Kabir — Poems

Where are you searching me?
Behold, I am beside you!
Neither I am in temples nor mosques
Neither in the Kaaba nor in Kailash.
I am not in outer rites and rituals.
I am beside you, with you, within you!
— Kabir

Kabir comes from the celestial abode of the Lord
and holds a direct commission from Him.
— Kabir

From the preface of “Sayings of Sant Kirpal Singh” edition 1998-2

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“PEARLS OF WISDOM from KABIR” with the song “Mann Lago Yaar” by Abida Parveen (3:03)

Kabir — the Father of Spirituality

Reading Kabir’s poems, one feels an irresistible attraction. Inquiring who He was, one gets various answers. But everybody – whether Sikh or Hindu, Muslim or Christian – respects the “devotee” well-known everywhere in India.

When Sant Kirpal Singh during His first world-tour in 1955 gave a public lecture in Washington, He explained the fundamentals of Spirituality and stated:

Kabir was the Father of Spirituality …
such Saints always address to the soul,
not to a particular sect or religion.
They speak to humanity as a whole.”
— Kirpal Singh (1955, Washington DC)

In one of His poems, answering the question of Gorakhnath, Kabir gives hints where He came from:

When Kabir became a devotee

When He who has now assumed many forms
Had not begun His play of creation,
When there was no Guru and no disciple,
When the world was not created,
When the supreme Lord was alone,
At that time was I a devotee!

Brahma did not exist, nor Vishnu,
Shiva was still unborn.

I became revealed in Benares,
And Ramananda gave me the Light (initiated me),
With me I had brought the thirst for the infinite,
And I have come here to meet Him…
— Kabir

Just as Sant Kirpal Singh did, Kabir Himself had chosen His Master. For Him there was not really a necessity to do so, but He did it to give an example for us.

Such a Power searches his Master himself, whereas normally the Master searches the disciple. It was Kabir who brought His Master Ramanand to a higher grade and created many Saints.

Five hundred years ago Kabir, the simple weaver, fearlessly condemned hypocrisy and narrow-mindedness of the religions in the particular, unmistakable language of His own. Ignoring caste-spirit and empty rituals and rites, He praised in His hymns God the Almighty.

O Lord, I am submerged in Thee,
And Thou art manifest in all things.
Like salt dissolved in water
And all water tasting of salt.

While scholars in vain try to classify Him, there exist personalities who followed Him and speak of what they have seen.

The Almighty Power is always present in the world, its teaching is still alive in our time, and who practises it, can meet this Power. It is no question that the few things we can give out here cannot pay tribute to such a personality.

If all oceans were to be turned into ink
And wood from all forests made into a pen,
And if the surface of the earth were rolled into paper,
Even then, o brother, the attributes of God
Couldn’t be fully described.
— Kabir

Kabir’s Homeland

Who shares my secret
Alone knows, o friend,
The mystery of my homeland.

Vedas and holy books
Have no clue to my home;
Neither speech, nor speculation,
Nor reason, nor intellect
Can ever fathom it.

Who shares my secret
Alone knows, o friend,
The mystery of my homeland.

Where there is neither caste,
Nor colour, nor lineage,
Where neither ceremonies,
Nor ritual prayers,
Nor canonic laws hold sway;
Such is my homeland, o friend.

Where rain pours down
Drops with a divine taste,
Neither salty nor sweet;
Where in the mansion of Sunn
Endless reverberate
The sonourous melodies
Of kingri, sitar and been.

Who shares my secret
Alone knows, o friend,
The mystery of my homeland.

Where all the lights of the world
Put together, fade with shame
Before the light of the region of Brahm.
Beyond that, beyond, in the realm
Of the Inaccessible, the Boundless,
Is the land where lives Kabir,
But only a Gurmukh will,
Through love, reach my home.

Only he who shares my secret
Will know and attain
That homeland of mine, o friend.

