THE SISTERS OF THE SPINNING WHEEL
POEMS FROM THE LAND OF THE
KOEL (THE BLACK CUCKOO)
KOEL! what lightning fell? what singed thy wings?
What keeps thee fresh, yet charred?
Concealed in the mango-leaves, thou singest!
Thy high-pitched strains wake in my soul a thousand memories!
Why so restless that thy spark-shedding notes go forth kindling fire?
Lo! The roses are on fire which winds and waters catch!
The shades of mangoes burn!
What a rain of sparks art thou, O little Bird!
Koel! what lightning fell? what singed thy wings?
The Fire of Love has charred my wings, and made me anew,
I am restless! Where is my Beloved?
The sight of mango-blossoms fires me all the more!
The greener the garden, the brighter burns my heart!
My flaming soul asks, “Where? where is my Beloved?”
“Speak! Speak! why are thy leaves so still?”
O CHATRIK!1 Lover of the cloud-clad skies, a thirst, a longing for the nectar drop!
Thou hast the soul of a disciple that pants for Hari Nam!
A weird cry thou pipest as thou fittest from wood to wood, for the season of clouds.
How with thy half-opened mouth, thou callest for the Pearl that lies in the Treasure-House of
Ah! In what bitter pain waits thy impatient thirst, which no lower heights can quench.
For thee all rivers and lakes are, as it were, dry.
Thy soul waits for thy own drop from the clouds, dwellers of the sky.
Brave lover! Thou lookest not on oceans of waters around,
Thou seemest to be the throat of the sun-scorched lands and thou appealest for the Heaven-
reflecting drop which rejoiceth the earth, all birds, all animals, and all mankind
Thou art the Heart of a Saint, which beateth not in thy own struggling wings alone, but beats
beyond thyself in the nectar-drop all-cooling, mother of the God-given Month of Rain,
whose sudden showers bless us unawares.
See how the drops dance in mid-air, rewarding thy hopes, thy longings and thy love, and filling
thy heart and soul with the whole Infinite. Thy share one drop, one little, little drop of
RAJHANS (THE PRINCE SWANS)
RAJHANS! The Golden Swan! Is it thy plumage that shines, or the sunrise on the eternal snows?
The dweller of Man-Sarovar, the lake on the roof of the world!
Thy golden beak parts milk from water, in the living stream thou art a liberated soul
A rosary of spotless pearls is in thy beak, and how sublime is the lofty curve of thy neck against
the Heaven’s vast azure!
Thou livest on pearls, the nectar drops so pure of Hari Nam.
Great soul! lover of the azure, transparent Infinite! Thou canst not breathe out of the Man-
Sarovar air, nor canst thou live out of sight of those loftiest peaks of snow, and away from
the diluted perfume of musk blowing from the wild trail of the deer!
Thou are the Spirit of Beauty, thou art far beyond the reach of human thought. Thy isolation
reflecteth the glory of the starry sky in thy Nectar Lake of Heart in whose waters the sun
daily dips himself!
Thou hast the limitless expanse of air, the companionship of fragrant gods,
And yet we know thou leavest those Fair Abodes to come to share the woes of human love,
Thou alightest unawares on the grain-filled barn of the humble farmer; awakening Nature’s
maiden hearts, thou informest love.
It is thy delight to see woman love man, the small ripplings of a human heart in love flutter thee
in thy lofty seat.
Thou art the soul liberated through love, thou knowest the worth of love, flying for its sake even
midst the cities’ smoke and dust, perchance, to save a human soul through love!
PARAS, THE PHILOSOPHER’S STONE
Paras! Thou art so mixed with common stones that only the straying sheep may chance to strike
thee with its small sharp-pointed hoof, so discovering thee!
When the shepherd sees the foot of his sheep agleam with gold, he says to his comrades, as
together they sit and spin the wool, mixing black with white,—
“O comrades! Be sure the ancient Paras truly lives, as proved by the gleam in the sheep’s foot.”
Thus a poor shepherd here and there, who has a few sheep and a staff and a black blanket for his
all, but with a love-rich heart and eyes that look up to Heaven when in need, owns the
proof that it is.
Paras! that thou art with us in this world is known, yet countless eyes have roamed over the
drifting sea of boulders in vain!
No wise man’s seeking or longing ever found thy transmuting crystal, not a glimpse of thee had
they though lives on lives were spent in search of thee.
In vain we look for thee in stones, thou art in the eyes of the saint, in Simran deep.
The divine-made man is Paras—Paras is Hurl Nam—, a saint whose touch transmutes all baser
metals into gold!
If he looks at a courtesan, she is transmuted by his glance, her metal is changed ; she becomes a
virgin-goddess and a saint!
Robbers, thieves, rogues and cut-throats turn their backs on sin and face the Sun of
Righteousness, when once through their blood and bone vibrates a single glance of Nam,
When once the Master wills, the chambers of thought are washed, the veils lift up, and lost and
unclaimed men are made Sons of God.
When once the Man of God arises in man, all lower desires and soilings gathered in lives bygone
are blown away as the sun blows away by its golden breath the night.
The Transmuter of men is Huri Nam, it is Paras, its is the art of alchemy.
One metal may change into another, copper into gold, even one tree into another, the thorny
acacia into the scented sandal, but what are these changes worth, if that man’s glance
come not vibrating through me, and change not my metal by blending his soul with
mine, and lift me up into the sky by his higher life of love and God?
A MAN of Simran passed a street where the Sisters of the Spinning Wheel, the maidens of the
town, had gathered!
They had gathered to sing love-songs of older days;
They had gathered to raise from their virgin throats the ancient notes of human love, to rouse he
hearts of men to woman’s greatness!
They had gathered to sing the woman, her greatness for song, for love, for tenderness of heart,
and for her faith in man, and her worship of him, how steadfast she, like the patient
earth, in his service,
She loves and calls him her God!!
Her eyes look up to no higher Heaven beyond the love of her man, faithful in life to him and, ah!
in her death!
The saint paused to look at them and his mind turned to thought. “Ah! Could I love my
Beloved with the faith of a woman, could I sing so well and could I call Him as the love-
strains of the village girls call their own, could I have the heart of a woman, her jealousy
of belief and love for one man, her oneness of mind and heart and bone and blood and
flesh for her love!
Ah! Could I have her spirit of infinite patience that waits for love without a thought or a wish to
be seen or felt by the vulgar world around; her tender bosom doth conceal volcanoes of
love’s fires, beneath the simple flowers blowing on the snows of her face so calm, and yet
so unwilling to confess—“I love.’
On her lips no complaints arise, her dimpling smiles tell that her gladness consists in seeing him
whom once she calls her own.
Be it favours now or frowns, it is well for her as he wills!
Her soul lives in the joy of the life she adores.
For her, her Man can never die.
No true woman deems herself a widow; whether he be gone to distant lands, or gone to the
Master’s country yonder, she waits for him ; her Man is sure to come back, her Man for
ever hers, no death can untie the knot of her arms that wreathe him close to her tender
bosom in love.
It is the sacred knot that God has tied with His own hands. Who can sunder the two that He
joins in one? Angels and prophets give them aid.
“The Satee-woman of love conceals a hero-soul in her tender frame, her courage rings along the
aisles of Heaven, her eyes can call the Kingdom of God to help if worlds oppose!!
She is a hidden sacrifice, her love only gods know, she is fate almighty;—so made by the love of
Meseems the disciple too has the soul of a Satee, he loves none else but his beloved Master!
Like the Satee, his soul sings of love in the storm-girt silence of All-death, his every part tingles
like a string with the music of faith in love!
Like her, he too conceals his love and makes a whole Heaven to dwell invisible within his house
Thus did the saint praise woman’s soul, as he gazed at the women and heard their songs and
stood amidst them day by day.
These love songs of the Five Rivers are great, how sweet their vibrations that fill even a saint
The longings of simple human hearts are immortal.
The village girl, simple and untaught, has a secret hope to capture the lover and owner of her
heart with nothing at all; she longs to have a home and a husband for whose pleasure she
should toil and work; she longs to serve the children of her Lord. She toils and sweats
for the joys of the rain of his kisses on her lips and face, behind the veil.
She longs to bear him children, for the sunshine of whose life they both shall wait through a
thousand days of tears.
In singing procession, the crowd of the Sisters of the Spinning Wheel passed on to the Hall of
the Spinning Wheel, the Trinjan,2 the saint followed behind unseen.
Each girl sits before her own scarlet wheel, her little heart-cup brimming over with maiden joy
and pride of youth.
Each girl a princess whirs her spinning wheel and hums to it some simple tragic song of love!
THE STORY OF SASI AND PUNUN
IN Trinjans of the Punjab still pass the camels of Punún laden with the Treasure of Sasí’s heart,
and behind them comes Sasí, Princess of the Punjab, bewailing herself.
One single night of joy they had together, and before the morn had opened her eyes, the camel
drivers from Punún’s home came and stole the sleeping Punún from Sasí’s arms and drove the
camels across the sands of Sasí’s lands.
O! why did the lovers drink the draughts of sleep? Sasí’s Prince of men was gone!!
Sasí comes seeking still her Prince of Love and there searching the sands, she dies still love-thirst!
The Maidens of the Spinning Wheel sing the tragedy in a choric song, and bury Sasí in the dust
of songs. From that dust maidenhood blooms up anew, and Sasí’s sisters wish again to
No death can kill Sasí nor camels take away Punún from the Punjab, for we daily see them pass
in visions of love; the camels pass before the half-closed eyes of love-loin dreamy girls!
THE STORY OF SOHNI MAHIWAL3
Sohní Mahíwal is another tale of love;
It tells of a Punjabi maiden of Gujarat, a potter’s daughter, a maiden of wondrous beauty, who
casts a spell on the son of a merchant-prince of Bukhârâ without her knowing of it at all!
His caravan stops there in Sohní’s town, he pretends to trade in Gujarat vessels of clay; he goes
to the potter’s house and buys the earthen vessels as Sohní comes laden with pieces of
her father’s ware for sale.
He buys dear and sells cheap, an ideal merchant!
He tosses away his coins for the sake of a glimpse of his God. Ah! to bask in the beaming sun
of her face, somehow to feel blessed, though for a moment, in the peace of her
Sohní is beautiful to him as nothing else is, his Faqir eyes see in her such rare perfection of
curve and line!
Here doth the heart of the wild lover from distant Iran break up the chains of self-control; lie
falls on his trembling knees to worship Man and God and Love, in this one form; he is
half faint from the bewildering perfume sent forth by her youth-scented tresses; half lost
in wonder and worship of this grand love that makes kings the slaves of joy;—the joy of
being enchained with the maiden-braids of a young girl that knows not the charm of her
self and the joy in her blossoming youth, that delicate maiden strength that seems to
mock at mighty Death.
The followers are all gone I the camels and horses all are sold, one by one the jewels and gems he
had, no thought of return, nor of the morrow, daunted the Persian Prince!
The brave Iraní at last was penniless!
The potter of Gujarat made him his Mahíwal for debts unpaid; no pity did he show to his
customer, once so rich and great and handsome!
But wings of rumour slowly scattered on the air the news that Sohní now was deep in love!
To save the honour of the potter’s house the potter marries his daughter to someone else.
The, Mahíwal is turned away from Gujarat in ruin!
The hospitable banks of the Chenâb give a hut to the Mahíwal and Sohní too is his!
No daughter of the Punjab could dream of another man, for her the world has but one, when
found it is all. She gives herself to him and no foolish rites of marriage nor law nor false
honour nor shame deter her mind nor daunt her soul from loving the man she loves.
She keeps her vow of love and her word with the gods, she saves the honour of the land where
she is born, faithful to her man and God, never mind what the world says or rumour
Sohni still swims at the secret time of night across the Chenáb to see her Persian Prince.
No boat she has but a pitcher of baked clay; — the potter’s daughter holds by the floating
pitcher, as she daily crosses the river Chenáb, in the name of God and Mahíwal.
Her sister-in-law exchanges one night Sohní’s boat of clay concealed in a secret lonely bush with
a false-dyed, unbaked pitcher! And it is too late when Sohni, dressed in the darkness of
the night, takes it in her hand.
Be as it may, life or no life, to-night also she must swim across to him or else how could she live
through the night! It was pitch dark, the night was stormy and the Chenàb was in flood;
the sky thundered high as she plied her hands and swam amidst the bloodthirsty death-
The Sisters of the Spinning Wheel sing still how Sohní cried to the god of waters then.
“O Khwâjâ Khizar!4 drown me not on my way to Mahíwal, let me only swim across to my love,
and on my way back from him, take my life as thou willst. I shall have no complaint, but
take me safe across to my Mahíwal!”
How her soul rises strong when the waves engulf her; it cries supreme —“Drown me! O Khizar!
if though willst, come, try, and drown me now! What, wilt thou sink my flesh and bones!
Take this flesh and take these bones, I must fly across to my Mahíwal God’s golden
strings of love bind mc with him so fast that thy waters cannot untie them. I am my
“My soul shall soar, breaking all thy waters, straight on to where my Mahíwal waits for me.
Drown me, Khizar! drown, drown me as thou willst.”
Such cries of Sohní’s soul are heard still from sweet little throats of the Sisters of the Spinning
Wheel and they repeat her message to her Sisters of the Punjab Trinjans. The winds and
waters carry her screams in all the four directions. Her soul passes, still whispering to
every Punjabi heart the power of love!
In Trinjans of the Punjab, her comrades still celebrate the jubilee of her death!
Sohní’s land is filled with songs of Sohní and all hearts beat with pride: our daughters are so
great though they look like simple village maids, so rude and illiterate!
Their ways of love we men imitate till we become as strong in love of our Creator as they!
We snatch the tunes from their transparent throats and fill with their cadence our hearts to make
them pure and intense!
The simple Punjabi songs are like the light of morn to men who follow the divine love, they are
part of the Punjabi food of the saints; on the soil of the Punjab the saints live well!
The saint saw how small yet how great is the measure of joy of the Sisters of the Spinning
A mother-sent loaf of bread is enough!
A jug of water and a song sung in chorus with the whirring wheels and humming throats, is
Enough are the rain-delights, the mango-blossoms are their wealth!
They feel the blossoms hanging on the trees, as ear-rings in their own ears! They pluck them
not, for very joy! The very sight of blossoms hanging is delicious to them.
The hope of pleasing the mother by spinning well; the hope of taking a basket of bobbins home
to win the approving word from the mother, such is the innocent maiden life of the
Punjab that the saint saw, and it pleased him well!
How lovely are the gentle ways of unlettered maidens!
The saint then murmured unto himself: —“Oh! why should not I work at my wheel and spin all
day and night, fine and well, ah! as well as they do, lost in joyous labour of love, simple
as a song, and gain honour from my own Lord?
“What use are honours won abroad, if one is looked down upon at home?
“I must labour as these girls toil to please their mothers.”
The saint said: —“The heart of the Punjab girl is the convent where worship of the son of Man
“The heart of woman is the Temple where Man is enshrined as God.
“The Punjab is great for the love of Man more than for the love of God.”
The visions of the Trinjans are fresh,
Immortal is the past in innocent youth and lives again all in the mind of Man!
Great are the Sisters of the Spinning Wheel!
They have the secret charm with which they call the spirits of the past to come and talk to them.
Hir5 comes and sings again the tunes of her heart to maidens of the town:
“The foolish world knows Rânjhâ as a man, my Rânjhâ is my God, O Sisters of the Spinning
“The foolish world calls him a cowherd, a mere man, to me the whole world is he, and God!
“My soul repeats ‘Rânjhâ! Rânjhâ!’ this repetition is my Namâz!!”6
The saint sees a wondrous vision in the Trinjans.
