Kabir Dohas

(1) Chalti Chakki Dekh Kar, Diya Kabira Roye Dui Paatan Ke Beech Mein,Sabit Bacha Na Koye

Looking at the grinding stones, Kabir laments In the duel of wheels, nothing stays intact.

My understanding
This doha picks up a situation from our daily life. Kabir watches the woman grinding wheat on the flour mill. I have used the word woman here as generally it is the woman who does this work even today in the rural Indian society. The wheels are made of stone. One is stationary while the other on top is made to rotate by turning it with the help of a handle attached to it. The grain that is put into it gets crushed and the converted flour comes out. Thus the literal translation given above conveys that. (Diya Kabira Roye) Kabir cries out, however, is what makes the reader to contemplate on this Doha and realize for oneself the hidden meaning behind this metaphor. Dui Patan here signifies earth (Prithvi) and sky (Akash) and within the ambit of these is all creation and life as also the manifestation of all natural phenomenon of dualities: day and night, life and death, joys and sorrows, thereby making life forever in motion (Chalti Chakki) and an ever changing process. Trapped in this duality, whatever we see is perishable. Nothing that we comprehend is eternal.

(2) Bura Jo Dekhan Main Chala, Bura Naa Milya Koye Jo Munn Khoja Apnaa, To Mujhse Bura Naa Koye

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

My Understanding
This doha deals with our perception behavior and tendencies. It has been invariably noticed that we tend to find fault with someone else for our situations and circumstances. Our "I", the ego, always tries to put blame on others. Nonawareness of our own self is the cause of this attitude. Resultantly, we find ourselves being busy in criticizing and condemning others and conveniently term them as crooked or evil.

So Kabir says that instead of finding fault and maligning others, dive deep into your own-self. Amazingly, an honest introspection will reveal that all fault lies with "me" and "my" own perceptions and attitudes. If there is any evil or crookedness, it is in "me". Correcting this and opting for a loving and compassionate attitude will change one's perceptions and the world will appear wonderful all over again

(3) Kaal Kare So Aaj Kar, Aaj Kare So Ub Pal Mein Pralaya Hoyegi, Bahuri Karoge Kub

Tomorrows work do today, today's work now If the moment is lost, the work be done how

My Understanding
This doha is a little difficult to translate, particularly when the words "Pal mein Pralaya Hoyegi", have been translated by many scholars as the doomsday may come at any moment or in similar words. In my understanding Kabir, would not have meant this. He knew more than anyone else that if God is eternal, his creation is also eternal. Also being a Guru, Kabir would not like to talk about doomsday, as he himself was full of life. In this Doha, Kabir has clearly tried to explain the human tendency of laziness and procrastination. It is a known fact that we all tend to postpone matters, we are indecisive and given a choice we would like others to be doing work and we simply enjoying a cool time. When it comes to us, we try to get away by saying, "Very busy, no time." Don't we? This lethargy is what Kabir is condemning. Besides, according to me, his emphasis is on now, the present, the moment as it is. Now, that is Life, the moment. It is in the now, in the spontaneousness that one gets energized to do, to achieve, to realize. As they say, it is now or never. Keeping this context in mind, this Kabir Doha clearly teaches us to shed all

procrastination and lethargy. It motivates us to do whatever we have to do, and do it now. If we will keep postponing it, then the work will never be done.

(4) Aisee Vani Boliye, Mun Ka Aapa Khoye Apna Tan Sheetal Kare, Auran Ko Sukh Hoye

Speak such words, sans ego's ploy Body remains composed, giving the listener joy

My Understanding
This doha is a gem. It deals with human psychology, metaphysics and a basic tenet of the Indian philosophy. The ancients of the Vedic literature have laid tremendous emphasis on speech. They have mentioned in innumerable shlokas that our speech has a direct connection with our bodily humors. They proclaimed that sound and sight are the underlying source of all vibrations. This has been scientifically proven over and over again. We know that all sounds create vibrations. And these vibrations affect both the speaker and the listener. Soothing, compassionate and loving words breed togetherness, while harsh speech breeds hatred. And, we also know that human speech is one of the main ingredient that differentiates mankind from the rest of the animal kingdom.

He teaches us to speak in such a manner that keeps us harmonious and composed thereby making the listener feel a sense of joy in the communication. in this doha crystallizes the power of the spoken word. This all can be corrected if one understands the Doha.Thus. More than that it breeds illdiscipline. Ritu Aaye Phal Hoye Translation Slowly slowly O mind. Dheere Sub Kutch Hoye Mali Seenche So Ghara. fatigue and frustration. We get forced into a habit pattern whereby we find ourselves either negligent or indulgent. . (5) Dheere Dheere Re Mana. Kabir. This brings us under pressure causing ill-health. a quiet mind. By relaxed mind. fruit arrives only in its season My understanding Nature never works in haste. brings about the importance of a relaxed mind. Picking up from this eternal law of Mother Nature. Relaxation comes through awareness and acceptance. one should not imply lethargy. Experiment yourself and rediscover the power of the spoken word. acquire and be victorious. A very active mind can also be very relaxed. addressing the doha to the mind which is chanchal or monkeying around. We are always in a rush to achieve. Kabir brings forward the state of our daily hurried lives. Kabir. everything in own pace happens Gardner may water a hundred buckets. It is like a mad race.

