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Saturday, November 10, 2007

New Book: Kabir Bhajan Amritam - Devotional Bhajans of Kabir

New Book: Kabir Bhajan Amritam - Devotional Bhajans of Kabir




The New Book: Kabir Bhajan Amritam -- Devotional Bhajans of Satguru Kabir,
translated by Dr. Jagessar Das:
email address: dasj@shaw.ca

published by:
The Kabir Association of Canada: http://www.kabir.ca

Dharam Das:

O my Satguru! I have become exhausted searching for you, but I have not found you.
I searched in the holy places of
Rameshwar; Jagdish, Dwarka, Badrinath,

Kedarnath, Kashi, Mathura, and Ayodhya. I even searched the Girnar mountain.
I searched East, West, North and South and wandered in the world.
I searched the sixty-eight places of pilgrimage trying to find you, and could not.
I have done prayers, austerities and fasting many times, and have practiced discipline and righteous living.
But I have not seen you even in my dreams, 0 Master! What sort of luck I have!
I do not have happiness in the day and can't sleep at night.
My whole body has become restless.
Please now give your Darshan [Vision] to
your servant Dharam Das and take him across this worldly ocean of rebirths.

Satguru Kabir:

0 my dear devotee, where are you searching for me? I am already with you.
I am not in the places of pilgrimage or in deities, or in an isolated dwelling.
I am not in the temples and mosques, and I am not in the holy city of Kashi or Mount Kailash.
I am not in the recitation of prayers or in austerities, or in ritual fasting.
I do not dwell in rituals or in yoga, or in renunciation.
I am not in the breath or in the material body, or in the expanse of space.
I am not in the cave of the trikuti, but I am in the breath of the breath.
If you search for me you'll find me immediately, even in a moment.
Kabir says, 'Dear brothers, listen to me! I dwell in your faith."

Four Other Translations of Kabir's Famous Poem: "Are You Searching for Me?"

"The Kabir Book -- Forty-Four of the Ecstatic Poems of Kabir", Robert Bly

Are you looking for me? I am in the next seat.
My shoulder is against yours.
you will not find me in the stupas, not in Indian shrine
rooms, nor in synagogues, nor in cathedrals:
not in masses, nor kirtans, not in legs winding
around your own neck, nor in eating nothing but
When you really look for me, you will see me
instantly --
you will find me in the tiniest house of time.
Kabir says: Student, tell me, what is God?
He is the breath inside the breath.

"Kabir -- Songs of the Divine"
Jagessar Das

Seeker! Why do you seek me?
I am already with you.
You will not find me in pilgrimages or idols,
Nor in isolated retreats and withdrawals.
You will not find me in temple or mosque,
Nor in what you call holy cities and sacred mountains.
You will not find me in recitations or austerities,
Nor in the observances of fasts and deprivations.
You will not find me in rites and rituals,
Nor in yoga and renunciations.
You will not find me in air or matter,
Nor in the vast expanse of space.
You will not find me,
Inside the void of meditation.
You will find me,
In the breath within all breaths.
Seek me there,
And you will find me instantly,
As immediately as the blink of an eye.
Kabir says, "Friends listen!
I am wherever you are."

This one is from "Says Kabir...
A Collection of One Hundred and Ten Poems of Kabir," Sushila Mahajan

Where do you look for me, dear?
I am closer than close to you.

Neither in temple-mosque am I,
nor in Kaba-Kailash,
nor in rituals, nor in yoga-ways.

Neither in goat-sheep am I,
nor in axe-knife,
nor in skin-tail,
nor in flesh and bone.

He who yearns, finds at once,
far from the crowd,
I live in a quiet refuge.

Listen to me in the void, says Kabir,
in between all the breaths.

