Mercury Day poetry: Kabir’s ‘He’s That Rasically Kind of Yogi’

This poem by Banaras’ Kabir is, in a word, awesome.

He’s that rascally kind of yogi
who has no sky or earth,
no hand, foot,
form or shape.
Where there’s no market
he sets up shop,
weighs things
and keeps the accounts.
No deeds, no creeds,
no yogic powers,
not even a horn or gourd,
so how can he
go begging?

‘I know you
and you know me
and I’m inside of you.’

When there isn’t a trace
of creation or destruction,
what do you meditate on?
That yogi built a house
brimful of Ram.
He has no healing herbs,
his root-of-life
is Ram.

He looks and looks
at the juggler’s tricks,
the magician’s sleight-of-hand –
Kabir says, saints, he’s made it
to the King’s land.

Posted by Steve

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Mercury Day poetry: Kabir’s ‘Do Not Go to the Garden of Flowers’

Kabir was one of India’s great poets during the five or so centuries that Muslims ruled the northern part of the country. He was from a low-caste family in Banaras — where we are now. Here is a translation of a short devotional poem of his:

Do not go to the garden of flowers!
Do not go to the garden of flowers!
O Friend! go not there;
In your body is the garden of flowers.

Take your seat on the thousand petals of the lotus,
and there gaze on the Infinite Beauty.

Posted by Steve