Kabir thus makes us realize that one must do one's best and yet should have the patience for the results to manifest in their own appropriate time. Sadhu Na Bhookha Jaye Translation Give so much O God. nor the visitor goes unfed My Understanding Very simple in the native Hindi.It is a known fact that a seed sprouts into a sapling only after some time and the sapling grows into a tree gradually. suffice to envelop my clan I should not suffer cravings. . By the gardener pouring "a hundred buckets of water" (extensive irrigation) will not hasten the arrival of the fruit. Ja Mein Kutumb Samaye Main Bhi Bhookha Na Rahun. that because of its simplicity. And the fruit arrives only in its own season. For Nature does not work in haste. rather will ruin the process. but very difficult to translate. the reader can miss the point that Kabir wants to make. (6) Sayeen Itna Deejiye. It is also true.

Kabir wants to ensure that if someone visited his household. Kabir is content. We have to remember that Kabir was a professional weaver. It reveals the compassion Kabir has for others. At the same time. He prays to God to give him enough that would be suffice to take care of his needs. I personally understand that Kabir implies here the 'sadhu' to be any visitor or as we call "Atithi" . Thus. The next lines add another dimension. Sadhu literally means a monk.a guest. It is not greed when Kabir asks God for abundance. that guest should also go fulfilled (7) Bada Hua To Kya Hua. In India it is a tradition that if a sadhu visits. he reveals in this Doha his commitment to his clan. who has renounced the world. being the primary provider. Jaise Ped Khajoor Panthi Ko Chaya Nahin. He is not greedy. compassion and a very clear attitude of service. a house-holder with children. the household will make sure that they feed him. Phal Laage Atidoor . a sanyasin.This Doha deals with the concept of contentment.

fruit is hard to reach My Understanding A date tree grows very tall. it does not provide shade to weary travelers.Translation In vain is the eminence. Kabir in this doha points out to us about our vain personalities. Using this simile. selfishness and insecure tendencies and establish ourselves in such a way that we should be willing to give and share. it's fruit grows so far that one cannot easily pluck it. Jyon Chakmak Mein Aag Tera Sayeen Tujh Mein Hai. Besides. Yet. Only then we will be blessed and become a blessing to others (8) Jaise Til Mein Tel Hai. projecting eminence and a distinction of its own. if it is neither compassionate nor helpful to others? Kabir emphasizes that we should shed our greed. What good is our so called eminence. Tu Jaag Sake To Jaag . just like a date tree No shade for travelers.

we are unaware of this reality. . He takes the example of the anti-seed which contains the oil. However. Kabir asserts. we don't see the oil. who said. The time to do is here and now". However. It is only seen when energy is used to extract the oil from the seed.the temple seats the Divine. vigorous rubbing manifests fire which is already hidden in the flint. This doha also reminds of Swami Vivekananda. We all want to know what God really is. However. fire in flint stone Your temple seats the Divine. that our body . Kabir challenges us in this doha to shed the veils of ignorance and awaken to realize our true self. Same way. realize if you can My Understanding What is real and how is it veiled? This yearning for the Truth is the basic search of everyone. He unfolds the mystery in a very simple way. Same way fire is not visible when we look at the flint stone. This divinity is our true self. due to our ignorance. when we see the seed. Kabir in this doha reveals the secret.Translation Like seed contains the oil. "Man is potentially divine and the sole purpose of this life is to discover that divinity.

In non-affluent countries the scenario is worst. Yeh Satguru Ki Seekh Translation Begging is like perishing. Without using the words. The compassionate Guru knows that a person who sets out to beg (at least for the first time). Keh Gaye Das Kabir . In this simple verse. (10)Maya Mari Na Man Mara. he appeals the masses to work honestly and earn their livelihood. Mar Mar Gaye Shareer Asha Trishna Na Mari. none should go imploring It is better to die than beg. literally kills his inner self and undergoes tremendous shame and humiliation. Kabir boldly attempts to shake up the conscience of the people. this is pure Guru's teaching My Understanding It is unfortunate but true that a vast number of people all over the world survive through begging.(9) Mangan Maran Saman Hai. this phenomenon can be seen in the guise of welfare plans. In affluent societies. Mat Koi Mange Beekh Mangan Se Marna Bhala.

with one's aspirations.and the cravings. Mange Sabki Khair Na Kahu Se Dosti. one must understand first the word 'Maya'. Na Kahu Se Bair . For want of a proper word. My Understanding To understand this doha correctly. the play of the world "leela" goes on because of this. Kabir compels the reader to contemplate and realize the Truth. In this doha. desires . Hope and the deceptive greed or delusion does not die either. Kabir says while the physical body that is born.hence an illusion. lives and eventually dies. it is loosely translated as illusion. Nature on the go.. the world of Maya goes on as does the Mind (that intelligent governing Self). Even in his death bed.. one continues to cling with the perishable .ever changing.. so Kabir said. In its depths. In his typical mystic style.Translation Neither illusion nor the mind.. the yearnings (trishna) dies not. the urges. only bodies attained death Hope and delusion did not die. 'Maya' perhaps means. This word is like an unsolved riddle and hard to translate. (11)Kabira Khara Bazaar Mein.the body. In fact.

