house. Thee and me and how . As the night-bird Chakor gazes all so Thou art night at the moon my Lord and I am Thy servant." XXXV II.KABIR'S POEMS water I : so thou art am Thy my 41 Lord. dwo hamdre geh re MY body and my mind are grieved for the want of Thee O my Beloved ! . I have my not heart. come to When people say am ashamed I .

heart is ever restless within doors and without. Your lover is wise. O jag piydri. who have wakened. XXXVI II. I have no sleep my . Who is there is my that will carry Beloved ? Kabir is restless of he : is news to my dying for sight Him. . As water to the thirsty. more The night awake. and sleep no ! is over and gone. and you O woman ! are foolish.KABIR'S POEMS 42 have no taste for food. would you lose your day also ? Others. have ceived jewels O foolish re- . ab kdn sowai FRIEND. so is the lover to the bride. 126. woman ! you have lost all whilst you slept.

36. Kabir says heart " : is Only she wakes. then the its light. wake your bed is He left you in the empty . ? If it is sun withdraws Where knowledge endure ? when the sun is night. Your youth was passed in vain. then knowledge must die. ! ! : night.KABIR'S POEMS You 43 never prepared the bed of your husband O mad one : ! you passed your time in silly play." XXXVII 1. sur parkdd. . tdnh rain kahdn paiye WHERE is shining the night. can ignorance If there be ignorance. is. for you did not know your Lord See Wake. whose pierced with the arrow of His music.

and greed passion. fight. He who battle is : brave. " Kabir says When a brave knight . pride. : . contentment and purity. and bow your head at your : King's Durbar.KABIR'S POEMS 44 If there be lust. and join in Fight. O my brother. Where how can love be there there is love. there is ? no lust. as long as life lasts. Lay hold on your sword. and there the make an end of him quickly then come. never forsakes the he who flies true fighter. Strike off your enemy's head. field of this In the from it is no body a great war goes forward. against anger. : It is in the kingdom of truth. that this battle is raging and the sword that rings forth most loudly is the sword of His Name.

a hard fight and a weary one. thou shalt wake the Beloved. .KABIR'S POEMS takes the field. bhram kd tola lagd mahal re THE lock of error shuts the gate. I. this is It is fight of the truth-seeker vow of the truth -seeker : for the is more hard than that of the warrior. open it with the key of love : Thus. and the widow's struggle with death is soon ended But the truth-seeker's battle goes on day and night. For the warrior fights for a few hours." : XXXVIII 50. as long as life lasts it never ceases. or of the widowed wife who would follow her husband. 45 a host of cowards put to flight. by opening the door.

instrument of dust return Kabir says " None but Brahma can : : evoke its melodies. HE is avadhu dear to me bhitte ko ghar Idwe indeed who can call back the wanderer to his home. and draws body its tightens from If this ! is . O FRIEND He the His lyre strings. 65." XXXIX sddho. strings snap and the keys it then to dust must this slacken. yah tan fhdth tanvure kd I. in . 59." XL I. In the home is the true union.KABIR'S POEMS 46 Kabir says " : O brother by such good fortune ! do not pass as this. the melody of Brahma.

home : ." home is reality helps to attain real.KABIR'S POEMS the home is why should wander 47 enjoyment of I forsake life : my home and in the forest ? If Brahma me to realize truth. He dear to is me indeed power to dive deep into who has Brahma . things shall come to you in . whose mind loses itself with ease in His contemplation. play the melody of the Infinite by uniting love and renunciation in life. verily helps I will find both bondage and deliverance in home. the Him Who So stay where you are. and " The home is the abiding in the . He is dear to me who knows Brahma. and can dwell on His supreme truth in meditation and who can . Kabir says place is all time.

I close not my do not mortify my body I see with eyes open and smile. 1 shut not my eyes. I All I achieve When His I lie feet. Since the day when I met with my Lord. 76. and whatever I see.KABIR'S POEMS 48 XLI I. there has been no end to the sport of our love. and behold His beauty everywhere I utter His Name. santo. Wherever contradictions are solved. : I lie prostrate at . it reminds me of Him whatever I do. The rising and the setting are one to ears. sahaj SADHU samddh the simple union ! bhali is the best. is move round Him. I . it becomes His worship. me all . : . I go. His service down.

