Kabir says, rare listeners
hear the song right.
I don’t touch ink or paper,
this hand never grasped a pen.
The greatness of four ages
Kabir tells with his mouth alone.
Listen, I see the world is mad.
If I tell the truth they rush to beat me,
if I lie they trust me.
“God! God!” they cry,
till there’s a callus on their tongue.
If saying God gave liberation,
saying candy made your mouth sweet,
saying fire burned your feet,
saying water quenched your thirst,
saying food banished hunger,
the whole world would be free.
I’ve burned my own house down,
the torch is in my hand.
Now I’ll burn down the house of anyone
who wants to follow me.7
Who can I tell?
And who will believe it ?
When the bee touches that flower,
There’s no creation or creator there,
no gross or fine, no wind or fire,
no sun, moon, earth or water,
no radiant form, no time there,
no word, no flesh, no faith,
no cause and effect, nor any thought
of the Veda. No Hari or Brahma,
no Shiva or Shakti, no pilgrimage
and no rituals. No mother, father
or guru there…
Into a lion’s coat
rushes a goat.
You’ll recognize him by his talk.
The word reveals.
You don’t find:
diamonds in storerooms,
sandal trees in rows,
lions in flocks,
holy men in herds.
Use the strength of your own arm,
stop putting hope in others.
When the river flows through your own yard,
how can you die of thirst?
No customers for the word,
the price is high.
Without paying, you can’t get it,
so move on by.
The road the pandits took,
The Truth’s pass is a high one.
Kabir keeps climbing.
Man in his stupid acts:
iron mail from head to toe.
Why bother to raise your bow ?
No arrow can pierce that.
When there isn’t a trace
of creation or destruction,
what do you meditate on ?
Pandit, do some research
and let me know
how to destroy transiency.
Money, religion, pleasure, salvation—
which way do they stay, brother?
North, South, East or West?
In heaven or the underworld?
If God is everywhere, where is hell ?
The fearful things that everyone fears,
I don’t fear.
I’m not confused about sin and purity,
heaven and hell.
Kabir says, seekers, listen:
Wherever you are
is the entry point.
A man’s wife goes with him to the door,
his friends go a few steps more.
At the corpse-ground there’s only the stretcher.
After that, swan, you’re on your own.
Everyone says words, words.
That word is bodiless.
It won’t come on the tongue.
See it, test it, take it.
The mind is a nervous thief,
the mind is a pure cheat.
The ruin of sages, men and gods,
the mind has a hundred thousand gates.
Keep remembering God,
Death has you by the hair.
He’ll strike at home or in foreign lands,
you never know when or where.