i. visited the market place to sell his woven goods.e. the professional weaver.Translation Kabira in the market place.e. one need not adopt tricky means and should not become emotional. So Kabir is giving us an idea of how we experience ups and downs due to attachments . due to strong feelings towards or against things.. Bazaar is a reference to the world itself where give and take. And he says the best way to avoid that is by being in a state of acceptance and detachment . wishes welfare of all Neither friendship nor enmity with anyone at all My Understanding Kabir. This is one of the important maxims of Do's and Don'ts of any progressive business. presents a balanced approach. An honest deal does not warrant the businessman to become either friendly with one's clientele nor develop any malice. Kabir without saying much. is the mechanism of dealings. as is his style.i.. Now selling is a competitive affair and all kinds of strategies are adopted by merchants to make the extra buck. He seems to affirm that while conducting one's business. In this doha. From spiritual and mystic point of view. all relationships at the physical level are conditional and based on business-like (not literally business) transactions. Sometimes the strategy can even be a dirty trick or a scam.

anger. this is possible only when our mind is cleansed from the impurities of ego.(12) Kabir Man Nirmal Bhaya. The cause of this chaos is our attachments and bondages. saying Kabir Kabir My Understanding Everyone desires to be known. greed and procrastination. loving and compassionate. Only those with relaxed and loving mind find themselves in harmony with everyone. For some reason we are unable to break these shackles and are therefore confined. . Kahat Kabir Kabir Translation Kabir's mind got cleansed like the holy Ganges water Now everyone follows. Jaise Ganga Neer Pache Pache Har Phire. Once the mind is free then we find ourselves relaxed. to belong. we find ourselves secluded and limited. Yet due to the chaotic states of our minds. fear. illicit passions. The desire to scale the heights of infinity can be achieved only when there is release from our attachments and feelings of insecurity that bind us. And. Then everyone looks up to us and wants to associate with us with confidence.

There is a lot of frustration all around. He daringly says that despite all our readings. We are not at peace. Selfishness. only then wisdom will dawn on us. We all read and now with tremendous media exposure. . in his simple but dynamic style. Everyone seems to know everything. none became any wise One who reads the word of Love. Why? I have found myself in this quagmire a number of times.(13) Pothi Padh Padh Kar Jag Mua. the truth is that inspite of all this information. Only then Life will be worth living. greed. Yet. We talk of Love but have no compassion. only becomes wise My Understanding To understand this doha in its true perspective is important. Only if we 'read' Love. Jo Padhe so Pandit Hoye Translation Reading books everyone died. Kabir in this doha shows the way. become loving and loveable. despite all our knowledge. we are seemingly more informed. Pandit Bhayo Na Koye Dhai Aakhar Prem Ke. Our minds are not quiet and relaxed. hatred and similar tendencies seem to grip us all the time. fear. there is no awareness. we cannot become wise.

you may just say 'O my God'! Such is the nature of mankind. how can sorrow come My Understanding Let someone suddenly wave his hand in front of your eyes and you will see that the eyes blink. .(14) Dukh Mein Simran Sab Kare. And if you are caught unawares. Tau Dukh Kahe Ko Hoye Translation In anguish everyone prays to Him. However. Kabir in this doha highlights this and gives a promise when he says that we shall not suffer if we pray to Him during our good times. in a state of helplessness. we invariably then look up in the skies and communicate with Him in our own silent prayer. When we are in distress. we forget Him. when things are going good. Sukh Mein Kare Na Koye Jo Sukh Mein Simran Kare. in joy does none To One who prays in happiness.

the Guru. the fulfillment. Viewed in context of our day to day life. the washer man cleans the cloth. Saboo Sirjan Har Surti Sila Pur Dhoiye. disciple is the cloth The name of God liken to the soap Wash the mind on foundation firm To realize the glow of Truth My Understanding In this Doha. Diligence. only then one finds the true joy. only then we can be assured of achieving results. (16) Jeevat Samjhe Jeevat Bujhe. dedication and total intensity is required while performing any act. same way the preceptor or the teacher takes upon himself to cleanse the mind of his disciples and guide them to realize the Truth within. Kabir shows the quality of a good teacher. Mue Mukti Ki Aas . Jeevat He Karo Aas Jeevat Karam Ki Fansi Na Kaati. Nikse Jyoti Apaar Translation Guru the washer man.(15) Gur Dhobi Sikh Kapda. we can observe that only when we are totally involved in our actions. Like only by following the technique of washing clothes.