" XLII I. it sings His glory day and night : Whether I rise or sit down. The images are they cannot speak . I can never forget Him . all lifeless. for I have cried aloud to them. I know. am I one great all my soul what is immersed in that which transcends I disclose in bliss pleasure and pain. for the rhythm of His music beats in my ears. and I know that they are useless.KABIR'S POEMS He is the only adorable one to 49 me : I have none other. 79. for I have bathed in them. " Kabir says My heart is frenzied. E . My tongue has left off impure words. THERE tlrath is men to sab pdni hai nothing but water at the holy bathing places . : and hidden.

if the truth is ! ! Go where you to Benares or to Mathura you do not world is find . Kabir gives utterance to the words of experience . . pdni LAUGH when the water vie mm piydsl I hear that the fish in is thirsty not see that the Real You do : is in your home. I 82.KABIR'S POEMS 50 The Purana and the Koran are mere words . your soul. and he knows very well that all other things are untrue. and you wander from forest to forest listlessly Here will. the unreal to you. I have seen. XLIII I. lifting up the curtain.

KABIR'S POEMS 51 XLIV 93. wanders like Kabir says : one who mad. and whence do you come ? Where dwells that Supreme Spirit. 97. There the light of the sun and the moon . and how all does He have His created things ? sport with . ko hai kdnh se dyo WHO are you. " He who has drunk of this nectar. I. sadho." is XLV I. is shining : still your mind to silence before that splendour. gagan math gaib nisdn gade THE Hidden Banner planted in the there the blue is temple of the sky canopy decked with the moon and set with bright jewels is spread.

. and the aether you cannot have these outside of Him. As the seed is within the banyan tree. " Brahma suits His lanKabir says guage to the understanding of His : hearer. the fruits. sahajai kdyd dodho ! purify your body in the simple way.KABIR'S POEMS 52 The fire in the is awakens it wood suddenly . 98. and the shade : within the body. and where goes the force of the fire ? The true guru teaches that He has neither limit nor infinitude. but who Then ? it turns to ashes. the earth. . and within the seed are the flowers. the water.'* XLVI I. the air. So the germ is The fire. O SADHU sddho. and within that germ is the body again.

O what is 53 Pundit. roots and which stands bears fruits without blossoming. the Truth.KABIR'S POEMS O Kazi. Two birds sing there . is lotus all it over. THERE is a strange without tree. It has no branches and no leaves. He speaks the Word to Himself. which is your essence. " : Listen to the Word. consider it well : there that is not in the soul? The water-filled pitcher is placed water." is XLVII I. It should not call forth Kabir says upon has water within and it lest it the error of dualism. disciple : . and the other the one is the Guru. and He Himself the Creator. be given a name. tarvar ek mill bin thddd 102. without.

" forms. in the midst of all is I sing the glory of forms." . and for in That- restless radiant : I have seen beyond Thatness. and the Guru beholds him in joy. have attained the unattainable. and my heart is coloured with the colour of love. XLVIII I. in company I have seen the Comrade Himself. I have set myself free : have broken away from I the clutch of Kabir says " : all I narrowness.KABIR'S POEMS 54 The chooses disciple and fruits of life the manifold tastes them. HAVE my calat my stilled heart mansd is acal kinhi mind. I 107. What Kabir says is hard to underseekstand " The bird is beyond : ing. ness Living in bondage. yet it is The Formless most clearly visible.

He who is discerning knows by the word and the ignorant stands is told . see to is hai nakin not : and for you have no words. and others meditate on form but the : wise man knows beyond both." . gaping. That beauty of His that is Brahma not seen of the eye that metre of His heard of the ear. jo disai. : is is not " Kabir says He who has found both love and renunciation never : descends to death. you believe not : you you cannot accept. what Unless you see. 105.KABIR'S POEMS 55 XLIX I. so THAT which you that which is. Some contemplate the Formless.

129. the vina of the like : notes of truth. it reaches truth. murall bajat akhay.d saddye I.KABIR'S POEMS 56 126. . I Beloved ! am My eager to meet my youth has flowered. ham hurt bhdl valamadl DEAR friend. The form of this melody is bright a million suns incomparably sounds the vina. How widely the fragrance spreads ! It has no end. sakhiyo. THE flute of the Infinite without ceasing. LI I. and love When its is played sound is : renounces love all limits. nothing stands in its way.

KABIR'S POEMS 57 and the pain of separation from I Him troubles my am wandering yet breast. I tell sorrow ? my have no To whom shall . I sleep in the night. 130. but I knowledge have received His news in these alleys of knowledge." : my loving friend my gift the Death! LII I. " Kabir says O I have got for less One. I have a letter from my Beloved : in an unutterable mesand now my fear of death is this letter is sage. in the alleys of without purpose. my heart is full of misery I have : no comfort in the day. done away. sain bin dard kareje hoy WHEN I am parted from my Beloved.

