About the Book
Sant Kabir was a great mystic and poet of the Bhakti era in India. His dohas (couplets) reverberated the consciousness of both the Hindu and Muslim populace alike, and helped in mitigating the superstitions and hypocrisies extant in the society during the time of Sant Kabir. Through his devotion- inspiring dohas, this secular poet rejuvenated the dormant spirituality of the people of his time.
This unique book,' a compilation of 300 original dohas of Sant Kabir that has been translated into English with a perfect rhyme and an erudite provision of elucidation, following each couplet, addresses the varied aspects of human life and behaviour, and poses challenges to the established belief and social systems of his time.
By interpreting these rhyming dohas, which are permeated with devotion, surrender, love, good conduct and satsang, while reminding people of good social behaviour, charity, vision, control on lust, among many core aspects of life, the author makes a sincere effort to give out the message of Kabir to every reader, deciphering it in simple English. This enables the new generation to understand, grasp and imbibe social, ethical and spiritual values, and empower themselves to face many challenges that may circumvent them in their day-to-day life.
The most outstanding feature of the book is that the author painstakingly tried to bring out the rhyme in translation of both the lines of each couplet.
About the Author
Dayal N. Harjani, a Mumbai born businessman, has been residing in Hong Kong since 1969. He goes by the pseudonym of Daduzen which he humbly depicts as slipping into his poetic world of "Dadu" and complemented by "Zen" for the kinship and inspiration that he derives from the meditativeness of the Zen monks and the Japanese culture.
Daduzen is a poet, philosopher, ardent student of Yoga, perhaps a reformist in the making , a writer, a yoga, perhaps a reformist in the making, a writer of spiritual articles and author of self-help books. His early life was influenced by Sufism and the mystical approach to life. He serves as the chairman of a charitable institution in Hong Kong that supports spiritual orientation, vocational training, midday meals and surgical grants to those in destitution.
He learns to live with altruistic aspirations of love and selfless service with an everlasting motto "Think clean, Act clean, and Live clean" for cleanliness is truly next to Godliness.
The agony and ecstasy of completing this book has been indeed the most overwhelming experience in my life.
It all started when my first English book titled "Laugh Your Way to Knowledge - Dance Your Way to God" had been completed in its manuscript stage. It was suggested by a friend to attach a scenic page with some sayings before the commencement of each chapter. Having browsed a few books on Kabir's couplets it was then decided to translate some of the couplets pertinent to each chapter in a rhyme. And so it came to pass that about twelve couplets were translated into English with as they say the perfect rhyme, for introducing in the book concerned.
Subsequently on reflections with a sense of boosted confidence and an infatuated ego, the desire to. undertake a Himalayan feat of translating about 300 couplets began to enthrall my consciousness. The journey commenced in the silence of one auspicious night and corroborated with a strange intuitive influx, began this arduous and ascending task.
It seemed there was some psychic help being rendered in all kindness and grace and after translating each couplet I was compelled to write "Thank you Saheb" on the Side of each translated couplet. Miraculously and relentlessly day after day in about twenty-one days or so about 240 couplets were completed in pen. Then came the abyss, the great gap in which this whole project was shelved for little over a decade. Reasons were many. First, I did not feel worthy of such moral and spiritual insight as reiterated by Kabir Saheb. Second, other influxes of a poetic nature and philosophical thoughts were being impressed every morning into my objective consciousness.
This gap was intuitively graced by completion of a self- published book Why Yoga for You, which was rated as the best selling book on yoga in Hong Kong by Dymocks.
With the stride of time, the mind was gushed with over 300 philosophical sayings similar to the ways of Kahlil Gibran, consolidation of about romantic and alleviating sixty poems, about 200 dohas in the style of Saheb, and finally the epitome of my efforts in the formation of a manuscript concerning sex, love, marriage and spirituality. I truly believe that this book will be the greatest boon to mankind. The difficulty now was finding a suitable publisher to take on these books and as all budding authors have experienced that finding a mighty or a meritorious publisher is like finding a needle in a haystack or finding the right guru in today's world marked by hypocrisy and blasphemy.
My efforts being abortive it dawned upon me that my induction in the recognized world of authors would be possible only by re-introducing Kabir Saheb with whom my ethos has been synthesized to some degree.
