‘Sun Kabira Baansuri Kahe’ – A Doha of Kabir

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Listen, Kabir, to the flute’s mournful lays
How it sings of the beloved’s loss wherever it strays
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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)
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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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