" LIII I. Flowers bloom in clusters . my friend ! there is no other satisfaction.KABIR'S POEMS 58 The night dark is my Because start . But upon whose love does the Lover concentrate His entire life ? . for the shower of rain . save : in the encounter with the Beloved. WHAT 122. is kaun murall fabd anand bhayo that flute whose music thrills me with joy ? The flame burns without a lamp . The moon-bird is devoted to the moon With all its heart the rain-bird longs . the hours Lord by. The lotus blossoms without a root . I is up and tremble with slip fear. " Kabir says Listen. absent.

HAVE you not heard the tune which the Unstruck Music is playing ? In the midst of the chamber the gently and sweetly and where is the need of harp of joy is played . be not steeped in that what does it he be a teacher of The Yogi dyes red : but if avail. what does avail though tinted ? his garments it be . going without to hear If it ? you have not drunk of the nectar of that One Love.KABIR'S POEMS 59 LIV I. instructing others but is : if his heart love. what boots it though you should purge yourself of all stains ? The Kazi searching the words of the and Koran. $untd nahl dhun kl khabar 112. men though ? garments with he knows naught of his that colour of love.

" LV I. lover is Kabir declares the secret of this love. . in the camp : or in the flower garden. There one is immersed in the joy of the seeking plunged in the deeps of love as the fish in the water. There one loses one's self at His feet. 73. : The never slow in offering his head for his Lord's service. I tell you truly that every moment my Lord is taking His delight in me. SUBTLE is bhakti kd mdrag jhlna the path of love Therein there is re ! no asking and no not- asking.KABIR'S POEMS 60 " Kabir says Whether I be in the temple or the balcony.

that is other than rites or ceremonies : Who does not make you close the doors. 68. Ever immersed in bliss.KABIR'S POEMS 61 LVI I. and renounce the world : Who makes you perceive the Supreme Spirit wherever the mind attaches itself : Who teaches you to be still in the midst of all your activities. HE bhdl koi satguru sant kahdwai the real Sadhu. he keeps the spirit of union in the midst of all enjoy- ments. . who can reveal the form of the Formless to the is vision of these eyes : Who teaches the simple way of attaining Him. and hold the breath. having no fear in his mind.

The world is established in it. and become the How many . water. I see : LVII I. sky. who know Word ? are there meaning O ! of that the Sadhu practise that Word The Vedas and the Puranas proclaim ! ! it. the seat : the seeker is of above established the void. sddho. . I have heard disciple. fabd sddhand kvjai 66. He who is within is without Him and none else. RECEIVE that Word from which the Universe springeth That Word is the Guru it.KABIR'S POEMS 62 The dwelling of the Infinite infinite is Being everywhere : in earth. and air Firm as the thunderbolt.

comes back to love when ascetic he hears it. That Word reveals all. 63.KABIR'S POEMS 63 The Rishis and devotees speak of it But none knows the mystery of the Word. dear Kabir says ! : Sadhu ! . " Kabir says But who knows whence " the Word cometh ? : LVIII I. EMPTY pi the le Cup pydld. The Spirit of Renunciation points to that Word. ho matwdld I O be drunken ! Drink the divine nectar of His Name " Listen to me. From that Word the world-form has sprung. The Six Philosophies expound it. The householder leaves his house when : he hears The it.

LX I. whereof art thou so MAN. not deceive thyself with the witness of the Scriptures : Love is something other than this. if proud ? Put thy cleverness away shall Do bdwarl mere words : never unite thee to Him. O khasm na 52. and he who has sought it truly has found it. sukh sindh kl sair kd savour of wandering in the ocean life has rid me of all of deathless my asking : . THE 56." LIX I. cirihai thou dost not know thine own Lord.KABIR'S POEMS 64 From the sole of the foot to the crown of the head this mind is filled with poison.

you are come to the happiness.KABIR'S POEMS As the tree 65 in the seed. but is . so all dis- is eases are in this asking. LXI I. pure water before you drink it at every breath. thirst for the nectar . foolish man Here ! for Death stalks you. Not for a moment have you come face to face with the world : p . Do not follow the mirage on foot. and also Raidas has tasted The it : saints are drunk with love. their thirst is for love. Kabir says : " Listen to me. and Shukadeva have drunk of it. WHEN sukh sdgar men dike 48. Wake. do not go back at last ocean of thirsty. brother ! The nest of fear is broken. Prahlad. Dhruva.

