Observations & meditations on the day-to-day
Poem of the month – May ’17
I love the scathing intensity of Kabir, the passion that makes his uncompromising bluntness so endearing!
KABIR: Friend, Hope For The Guest While You Are Alive.
Friend, hope for the Guest while you are alive.
Jump into experience while you are alive!
Think… and think… while you are alive.
What you call ‘salvation’ belongs to the time
If you don’t break your ropes while you’re alive,
do you think
ghosts will do it after?
The idea that the soul will join with the ecstatic
just because the body is rotten—
that is all fantasy.
What is found now is found then.
If you find nothing now,
you will simply end up with an apartment
in the City of Death.
If you make love with the divine now, in the next life
you will have the face of satisfied desire.
So plunge into the truth, find out who the Teacher is,
believe in the Great Sound!
Kabir says this: When the Guest is being searched for,
it is the intensity of the longing for the Guest
that does all the work.
Look at me, and you will see a slave of that intensity.
Born sometime around 1400 in Lahartara near Kashi (present-day Varanasi), it is believed he died around 1448.
Kabir was a 15th-century Indian mystic poet and saint, whose writings influenced Hinduism’s Bhakti movement and his verses are found in Sikhism’s scripture Adi Granth. His early life was in a Muslim family, but he was strongly influenced by his teacher, the Hindu bhakti leader Ramananda.
Kabir is known for being critical of both Hinduism and Islam, stating that the former was misguided by the Vedas and the latter by the Quran, and questioning their meaningless rites of initiation such as the sacred thread and circumcision respectively. During his lifetime, he was threatened by both Hindus and Muslims for his views. When he died, both Hindus and Muslims he had inspired claimed him as theirs.
Kabir suggested that True God is with the person who is on the path of righteousness, considered all creatures on earth as his own self, and who is passively detached from the affairs of the world. To know God, suggested Kabir, meditate with the mantra Rāma.
Kabir’s legacy survives and continues through the Kabir panth (“Path of Kabir”), a religious community that recognises him as its founder and is one of the Sant Mat sects. Its members are known as Kabir panthis.