With tantalizing enchantment and warm memories of Saheb, I went back to my archives and completed the balance couplets with explanations for each. This time it was extremely difficult as some of Saheb's words and concepts were difficult to decipher.
None I found to poetically help
All immersed in mundane life
The voice of Saheb came to me
To allay my poetic strife
saheb baithe man me to chinta kahe hoye !
Iikhawanewala ekahi duja ho na koye !!
With the above verses ringing in my mind I plodded through the work with the assistance of few sympathetic and sincere friends, Sunder Chugani (Sandy), Priya Wadhwani and Mata Krishna Kashyap. I feel obliged to acknowledge their encouragement, support and assistance.
With the blessings of Swami Veda Bharati of the Himalayas, and his sincere recommendation, the right publisher came to light and with the vast experience and assistance of Susheel Mittal, it became possible to round off and refine all the couplets and the purports in this book.
This book, that connotes "wisdom" is replete with simple and ingenuous translations, merrily maintains the essence of Sant Kabir's divine communique of devotion, surrender and karma. It serves as a gentle reminder to the avid reader to pursue the core qualities of life much needed in today's time.
With these words, I humbly release the strings of this white dove of profundity and prosperity into the hands and hearts of each reader. May the sublime messages of this book transform each individual psyche into the divine, from here on to eternity.
In divine love and profound peace
On a lasting note on art of living:
Enough of sorrow, enough of strife
It's time to join hands and celebrate
If we learn to live with values spiritual
In the world, only joy will reverberate.
IT has been one of the most exhilarating moments of my life to complete about 300 couplets of Kabir Saheb in English in proper or perfect rhyme and in compliance with the meaning of the dohas (couplets) and in deliverance of their essence to the readers.
To add further clarification to the translation a purport has been provided to the best of my understanding and ability.
When this challenging task was undertaken, my mind was focused on two things:
1. The exact translation of the words.
2. The rhyme and musical aspect of the English version.
As I went from doha to doha with a feeling of conquest, I was however totally confounded by some couplets and found it almost impossible to stick to the exact translation and succeed in bring out the rhyme between the end words of the second and the last verses.
Realization dawned on me that it was an exercise in futility to rhyme certain translated words and uphold the melody of the English version.
Thereupon when coming across a couplet in which Saheb simply asserts that a thing is known by its content and not its form or size, my concept of translating altered to become liberal in adding some words of my own in certain dohas to achieve the melody and rhyme. These were ancillary words that served as a connotation to the essence.
This decision of taking the cue from Saheb himself paved the way for a rhythmic acceleration towards the completion. It is hoped that all my readers will enjoy reading this noble effort and work which has been bestowed upon me by some intuitive promptings or silent voice of the inner master.
A Glimpse into the Life and Teaching of Kabir Saheb
Kabir, respectfully known as Kabir Saheb to all his followers and disciples in the disciplic succession chain, was undoubtedly one of the greatest mystics, saints, and poets to have walked and graced upon this earth.
The birth of Kabir Saheb (1398) has been shrouded in the mists of mystery so we will leave this to the belief system of each reader. According to Baba Ramswaroopdas of Sri Kabir Ashram in Jamnagar, it was Monday morning the full moon of Jystha month 1455 Vikram Era (june E 1398) at the pre- dawn hours when Swami Astanga was meditating on the bank of Lahartara Pond, near the city of Varanasi, saw a light appear on the lotus flower in the pond. The light took the form of a baby. Swami Astanga was so shocked to see such miraculous sight and was wondered if this was a hallucination or a miracle of the super naturals. In awe and amazement he abandoned his meditation and anxiously ran to his guru, Swami Ramanand to narrate this incident.
Meanwhile a Muslim couple called Neeru and Neema passed by this pond only to see such a beautiful baby wriggling on a lotus flower. In enchantment Neema picked up this lovely aura-filled child and persuaded her reluctant husband to take the child home to raise him as their own as foster parents. And so it was done and so it was written.
However one of the most notable and intriguing part of Saheb's life is that at a tender age of five he decided to have a Hindu guru so that the Hindus in his time would be receptive to his sermons and teachings. It was customary in those days for a preacher to maintain his authenticity and authority and acceptability amongst the populace to be initiated and blessed by a living guru.
And so one day in the wee hours before dawn Saheb lay down on the steps of Pancaganga Ghat leading to the River Ganges as this was the time and place where Swami Ramanand, a renowned sage and guru used to come for his morning ablutions.