"Songs of Kabir",
Rabindranath Tagore

O SERVANT, where dost thou seek Me?
Lo! I am beside thee.
I am neither in temple nor in mosque:
I am neither in Kaaba nor in Kailash:
Neither am I in rites and ceremonies,
nor in Yoga and renunciation.
If thou art a true seeker,
thou shalt at once see Me:
thou shalt meet Me in a moment of time.
Kabîr says, "O Sadhu! God is the breath of all breath."

Embrace Him Holding His Hands of Light & Sound

Embrace Him Holding His Hands of Light & Sound

Sant Mat Fellowship:
{"This mysterious path is described in the holy books,
but it cannot be found simply by the study of sacred texts.
It is found by the grace and guidance of an accomplished teacher."}

Naad Throbs in Vindu

by Shri Shahi Swami ji Maharaj

[A translated discourse of Parampoojya Shri Shahi Swami ji Maharaj, the seniormost disciple alive of Maharshi Mehi Paramhans ji alive, delivered at the Satsang Hall of Maharshi Mehi Ashram at Kuppaghat, Bhagalpur, Bihar, India on 27.05.1979 on the occasion of the Weekly Satsang. The original Hindi version of the discourse provided by Ms. Pooja Rani, the moderator of the yahoo group "santmat_parivar" http://groups.yahoo.com/group/santmat_parivar

– Translation by Pravesh K. Singh]

Here Weekly Satsang is held on every Sunday. Those who attend (this weekly satsang) regularly know that here sants' wisdom is propagated or disseminated through Satsang. What is its need? The knowledge of sants is the `amrit' (nectar – imagined mythical drink which imparts immortality). We read about `amrit' , we read about `kalpavriksha' (the famed mythical tree said to be capable of fulfilling all the wishes made or thought by the person sitting under it) and `kaamdhenu' (the mythical divine cow again capable of fulfilling all the wishes prayed for) in Puranas (ancient Hindu Scriptures). However, in my view, sants' knowledge itself is all these things in reality. That who abides by, live by the preaching of sants attains auspicious results. He transcends himself beyond the cycle of `aawaagaman' (birth & death) and merges into the God. Great is the glory of sants' wisdom:

"Satsangati mud mangal moolaa. Soi fal sidhi sab saadhan foolaa."
– Goswami Tulsi Das

[The company of the Truth (sants are living embodiments of the Truth) is at the root of all the bliss and happiness. Various meditation techniques and the (supernatural) attainments are the flowers and fruits respectively.]

He who lives in Satsang attains greatness. Sant Sundardas ji has said,

"Taat milai puni maat milai, bhraat milai yuvatee sukhadaayee.
Raaj milai gajbaaj milai, sab saaj milai manavaanchhit paaee.
Lok milai suralok milai, vidhi lok milai baikunthahu jaaee.
Sundar aur milai sabahee sukh, sant samaagam durlabh paaee."

[No matter you get a father, mother, brother and good wife, too. You also might very well be endowed with a kingdom, and all the coveted means of luxury. You might also attain to the Kingdom of Indra, Brahma and Vishnu. All these lofty-looking states might be realized. Nonetheless, it is very difficult to find or get into the company of a sant.]

What do we find in sants' preachings? We get to know of our duties. It is very important to know about our obligations, as to which acts we should perform.

Lives of all the creatures in this world are spent in eating, sleeping, apprehensions or fears and reproduction. If this human life, too, is frittered away in these very activities, what then remains so special about it? It is alright if we perform the duties that are expected of a human being. But, if we keep ourselves removed from these virtues then let us just think of what or who we are! The (noblest) task of ridding oneself of the cycle of `aawaagaman' (birth & death) is possible of fulfillment only with this human body. Maharshi Mehi has said :

"aawagaman sam dukh doojaa, hai nahee jag me koee.

Isake niwaaran ke liye, prabhu bhakti karanee chaahiye"

[There is no misery as grave in this world as `aawaagaman'. To overcome this, we ought to practice devotion.]

If someone has stockpiled huge riches, has earned great respect, will he get freed from the cycle of `aawaagaman'? Sahajo Bai has very rightly said,

"Chouraasee bhugatee ghanee, bahut sahee jam maar.