. Kabir clearly suggests in this Doha that while conducting our actions. Besides. etc. we all tend to offer condolences by saying. liberation cannot come until one snaps all earthly bonds. procrastination.Translation Alive one sees. hatred. We should not get attached or enslaved by them and thereby get trapped in the quagmire of ego. unable to narrate and unable to share? Referring to the theory of Karma. When someone dies. only then one can be liberated while full of life. alive one knows Thus crave for salvation when full of life Alive you did not cut the noose of binding actions Hoping liberation with death! My Understanding In this Doha. However. only then one can be free from the bondage. Only when one is non-attached to the fruits of the action. what good is liberation or salvation. when one is dead. Kabir is referring to the concept of salvation which all religions guarantee in one form or the other. "May God give peace to the departed soul". greed. unable to recount. we should be diligent. fear.

Kutch Kahi Na Jaye Goonge Keri Sarkara.(17) Akath Kahani Prem Ki. In our daily life too. Truly it has been said that Love does not need the crutches of a language to express the inexpressible state of being in Love. Baithe Muskae Translation Inexpressible is the story of Love It cannot be revealed by words Like the dumb eating sweet-meat Only smiles. we find that silence projects our love expressions better than the hollow words we utter for another. the sweetness he cannot tell My Understanding In this Doha. This compassionate one does not brag. a person who has realized the Truth. Kabir refers to the situation of a person in Love. . does not talk for the wise one knows that it would be as futile an effort as the mute smile of a dumb trying to express the sweetness of the sweet-meat.

the more armored 'she' becomes to destroy the very vitality of a man. This is so true and can be observed by anyone in one's own affairs. Kahan Tak Dawa Lagaye Translation Worry is the bandit that eats into one's heart What the doctor can do. All peace is lost and the more one entertains the worry. what remedy to impart? My Understanding Discontentment causes worry and worry itself becomes the cause that creates chaos in the mind. be it today or tomorrow . There is no doctor and no remedy for this cause. Nanak. Nothing is stagnant Whatever is born must die. that what is not inevitable In the path of this world.(18) Chinta Aisee Dakini. Guru Nanak in his Gurbani goes a step further: Worry about that. Kat Kaleja Khaye Vaid Bichara Kya Kare.

make a person fatalist. All our concerns are related to our journey of life that begins with birth and ends with death. The alternative way of looking at this phenomenon will be on the basis of the laws of Karma i. Ooper Jamsi Ghaas Translation Says Kabir Don't be so proud and vain Looking at your high mansion Death makes one lie on bare land And grass will grow thereon My Understanding . says Nanak sing praises of God and worry not. Understanding the fundamental principle of the cosmos which is perpetually operating in motion. therefore.Hence O Nanak.e. Since all that is born is mutable. the basic premise will be that Life goes on. nothing is motionless. (19) Kabira Garv Na Keejiye. Hence Guru Nanak says that we should worry only about that aspect of life which is not inevitable. Guru Nanak makes it amply clear that in the path of this world. This will be one school of thought which can however. Regardless of how we look at it. Uncha Dekh Aavaas Kaal Paron Bhuin Letna. cause and effect. Sing praises of God and leave all concerns My Understanding Everything that comes to pass in our lives is but preordained. Sing praises of God here will imply to accept and face all aspects of life. Only by total acceptance of life as it is can one live without worries. hence must die.

greedy. Hence. arrogance and vanity are all related to our ego. Kya Des Kya Pardesh Translation Says Kabir Don't be so proud and vain The clutches of Time are dark Who knows where shall it kill Whether at home or abroad My Understanding Pride. Death. to die. Kaal Gahe Kar Kes Na Jaane Kit Mare Hai. In this Doha. In this Doha.e. Kabir gives a clear warning by explaining the eternal ultimate Truth i. Kabir emphasizes the need to understand the cycle of Life and guides us to shed our pride. arrogance and vanity are all related to our ego. This . but are we willing to accept this fact? Deep behind our psyche is the idea that everything else is going to perish. Death. Kabir gives a clear warning by explaining the eternal ultimate Truth i. (20) Kabira Garv Na Keejiye.e.Pride. our perishable belongings and things which are not eternal. our perishable belongings and things which are not eternal. This causes us to become arrogant. we cling to our perishables and become possessive and selfish. We all know that we have to die. proud and vain. but "I" will go on eternally.

Now Raj had been told by his mother that the Swami was a true preceptor. The Swami asked. please let me go. how come I do back-biting and you don't?" "Sir. Sit. "Reverend Sir." . So please let me go so that I may meet my family members. "Swami. went to visit a famous Swami. compassionate and true to oneself. but it seems to me that in 24 hours from now you will die". I must meet my people before I die." Raj said.doha is similar in essence to the preceding doha #19. "But there are still 24 hours. while you have?" All the questions that Raj asked were of similar nature. "Raj. Death is inevitable and one who remembers this in fact becomes humble. how come my mind wanders around to forbidden places and your does not?" "Sir. Raj said. how come I don't have compassion for others. what happened? You came with such vitality and by my one statement you are totally dismayed. The meeting transpired as follows: Raj asked the Swami. my mother told me that your words are true and are to be held in high esteem." The Swami said. your questions are good. He got up and started getting ready to go. was shocked. Once a young man (for this narration we will give a name to this young man as Raj) who had been brought up by a traditional family. friends and others before I die. Now Raj who had already been told by his mother that the Swami's words are true and to be held in high esteem. a Guru and that the Guru's words were true and to be held in high esteem. "Raj. we will talk more". Swami replied. "Reverend Sir. Both Doha # 19 and this one remind me of a story.

