‘Sun Kabira Baansuri Kahe’ – A Doha of Kabir

Listen, Kabir, to the flute’s mournful lays
How it sings of the beloved’s loss wherever it strays
sun kabira baansuri kahe niraali baat
(listen kabir flute says unique talk)
nagar dhandora peet-ti hai choota pi ka saath
(in-city clamors it that parted beloved’s company)
Kabir, like Moulana Rumi before him, equates the body to the flute, and each life as a song that God plays on it. They also relate their poetry to a painful utterance caused by being separated from the divine.

The Moulana famously starts his Mathnavi with very similar verses:

Listen to this reed as it complains
As it tells of separations in its strains
(trans. Legenhausen, 2002)

I’m amazed at how close the verses are in their rendering- They could almost be used as translations for each other.  I think the spiritual genius of both the poets has managed to cut through the illusions to arrive at the simple and universal sentiment they’ve both voiced.



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