Kabir: The Divine Melody

The Divine Melody

O Brother: when I was forgetful,
my true Guru showed me the Way.
Then I left all rites and ceremonies,
I bathed no more in the holy water:
Then I learned that it was I alone who was mad,
and the whole world beside me was sane;
and I had disturbed these wise people.
From that time forth I knew no more
how to roll in the dust in obeisance:
I do not ring the temple bell:
I do not set the idol on its throne:
1 do not worship the image with flowers.

It is not the austerities that mortify the flesh
which are pleasing to the Lord.
When you leave off your clothes and kill your senses,
you do not please the Lord:
The man who is kind and who practises righteousness,
who remains passive amidst the affairs of the world,
who considers all creatures on earth as his own self,
He attains the Immortal Being,
the true God is ever with him.

Kabir says: He attains the true Name
whose words are pure,
and who is free from pride and conceit.’


The yogi dyes his garments,
instead of dyeing his mind in the colours of love:
He sits within the temple of the Lord,
leaving Brahma to worship a stone.
He pierces holes in his ears,
he has a great beard and matted locks,
he looks like a goat:
He goes forth into the wilderness,
killing all his desires,
and turns himself into an eunuch.
He shaves his head and dyes his garments;
he reads the Gita and becomes a mighty talker.

Kabir says: `You are going to the doors of death,
bound hand and foot.’


I hear the melody of his flute,
and I cannot contain myself:
The flower blooms, though it is not spring;
and already the bee has received its invitation.
The sky roars and the lightning flashes,
the waves arise in my heart,
The rain falls;
and my heart longs for my Lord.
Where the rhythm of the world rises and falls,
thither my heart has reached:
There the hidden banners are fluttering in the air.

Kabir says: `My heart is dying,
though it lives.’


He who is meek and contented,
he who has an equal vision,
whose mind is filled with the fullness
of acceptance and of rest;
He who has seen Him and touched Him,
he is freed from all fear and trouble.
To him the perpetual thought of God
is like sandal paste smeared on the body,
to him nothing else is delight:
His work and his rest are filled with music:
he sheds abroad the radiance of love.

Kabir says: `Touch His feet,
who is one and indivisible, immutable and peaceful;
who fills all vessels to the brim with joy,
and whose form is love.’


Go thou to the company of the good,
where the Beloved One has His dwelling place:
Take all thy thoughts and love and instruction from thence.
Let that assembly be burnt to ashes
where His Name is not spoken!
Tell me, how couldst thou hold a wedding-feast,
if the bridegroom himself were not there?
Waver no more, think only of the Beloved;
Set not thy heart on the worship of other gods,
there is no worth in the worship of other masters.
Kabir deliberates and says:
`Thus thou shalt never find the Beloved!’


I am neither pious nor ungodly,
I live neither by law nor by sense,
I am neither a speaker nor hearer,
I am neither a servant nor master,
I am neither bond nor free,
I am neither detached nor attached.
I am far from none:
I am near to none.
I shall go neither to hell nor to heaven.
I do all works; yet I am apart from all works.
Few comprehend my meaning:
he who can comprehend it, he sits unmoved.
Kabir seeks neither to establish nor to destroy.


The harp gives forth murmurous music;
and the dance goes on without hands and feet.
It is played without fingers,
it is heard without ears:
for He is the ear, and He is the listener.
The gate is locked, but within there is fragrance:
and there the meeting is seen of none.
The wise shall understand it.


To whom shall I go to learn about my Beloved?
Kabir says: `As you never may find the forest
if you ignore the tree,
so He may never be found in abstractions.’


O Sadhu: my land is a sorrowless land.
I cry aloud to all, to the king and the beggar,
the emperor and the fakir
Whosoever seeks for shelter in the Highest,
let all come and settle in my land:
Let the weary come and lay his burdens here:

So live here, my brother,
that you may cross with ease to that other shore.
It is a land without earth or sky,
without moon or stars:
For only the radiance of Truth
shines in my Lord’s Durbar.
Kabir says: `O beloved brother:
naught is essential save Truth.’

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