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"Where Do You Search" by Kabir

Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2007 6:17 pm
by nekot
1640, from L. anthologia, from Gk. anthologia "flower-gathering," from anthos "a flower" (see anther) + logia "collection, collecting," from legein "gather" (see lecture). Modern sense (which emerged in Late Gk.) is metaphoric, "flowers" of verse, small poems by various writers gathered together.

An anthology is a collection of writings, usually revolving around a theme, by different authors or the same author. I found the etymology of anthology quite beautiful. Hmmm....thinking about it, Poetry Pages is like a garden. :grin:

During my tenure as poet laureate, I'd like to feature poems by people from different cultures, faiths, beliefs. How far I'll get is yet to be seen. :wink: I'll do my best to dig out the context in which the poems were written.

Scroll down to read "Where Do You Search" by Kabir. I have also included a couple of Kabir's other poems as translated by Daniel Ladinsky in his anthology Love Poems from God. Enjoy!!



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Re: "Where Do You Search" by Kabir

Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2007 6:31 pm
by nekot shares:
Kabir (1440? - 1518) was an Indian Mystic who was much admired and loved by both Hindu, Sikh and Muslims. Kabir preached the underlying unity of humanity, he was a strong believer that God could not be constrained by sectarian and religious divides. Kabir said of himself he was. " at once the child of Allah and Ram." Kabir’s philosophy was an amalgamation of Hindu philosophy on reincarnation and a Muslim belief in One God and a rejection of the caste system.

His poems are characterised by a sharp wit and a direct and uncluttered approach. He could also be quite mocking of those who were pious without genuine spirituality.

Daniel Ladinsky states in his book Love Poems from God:
Some present day readers of Kabir liken him to something of a tough guy, a Zen-bruiser, a divine smart-aleck, but there are many dimensions of this great Master that one can bring to light, including his rarely revealed tenderness and his delicious freeing humor.

Where Do You Search

Where do you search me?
I am with you
Not in pilgrimage, nor in icons
Neither in solitudes
Not in temples, nor in mosques
Neither in Kaba nor in Kailash

I am with you O man
I am with you
Not in prayers, nor in meditation
Neither in fasting
Not in yogic exercises
Neither in renunciation
Neither in the vital force nor in the body

Not even in the ethereal space
Neither in the womb of Nature
Not in the breath of the breath
Seek earnestly and discover
In but a moment of search
Says Kabir, Listen with care
Where your faith is, I am there.

Scroll down to view a few other poetic writings/songs by Kabir as translated by Daniel Ladinsky in Love Poems from God.

Re: "Where Do You Search" by Kabir

Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2007 8:10 pm
by nekot
Daniel Ladinsky states in his book Love Poems from God regarding Kabir's work and Ladinsky's own translations of Kabir:

With so much religious propanganda playing havoc with us, when I felt it was legitimate I have tried to fill in some of the blanks--un-edit light's freedom--and not weaken the sweet divine punches like this playful, witty one--again--when Kabir says:
'The fish in the water that is thirsty needs
serious professional counseling.'
May Kabir's poems help reduce the income of psychiatrists, and maybe even undermine a military budget or two. Why not dream big?

The following works of Kabir translated by Ladinsky appear, along with other of Kabir's prose, in Ladinsky's anthology Love Poems from God.

I Just Laugh

If I told you the truth about God,
you might think I was an

If I lied to you about the Beautiful One
you might parade me through the streets shouting,
"This guy is a genius!"

This world has its pants on backwards.
Most carry their values and knowledge in a jug
that has a big hole in it.

Thus having a clear grasp of the situation
if I am asked anything these days

I just laugh!


The Smart Dogs Ran Off

I sat one day with a priest who expounded on the
doctrine of hell.

I listened to him for hours, then he asked me
what I thought of all
he said.

And I replied,

That doctrine seems an inhumane cage;
no wonder the smart dogs
ran off.


I Had to Seek The Physician

I had to seek the Physician
because of the pain this world

I could not believe what happened when I got there--
I found my

Before I left, he said,
"Up for a little homework, yet?"
"Okay," I replied.

"Well then, try thanking all the people
who have caused
you pain.

They helped you
come to

Re: "Where Do You Search" by Kabir

Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 8:23 am
by Milk White Chocolate
Nekot...These poems are just simply beautiful.
Thanks so much for sharing...
I had never read any of Kabir's work before...Now, I think I'm gonna try and get my hands on some more! :grin:

Re: "Where Do You Search" by Kabir

Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 10:57 am
by nekot