— Kabir
(from “Sayings of Sant Kirpal Singh” edition 1998-2)

Listen, o Seeker

O seeker, listen:
All these miracles and rituals are a lie,
Only adding illusion to illusion.
Truth is integral,
Without apprehending the essence,
And by merely imitating its sounds,
A crow does not become a swan.

If by worshipping a stone-idol,
one could see the face of the Lord,
One might as well worship a mountain,
Or better still, why not a grind-stone?
It grinds the grain and feeds the world.

If one could become holy
By shaving one’s head,
O Pandit, how easy it would all be!
See, how often a sheep is shorn,
Yet how far from heaven it is!

What a mire the world is lost in!
It doesn’t know a Saint from a charlatan.
O my brother, just because someone
Has collected a group of followers,
Does that make him a holy man?

For eons you have moved
The beads in your hand,
Yet nothing has moved your heart!
O my friend, leave aside the beads,
Open your hands and let the heart turn!

Look at these men, o Kabir,
How their god is on sale,
And how in blind pursuit
And sheer imitation of one another,
They go to places of pilgrimage
Performing empty rituals.

Those who put their trust in paths
Laid down by their own mind,
Go to hell and make hell their home;
They get no respite from coming and going,
Morning and evening they are the prey
Of the ruthless hunter, Kal.

They become proficient in letters and sciences,
But are not aware of their own impending death.
For others they draw rosy pictures of a happy afterlife,
When themselves faced with death
They shudder with dread of the unknown.

They avoided the company of Saints
And took to vain pursuits;
Now on their heads they carry a heavy load
And march towards hell.

Let all men and women know:
Averse to the Master,
Slaves of their own mind,
They’ll revolve in the whirligig
(in the circle of birth and death)
Till the sun and moon cease to shine

Lust, anger, agitation, avarice –
So long as one is possessed by them,
O my friend, there is little distinction
Between a fool and a scholar.

Chanting, penance, abstinence, fasting,
Bathing in the holy water –
O friend, listen, these all are useless!
There is only one way:
Open your eyes, immerse yourself
In the devotion of the Lord,
In His love!

Kabir, a human life is hard to gain,
And (maybe) it comes but once:
The fruit fallen on the ground
Will not return on the branch.

What is it you seek, o my friend?
You would find only
What you seek,
If you are truly thirsty.
Remember: Some drops of dew
Would not satisfy your thirst;
You must dive into the river!

Seekers or charlatans,
Anyone can shed tears,
But only he, who weeps tears of blood,
Is a true lover.

A true seeker, o brother, is a rare being,
Who listens to the song of his soul,
Like a deer enchanted by the music of the hunter,
Oblivious to the lurking death.

— Kabir
(from “Sayings of Sant Kirpal Singh” edition 1998-2)

Blessed is that day, that hour,
That propitious moment
When the man of God came
And graced my home.
Such was the effect of His darshan,
That the veil fell from my eyes,
I heard the divine melody within
And duality came to an end.
The gates that blocked my hearing,
Were hard as granite,
Yet they broke to pieces
When the man of God came
And blessed my home.
(from “Sayings of Sant Kirpal Singh” edition 1990-2)

So drunk am I
With the presence of my Beloved
That all my ambivalence
Is gone forever.
O Kabir,
A potter’s bowl,
Once baked in the fire,
Is not turned
On the wheel again.
— Kabir
(from “Sayings of Sant Kirpal Singh” edition 1998-1)

If your practice of Naam be as little as a grain
and the load of your sins a thousand pounds,
even if a half a grain of Naam penetrates your being,
all your sins will burn into ashes.
— Kabir

If one dies while living,
for him death is sweet.
His rank and honour are dead,
so too is dead his I-ness;
his pride is dead,
with it all his deceptive desires.

If one dies while living,
for him death is sweet.
Those who, while living, die
by merging into the Lord
become immortal, o Kabir.
— Kabir
(from “Sayings of Sant Kirpal Singh” edition 1997-2)

The dark shadows of night vanish
With the rising of the sun;
The contact of Shabd
Dissolves the gloom of delusion.
— Kabir
(from booklet “Initiation — the Contact with Naam” 2009)

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