That's a lot of time. Raj. Although the Death has not yet arrived. "How could I do that. "Okay. neighbors came. Death is still an hour away." Swami. "Raj. Time started flying... Everyone was crying with Raj. did you think or wish ill for anyone?" Raj.e.say what you have to say. I don't know who has to die and who has to live. why are you lying down on the cot with your closed eyes. The word spread. "In the past 24 hours. let us talk". "Raj. "Sir. His friends came. When only an hour was left.So Raj left and went home. there is still time and our talk will get over before the 'ordained' time. the Swami walked in.. "Raj. Raj was only busy in either crying or counting the hours. When only 3 hours were left. did you steal?" Raj. I was all the time thinking about death." Raj." Finally the Swami said. how can you even ask that. death can be very enlightening. other family members came. I was all the time thinking about death. Swami said to Raj. "In the past 24 hours." Swami. "In the past 24 hours. did you curse anyone?" Raj. Met his mother and started crying." Swami. All the questions you posed to me have been . I was all the time thinking about death. "How could I curse anyone. Get up." Swami. And an hour is 60 minutes long. "Swami. poor Raj is kind of dead. he pulled up a cot and lied down on it. But understanding the ultimate truth i. what is it now that you want to talk? Just let me die peacefully. Swami.

. One cannot do anything without being interdependent upon others. Man is limited.answered by yourself because of the awareness of death that you experienced during the past 24 hours. I have been aware for the past 24 years. Kabir shows the supremacy of the divine will. Ankiya Sab Hoye Jo Kiya Kutch Hote Hai. According to this Doha." (21)Kabira Kiya Kutch Na Hote Hai. both in his abilities and his resources. Kabir implies that everything happens according to God's will. The difference between me and you is that you were aware of death for the past 24 hours. Karta Aur Koye Translation Says Kabir By my doing nothing happens What I don't does come to pass If anything happens as if my doing Then truly it is done by someone else My Understanding In this Doha.

In this doha. Baahar Dhudhan Jahin Translation Like the pupil in the eyes The Lord resides inside Ignorant do not know this fact They search Him outside . Then it is cooked. Take for example the simple aspect of life . However. Kabir also implies that one should develop humility and shed the attitude of pride and boastfulness (22) Jyon Naino Mein Putli. It is the contribution of others at various levels that makes any noteworthy action to be accomplished. The food as raw material goes through the distribution channels. Tyon Maalik Ghat Mahin Moorakh Log Na Janhin. And God here would be seen in his "Virat" form which is the entire universe. We all eat food. then he nurses the crop before harvesting it. thus emphatically asserts that it is the will of God that all actions get accomplished. First the farmer sows the seed.If a successful person claims his success to be his singular achievement. Kabir. then it would boil down to be an arrogant statement.our food. Then it comes home. And only then it is eaten. the food that we eat passes through various stages.

count or weigh the fragrance? Same way. while the ignorant search Him externally. But God is not mutable. the soul of the Christians is that representation of God that resides within everyone and is yet unseen. The wise thus realize Him by introspection. God is unseen and inexpressible. count them. We can see a bunch of flowers. (23)Jab Tun Aaya Jagat Mein. unknown.My Understanding In this Doha. Pache Hanse Sab Koye . but how can we see. Log Hanse Tu Roye Aise Karni Na Kari. Anything that is seen. incomprehensible and inexpressible. automatically becomes mutable. weigh them. can be counted or measured. the Atman of the Hindu. Kabir using a very apt simile demonstrates the fact that God is within everyone.

people are more happy and relaxed rather than in a mourning state. the entire family rejoices with glee. those who are left behind mourn and cry. clan and society at large. Naam Milan Ki Aaas . However. (24)Pehle Agan Birha Ki. And when a person passes away. in this doha warns that if one will live one's life in an unbecoming manner. Kabir. Pachhe Prem Ki Pyas Kahe Kabir Tub Janiye. It has also been noted that when a cruel person passes away. is the outcome of one's actions conducted during one's lifetime. true mourning is done for those who left a loving impression on their family. either as a compassionate one or a wicked one. Kabir reflects on the fact that when a child is born. then no one will shed a tear on his death. The impression of an individual. kith and kin.Translation When you were born in this world Everyone laughed while you cried Did not conduct yourself in manner such That they laugh when you are gone My Understanding In this Doha.