It was early dawn and Swami Ramanand descended the steps oblivious of Kabir lying down on one of the steps and lo! He stepped on Kabir's body and instantly Kabir reacted with a cry of pain. The Swami astounded by this incident and in remorse picked up the child and caressed and cajoled him with words of Ram Ram! And persuaded the child to say Ram Ram and surprisingly enough Swami's tulsfmala fell or slipped on to the neck of the child. And so it came to pass that Kabir Saheb was initiated with his magic mantra Ram and the garland of the tulsi mata. But the irony of all this was that Ramanand was not aware of the fact that Saheb took this incident as an initiation and came to regard him as his guru and had taken his utterances of Ram as his mantra of initiation.
As time went on Saheb realized the potentiality of this word Ram and emphasized its understanding to all his followers and mentioned several times in his couplets from time to time.
It is esoterically known by yogis and Western mystics that "Ram" has two meanings and applications. Ram is the bij seed mantra of the solar plexus centre where powerful healing energies lie dormant. The mantra Ram begins to activate this psychic centre and enables it to receive the inflow of kundalini energy when it arises.
In the next application the word rama is divided into two syllables ra and ma is associated with the solar current that flows on the right side of the body and the right nostril, and ma is associated with the lunar flow on the left side of the body and the left nostril.
So when you vibrate Rama repeatedly with concentration or focused devotion, the two currents begin to achieve a balance in their activity and flow and thereby the eliciting higher energies to rise and flow up the spine to activate all the psychic centres and contribute to achieving bliss.
As Kabir grew he acquired the profession of a weaver as per his foster parent's lineage and later on in prime of his life he lived a life of conjugality and a normal householder.
He worked for a living and preached freely and without any constraints of entrance fees or charges. Neither did he preach in any Hindu temple or any mosque but chose to deliver his message in the open marketplace.
His life itself has become a supreme exemplar of the fact that the practice and attainment of spiritual life are not the monopoly of bearded and beaded, and some orange or white attire of sadhus and ascetics or mendicants or people who run away from home to live a life of seclusion in search of their innermost self. Spirituality is for anyone and everyone and can be practised from their own level of consciousness. He exemplified that one achieve life's evolutionary goals by remaining in the circumstances as ordained by the fate.
It is said that during the life of Saheb, religious bigotry was intense, political upheaval and exploitation rampant, social discrimination at its heights. People with entrenched beliefs and conditions were waging war of words and spitting social venom amongst themselves and it seems that under the rule of Sikander Lodhi, a Turk conqueror, the country was in a state of moral decadence and disdain.
Kabir Saheb being a man of insight and compassion could see through the myopic views and superstitions of the Hindu and the Muslim community and did not leave any stone unturned in trying to address this short-sighted lifestyle of people. Kabir Saheb's weapons were his extempore poems and songs tinged with satire and sometimes crudeness or garnered with caustic and intrepid remarks that really rattled people especially the clergy both Hindu and Muslim to respond aggressively against Saheb. Kabir Saheb had to consistently bear the revengeful assaults from such hypocritical personalities and, without doubt, became one of the most controversial saints of his time.
However the most intriguing and enigmatic part of Saheb's life was the sensational way he left his mortal frame. From the chronicles of Kabir Ashram, Jamnagar, it is written and believed by all his devotees that as his cadaver lay in the room of his home, the Hindus and Muslims were pitched against each other in clamour for claiming the body of Saheb. The Muslims wanted to bury and the Hindu wanted to cremate and so it is recorded that Saheb appeared to them in his astral form and told them to go inside and take a look instead of babbling so much. Overwhelmed by this sight and this directive they respectfully obeyed and removed the cover only to see a heap of fragrant flowers instead of his body.
In reconciliation the Muslims took half of the flowers and buried them in the city of Maghar and the Hindus took the rest to Varanasi.
The fascinating aspect of this occurrence has not been so much talked about or contemplated upon by people down the historic march but in mystical circles this kind of disappearance from the earthly plane is called the science of dematerialization known to the select few saints or mystics of the highest realization.
On Guru or Preceptor
On Mind and Its Control
On Social Behaviour
On Yearning for the Lord
On Kama or Lust
On Charity or Assistance
On Warning to Live Life
Index of Couplets in Devanagari
Index of Couplets in English
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