Sant Kabir was the mystic saint of India who lived in 14-15 century and whose birth anniversary is celebrated on Jyeshtha Purnima (full moon day in May-June) as Sant Kabir Jayanti. The special quality of Saint Kabir Das was that he never took side of any religion and used his literary abilities to compose poetry in common man’s language so that he could convey the true meaning of day-to-day life to masses. The philosophy of Sant Kabir Das emphasized on simple living with total dedication to human virtues that are altogether different from the dogmas of religion. Kabir wrote dohas in Hindi which are till now famous as ‘Kabir ke Dohe’
Kabir Ke Dohe- Couplet Poems of Kabir
Kabir ke dohe are the couplets- the two liners- embodying a world of wisdom in them! These two line verses or dohas are till today recited by not only the devotees and followers of Saint Kabir Das but even in day-to-day usage by common man for various purposes- to make a point regarding any fact, to teach virtues to children or to make oneself assured about the facts of life. This can only be understood by reading some of kabir dohas and knowing their meanings. Here is a collection of Kabir ke Dohe in Hindi with their meaning in English. These will make the readers understand how powerful a two liner doha can be!
Kabir Das ke Dohe in Hindi with Meaning in English
दुख मे सुमिरन सब करे, सुख मे करे न कोय।
जो सुख मे सुमिरन करे, दुख काहे को होय॥
Everyone remembers God when sad but not when happy. The one who remembers Him in even happier times, never gets to be sad.
गुरु गोविन्द दोनो खड़े, काके लागूँ पाय।
बलिहारी गुरु आपनो, गोविन्द दियो दिखाय॥
When Guru (teacher) and God (Govind), both are there, whose feet should I touch to pay respect. It can be the Guru only because he has only shown me the way to God.
साईं इतना दीजिये, जामे कुटुम्ब समाय।
मै भी भूखा ना रहूँ, साधु ना भूखा जाय॥
God! give me that much only which is sufficient for me and my family. May I and my family do not starve nor does a gentleman goes away from my home without food.
जाति ना पूछो साधु की, पूछ लीजिये ज्ञान।
मोल करो तलवार का, पड़ा रहन दो म्यान॥
Do not fall for the cast of a Sadhu (saint), see his knowledge. Sword is only the valuable thing and not the scabbard (cover of sword).
जहाँ दया तहाँ धर्म है, जहाँ लोभ तहाँ पाप।
जहाँ क्रोध तहाँ पाप है, जहाँ क्षमा तहाँ आप।।
Where there is compassion, there is religion (ideal behaviour). Where there is greed, there is sin. Where there is anger, there is sin. Where there is forgiveness, there is God.
धीरे धीरे रे मना, धीरे सब कुछ होय।
माली सींचे सौ घड़ा, ऋतु आय फल होय॥
Have patience my soul, everything happens slowly and on time. Even if the gardener uses hundred pots of water, the tree will bear fruits only when season comes.
पाँच पहर धन्धे गया, तीन पहर गया सोय।
एक पहर हरि नाम बिन, मुक्ति कैसे होय॥
You work for five ‘pehar’ (peher is a unit of time which equals to three hours) and sleep for three peher making it twenty four hours of the day. If you don’t remember God for a peher, how will you get salvation?
माटी कहे कुम्हार से, तू क्या रौंदे मोय।
एक दिन ऐसा आयेगा, मै रौंदूगी तोय।
Soil says to the potter- today you are using me without pity but one day I will treat you just like this. This means that everyone has to mix with this soil after death.
काल करे सो आज कर, आज करे सो अब।
पल मे प्रलय होयेगी, बहुरि करेगा कब॥
Do today what is due for tomorrow and do now what is due for today. You never know what is there in the next moment, you may not get the chance to do your work then.
मागंन मरण समान है, मत माँगो कोई भीख।
मागंन से तो मरना भला, यह सत्गुरू की सीख॥
To beg is like death, never beg for anything. It is better to die then to beg- this is the teaching of a good Guru.
ऐसी वाणी बोलिये, मन का आपा खोय।
औरन को सीतल करे, आपहु सीतल होय॥
Always speak sweetly in such a manner that whosoever listens to it feels too good. This will not only make others happy and calm but will also calm yourself.
बड़ा हुआ तो क्या हुआ, जैसे पेड़ खजूर।
पंथी को छाया नही, फल लागे अति दूर॥
If you are a very successful and great man but you can not do good to others than you are like a date tree which cannot give either shade or fruit to the travelers due to its tallness.
Here is a list of books that have dohas of Kabir.
Kabir ke Dohe- Song Video
Sant kabir dohas are so popular that they are sung as a rhythmic poem by many artists and even general public. Here is a video of kabir ke dohe in song form, sung none other than the maestro Jagjit Singh.