Yonder there Rânjhâ is seated on a buffalo’s back with his lute on his lips, and the buffalo
standing in knee-deep water of a grassy swamp.
From this side is seen going the Princess Hir with a dish of sweets for her, Rânjhâ and straight.
she goes to Rânjhâ, looking neither to the right nor to the left.
“Come! have a morsel, friend! from day-break you have had nothing. I bring you this dish I
“But my hands are dusty,” says Rânjhâ, “why have you not brought some water for washing. O
“Forgive me, Rânjhâ, I forgot; but wash your hands, here flows water!”
Below he washes his hands, as tears roll down her eyes like a trickling little waterfall!
Thus Rânjhâ was feasted by his love in the open wastes of the Chenâb!
Says another Sister of the Spinning Wheel:-
Mother beats me, I cannot work, she asked me to fill her earthen lamp with oil, but my hands
shook, I know not why the oil got spilt on the ground!
I do not know why I cannot work nor help my mother nor spin the thread!
O comrades! say what secret life is this?
My youth is now a pain, yet without it I cannot live: O say why pain is such a pleasure!
I know not why my mother rebukes me.
She once sent me to light a lamp from the flame of a neighbour’s lamp. See! my comrades! this
finger of mine is burned; I know not why my finger was burned. I was but just lighting
the earthen lamp!
You are a simple girl that knows not how to conceal what can never be concealed!
We know you have seen the Son of Man, your youth cries for its owner, your heart needs the
shade of a Man.
O comrade! say, you are in love with a Man!
Your finger is burned; but you were not there when lighting the lamp!
Your hand carelessly slipped the wick aside and your finger touched the flame that burnt it; but
you were not there, your eyes had strayed to the Man!
O comrade! tell us the name of the Man, and confess to us, say, you are, in love.
We will tell your mother now, we will ask for henná leaves, we will dye your hands and feet.
We will put on you this madder-dyed shawl!
We will weave your maiden braids!
We will sing your wedding songs, you will be now our love-lit bride.
O comrade, say, what share of joy will be given us, Sisters of the Spinning Wheel!
O Sisters of the Spinning Wheel!
I dreamt last night, the stars of Heaven grouped round my head; I wore them all in my tiara, I
looked a queen.
I swam in the air, I stood above the clouds, my hair floated free in space, my shirt of muslin was
dazzling white, my shawl of home-spun dyed with majith shed its colour on the snowtops
that lay below and lit the horizon in eastern tints!
What does my dream mean? O comrades mine!
Thou art a creeper in full youth of leaf and flower and vigour of sap.
Thy dream calls a figure of Man from the starry world and he shall be the King and thou his
The stars do crown with glory the woman wedded to love of Man.
Thus do the gods honour the wedded woman! it is the sign of wedlock with thy Man.
The god of love visits thee in thy sleep and makes thee rich with Heavenly Love!
The saint turned aside and murmured to himself, “What a saint a girl in is love!!”
The saint comes oft and again to bow before the youth and song of beautiful maidens.
He finds delight in the blossoming flowers of youth, a trance in the flowing life-perfuming
The roses are no sweeter, the snows are nowhere purer, than in the holy face of a youth-
No fires burn brighter, no stars are quieter than her eyes, the eyes that see the figure of the one
SHE has almost forgotten if she lives and moves, as her soul drinks deep of the Fount of Vision
that makes the sun a dream, and the night but a palanquin in which the stars bear the
Bride on high!
As the wedding day approaches, her life seems to be ebbing from her; her dress is old and
tattered, her hair in sweet confusion!
Her mind is still, all thought of self-adornment is gone from her.
All is quiet in that great hush when maidenhood sleeps, and wakes a new, new love!
Her hair is dishevelled; her bosom heaves, her heart quakes in a thousand revered waiting for
things to be, in a hal unwilling consent.
Her lips are athirst, her arms vibrate with an unknown passion for life yet unknown. As the
blood glows beneath the skin, so all knowledge of the life to come is behind a veil!
She almost faints with hope; this moment, pale and white and cold as the dead, the next, a flame
springs from below her ashes!
Her child-like rebel pride, her naughtiness is gone—“I am the sister of my brave brothers and
the daughter of my kingly father! How fine is my spinning wheel; how high is the door
of our house, where camels wait and horses neigh; how full are our stores with wheat!”
The sky is below her feet; all the world, she thinks, must wait upon her joy!
It is no sin to be proud like this; no death to be dead like this, at the feet of Love!
In a few days, she has grown so thin and frail that she appears to live outside her physical frame;
her sisters support her as she rises to go, they give her food and drink.
Ah! she is but a shadow of her days of laughter:
For day and night pass alike in the silent chambers of her soul.
Her lacquered wheel in Trinjans waits, and there it shall wait for ever;
And the mango-groves are waiting for the joyous notes she sang. They still remember her,
swimming in air on her scarlet swing, hung with hempen ropes on their high branches.
They remember how she shook with sheer delight their long boughs; and what a
rapturous dance of leaves there was as she swung.
The mango-groves shall wait for her for ever!
The village street that feels her joyous tread is sad.
The daughter of the town is to be wed!
Over and done with is the life under her father’s roof, and spent are the days of her babyhood,
childhood and girlhood.
She dies away into Love, a fit farewell to companions of her girlhood!
The Mango sees and the Pipal tree!
The scarlet wheel is witness of what has happened!
The eyes of the parents are filled with tears as they hurry about in joy of the wedding day of their
The brothers’ silent soliloquies disturb the village girl! —
“Is my sister to go away from us, and from the roof below which she was born? Will she leave
us for ever?”
“Who shall take away my sister?” speaks the younger brother, ‘We are mighty, we will die, but
we will not let our sister go!”
The village drums are beating; the fingers of all the village women gently tap the drums, and bid
them sing for mirth and merriment!
The drums resound with songs that rise ringit3g from the silver throats of the village wives arid
The House is holy where one has died in Love!
Rejoicings fill the town, and all feel rich because they are giving the Bride away to Love!
The earthen lamp is burning day and light in the bridal chamber as a symbol of her heart.
As the lamp lights the room, her heart shall light a home with Heaven’s glow; burning steady and
calm, like her life, in the service of dear Love.
And by her sit the Sisters of the Spinning Wheel!
Well might the Queen of the three worlds envy the tenderness of soul they pour at the feet of
They understand, and they do her unuttered commands.
Each daughter of the Punjab is a Queen; as is well known to the Sisters of the Spinning Wheel!
They know the worth of Love, of the stars that keep a solemn, sacred watch!!
The All-Provider makes the poorest father richer than kings! Ah! how he gives his all!
He gives his very self to Love. No leaf can be torn from even a tree without shedding a drop of
“Come, brothers! come,” the voices call within; “and dye the hands of your sister now!” The
eldest first! Here take these marble-hands and dye the palms with these mehndi leaves.”
The hands are cold; with tears in his eyes the brother puts on her palms the mehndi leaves!
They have bathed the Bride, and laved her hair. Her maiden tresses they have combed, and
parted them in the middle with the perfumed wax; full smooth is the hair on either side:
a little vermilion traces the parting line of her tresses!
The Bride is veiled in splendour of gorgeous silk in folds, embroidered with gold-thread and
They adorn the Bride and sing the songs in whose joys man is man, a peasant or a prince!
A thousand songs float in the air; every moment new tears flow and new feelings rise from
The Sun and the Moon stand on Dharmd7 that gives a soul to another for the sake of Love.
Heaven conies down to earth to kiss the Bride almost dead in new, new Love!
Out of space the angels gather, and sing in chorus with the Sisters of the Spinning Wheel the
Triumph of Love!!
The Saint saw all this from day to day and said: —
“Boast not, O Saints! God is great. On all His creatures He bestows these moments of the
loftiest Love of Man to Man! How sublime this surrender of the Bride to the
Bridegroom in Love!
“Would I could die, like her, to this House of my childhood, and wake in that House of Love!
“Would I could bid, like her, that silent deep Farewell!
“But my soul! is this all that they call Death?”
1. Châtrik or Sârang is the Indian name of a bird who in Panjabi poetry, like the Bulbul in
Persian poetry, is the chief companion of the poet of love. It is said to be the chief lover of
the clouds that gather in the Indian sky in the month of rain or Sawan. It is said to remain
thirsty so long as it cannot have the rain-drop from the clouds. The season of rain after the
fierce beating of the sun for several months in the tropics is regarded as a blessing.
2. Trinjan is the name of the hail where the girls of the city sit together each with her own wheel
to spin the cotton yarn. Once it used to be the very heart and centre of a home industry, as
out of the yarn made by the spinnings of these girls the parents used to make the marriage
dowry for their daughters. The charms of domestic life of the old Punjab arc fast
disappearing. The vulgar life of imitation-civilisation is replacing an old fragrant life. The
scent of mehndi and kasumha is replaced by alcoholic lavender to our great misfortune.
3. Mahíwal is the appellation of the cowherd who grazes cows and buffaloes and looks after
them. He is a poorly paid man, with a shirt of home-made coarse cotton cloth and a black
blanket, armed with a long staff, and this is his all.
4. He is the god of the waters according to Arabic and Persian mythology.
5. Hir and Rânjhâ is a love story of the same type as Sohni Mahíwal.
6. Nomâz is the Arabic word for prayer, used by the Prophet Mohammad.
7. The law of being.
POEMS OF A SLKH
THE UNKNOWN GOD
THE TURBANED MAN
A TURBANED Man! The owner of the skies!
I hear his footfalls in the garden of my heart, my life throbs in his lotus feet!
Eternal are his turban folds of Love!
The planets wait as birds in nests at close of night, for the dawn that breaks above them.
He is the king of Creation’s heart; he wears the crown of love-grown cotton and love-spun
thread and love-woven cloth.
His crown is made of the rolling waves of the Sea of Light!
Has not the sun dropped from those turban folds?
The stars were scattered abroad at night in the sky,
Above them I saw the edge of his Crown of Mists!
The Beaming Faces said, “Tis Mid-night Moon,” but I, of lower rank than ‘they, at night, while
digging earth, murmured slowly to myself within, lest someone heard my word: It is the
light, the light from his turbaned brow.
AN UNKNOWN MAN
AN Unknown Man, who roams disguised on earth!
He picked me up from a heap of the dead at night, and on his back he took me to his hut,
Awake at nights, he nursed and made me whole,
Heaven streamed through the windows of his eyes and lit my soul with the fiery dream of dawn,
I forgot him in his gift of Life to me,
And He helped me to forget him. Such is youth! how it forgets its maker!
An Unknown Man who roams disguised on earth! I find him still with me, he aids me on.
THE MAN WHO BECOMES ME
BORN of Mother Earth and Father Heaven, that Man who is becoming me,
His feelings are not like my feelings, his love hath not the looks of love, his glances beam with
God-like meaning in the silent depth of depths!
His earth-like love! His annoying silence!
The Seed, the Earth, the Air, the Water,—he that enfolds me within, and makes of me a Flower
free, a Fruit, a sweet Perfume and tells me it is I who grow and bloom.
Born of the Mother Earth, the Father Heaven, the Man who is being made into me.
THE MAN IN ME
THE Man in me! Who lives within unseen!
Within my brows I bear his brows, in my hair, his hair,
In my bones, his bones, I feel his heart in mine.
With him I am, I know the Son of God for whose joy and glory all Creation waits,
And without him, I am an emptied shell, a cry, a wandering wail, less than the worm that creeps
in fallen wood, less than the weed that grows in mud!
But no! the man in me, he watches, he sees, he leaves me not:
Hail, Master! Son of Man!
THE MAN IN ME, AND NOT IN ME
THE Man in me! And not in me! He comes and goes of his own accord!
I remain as a vacant house with silent walls and dust.
A strange friend who has his own laws of love, he would leave me, as if never to return;
But then comes he in a flood of raining tears!
He makes me wait as a woman waits for man, but ah! the moment when he strains me in his
embrace! What am I but a peal of bells, a song!
Each hair of mine grows a tongue and enchanted bathes in holy bliss and grateful wonder!
Each pore of mine is nectar-laved, my very flesh cries: “Hail, Holy one!’!
WHEN? I KNOW NOT!
WHEN? I know not! My dawn might break at night!
My man might return to me in sleep, in dreams love-lit with the splendour of a thousand days!
And a thousand may be the number of my forlorn nights!
One moment but of this fairy sleep so condenses for me Life, Love, Faith, Joy, God, Man,
Heaven and Earth in one.
I sleep with my soul aching and wake with the song of Hail, Lord! on my lips and tongue,
And happy life like a wave flows in a thousand streams from translucent walls of flesh that
should retain it all,
But it flows to rivers, rocks and air and all. I give a feast of myself to the Universe!
THE SILVER FEET
THE Soaring One of the shining Silver Feet!
They are his feet that in their silver flight trail in my heart!
My eyes like two crying cranes soar after him in the holy Blue of Heaven
After he flies!
And from the invisible heights comes no news, but a shower of Bliss, a Nectar-rain that feeds,
and makes me rich.
I sit and wait for him on the red brown earth, all wet and drowned below!
Ah me! The Vision of the Invisible!
His Silver Feet—my Life, my prop, my stay!!
GLORY! GLORY! EVERYWHERE!
MY steps are unsteady with joy!
I fall, I rise, I sink and soar in Him.
Tue rain of Nectar floods, my heart and melts my mind away in holiness of God,
Enraptured thus and with His sight I see all things are divine and fair.
Glory! Glory! Everywhere.
The Earth, the Sky overhead, all things are kindled with the joy of his Light of Life,
This man is God, he cometh everywhere.
All worlds in him and he in all, the deathless for ever!
Glory! Glory! Everywhere.
HIS MIRACLES ARE GREAT
His miracles are great! Day and night he hath made.
He sends the Spring laden with flowers; he grants the gift of youth.
He created the world, and fashioned with his own hands the Universe!
Woman is beautiful, and glorious is the man to whom she gives her heart and soul.
He unites us, he separates, he makes us thirst and hunger, he gives us wine and bread.
His Miracle it is by which we live. Our mind and soul, our heart, our self, the endless space, the
foot-falls of ever marching time, the mountains, the sea and air, all these are his miracles.
He is Great!!
In His fear blow great winds and gentle airs.
In His fear flow the countless rivers,
In His fear move the stars, and the Sun and the Moon, whose march of myriad miles never
In His fear live kings, adepts, heroes and gods; the sky doth arch in awe, the earth lies firm, the
worlds are coming in and going out with His breathings.
He subsists Unafraid above all things, the One Formless Is!
THE TWILIGHT OF THY GLANCE
THE Twilight of Thy Glance cometh like a shower pouring Beauty, Youth and Flowers down!
The dry and mouldered leaves on forest paths become green wetted by Thy Glance, and crown
the trees, uplifted by the Twilight-Fall.
The Twilight of Thy Glance like an influence steals into my soul and touches my heart and
strikes the chords with mighty force, raising a storm of music and song, crying: “Awake
and say, Hail, Lord! Awake and say, Hail, Holy One.”
NAM: THE NAME OF THE INFINITE
The Name of the Infinite! The Sat Nâm, that lives from heart to heart, from lips to lips, the Fire
of Life that goes from man to man!!
It was ere Time began, it is and shall be.
The Spell of Love that never dies and hides, the Sat Nâm in the Son of Man, where wonder
opens the Door of Life that no thinking can unbar:
The Nâm fresh-dyed from red lips of Love kindles a perpetual song in me! And in its glow,
meseems, all things are good.
This world is Heaven, the winds and waters speak, and every blade of grass whispers its joy.
The trees with trembling leaves stand in prayer!
