Friday, September 24, 2010

One Hundred Poems of Kabir

The translation presented here is more literal then poetic. In most cases the meaning is clear and I have added text to further explain the meaning.
In my view, it is better to learn Kabir's verse in Hindi, and know its meaning from the sound of the words - otherwise the meaning is lost. There is power in Kabir's choice of words, the sounds convey the power and it is well worth learning the sound and meaning of the Hindi words.
A true poetic translation One Hundred Poems of Kabir into English that keeps the meaning, tone, rhyme and maintains the vocal and psychological power of the words is not possible. Poets like Tagore have tried, but the end result is way, way short of the original.
Rabindranath Tagore's work (), for example, does not even convey the meaning of the original: his English is lofty, not down to earth. This is because Tagore command of common everyday native English was poor, and because even Tagore, who was a mystical genius, did not have the required spiritual awareness to understand Kabir fully.
Kabir used simple, common, slang words - which are sometimes not in use today. For example, 'Punyah' would not be understood in today's Hindi, Urdu or Punjabi.Punyah is an expression used in Pahati, my native Kashmiri tongue, which contains Hindi, Punjabi and Sanskrit terms. It means 'under' as under the feet. In Hindi/Urdu, it would be 'Nicheh', in Punjabi it would be 'Thelah', but these do not convey the sense of Punyah.
Most Kabir translations available in English (like Kabir: Ecstatic Poems by Robert Bly), are based on Tagore - they improve on Tagore's English only. Other English translations are no better then Tagore for the same reasons.
Here at least the English reader will have a truer understanding of the meaning of Kabir's poem/verse.
____________________________________________________________________________________

 
Chalti Chakki Dekh Kar, Diya Kabira Roye
Do Paatan Ke Beech Mein,Sabit Bacha Na Koye
Translation
Watching the grinding stones, the Light Kabir Cries
Inside the Two Stones, no one survives

Meaning:
Kabir sees the grinding stones as the duality that we live in. Heaven and earth, Good and Bad, Male and Female, High and Low - all around is duality. This play of opposites, this Chalti Chakki (moving mill) gets everyone, no one is save from in it's powerful grip.
Whoever enters this duality is crushed. No one survives. Kabir cries because rarely, if ever, does one see the oneness, the divinity, behind the duality.
_________________________________________________________________

Bura Jo Dekhan Main Chala, Bura Naa Milya Koye
Jo Munn Khoja Apnaa, To Mujhse Bura Naa Koye
Translation
I went on the search for the Bad Guy, Bad Guy I couldn't find
When I searched my mind, Non one is Nastier then Me

Meaning
This Doha is about observing ones own mind. Kabir says that he searched the world for the bad guy, the real evil person but he couldn't find the evil person no matter where he looked. Then he looked within at his own thinking process, his own mind. The he found the real evil person who lived in his mind, unchecked. When we accuse, condemn another, it is our mind that is doing the finger pointing, the other person is probably innocent or the victim of his circumstances. Were we to inhabit the condemned persons body, live his life, have his conditioning, then we too would behave and act the same.
_________________________________________________________________

Kaal Kare So Aaj Kar, Aaj Kare So Ub
Pal Mein Pralaya Hoyegi, Bahuri Karoge Kub
Translation
Tomorrows work do today, today's work now
If the moment is lost, how will the work be done?
Meaning
Do the work that needs to be done now. There is no other time then now.
_________________________________________________________________

 
Aisee Vani Boliye, Mun Ka Aapa Khoye
Apna Tan Sheetal Kare, Auran Ko Sukh Hoye
Translation
Speak such words, you lose the minds Ego
Body remains composed, Others Find Peace
Meaning
In speech use such words that your ego is eliminated. Don't brag, don't gloat, don't make yourself out to be big, important, rich or anything else that the ego attaches to. Building the Ego takes energy from the body, takes away the bodies composure. If ego is lost in ones speech, the listener finds peace from listening to it.
_________________________________________________________________

 
Dheere Dheere Re Mana, Dheere Sub Kutch Hoye
Mali Seenche So Ghara, Ritu Aaye Phal Hoye
Translation
Slowly slowly stay my mind, Slowly everything happens
Gardner may water garden a hundred times, When the Season comes, there is fruit
Meaning
Kabir tells his mind to slow down, everything in life happens slowly, in its own time. The fruit only comes when the season comes, so will the fruit of life come in its own time.
_________________________________________________________________

 
Sayeen Itna Deejiye, Ja Mein Kutumb Samaye
Main Bhi Bhookha Na Rahun, Sadhu Na Bhookha Jaye
Translation
God, give me so, so much wealth, that my community is fed
I don't remain hungry, the Sadhu does not go hungry
Meaning
Kabir asks God for wealth, abundance. He asks that his community is fed, he does not starve and the visiting Sadhu (holy man) does not go hungry. He does not ask for a mansion, a mercedes or millions in a swiss bank account!

