Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Experience -- Mystic Poem of Kabir

The Experience -- Mystic Poem of Kabir

The Kabir Group:

The Experience -- Mystic Poem of Kabir

When I was, Hari [God] was not,
and now Hari is and I am no more:
All darkness vanished,
when I saw the Lamp within my heart.

The effulgence of the Supreme Being
is beyond the imagination:
Ineffable is His beauty,
to see it is the only proof.1

It was a good thing the hail fell on the ground,
for it lost its own selfhood:
Melting, it turned into water
and rolled down to the pond.2

Him whom I went out to seek,
I found just where I was:
He now has become myself
whom before I called 'Another!'

In the Unattainable, the Inaccessible,
there shines the Light.3
There Kabir has brought his homage
where 'merits' and 'sins' cannot reach.

The bird has flown to the Sky
while its body remained in a strange land.4
There, the bird drinks without a beak
and has forgotten this country.

Love lit up the cage, 5
an eternal Flame sprang up, 6
Doubt vanished, joy awoke,
when I met my Beloved Spouse.

My mind entered the unmani stage,
heaven was scaled:
Where moonlight shines without a moon,
there dwells Niranjan, the invisible King!

-- Kabir, "Kabir" Volume One, Charlotte Vaudeville, Oxford University Press
NOTES (from the translator, Charlotte Vaudeville):

1): The only acceptable proof or evidence is direct vision.

2): Hail, to which is soul is here compared, is really noting but water (i.e. the One Reality, God); once it has fallen on the ground, i.e. once the soul was incarnate in the human body, through the Experience, it lost the consciousness of its own falsely assumed identity and was reabsorbed into the One.

3): "Light" or "Jyoti" here refers to the Divine Light which the
Quran calls "Nur:" "Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth."

4): The liberation of the soul (the "bird") through mystical Experience is expressed here in terms alluding to the Tantric sadhana. The "bird" which has flown to the "Sky" has taken the place of the kundalini-sakti which rises along the susumma nadi up to the mystic "Sky", known as gagana-mandala and situated within the skull: through this process, the Yogi reaches the supreme stage of sahaja, and becomes totally estranged from the samsara: only the appearance of his body remains "in a foreign land," i.e. in the world. (Many Nath Yogi terms are used by Kabir.)

5): The "cage" of the body.

6): The Light of spiritual awareness.