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
Find a true saint
Strike a good bargain
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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Kaachi Chhe Kaya Thaari

This body is perishable. The yarns we spin about ourselves and the world are false. Gorakh nudges us to confront these difficult truths in this song, insistently asking, “Who made this fragile body?” Gorakhnath was a legendary ascetic and poet from the 11-12th century, widely known for popularizing the Nath Panth and its yogic practices. See more at www.ishqfakiri.com

Kaachi chhe kaya thaari
Jhuthdi chhe maya Raam
Jhuthda se lekh likhaaya Raam
Kaachi ho, kaun ghadeli thaari kaya?

Ghat maan hi Ganga Raam
Ghat maan hi Jamuna Raam
Ghat maan hi teerath nhaaya Raam
Kaachi ho…

Ghat maan hi amba Raam
Ghat maan hi ambi Raam
Ghat maan hi chaakhan-haara Raam
Kaachi ho…

Ghat maan hi taala Raam
Ghat maan hi koonji Raam
Ghat maan hi kholan-haara Raam
Kaachi ho…

Machhinder prataap jati Gorakh bole re
Samjhya so hi nar paaya Raam
Kaachi ho… 

How Frail Your Body

How frail your body, how false your world
How untrue the account you give of it
O Raam, dear Raam
Pray tell, do tell
Who fabricated your frail body?

In the body, Ganga flows
In the body, Yamuna flows
In the body, the pilgrim who takes the dip
O Raam, dear Raam
Pray tell…

In the body, the ripe mango
In the body, the raw mango
In the body, the one who tastes and knows
O Raam, dear Raam
Pray tell…

In the body, the lock
In the body, the key
In the body, the one who opens the door
O Raam, dear Raam
Pray tell…

With Machhinder’s grace
Gorakh says
One who got this, got everything
O Raam, dear Raam
Pray tell…

(translation by Vipul Rikhi)

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Shartiyun Aain Ta

Allah, you’ve made lovers
Of many different kinds
One waits on the path
Another wakes all night…

Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, the deeply loved Sindhi Sufi poet of 18th century, spoke through the famous tragic love legends of the Punjab and Sindh region. In this song Latif speaks in the voice of Sasui, whose beloved Punhoon has been wrested away from her on the morning following her wedding night by Punhoon’s kinsmen angered by the cross-community marriage. This is a well-known song sung by many different singers in the oral traditions of Shah Latif, which straddle both sides of the border between Pakistan and India.

Sasui is a Brahmin girl abandoned at birth by her parents and raised in Bhambhor by a childless Muslim washerman and washerwoman couple. Her crime is to fall in love with a stranger called Punhoon, who is King Aari Jaam’s son. For this crime, her punishment is to have her husband abducted on the morning following her wedding night! He’s plied through the night with alcohol by his brothers and then put on to their camels and taken across the desert, back to where he came from. Sasui, determined as steel, sets off alone across the hot desert, without any supplies, in the pursuit of her retreating beloved…

In this moment, Sasui is stepping into the harsh Thar desert when her friends try to stop her from embarking on this impossible journey. She brushes them off with the words of this song. She knows that the path to finding her Beloved, her truth, her own true self, cannot be without the necessary striving and suffering.

Allahu aasikan ji beli khalke kedi jaat
Hikda vithai hin vaat te, bya jaage saari raat
Pan vo dost ain bevafa jaat ja
Jo ko deey landhe nindhrun karin

Shartiyun aain ta vinyodi vinyo la
Muinjhodi pech Punhal saan
Muinjhodi lekh lakhanta

Allah miyaan, hede sheher Bhambhor mein la
Med miskeen ji manyodi manyo la
Shartiyun aain ta…

Allah miyaan, uth Aari Jaam ja la
Daaghan daan diyodi diyo la
Shartiyun aain ta…

Allah miyaan, shartiyun Shah Latif chain la
Laalun laal Latif chain la
Aahe andhar aavaan unyodi unyo la
Shartiyun aain ta…

Friends, Be On Your Way 

Allah, you’ve made lovers
Of many different kinds
One waits on the path
Another wakes all night
But those lovers are false
Who drift into sleep
At the fall of day

Friends, be on your way
My destiny is written
Friends, you go your way
I’m bound to Punhoon

Oh Allah
In the city of Bhambhor
Hear the plea of this poor wretch
My destiny is written

Oh Allah
Put shackles on the feet
Of the camels of Aari Jaam
My fate is sealed

Oh Allah
Shah Latif says, listen friends
The thirst within me is intense
I belong to desert ways

Translation: Vipul Rikhi and Shabnam Virmani

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