The morning birds raise hymns of nascent mirth!!
Insects have anklets on their little ankles and make a music as they march and swell one great
All things are made of Song.
The flocks of sheep with uplifted heads, the playing lambs with mouths full of milk are gathering
round the shepherd’s voice;
The stars are burning bright in the firmament:
Blessed is the earthen lamp that lights my house! its light is the joy with which I wait for Him
Whom I do not know how to name:-
He is my Sultan who rolls down a Sea of Life in me and asks not how I spend, but fills it from
age to age out of His own stores, and floods the Soul with Fragrant Beauty, and hides
Himself in the limitless expanse!!
His voice alone rings in my ears and sweet repose shuts in my eyes, my lips vibrate with passion
for the Universe! Hail, Lord!
He is the Truth to Whom if we be loyal in love and faith, we are safe; or else we die:
The world where He is not, is death to us.
The man, woman, bird or beast, in whom we see Him not, are mere deceptions, pain, and death.
Devoid of Him, all aims dissipate, all desires chain the Soul, and all Karma condemns.
He visits me in strange guises; strange are His ways; one seldom can recognise Him as He
assumes different forms.
He comes in wars, in great catastrophes; in pain, in suffering, in hunger; and in the faithlessness
of friends and beloved ones.
Alike the kings and the slaves of earth deceive when we are out of tune with Him.
When I lean on such frail weeds as these, or when I run after the mirage of the world, breathless
to quench my thirst, my soul returns abashed to me, finding no support, or no fountain
I sit in deep sorrow, deserted by all things, deceived by the best beloved.
When suddenly, Lo, a Figure of Light in Heaven, saying, “Look! I am.”
Then I know, HE IS. Then I recognise my Man, my Word, my Lord and Master.
My Light returns to me, casting out doubts and delusions, rekindling in me the fire of faith,
giving me again a rebirth in His own Love. This is Nâm this is the Holy One.
I forget Him in the familiar forms of Mâyâ, and often I lose myself in illusive Beauty that like
fine vapour rests on the waters of Change, within the rocky waste that allures, only to
take my heart, and throw it upon the rocks, and break it in to pieces. But He forgets me
Fair God! Keep me with Thyself! Let me live in the steady light of Thy eternal shape.
Let me kiss Thy lotus Feet, resting there as the babe rests on the loving, milk-filled breasts of the
mother, covered with her shawl secure from all harm.
At Thy Feet for ever; let me swing for ever in Thy Cradle of Light that hangs from Heaven with
strings of gold. At Thy bidding let thine Angels rock me to and fro, and gently keep
pulling me up.
Let them draw me up like a child fallen in a well, until the cradle of my love lie at Thy Feet.
It is this gentle drawing up, this lifting of me by Thy Golden Strings coming down to save me, of
Thy own Will, that is what I know as my Life!
This communion with Thee is my Soul.
What then shall I call Thee? Thou art Law? Truth? Heaven? Love? Nâm? and Man? I
understand by Thy Figure of Love within me or without, that Thou art with me,
somewhere, somehow, in the horizon of my heart and soul!
Be with me, O Beloved! For Thou art never known to leave him whom once Thou callest Thine
Thy Infinite Love makes me bold ; and I err only to draw Thy Great Compassion down.
I am known to be as great a sinner as Thou a Saviour. But with all my sins, I still wait at Thy
Door where Mercy waits for me.
Thy Touch alchemical turns dross into nobler metals.
Thy Glance uplifts beings from lower depths to heights unknown.
For Thy Grace, O Lord, I wait!
Teach me Thy Name, let me breathe in Thy Love and grow young.
THE Buddha seated on the white Lotus with his Nepal tresses knotted on his brow;
The Christ with his maiden braids, his God-lit eyes, his transfigured face;
Mohammad of the direct glance, with his blazing heart and cleaving sword, that flash and kindle
the deserts with Heaven’s glow. All Heaven is revealed in them, as a whole nation is a-
throb in a single man, as a babe is a-stir in the mother’s soul;—
A Man of God stands behind men, to guide and to teach; at his feet they pour out their souls!
Each soul has a divine Man, whether he will or no, behind him, on whom he trusts alike for a
glimpse of God and His Universe, and for the unfoldment of his own self, trusting him
when the soul is in distress.
Our thoughts and deeds assume fantastic shapes, and our daily life dogs us in man’s image.
Not building ourself on the Man of God, we build our self on sand.
The dirt of daily deeds settles on us,—such is our fate. Without the Man of God in us, all is
vanity; good Karma, or bad, binds us alike.
It is true for us forever, God Himself cometh to man in the shape of Man who spells Him for us
this is Nâm. The Man is Nâm. He is the Sign and Symbol Hail, Holy One!
He is the sign of Him, the best of all signs.
He is Sat Nâm, the Truth Eternal, Essence Infinite, the Ever Living, who hath no shape, no
colour, Whom no lines contain, Whom no words can define; One Indivisible Unity.
He that lives, beyond Time and Space and Thought, one like unto ourselves, whom we know as
His presence, in lands, in waters, above, below! lo, it is seen in the form of the Man of God; as
the sun in the shining lens.
The world met him in Krishna, in Buddha; in Christ, in Mohammad. But I know Him as my
Lord and Father,— Bâbâ, Guru Nanak, Him have I seen not once, but for ten
generations. He, in a thousand ways, gave signs to us of Nâm, the Holy One.
Taking the three worlds in His lap, He hid himself behind a man in his heart, He was.
Guru Angad born of Nanak’s limbs was he.
I saw him, Guru Angad, concealing the All-Father once again in the majestic form of man, the
silver knot of hair on high, the white beard flowing down like a river of light, a tall,
ancient, stern man of love and labour, a farmer of men, the owner of Sat Nâm, Nanak is
Guru Amar Das look on the name and shape of Guru Ram Das, the golden Temple of God,
Guru Ram Das a continuous hymn divine, the day of the world of soul, the sweetness of
Guru Ram Das illuminated his son Arjan Dev with Himself!
Guru Arjan thrilled creation with the Father’s voice.
Guru Arjan Dev produced out of himself Guru Har Govind who in turn bowed to Har Rai
He saw Guru Nanak again in Har Krishna Guru, who sighted again ‘Bâbâ Bakale.’1
Guru Tegh Bahadur rose and came like a thousand dawns and in his throat we hear the song of
the Father, in his form we see the ancient Nanak, whose witnesses are the sun and moon
and whom the earth and sky are still witnessing.
The stars shiver in their seats with joy as he goes riding his splendid steed; his blue-hued horse
stamping the worlds with thunder, and what an almighty thrilling of creation’s Aura!
Guru Govind Singh is the name of Guru Nanak when he rides.
The Ancient Huntsman, before whose arrows flies the Stag of Death, the old Guru Nanak armed
with shield and quiver full of arrows swung around the shoulder and two scimitars
He wears the starry-crest and carries a hawk on his thumb, and flags of the True Kingship of
His flags flutter high in Heaven and Angels sing Hail, Lord!
The Wearer of the Blue Garments I the Rider on the Blue Horse!
The Commander of the Army of his Saints, the Sikhs, the Disciples made as great by Him as He
himself, Angels and more than Angels, the armies of the Heroes of the world to defend
the purposes of God on Earth!!
Behold I Guru Nanak is seen in Guru Govind Singh as the flash of sword, his Love takes the
shape of arrows, his Love is a storm of spears.
Oh! the keen, keen rays of his glance!
Death and bloodshed save the man!
There is paradise below the flying arrows !!
There is Anhad2 in the twanging of the bows!!
There is slumber for the saints on the edge of swords!
The Figure of Love lies arrow-pierced on earth, no blood but milk of love, the Amrit,3 flows
fertilising the world with life!!
The cold steel falls on the tender necks of His children;
But what steel can touch, what fire can burn Nanak?
No sword can cut the rays of light.
Death everywhere, death to the right, death to the left, but death can touch not a hair of• him,
nay, not a hair of those who are his own.
Guru Nanak is still with us, a Song, a Book; Guru Grantha is in every Home! !
And the Father sings still so sweet, His voice still rings in our ears, His figure still flits before us
as a man whose eyes meet ours, whose lotus feet we touch, who talks to us.
The Master is still before us in His Sikh, in His Saint, the Man is still the Centre of life.
God dwells still in the voice of His Saints; this is the “Changing Permanence” of Things Eternal.
The Saint reminds us of the Father’s love, he tells us: “Look, the Father-of-All is still standing
behind, who sees you, but whom ye see not.
‘Be full of reverence every moment of your life.’
“The Father sees, the Father watches His crops, the Father is all awake, Bâbâ sleeps not, Bâbâ
spreads over ye like a tree whose canopy is the broad blue sky, it is all His shade!
It is not the sky but the Father’s Tree whose leaves and branches are made of Angels!
This is Harí Nâm.4
‘I still am here! My children, awake and say, Hail, Master!”
The Father still comes to us in the heart of His Saints in whom the Light of the Father dwells;
He and His Sons are one.
He sings to us the chants of the Father.
He lulls us to rest and sleep.
He blesses us in smiting steel, in the rain of arrows rain His blessings down.
He bathes us in blood, He laves us with fire.
Die glad, saying, Hail, Lord! This world is not all here, this is not the end, nor beginning here,
worlds on worlds beyond the regions, yet unknown, they shall open up after this death.
Beware! let not the Guru-given fire within you die out! keep up the flame of Nâm, let not the
flame die out!!
This lamp of Nâm shall light thy path beyond death; in scorching heat, it will spread on thy head
a cool and dense deep shade, this, like a talisman, will yield of thee all that thou desirest.
Harí Nâm will quench thy thirst in regions beyond, it will yield thee a pair of wings on which
thou wouldst fly up to the Guru, singing, Hail, Lord! to the throne of God.
Of what avail is it if ye gain the whole world and lose your soul? Let not the Glow of Nâm fade!
These are the distant shores where He sends thee to win through life or death, through pain or
pleasure, the Treasure of Nâm for thyself.
Spend not. Accumulate the Divine Wealth, the Substance-Love of which thy Soul is made.
Naught else availeth.
At Death’s door shall lie what you, deluded, have called your own, all goodness and all virtues
The world received you as a living babe, a flower divine with moving ruby lips; your soul came
smiling, any pair of arms could lift you up and make you their own and love them!
But see now, how they shall send you forth, wrinkled miserable old man despised by all, they
shall send you out of this world and burn the body which they embraced with so much
The gains of Love, the moments spent in Simran, in Nâm, hoarded ant-like one by one, shall
survive and be thy helpers, thy guides and friends.
Thou art the architect of thy own House beyond the realms of this life and death.
Make it then as thou willst, make it of anguish or pain, the longing for wealth or fame or objects
of sense; thy longing will be there, naught else; -
Or make it a Temple where God may dwell with thee, filling thy eternity with bliss
Say, Hail, Lord! This World the angels guard.
This World lives in the Saints, and they all would help.
This World doth bridge the gulf between this Near and Far, and joins this Life with That beyond
what they call. Death.
No Death for him who breathes each breath in Wah-Guru, who takes each step of life in Divine
Eternity lives in one breath!
One little breath doth make Eternity!
The Holy One, Lord of All, is in the Saint as fragrance is in the rose-leaves.
The combined charm of the beauty of the rose and her fragrance is one
They are thine and thou art theirs who have given themselves to God and live their lives on
Earth as trusts of God and spend them as He wills in unquestioning love and faith, in
continuous life unbroken by a breath.
Love for the Man of God is the very love of God.
This faith is Nanak’s love for man.
This common thing is precious beyond value.
This is what jewellers know.
This ruby of Nâm they atone can prize.
This Enchanted Stone contains all God.
This is All-Sustainer. All-Encompasser, Nâm.
This is that which holds the worlds all together,
This is the Charmed World, this is Nanak:
This is Love, call what thou canst call it, this is the Nameless, Formless, Casteless, Tasteless God.
My soul! Rise and say, Blessed be Guru Nanak!
I AM THE CHILD LOST IN THE WORLD-FAIR!
I AM the child lost in the world-fair!
I know no language, I can only say: “Pray, take me to my Father? I can tell no more, nor my
country nor town, not street.
I am afraid of men, I long for my own mother!
Her arms alone I know, her caresses alone can soothe me into that dewy sweet slumber, her
touch I know, her voice I recognise.
This is my knowledge—as much as a calf has—or as much as the little ones of the sparrow have.
I know this is my mother, at sight of her my limbs would speak out what no language can.
My whole body is a tongue that calls out!
“My Father! My Mother!”
Nothing answers. Stars sweep on, and answer not though I looked at them for hundreds of
nights; the streams run on, the hills stand calm, the trees grow and winds below, heeding
The sky replies not, nor doth the moon talk to me, no one tells me where my Father is.
My cries are lost in the wilderness, no one has a heart that cries.
The birds alone, my dumb companions, flock around me and perch on my head and shoulders,
they sing to beguile me but I cry again!
No songs can heal my pain, no shows amuse me.
How should a little living baby, made of flesh and bone, cry not?
And who could beguile him but his own mother whom his cries are calling out of time and
Until the child is laid with his little bosom on the bosom that gave it birth and mother’s lips kiss
his cheeks and his infant hands entwine her neck, and mother’s half-closed eyes look into
the joy. lit baby eyes, how could the living babe be soothed to rest?
To the little one, mother is almighty.
To it her presence is all.
The baby’s mother is his God-given God; Mother is all.
My cries would stop, my pain would cease, my face would beam, my soul would glow like a
flower, when in her arms. My flesh knows her.
I am the child lost in the world-fair!
The wise men came, they took me in their lap, they roamed with me from tent to tent and asked
me, is this your father?
In endless roamings, I was taken to kings, heroes and saints, to prophets, poets, thinkers, young
and old; I was taken to queens, mothers of god-like men angelic women famed for all the
tenderness of heart and goodness of soul that makes a woman so fair and noble;
The brighter the tents, the gayer the guests, the more godly the dwellers, the fairer the
womankind and the brighter the jewels they wore,—the more painful grew my pain and
my very soul cried “My Father My Mother!”
I have grown up now, but not yet have I seen my Father; good people have toiled but not yet has
my Mother come!
Birds have flown everywhere seeking her for me but no news yet, nothing avails.
Save me! I am growing mad.
My fears make me stumble at every step.
I saw a young-old man, he had a white beard, a snow-white turban, I flew into his arms and
My soul returned to me, still not finding for itself what no one else could find for it!
I saw a rider, a splendid rider on a splendid steed; 1 ran after the horse; the rider turned not, the
horse galloped away.
I knew not, my madness grew and I flew into the arms of any man and woman, crying, “My
Father, My Mother!”
I was mad, I saw my Father in the clouds, in the air, I saw him under the shades of the stars, I
A boy lost from infancy and brought up on the knees of rocks and fed by birds of passage,
whose home had been the market place, who never met a glance from among the
thousand pairs of eyes glancing into each other, who never had a mouthful of milk where
thousands of breasts fed thousands of lips, who never had the sensation of an embrace
where thousands of mothers embraced their little ones.
The calf still lowed for the mother-cow, the cow was looking for her calf, the love-lowings
disturbed God’s Creation: but such was fate, they could not reach each other.
One noon, on burning sands, the world-scorched mad man saw in dream-light a Figure of
All-attracting, all-piercing Beauty that buys the soul of man as a slave of God by a glance, in
whose all-containing sight man forgets all else, in whose Almighty glance the soul soars,
transcending time and space, whose lifting eyelid signal a rain of stars.
Ah! a thousand new birds and a thousand deaths in the space of a Glance
One Glance of the all-creating Beauty!
The dumb limbs of the universe with one pure vibration speak of this Beauty.
