Kabir Das (whose name is a Qur’anic title of Allah meaning “great”) was born in Benares, a mystic-poet and a saint is famous for his dohas(Couplets/poems).
His writings questioned the meaningless practices of the religion as for him he believed that truth is with the person who is in the path of righteousness.
In this article, I am going to share some of his beautiful and inspiring poems(couplets) with meaning so that you understand his view towards life.
I believe that his writings can transform anyone way of perceiving life, as his way of living and finding God was uncomplicated as he believed that God can only be worship with love and devotion.
Kabir Das Poems With Meaning
1. बडा हुआ तो क्या हुआ जैसे पेड़ खजूर।
पंथी को छाया नही फल लागे अति दूर ॥
Don’t be like a Date Tree, who even if it is big but can’t give shade to the travellers and even if it bears fruits, one can’t reach it as it’s too high. Kabir Das Ji wants people to understand that success is of no use if people don’t use it to help those in need.
2. तिनका कबहूँ न निंदिये जो पावन तर होए ।
कभू उडी अँखियाँ परे तो पीर घनेरी होए ॥
You should not oppress the weak, as you should not trample a speck because when that weak person counter-attacks, it will be very painful just like a speck of dust in the eye can cause a lot of discomforts.
3. माला फेरत जुग भया, फिरा न मन का फेर ।
कर का मन का डार दे, मन का मनका फेर ॥
Kabir says you spent your whole life turning the beads of a rosary, but failed to turn your own heart. Leave the rosary and try to change the evil in your heart.
4. जाती ना पूछो साधु की, पूछ लिजे ज्ञान।
मोल करो तलवार की, पड़ी रहन दो म्यान।।
Kabir says don’t ask about the caste of the saint, ask about his knowledge. Value the sword, let the sheath lie down.
5. पोथी पोथी पढी जग मुआ, पंडित हुआ ना कोई।
ढाई आखर प्रेम का, पढे सो पंडित होए।।
The whole world read so many books but none became wise. The one who reads the word of Love only becomes the true knower.
If you see today, people who have read hundreds of books, gained everything but lacked love and compassion in their hearts. Books or money cannot empower the spirit of service but love can and that’s why Kabir Das Ji says that the one who has love in his heart is wiser and a true knower.
6. गुरु गोविंद दोनों खड़े, काके लागूं पाँय ।
बलिहारी गुरु आपनो, गोविंद दियो मिलाय ॥
Kabir says that if a Guru( Teacher) and the God are standing in front of me, then whose feet I’ll touch and give honour first? He then says that it will be the feet of my guru that I will touch first since it was because of him I found God.
7. पाथर पूजे हरि मिले , तो मैं पूजू पहाड़ ।
घर की चाकी कोई ना पूजे, जाको पीस खाए संसार ॥
This is one of my favourite couplets by Kabir Das as he mocks the illogical way of worshipping God. He says that if it was possible to reach God by worshipping a stone I would prefer worshipping mountains.
He then says that Why can’t we worship, home flour mill(chakki) that gives us the flour to eat and survive?
8. रात गंवाई सोय कर, दिवस गंवायो खाय ।
हीरा जनम अमोल था, कौड़ी बदले जाय ॥
Kabir says, the whole of your life you spoilt and wasted your time by sleeping and eating only, but do remember God has given you this birth to achieve heights, but you have made your life worthless.
9. पढ़ा सुना सीखा सभी, मिटा ना संशय शूल |
कहे कबीर कैसो कहू, यह सब दुःख का मूल ||
One may read, listen and learn everything. But after doing all this he has confusion. Kabir is at pains to explain that confusion is the root of sorrow.
Understand that if knowledge cannot take you out of your confusion then it is useless and if without winning over doubts and confusion it is impossible to be happy. According to this poem by Kabir Das Ji confusion is the root of all sorrow.
10. कबीरा धीरज के धरे हाथी मन भर खाए।
टूक टूक बेकार में स्वान घर घर जाये ॥
Kabir Das says that one must be patient like an elephant who eats his food with full satisfaction, on the other hand, a dog always runs around with the hope of food and finds only one piece in every house.