_________________________________________________________________

 
Bada Hua To Kya Hua, Jaise Ped Khajoor
Panthi Ko Chaya Nahin, Phal Laage Atidoor
Translation
If You are Big so what? Just like a date tree
No shade for travelers, fruit is hard to reach
Meaning
Being bid, important, poweful, wealthy is of no consequnce - Kabir likens this to a date tree that does not give shade to the traveller and its fruit is out reach.

_________________________________________________________________

 
Jaise Til Mein Tel Hai, Jyon Chakmak Mein Aag
Tera Sayeen Tujh Mein Hai, Tu Jaag Sake To Jaag
Translation
Like the Oil is inside the Seed, Just as the Fire is Inside the Flint Stone
Your God is Inside You, If you have the Power to Wake Up, then Wake Up
Meaning
God is within, like the oil in the seed - wake up if you have the power to.
 
_________________________________________________________________

Mangan Maran Saman Hai, Mat Koi Mange Beekh
Mangan Se Marna Bhala, Yeh Satguru Ki Seekh
Translation
Begging is like dying, Let no one Beg
It is better to die than beg, this is the SatGuru's Message
Meaning
Don't beg - give that you may receive. Give time, give some service, give friendship, give love - don't beg.

_________________________________________________________________

Maya Mari Na Mun Mara, Mar Mar Gaye Shareer
Asha Trishna Na Mari, Keh Gaye Das Kabir
Translation
Neither Maya Died, Nor the Mind Died, Die and die again People/Bodies
Hope and delusion have not died, so said Das Kabir and left
Meaning
One of Kabir most meaningful doha's for me. Kabir observes the world from within, and sees the world as Maya - illusion. It is projected by Mun, the mind, the collective mind. Shareer refers to the living body or living person. Shareer's die and die again.
There is hope that this will end, that the Shareer will wake up and then Maya and Mun will die.

_________________________________________________________________

Kabira Khara Bazaar Mein, Mange Sabki Khair
Na Kahu Se Dosti, Na Kahu Se Bair
Translation
Kabira Stands in the market place, Asks for everyones prosperity
Neither special friendship nor enmity for anyone
Meaning
In the market place, Kabor wishes goodwill to all.
_________________________________________________________________

 
Kabir Man Nirmal Bhaya, Jaise Ganga Neer
Pache Pache Har Phire, Kahat Kabir Kabir
Translation
Kabir Washed His Mind Clean, Like The Holy Ganges River
Everyone follows behind, Saying Kabir, Kabir
Meaning
Kabir cleaned his own mind - for more on cleaning your mind see www.kabirmahasabha.co.cc
Everyone now follows Kabir.
_________________________________________________________________

 
Pothi Padh Padh Kar Jag Mua, Pandit Bhayo Na Koye
Dhai Aakhar Prem Ke, Jo Padhe so Pandit Hoye
Translation
Reading Books and Scriptures everyone died, No one became Pandit
Two and Half Words of Love, Who ever reads, Pandit he becomes
Meaning
Forget about book learning, no mater how many books you read, you won't become wise, you won't became the Pundit. A few words of love and you'll become Pundit. Try it.
_________________________________________________________________

 
Dukh Mein Simran Sab Kare, Sukh Mein Kare Na Koye
Jo Sukh Mein Simran Kare, Tau Dukh Kahe Ko Hoye
Translation
While Suffering everyone Prays and Remembers Him, in joy no one does
If one prays and remembers Him in happiness, why would sorrow come?
Meaning
The suffering you experience in the world is designed to wake you up. You wake up when you realize God. If you did that during your happy times, then you will not experience suffering.
_________________________________________________________________

 
Gur Dhobi Sikh Kapda, Saboo Sirjan Har
Surti Sila Pur Dhoiye, Nikse Jyoti Apaar
Translation
Guru is the wash man, Sikh is the cloth , God the soap
Wash the mind thoroughly clean, Out Comes The Glow of Truth
Meaning
Life is process of cleansing - hence this site, which is about Mind and Body Cleansing.
_________________________________________________________________

 
Jeevat Samjhe Jeevat Bujhe, Jeevat He Karo Aas
Jeevat Karam Ki Fansi Na Kaati, Mue Mukti Ki Aas  
Translation
Alive one sees, alive one knows, find your liberation while alive
If Alive you do not cut the noose of your attachments , how will there be liberation with death?
 