The Heavens came down to me as a tall, majestic figure of holy youth, joyous, tender and soft,
meek and mild, and sweet like a rose, and common like a child ofman, radiant, made of
flesh, fragrant, a wonderful Being in whom I saw my all, my Father, Mother, Friend and
This Figure is the Mother. My Mother comes.
She took me in her lap, me a man with long long hair and a flowing beard that had some silver
from the dawn that breaks beyond this death, a beard streaked with a few reminder-rays
of the yonder life, me a trembling old man, ill-dressed in tattered rags, bare-headed, bare-
footed, a pilgrim lost in the sands.
The son of man thus lay asleep unconscious. When the pilgrim woke, he was a holy man.
All limbs of clay were transmuted into those of gold, recast, remade in life of the soul.
The long journey through life on life is over; the sun did roll for this, for this shone the lamps of
Long tresses knotted above by her fair hands, which a snow-white turban covers, an iron ring on
the wrist, two scimitars concealed at the side, a flowing beard—a man welldressed like a
soldier, the pilgrim rose from his sleep.
A little hut in the desert he makes, his own handicraft, his art, through whose roof made of dry
grass-blades peep the sun and the moon;
A pitcher of red clay, a shallow cup for its lid and a bed made of golden straws, neat like the
inside of a bird’s nest where come fair-plumed birds to drink with man a beakful of water
and pick a few small grains of wheat and maize.
The Man of the hut, like a bird in its nest, now swings free in nature’s infinite sun and air and
cloud and rain and storm!!
Once more the son of Man is alive with God’s life, devoid of the lower self, one with God, yet
still with an innocent self as much as that of a bird that loves the dawn, with self just
enough to be a man to vibrate with wonder and love and awe, feeling as much as one can
feel on earth for other’s who are lost, meddling with no one’s affairs, yet watching the
time when best one could help without giving unrest amid pain!
He is the child-man who speaks the language newly learnt “Hail, Master! Hail, Holy One!”
His lips move with this Word, the Word runs in his very blood.
He cannot live without this Word.
It is his air, his sky and land.
As fish in water, this “Hail, Master! ” is his sea, taken out of this sea lie dies.
Others have much to live by, but he has none, nothing more.
All is this. It is his life and the fountain of life from whence life flows into him.
It is his kith and kin, his name and fame, his treasure great.
His Heaven is Nâm, he cannot live outside his hut.
In this Word is the life of his Saviour, this is his Saviour.
He suffocates in air devoid of Nâm.
The angel of his noon-dreams lives with him.
The Mother comes to him in dreams and tells him the secrets of life.
He knows all, knowing most when knowing least, in sleep, all made of dreams!
He breathes freely, he depends on nothing.
No desires disturb his unrippling mind swimming like a lotus in a sea of perfect self-contained
Borne on the wings of the heavenly zephyrs of the Guru-given Nâm,, the little boat of his
human frame sails to the Infinite.
The man by the Master’s light is transformed!
I ani with my Father.
I sleep and wake in Him.
He encompasseth me when I stumble; wonder of wonders! I fall in His lap!
I love the moon as it ascends mow from behind the straw thatchings of my hut, I love to see the
break of dawn from my bed of straw, I love to look at the stars, and the high and still
higher sky whose vastness is my joy.
In the lap of my Father with my bowl filled with milk, I am what no kings can be.
My life is now a farewell to this world-fair!
It is my Father’s call and I go.
Seated on the high summits of love, I say: “O Earth! O Sky! O rolling winds and waters! O
day! O night! I send from here to you, my farewell greetings!
Revolving seasons! Man, woman, O child! with folded hands, let me greet ye with my Master’s
salute: Sat Sri Akâl!5
Let me, at parting of the ways, repeat to you what my Master said to me: know this as truth,
One Nâm alone is our saviour!
Nâm alone is Love, Nâm is truth and light,
Nâm is the beginning, Nâm the end, Nâm is the way and the lamp, Nâm is the end-all and the be-
all, no one phase of life can define Nâm, all life is contained in it, this is all.
Call it as you will, this is Guru Nanak’s life of love!”
1. Bâbâ Nanak is at Bakala. So said Guru Har Krishna at Delhi while departing from the body.
2. The hidden music of the Infinite.
4. The Name of God, i.e., Absorption in the love of God.
5. The well-known Sikh cry, that addresses God as the Universal Truth.
POEMS ON SIMRAN
THE WHOLE HORIZON OF MY MIND
THE whole horizon of my mind is lit with the joy of the sight of the stream of Heaven, as it
comes flying down the steeps to me,
A stream of soft mists ethereal that from far off flows into me; it is a volatile sense of joy that
It is the joy that the lotus has when it is kissed by the rising sun, ah! the morning joy of birds !!
The mat on which my soul kneels down to play is this joy—mist that fills me with the sense of
The exquisite fragrance of knowledge that Thou art somewhere intoxicates me.
My head reels with joy, my flesh grown translucent cries out for Thee!
AS A WOMAN LOVES MAN
As a woman loves a man, I love Harí Nâm,1
Without His Divine Presence encompassing me in my daily life, without the sight of the light of
His Silver Feet, without the mists of joy of the touch of holiness, at all times of the day
and night, heartfelt and unforgot, without that sweet madness for His Name that holds
me fast within the air of the Presence of God, I am more miserable than those who stand
in need of bread or clothes or house or bed.
I need but love of God-like man to raise me from the slough of a wavering faith,
When out of the sphere of this Divine Attraction my mind is half insane, my frame is in pain as
if a million thorns have pricked me through.
All disease is forgetfulness of my Lord of Love, all distress is in the outer air.
THE MAN OF GOD
THE man of God doth live in his own paradise made of dreams,
And he watches calm changes of the colours of his sky and how with those changes change his
joy and pride and aroma of faith!
His life is a continuous inspiration.
At times the stream grows thin like an unspun thread of cotton, when spider-like he rolls it in
himself and flies from all society,
At others, the stream surges in all the four directions like a shoreless roaring sea,
And the man of God comes out to oppose the whole world of unfaith and the lower self.
His God-inspired almighty sword doth cleave the Dark and save the saints and destroy all that is
And yet he is the Child of Man whose own sustenance is but a cup of milk drawn afresh form
the Golden Stream of Love that flows toward him from the Lotus Feet of God.
The man of God feels suffocated if drawn away from, this Holy Presence.
This vision of His Glory redeems his mind from all wandering aims and concentrates it in a little
luminous point of His Nâm, builds the faith that God is, and grows the man beneath the
shades of mists, the primeval dreams of which man is made.
His life is Love of God, his life is Nanak Simran; his is the science of growing love and faith in
the life of man, his is the art of the gardener that plants the Man of God in man;
He sows a poet, a seer, a lover of God, a hero in a common child of man.
He exalts the common life of man to a dignity equal to or more than that of the gods.
For the joy of this life all creation pines and the gods of Heaven do pine.
OF WHAT USE TO TURN THE BEADS?
OF what use to turn the beads in my hands, if my heart, turns not like the earth, around its sun,
in its eternal journey unbroken by a step?
Simran is the planetary march of our life round the higher life of Heaven.
The heart-beats, the breath, the tongue, the pores of skin, the mind, the footfalls, all must repeat,
Hail, Master! with a rosary made of the beads of love, of tear-drops for all.
Not to be a priest with beads but to be a rosary ourselves made of heart-beats, moving as He
may move, obedient to His Will; we live as the Children of Song!
If He give us a number of playmates, we play together; if He take them away, we still look up to
Him and pray and sing;
If He put us with Himself in warm beds in cold dark winter nights, we sleep; if He throw us in a
flood we swim, knowing the Great Swimmer is still with us, no waters can dare drown us!
If He throw us in fire, Welcome! He tests not us but His own gold.
Be it death or worse,
We are safe in His arms with Hail, Master!
In all tempests with our tiny arms entwined round His Mother-Neck, our tresses flung free in
breezes of time, we sleep like babes in His Firm Embrace.
No fires can burn, no waters drown, no swords can cut, no kings destroy the children of the
We are the sons of Guru Nanak, Guru Govind Singh.
True! To turn our beads may be nothing, but to turn our beads may be all.
EACH SAINT IS A GREAT STAR OF SIMRAN LIFE
EACH Saint is a great star of Simran life, in whom the Master has planted the seed of the Song
Divine of the Nâm. Hail, Master
The Saint, the liberated soul set in the Guru is the centre fixed round which the lesser planets
revolve, singing, Hail! Hail. Lord and Master!
The central sun in turn is a spark of Heaven that shines with the light of Nâm!
Infinite is the Master’s being in whom all glowing stars of Divine life burn in their own seats as
flames of eternal love.
It is as He ordains.
There is a sky on sky, a heaven on heaven still high and higher, which the Master combines in
the soul of man.
All past is not past, all future is not to come, it is there as One Great Now of the seeing Soul, the
Reason Pure that thinks not, but sees clear: God is.
This seeing is Simran!
It is the restoration of man to his natural heavenly life of innocence and its joys and its glory.
ON THE WHEEL OF SIMRAN
ON the wheel of Simran, this life or death is one unbroken joy, it is a bliss that gods share with
It is not near, nor far ; one grain, one mustard seed contains the sun.
Wonder of wonders! only believe the finite is infinite!! Man is God.
Simran is the secret Nâm-stream of life that flows from the Master to the disciple, and it is life
that begets life no thoughts, no ways of meditation, nor Yoga could bid it in us to flow.
no penance nor renunciation nor ways of giving alms could command it, nor lip-worship
nor rites of thousand kinds, nor prayers that arise not from life and heart combined, nor
gods of our own making, nor musings of myriad minds could make of us a star of the
It is the Master who visits us, as He wills, and lifts us up into the planetary society of saints and
slowly makes of us a Sikh;
He hangs us in the Heaven of His Own Self, making us swing with a galaxy of liberated souls
revolving round a sun whom He bids to attract a chosen few!
The sun is thus appointed to shine, and watch and lift on his shoulders the sons of God!
This is Guru Nanak’s scheme of making this world of man and soul a shining heaven from heart
to heart, soul to soul, from home to home, the kingdom of God self-contained,
independent in man’s own self and yet a whole, one home, one temple sublime of
common worship of man and bird and beast.
Here dumb grazing animals and birds perched on green trees, swinging from bough to bough in
divine ecstasy, and leaves of the forest and blades of grass raise a thousand-tuned chorus
of the song of the lover of God: —Hail, Master!
THE GURU GATHERS THE MAN GRAIN BY GRAIN
THE Guru gathers the man grain by grain, the man who is scattered in the sands of desires, of
purposes other than God’s, forgetful of his Maker till be makes him whole.
The Guru- made man discovers naught is his, all things belong to the Master, his heart and head
and limbs are nothings, nothing is his that he called so long his own, not a hair, not a
blade of grass.
The vast world when thus he doth see in Wah-Guru, when to him Wah-Guru is all, then is the
man made alive in himself;
The common man is God who shares the common lot with man, labours and sweats for his
bread, he shares the soil with his plough, and saws and grows his crops that wave in the
golden sun; he reaps and gathers grain by grain, does all, but not for himself.
Ho does all for Him; no Karma binds the man of Simran, for he is inebriated with the joy of Nâm,
and is but half conscious of his life on earth.
ALL THE MARCH OF THINGS IS DIVINE
ALL the march of things is divine, be it of star or wind or water, or of the tree.
Miraculous is the movement of bird or beast.
A moving animal is God’s sign.
How do the moving winds give themselves to trees whose leaves and boughs vibrate with
All rocks split asunder to let the marching waters pass.
The bird in flight has a sovereign right over hill and dale, it is supreme.
Reverence is due to a moving thing.
Simran is the soul of man in earnest march to Heaven ; long is his journey and far, far off is his
home. But the Unseen pulls at his heart, the ends of the strings that pull are in the hands
of the Guru, He propels all motion.
The traveller walks as He bids his steps to move.
Great is Guru Nanak’s path that runs through action and strife, a slender thread of love that
entwines round the traveller’s heart on a march in the Infinite.
Simran is eternal stir in the soul of things
I DO NOT KNOW WHY
I do not know why, but when I say, Hail, Master! the sun and stars seem to run in my breath,
my muscles are as if fibres of light, my being as wings that mingle with lands and waters,
my lips touch gardens of flowers, my hands I exchange with some other hands, a stranger
moves my tongue. The universe runs into me and I into the universe.
I seem a strange misty Form. Like vapour, I pass into the being of others, and they, passing
within me, become my guests.
It seems fair forms of beauty roll as waves on the sea—Hail, Lord! all are each other’s!
Our shapes and limbs run into each other.
I find my bones at times strike within mc against the bones ofsome one else.
Our deeds and thoughts jostle and run into each other.
I see a hundred souls blend in me and I interchange my blood and brain thus with a hundred
more in a single breath, and calm in solitude I find a society.
I MET A WOMAN ONCE
I MET a woman once who was as fresh as a bush of roses full blown, her lotus eyes were
swimming in the azure of the world-water.
Her step was light, like the morning zephyr, and she was beautiful ! god-like was her form.
I looked at her with tender eyes when I was melting in love of Him who made her so fair!
I almost lost the maker in the make.
Her eyes ran into mine, her lips I felt vibrating on my lips in one music of Nâm.
I vaguely saw her soul in me, and mine in her, for I had changed my sex.
It took me hours to forget her; I am not given to look at things so tenderly.
THE PERSONS OF MEN
THE persons of men evoke worship in me so strong that I am flooded with love of gifts and
things, forgetful of the Giver, of Him who made me fit to worship men and things, of
Him who taught me, Love is God’s gift and great!
How strange! in men and things I forget Him who told me:
“Worship Love wherever it may be, in the mother’s heart or in the babe, in the heart of a young
man or of a maid, let thy sense supreme tell where Love may be, love it, be glad and sing
in thyself,—‘Love is great!’
It is life and more; it is the image of God, it is the bread of souls, it is the raiment of man.
Re is naked; without Love, full of shame and pain.”
Ah! if men and things were never too much with me
Ah! if I could but draw the line round myself and live in its charmed circle, in eternal
communion with my Beloved, only look at men and things from this charmed centre!
Ah! only look at men and things!
IN A THOUSAND SACRED RIVERS I HAVE PLUNGED
IN a thousand sacred rivers have I plunged for a bath that washes off, they say, the sins of man;
But the fever of desire consumes me still, my pilgrimage availeth not.
When the Shower of Thy Glance falls on me, even to myself I am a sacred man. I feel laved.
My heart is cleared, my mind is cleared of thoughts;
And my soul mounts high in regions of sinlessness, and cool streams flow through every channel
of my thought-scorched frame.
A Spray of the Light of Thy Glance extinguishes the fiery volcanoes of the fevers of illusion,
their mouths are filled with snow, their very soul freezes in cold ecstasy.
The fish is free in the river, the river in the sea, the sea is free in its expanse,
The Yogi feels freedom in Nirvânâ,
My bondage breaks when I bathe in Thy Glance.
Enrobed in holy sunshine of Thy Amrit, and adorned with the light of sinlessness of The Blessed
Love, new born from Heaven’s bath, my bondage breaks when I catch a glimpse of Thy
How Thy Grace filleth me!
TOUCH MY HEART!
TOUCH me! Touch my heart with Thy Lotus Feet! that I may dream, in world-distress and dust,
Thou art by me!
Throw me not on myself!
I forget Thy sky is above me; I forget it is Thy air I breathe, Thy water I drink, Thy stars I see,
Thy gardens I walk, Thy fruits I eat, Thy singing rivers I hear as they roll, Thy men I
love! I forget that Thou art!
