Great Poem of Kabir about the Ascension of the Soul called: “Kar nainon didar mahal men piara hai”: “See Your Beloved Lord in the Temple of Your Own Body”, in two Translations
This is a tremendously valuable poem attributed to Kabir (from the Dharam Das tradition of Kabir Panth), as it describes something of the interior voyage of the soul back to God, with references to the chakras, the yoga tradition, panch naam, inner regions beyond the physical or material plane (“Pinda Desh”), the astral (“Annda”) and other heavenly realms or dimensions, mystical Visions of Lights, and Sounds (“Anhad Shabd”), culminating with oneness with God (“Anami Purusha”). Generally, for those who are initiates of Inner Light and Sound Meditation and acquainted with the teaching of Guru Kabir, the Kabir Sagar/Anurag Sagar literature, bhajans of Sant Dariya Sahib, Sant Tulsi Sahib, Sant Radhasoami Sahib, etc….., this will seem familiar.
The first translation renders these thirty-two verses into somewhat of an archaic older English rhyming style. Scroll further down below for a more literal translation of the same poem.
TRANSLATION NUMBER ONE
Thy love behold with inward eye,
Where in a mansion He doth lie.
(1) Lust, av’rice and ire, and vanity repel,
With continence, forgiveness, truth and contentment
Intoxicants, flesh-eating; forswear thou mind cheating,
And steed of knowledge mounting, off this false show
(2) Dhoti, 1 Neti 2 and Basti 3 done,
Squat duly thou in Padmaasan. 4
When Kumbhak 5 is completed, let Rechak 6 be begun,
And cleansing thus base-ganglion, be all thy task
(3) Four-petalled lotus blossoms, in the Muladhar’s 7 bed,
Where ‘kilyng’ sound arises and ruddy glow is spread.
There form of God Ganesha, his might hath ‘stablished
Through Ridhi Sidhi o’er him a whisk 8 is undulating.
1 A small piece of cloth, about 4 inches wide and the length according to the capacity of the practitioner, which the yogis swallow and pull out through the mouth for cleansing the stomach.
2 The cleansing of the humours by means of passing a waxed thread through the nostrils and bringing it out through the mouth.
3 A sort of enema, but the water is drawn up through the rectum by means of muscle control, while the practitioner sits in the water.
4 A sitting posture, cross-legged upon the ground.
5 Holding the breath in the lungs.
6 Slowly exhaling.
7 The root ganglion in the human body; the rectal plexus.
8 A flapper made from the hair of wild ox, used to drive off flies.
(4) A lotus of six petals,
In the sex ganglion lies
Where Nagin 9 lives inverted,
Crush her until she dies.
There tunes of Onkara
The Word’s for e’er repeating.
(5) In the navel blooms a lotus, petals of which are eight,
Where on a throne of white, Vishnu doth shine in state.
Flow sonorous airs of “Hiryng” from lips o’ th’ god
On whom are Shiv and Lakshmi, the twain, ever
(6) Twelve-petalled lotus in the ganglion of heart is growing
Where rapt in form of Shiva, Jung 10 and Gauri 11 are
With strains of Shabd as “Sohang”, the land is overflowing
And shouts of victory rise, that be to Ganas 12 owing.
(7) A lotus with two petals,
I’ the throat is situate,
Which doth Avidya goddess
With her being permeate.
Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, a whisk o’er her do ply
And “Shiryng” is the carol emanating thereby.
(8) And up above that, Brother,
Lotus Ambrosial view,
See two forms — white and the other
That is sable in hue.
At the back of the eyes is this domain,
Where Nij Man 13 doth in glory reign.
9 Also known as Kundalini. It is the latent physical energy lying in the sex ganglion in the form of a serpent. It is inverted through yogic processes for attaining miraculous powers.
10 Devotee of Shiva who keeps in constant motion.
11 Consort of Lord Shiva; also known as Parbati.
12 Semi-divine beings.
13 One’s real, innermost, causal or higher mind.
(9) Thus hath revealed been
The secret of the lotuses.
Within the purview of the Pind [material realm],
This whole creation is.
Let satsang now invite,
Find the preceptor right,
Who Satnam will recite,
And He will show the way.
(10) Close eye and mouth and ear,
Chirping of cricket hear,
As Anhad Melody.
The pupils twain, as one draw in.
A flowering garden spy.
(11) To a point bring both moon and sun:
On Sukhman meditate.
