Kabir quotes

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Kabir

Birthdate: 1440
Date of death: 1518
Other names: ڀڳت ڪبير

Kabir Das 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 Guru Granth Sahib. His early life was in a Muslim family, but he was strongly influenced by his teacher, the Hindu bhakti leader Ramananda. Kabir was born in the Indian city of Varanasi but spent most of his life in the city of Faridabad near Delhi.

Kabir is known for being critical of both Hinduism and Islam, stating followers of both were misguided by the Vedas and 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, considering 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, Rāma. Kabir's legacy survives and continues through the Kabir panth , a religious community that recognises him as its founder and is one of the Sant Mat sects. Its members are known as Kabir panthis.

Wikipedia

„I have come to save the devotees. I was sent here because the world was seen in misery.“

—  Kabir

Quoted in Tara Chand, Influence of Islam on Indian Culture, The Indian Press (Allahabad, 1946). pp.150-151. Quoted from K.S. Lal, Indian muslims, who are they, 1990.

„A diamond was laying in the street covered with dirt. Many fools passed by. Someone who knew diamonds picked it up.“

—  Kabir

Sakhi, 171; translation by Yashwant K. Malaiya based on that of Puran Sahib.
Bijak

„O friend! hope for Him whilst you live, know whilst you live, understand whilst you live: for in life deliverance abides.“

—  Kabir

Songs of Kabîr (1915)
Context: 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.

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„They call Him Emptiness who is the Truth of truths, in Whom all truths are stored!“

—  Kabir

Songs of Kabîr (1915)
Context: They call Him Emptiness who is the Truth of truths, in Whom all truths are stored!
There within Him creation goes forward, which is beyond all philosophy; for philosophy cannot attain to Him: There is an endless world, O my Brother! and there is the Nameless Being, of whom naught can be said.
Only he knows it who has reached that region: it is other than all that is heard and said.
No form, no body, no length, no breadth is seen there: how can I tell you that which it is?

„Admire the diamond that can bear the hits of a hammer.“

—  Kabir

Sakhi, 168; translation by Yashwant K. Malaiya based on that of Puran Sahib.
Bijak
Context: Admire the diamond that can bear the hits of a hammer. Many deceptive preachers, when critically examined, turn out to be false.

„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.“

—  Kabir

Songs of Kabîr (1915)
Context: 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.

„Open your eyes of love, and see Him who pervades this world!“

—  Kabir

Songs of Kabîr (1915)
Context: Open your eyes of love, and see Him who pervades this world! consider it well, and know that this is your own country.

„O servant, where dost thou seek Me?
Lo! I am beside thee.“

—  Kabir

Variant translation: Are you looking for me? I am in the next seat.
My shoulder is against yours.
you will not find me in the stupas, not in Indian shrine
rooms, nor in synagogues, nor in cathedrals:
not in masses, nor kirtans, not in legs winding
around your own neck, nor in eating nothing but
vegetables.
When you really look for me, you will see me
instantly —
you will find me in the tiniest house of time.
As paraphrased by Robert Bly in The Kabir Book (1977)
Songs of Kabîr (1915)
Context: 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.

„Only he knows it who has reached that region: it is other than all that is heard and said.“

—  Kabir

Songs of Kabîr (1915)
Context: They call Him Emptiness who is the Truth of truths, in Whom all truths are stored!
There within Him creation goes forward, which is beyond all philosophy; for philosophy cannot attain to Him: There is an endless world, O my Brother! and there is the Nameless Being, of whom naught can be said.
Only he knows it who has reached that region: it is other than all that is heard and said.
No form, no body, no length, no breadth is seen there: how can I tell you that which it is?

„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.“

—  Kabir

Songs of Kabîr (1915)
Context: 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.

„It cannot be told by the words of the mouth, it cannot be written on paper“

—  Kabir

Songs of Kabîr (1915)
Context: He comes to the Path of the Infinite on whom the grace of the Lord descends: he is freed from births and deaths who attains to Him.
Kabîr says: "It cannot be told by the words of the mouth, it cannot be written on paper: It is like a dumb person who tastes a sweet thing — how shall it be explained?"

„Kabîr says, "O Sadhu! God is the breath of all breath."“

—  Kabir

Variant translation: Kabir says: Student, tell me, what is God?
He is the breath inside the breath
As translated by Stephen Mitchell in The Enlightened Heart (1993)
Songs of Kabîr (1915)

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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