It can be one's choicest person or one's Ishta or God. . Only then we realize fulfillment. Only when the desire becomes unshakeable and unbending. Only then the work becomes a source of joy. First.Translation First the pangs of separation Next grows the thirst for Love Says Kabir then only hope The union to materialize My Understanding How does one merit Love? How does one become one with the One? How does one attain that ultimate unity? In this Doha. studies. This phenomenon applies to almost every aspect of our life. we find that only when our intent becomes clear. the seed of hope germinates to eventually sprout into a true union. one feels the emotional pangs of separation the intensity or thirst to meet the other increases. only then our hope and faith grows. Kabir says. it kindles the very being of a person. it is the longing of a person to be with one's beloved. Like a flame. Because. pursuits or daily chores. Even in our vocation. Kabir shows the way.

It is but a private affair! Don't they say. Jaki Lagi Hoye Translation With the ocean set ablaze The smoke yet manifests not Only the one who gets burnt Envisions the heat of loving thought My Understanding The agony and turmoil in the heart of a lover. . or in our normal day to day life. a devotee. Kabir is able to project the agony and the ecstasy of true love and devotion. in this Doha depicts the agony that a devotee feels for his Lord or Ishta. Dhuan Na Pargat Hoye So Jane Jo Jarmua. To others. Yet none knows or can know about this pain because the "smoke" is not visible! Only the one who is suffering the separation from one's beloved can understand the force of such a fire. the pain of separation is not comprehensible for this too is precious for the lovers to reveal. a lover feels for the beloved. only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches!! This Doha by Kabir is again a superb example of mystic poetry where in two lines. the intensity. Kabir.(25)Aag Jo Lagi Samand Mein. is symbolically shown in this Doha as the flame that is burning the ocean.

etc. It simply stays behind. says that this amassed worldly wealth eventually does not accompany when we die. by amassing wealth with wrong means and corrupt practices like bribery and theft . Saving. Saving for the unforeseeable future. the strength of which shall become the path to liberation.victims of greed and insecurity. by depriving themselves of even basics that are essential for their individual growth and development. keeping these factors in mind. The "true" . Kabir. the old age. However. it is advisable to save.(26) Kabir So Dhan Sanchiye. there are also people. for the rainy days. save the wealth that 'remains' in the moment ultimate Departing with a crown of material wealth. Therefore. Jo Aage Ko Hoye Sees Charaye Potli. none has crossed the gate My Understanding All our life we are busy saving. Le Jaat Na Dekhya Koye Translation Kabir. who will save by NOT sharing. And. Surely. there are also people who will save. Kabir suggests that we should save the wealth that will be helpful now and beyond. at times.

save the wealth that remains in the imminent future Departing with a bag of wealth. (27)Aasa Jive Jag Marey. So Ubrey Jey Khayee Translation Hope lives in a dying world. none has yet been seen. Log Marey Mar Jayee Soyee Sube Dhan Sanchate. The literal translation would be: Kabir. I have purposely chosen to present the 'inferred' translation as it is closer to the true meaning understood from the original Kabir verse in Hindi. Note: The translation given above is 'inferred' and not literal. spend and freedom attain My Understanding .wealth that one is able to take forward is the "Naam" and not the worldly wealth. The Naam is strung to one's inner self while the external wealth is limited to the physical body which we all know does not go with us after death. people die and die again Perish yet hoarding wealth.

And. It is not If I say two. In this eternally changing and perishable world. (28) Ek Kahun To Hai Nahin.Having explained in the previous Doha that we should save the wealth that will be helpful now and beyond. Kabir explains that only those who distribute and share the wealth are the ones who attain liberation. Kabir now makes us take a step forward towards the principle of non-attachment through this Doha. it will be a violation Let 'It' be what 'It' is says Kabir upon contemplation Explanation . Who are they that share? Those who have abundance. Do Kahun To Gaari Hai Jaisa Taisa Rahe. abundance comes to those who understand the doctrine of Karma and are nonattached to the results. Kahe Kabir Bichari Translation If I say one.

Could it be that the answer is not an explanation but a feeling. Kabir here is alluding to the futility of describing the cosmic experience.This Doha is an illustration of Kabir mysticism that parallels the Zen Koans. not extroversion but an introversive acceptance? (29) Kabir Yeh Ghar Prem Ka. He says that the final experience is what it is and cannot be cast into any thought. And when that happens all else becomes literally irrelevant. A first-hand direct experience is the only way of knowing. Khala Ka Ghar Nahin Sees Utaare Hath Kar. not discussion or analysis but silence. In that vein. words or description. So Pasey Ghar Mahin Translation . he underscores the limited vision of both the Advaitic (one God) and Dvaitic (God is separate from the devotee) schools of thought. Many people ask why did the tragedy of September 11 have to happen? Many spiritual leaders have given a variety of explanations.

