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

Dohe of Kabir Dohe of Kabir 1

Dohe of Kabir-7(Rare is the birth as a human being)

दुर्लभ मनुस्या जीवन है,देह न बरम्बार ।

तरुवर ज्यों पत्ती झड़े,बहुरि न लागे डार ॥

Meaning – 

Rare is the birth as a human being and one does not again again gets this human body. Once a leaf is detached from the trunk, cannot be joint back again.

In these two lines, Saint Kabir points out two universal truth and connects them together to point out the ultimate truth- a call to wake up for all the human beings.

The first line is a truth in itself. It is rare opportunity to get a human life. There are no proofs to show that there are many births. Neither are there any proofs to show that there is only one birth and nothing like soul exists. In other words, we are clueless and helpless as far as validity of the first line is concerned. But, when I look around, it makes sense to think that its an rare opportunity to be a human being. It  even needs a better luck to be born as human being in an atmosphere and conditions where you can really live like a human being and not just survive like ainmals. So, this proves the first line  of this doha of Saint Kabir.

The second line is more clear and striking. It says once a leaf is detached from the branch, it can never be attached to the tree again. In the context of the doha, it means, once this life is gone, once the soul is detached from the body, there is no way back. Everyone has to die a day. The leaf is going to be detached one day for sure. This precious human life will be taken away one day.

When these two lines of dohe of Kabir are contemplated together, it gives us a wake up call. The precious human life can come to an end and then you wont get an another chance. Once the leaf is detached, it is gone. In this doha, saint Kabir shows us the urgency of waking up fast and starting to act. In many of his dohe, Saint Kabir bluntly puts in front of us the way we waste our lives without sumiran (remembrance of the god). This doha once again points out this urgency and fragile nature of human life.

You are welcome to go through commentaries over more Dohe of Kabir

Dohe of Kabir -6

Dohe of Kabir -5

See the Complete Collection of Kabir ke Dohe




Kamal : Incredible son of saint Kabir

All of us are aware of saint Kabir and his immortal dohas. It is said that Kabir is one of the most quoted poets of the world. Almost all the intellectuals, lecturers, saints refer to Kabir when they have to explain some difficult spiritual phenomenon in simple words. All of us remember and worship Kabir but very few of us are aware about Kamal, the son of Saint Kabir.

Kamal was not a carbon copy of Saint Kabir

In my mother tongue Marathi, there is a popular proverb which means smaller trees cannot blossom under a giant tree. This proverb if a fact with some exceptions. One of such exceptions is Kamal. Kamal was growing under a giant tree- Kabir. I can imagine, it would have been really difficult to make himself unique and not influenced by Kabir. As Osho says, Kamal has done this Herculean task. He was staying in same house with Kabir but still managed to be untouched by his way of thinking. When we look around, very few saints have this fortune where their sons are also standing equally with them on Spiritual plane.

There are many stories where there was an argument between Kabir and Kamal. I am not using the word argument in common sense. It was a different kind of argument, between two enlightened saints.

Kamal: son of Kabir, not a disciple

Kabir never used to accept anything from visitors who used to visit him. Many people used to come to him and offer him different things like money, gold, diamonds and even fruits. It is said that Kabir never accepted any of these. Kamal used to accept all the offerings. He never used them, but he accepted them. Kabir objected Kamal on this point. The uniqueness of Kamal is, he boldly told Kabir, “I am you son, not a disciple”

I appreciate this authenticity and this boldness. Kamal moved out from Kabir’s house and stayed in a hut just in front of Kabir’s hut. All the seekers who used to come to visit Kabir visited Kamal.

For me, Kamal is an ideal. He carried within him something that is the most essential for a seeker. As Buddha said, one has to kill his own master. I think, Kamal has lived this principle throughout his life.

More articles on Kabir-

Dohe of Kabir-6

Dohe of Kabir-5

Dohe of Kabir-4

Click here to read complete section on Dohe of saint Kabir

Dohe of Kabir Dohe of Kabir 1

Dohe of Kabir # 6

Saint Kabir makes us stop still with the helps of his two liners, called Doha. This beautiful Doha of Kabir is worth a thousand lines-

माँगन मरण समान है, मत माँगो कोई भीख ।
माँगन से तो मरना भला, यह सतगुरु की सीख

English Translation-

(Do not ask for anything. To ask for anything is like being dead. My master teaches me that it is better to die than to ask for something. )

It can be seen that Saint Kabir is very much against asking. Saint Kabir is not saying that asking money is not desirable or asking for favors is bad. He simply says that all the demands should be stopped. Saint Kabir refers to all demands as begging  There must have been some reason behind these lines of Kabir. It is interesting to see the mind of a person who is asking for something. He is not satisfied. All of us are unsatisfied and hence we keep on asking for many things. One more thing is, asking comes out of insecurity. The persons who are insecure are more demanding. Many times, we ask out of our greed. Saint Kabir says, simply drop all the insecurities, greed and leave this habit of asking.

Saint Kabir equates this habit of asking for favors to death. He firmly says that asking for anything is just a sign of being dead. At the end, he says that it is better to die rather than asking favors. The question my come up in the minds of the reader that is it not justified if a really needy person asks for something? The answer is also very clear- when you need something really, you get it without even asking for it. So, if you need something and you ask for it, it shows that you do not have the trust in the existence. If you need something and you do not get it, the conclusion to be drawn is, you do not need it.

