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Doha (Couplets) of Kabir and Brief Explanations

Premi dundat mein phiru, premi miliya na koy
Premi ko premi mile, tab sab vish amrit hoy

Lovers of God I sought, but they are so rare
Once such lovers meet, all poisons turn into nectar.
~ Kabir

LOVERS OF GOD are rare. Some saint commented as an analogy that only one in a million return back to God. These rare lovers of God has a way of instantly recognizing each other, even if they are half awakened, when they come in touch with another person in whose heart remembrance of God is alive, they feel an immediate bond. This bond is otherworldly and there is no logic to be found as why this person feel so familiar, why this feeling arrive that I have known him, her in some other time, in some other life time. This is the meeting of lovers. And when they meet, all disharmony in the world, all sounds around turn into a symphony, all noise and worldly chatter is replaced with vibration of peace and bliss.

Salamun qawlan min Rabbin Raheem
Peace! an energy, a vibration and word from the Merciful Lord. (Quran 36:58)

Bhesh dekh na pujiye, puchh lijiye gyan
Bina kasauti hot nahi, kanchan ki pehchan

Do not go after the outward appearance, seek only real knowledge
Without test how do you know preciousness of gold?

THE PROPHET, may our love be perfected for him, transmitted us that God doesn't look at our outward appearance but looks at our heart and intention behind our actions. And this world and we are created with our sacred responsibility so that God knows our worth, whether we have unearthed our own preciousness or not. Allah says in the Final Testament: It is He Who hath created life and death that He may try you which of you is best in conduct; and He is the Mighty and at same time the Forgiving. (Quran 67:2)

Artwork by Michael Green


Boond samani hai samunder mein, janat hai sab koi
Samunder samana boond mein, bujhe birla koi

A drop merges into the ocean, this everyone understand
How about when an entire ocean hide Itself inside that drop?

THIS IS A GREAT MYSTERY, perhaps the greatest of mysteries. In sacred tradition of Islam we find that Allah declares: "Man is My Secret and I am Man's Secret." The analogy that Kabir uses about drop and ocean are parables of individual soul of man and that of the Supreme Soul, Parama Atma, Allah. First the parable of a drop merging with ocean is given. This is the common journey destined for all soul. At the end of all journey, the soul must return to it's Source. But there is another merging where the Great Ocean merge inside the drop. This is the state about which the sacred tradition of Islam says, "When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks."

"wa huwa ma'akum ayna ma kuntum." - and Hu [Allah] is with you wherever you are. (57:4)

Prem gali ati sankari, tamein dou na samai
Jab mein tha tab hari nahi, ab hari hai mein naahi

The lane of Divine Love is too narrow, two can not pass through it at the same time;
When I was, God couldn't be found anywhere, and when God appeared this ephemeral existence of mine simply vanished!

THIS IS the allusion of fana, the annihilation of the servant, of the lover for the sake of the Beloved.

Ghat ghat mera saiyan, suni sej na koy
Balihari ghat tasu ki, jag hat pargat hoy

Beloved is dwelling in each and every heart, not a single place is empty
But that heart is great where God manifests His qualities.

ALLAH encompasses everything and nothing encompasses Him. He is the most Subtle, al-Latif and Hu reaches everywhere including every heart. But the greatness of any heart depends on its ability to reflect the Divine qualities.

Photo of a mother at a Sufi Shrine (source unknown)

Prem na badi upje, prem na haat bikai
Raja prja jis ruche, sis dey le jai

Love is not grown in the field, and it isn’t sold in the market
Be a king or a pauper, anybody who wants it, the price is one's head.

AS RUMI said, "Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderness," the bewliderness of lovers who have tasted only a tiny drop of Divine Love, ah those fools of God. And that love doesnt come without a cost, the cost is one's head, one's source of pride, one's ego. Die before you die to reach the threshold of the Beloved who accept nothing but poverty of the soul as a gift for He has everything except poverty of the soul, the complete and naked emptiness before God.

Ek kahu to hai nahi, do kahu to gari
Hai jaisa taisa rahe, kahe Kabir vichari 

If I just say one, it is not correct; if I say two, it will be a violation
Let 'It' be what 'It' is, says Kabir upon contemplation

QUL HUWA ALLAHU AHAD. Say while bearing witness: That Incomparable Reality is Singular. AHAD is not WAHID. Wahid is One, AHAD is Something Else, something for which God being without a second can still call Himself "WE" in the Scripture. Wahid: one means one which is followed by two, three and so forth but Oneness is beyond numeral concept of one, two, three...  It is Oneness without any comparison, subtraction or division.

Walam yakun lahu kufuwan ahad - And there is none comparable to That ONE Reality. It is What It Is.

* Translation credit


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Technology of the Heart: Doha (Couplets) of Kabir and Brief Explanations
Doha (Couplets) of Kabir and Brief Explanations
Couplets / Doha of Mystic Saint Kabir of Medieval India
Technology of the Heart
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