" LXII I. are man. 35. beasts. and love. 39. sati ko kaun dikhdwtd 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 ? LXIII I.KABIR'S POEMS 66 You are weaving your bondage of falsehood. . dhlraj kdhe WHY He na dharai so impatient. and insects. my heart ? who watches over birds. how can you " : be light Kabir says ? " : Keep within you truth. your words are full of deception With the load of desires which you hold on your head. detachment.

KABIR'S POEMS 67 He who cared for you whilst you were yet in your mother's womb. Drawn by none the love of music. bhdl 117. 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 why all your work and : is this is in vain. . sain se lagan kathin hai. ing. Shall He not care for you now that you are come forth ? Oh my heart. LXIV I. the deer she dies as she moves forward : listens to the music. yet she shrinks not in fear. How The hard it is to meet my Lord ! rain-bird wails in thirst for the rain : almost she dies of her long- yet she would have other water than the rain.

re bhdi BROTHER my true Way. and the whole world and I had beside me was sane I bathed : . 22. Guru showed me the off all rites and ceremonies. Then I left ! when I was forgetful. From that time forth I knew no more how to roll in the dust in obeisance : do not ring the temple bell I do not set the idol on its throne I do not worship the image with 1 : : flowers. jab main bhuld. no more in the holy water Then I learned that it was I alone who was mad.KABIR'S POEMS 68 The widowed wife sits by the body she is not of her dead husband : afraid of the Put away all fire. disturbed these wise people. fear for this poor body. . LXV I.

" : LXVI I. amidst the who affairs considers own earth as his He God is all passive of the world. 20. and who is free from pride and conceit. instead of dyeing his of love : mind in the colours . When you leave off your clothes and your senses. Immortal Being. the attains the true who remains ever with him. creatures on self. you do not please kill the Lord The man who is kind and who practises : righteousness. " He attains the true Kabir says Name whose words are pure. man na THE Yogi dyes rarigdye his garments.KABIR'S POEMS It is 69 not the austerities that mortify the flesh which are pleasing to the Lord.

he has a great beard and matted locks. himself into an eunuch He shaves and turns : head and dyes his he reads the Gita and his garments becomes a mighty talker. I DO not know what manner God of is mine. The Mullah why ? subtle cries Is aloud to Him your Lord deaf ? : and The anklets that ring on the . he looks like a goat He goes forth into the wilderness. leaving Brahma to worship a sits stone. : of death. He pierces holes in his ears. : killing all his desires.KABIR'S POEMS 70 He within the temple of the Lord. 9. bound hand and foot " ! LXVII nd jane sdhab kaisd hai I. Kabir says "You are going to the doors .

though it is and not and already the bee has spring . and how shall you have God ? Tell : LXVIII ham III. and my heart. thither my heart has reached : . Where the rhythm of the world rises and falls. the waves arise in The rain falls my . I HEAR the melody se rahd na jay of His flute. my heart longs for Lord.KABIR'S POEMS feet of an when insect are heard of 71 it moves Him. your beads. 102. The sky roars and the lightning flashes. received its invitation. paint your forehead with the mark of your God. and wear matted locks long and showy but a deadly weapon is in your heart. I cannot contain myself : The flower blooms.

: He is my Guru. men and women of the world His are living forms. lives. then to does this world belong ? Ram be within the image which you find upon your who is there without Hari to then know what happens ? in the East is pilgrimage. Kabir is the child of Allah and of All the Ram Pir. He is my . for there you will find both Karim and Ram .KABIR'S POEMS 72 There the hidden banners are ing in the Kabir says though it flutter- air. " : My heart is dying. 2. IF God be whom If within the mosque. : Allah is in the West." LXIX jo khodd masjid vasat hai III. Look within your heart.

and whose form is love. perpetual thought of God like sandal paste smeared on To him the is the body. Kabir says " Touch His feet. he vision. to him nothing else delight is : His work and his rest are filled with music he sheds abroad the radiance of love. who has seen Him and touched Him. ll santosh soda samadfishti HE who is meek and who has an equal mind He is filled contented. he is freed from all fear and trouble. immutable and : : peaceful ." . who is one and indivisible.KABIR'S POEMS 73 LXX III. 9. whose with the fullness of acceptance and of rest . who fills all vessels to the brim with joy.