Bharami firai tinhu lok me, tahoon na maanee haar.

Tahoon na maanee haar, mukti ko chaah na keenhee.

Heeraa dehee pay, mol maatee ke keenhee.

Moorakh nar samajhai nahee, samajhaayaa bahu baar.

Charandaas kahai Sahajiyaa, sumirego karataar."

[Despite having suffered miserably through the wanderings in 8.4 million species, grievous blows given repeatedly by the death-god, we have not learnt the lesson yet. Still we do not yearn for the liberation and, instead, keep wasting this diamond-like body as that of clay. The ignorant one does not understand the lesson despite several efforts to make him grasp the reality. Charandas (Guru of Sahajo Bai) exhorts Sahajo bai to remember and concentrate on the Supreme Lord.]

Having loitered in numerous different bodies for so long, we have now been given this human body. Even now if we do not wake up, be alert, then it is as if we are squandering in objects of senses our valuable life which is as precious as diamond. Listen to a short story. There was a shepherd. He used to rear & graze sheep and goats. One day he saw a beautiful stone (which was, in fact, a diamond) half stuck in the ground. He tried first to knock it out with the kick of his foot, but did not succeed. He then dug it out by using his stick and tied it with a thread around the neck of one of his goats. One day, one `jauhari' (the jeweler or the appraiser of precious stones & metals) happened to notice the stone. He said to the shepherd, "O brother, would you please sell this stone to me?" The (innocent) shepherd told him, "Take it for free, if you so like it." The `jauhari' said, "No, no! You must charge a price for it." "OK! Give whatever you deem it to be fit." The `jauhari' paid five Rupees (Indian currency note) to the shepherd, and as soon as he untied the diamond, it burst into pieces and a sound came out of it, "The shepherd kicked me with his feet, but I did not mind. Then he struck me with his baton, even then I did not mind. That was because the shepherd did not know me or my value. But you are a `jauhari'. You are very well aware of my price. Yet when you valued me at five rupees, I couldn't bear it, my heart broke and I was shattered into pieces." Likewise, the man is the most evolved of all the species in this world, has been blessed with wisdom. He who has not understood his duties well, is bound to land in trouble, is bound to fall back into the trap of the 8.4 million, to fall back in the vicious cycle of `aawaagaman'.

There are five bodies – `sthool' (gross), `sookshma' (astral or subtle), `kaaran' (causal), `mahaakaaran' (supra-causal) and `kaivalya' (conscious). In the event of death, only the `sthool' body is left behind, while all the other four bodies carry on acting as the seed for further future gross bodies. If, along with this `sthool' body, even the `sookshma', `kaaran', `mahaakaaran' and `kaivalya' bodies can also be discarded, the freedom from `aawaagaman' would be accomplished. When none of these bodies will remain, man would transform into the Supreme Soul, God Himself. "Jaanat tumhanhi tumhai hoi jaaee." (The Knower knowing You (God) becomes You (God) only) The (indivisible) part of the God would be liberated from the coverings of the body and its organs. How will this happen? Whatever all is to be done for this is, in fact, called `bhakti' (devotion). Call it `bhakti', call it `saadhanaa', it is all the same. It is impossible to be freed of the body & its organs by walking (and trying) in the outside world. Body and organs would always be with you, wherever you go and move outside. Kabir Sahab has said,

"Door door doondhai man lobhee, chhootai na garbh taraasaa"

[The greedy mind loiters far & wide (outside), but is not cured of the pain of womb (referring to the painful process of birth which surely leads to excruciating death resulting in rebirth & so on)]

It is possible to be free of body & organs and to become `aatmajnaanee' (knower of the Self) by attaining the `kaivalya' (conscious) state only by starting within the body. In that state of `aatmajnaan' (Self Realisation) only shall we identify God.

