From Songs of Kabir, by Rabindranath Tagore


II. 59.
cet acet khambh du

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.


Einstein and Tagore

The full text of Tagore’s Songs of Kabir is online at
Project Gutenberg, link.


I. 13. mo ko kahân dhûnro bande

O servant, where dost thou seek Me?
Lo! I am beside thee.
I am neither in temple nor in mosque: I am neither in Kaaba nor in Kailash:
Neither am I in rites and ceremonies, nor in Yoga and renunciation.
If thou art a true seeker, thou shalt at once see Me: thou shalt meet Me in a moment of time.
Kabîr says, "O Sadhu! God is the breath of all breath."

I. 16. Santan jât na pûcho nirguniyân

It is needless to ask of a saint the caste to which he belongs;
For the priest, the warrior. the tradesman, and all the
thirty-six castes, alike are seeking for God.
It is but folly to ask what the caste of a saint may be;
The barber has sought God, the washerwoman, and the carpenter--
Even Raidas was a seeker after God.
The Rishi Swapacha was a tanner by caste.
Hindus and Moslems alike have achieved that End, where remains no
mark of distinction.

I. 57. sâdho bhâî, jîval hî karo âs'â

O friend! hope for Him whilst you live, know whilst you live,
understand whilst you live: for in life deliverance abides.
If your bonds be not broken whilst living, what hope of
deliverance in death?
It is but an empty dream, that the soul shall have union with Him
because it has passed from the body:
If He is found now, He is found then,
If not, we do but go to dwell in the City of Death.
If you have union now, you shall have it hereafter.
Bathe in the truth, know the true Guru, have faith in the true Name!
Kabîr says: "It is the Spirit of the quest which helps; I am the
slave of this Spirit of the quest."

I. 58. bâgo nâ jâ re nâ jâ

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.

I. 63. avadhû, mâyâ tajî na jây

Tell me, Brother, how can I renounce Maya?
When I gave up the tying of ribbons, still I tied my garment about me:
When I gave up tying my garment, still I covered my body in its folds.
So, when I give up passion, I see that anger remains;
And when I renounce anger, greed is with me still;
And when greed is vanquished, pride and vainglory remain;
When the mind is detached and casts Maya away, still it clings to the letter.
Kabîr says, "Listen to me, dear Sadhu! the true path is rarely found."

I. 83. candâ jhalkai yahi ghat mâhîn

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
The musk is in the deer, but it seeks it not within itself: it wanders in quest of grass.

I. 85. Sâdho, Brahm alakh lakhâyâ

When He Himself reveals Himself, Brahma brings into manifestation
That which can never be seen.
As the seed is in the plant, as the shade is in the tree, as the void is in the sky, as infinite forms are in the void--
So from beyond the Infinite, the Infinite comes; and from the Infinite the finite extends.

The creature is in Brahma, and Brahma is in the creature: they
are ever distinct, yet ever united.
He Himself is the tree, the seed, and the germ.
He Himself is the flower, the fruit, and the shade.
He Himself is the sun, the light, and the lighted.
He Himself is Brahma, creature, and Maya.
He Himself is the manifold form, the infinite space;
He is the breath, the word, and the meaning.
He Himself is the limit and the limitless: and beyond both the limited and the limitless is He, the Pure Being.
He is the Immanent Mind in Brahma and in the creature.

The Supreme Soul is seen within the soul,
The Point is seen within the Supreme Soul,
And within the Point, the reflection is seen again.
Kabîr is blest because he has this supreme vision!

I. 101. is ghat antar bâg bagîce

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.
Kabîr says: "Listen to me, my Friend! My beloved Lord is within."

I. 104. aisâ lo nahîn taisâ lo

O How may I ever express that secret word?
O how can I say He is not like this, and He is like that?
If I say that He is within me, the universe is ashamed:
If I say that He is without me, it is falsehood.
He makes the inner and the outer worlds to be indivisibly one;
The conscious and the unconscious, both are His footstools.
He is neither manifest nor hidden, He is neither revealed nor unrevealed:
There are no words to tell that which He is.

I. 121. tohi mori lagan lagâye re phakîr wâ

To Thee Thou hast drawn my love, O Fakir!
I was sleeping in my own chamber, and Thou didst awaken me; striking me with Thy voice, O Fakir!
I was drowning in the deeps of the ocean of this world, and
Thou didst save me: upholding me with Thine arm, O Fakir!
Only one word and no second--and Thou hast made me tear off all my bonds, O Fakir!
Kabîr says, "Thou hast united Thy heart to my heart, O Fakir!"