Lord! Throw me not on myself; at every step I forget Thee.
Too much for me is this world-madness!
Keep swooping down on my heart from Thy Heaven flights!
Ah! I may know from moment to moment Thou art everywhere and Thou art my Life and Joy
and Pride and Strength, and motion of all moving things.
Pray, give me signs from Heaven that I may look and wonder and say, Hail, my Lord!
Let down the Love-strings that they may pull me up with Thy Wheel of Change.
Lift me slowly, lift me up! Let me melt in Thy Glory that makes Earth and Heaven but one.
Touch me! Touch my eyes with Thy Lotus Feet and cool my heart, my burning eyes and frame;
and let me rest in peace in Thy Tree-shadows.
I need deep sleep to give me peace from the scorching sun of the world.
Ah! let me dream, and ace naught but Thee in all and everything.
THE NEST IN THE GRASS-BLADES
DARK is the sky with all its stars and dark are both Day and Night.
Dark is my heart!
The rise of a hundred moons would not light my path, the glow of a thousand suns would not
send a single ray within my heart.
I wait for but one ray which He might bid to strike the windows of my closed soul!
He looks at me and my heart is enlightened;
The thin covering of the grass- blades is enough for the nest of my heart, I gather within it His
Light and, all-content, I glow within, as the tempest of winds swings my nest in Endless
Night and the Black outside!
WHEN ALL THE DOORS ARE CLOSED
WHEN all the doors are closed against me,
When my own eyes and ears are closed;—no joy on earth, no light in my heart; when all friends
are as strangers, and dust and dirt darken my vision, I no more see Thy Stars;
When I am so self-spent and dead, that I do not even feel that I am in distress, or dying, or
When I have no more even thirst or hunger, that old sweet longing that swelled the veins of my
bosom till they throbbed with desire of Thee,—
When the river of my soul is swallowed up in the sands of sense, when my pleasures have, killed
all the grace in me, and buried me in shame, —
When my deeds condemn me to the death of forgetfulness of Thee,—
My Lord! even then Thy Mercy will bless, Thy door will be open for me!
My Lord! I hope Thou wilt draw a veil over me and cover me in Thy Forgiveness from all
shame, and bathe me, ah! even me, with Thy Own Hands, and enrobe me with youth
and life again and I shall again hear the music of Heaven!
In vain I loved aught else!
Killing and slaying one another, we hardly knew we lived.
Daily I drank the gall of pleasures, and daily drifted far from Thee!
I forgot Thy Omnipresence; I forgot Thy Grace Omnipotent that gave my very life to me.
I revelled in joys of sense and self, forgetting Thee!
I forgot the strength for sins of love was drawn from Thy blood.
How I carried on a traffic, trying not to know Thou art!
I daily lost myself, I daily wept as long as I had life left to shed even too late a tear.
But reckless forgetfulness made me helpless, the dust of daily karmas piled on me. disease and
death closed on me!
I drifted further and further away from Thee, but I saw still the Covenant signed by Thee on my
brow and my last hope has been Thy Covenant which stands as my sky; my sins are but
clouds of dust in this Heaven!
I saw Thy signature arrow-writ on my breast, I found this my last hope in, my absolute ruin; Thy
angels stood by me in my utter desola.
Such is Thy Love and Compassion that reckons not, nor weighs, nor sits in judgment, but like a
In infinite sunshine Thy children play.
Thy waters roll for them, Thy winds blow for them, Thy starry sky is arched for them.
Not a ray of light is refused, nor a grain of wheat denied.
Thy blessings fall as ever.
Thou art the True and Steadfast Love, that gives and forgives and knows not the deeds of men!
I AM THE GARDENER’S DAUGHTER
I AM the gardener’s daughter!
My basket of sky is filled with the morning flowers,
And wrapped in the basket is the Lotus of the Sun!
I carry the basket of flowers on my head and I pass through the market!
The buyers bid for it amongst themselves
And many a youth cried to have it!
“It is not for sale,” I said, and passed on.
The King of my country stopped me!
The King it was, who desired it!
“Let the price be fixed for it by the flower-seller,” he said.
“O Sire, not this basket! It is not for sale!”
I said; and wanted to pass on.
But I was stopped! The citizens shouted:
“O foolish daughter of a gardener! Knowest thou not it is the King who wants they basket of
And I turned to him and said:
“Sire! I am a poor gardener’s daughter!
“I am thy servant and thy humble slave.
“Thou art the King, our Protector.
“But this is not thy basket!
“This is for the King of the Kingdom of Heaven!
“This is to be laid at His Feet!
‘Let the oblation of joy and love go free!
“Great art thou, O King! Have grace upon a poor gardener’s daughter!”
The King smiled, and gave the sign. The crowds made way for me!
My steps hardly touched the ground,
I was like one flying with my basket of flowers!
My steps were weaving joy on the ground, as with the King’s grace I passed on!
I am the gardener’s daughter!
My basket of sky is filled with the morning flowers,
And wrapped in the basket is the Lotus of the Sun.
I carry the basket of flowers on my head and I pass through the city lanes!
“Tarry, O gardener’s daughter! Tarry!
“I bring you a handful of wheat! Pray give me a wreath of flowers!” said a new-wedded bride
and held out her arms covered with crimson-lacquered ivory bangles up to the elbows!
“No, new Bride! No! these flowers are not for sale,” said I, and passed on.
“What a proud poor gardener’s daughter! ” said she.
The lanes were, filled with people; dames and damsels were out of doors!
Some had their tresses flying, some but half-combed, some had their sarís only half-wrapped
around, they came out in confusion of joy!
“Flowers! Flowers! we want flowers,” a shout rose in the street!
“Not for sale! not for sale! ” said I hurriedly, and passed on!
“O sisters! we never met such a proud poor gardener’s daughter!”
I am the gardener’s daughter!
My basket of sky is filled with the morning flowers,
And wrapped in them is the Lotus of the Sun!
I carry the basket on my head and I pass on out of the city lanes.
A young man caught hold of me!
“Be mine, O gardener’s daughter! Be mine,” said he.
“I will not let thee go!
“See, I am young and fair, I wish to live for thee! Be mine, today, be mine!
“Look! I am wholly thine!!”
“Ah, no, no! I cannot be thine!
“I am His who made me!
“Leave the way clear!”
“Be mine! O Gardener’s daughter! be mine!
“He made you for me, and me for you!
“We will be each other’s; you shall be mine and I am yours for ever!
“Come! live indeed,—not in dream.”
“Ah, no! I was not made for you, nor you for me; nor were we made to live for each other!
“I cannot be thine!
“I am His who made me.
“Life belongs to Him who gives life to us,
“Neither can mine be yours, nor your mine!
“Let us give it back to Him whose it is!
“Stand aside, O, stand aside!
“Stay me no more, it is getting late!”
“Then say, O gardener’s daughter! How can I live without thy love?
“How can I live without thee?
“Thou art my God!
“O gardener’s daughter! I kneel down before thee and pray to thee under the blue sunny sky!
Be mine! be mine in this very shape! My God!”
“Ah, no, no! I am His who made me!
“Unless He gives me to thee, I cannot be thine!
“Now let me pass! pray! it is getting late!
“You have wasted many moments of my precious day!
“My flowers are not for sale, good sir! This is not for sale!” I said shaking my head and passed
I am the gardener’s daughter!
My basket of sky filled with the morning flowers,
And wrapped in the basket is the Lotus of the Sun!
I carry the basket of flowers on my head and I pass by the outstretched arms of men!
Eternal is my basket of sky!
Ever fresh my morning-flowers!
These are the offerings of a poor gardener’s daughter, the simple earth flowers placed by my little
hands in my basket of sky!
And I lay them daily at His Feet!
He daily accepts the offerings of a poor gardener’s daughter!
My kind, kind King of Heaven!
I am the gardener’s daughter!
My basket of sky is filled with the morning flowers!
And wrapped in the basket is the Lotus of the Sun!
And I carry the basket of flowers on my head.
And I daily pass through the mart, the throng, the lanes, the staying hands!
Every day I lay my basket of flowers at His Feet!
Every day He takes the humble offerings, the offerings of a poor daughter of a gardener!
Every day He says, “My daughter!”
And every day I say. “My Father!”
WHAT can I offer Thee?
I have nothing!
I have been to the loneliest flower in the desert,
And the flower said to me: “Pluck me not, I am the flower of the Temple.”
I have been to the snow-covered rocks that held the most glowing rubies!
As I touched them, the rubies oped their lips and said: “We are of the Treasury of the Temple.”
Whenever and whatever I touch to make it mine, even for an offering,
An ancient voice replies: “All is God’s.”
All things are Thine!
All is in Thy Temple!
All Thy people are going to Thy Temple! each one has an offering for Thee!
The rich lady has a purse of gold and the poor a handful of maize or wheat!
The young girls have their white muslin-shawls full of roses and jasmine and narcissus!
And the young men have the reverent joy of their hearts enclosed in the lotus-wreaths they have
in their hands!
The young and the old all gather in Thy Temple!
The white beards with the black side by side!
The chastened thoughtful flesh and the young flesh full of a hundred new meanings, side by side
in Thy Temple!
The throngs of pilgrims! The smiles and tears mingle in Thy Temple!
The worshipping crowds in the gaiety of their life and in their thousand-tinted dresses, like the
flowers in their bands are themselves an offering!
What can I bring Thee as an offering?
I have nothing!
In every limb, in every part of myself, I found Thy Divine seal from old Eternity.
It were a shame to make an offering of myself before Thy creation, where everything, from the
lowest clod of clay to the loftiest star, names Thee.
What can I bring Thee as an offering! I have nothing!
To offer Thy slave for service, unless thou callest him to it, what would it mean but an excess of
the “blood of ignorance”?
For I am one without worth.
To offer myself, without Thy calling me, what would it be but folly?
Ah! I know, how at times Thou didst call me and how I failed even to understand Thy orders!
Whatever I dared do, I did it wrong.
There lie a thousand vessels that Thou didst give me to carry and I dropped them into pieces!
Ashamed of myself, I put my finger under my teeth, and stand with my head cast down before
Thy creation, like an utter fool.
It is right, Thou shalt call me no more to any service!
Full of shame, I now live far, far away from Thy palace-door in one of Thy out-houses, in my
poverty and nakedness.
A lonely bed, an old man, two blind eyes; absolute nothing!
The sun rises for the blind man under his little low roof,
Thou standest by my bed-side!
I find Thee bending over Thy so unserviceable slave!
I find a tear from Thy eyes falling on my naked breast.
I find Thou hast come!
My Lord! my eyes are blind, they see not, my backbone is weak, I can rise no more from my
I am Thy servant lying in one of Thy out-houses!
My Lord! An old, unserviceable servant of Thine!
My Lord! I have nothing to offer Thee!
Only a pair of blind, old, shivering hands groping in the dark for Thee!
1. The name of God.
READINGS FROM “GURU GRANTH”
HE is One. He is the First. He is all that is.
His name is Truth.
He is the Creator of all.
Fearing naught, striking fear in naught; His Form, on lands and waters, is Eternity; the One Self-
Through the Grace of His true servant, continually repeat His Name.
He was in the beginning; He is through all ages, He shall be the One who lives for ever.
Beyond thought, no thinking can conceive Him, not even if the minds of men should think for
ages and ages.
Nor silence can grasp Him, even if the minds of men meditate on Him for ages and ages.
Nor can He be known by gaining the worlds; for man’s desire is never satiated, even though all
the worlds laden with gold fail to his share.
No human thoughts can carry man far.
The movements of his mind, the thousand acts of wisdom of the world, leave him dark; nothing
Vain are the ways of men.
How then to find Him?
How then to get rid of the dark pail?
One way there is,—to make His Will our own. No other way, naught else.
Great is His Will!
All manifest things are forms of His Will.
His Will is indefinable!
Of His Will is made all sentient life;
It is His Will that some are great, some are small.
All existence is bound by His Supreme Will.
Nothing is outside the sphere of His Will; such is Truth!
Seek His Will,—this is to live.
If one sees the Universal Will at work, then one can never say “Tis I.”
The bards have chanted hymns in praise of Him, His Power and His Great Gifts, and sung His
He who builds and unbuilds the Universe,—in whom All Being is, coming forth from Him, and
returning back to Him,— seems so far, yet so near; Omnipresent, Omniscient, Him have
Countless millions have sung of Him, yet he still remains unknown and unsung!
For ages and ages, have men sat at His Feet, for ages and ages they have eaten from His Hands,
for ages and ages they have drunk of His Inspiration, and in such abundance that the
vessels could never be enough to hold it all.
They are powerless to receive what He gives!
By Him are ordained many paths of life; men and things go whither He wills them to go.
And everywhere the Creator smiles in His Glory, in Eternal Repose Undaunted, Undisturbed,
the Infinite, the whole creation’s Lord!
His Nâm is the Substance of which all life a made. His Nâm enlarges the heart and makes it
His creatures beg their daily needs from Him, He gives all things to men.
Naught is our own; all is His that we possess, our life and all is His!
With what offerings, could we enter His Temple?
With what virtue, His Presence?
What words have we on our lips to win His Love?
Meditate on His Nâm at morn, wet with the ambrosia of the day-break!
Our doings make this vesture of our body,
The Heaven shall cover our shame with honour, and by the light of His glance we shall go free.
The Dawn of Divine Knowledge cometh from within, and man sees God as the Light Revealing.
High above all things is the Revealed Infinite, in Himself Self-resplendent, Glorious!
Great arc they and honoured of Heaven who serve His Will, He is the Treasure-House of all
Goodness and Beauty.
Sing, ye men, His Greatness!
Be wise in Him; believe in Him!
Fill your hearts with His love and His greatness,
Thus ye shall go free of pain and illusion,
Thus ye shall be released, gaining the joy of freedom in Him, Who is All-Beatitude!
It is the Master who can implant the seed of Faith in man, the Master is the inspirer of Harí Nâm.
This divine illumination, He achieves in man.
Through His Good Will and Love, one sees the presence of God in all things, and everywhere.
It is the Master’s gift, this life of holy inspiration and love of Nâm,
All are contained in the Master: —Shirâ, Vishnu, Brahmâ, and the goddesses Parvati, Lakshmí and
Sarasvatí, and the Vedâs are in Him and all song He is the music of the Infinite!
The All-Sustainer of souls, the All-Nourisher is but One!
Thus has the Master proclaimed.
Understand but one fact of all facts. —Forget him not!
In thy own mind is all, thou hast in it the gems and jewels of thought and virtue, of all power,
goodness and beauty,
But at the feet of the Master, learn one lesson: —Forget not thy Maker, the All-Giver, All-
Sustainer, the Creator!
(This is Simran! This is repetition of Nâm! )
If ye do His Will, it is enough Tirath1 for ye to bathe in holiness and joy,
If ye do not His Will, naught else availeth!
If a man live yugas four, or tens of yugâs2 more, have fame spreading all over the nine continents
and all men to follow him, giving him the praise and renown of the world,
Let him be as rich and as great as this, yet without the light of His glance beaming on him, he is
unseen, he is counted but a worm amongst worms; he shall envy even the fate of sinners!
But wondrous are the ways of the Maker, He makes the disabled able, the able abler.
Great is His All-bestowing Mercy!
He adds unto all out of His Own Stores, no second such as can add unto Him.
(He is the Infinite Supreme, above all!)
By Thee informed, O Lord, standeth the earth,
The stars hang in space and the sky is above,
Inspired by Thee are the lower regions, the continents of men, the masters, guides and gods.
They die not who are thus informed.
Distress and sin return to death and dust.
Thou informest all gods, angels and heavens.
The light of Thy inspiration makes the beggar noble, his raiment worthy of all, praise.