Meaning
You need to wake up while you are alive, it is your only chance. You need to drop the ties of attachments to illusory things that bind you in illusion. This can only be done while alive, death is not a liberator.
_________________________________________________________________

 
Akath Kahani Prem Ki, Kutch Kahi Na Jaye
Goonge Keri Sarkara, Baithe Muskae
Translation
Inexpressible is the story of Love , It goes without Saying
Like the dumb guy who eat sweet Sarkara, he only Smiles
 
Meaning
The story of love is to be experienced, it can not be expressed, it can be known and felt - but not by the five senses.
_________________________________________________________________

 
Chinta Aisee Dakini, Kat Kaleja Khaye
Vaid Bichara Kya Kare, Kahan Tak Dawa Lagaye
Translation

Worry is such a Thief, it eats one's heart
What can the poor doctor do, How far will his medicine reach?
 
Meaning
Don't worry, be happy.
_________________________________________________________________

 
Kabira Garv Na Keejiye, Uncha Dekh Aavaas
Kaal Paron Punyah Letna, Ouper Jamsi Ghaas
Translation
Kabir , Don't be so proud and vain, Looking at your high mansion
Tomorow you'll lie under feet, On top will grow Grass

Meaning
Don't be proud and vain, tomorrow you'll be lying six foot under feet, on top will grow grass that goats and sheep will eat!
_________________________________________________________________

 
Kabira Garv Na Keejiye, Kaal Gahe Kar Kes
Na Jaane Kit Mare Hai, Kya Des Kya Pardesh
Translation
Kabir , Don't be so proud and vain, The clutches of Time are dark
Who knows where it will kill , Whether at home or abroad
 
Meaning
Again don't be proud and vain, who knows when or where time will kill.
_________________________________________________________________

 
Kabira Kiya Kutch Na Hote Hai, Ankiya Sab Hoye
Jo Kiya Kutch Hote Hai, Karta Aur Koye
Translation
On Kabir's saying nothing happens , What I don't do does come to pass
If anything happens as if my doing, It is done by someone else
 
Meaning
All things happen as per Gods wish, it just seems that we are doing them.
_________________________________________________________________

Jyon Naino Mein Putli, Tyon Maalik Ghat Mahin
Moorakh Log Na Janhin, Baahar Dhudhan Jahin
Translation
Like the pupil is in the eyes , Your God lives inside you,
The ignorant don't know this, they search Him on the outside
 
Meaning
God is within, the ignorant look for Him on the outside.
_________________________________________________________________

 
Jab Tun Aaya Jagat Mein, Log Hanse Tu Roye
Aise Karni Na Kari, Pache Hanse Sab Koye
Translation
When you came in to this world , Everyone laughed while you cried
Don't do such work, That they laugh when you are gone
 
Meaning
Do good work.
_________________________________________________________________

Pehle Agan Birha Ki, Pachhe Prem Ki Pyas
Kahe Kabir Tub Janiye, Naam Milan Ki Aaas
Translation
First the pain of separation, then the thirst for Love
Says Kabir, only then will you know Joy of the Union.
Meaning
First the pain of separation, then love. Only from the pain of separation do we feel the pangs of love. There is then hope of union. This is the story of life - the lovers meeting, separating, the pangs of love and the urge for union and the eventual union. In Sufi tradition it is a reflection of man and God - realization of the separation from God, the pangs of love and urge for union with God, and the eventual joy of union.

_________________________________________________________________

Aag Jo Lagi Samand Mein, Dhuan Na Pargat Hoye
So Jane Jo Jarmua, Jaki Lagi Hoye
Translation
The Ocean is on Fire, The Smoke is not Visible
He Knows Who Has Been there and been Burnt
Meaning
Experience teaches, the one who has felt the fire knows it - when you know, you know.
_________________________________________________________________

 
Kabir So Dhan Sanchiye, Jo Aage Ko Hoye
Sees Charaye Potli, Le Jaat Na Dekhya Koye

Translation
Kabir, save the wealth that remains in this Moment
Departing with a bag of material wealth, no one has yet been seen.
 

Meaning
Enjoy the present moment. Accumulating wealth for tomorrow is a waste because tomorrow you will die. This is a certainty. No one has been seen that managed to take his material wealth with him.