III. 12. samskirit bhâshâ padhi lînhâ

I have learned the Sanskrit language, so let all men call me
But where is the use of this, when I am floating adrift, and
parched with thirst, and burning with the heat of desire?
To no purpose do you bear on your head this load of pride and vanity.
Kabîr says: "Lay it down in the dust, and go forth to meet the Beloved. Address Him as your Lord."

III. 110. carkhâ calai surat virahin kâ

The woman who is parted from her lover spins at the spinning
The city of the body arises in its beauty;
and within it the
palace of the mind has been built.
The wheel of love revolves in the sky, and the seat is made of the jewels of knowledge:
What subtle threads the woman weaves, and makes them fine with love and reverence!
Kabîr says: "I am weaving the garland of day and night.
When my
Lover comes and touches me with His feet, I shall offer Him my tears."

III. 111. kotîn bhânu candra târâgan

Beneath the great umbrella of my King millions of suns and moons
and stars are shining!
He is the Mind within my mind: He is the Eye within mine eye.
Ah, could my mind and eyes be one! Could my love but reach to my Lover! Could but the fiery heat of my heart be cooled!
Kabîr says: "When you unite love with the Lover, then you have love's perfection."

I. 92. avadhû begam des' hamârâ

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.
Kabîr says: "O beloved brother! naught is essential save Truth."

I. 109. sâîn ke sangat sâsur âî

Came with my Lord to my Lord's home: but I lived not with Him and
I tasted Him not, and my youth passed away like a dream.
On my wedding night my women-friends sang in chorus, and I was anointed with the unguents of pleasure and pain:
But when the ceremony was over, I left my Lord and came away, and my kinsman tried to console me upon the road.
Kabîr says, "I shall go to my Lord's house with my love at my side; then shall I sound the trumpet of triumph!"

I. 75. samajh dekh man mît piyarwâ

O friend, dear heart of mine, think well! if you love indeed,
then why do you sleep?
If you have found Him, then give yourself utterly, and take Him to you.
Why do you loose Him again and again?
If the deep sleep of rest has come to your eyes, why waste your time making the bed and arranging the pillows?
Kabîr says: "I tell you the ways of love! Even though the head itself must be given, why should you weep over it?"

II. 90. sâhab ham men, sâhab tum men

The Lord is in me, the Lord is in you, as life is in every seed.
O servant! put false pride away, and seek for Him within you.
A million suns are ablaze with light,
The sea of blue spreads in the sky,
The fever of life is stilled, and all stains are washed away; when I sit in the midst of that world.
Hark to the unstruck bells and drums! Take your delight in love!
Rains pour down without water, and the rivers are streams of light.
One Love it is that pervades the whole world, few there are who know it fully:
They are blind who hope to see it by the light of reason, that reason which is the cause of separation--
The House of Reason is very far away!
How blessed is Kabîr, that amidst this great joy he sings within his own vessel.
It is the music of the meeting of soul with soul;
It is the music of the forgetting of sorrows;
It is the music that transcends all coming in and all going forth.

II. 98. ritu phâgun niyarânî

The month of March draws near: ah, who will unite me to my Lover?
How shall I find words for the beauty of my Beloved? For He is merged in all beauty.
His colour is in all the pictures of the world, and it bewitches the body and the mind.
Those who know this, know what is this unutterable play of the Spring.
Kabîr says: "Listen to me, brother' there are not many who have found this out."

II. 111. Nârad, pyâr so antar nâhî

Oh Narad! I know that my Lover cannot be far:
When my Lover wakes, I wake; when He sleeps, I sleep.
He is destroyed at the root who gives pain to my Beloved. Where they sing His praise, there I live;
When He moves, I walk before Him: my heart yearns for my Beloved.
The infinite pilgrimage lies at His feet, a million devotees are seated there.
Kabîr says: "The Lover Himself reveals the glory of true love."

II. 122. kôî prem kî peng jhulâo re

Hang up the swing of love to-day! Hang the body and the mind
between the arms of the Beloved, in the ecstasy of love's joy:
Bring the tearful streams of the rainy clouds to your eyes, and cover your heart with the shadow of darkness:
Bring your face nearer to His ear, and speak of the deepest longings of your heart.
Kabîr says: "Listen to me, brother! bring the vision of the Beloved in your heart."