Inspiration reveals the secrets of life and self; and one knoweth all, knowing Thee.
Information of Thee contains All-peace, All-truth, All-knowledge ; all learning is noble thereby.
The mind of man itself concentrates in Self, attained is the Unattainable, the Unknowable is
known, the blind find their path, secure from sin and sorrow.
Thus bathed in the bliss of holiness, Thy saints are for ever as full-blown blossoms of Peace.
What words can tell the state of those who live in faith and trust, who make His Will their own?
The soul mounts high, ‘reason and mind grow clear; Fates wait with bated breaths,
They are freed of pain of flesh, of the dreadful grasp of Yamâ’s noose, and lost in self, straight is
the path of life for them.
Great is His Nâm,
The path of faith, nothing can bar nor mar nor change; they speed to Higber Regions beyond
Death and decay, unhindered and gain the seats of honour hereafter.
The journey over, the men of faith have reached the goal!
Saved are they and their kith and kin.
Their life gains its freedom of the infinite.
No more, desire-pulled, does it wander a-begging.
They know Thy Will as their own; together both the Guru and the Disciples are saved
All Glorious is His Nâm
The door of life opens up to those who have forgone themselves in faith and love.
Men whom He appoints and to whom He gives authority are the true teachers of men, they
guide and lay for man the path.
They are honoured of the kingdom of God.
They are the stars that make this earth a shining spot.
The chosen of God live in the Guru.
Their one fixed Dhyân3 is His Person.
(Their breath is His Breath, their life is His Life. Their mind wanders not, nor their heart strays
from the sphere of the Love of the Master!)
The works of the Architect of this Universe arc above all reckoning; they speak foolishly who say
they can conceive of God.
They say this earth is borne on the horns of the Bull.
But there is earth beyond earth, planets on planets beyond, heavy indeed is the load on the horns
of the Bull!
It is not the Bull, it is Dharmâ, sprung from Love, that bears the weight of the worlds.
Ah! who can count the countless forms of life with which teems this world below and above,
their names or species or hues?
They are the letters writ by His flowing pen; who now can write, count or reckon that which the
Maker has made?
How fair are the forms made by the Creator!
How Mighty Thou! O Lord!
How enchantingly sweet is Thy emanation!
How great is the kingdom of Nature that Thou hast given to Man!
Thou didst create all this but by one word.
From one word of Thy Lips is made this thousand-rivered Nature!
How shall I praise Thy Miracle of Nature?
I am filled with the sweetness of its beauty!
At its altar, I fain would lay myself as a sacrifice, but too poor am I to gain my heart’s desire, ah!
even but once!
Thy Will, O Beautiful! is good. Thy Pleasure is all!
O Formless One! Thou art for ever! How various Thy mankind!
Myriads of men in myriad ways of life!
Some name Thee and some are in pious penance engaged,
Myriads recite from memory the Holy Books,
And myriads are lost in deep Yogâ-Samâdhi4 with their hearts full of sadness for the evanescence
of Mâyâ, they are those who have grown indifferent to the world.
Myriads more are Thy devotees who meditate on Thy Knowledge and Beauty.
Myriads have taken the vow of Right.
Generous myriads who take delight in giving themselves and theirs away!
Myriads are the mighty heroes brave who bear the brunt of steel in war with joy,
Myriads are vowed to silence with their mind fixed on the Eternal!
And myriads there are who are fools, blind of mind and heart, thieves and those that live on
Myriad s, such as bind their fellow-men by their might,
Myriads such as live the life of sin, and spread falsehood, lies and scandals.
O Infinite, bow can I come to know Thy Nature?
Intoxicated with its Beauty, I fain would lay myself at its altar as a sacrifice, but too poor to do
my heart’s desire, ah! Even but once!
Thy Will, O Beautiful, is good!
Thy Pleasure is all!
O Formless One! Thou art for ever!
Beyond the reach of our senses and thought,
Myriads are Thy world-systems, myriads the spheres, and various are the descriptions that the
mighty thinkers give of them.
This world is Thy writing!
This manifested emanation, these objects are the alphabets of Thy Word,
Through these letters we name Thee, by their aid we praise Thee, by them comes all our
knowledge of Thee, with their aid we sing of Thy Beauty.
Magic are these letters we write and speak.
These letters are signs of human destiny writ on every man’s forehead!
The forehead of Him who wrote all this is without these lines.
He is free, He can never be writ!
As He ordaineth so His creatures are!
Great is His Make and great is His Glory!
There is no place where His Glory is not.
Thy Will, O Beautiful! is good!
Thy Pleasure is all
O Formless One! Thou art for ever.
The hands and feet and skin when smeared are washed free of dirt by water, our vestures when
soiled are cleaned by washing:
But when the dirt of sins makes dark our mind, naught else but Thy Nâm can restore to it its fair
It needs be washed with the love of Thy Nâm, O Lord!
Man reaps as he sows.
It is His Will, men come and go on the wheel of birth and death.
Small indeed is the honour won by making pilgrimage and penance, or being kind and giving
charity to others, if one has not been within oneself and bathed in the Ambrosial River
within, if one has not felt Holy Inspiration within, if the seed of faith is not put in the soil
of the heart, if love has yet not sprung.
All kinds of Beauty are Thine, O Lord!
No beauty whatever have I; how can I aspire to love Thee if Thou makest me not beautiful of
heart and wakest me not to see Thy Beauty everywhere!
O Self-Existent, Eternal Beauty!
From Thee has emanated the Holy Nâm life!
What was the day and what was the time, what season and what month was it when Thou first
made the world?
The Pundits knew naught of the dawn of Thy Creation to record it in the Purânâs,5
Nor have the Qazis6 seen that time put down in the Koran.
Nor do the Yogis know of that season, hour, date or day.
That Beautiful Hour when He made this world He Himself alone doth know,
Beyond our speech, our praise, our description and knowledge is the Beautiful Maker!
Still they speak of Him, each and all their mite, as one is wiser than another.
He is the Great and the Infinite One; and great is His Nâm,
What He Wills cometh to pass.
He knows whatever is.
If any one else says he knows Him, he is but a fool in the eyes of the dwellers of the higher
There are skies above skies and earths below earths and man’s mind is tired of this great search,
It cannot reach the end of His Vastness.
All knowledge of man and his thousand books proclaim but One Truth, that there is but One
Substance of which all this is made.
There is but One Metal in all. None else I None else!
How can the Infinite be reduced to the Finite? All attempts to describe Him are lost.
The Infinite knows the Infinite.
Ours is to lose ourselves in worship and adoration, nor need we ask, why?
No need to fathom the Unfathomable! As the rivers flow to the sea with their song, let us flow
on to the Infinite, not knowing how wide is the ocean’s flood,
Like an ocean is the Lord Almighty.
If one has wealth-heaps as high as the pyramids,
Let him be ever so rich, yet is he less than the little ant, the ant that forgets not its Maker;
The small man that enshrines the Sultan within is all-great.
No end to Thee, O Infinite I nay, those who worship and love Thee have no end;
No end to Thy Forgiveness, endless are Thy Gifts.
Thy Vision and Inspiration are infinite and endless is Thy Purpose!!
Endless is They Creation; we see neither Thy Near nor Thy Far, Thou hast neither this, nor that
For touching either end of Thine, serious minds almost cry with pain,
Thy secret is the pang of their souls, but they cannot touch Thy limits at any point.
The more we say, the more it grows for us; the more we know, the more is our ignorance!
Exalted is the Owner of the spheres!
Higher than our senses is His abode;
One must gain those heights before one catches a glimpse.
It is He whose glance can lift us up, to see Him.
His glance is a gift of Heaven.
Abundant is His Mercy, as great as Himself.
He giveth and giveth, taketh not even a mustard seed from aught else.
The great warriors beg their might from Him and numberless wrecks of sin wait at His Door.
There are others who receive His Plenty and eating His Bread deny Him: fools think not on his
In Thy courtyard die thousands of hunger and of the ills of flesh.
O Almighty Giver! This too is Thy Mercy, this too is Thy Love.
By Thy Will the chains of the prisoners drop.
The bound are freed and the free are bound! Who else could divine Thy Purpose, who else
could say aught?
If any one dare go against Thy Will, he will know for himself how painful to him is his pride.
He knows us all better than we know ourselves.
He gives what is best for us; few are those who believe and bow to this truth.
Those on whom He bestows His song are greater than kings, those who have worship in their
hearts are nobler by far than the great ones of this earth.
The poet’s heart is rich!
Priceless and precious, Oh Lord, Thy Beauty!
How Thy worth reposes in its infinite glory, in price and in value one and the same!
Pricelessly precious are the wares of Nâm,
Thou art the Eternal Merchant!
Thy stores are infinite, too precious to be priced!
Precious beyond measure is what Thou givest and what Thou takest away, the exchange is
The rate at which Thou dealest in love is of limitless worth, and how infinitely sweet the hour
when Thou bestowest love!
Thy delicate balance is priceless, Thy weights and weighings!
How common and how precious are Thy Signs!
Pricelessly precious is the word from Thy Lips,
Pricelessely precious is Thy Forgiveness!
How common and how precious art Thou!
Too common to be felt as preciousness itself, there is no other value; all descriptions stutter and
are lost in a silence which wonders and fixes its gaze on Thee for ever.
Though the Vedâs speak of Him, and the Purânâs,
Though the learned discourse on Him, and Indrâ and Brahmâ expound His law, Krishnâ and His
Gopís speak of Him, Shivâ and the adepts tell about God and all the Buddhas proclaim
Though millions have spoken thus; though millions came and sift and left their seats and have
And if there come as many more creations, and all speak O Him, yet he shall forever remain the
And Thou, O Lord, art more than our minds can comprehend.
Thou art as Great as cats be!
Thou art the Verity, Thou art the One Reality;
Thou alone knowest Thyself.
Where art Thou, O Lord? where is Thy Door? where is Thy Tower from where Thou carest for
all, on whose walls breaks the music of the Universe in its endless song?
How many are the instruments!
How countless are the tunes and chants of this world-music!
How countless are the voices that sing, countless are their undulations!
O Lord I the winds and waters and fires sing Thee, the King of right and wrong and his angels;
Ishwarâ and Brahmâ and the goddesses Thou hast clothed with Thy Beauty, sing of Thee;
Indrâ the owner of the three worlds with his court of gods, sings in the same chorus!
The silence of the adepts and saints sings!
The Heroes of self-control, of patience, of celibacy, of learning, are a song of Thee!
The Seers pass with prophecy along the ages, singing; and the Goddesses, that invest the air, the
sky and earth, with music of their limbs and eyes, their robes and gems, their life and joy,
are a Song.
The Holy lands and rivers roll in music, the crystal jewels of men roll in Thy Song.
The mighty and all-heroic are made of Song. Thy Kingdoms Four sing of Thee!
And Thy vast solar systems, Thy planets and their satellites, whom Thou art holding in Thy
Hands, raise the music of. Thy praise!
Only those whom Thou admittest, can enter into this Song,
Thy poets, divinely led, whose souls are dyed with the red dye of Thy Lips, are in Thy Song
There is music in music, aye! music beyond music. Transcendental is Thy Song!
The same and the same and the Eternally True is My Master!
He forever 6ubsists His Nâm is True.
He is; He shall be: He cannot be thought away, nor doth He depart.
He made this world of diverse shapes and colours, fold on fold, embryo within embryo, that new
to newer grows and watches my Lord and His in Glory!
All moves by His will.
He wills as He wills.
None can undo His will.
My Lord is the King of kings, the Absolute!
Of what avail are thy ear-rings, O Yogi?7 Better adorn thy mind with peace.
Let no desire pull at thy heart; mind not what happens.
Of what use the Yogi’s jholi that thou wearest? make retirement within the chambers of thy soul
Be self-contained and centered in thy own Self.
This Bibhuti8 doth not help thee to forget thy body, make Dhyân thy Bibhuti, by Dhyân this body
will be that raiment which death can touch not,
Wear, O Yogi, this Khintha9 of new Youth that fades not.
Make Faith thy staff.
Take the middle path and be patient.
Thou canst not be of the Ai sect of Yogâ by roaming with the so-called Yogis: but only if thou
sharest the goodness in company with the whole world.
The conquest of the world is but the conquest of thy Self.
Bow to Him who is the Beginning of all and Who Himself is without beginning, Primal, the
Pure, Immutable, Eternal, Who is the One Life unchanging from age to age!
Thy Bread be knowledge of God.
And be kind to all; there is the same throb of life in all hearts.
All things are strung in the string of one life.
All power of Earth and Heaven is His.
Things are made and unmade, the Wheel of Creation whirls around this change.
To each one is measured out nor less nor more than what is writ in his destiny!
Bow to Him who is the Beginning of all and who Himself is without beginning,—the Pure, the
Immutable, the Eternal, who is the One Life unchanging from age to age!
The three children of Mâyâ10 revolve around the affairs of the world.
One produces, the other nourishes, the third destroys, but these Regents work as He bids them,
they move as He commands, He sees them, though they see Him not.11
Salute the Beginningless Beginning, the Colourless Purity, the Deathless Verity, the Changing
Permanence, which is the same through ages and ages!
God makes, and sees what He has made.
He is the Lover of beauty: the art of God transcends our senses.
No need of sitting in one posture, O Yogi!
The Fair God is everywhere!!
He feedeth us in all the spheres; allotted to us is our share, even before our birth!
Salute the Beginningless Beginning, the Colourless Purity, the Deathless Verity, the Changing
Permanence, which is the same through ages and ages!!
If one tongue of man were as myriads, these myriads made myriads more again; and if one single
utterance were a wheel of sound,—whose echoes again a myriad ha~ moved,—
reverberated through the leaves of the —forest and blades of grass, so that the sacred
sound bound with its spell all nature with its countless threats and voices,
With such a tongue and with such a sound when Man says ‘Hail, Lord!’
Each pore of his skin sending forth a strain with the music of His Nâm,
Then is man at one with his Maker, then does man mount high, and is one with God; there is no
We have heard the whispers of gods on high; the worms of the earth begin to vie with those
whose souls are lit by the glances of God, who beam with Beatitude Eternal!
Man plays the fool in thinking so much of himself.
What are his resolves, his ideas and efforts, labour and pain?
Are not his deeds as fates combined against him?
Is not his past self his own undoer?
No way of escape from the wheel of birth and death but His Saving Mercy, His Grace and
O Lord I throw me not on myself, of my will I can nor speak nor observe silence.
Throw me not on my own strength; of my will I can nor pray nor give myself to Thee!
Nor can I follow life nor even Death!
Not by my own power can I a beggar be, or a king; throw me not on myself, for by myself I can
nor gain my soul nor the knowledge of Thyself.
Throw me not on myself, for I am unable to cross the Sea of change.
I cannot, O Lord!
Let him who has strength in his arms try, but man is weak for all that.
All men are the same, nor more nor less, when seen from the Eternal.
Day and night He made.
He made the seasons, He made the winds and waters and fires and nether regions.
In mid-air is put this earth and held firm; this is the land of Duty,
It is as the temple of God.
This earth is flower-dyed with diverse species of life, the earth teems with their infinitude.
As we do here, so shall we be judged.
The Court of God separates chaff from wheat, there shall be measured unto us our raw and ripe.
Each man shall stand alone: his own deeds shall avail after the life of this earth.
Honour is there for the Chosen of God and they shall be received by Him with kindness and
love and He shall look at them, such is the way of the Dharmâ-khand the Region of
The Sprit of Judgment rules over the Realm of Action! Great God is merciful!
But the way of the Region of the Mind13 is another.
The Sprit of Divine Knowledge reigns here!