With the Word in Tribeni be one.
Crossing to that land shalt thou illusion ever shun.
(12) The gongs are struck, the conch shells blow.
Thus doth divine music flow,
From lotus of thousand petals
Refulgent as the festivals
Which are with lamps aglow.
It harbours the creator
O’erlord of all below
Bunk tunnel enter now and penetrate across.
(13) Dak’ni 14, Sak’ni 15 do loudly yell.
Yama imps and messengers of Hell
Do bawl and halloo all pell-mell.
Hearing Sat Nam they all do flee,
When Guru’s Word’s uttered by thee.
(14) Within the orb of heaven,
Inverted lies a well.
The Gurumukh and the mystic, from that do drink
But he who hath no Guru, bereft of spiritual leaven,
Is parched and thirsty still.
Gloom obfuscates his mind: he doth in darkness dwell.
14 Satanic attributes.
15 She-devils that are personifications of satanic attributes.
(15) Trik’ti 16 is the demesne,
The fountain-head of knowledge,
Where peals of darksome clouds, the kettledrums
A ruddy glow of sunset is scattering all its sheen.
A lotus there’s with petals four,
Where tunes of Onkara do rise evermore.
(16) Whoso mounteth this aerie
Truly a Sadh is he.
The secrets of the nine doors,
To him revealed be.
Who now beyond the tenth soars,
That’s locked perpetually.
(17) Set Sunn’s 17 beyond this range.
In Mansar 18 have a bathe,
The hansas 19 meet; thyself to hansa change
Live thou on nectar now, in drinking that engage.
(18) The harp and mandolin, the lute — all these do play,
Where Akshar 20 Brahm in Sunn, holdeth his court alway
Light equal to twelve suns, each hansa radiates:
Word from eight-petalled lotus “Rarankar” emanates.
16 Three Prominences; appellation of the second Spiritual Region.
17 A region above Brahm.
18 Pool of nectar of Immortality.
19 Literally, swans; fabulous birds reputed to live on pearls and to be able to separate milk from water; appellation of elevated spirits who reach Sat Lok; Saints are also called Hansas; so are devoted souls or Bhagats who dwell in Daswan Dwar or anywhere in Par Brahm; also applied to highly devoted and spiritually advanced persons.
20 Not liable to Dissolution.
(19) The ocean of Mahasunn, 21 a perilous pass is it,
Without the Guru no one through it can find exit.
The wolf and tiger prowl; the snakes are ever biting,
There rolling plains of Sehaj Achint 22 do stretch
and lie inviting.
(20) In Par Brahm there’s, O Brother, lotus with petals eight,
Twelve-petalled one’s to the right, where Achint is
To th’ left ten-petalled Sehaj is,
Such are details of lotuses.
(21) The five Brahms, in eggs encased are all,
And all the five, Neh-akshar 23 do we call.
There regions four do lie hid,
Where live internees whom the Punish 24 hath exiled.
(22) Behold where mountains twain do meet,
From Bhanwar Gupha the Saints do greet.
The Hansas play in wondrous sport,
There Satguru doth hold his court.
(23) There islands eighty eight thousand did the Creator raise,
And places lie studded, with jade and gem ablaze.
There uninterrupted tunes of Flute and fiddle play,
And reverberating word “Sohang” doth ever say.
(24) When the frontiers of Sohang thou dost, O Brother, clear,
Then the outskirts of Sat Lok anear.
Where emanate sweet fragrances galore,
Mysterious, ineff’ble evermore.
21 Great void; the region of intense darkness, situated above Sunn or Daswan Dwar proper and below Bhanwargupha. It is really one of the six great spiritual regions, but is never referred to by the Saints because the disciples are not to dwell in it. It can be crossed only with the help of the Master. Hence, though there are six great spiritual regions, only five are named as such in Sant Mat literature, and this one is included in the five without mentioning it as a separate region. Therefore, Daswan Dwar is really Sunn and Mahasunn, respectively, from below upward.
22 A region near Daswan Dwar.
23 Beyond Akshar.
24 Sat Purush — the Supreme Lord.
(25) Each hansa there in the light of sixteen suns is bathed,
And the wondrous music of the lute is e’er being played.
The whisk do flourish hansas over the sovereign’s crown
Such is the court of Him who as Sat Purush is known.
(26) Ten million suns appearing,
As many moons anearing,
Their light in insignificance fades,
Before refulgence that one hair of His pervades.