11. माया तजे तो क्या हुआ, मान तजा ना जाय।
मान बडे मुनिवर गये, मान सबन को खाय॥
It’s very easy to give up efforts and lose wealth. But, It’s difficult to give up the ego. Even great and analytical people have fallen because of their egos. Ego kills one and all.
12. अति का भला न बोलना, अति की भली न चूप,
अति का भला न बरसना, अति की भली न धूप।
In this poem, Kabir Das Ji says that excess of anything is dangerous. He says that talking excessively is bad, and being excessively is bad too, just like excess rain is good neither excess sunshine.
13. माटी कहे कुम्हार से, तू क्या रौंदे मोय ।
एक दिन ऐसा आएगे, मैं रौंदूंगा तोये ॥
In this poem(doha) the soil is telling the potter that though you are kicking and kneading me today, there will be a day soon when I would be doing the same with you what you have done to me.
The deeper meaning of this couplet by Kabir Das is that nothing is permanent in this world. A king can become a beggar and a beggar can become a king anytime. This Doha also signifies death which is also related to impermanence.
14. साँई इतना दीजिए जामें कुटुंब समाय ।
मैं भी भूखा ना रहूँ साधु न भुखा जाय॥
Kabir request God to give as much to feed his family and guests so that neither he and his family suffers from hunger nor his guests. This poem also means that it is enough to have what one needs to live a happy life, there is no use in having too much if it doesn’t feed others.
15. बुरा जो देखन मैं चला, बुरा ना मीलया कोई ।
जो मन खोंजे अपना, तो मुझसे बुरा न कोई ॥
He says that when he went in search of a bad guy or evil person he found none, but when he observed himself, he found that there is no one eviler than himself.
This couplet has a deeper meaning, it talks about observing ones own mind and when someone does it through meditations and introspection, he finds that the real evil stays in his own mind.
16. ।।कबीरा तेरी झोपड़ी गल कटियन के पास।।
।।जो करेगा सो भरेगा तू क्यों भयो उदास।।
O, Kabira! Your Hut Is Next to the Butchers’ Bay, Why Do You Feel Down?
For Their Conduct, They Only Shall Pay. This couplet by Kabir Das says that one should not become sad by concerning himself of others conduct. One should understand that everyone faces the consequences of their actions.
Here is one more meaning translated by boloji.com, he writes:
“Kabir tells us to live in the world and focus on our own journey and not worry about the good, bad or ugly going on around us. According to him the world and its ways will take care of itself, that’s not our job – we should focus our attention only on the real reason for coming to the world, to find out who we truly are. All else does not matter. “
17. ज्यों नैनन में पुतली, त्यों मालिक घर माँहि।
मूरख लोग न जानिए , बाहर ढूँढत जाहिं ।।
Kabir Das Ji says, like the pupil which is in the eyes, the same way God resides within all. The fool never knows this and finds him on the outside.
18. अकथ कहानी प्रेम की, कुछ कही न जाये।
गूंगे केरी सरकरा, बैठे मुस्काए ।।
The story of love is such that it defies narration like a dumb who eats a sweet fruit but cannot express through words but with a smile. The poem tells us that love is inexpressible, one can only feel it.
19. ऊँचे कुल का जनमिया, करनी ऊँची न होय ।
सुवर्ण कलश सुरा भरा, साधू निंदा होय ।
Kabir says that if a person is born in a high family it doesn’t mean that his actions will also be high. If a person’s actions are good then he is said to be a wise man even if he dosent belongs to a highly respected family or caste. He says what if a golden vessel is filled with wine, will it become pure? The sages will condemn it.
20. आग जो लगी समुंदर में, धुंआ न परगट होए |
सो जाने जो जरमुआ जाकी लगी होए ||
Kabir, in this Doha, depicts the agony that a devotee feels for his Lord when he separates. He says that when the ocean is on fire one cannot see the smoke. Only the one who gets burnt feels the pain.
Kabir Das has written many couplets or poems which resembles the modern-day problems, superstitions, and the agony of saints.
He has inspired many people and by reading these poems by Kabir Ji I wish you get inspired too. May these couplets shows you the right path and guide you to become a better version of yourself.
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