When Swami Ramteerth went to America, some people proposed, "If you permit, we wish to distribute pamphlets informing of your arrival here." Swami Ramteerth answered, "No, advertisement hoardings are not needed. You invite the renowned doctors over here." They followed his order. When the doctors arrived, Swami ji asked them to inspect him physically. Doctors were astounded to find that though they were not able to find his pulse, he was able to talk to them. Swami Ramteerth told them, "You see! This is the wisdom of India. Now you people will become my advertisers." Swami Ramteerth became famous in America. This power comes by inner meditation.

How do we walk within? You see, we walk within and come out of our body every day. Had it not been like this, there would have been no states of dream and deep sleep. `Jiva' (unliberated individual soul) resides in the eyes in the (physically) woken state. When we descend from eyes to the throat, it becomes the dream state. When we move down further to the heart, the deep sleep state results. But this journey (through these three states) is associated with ignorance. Then where is knowledge or awareness? Brain is the storehouse of knowledge. Swami Vivekanand had remarked, "Man's brain is endless reservoir of information, boundless library" If you invert your power to see, you would find yourself in darkness. Accurate or true knowledge is gathered while ascending inside. As we journey inside ourselves, we move beyond darkness into the realm of light. Transcending darkness, we transcend the gross universe. The sins or unwanted actions that used to be performed in the gross world will not be committed now. Goswami Tulsidas ji Maharaj has written that when this divine Light appears within, all the frailties & diseases of mind are cured:

"Jabate Ram pratap khagesa. Udit bhayau ati prabal dinesha.

Poori prakaash raheu tihu lokaa. Bahutenh sukh bahutenh man sokaa.

Jinhahi sok te kahaun bakhaanee. Pratham abidyaa nisaa nashaanee.

Agh ulook janh tanhaan lukaane. Kaam krodh kairav sakuchaane.

Matsar maan moh mad choraa. Inhkar hunar na kavnihu oraa."

[O, King of the Birds (Garud, the Vehicle of Lord Vishnu)! Since the Refulgent Sun of Ram's glory rose, all the three worlds (the Earth, the Subterranean Region called `Paataal' and the Heaven have been referred to as the three worlds in some of the Hindu mythological literature) were brightly illuminated. While this Sun gave rise to grief in some hearts, it filled some others with happiness. I would begin with describing those whose hearts became full of sorrow. First of all, the night/darkness of ignorance got destroyed. Owls of sin began to run helter-skelter seeking shelter to hide. Water lilies of lust and anger shrank or wilted. Partridges of diverse varieties of actions, properties, time and nature/ character never felt happy. Thieves of jealousy, prestige, attachment born out of ignorance and ego had no havens left for themselves.]

Then what happens? Goswami ji says,

"Dharam tadaag jnaan bijnaanaa. Ye pankaj bikase bidhi naanaa.

Sukh santosh biraag bibekaa. Bigat sok ye kok anekaa.

Yah prataap rabi jaake, ur jab karai prakaas.

Pachhile baadhahi pratham je, kahe te paavanhi naash."

[On the other hand, lotuses of diverse types of wisdom and knowledge went into full blossom. The Sheldrake or the Brahminy Duck (traditionally believed to be separated from its mate at night) in the form of bliss, contentment & detachment (from things worldly) became freed from all grief. When this radiant Sun of Ram illumines the hearts (of the practitioner) then all the negative tendencies, as described earlier, meet with destruction and the positive desirable attributes begin to reign supreme.]

Upward movement during inner meditation takes us into the realm of light. That light is of God Himself. He alone, who walks within, gets that light. It is not so that he receives merely light; he perceives sound, too. Taking support of light & sound, the soul attains to its origin i.e. God. Light is the left hand of God, while sound is His right hand. The practitioner, who gets hold of both these hands, can not be separated from Him even if such a person is bombarded with hand grenades and bombs. These two – light & sound – are obtained by walking within. This, in fact, is the true `bhakti' (devotion or worship) of God. In this bhakti, one has to practice to concentrate, to shrink. For practicing shrinking, Sant Kabir Sahab has said,

"Naino kee kari kotharee, putalee palang bithaaya.