Go thou sddh sangat pltam to the company of the good. if the bridegroom himself were not there ? Waver no more. " Thus Kabir deliberates and says thou shalt never find the Be" loved : ! . think only of the Beloved Set not thy heart on the worship of other gods. how couldst thou hold a Take all ! wedding feast.KABIR'S POEMS 74 LXXI III. 13. there is no worth in . the worship of other masters. where the Beloved One has His dwelling place : thy thoughts and love and instruction from thence. Let that assembly be burnt to ashes where His Name is not spoken Tell me.

KABIR'S POEMS 75 LXXII tor hird hirdilwd III. where I have no one of my own. But the servant Kabir has appraised it at its true value. dyau din gaune kd ho palanquin came to take me away to my husband's home. and . and has wrapped it with care in the end of the mantle of his heart. into the lonely forest. kicad men THE jewel is lost in the are seeking for it . LXXIII III. . 26. 26. it in the west mud. some all and some in the water and some amongst stones. and it sent THE through my heart a thrill of joy But the bearers have brought me . Some look for in the east.

KABIR'S POEMS 76 O bearers. and in : ignorance you return. and who is to lighten it for you ? this life ? . O my friend. I entreat you by your moment wait but a me go back longer : feet." LXXIV are III. 30. prem nagar kd ant na pdyd O MY all in heart ! dil. let my kinsmen and friends. have done with your good and your bad for there are no markets and no shops in the land to which finish : you go. and take my leave of them. The servant Kabir sings " O Sadhu to : ! your buying and selling. what have you done with You have taken on your head the burden heavy with stones. you have not known the secrets of this city of love ignorance you came.

ke age THE Vedas say that the Unconditioned stands beyond the world of Conditions. and yet you sit ever and thus you are upon the bank : . LXXV III. ved kahe sargwq. beaten to no purpose by the waves. who is there that shall be- you at the last ? You are alone. O woman. The servant Kabir asks you to consider . what does dispute whether or in all ? it He avail thee to is beyond all . 55. you have no companion you will suffer the consequences of friend : your own deeds.KABIR'S POEMS 77 Your Friend stands on the other shore. but you never think in your mind how you may meet with Him The boat is broken.

" LXXVI III. who is true. ! When you meet the true Guru. He He you the secret of love and detachment. that He transcends . is head. light rests on thy there light His seat. and know that this is your own country. tu surat nain nihdr OPEN your eyes of love. will awaken your heart .KABIR'S POEMS 78 See thou everything as thine own dwellthe mist of pleasure and pain can never spread there. There Brahma is revealed day and ing place night : light is : His garment. and then you will will tell know indeed this universe. light. Kabir says He : is all " The Master. 48. and see Him who pervades this world consider it well.

streams of new forms are perpetually springing forms. Thenceforth the heat of having shall never scorch us more. Where the ring of manifold joys ever dances about Him. its maze of paths enchants the heart : is We can reach the goal without crossing the road. : and He pervades those All the gardens and groves and bowers are abounding with blossom . . and the air breaks forth into ripples of joy.KABIR'S POEMS This world 79 the City of Truth. such the sport unending. there is the is sport of Eternal Bliss. then and renouncing all our over is . He He is the Ultimate Rest unbounded has spread throughout all His form of : love the world. When we know receiving this. From that Ray which is Truth.

There the Unstruck Music eddies around the Infinite One . truths are stored in is the Whom all ! There within Him creation goes forward. attain to Him : . which is beyond all philofor philosophy cannot sophy . whereon the great Being sits Millions of suns are shamed by the radiance of a single hair of His body. There in the midst the Throne of the Unheld is shining. They Him call Truth of Emptiness who truths.KABIR'S POEMS 80 There the swan plays a wonderful game. On the harp of the road what true melodies are being sounded its notes pierce the heart and ! : There the Eternal Fountain its life -streams endless is playing of birth and death.

of whom nought can be said. it cannot be written on paper It is like a dumb person who tastes a sweet thing how shall it be ex: : plained ? " G . all no body. Only he knows it who has reached that region it is other than heard and that is said. no breadth is seen there : how can I you that which it is ? He comes to the Path of the Infinite on whom the grace of the Lord tell descends he : is and deaths who freed from births attains to Him.KABIR'S POEMS 81 There is an endless world. O my Brother ! and there is the Nameless Being. : No form. "It cannot be told by Kabir says the words of the mouth. no length.

