Baahar Kyon Bhatke

When your truth is within you, why look outside? Why keep wandering? This is the question Kabir asks us in this song, which we first heard in the voice of Mahesha Ram ji from near Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.

Aisa aisa heerla ghat maan kahiye
Johri bina heera kaun paarkhe?

Thaaro Raam hirday mein
Baahar kyon bhatke?

Aisa aisa ghrit toh doodh maan kahiye
Jhugiye bina maakhan kaise nikle?
Thaaro Raam hirday mein…

Aisi aisi aag toh lakdi maan kahiye
Ghasiye bina aag kaise nikle?
Thaaro Raam hirday mein…

Aisa aisa kivaad toh hivde pe jadiya
Guruji bina taala kaun khole?
Thaaro Raam hirday mein…

Kahe ho Kabir sa, suno bhai saadho
Raam mile thaane kaun hatke?
Thaaro Raam hirday mein…

Why Look Outside?

Your Raam is in your heart
Why search outside?

Such rare gems hidden in the body
Who but a jeweller can know their worth
Why wander outside?

Such pure ghee hidden in the milk
Will butter rise without churning?
Why look outside?

Such warm fire hidden in the wood
Will flames ignite without friction?
Why search outside?

Such stiff locks studded over the heart
Who but the guru can open these bolts?
Why wander outside?

Kabir says, listen seekers
Find Raam, then who can disturb you?
Why look outside?

Translation by Vipul Rikhi
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Milo re Milo

Oh, to meet someone from my own land, says Gorakh, and be able to exchange a few words with him. As the saint-poets often say, no one here understands our language. They speak a different tongue.

This is a song from Malwa, which we learnt from Kaluramji.

Milo re milo koi mhaara des ra
Do do baataan karaanga ji

Lakkad lakkad sab ek hai
Ek hi maalik ne gadhiya ji
Ek lakkad toh dhooni mein jale
Dooji mahalaan mein jadiya ji
Milo re milo…

Patthar patthar sab ek hai
Ek hi maalik ne gadhiya ji
Ek patthar ki moorat bani
Dooji seedhi mein jadiya ji
Milo re milo…

Dharti maata ra choolha kariya
Aasmaan kiya hai kadhela ji
Chaar jugaan ke phoonkan diya
Dhuan gagan samaana ji
Milo re milo…

Dui kar jod Gorakh boliya
Paaya hai vaikunth vaasa ji
Jin ne ratiya nij naam ko
Voi nar sant sujaana ji
Pahunchooga sat dhaama ji
Milo re milo… 

Someone from my Land

Oh, to meet someone from my land
And have a few words with him

This wood, that wood, they’re all one
The same master made them all
This wood burns in a sacred fire
That one’s studded in a palace wall
Oh, to meet…

This stone, that stone, they’re all one
That master fabricated them both
This stone becomes part of the idol
That one’s on the temple floor
Oh, to meet…

Mother earth, the firewood stove
The sky transforms to a cauldron
All four ages tossed in the fire
The smoke rises up to the heavens
Oh, to meet…

Gorakh folds his hands in prayer
He’s found his place in heaven
One who remembers the true name
Arrives at the true destination

Oh, to meet…

Translation: Vipul Rikhi

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Aisi Mhaari Preet


This song from the Kabir oral traditions of Malwa speaks of an intensely intimate love: like the vine for the tree, like the fish for the sea. This beloved is closer than one’s own heartbeat. I learnt this song from Prahlad Tipanya, a beloved folk singer from Malwa, Madhya Pradesh. See more at www.ishqfakiri.com

Aisi mhaari preet nibhaavajo
Ho nirdhan ka ho Raam
Aisi mhaari preet nibhaavajo
Ho durbal ka ho Raam
Bhavsaagar mein bhoolo mati

Tam toh jharkat ham beladi
Raanga tam se liptaaye
Tam toh dhaldo ne ham sookhi jaavaan
Mhaara kai ho havaal?
Aisi mhaari preet nibhaavajo…

Tam toh samdar ham maachhali
Raanga tamaara ho maay
Tam toh sookho ne ham mari jaavaan
Mhaara kai ho havaal?
Aisi mhaari preet nibhaavajo…