_________________________________________________________________


Aasa Jive Jag Marey, Log Marey Mar Jayee
Soyee Sube Dhan Sanchate, So Ubrey Jey Khayee
Translation
Hope yet lives, the world dies, people die and die again
Perish yet hoarding wealth, spend and freedom attain
Meaning
Hope is that people will wake up, drop their attachments and hoardings and be free from the clutches of illusion.
_________________________________________________________________

 
Ek Kahun To Hai Nahin, Do Kahun To Gaari 
Hai Jaisa Taisa Rahe, Kahe Kabir Bichari  
Translation
If I say one, It is not; If I say two, it will be a violation
Let 'It' be whatever 'It' is, so says Kabir contemplating
Meaning
There is a oneness behind the apparent diversity. But oneness is not seen. Yet if I accept duality, it would be a violation, a false acceptance. Let it be, whatever it is - I'll drop the analyzing.

_________________________________________________________________

Kabir Yeh Ghar Prem Ka, Khala Ka Ghar Nahin
Sees Utaare Hath Kar, So Pasey Ghar Mahin
Translation
Kabir, this is the House of Love , Not the house of your Aunt
Who has dropped his barriers, He can pass in to the House
Meaning
You are born to Love, not sit around as if at your Aunts place. Love is not a process of seeking, but a process of dropping ones own mental barriers to love.
_________________________________________________________________

 
Maala To Kar Mein Phire, Jeebh Phire Mukh Mahin
Manua To Chahun Dish Phire, Yeh To Simran Nahin
Translation
The rosary rotating by the hand, the tongue twisting in the mouth,
With the mind wandering everywhere, this isn't meditation
(Counting the Rosary, Repeating Mantras, If the Mind is Traveling - this is not meditation)
Meaning
Control the mind, not the beads or the words.

_________________________________________________________________

Kabir Maala Kaath Kee, Kahi Samjhave Tohi
Man Na Firave Aapna, Kaha Firave Mohi
Translation
Kabir, the rosary made of wooden beads, what can it teach you?
If you don't control your minds motion, why control the beads motion?
Meaning
Control the mind, not the beads.
_________________________________________________________________

 
Jab Mein Tha Tab Hari Nahin‚ Jab Hari Hai Mein Nahin
Sab Andhiyara Mit Gaya‚ Jab Deepak Dekhya Mahin
Translation
When I was, then Hari (God) was not, Now Hari is and I am not
All the darkness dissolved, When I saw the light within.
  
Meaning
Before duality, God was and I was not. Now I am, and God is not seen. Darkness dissolved when I saw God within me.
_________________________________________________________________

 
Moond Munddavat Din Gaye‚ Ajhun Na Miliya Raam
Raam Naam Kahu Kya Karey‚ Je Man Ke Aurey Kaam
Translation
Shaving the head Ages have passed, yet no union with God
Recitation of Gods Name is futile, when the mind is doing something else

Meaning
Control the mind - observe it.

_________________________________________________________________

Keson Kaha Bigadia, Je Moonde Sau Baar
Man Ko Kahe Na Moondiye, Jaamein Vishey Vikaar
Translation
What harm have the hair done, you shave them hundred times 
Why not shave the mind, there grow unchecked countless poisonous thoughts   

Meaning
Clean the Mind - for more, see www.kabirmahasabha.co.cc
_________________________________________________________________

 
Kabir Soota Kya Kare, Koore Kaaj Niwaar
Jis Panthu Tu Chaalna, Soyee Panth Samwaar
Translation
Kabir, why do you sleep? Leave the useless tasks
Be focused on the path which you were meant to tread
Meaning
Focus on the thing that you really love to do, the path you were meant to follow.

_________________________________________________________________

Kabira Teri Jhompri Gal Katiyan Ke Paas
Jo Karenge So Bharenge Tu Kyon Bhayo Udaas

Translation
Kabir, Your Hut Is Next to the Butchers
Who does, he will face the consequnces, Why are you sad?
Meaning
Don't concern your self too much with other peoples actions - they will have to face the consequences, not for you to be sad.
_________________________________________________________________

 
Kabir Soyee Soorma, Man Soon Maande Jhoojh
Panch Pyada Paari Le, Door Kare Sab Dooj
Translation
Kabir, He alone is the Warrior , who takes on the mind head-on
Crushing the sensual five, all duality gone

Meaning
The real fighter, the real Warrior is the one who takes on his own mind.The Mind controls the 'sensual five', the five senses of sight, sound, touch, smell. These senses tell us lies, they tell us that duality exist, though we know that it does not.

5 comments:

Brijesh Kothari said...

Really Superb!!..Thanks for sharing!! :)

milinddesai said...

Brilliant Stuff.

cifar shayar said...

speachless,shandaar,kabir ji ko mera salaam.
kuch aur sufi poets ko padhne ke liye aap http://www.cifarshayar.blogspot.in

kaushik agrawal said...

kabir is supreme god, he has created the world..

Ghulam Abbas Soomro said...

Is any book in pdf urdu

Post a Comment