in gentle and never and who speaks of one sun only ? that land is illuminate with the rays of a million suns. 60. yet the rain showers : O bodiless one doorstep . O MY heart where de jahdn us go to that country dwells the Beloved. falls ! go down do not forth on your and bathe sit yourself in that rain ! There it is ever moonlight dark .KABIR'S POEMS 82 LXXVII III. the let ! ravisher of There Love the hamsd wd cal my heart is filling well. yet ! her pitcher from has no rope she wherewith to draw water . . There the clouds do not cover the sky.

so why lation ? take refuge in empty deso- . from know this for certain. " III. you have bought death. whom do you meditate He Him ? and on O. If the Creator. Hear from me the tidings of : truth they and this great ! Whose name do you sing. KABIR says O : uno ho sddho Sadhu hear ! my you want your own good. 63. : All doctrines and all teachings are sprung from Him. You have estranged yourself from deathless words. come forth from this entanglement ! dwells at the heart of all things. grow have no fear. of whom you have sprung you have lost your reason.KABIR'S POEMS 83 LXXVIII kahain Kabir. examine and consider them well.

Where He far is attainable is very Kabir says suffer off.KABIR'S POEMS 84 If you place the Guru at a distance you. and keep your seat unmoved within your heart. " : Lest His servant should pain He pervades him through and through. O Kabir . . un- He bliss. for is in you from head to foot. Know He Sing with gladness. then If indeed the who is it else world is creating this ? When you then that think that He not here. and seek Him in you further vain with tears. then it is but distance that you honour from the : Master be far away." yourself then. where : there He He is is near. is wander further and away.

am neither a speaker nor hearer. Few comprehend my meaning who can comprehend it. am far from none I am near to : none.KABIR'S POEMS 85 LXXIX III. I shall go neither to hell nor to heaven. yet I am apart from works. am neither bond nor free. am neither a servant nor master. he sits establish nor . I do all all works . he : unmoved. 66. Kabir seeks neither to to destroy. I live neither I I I I I by law nor by sense. I AM nd main dharml nahln adharmi neither pious nor ungodly. am neither detached nor attached.

and the fruit will lead leaf. the the flower and the is fruit. of the it is Condi- tioned and the Unconditioned.KABIR'S POEMS 86 LXXX III. the flower. the root. satta ndm THE true Name name hai sab ten nyard like is none other ! The distinction of the Conditioned from the Unconditioned word The Unconditioned but a is : Conditioned is the seed. The root the and the is : when you you to the branch. Knowledge Name is and Look. is the branch. . it is the attainment of the reconciliation bliss. : It is the encounter with the Lord. see where the root happiness shall be yours come to the root. 69.

nor as the Koran. pratham ek jo dpai dp IN the beginning was He alone. seas. oceans. no darkness. cient unto Himself colourless. 74." . Then was and waves. Then was there neither beginning. Then were no ground. nor sky . fire. neither vice nor virtue . and unconditioned Being. suffithe formless. no no rivers water. nor earth and the like the Ganges Jumna. nor end Then were no eyes.KABIR'S POEMS 87 LXXXI III. air. scriptures there were not. no : . as the Vedas and Puranas. Kabir ponders in his mind and says: " Then was there no the activity Supreme Being remained merged in the unknown depths of His own : self. middle. light . no .

who is formless and without quality. nor vesture. has neither colour nor colourlessness. . kahain Kabir vicar ke KABIR ponders and says " : He who has neither caste nor country. He He has no name. colour. He who has neither caste nor clan nor anything else how may I describe His glory ? He has neither form nor formlessness. fills all space. LXXXII III. He has no dwelling-place." The Creator brought into being the Game of Joy and from the word : Om the Creation sprang. 76.KABIR'S POEMS 88 The Guru neither neither lives nor dies Neither has He nor drinks. eats form. : line.

KABIR'S POEMS The earth His joy is . Oceans and waves are His joy His : joy the Sarasvati. His joy is eyes. in play it is established. and light. and the end . the whole universe I His play the earth and the sky In play is the Creation spread out. and the Ganges. the beginning. unknown. darkness. are plays of joy all His ! His play the land and water. : union and separation. yet still the Player remains world. the Jumna. the middle. His joy is the flashing of the sun and the moon His joy is . rests in His play. . 89 His joy is the sky. The Guru is One and life and death. The whole ! says Kabir.

is The wise : shall understand it. and The gate is the listener. is is : He the ear. but within there is and there the meetfragrance ing is seen of none. 84. LXXXIV III. jhi jhi jantar bdjai THE harp gives murmurous forth and the dance goes on music without hands and feet. It is played without fingers.KABIR'S POEMS 90 LXXXIII III. it heard without ears for He . but I could not even catch sight of Him goes : And what shall I beg of the Beggar ? He gives without my asking. mor phaklrwd mdngi jay THE Beggar a-begging. "I am His own now Kabir says " let that befall which may befall : : ! . 89. locked.