Tam toh baadal ham moriya
Raanga tam se judaaye
Raanga tam se harkaaye
Tam toh garjo ne ham boliya
Tam toh barso ne ham boliya
Mhaara kai ho havaal?
Aisi mhaari preet nibhaavajo…

Kahe ho Kabir Dharmidas se
Piyu thaara ghat maay
Piyu hirday dhadkaaye
Aisi mhaari preet nibhaavajo…

Be True to My Love

Be true to my love
Like the poor have no one but their Raam
Be true to my love
Like the weak have nothing but their faith
Don’t leave me alone in this life-ocean

You are the tree, and I the creeper
I’ll stay in your embrace
If you wither, I’ll dry up too
What will happen to me without you?
Be true to my love…

You are the sea, and I the fish
I’ll stay immersed in you
If you dry up, I’ll die too
What would I be without you?
Be true to me love…

You are the cloud, I the peacock
I’m connected to you
I get great joy from you
When you rain, I sing and dance
What would I be without you?
Be true to my love…

Kabir says, O Dharamdas
The beloved is within your body
The beloved is your own heartbeat
Don’t leave me alone in this life-ocean
Be true to my love…

Translation: Vipul Rikhi
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Hiye Kaaya Mein

In yet another song on the body, Kabir meditates on the fragility of our lives – like a necklace of pearls that will scatter, like a garden of flowers that will be grazed away, or a clay pot that will shatter one day. This body is also described as a marketplace, where one must strike a good bargain.

We learnt this beautiful song from Mooralala ji. This is a live recording (hence the low levels) made in Rome by the renowned oral historian, Alessandro Portelli, who had warmly invited and hosted us. Singing here at the Apollo Film Club as part of our Europe trip in 2014.

Hiye kaaya mein bartan maati ro
Hiye dehi mein bartan maati ro
Phooti jaase nahin kare ranako
Sahib hamko darr laage ek din ro

Ek hi din ro, ghadi palak ro
Nahin re bharoso ek hi pal ro
Sahib hamko darr laage ek din ro

Hiye kaaya mein maala motiyan ki
Tooti jaase doro roodho tan ko
Sahib hamko darr laage ek din ro

Hiye kaaya mein haat bajaara
Sauda kari le ho roodho pal ro
Sahib hamko darr laage ek din ro

Hiye kaaya mein vaadi phuliyan ki
Mriga chari jaaye ho roodho van ro
Sahib hamko darr laage ek din ro

Ek din aavse, sab ne bulaavse
Lekha lese raai til ro
Sahib hamko darr laage ek din ro

Kahat Kabira suno bhai saadho
Pehla hai naam alakh ro
Sahib hamko darr laage ek din ro

In This Body

In this body, a vessel of clay
It will shatter
Then never resound

I fear that day, lord
Just one day, one moment
The blink of an eyelid
Can you trust
A single instant?

In this body, a string of pearls
The thread of this body
Will snap one day
I fear that day, lord…

In this body, a market bustles
Strike a good bargain
Of each instant
I fear that day, lord…

In this body, a field of flowers
A deer grazes away
The beautiful garden
I fear that day, lord…

A day will come
Each one will be called
An account taken
Of every moment
I fear that day, lord…

Says Kabir, listen seekers
First and foremost
Remember the invisible
I fear that day, lord…

Translation by Vipul Rikhi and Shabnam Virmani

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Haman Hain Ishq Mastaana

A classic Kabir song, ‘Haman hain’ describes his state of utter freedom and aloofness from attachments. He has no further requirements from the world. He doesn’t need to keep it happy anymore or be in bed with it anymore. He has banished duality from his heart. Composed by Bindhumalini & Vedanth. See more at www.ishqfakiri.com

Haman hain ishq mastaana
Haman ko hoshiyaari kya?
Rahein aazaad ya jag se
Haman duniya se yaari kya?

Jo bichhude hain piyaare se
Bhatakte dar badar phirte
Hamaara yaar hai ham mein
Haman ko intezaari kya?

Na pal bichhude piya ham se
Na ham bichhude piyaare se
Unhi se neh laagi hai
Haman ko beqaraari kya?