Such is the glory of that Deity.
(27) Alakh 25 Lok lies, Brother, further on,
Where Alakh Purush hath his dominion.
Billions of suns rival each hair in vain.
Alakh, th’ invisible Lord doth here reign.
(28) Above that a palace enveloped in splendour
Agam 26 Purush inhabits and rules it in grandeur.
Each pore of His essence refulgence doth shed,
Before which is light of a trillion suns dead.
Such light doth He possess,
Ineffable, beyond access.
(29) Above that there’s Akeh 27 Lok, Brother
Inhabited by Anami 28 Purush, no other.
Who reach that land know only they,
For words can naught of that convey.
(30) Thus of the form of man have I revealed the mystery.
All this creation doth exist within this our body.
Deliberately hath Maya thrown a snare,
She is a skilled creator rare.
(31) Primordial Maya did in cleverness create
A false show which in Pind she did thus adumbrate.
In Anda first a copy drew,
Of which she here a shadow threw.
(32) I fly as a bird, my wings the Word,
Saith Kabir I’m free, my Satguru lib’rated me.
My consciousness awoke
Only the Word did resound,
And then beyond the Pind and And, my true home I
25 Literally, the Invisible or Indescribable Region; esoterically,
the name of the sixth spiritual region.
26 The Lord of the seventh Spiritual Region.
27 Beyond description.
28 The Nameless; the Absolute; the Highest Deity, Radha Swami, the Ruler of the eighth and the Highest Spiritual Region.
The Great Mystical of Poem of Kabir About the Ascension of the Soul: “Kar nainon didar mahal men piara hai”, Meaning, “See Your Beloved Lord in the Temple of Your Own Body.”
Verses of Guru Kabir with Literal Translation in English.
TRANSLATION NUMBER TWO
Behold your Beloved with your eyes present in the palace of your own body.
(1) Forget KAMA (sex), KRODH (anger), MADA (ego), and LOBHA (greed). Adopt SHEEL (purity), SANTOSH (contentment), KSHAMA (forgiveness) in the mind. Abandon the use of meat and wine, and also the habit of telling lies. Ride on the horse of knowledge which carries one beyond all doubts.
(2) Perform DHOTI (cleansing intestines), NETI (cleansing nose and throat), and VASTI (cleansing the rectum). Sit in the Padmasna pose by the correct method. Perform KUMBHAAK (respiration in and its retention) RECHAKA (release of breath). First control MOOL-ADHARA (rectum), so that further performances may be successful.
(3) The LOTUS at MOOL-CHAKRA (rectum) has four petals. The recitation is ‘KLING’ and colour RED. Install deity GANESH there. RIDHI (bountifulness) and SIDHI (invisible powers) are in service (of the deity).
(4) SWADU (reproductive organ) chakra has a lotus of six petals. Find there the deities, BRAHMA (deity of creation) and SAVITRI (his consort). Turn back and strike on head of the serpent (KUNDALlNl). The SHABDA (recitation) of this place is ONKAR.
(5) NABHI (NAVEL) has a lotus of eight petals. The deity VISHNU adores white Royal throne. The word ‘HRING’ is being recited by the deity. LAKSHMI (Vishnu’s consort) and SHIVA are in attendance.
(6) HRADAYA (heart) has a lotus of twelve petals. SHIVA and GAURI (his consort) sit in meditation there. The Shabda of this place is SOHAM. The GANAS attendants of Lord Shiva are praising their Lord.
(7) KANTHA (throat has a lotus of sixteen petals). The deity AVlDYA (ignorance — as opposed to knowledge) resides here. Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma stay in her attendance. The Shabad of this place is SRAYAM.
(8) Above it is the AGYA (chakra — a lotus of two petals). Bag (dove) and Bhounra (Black wasp) are both are visible here. NIJ-MAN (physical mind) reigns here. Its location is behind the eyes.
(9) This is the description of lotuses. All this creation is contained in the PINDA — the physical body. Associate with Saints and accept a SATGURU (as your guide), and SATNAM (the divine Name).
(10) Close the eyes, the ears, and the mouth. Hear ANHAD (Limitless Reverberating Sound). Behind the eyes [with singleness of vision (third eye)] behold the garden.
(11) Bring the sun and the moon (both eyeballs) at one place (i.e. nearest). Meditate with all ease (without straining). Enter TRIVENI (the confluence of three rivers). The way onwards is across the flow of water.
