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By Kabir

Translated by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra

Brother, I’ve seen some

     Astonishing sights:

A lion keeping watch

     Over pasturing cows;

A mother delivered

     After her son was;

A guru prostrated

     Before his disciple;

Fish spawning

     On treetops;               

A cat carrying away

     A dog;

A gunny-sack

     Driving a bullock-cart;

A buffalo going out to graze,

     Sitting on a horse;

A tree with its branches in the earth,

     Its roots in the sky;

A tree with flowering roots.


This verse, says Kabir,

     Is your key to the universe.

If you can figure it out.


Source: Poetry (March 2011)

  • Arts & Sciences
  • Living
  • Mythology & Folklore

Poet Bio

Kabir
Though little is known of the life of the Indian mystic and poet Kabir, it is believed he was born in or near Benares. He grew up in a family of Muslim weavers before becoming a disciple of the Hindu ascetic Ramananda. Kabir is considered both a Sufi and Brahmin saint. Kabir’s poetry draws on both Hinduism and Islam, though he was critical of certain aspects of both faiths. Some of his verses are included in the compilation of Sikh scriptures known as the Adi Granth. His mystical poems are grounded in the details and earthly particulars of everyday life. See More By This Poet

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