How wondrously When its this lyre is wrought ! strings are rightly strung. His palace has a million gates. maddens the heart but when the keys are broken and the strings it : are loosened. O friend ? for the outstretching of the path. but there is a vast ocean between it and me How : shall I cross endless is it. My heart finds no joy in anything : my mind and my body are distraught. who has lost the city of her husband. none regard it more. 90. MY heart cries aloud for the house the open road and the shelter of a roof are all one to of my her lover .KABIR'S POEMS 91 LXXXV naihar se jiyard phot re III. .

lift for this is Kabir says heart I lie is : my eager to meet upon sleepless member me now veil lightly the night of love. " Listen to me my early in the my ! My lover bed. jw mahal men &iv pahunwd SERVE your God. and they say " She thinks she has such gained : dominion over her husband that she can have whatsoever she wishes and therefore she . is im- patient to go to him. . who has come this Do temple of life into ! not act the part of a madman. 96. for the night is thickening fast. for they do not want me to go." Dear friend. . : Re" morning ! LXXXVI III.KABIR'S POEMS 92 parents with laughter that I must go to my Lord in the morning I tell my . They are angry.

listen to the deep voice of their roaring The rain comes from the east with its .KABIR'S POEMS He has awaited for love of heart 93 me for countless ages. monotonous murmur. " Kabir says Behold how great is I fortune have received my good the unending caress of my Be- Now. me He has lost His : Yet I did not know the bliss that was so near to me. sddho CLOUDS thicken in the sky ! O. to my Lover has made known me the meaning of the struck my ear note that : my good fortune is come. . : ! ! loved " ! LXXXVII I. for my love was not yet awake. But now. 71. gagan ghatd ghahardm.

THIS day dj din ke is dear to main j dun me above balihdrl all other days. lest the rains overflow them .KABIR'S POEMS 94 Take care of the fences and boundaries of your fields. and feed both the saints. It the prudent farmer bring his harvest home who is fill both his the wise vessels. men and will he shall . 118. for to-day the Beloved Lord a guest in my house . My longings sing His Name. and let the creepers of love and re- Prepare the soil nunciation be soaked in this shower. My chamber and my courtyard are beautiful with His presence. and they are become lost in His great beauty is : . of deliverance. LXXXVIII III.

all that I have. LXXXIX I. who is my treasure. my Name which is Truth.KABIR'S POEMS I 95 wash His feet. my mind. What a day of gladness is that day Beloved. koi 6untd hai jndnl rag gagan men Is there any wise man who will listen to that solemn music which arises in the sky ? . the servant of all servants. My love has heart is touched longing for Him the ." Thus sings Kabir. 100. and . comes to my house ! All evils fly from my heart when I see in " which my my Lord. and I look upon His Face and I lay before Him as an offering my body.

the Source of all music. He who is for he part in the body ever athirst. Kabir says " O brother Primal Word. To whom my main kd 108. fusing love and renunciation into one. shall I Beloved Kabir says : bujhaun go to learn about ? "As you find the forest tree. and rests in fullness Himself.KABIR'S POEMS 96 For He. makes all vessels full fraught." : ! that is the XC I." if never may you ignore the never be found in . is pursues that which is in : But ever there wells forth deeper and " He is this deeper the sound " this is He . so se He may abstractions.

carkhd calai surat virahin kd THE woman who parted from her lover spins at the spinning wheel.KABIR'S POEMS 97 XCI III. 110. this." : XCII III. The city of the body arises in its and within mind has been beauty of the is . H . so let all men call me wise : But where am is the use of adrift. I saijiskirit bhdshd padhi llnhd HAVE learned the Sanskrit language. 12. " Kabir says Lay it down in the dust and go forth to meet the Beloved. it the palace built. floating with thirst. Address Him as your Lord. when I and parched and burning with the heat of desire ? To no purpose do you bear on your head this load of pride and vanity.