Kabira ishq ka maada
Dui ko door kar dil se
Jo chalna raah naazuk hai
Haman sir bojh bhaari kya?

I’m Drunk on Love

I’m drunk on love
Why bother with cleverness anymore?
Free of worldliness
Why be in bed with the world anymore?

They wander who are lost
Separated from the beloved
My beloved dwells in me
I’m not waiting anymore

Not once did I lose sight of him
Not once did he leave my side
My heart’s strings are tied to him
I’m not restless anymore

Kabir, get drunk on love
Rid the heart of duality
Such a delicate path to tread
Why lug a heavy load anymore?

Translation: Vipul Rikhi

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Raam Ras Meetho Ghano

 

In this song, Kabir asks us to burn down our house. Only then will a new house arise. And the promise of a new house is ‘Raam ras’ – the amazingly sweet nectar of Raam, our actual, inner self. I learnt this song from Mahesha Ram ji and his accompanist Amolak Ram. See more at www.ishqfakiri.com

Main mera ghar jaadiya re, jogiya ji
Liyo paleeta haath
Koi agar jaado ghar aapro re, jogiya ji
Chalo hamaare saath

Raam ras meetho ghano re, jogiya ji
Piye amar hoi jaaye

Ghar jaadyo ghar ubhare re, jogiya ji
Ghar raakhyo ghar jaaye
Ek achambho main joviyo re, jogiya ji
Mado kaal ne khaaye
Raam ras…

Aago re aage dav jade re, jogiya ji
Peechhe hariya hoye
Balihaari un roonkhdi re, jogiya ji
Jad kaatyo phal hoye
Raam ras…

Dhruv piyo, Prahlad piyo re, jogiya ji
Piyo Peepe Ravidas
Bhagat Kabira ras pi rahyo re, jogiya ji
Phir peevan ri aas
Raam ras…

The Drink of Raam

I burnt down my house, yogi
I took up the flaming torch
If you scorch your own house, yogi
Then join me on this walk

The drink of Raam is incredibly sweet
One who drinks it never dies

Scorch the house to make a house arise, yogi
Protect it and it’s gone!
I saw a strange, wondrous sight, yogi
A dead man was eating up time
Incredibly sweet…

    Ahead, a blaze rages, yogi
Behind it, greenery thrives
I saw such a plant, yogi
Cut the root and the fruit revives
Incredibly sweet…

 Dhruv drank it, Prahlad drank it, yogi
Peepa and Ravidas drank it in
Kabir too is drinking, yogi
His thirst as great as it’s ever been
Incredibly sweet…

Translation by Vipul Rikhi

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Ramta Padhaaro Ganpati

This is a Meera bhajan from Rajasthan. We learnt it from Mahesha Ram ji. It invokes the Lord of Beginnings, Ganesha, inviting him and all the other gods to our ‘nij mandir’, our very own, deeply personal, temple – this body, where we may welcome all the gods if we prepare it well enough.

Dhoop khevaada agarbatti nij mandariye mo
Ramta padhaaro Ganpati

Moose ri asvaari vaala Ganpat aaya
Sang ma re laaya Riddhi Siddhi

Nandi ri asvaari vaala Shiv ji aaya
Sang ma re laaya Parvati

Raam ji re aaya vhaala, re Lachhman aaya
Sang ma re laaya Sita sati

Anjani ka jaaya vhaala, re Hanumant aaya
Sang me re laaya amar booti

Bolya Meera bai, ne Girdhar gaayo
Guru milya hai Ravidas 

Stop by on Your Travels, O Ganesha

Incense sticks in my self-temple are lit
Stop by on your travels, O Ganesha

A mouse for his vehicle, Ganesha arrives
Together with his wives, wealth and wisdom
Stop by, O Ganesha

Riding his bull, Shiva arrives
Parvati, his partner, by his side
Stop by, O Ganesha

Raam arrives, and Lakshman arrives
Together with Sita, embodiment of truth
Stop by, O Ganesha

Son of the wind, Hanuman arrives
Bringing the herb of eternal life
Stop by, O Ganesha

Meera says, in service of Krishna
I found Ravidas, my true guru
Stop by, O Ganesha

Translation by Vipul Rikhi
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