Welcome Anonymous !

This forum is intended to give the members of the ShiningWorld community a place to meet and discuss Vedanta among themselves. We do not endorse any of the views or opinions expressed here--unless they are made by one of our endorsed teachers--so please take advice and / or teaching from another member of the forum at your own risk. If you feel you have a question that is not being adequately answered in this forum, please contact one of our endorsed teachers directly.

Board index General Discussion

General Discussion

Non dual poetry and music of Kabir

This is where to post topics that do not fall into any of the below chapters. please post there whenever possible. If you cannot decide where to post, post here and your topic may be moved to the appropriate chapter as deemed relevant.

Moderator: Wayne

Non dual poetry and music of Kabir

Postby Mira » Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:44 pm

Hi SW gang,

Hope everyone is well! I have been so busy with life (my administrative duties at work end at the end of May and I can't wait to be done with them!) that I have not been able to post.

Recently, however, I had the opportunity to see a concert by the Prahlad Singh Tapaniya group singing the bhajans (devotional songs) of Kabir.

Kabir was a famous 15th century poet, saint and singer in North Inda. He was a lowly muslim weaver in the North of India and was a seeker after the truth. The story goes that he wanted to be a disciple of Swami Ramananda--but he had heard that the Swami only accepted Hindu disciples who were to be initiated by a secret mantra. So one very early morning, Kabir lay himself down on the shores of the river where the Swami went for a bath. The Swami walked along as usual uttering his mantra and did not notice Kabir. As the Swami walked over him, he uttered the words "Ram Ram". Kabir heard the mantra and considered himself immediately initiated after that! (I just love that story :D).

Anyway, after much ado, Kabir became a disciple of Ramananda who was a bhakti swami. I had always thought of Kabir as a bhakti poet too. But when I heard the concert (which provided English translations of the songs), I was really struck by the non-dual nature of the poetry. He beautifully evokes the nirguna brahman in his poetry. I believe this form of bhakti poetry and music is called the Nirguna tradition.

Here is a wonderful 2 part concert of Kabir songs by Prahlad Tipanya. English translation and interpretation is offered by Shabnam Virmani (a Kabir scholar).


Prahladji appears to be a self-realized musician devoted to the formless God within all of us. He and his troupe are an absolute treat to listen to. He tours college campuses across the US providing free concerts, and I hope you get a chance to see him!

Highly recommended!
Posts: 160
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2015 3:54 pm

Re: Non dual poetry and music of Kabir

Postby Mira » Wed May 31, 2017 6:26 pm

Ha! Ha! I'm bumping up my own post. I am just addicted to the poetry of Kabir and the music of Prahlad Tipanya. I bought their CD at the concert and it is all I have listened to in my car all these months. In fact, I'm thinking I might have to keep this car for a very long time since I'm in love with this CD (and new cars don't have CD players anymore :lol:).

Here is a wonderful link to a live concert by Prahladji:
It has english interpretation by Shabnam Virmani (a renowned Kabir scholar).
At 14:25 in the video is a particularly beautiful song which is a favorite these days of mine.
The lyrics and translation are below:

Thaara rang mahal mein In the colorful place, in a strange city
English translation
Find the difficult path in this body, in that place is the path.
Says Kabir you will get acquainted to that place with the Guru's guidance.

All the forests are filled with tulsi, all the mountains with saligram * (a precious stone for worship).
All the rivers like Ganga when the truth inside is learnt.

Chorus: In your colorful place, in this wondorous country,
come my swan*, the formless king has been given visible form
* swan=soul

Oh yes brother, this temple has no God
There is no need of ringing the temple bell

Oh yes brother, the limitless is difficult to understand
What clue will you give to the one who does not have a Guru?

Oh yes brother, you've got a cup full of nectar*(love)
Why not share it with your brothers?

Oh yes brother, Kabir says think about it
Understand the sign from the clue

Lyrics in Malwa
Ghat me aughat payiyaa, aughat maahi ghaat
Kahe Kabir parichay bhayaa, Guru dikhaayi baath

Sab ban toh bhaye, parvath salagraam
Sab Nadiya Gangaaa bhayee, jab jaana aatam Ram

Chorus: Thaara rang mahal mein, ajab shehar mein
Aajaa re hansaa bahi, nirgun rajaa pe, sirgun sej bichhai

Arey haan re bahi, inaa devaliya mein dev nahi
Jhaalar koote araj kasi

Arey haan re bhai, behad ki toh gam naahi
Noogura se sen kasi

Arey haan re bhai, amrut pyaala bhar paavoh
bhaaila se bhraanth kasi

Arey haan re bahi, kahe Kabir vichaar
sain mahi sain mili

Lyrics and translation were from the book accompanying the CD by Prahlad Singh Tipaniya. Brilliant stuff.

I am most happy to add more translations of the songs on the video.

Kabir is really the epitome of nirguna bhakti :D.
Posts: 160
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2015 3:54 pm

Return to General Discussion



User Menu