In the mind roll winds and waters and fires,
In the mind are Krishnâs, Shivâs, Brahmâs by thousands and an endless variety of name and form
And in it are contained a thousand Regions of Duty, countless stars, moons and suns.
In it are countless Heavens, and countless again are the countries and lands and homes.
In it are the Sidhas, Buddhâs, Yogis, gods and demons.
In it are the saints.
In the mind surge the seas. and in it are jewels and precious gems.
In it are the sources of life, and in it are countless languages and countless lines of Kings.
In it are the Masters of the Divine Knowledge and in it are those who worship.
There is the Infinite in the Infinite!
The Region of Mind is lit with God’s light.
There is music endless, there is bliss untold.
Then comes the higher Realm of Ecstasy!
Here is the holy Rapture, here is naught but Beauty.
Here are the Titans at work, making idols of beauty, and here in this Realm of Ecstasy are made
intellect and understanding, the wisdom and power of men and gods.
Beyond all words is this Sphere of Ecstasy, as subtle as a Trance.
Its reigning Deity is Beauty!!
Higher than the Region of Ecstasy is the Realm of Grace.
The Gcd of Power rule over this Realm,—
Great masters who lift man by their power as he toils to it through the three other Realms of
Duty, Knowledge and Ecstasy.
Incomparable the dwellers of the Realm of Grace:
They are mighty heroes full of God’s Power!
One understandeth only when he sees this Realm, no words can picture it for us.
Here are many queens as Sitâs, in glory, whose beauty is what one cannot tell another who hath
seen it not.
Nor death nor delusion is for them any more, in whose heart He liveth!
Here are congregations of saints in bliss, whose minds and hearts are inebriate with God.
Higher than all is the Realm of My Lord,—
The Realm Absolute! here reigns The Formless One!
Here His glance is the soul’s beatitude!
In this Realm arc contained all regions, and all the starry heavens without end!
Out of the Formless Infinite come the forms and finite beings, never hasting, never resting.
They whom He seeth, on whom He raineth the light of His smiles and pours the showers of the
They on whom God bestows His grace and glance, and whom the Kind One by one glance
maketh happy, toil hard at their craft as smiths.
Chastity of thought and speech and deed is the furnace,
Understanding is the anvil on which they ply their craft.
Divine Wisdom serves as tools for those toilers at life!
The devout awe at the Presence of God and reverence serve them as bellows, and sufferings or
vows of poverty as fire;
They make the Heart Loving the vessel in which melts the Gold of Nâm and thus they cast and
recast their being in Love.
True is this mint where man is cast in the Image of God, where man is the Word and the Word
On such as these He showers His grace!
BORN of the waters, we children of the great Earth learn our lessons from the winds,
And we spin in the arms of day and night; they nurse us well.
Before the Great Judge will be read out our actions, good or bad.
By our own actions we shall be nearer Him or farther off.
Those who fix their Dhyân on Nâm shall pass above the pain of labour.
Their task is done.
Bright are their faces!
And in joy of one liberated soul shall many more be, through His Great Love, made free!
KIRTAN SOHILA, OR THE WEDDING SONG
SING ye, my comrades, now my wedding song!
In the house where saints sing His Nâm, where saintly hearts glow all day and night with His
Sing ye, my comrades, now the song of His praise!
Sing the song of my Creator!
I fain would be a sacrifice for the harmony divine that giveth everlasting peace!
My Lord careth for the smallest life,
The Bounteous Giver meets the needs of everyone.
No arithmetic can count His gifts,
Naught is it that we can render unto Him.
The auspicious day has dawned!
The hour is fixed for my wedding with my Lord!
Come, comrades! assemble and make rejoicings,
Anoint the Bride with oil and pour on her your blessings!
Comrades! pray, the Bride may meet her Lord!
This message is for every human being!
This call is for all.
Man! Remember Him who calls!
Thy day too is coming fast!
Many are the tabernacles, many the teachers and many the lessons they give.
Remember there in but one Guru, The Master of masters, that meeteth man in a thousand
O Father! keep Thy Hand on that tabernacle, make it Thine own, where Thy man melts into the
song of ‘Hail, Lord! ’— not because I pray, but because Thou art so great!
As moments and hours and days, each with its own distinct import, make but one month,
And as months, each with its own distinct effect, make seasons, each again with its own
distinction! and the cause of this all is the shining sun!
So is the play of the one Maker in the diversity of forms!
The sky is my azure salver where the sun and moon, Thy lamps, illuminate Thy songs of praise.
The stars are as pearls set in my salver! O Light of Lights!
My incense is the fresh fragrance blown on southern winds from sandal forests, frankincense and
cloves and a hundred spices,
All the herbs of the earth rise with their flowers in Thy Temple and lay their offerings at Thy
The breezes blow cool from east and south in Thy Temple high; they wave the heavenly fans in
Such is Thy Arati!
O All-kind Creator! The Breaker of the wheel of Karmâ, the great Deliverer!
Thou hast a million eyes, yet no eyes!
Thou hast a million white feet, yet no feet!
Thou hast a million forms! yet no form is Thine, O Lord!
Thy Presence sheds a thousand perfumes and yet Thou hast no incense!
This Vision of the Invisible is my utmost richness!
O Light of lights! Thou art the light of all hearts!
By Thee are kindled both heaven and earth.
The Lord maketh the Invisible Visible to man.
To wait for the coming about of Thy Will is our best worship!
I thirst for Thy Lotus Feet all day and night.
I long for Thy Fragrant Presence as the bee longs for the flowers.
Grant me, O Lord, the Nectar of Thy Grace! I am athirst like the Sârang!15
Pour in me Thy Heavenly Drop and let me repose in Thy Holy, Holy Nâm!
The human frame is filled with love’s desire and passions of all kinds!
As it comes and touches the feet of the saint, all is reduced to dust.
This colliding of the man of sins with the sinless saint is as preordained as when two stars collide
It is the good fortune of man that he meets his Lord and Master, and his Dhyân is fixed on the
Break, break, O man, at the feet of the Saint!
To do the behest of the saint is the highest Dharmâ!
Break, break, O man, at the feet of the Saint!
Mind not the Sâktâs, men cut off from the Music Divine;
Mind not those who are out of tune with the Verity of Beauty, knowing not the sweet
deliciousness of Nâm.
There is the thorn of pride in their heart;
The more they seem to mount, the more is the pricking of this thorn within their heart
From pain to greater pain they march, they bear the pain of Yamâ’s noose.
Absorbed are God’s men in Harí Nâm16 and they have transcended the pain of birth and death
and fears of the human lot.
They have realised the Immortal Person of God.
They have won Universal Fame in all the stellar and astral systems of creation!
O Lord! Thou art great and the greatest.
Thou art our prop and stay!
Thine are we for ever!
Make us Thine, O Lord! though we are so poor and weak, full of misery of soul and woe of
Make us Thine own slaves and let us repose in Thy Nâm.
In Thy Love is the fruiting of our life.
In Thy Nâm is our liberation.
Look up, ye friends! the Dawn of Death is breaking!
I call you out of the love of my heart for you!
Awake and up! it is high time for ye to render up this life at the feet of the saints!
Rise and earn the Treasure of Harí Nâm from the company of the saints.
Provide for the life hereafter,
Behold, the Dawn of Death is breaking yonder and soon shall ye be called!
God gave you this life for this divine purpose.
How day and night steal it from you drop by drop and how your heart is drained to waste!
O man! rise and lay thyself at the feet of the Saints and win thy life, ere it is all lost in folly!
The man of divine knowledge swims across the sea of Mâyâ,
The world is in deep welter, it shall thus remain in doubt.
Rise thou, O brave disciple! mind not the world and win for thyself the Castle of Immortality as
the Master bids!
He knows the unknowable whom Thou wakest with Thy own hands and makest to drink the
Cup of Thy delicious Love!!
Fly, my soul, fly I from the dust and smoke of life into the Pure!
For this achievement thou didst come.
Win thy Master’s love through which shall the Love of God be thine.
He shall then make thy heart His abode!
Disciple, up! win this prize of life, and lie in sweet repose in the arms of God, with thy freedom
O Lord, Thou knowest the inmost of our hearts!
Thou fructifiest our desires and Thou art the Arbiter of our fates!
Sweet one! make me the dust of Thy Temple.
Thy slave longeth for the peace of lying at the feet of Thy saints, of being the dust of their holy
Make me, O Lord! the dust of thy great temple and of Thy saints!
O SISTERS! IT IS THE MONTH OF RAIN
WADHANS MAHLA I. (GURU NANAK)
THE peacocks have begun their dance,
O sisters! it is the month of rain,
It raineth: Rhin Jhin, Rhin Jhin!
It raineth joy! Rhin Jhin, Rhin Jhin!
O woman! Great indeed the power of your eyes, if you have conquered the All-Conqueror!
O Beloved! I would fain be a sacrifice myself, if thou wouldst come!
I am sacrificed for the joy of Naming Thee.
They say, I am proud! I am proud because Thou art mine! without Thee what am I? Dust, dust
O sisters lit is the month of rain!
It raineth indeed if He come!
It raineth: Rhin Jhin! Rhin Jhin!
It raineth joy! Rhin Jhin! Rhin Jhin!
Joy! joy for them, they are with Him!
My comrades are with Him, they sing and live in love!
Vacant is my house, vacant my bed! He hath not come.
Now let me break my crimson-lacquered ivory bangles against the crimson-lacquered bed, and
scatter the pieces in the empty room.
In vain these jewelled arms; vain this crimson lacquer, when He cometh not.
For, after all this waiting, hath He not turned away from me?
O woman, not in crimson-lacquered bangles, not in the makers of bangles, and not in decked
arms and lovely gems;— not in these thy love shall be known.
Ah I but where shall I go? No way, no door for me!
And yet, O mother, are there not some who have called me beautiful?
But He looks not at me,
He likes me not.
Burnt, then, be all my beauty.
I have had my hair dressed, the tresses were parted in the middle, they were woven and plaited
down on either side with perfumed wax, the parting in the middle was filled with
How fair I looked; and beautiful was my smooth and plaited hair;
But He looked not at me!
All was over in a minute! I am forlorn, bereft of his Love.
In my misery, my soul cries out from its very depths!
I weep, and with me weeps the world!
The birds of the forest weep for me!
The rivers and rocks weep with me?
But weepeth not for me my own cruel self, that has been my ruin!
In a dream once He came to me!
He came and went away!
My eyes were filled with tears, it was all a dream!
Alas, my Beloved! Thou art where I dare neither go, nor send a messenger! Nor can I, even if I
would! No news comes from Thee, no message can reach Thee from me!
Is not this vacant waking all one long pain!
Sleep! come steal over me!
Put me to rest, perchance I may see Him again in happy dreams.
If any one came to give me the news of my Beloved!
Ah! if any one were to come now to me!
Do you know what I would give Him!
Oh! I have learnt it with bitter experience.
I would give to my Lord the whole of myself!
I would give it clean away!
I will keep nothing for myself even to serve Him with!
Having offered myself, I shall borrow the offerings from Him and serve Him with his own!
The peacocks have begun their dance, Rhin Jhin, Rhin Jhin, Rhin Jhin, Rhin Jhin,
O sisters! it is indeed the month of rain!
It raineth: Rhin Jhin! Rhin Jhin!
It raineth joy! Rhin Jhin! Rhin Jhin!
Joy! joy is the news!
Glory! glory is all life!
THE MOMENT WHEN I SEE THEE NOT
MAHLA V. (GURU ARJAN DEV, WHEN QUITE YOUNG)
THE moment when I see Thee not, that one moment is a long dark age to me;
When shall I see Thee? so many days have passed!
My mind feels a pang as that of the chatrik that cries for the rain-clouds I
Without seeing Thee, O Beloved Saint! neither my thirst abates nor do I have any rest.
Fair God! Beautiful is Thy Face, and how deep and sweet is the melody of Thy Voice.
Not days, ages have now gone by; Thy chatrik has had not his nectar-drop I
Blessed is the land where Thou dwellest!
I pant for Thee, O Divine Friend!
Passes not the night, my eyes know no sleep.
When shall I see Thee, O Lord!
To-day breaks the morn of fortune for me.
I find to-day my dear Lord, my Saint!
All bliss is life, I have found my love within myself.
No separation now, no pining, I am now for ever at His Feet,
I am now for ever in His Service!
THE HUSBAND OF THE COUNTLESS WORLDS
(GURU ARJAN DEV)
THE Husband of the countless worlds!
The Sustainer of all-life
That One, the All-Nourisher, the All-Protector, the All Saviour!
What ignorance! I cannot yet realise His Beauty!
I know not how to worship Him!
I know not how to pour my love at His Feet!
I only say, “Harí, Harí, “Master, Master!”
“Harí, Guru” are one, for me His Name is Guru Ram Das!
The Ocean of Peace, how it surges in its limitless expanse and how its billows wave along from
heart to heart, it filleth all!
In me, He hears and sees all that I say and do.
I was so ignorant, I thought the Omnipresent to be somewhere outside me.
The Infinite how can I bound by limitations of any kind, speak of Him, without mis-saying Him?
How can I say what He is like?
O my Guru! speak to the ignorant me what He is like!
The Husband of the countless worlds!
The Sustainer of all-life!
That One, the All-Nourisher, the All-Protector, the All Saviour!
I am just one; through Thy grace, countless millions of men have obtained their freedom!
Those who have received the inspiration from the lips of Guru Nanak!
Those who have met and touched Guru Nanak!
The chains of their bondage are cut for ever!
They are Free!
The Husband of the countless worlds!
The Sustainer of all-life!
That One, the All-Nourisher, the AU-Protector, the all-Saviour!
GIVE HIM, THE BELOVED, THE NEWS OF US
(GURU GOBIND SINGH)
GIVE Him, the Beloved, the news of us, the disciples!
Without Thee, rich raiment, fine linen, beds of down,—what are they but torments?
The pleasures of these high mansions bite like snakes!
The lips of the wine-cup cut us like thin-edged poniards,
And but a draught of distress this jug of wine, when Thou art not with us!
But the pallet of pale straw! It is Heaven, if Thou be there!
Burnt be the palaces, burnt and consumed the high palace-walls, if Thou be not there!
READINGS FROM BAVAN AKHRI
MAHLA I. (GURU ARJAN DEV)
MY mother, my father, my owner is my Lord.
The breaker of the spell of ignorance, my friend, my kinsman, first and last is my dear Master.
He is the bestower of Nâm on me,
He has given me the gift of eternal repose.
He incarnates for me the heaven of peace.
He is the Pâras, His touch is alchemical.
The Lord is my holy place of pilgrimage.
He is the fountain of the Nectar of Life;
All knowledge is mine, when I plunge into Him and bathe myself in His Purity.
The Lord is my maker, He makes me blessed and sinless.
It is He who lifts up the fallen, embraces the despised.
He is the beginning, He is the eternal ages,
He is the Word, the Nâm that saves man.
O God! unite me with Thee, my Lord and Teacher, bestow Thy Grace on me.
Hush! Silence I Bow to him.
He is the God in man, aye, He is the God in God, the Eternal Essence of things!
Holy is the dust of the lotus feet of Thy saints!
Great is Thy Glory, Thou makest such minds as these!
I wish for no property, nor do I desire Heaven,
I wish I were but the dust of their feet!
Pour in me more and more that Heavenly Love, that worship of Thy saints,
I wish I were the dust of their feet!
In the love of One, I am free.
The saint is the Torch of Nâm, he is both man and God.
O disciple, bathe thy mind in the colours of His Glory, fill thy heart with His Greatness,
And pour out His Nâm from the depths of thy soul; and let this gushing fountain lave thy being
in the sweet deliciousness of His Love.
