Nirguni Bhajan by Sant Kabir- Where meaning is meaningless

Writings and literature of Kabir are written on two levels, one for the common masses and the other for the meditators. Dohe of Sant Kabir are written for the laymen- those who need simple principles to guide their lives. As one can easily see, these dohe are very practical and easy to follow. They are easy to understand, enlightening and need dedication to inculcate them in one’s life. They speak the common man’s language- gods, heaven, devotion etc. Many of us think that Kabir is limited to this everyday religion, which is very simple and casual. On the other hand, the truth is quite different. Kabir is much more than these two liners. These two liners dwell in the world of meaning whereas Sant Kabir also swims well in the world which is beyond logic and reasoning, where word ‘meaning’ carries no meaning.

The other part of Kabir, of which many people are unaware, is his nirguni bhajans. The word Nirgun means formless. It means something which has no physical attributes like form, color, smell or even physical existence. In India, a large number of religious seekers believes that god is formless, it cannot be identified with any idol, color etc. Sant kabir has written a large number of verses which talk about formless god. These verses, called as nirguni bhajans are at times very difficult to understand as the apparent and hidden meanings differ a lot. Many seekers enjoy debating for hours and hours over the correct meaning of these verses. As my nature is, I never spent my time to find out literal meaning of these verses. On the other hand, I always tried to taste their mysterious nature.

Many times, people keep on asking about the meanings of these Nirguni Bhahans. Politely, I tell them that I do not know the meaning. Often, I receive feedback that as I speak on Kabir, I should be well prepared with their meaning and interpretations as pointed out by different commentators. Here, people fail to understand the whole purpose of Nirguni Bhajan. Can we human beings interpret something which is formless? We and our minds function only in the world of form. Logic, reasoning and interpretation work only in the physical world- where everything has a form and physical existence. If we leave aside our logic and reasoning, we can take a dip in the mysterious ‘formless’ world- the world where Sant Kabir wants us to be.

Nirguni Bhajan by Sant Kabir is a device, to give seeker an opportunity to drop his mind, to enter the world where the word ‘meaning’ has no meaning. Sadly, the intellectual seekers miss the opportunity for the sake of meaningless meaning.

What next?

Visit our Kabir Page to read more about Saint Kabir

Read a Kabir Doha on Guru with explanation 

An article about Kamal, son of Saint Kabir





7 responses to “Nirguni Bhajan by Sant Kabir- Where meaning is meaningless”

  1. Mahesh Avatar

    Very nice article. Thanks for information.

    1. Mandar Karanjkar Avatar

      Dear Mahesh,
      Thanks a lot for your feedback!

  2. Omkar Avatar

    Hi Mahesh,

    Wonderful post. Kabir’s Nirgun bhajans are like pearls from the oyster that we ourselves have to seek, nurture, and live. Thanks for the share!!

  3. Mrs.Sandhya Ashwin Kankariya Avatar
    Mrs.Sandhya Ashwin Kankariya

    Namaste Mandar,
    yesterday I got the opportunity to listen kALAPINI KOMKALI,She present KABIRA’s Sunata hai guru gyani…and describe it as Nirguni .The question raised in my mind, what is NIRGUNI…Got the answer in your meaning is meaningless….Being a Jain I found it very close to Jainism
    Thanks for sharing the knowledge.

    1. Mandar Karanjkar Avatar

      Namaste Sandhya Ji,

      I am glad that you found the post useful.


  4. Aaditya Tarhalkar Avatar
    Aaditya Tarhalkar

    Apratim explanation. Thank you for taking the time to explain in layman’s terms.

  5. uday orpe Avatar
    uday orpe

    Can you give meaning in MARATHI

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