Dohas (Couplets) I (with translation) by Kabir at Old Poetry


Chalti Chakki Dekh Kar, Diya Kabira Roye
Dui Paatan Ke Beech Mein,Sabit Bacha Na
[Looking at the grinding stones, Kabir laments
In the duel of wheels, nothing stays intact.]
**
Bura Jo Dekhan Main Chala, Bura Naa Milya Koye
Jo Munn Khoja Apnaa, To Mujhse Bura Naa Koye
[I searched for the crooked man, met not a single one
Then searched myself, "I" found the crooked one]
**
Kaal Kare So Aaj Kar, Aaj Kare So Ub
Pal Mein Pralaya Hoyegi, Bahuri Karoge Kub
[Tomorrow's work do today, today's work now
if the moment is lost, the work be done how]
**
Aisee Vani Boliye, Mun Ka Aapa Khoye
Apna Tan Sheetal Kare, Auran Ko Sukh Hoye
[Speak such words, sans ego's ploy
Body remains composed, giving the listener joy]
**
Dheere Dheere Re Mana, Dheere Sub Kutch Hoye
Mali Seenche So Ghara, Ritu Aaye Phal Hoye
[Slowly slowly O mind, everything in own pace happens
The gardiner may water with a hundred buckets, fruit arrives only in its season]
**
Sayeen Itna Deejiye, Ja Mein Kutumb Samaye
Main Bhi Bhookha Na Rahun, Sadhu Na Bhookha Jaye
[Give so much, O God, suffice to envelop my clan
I should not suffer cravings, nor the visitor go unfed]
**
Bada Hua To Kya Hua, Jaise Ped Khajoor
Panthi Ko Chaya Nahin, Phal Laage Atidoor
[In vain is the eminence, just like a date tree
No shade for travelers, fruit is hard to reach]
**
Jaise Til Mein Tel Hai, Jyon Chakmak Mein Aag
Tera Sayeen Tujh Mein Hai, Tu Jaag Sake To Jaag
[Just as seed contains the oil, fire's in flint stone
Your temple seats the Divine, realize if you can]
**
Kabira Khara Bazaar Mein, Mange Sabki Khair
Na Kahu Se Dosti, Na Kahu Se Bair
[Kabira in the market place, wishes welfare of all
Neither friendship nor enmity with anyone at all]
**
Pothi Padh Padh Kar Jag Mua, Pandit Bhayo Na Koye
Dhai Aakhar Prem Ke, Jo Padhe so Pandit Hoye
[Reading books where everyone died, none became anymore wise
One who reads the word of Love, only becomes wise]
**
Dukh Mein Simran Sab Kare, Sukh Mein Kare Na Koye
Jo Sukh Mein Simran Kare, Tau Dukh Kahe Ko Hoye
[In anguish everyone prays to Him, in joy does none
To One who prays in happiness, how sorrow can come]

Notes

These Dohas or couplets are each complete in themselves and are the most famous of Kabir's poetry, there are many more and many of them are often quoted in India even now. There is profound wisdom hidden in each couplet and they reflect Kabir's way of expressing the most profound thoughts in the simplest words.

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