When my Lover comes and touches me with His ! feet. and makes them fine with love and reverence Kabir says: " I am weaving the garland of day and night. and the seat is made of the jewels of knowledge : What subtle threads the woman weaves." XCIII kotm bhdnu candra III. could my mind and eyes be one ! : I Could Lover of my my ! love but reach to Could but the heart be cooled I my fiery heat . I shall offer Him my tears. BENEATH tarago the great umbrella of millions of suns my and moons King and stars are shining He is the Mind within my mind He is the Eye within mine eye. 111. Ah.KABIR'S POEMS 98 The wheel of love revolves in the sky.

" XCIV I. SADHU avadhu begam ded hamdrd 1 my land a sorrowless is land. that you may cross with ease to that other shore. 92. For only the radiance of Truth shines in my Lord's Durbar. let in my land ! all come and Let the weary come burdens here settle and lay his ! So live here. . to the king and the beggar. the emperor and the fakir Whosoever seeks for shelter in the Highest. It is a land without earth or sky. then you have : love's perfection. my brother. 1 cry aloud to all.KABIR'S POEMS 99 " Kabir says When you unite love with the Lover. without moon or stars .

my women- friends sang in chorus. and my kinsman tried to console me pleasure : upon the road. I left my Lord and came away. I sdln ke sangat sdsur dl 109. then shall I sound the trumpet : of triumph " ! ." xcv I. CAME with my Lord to my Lord's home but I lived not with Him : and I tasted Him youth passed away On my wedding not.KABIR'S POEMS 100 Kabir says naught is " O : beloved brother ! essential save Truth. anointed and and I was unguents of and pain But when the ceremony was over. like night with the my a dream. Kabir says " I shall go to my Lord's house with my love at my side.

75. why waste your time making the bed and arranging the pillows ? Kabir says love ! " I : tell you the ways of Even though the head itself must be given. O FRIEND.KABIR'S POEMS 101 XCVI samajh dekh man mil piyarwd I. Why do you loose Him again and again ? If the deep sleep of rest has come to your eyes. and take Him to you. weep over it ? " why should you . think well if you love indeed. then give yourself utterly. then why ! If do you sleep ? you have found Him. dear heart of mine.

and seek for Him within you. O servant ! away. Hark to the unstruck bells and drums Take your delight in love ! ! Rains pour down without water. false pride sdhab is in you. THE Lord as is life is put in me. One Love it is that pervades the whole world. the Lord in every seed.KABIR'S POEMS 102 XCVII ham men. The fever of stains are life is and stilled. few there are fully : who know it . washed away . all when I sit in the midst of that world. turn men sdhab II. The sea of blue spreads in the sky. and the rivers are streams of light. A million suns are ablaze with light. 90.

that reason which is the cause of separation The House How of Reason is very far away ! Kabir. the music that transcends coming in and all all going forth.KABIR'S POEMS They are blind who hope to see 103 it by the light of reason. who will unite me to my Lover ? : How words for the beauty of my Beloved ? For He is merged shall I find in all beauty. It is the music of the forgetting of sorrows It is . the music of the meeting of soul with soul is . that amidst this great joy he sings within his blessed own It is vessel. . XCVIII II. fitu phdgun niyar dnl THE month of March draws near ah. 98.

111. Those who know this. When He my when sleeps. OH Narad Narad. brother not many who have ! there are found this out. I sleep. is live . pydr so antar ndhi ! I know that Lover my cannot be far When my Lover wakes. I walk before heart yearns for my Him Beloved. : . moves. I wake : He He destroyed at the root pain to my Beloved. " Kabir says : Listen to me. there I ." XCDC II. and it bewitches the and the mind. body know what is this unutterable play of the Spring.KABIR'S POEMS 104 His colour is in all the pictures of the world. Where they who gives sing His praise.

KABIR'S POEMS 105 The infinite pilgrimage lies at His feet." II. LIMITED." Printed by R. Kabir says " The Lover Himself re: veals the glory of true love. Kabir says " Listen to me. in the ecstasy of love's joy : Bring the tearful streams of the rainy clouds to your eyes. and speak of the deepest longings of your heart. . a million devotees are seated there. brother bring the vision of the Beloved in : ! your heart. and cover your heart with the shadow of darkness : Bring your face nearer to His ear. koi prem ki pengjhuldo re HANG up Hang the swing of love to-day ! the body and the mind between the arms of the Beloved. 122. & R. CLAHIC.

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JUN 9 1969 Kablr One hundred poems of Kabir PLEASE CARDS OR SLIPS UNIVERSITY PK 2095 K33A28 1915 DO NOT REMOVE FROM THIS OF TORONTO POCKET LIBRARY Kabir. 15th cent. One hundred poems of Kabir .BINDING SECT.