Saint Kabir has very rightly said that it is better to be dead than asking for favors. The very process of asking and demanding shows that you do not trust the existence

See the Complete Collection of Kabir ke Dohe

Dohe of Kabir Kabir poems

Dohe of Kabir #5

जाती नं पुछो साधू की पुछ लिजिये ग्यान

मोल करो तलवार का पडा राहन दो म्यान….

(Do not ask a holy man his cast, look at his knowledge. One should always inquire about the sword and not its cover.)

One of the basic problem of human beings is, that they need respect. Any person on this earth strives for some respect, some dignity. It is a true fact that not all of us can always get respect, not all of us are able to earn dignity. So, people start designing other which will give them respect. Cast is one of such parameters.

And then comes the climax when people inquire about cast of a holy man.  Kabir asks us to put all these dogmas aside. Kabir says that a holy man is holy in spite of his cast. By telling this, Kabir wants to tell us that holiness is not of the cast. It does not arise out of the cast. It is there irrespective of the cast of the person.

One never looks at the cover from which the sword is taken out. We are always concerned with the sword, its sharpness and its mettle.  Then why do we do not apply this rule to human beings? Why do we judge human beings based on casts from which they come?

We are still engrossed in these ugly ideas and Kabir, 4oo years ago, tells us that holiness does not come out of cast, it is of that person.

Dohe of Kabir #3

Dohe of Kabir #2





Dohe of Kabir

Dohe of Kabir 1

Every man is special. every man has a different built of his body and  his psyche. The more firmly the psyche is built, more difficult it becomes to change it. The truth is one and almost all the saints are pointing to it. The truth is eternal and almost all the mystics show it. But, even after so much of efforts from all these saints and mystics, very few people get the taste of this truth.

One reason behind this is that the language which is used by all these people is not appealing or cutting through the psyche of the person. If we have to peak one saint or mystic whose language is simplest, whose words cut through the psyche of greatest number of people, we have no option other than Kabir.

Kabir has become a symbol of simplicity and straightness. He cuts through the psyche of almost all of the masses. So, this is again one small effort to bring the precious two liner Dohe of Kabir in front of you all. The first two liner of Kabir is-

दुख में सुमिरन  सब करे, सुख मे करे न कोय ।

जो सुख मे सुमिरन करे, दुख काहे को होय।।

These two lines of Kabir, though look simple, have ocean within them. These lines simply show us how bogus our religiousness is. To be religious means to be satisfied with the present, to be blissful, to be free of demands. In life, no one thinks of giving something, every one just goes on asking. Religiousness means, you start giving. You just start giving people without even asking back. You give love, you share joy. The person who can give without hopes of any returns, is true religious.

But, as Kabir says, we pray when we are unhappy. We pray when things are not the way we want. We pray when we want something. We pray when we want to change something in our life. This kind of religiousness is a contract with god. It is ugly. Here, Kabir gives us the true essence of religiousness. And these are not his hollow words. These are words full of his own experience. These are not bookish statements; they are coming out of highest level of consciousness.

Kabir says, the one who prays even when he is happy, is a religious person. Many people pray even when they are happy. But, their prayer comes out of the fear about sustainability of this happiness. The prayer which comes out of no fear, no worry, no insecurity is the real prayer. A person who is dissolved in such kind of prayer is always happy. Worldly conditions cannot take away his happiness. It is coming from within. This kind of happiness is not an outcome of outer parameters. It is a fruit of internal purity.

In two lines, Kabir shows us the reality of our so called religiousness and at the same time, gives us path to the authentic religiousness.

Kabir Society

The Kabir way of Love…..

We usually say that education solves the problem. Down the ages, we can see how futile this sentence is. Education was thought to be the answer of all the problems. But, it can be seen that education is simply taking away us from the reality, authenticity, simplicity and beauty of the natural things.

The biggest proof of my above mentioned fact is, man is not able to love. Yes, man can think about love, he can write glorified poems about love, he can write books about love, but he cannot love. Today, we learned people do not know what is love, so here I am putting a simple two lines about love, written by an uneducated poet of India, Kabir.

प्रे प्याला जो पिये, शीश दक्षिणा देय लोभी शीश दे सके, नाम प्रे का लेय

What this uneducated mystic has understood about love, that we learned people cannot understand and even if we understand, we are far away from putting it in our lives. Kabir says, the one who drinks glass of love, gives away his glass. He just shares it. He himself drinks and at the glass he gives away. For someone else to drink. And what is love? This tendency of sharing is love. Kabir says, the mediocre person cannot gives away the glass. He just wants the love. He does not care about sharing it, spreading it.

I wonder for the vision of this uneducated mystic, Kabir. Some four hundred years ago he commented over the most dominant love problem in today’s age. This is the problem wit hour love today- We do not want to share love. We want to get it but are not giving it back.

This two liner of Kabir is an ultimate solution to all the relationship problems our generation faces. Love people in Kabir way….

Give them a look-

The courage of being alone

Truth cannot be neglected

Anger is not the enemy