Palako kee chik daari ke, piy ko liyaa rijhaay."

[Making the eyes into a room and the pupils into the cot, I hung the curtain of the eyelids (i.e. closed the eyes) and thus pleased, delighted or charmed my Lord. (This, in fact, is a clear hint for practicing the Yoga of Light.)]

That is, we should make a room of our eyes, and should hang or drop down the curtain of our eyelids to still the pupil. In short, the Lord has to be enchanted by closing down our eyes (and gazing fixedly as taught by the Master). But when (& how) the pupil will become still or stationary? It is when you focus or concentrate it over a point (an entity which occupies no space or has no expanse). It is for this very reason that `Vindu Dhyaan' has been taught. This very thing has been referred to as firm practice of one element (`ek tattva dridhaabhyaas') in Muktikopnishad:

"Ekatatvadridhaabhyaasaaddyaavanna vijitam manah.
Praksheenchittadarpasya nigriheetendriyadvishah.
Padminya iva ksheeyante bhoga vaasanaah."

That means that unless the mind has been conquered completely, one should try to control one's senses overcoming the chitta and ego completely by firm and rigorous practice of (concentration over) one element. Once this happens, all the indulgences and lust & cravings get destroyed in the same way as the lotus gets destroyed in the Hemant Season (cold season normally spanning from Mid November to Mid January in the Indian Subcontinent). Attain single pointedness (complete unwavering concentration, or fixed gazing at a perfect point), and you will transcend beyond cravings for the sensual pleasures, luxurious life or licentiousness. Goswami Tulsidas ji has written in his book "Vinay Patrika" :

" Jab lagi nahi nij hridi prakaash, aru Vishay aas man maahi.
Tulsidas tab lagi jag joni, bhramat sapanehu sukh naahi."

[So long as our own heart is not illuminated, and yearning for objects of senses linger in us, opines Tulsidas, the `jiv' (individual soul) shall have to wander in the various species in this world and shall never attain true bliss even in its dreams.]

Kabir Sahab says in a similar context:

"Baas surat le aavaee, shabd surat lai jay.
Parichay shruti hai sthire, so guru daee bataay."

[Cravings bring or drag the surat (un-liberated individual soul) into this world, while the Sound (the Quintessential Unstruck Melody) takes us beyond or back to its true or original home. The surat becomes still (becomes free from movement into endless cycles of birth & death) as it gets acquainted with or meets Him. Guru has taught me (says Kabir) the technique required or the art for this (making the surat still).]

When our sight becomes fixed, the World or Domain of Light opens up, spotless Sun is seen. And, thus, "rain andheree mit gayee, baajai anahad toor" (The dark night has come to an end, and countless varieties of enchanting sounds are heard reverberating.), as described by Sant Kabir, is realized in practice. The art to this practice is secret (has to be learnt from an adept master or Guru). However, obstinacy won't help here (It is to be noted here that obstinacy is distinct from tenacity of purpose – Translator). For this, one has to begin with `Maanas Jap' (also, Manas Jap) – reciting, with full concentration, the holy mantra given by the Guru – and then has to internally visualize the gross form of the Guru (known as `Maanas Dhyaan' or Manas Dhyan). Maanas Jap puts a brake on the restlessness, flirtatiousness or naughtiness of the mind, whereas Maanas Dhyaan orients the mind in one particular direction, and, thus, one becomes introverted. `Drishti Saadhan' or Drishti Sadhan (The Yoga of Light, which has to be practiced after Maanas Dhyaan) helps accomplishing the single – mindedness and one can testify to the veracity of the sants' claim "Vindu me tanh naad bolai" (Naad or Sound reverberates in the Light or Vindu). `Naad Dhyaan' enables to realize the Supreme Sovereign Soul. This is what Sants and Great Souls teach.