Kabir Jayanti or Kabir Prakat Diwas is celebrated annually on June 24 to honour India’s most celebrated and quoted poet, Sant Kabir Das.
Sant Kabir is famous for his verse poems or dohas. His work and philosophy has rung through the ages and represents the amalgamation of Hindu and Muslim ideologies. He took the concepts of karma and reincarnation from Hinduism and affirms the existence of one god and rejection of caste and idolatry from Islam. His work is a synthesis of both religions, and on the day of Kabir Jayanti, here is a glimpse of some of his best works.
- Illusion and Reality
What is seen is not the Truth
What is cannot be said
Trust comes not without seeing
Nor understanding without words
The wise comprehends with knowledge
To the ignorant it is but a wonder
Some worship the formless God
Some worship His various forms
In what way He is beyond these attributes
Only the Knower knows
That music cannot be written
How can then be the notes
Says Kabir, awareness alone will overcome illusion
- There’s A Moon Inside My Body
The moon shines in my body, but my blind eyes cannot see it:
The moon is within me, and so is the sun.
The unstruck drum of Eternity is sounded within me; but my deaf ears cannot hear it.
So long as man clamours for the I and the Mine, his works are as naught:
When all love of the I and the Mine is dead, then the work of the Lord is done.
For work has no other aim than the getting of knowledge:
When that comes, then work is put away.
The flower blooms for the fruit: when the fruit comes, the flower withers.
The musk is in the deer, but it seeks it not within itself: it wanders in quest of grass.
- Where Do You Search Me?
Where do you search me?
I am with you
Not in pilgrimage, nor in icons
Neither in solitudes
Not in temples, nor in mosques
Neither in Kaba nor in Kailash
I am with you O man
I am with you
Not in prayers, nor in meditation
Neither in fasting
Not in yogic exercises
Neither in renunciation
Neither in the vital force nor in the body
Not even in the ethereal space
Neither in the womb of Nature
Not in the breath of the breath
Seek earnestly and discover
In but a moment of search
Says Kabir, Listen with care
Where your faith is, I am there.
- I Played Day And Night
Played day and night with my comrades, and now I am greatly afraid.
So high is my Lord's palace, my heart trembles to mount its stairs: yet I must not be shy, if I would enjoy His love.
My heart must cleave to my Lover; I must withdraw my veil, and meet Him with all my body:
Mine eyes must perform the ceremony of the lamps of love.
Kabir says: "Listen to me, friend: he understands who loves. If you feel not love's longing for your Beloved One, it is vain to adorn your body, vain to put unguent on your eyelids."
- The Swan Flies Away
The swan will fly away all alone,
Spectacle of the World Will Be a Mere Fair
As the Leaf Falls from the Tree
Is Difficult to Find
Who Knows Where it Will Fall
Once it is Struck with a Gust Of Wind
When Life Span is Complete
Then Listening to Orders, Following Others, Will Be Over
The Messengers of Yama are Very Strong
It’s an Entanglement with the Yama
Servant Kabir Praises the Attributes of the Lord
He Finds the Lord Soon
Guru Will Go According to His Doings
The Disciple According to His
- Do Not Go To The Garden Of Flowers
Do not go to the garden of flowers!
O Friend ! go not there;
In your body is the garden of flowers.
Take your seat on the thousand petals of the lotus,
and there gaze on the Infinite Beauty.
Within This Earthen Vessel
Within this earthen vessel are bowers and groves,
and within it is the Creator:
Within this vessel are the seven oceans
and the unnumbered stars.
The touchstone and the jewel-appraiser are within;
and within this vessel the Eternal soundeth,
and the spring wells up.
“Listen to me, my Friend!
My beloved Lord is within.”
- The Bhakti Path
The bhakti path winds in a delicate way.
On this path there is no asking and no not asking.
The ego simply disappears the moment you touch
The joy of looking for him is so immense that you
just dive in,
and coast around like a fish in the water.
If anyone needs a head, the lover leaps up to offer
- Between the Poles Of The Conscious
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.
Millions of beings are there:
the sun and the moon in their courses are there:
Millions of ages pass, and the swing goes on.
All swing! the sky and the earth and the air and the water;
and the Lord Himself taking form:
And the sight of this has made Kabir a servant.
- I Have Been Thinking
I have been thinking of the difference between water
and the waves on it. Rising,
water’s still water, falling back,
it is water, will you give me a hint
how to tell them apart?
Because someone has made up the word
“wave,” do I have to distinguish it
There is a Secret One inside us;
the planets in all the galaxies
pass through his hands like beads.
That is a string of beads one should look at with luminous eyes.