Kabir. Attachment.is the valiant one.the enemies within . Yeh To Simran Nahin . Jeebh Phire Mukh Mahin Manua To Chahun Dish Phire. Is a genuine offering to the Lord possible without surrendering oneself? Similarly. Carnality. Greed and Enmity . The abode of love is not like a visit to an aunt's house where the social rules of entertaining guests may be available. A person who is able to defeat the passions of Anger. this is the abode of love Not the house of an aunt Only that one can enter here Who has relinquished all pride My Understanding Kabir in this doha attempts to explain valor and fearlessness in love and devotion. is love possible between two people when it is based on conditions? (30)Maala To Kar Mein Phire. To be a lover or a true devotee is the job of a warrior and not of a coward. For love demands complete surrender of one's ego and a spirit full of compassion and poise. Instead in this abode of love one enters with the spirit of giving or complete surrender.

With the mind wandering everywhere. Kabir. with the same 'twisting' tongue.Translation The rosary rotating by the hand (or) the tongue twisting in the mouth. Kabir tries to emphasize. An agitated mind cannot meditate! Kabir emphatically states in this doha that all these superficial ritualistic actions are meaningless and unproductive. this isn't meditation (Oh uncouth!). here categorically points out that such people have no control over their mind which is forever wandering. Yet at the slightest provocation they swear and curse. To be able to bring mind in control means to develop poise and serenity that in turn lead to love and compassion which are the prerequisites for meditation. for their actions are only outwardly to show off or to keep up with the rituals out of sectarian and communal pressures. is to be able to master one's mind. The aim of true meditation. My Understanding Kabir in this doha strongly condemns those faking to be religious and spiritualists. Such people are hypocrites and deluded. How very often we see people belonging from almost every religion 'fiddling' with the rosary beads and reciting the name of God. . without any hesitation.

This is the ultimate aim of meditation . Having explained this Kabir proceeds to state that although many epochs have elapsed since the human civilization started using the rosary as a tool.to become calm and experience the oneness between our individual self and the cosmic self. . restless remains the mind Give up the beads of rosary and rotate the beads of mind My Understanding This doha is an extension of the previous one. Addressing the spiritual aspirants. Kabir asserts that instead of concentrating on the rosary beads and its count of rotation. yet we see that by and large our mind is restless and agitated while the tool appears to have become a symbol in itself. Kabir in this doha explains that the purpose of using rosary is not the end but a medium which is helpful in meditation. The rosary is but a mere tool. The aim of all meditations is to calm the mind and become its master.(31)Maala Pherat Jug Bhaya. one should focus and become aware of the wandering mind. Mita Na Man Ka Pher Kar Ka Manka Chhor De. Man Ka Manka Pher Translation Eons have passed whirling rosary. For only by becoming aware shall we become alert and be able to guide ourselves towards poise and serenity.

Kaha Firave Mohi Translation Kabir. Kahi Samjhave Tohi Man Na Firave Aapna. (then) to what end you rotate My Understanding Having talked about the rosary in the earlier dohas (# 30 and # 31) Kabir now goes a step further in giving . the rosary made of wooden beads explicitly proceeds to educate (If) you set not your mind in (a focused) motion.(32) Kabir Maala Kaath Kee.

(33) Jab Mein Tha Tab Hari Nahin. In this doha. Jab Hari Hai Mein Nahin Sab Andhiyara Mit Gaya. Now Hari "is" and "I" am not All the darkness (illusions) mitigated.where he equates the rosary to a teacher . Jab Deepak Dekhya Mahin Translation When "I" was then Hari was not. My Understanding . Kabir using a metaphor . When I saw the light (illumination) within. Kabir asserts that mere rotation of the rosary is useless and futile with a wandering mind.a new dimension to the purpose and usefulness of the rosary.candidly advises the aspirants to focus on directing the mind towards their spiritual goal.

rather eliminates.diminishes. when the allpervasive effulgence of God (the light within) is perceived.the state of ignorance .we are not able to experience or realize the all-pervasive attribute of God. Ajhun Na Miliya Raam Raam Naam Kahu Kya Karey. Kabir explains that till such time we are engrossed within the bounds of our (limited) ego . Je Man Ke Aurey Kaam . With this conviction we are able to transcend the bondage enforced by our ego. (34) Moond Munddavat Din Gaye. This darkness .the mundane "I" . Resultantly we are in a state of conflict. chaos and a state of ignorance aptly expressed as darkness or illusion in the doha. realized or experienced.From the root word "Har" (everything) is derived the word "Hari" which is used as yet another name or expression for God: the most common being "Hari Om". In this doha.

He now exposes those who are merely gripped in the rituals of shaving their heads periodically and reciting Ram Naam while their mind is busy wandering. yet union with Ram is not here Recitation of Ram Naam is futile.Translation Ages have passed shaving the head. 31 and 32) Kabir explained the redundancy of the ritualistic 'fiddling' of the rosary. one is only leading a life of delusion and self- . when mind is engaged elsewhere My Understanding In the earlier dohas (# 30. If one is merely masked and engrossed in outwardly show-offs or trapped in sectarian and communal rituals. Kabir emphatically condemns these rituals and considers them a mere pretense.