(12) Hear the Sounds both of the Big Gong Bells and of the Conch here. The Sahasra Dal-Kamal (lotus of a thousand petals) shines with dazzling light. Behold the creator in their midst. The way onwards is through BUNKA-NAL (curved pipe).
(13) Evil spirits threaten with hideous cries. The messengers of Yama (the deity of death) are calling on. They run away when they hear SATNAM (the divine name), the very name which has been given by the Satguru.
(14) There is a small well in the midst of the space of skies, of which the head is downwards. The Sadhus, who have accepted a Guru drink (nectar) out of it to their fill. Those who have no Guru are without penance and die with thirst. There is darkness in their hearts.
(15) At the place of TRIKUTI exists all knowledge. The Sound here is that of sweet Thunder and of a Big Drum. The red sun spreads its light. The lotus has four petals and among them is the Sound ‘ONKAR’.
(16) Only he is the Sadhu who conquers this fort, who understands clearly the NINE GATES and who opens the Tenth Door which is locked.
(17) Next is Swet-Shoonya (the white zero [void]) where a dip is taken in the MANSAROWAR LAKE. Then the soul mixes up with the Swans and becomes a Swan (immortal), and feeds on the nectar available here.
(18) Musical instruments — Fiddle, Sitar, etc…, are being played here. At this SHOONYA (zero [void]) there is the Darbar (court [abode]) of the AKSHRA (Imperishable) BRAHM. Here the Iight of the soul is equal to twelve suns. The lotus is of six petals here, and the Sound is RARANKAR.
(19) The way to MAHA-SHOONYA (absolute zero [great void]) is very difficult. It cannot be reached without the help of SATGURU. Tigers, Lions Pythons are present here. There are the Islands of SAHAJ and ACHINT spread all over.
(20) The lotus at the place of PAR-BRAHAM has eight petals. On the right is ACHINT — of twelve petals. On the left — SAHAJ has ten petals. This is the position (distribution) of lotuses here.
(21) There are five BRAHMS in the five ANNDAS. The five BRAHMS are imperishable. There are four other places which are secret. Amongst these is the Darbar [abode] of the PURUSHA of the Bandivans (the name of residents here).
(22) Now come to the confluence of the two mountains, which the Saints call BHANWAR-GUFA (the circuitous cave). Swans play freely. Here the GURUS hold their DARBAR [abode].
(23) Here is the creation of eighty-eight thousand islands decorated with diamonds, emeralds and rubies. Murli (Celestial Flute) is continually Sounding. The tune of SOHAM is resounding here.
(24) When the limit of SOHAM is crossed, the territory of SATLOK is entered. The fragrance here is so abundant and profuse that it cannot be measured.
(25) The light of the soul here resembles that of sixteen Suns. The unparalleled Sound of the VEENA is heard here. The HANSAS (liberated souls) stay in the service of the King, THE SAT PURUSHA (the ever existent LORD) in HIS DARBAR [abode].
(26) Crores of suns with equal number of moons together, cannot equal a thin hair of the PURUSHA. Such is the sight and light of the PURUSHA.
(27) Beyond (this) is the Loka of THE ALAKH (Invisible). The master of this place is ALAKH-PURUSHA. (Even) hundreds of crores of suns cannot be equal to HIS one thin hair. Such is the sight and light of THE ALAKH.
(28) Above this exists an Unapproachable PALACE. The AGAMA-PURUSHA is the king of it. Thousands of crores of suns do not equal HIS thin hair. Such is this Unfathomable AGAMA PURUSHA.
(29) Over it is the AKAHA (Indescribable) LOKA, where resides ANAMI (without name [Nameless]) PURUSHA. Only the one who reaches there will know it. It cannot be explained.
(30) The secret of the physical body has (thus) been explained. All the creation exists within this PINDA (physical body). Maya (nature), the great craftsman, has created all this intricate net.
(31) THE ADI-MAYA (initial Mother Nature) has used wisdom by showing this false creation in the PINDA (physical body). Initial creation produced in the ANNDA has been reflected in the PINDA.
(32) Saint Kabir says, our movement is that of a bird (represented by the SHABDA), and the Satguru has given us the key. With the resounding of ‘SHABDA’, the doors are flung open, and the Desh (place of residence beyond this PINDA AND ANNDA) is ours.