deception. Je Moonde Sau Baar Man Ko Kahe Na Moondiye. they will get their head shaved. that's filled with poisonous thoughts My Understanding In the Hindu culture there is a tradition among men to get their heads shaved off in the event of parental death. where the followers also keep their head shaved all the time. you shave them hundred times Why not shave the mind. Besides. Kabir emphasizes the importance and need of mastering one's mind to develop peace and poise. There seems to be no scientific reason for this tradition except what I believe is that in folklore it is symbolic of a person in grief who has lost an elder. when men make vows seeking fulfillment of their desire. . Jaamein Vishey Vikaar Translation What harm have the hair done. Symbolically it means surrendering of one's ego (Head representing the center of Ego) to God. Then we have cultists like Hare Krishna movement. particularly one of the parent.in this the King symbolized as the "Father" of the nation. in the family. The recent example is when thousands of people got their heads shaved in Nepal when the King Birendra was assassinated . love and compassion as these are the essential ingredients towards leading a harmonious life and self-realization. (35)Keson Kaha Bigadia.

Koore Kaaj Niwaar Jis Panthu Tu Chaalna. until then one is not free from delusion and self-deception. Continuing on the preceding doha. Incidentally the tradition of shaving the heads is only among men and not among women. unclean and poisonous thoughts that are harmful individually and collectively. Soyee Panth Samwaar Translation Arise from slumber O Kabir. Mind being the source of all problems. Kabir emphasizes that unless one cleanse one's mind from the quagmire of unhealthy. considered this also to be a mere ritual notwithstanding the symbolic meaning of shaving the head. as explained above.Similarly the Hindu pundits and priestly class also keep their heads shaved in conformity of the latter explanation of the symbolic surrender of one's ego. divest yourself of the rubbish deeds Be focused and illumine the path on which you were meant to tread . harmonious and loving thoughts. His criticism on the ritual of shaving heads highlights the fact that by mere shaving of the head (or merely being a ritualistic) one cannot attain self realization or discover the divinity within. I wonder why! Kabir. (36)Kabir Soota Kya Kare. it is in every individual's interest to keep it filled with healthy. however.

My Understanding Here slumber refers to a state of daze and fixation on what is perceived by the senses. (37)Kabira Teri Jhompri Gal Katiyan Ke Paas Jo Karenge So Bharenge Tu Kyon Bhayo Udaas Translation . Sleep is no different from the normal waking state in that it engages our senses completely. He then urges us to focus ourselves on finding our true spiritual root .putting an end to the cyclical realities that have kept us engaged thus far. Both are essentially of the same intrinsic nature where Mind is the central player. Kabir recognizes the futility of mental and physical worlds and categorizes everything in these domains as "rubbish".

In his humble way. to ritualism. that's not our job . Religious heads and puritans aggressively promoted the ideas of purity and righteousness. Kabir was largely unimpressed and irreverent to these external rules and regulations. to find out who we truly are. bad or ugly going on around us. According to him the world and its ways will take care of itself. Through his life and teachings he emphasized the importance of internal purity. for which they criticized him. (38)Kabir Soyee Soorma. Kabir lived in an area close to the butcher's shop. took the discussion on this matter to a totally different level. In spiritual texts this concept is likened to the existence of the Lotus . Kabir teaches us here the idea of detachment. All else does not matter. Kabir gave his religious teachings sitting in what the "pundits" (of higher caste) considered an "unholy" place. Being a weaver of lower caste. in religion. while not countering the criticism directly.we should focus our attention only on the real reason of coming to the world.O Kabir! Your Hut Is Next to the Butchers' Bay Why Do You Feel Down? For Their Conduct They Only Shall Pay My Understanding At the time when Kabir lived there was a lot of importance attached. Man Soon Maande Jhoojh Panch Pyada Paari Le. Here Kabir tells us to live in the world and focus on our own journey and not worry about the good. Door Kare Sab Dooj . Kabir. via this Doha.a beautiful flower that grows in swampy and dirty ponds and rises above it.

The Mind. who takes on the "mind" head-on Crushing the shield of the sensual five. The mind is the root of all our troubles. all duality is gone My Understanding In the time period Kabir lived there were lot of wars and fighting taking around. He alone the Warrior. . Thoughts are instigated. Intoxication with Pride.Translation O Kabir. This mind is what creates a myriad of thoughts that drive us everywhere and do not allow us to rest in peace. Kabir redirects our attention to waging a war inside of us via this verse. Attachment and Greed. Kabir then tells us that removing the mind takes away the root of all misery which is the feeling of the "other". Instead of this fighting and killing outside. fed and driven by our five sensual desires . I have reached a place where I alone am the Only Player. There is no "other" anymore as this distinction comes via a creation of our mind.Lust. He calls these as pawns because they are protecting the true enemy that lies behind . Here the game is won only when we go beyond the sensual (pawn-like) pleasures and conquer the Mind who has been running the show. This feeling of oneness is captured in a verse from a poem: Na Hai Koi Gadi Na Hai Sawari Pahuncha Wahan Jahan Mein Akela Hi Khiladi Neither is their a vehicle nor a rider. Anger. Once the mind is gone there is nobody else except us ourselves.

Vintage Kabir! .the highest teaching from him summarized in such a beautiful way.Kabir urges us to duel the dual .

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