Recite His Nâm that the chords of thy being may vibrate with the music of love.
In realms beyond death, thus shalt thou be an honoured guest.
Thine shall be the life wedded to love in the high mansions of Thy Lord, a life everlasting lifted
off for ever from the wheel of birth and death.
Such prosperous life of the spirit is theirs, whom He Himself makes so fortunate.
They come and they go,
But they have come indeed whose lips are closed with the Honey of His Praise.
Full-fruited is their life!
They have come indeed who live in the Saint and there in his being drink deep the Glory Divine,
their souls all dyed in joys of Love.
They have come indeed who have blended their souls with Nâm through the Divine Grace.
No more coming and going for them; they live for ever in the Divine Presence, their eyes
looking into His, His Eyes looking into theirs, their souls enwrapped in His, and His in
He is very beautiful,
He comes of a noble race,
Great is his mind and power,
He is a rich man.
But ah! he is dead, for he hath not the love of the Lord.
Transparent grows my soul in converse with my Beautiful Saint.
All distress of thought is over for me, for my eyes look straight at the Beloved and see but One.
To-day the Lotus Feet of the Blessed One touch me!
Beautiful is this day, all was for this; my life rolled for ages and wandered for this.
It is at His own will and pleasure that He admits me into His presence.
When I see Him, all thinking is lost and thoughts of “thee” and “me” drop away from me.
We are as Thy little children,
Make us the servants of Thy servants, the slaves of Thy slaves, who are the essence of Thy
Creation, the life of Thy Life.
We children pray that we may be able to give up all ignorance of self and walk humbly on the
path of life.
With the help of Thy saints, we. even we, the illusion-toys of the Shadow, attain to the Highest
Fetch that elixir then!
By which all distress may end forthwith,
When the elixir of Nâm invigorates the sources of life in me, what is death, decay, disease or
Concealed within lies this ambrosia at the heart of human life, but the man knoweth not till the
Guru opens the door of the heart;
When this is done, all is done.
Hate no one, bear enmity to none, in each and every one is He. That all-permeating Love
deluges lands and waters with Himself.
Few are those who favoured by the Guru see Him thus!
They who are inspired direct from the lips of the Guru, they who have lighted their hearts from
His burning heart, know this truth:
Those hearts are clean, those minds mount high, and no differences divide them from the
Their Beautiful Beloved is independent of flesh-colours and flesh-features: they invoke in us His
Peace is mine, when selfishness drops from me!
How can I be free of disease when selfishness, the root of all disease, feeds deep on me?
Now that I see my Love, my self is gone, my love is all.
If it be Thy wish, O Lord! even stones shall swim over the world-waters.
A traitor to thy salt! I?
A runaway from thee! I?
Thou who gayest me birth, bestowed on me the shrine of this human body, and added unto me
the thousand joys of life, my heart is empty of all love for Thee.
It runneth in all directions to gather the world-sands, and filleth itself with the dust of nothing;
A reviler! a thief! a traitor! I?
O my Merciful Love, Thou canst save me still with a Glance, with one Glance of Thine!
Thus my all-bad will change into all-good, in the light of Thy Smile,
If it be Thy wish, O Lord! even the stones shall swim over the world-waters.
The Transcendental Beauty!
O Beloved! above all thought and feeling!
Thou holdest in Thy Hand the Inscrutable Pen, and how it writes on our foreheads!
On our foreheads are Thy beautiful letters of destiny!
Who can praise Thee? for lips get sealed with honey, and eyes are closed by Thy Beauty, and the
soul is lost in looking at Thee.
May I be an eternal sacrifice at the altar of Thy Fame.
FROM ‘JAYTESWARI DI VAR’
He lived in a broken-down hut,
He was clad in rags;
He had no caste, no rank in this world;
No one so poor as to notice him as he walked along the roads of life,
All alone, no friend had he, no support;
He had no wealth, no beauty of features,
He had no blood-relations,
But he was the King of Creation,
His mind was immersed in Nâm,
From him did drip the Honey of Love!
If one gets the gift of the dust of the feet of such as he, it is the sign of Divine Grace, for
anointed with this dust, a man becomes a man.
Those who love Him, love nothing else;
To them nothing else is at all sweet!
They have seen that all other things are sickening.
This Love Divine has broken the spell of their ignorance and they have obtained deliverance
He abideth for ever, all else perisheth!
His Sacred Feet imprint gentle soft touches on their hearts and He is in them as the dye in the
As water is to the fish,
As cloud-drops to the chatrik,
As lotus-scent to the bee, that gives itself to be shut within its petalous embrace,
Even a cobra that is near lifts its hood in love and song; listening, forgets its nature and stands
venomless and harmless, a comrade of man;
So is God for the Saints; seeing Him, they are to Him and He is to them what no two things can
be to each other.
Wait, O woman of love and longing!
It is He who fulfils the longings of Love!
Thy waitings shall bear fruit;
Find Him, and sorrow not nor pine,
One glance of His shall close the lips of all thy sweet complaints.
Fill thy heart with the gladness of thy waiting for Him.
From His shining silver feet the life-pollen falls, this rain of pollen from His Feet makes us holy.
He is for ever with us.
A thousand times I would die for those who listen to His story, who are informed of Him;
They are honourable men who lay their foreheads on the dust before my Lord in total self-
Those hands are beautiful, they look to me so bright and fair, the hands that write His praise
Those feet are holy that go the way which goes to my Lord.
All calamity is over in company of the saints!
O Kind One! now meet me!
I fall at Thy door, O Kind King of the poor! protect me!
Long have I wandered, far and wide, and I am now hungry and starved, weak and lean, old and
They say Thy vow of Love is to lift up the fallen;
They say Thou art as the mother-cow to her calf;
Infinite kindness of Thine has sworn, they say, to save man!
O Essence! O Verity! listen to me, I have none but Thee!
O Kind One, now meet me!
Now lean out! now lean out! and take me up in Thy arms,
O Kind One, come and now meet me!
FROM ANAND SAHIB
My Mother! I have found Peace in my Lord!
He gives it to me;
Spontaneous music of triumph of soul and joy of life swells up in me;
In the temple of my heart is the concourse of celestials!
O celestials! Raise in me songs of Praise of Him, Who having made in me His dwelling, makes
me a palace of music and joy.
Peace I have found in my Lord!
Now live with God,
Be His, put all sorrow and pain and thought aside.
Mind no business of thy own, all concerns now are His!
Leave all else, but leave not Him who is the All-doer,
Now live with His Love!
O King of my heart! What is there that is not in Thy stores?
All is there, but the greatest is the song of Thy Praise!
The song of Thy Praise is bestowed on them whom Thou choosest!
In their heart dwells Nâm and their flesh resonates with the music divine.
Give up all else, let go these chains that bind and enslave;
Build thyself on the rock of Nâm.
Make Nâm thy Bread of Life!
Eat of that Bread that kills all kinds of hungers,
Behold, thy desires stand before thee as trees laden with fruits.
Honoured is be of the Lord who bears so much love!
O Lovers of the Good! give your life to Nâm,
All blessed is that home where the stream of this divine music flows; they have won the self, and
death lies low.
My mind is happy, my heart dances with joy,
I hear my Lord will soon be here.
O my comrades! sing together, my Lord cometh!
To-day my house is the holy temple of the Beloved, to-day are we not all sacred?
Sing ye, my comrades, the everlasting songs of love, let no sorrow rule within!
This day is the day of the fruits of life!
To-day we see our Husband come, let us make to-day full feast with Him, it is all joy!
He cometh of Himself to us.
Say not now why I came into the world,
Say not now what I have done here.
Say not now, pray, that I love Him not.
By His kindness, my past is vindicated now,
My body is sacred now, for it has met its Owner.
My mind is pure, for there the Light shines from His Lotus Feet.
O eyes! my eyes! the Lord has placed his light in you; see no one else now, for these eyes have
seen the Beloved.
O eyes! my eyes! this great world that lies before your gaze is the flesh of my Beloved, all this is
the beauteous form of my Beloved.
I knew it not, ere this; I know it now through His Grace; He is everywhere, there is none else.
O eyes! my eyes!
These eyes were blind, this celestial vision has been given me by my dear Lord.
See this vision now and nothing else!!
My sweet, sweet God has concealed in a cave within this human frame, a mystic violin whose
chords break forth into an unheard-of music as His Breath passes through man.
The music of life comes streaming through the nine gates of the body, the tenth portal being all
O ears! my ears! ye are sent here to hear this sacred Song of Truth by whose cadence the dried-
up heart is once more made green and speech is lost in joy!
Some there are, who sit at the door of the temple, and wait till some one opens the tenth portal.
When this door of life opens, a million instruments of music strike the wedding song of man.
This song is only beard in the heart of Truth, this music is of the Real.
O ears! my ears! ye are sent here to hear this sacred Song of Truth.
I fell at the feet of my Lord and Master and I have heard now this Hidden Song.
I vibrate with the wedding-joys!
HARD! very hard indeed is the life of Love and Nâm (because of its delicacy and tenderness,
because of its soft aromas, and its still softer hues).
In it I live, and out of it I die.
I feel hungry of Thee; when Thou fillest me with Thy Bread of Love, all my woes depart.
Do what we may, we cannot pick even a sesame seed out of His Infinite Nature,
He grows not more if we sing His Praise, nor doth He grow less if we sing Him not.
One thing I know, He dies not, nor pain nor sorrow is in Him.
He is my true Husband, my mother! how can I forget Him?
He gives and asks not, He goes on giving to all, this is His one great sign.
Nor was one, nor can there be one like Him, His gifts wear on them His likeness.
The days and nights are His, one who forgets Him has no noble blood in his veins.
Without Him the lot of man is that of a widow.
Look! the shades of evening spread, their wings half crimsoned in the rays of the setting sun,
The soft slow zephyrs blow, carrying shadows to and fro.
O man! why art thou so crestfallen in the thought of thy bread, why this “What shall I eat?” and
Behold, the flocks of cranes fly in mid-sky and they have their little ones safe-buried in sands
behind, and they have no such fear; they ask not who shall provide for their little ones!
These birds perhaps know the secret, they only look up and their eyes see Him who helps,
They are flying free, singing His Nâm.
O man! why art thou so crestfallen? why dissipate thyself in vain desires?
His stores have plenty for all,
The little lives He has brought forth in the crevices of stones, there is bread for them stored even
before their birth.
My friend! thy distress is not the want of bread; thy misery is thou hast not yet seen the Reality
face to face.
Man attains the highest by the Divine Grace,
By the glance of the Guru towards us, we rise as green living trees out of the dead and decayed
Who cares for us, my friend? Father, mother sweet-hearts all are for themselves and no one
needs to care for another.
Be not crestfallen, be not so dejected and sad, for above us all is one sweet Beloved Who careth
All things are held in the palms of His hands,
O my Sweet Beautiful One ! die I may a thousand times and come again a thousand times more
to be a sacrifice, but there is no end to Thy, delightfulness; the ever new, the ever fresh
This little shrine of the human body!
This great opportunity of Life!
The object is to meet the Beloved, thy Maker!
Nothing else shall standby thee, nothing else availeth!
Get up; go and meet the Saints and live with them in their service as a torch divine of Nâm.
Death above thy head, before thee is the world sea of thought and desire!
Thy hours pass in transient self-spending pleasures of Mâyâ.
No training in the arts of soul-culture nor recitation of Nâm, nor hast thou sought the kingdom
within thyself, nor hast thou followed the science of obedience to His Will, nor hast thou
served the Saints.
Shame! O shame! Thou hast not yet seen thy God.
O Lord! so low in the scale of life, so mean my performance!
Oh! For the Honour of Thy Door of Mercy protect me, such as even me, my Lord
FROM BARAN MAHA
FLUNG away are we from Thee, O Beloved, of our own freedom and by our own doings!
Now it is all over, I have seen all the ten directions and all the four continents, I find no home,
no rest; I return to Thee, now it is the evening of my life.
Through Thy saving Love, restore me once again to Thyself!
What am I without Thee?
As useless as a cow without milk, as a branch cut off from the juice of the tree,
Burnt be the town and the city where cometh not my Beloved!
If the Beloved is not by me,
All friends and blood-relations are as death,
All my fine decoration of self, the supremacy of ornaments and robes, of the betel-nut colour on
my lips, the pride of my beautiful flesh, the tints of love and longings, the deliciousness
of emotions—all, all is sour and unripe!
O God! Bestow on me Thy Nâm, unite me with Thyself!
O Beloved! Thy Palaces never pass away!
The evening falls, my Beloved! I fall at Thy Door imploring protection!!
My soul is on fire!
The Spring is in its half-opened buds!
How great the joy if my lips open and say His Nâm!
O Saints! put on my tongue that honey which makes so life-giving the repetition of His Nâm!
Spring indeed for those who have met Him!
In vain the mother gives birth to that life which passes outside the maddening circle of His arms!
Without the cooling touch of His Love, this life is all fire, all pain to me!
He Who pervades all lands and waters,
He by Whose Beauty all world-forests are beautiful, aye, even the little grass blades as great and
How great is my distress when His Love springeth not in me. The Spring is now in youth, full-
blown are its blossoms, Now pray! how can I keep quiet, how can I be patient, I, I
who have wounds of Love within!
Shame! Shame! I forget my Beloved and pass my days, desire-pulled in the desert of Mâyâ
Ah! this way of ruin have thousands gone and perished!
All is death and ruin but His Great Love, His Nâm.
Pure are the hearts of those who are at the Feet of my Beloved!
Meet me, O Beloved! Pray come to me now!
Spring is gone with all its flowers!
Hot indeed is the tropical summer!
It is a burning waste for those who are not with God!
O Soul! why art thou running to and fro aimlessly, seeking favours of men and women and
things, so hard-pressed, so heat-oppressed!
Why meetest thou not the living Man whose life is the life of The whole creation!
Behold! The night passeth! The dawn of Death breaks yonder!
O Soul! why sorrowest thou now, when the night of love, the time ~and opportunity thou
hadst, is recklessly wasted?
Such is her fate, she saw not her Husband, it was so writ!
They who have met here their Saint, attain freedom there.
O Beloved! This much favour I ask, that I may have thirst enough to drink deep of Thy Beauty!
O Lord! There is no other who would look at me with so much favour!
But not at all is the summer hot, nay, it is genial warmth to those whose hearts are pure with the
touch of His Lotus Feet.
The clouds come, the lightning flashes and it rains nectar within their souls!
Drenched are they and fine glows the colour of their body and soul dyed with the tint of youth
and life of the Beloved!
In the light of this Beauty, in the presence of this Glancing Reality, all else is a lie, all other dyes
are fading shadows of Illusion.
Ah! Beautiful is the waiting for the pearl-drop of this nectar from Heaven! Beautiful are the
Brides! Beautiful are their cups of joy! Beautiful is the Saint, mingling with whose life
their life, the disciples drink so deep!
Their eyes are lighted with celestial light; from the humble grass blades to the mighty forests, all
things are deluged with the Beloved.
All is fresh with the life of the All-Powerful Creator, the Infinite Man.
I long to meet my Love!
Ah! But no transitory dreamy sentiments can take me to Him!
My whole self, whatever it be, assigns to me my place.
Content where I am,—O Lord, look at me, bend on me a kind glance.
I wish to be the slave of those who have won their seats on high.
O Love! Just look at me!
Fair is the month of rain, delicious! to those who have the garland of His arms entwined round
It is winter now!
As he sows, so the farmer reaps, this life is the soil of God!
The black have turned grey, the hands of man now shake, the flesh creeps on the bones and
convulsive fits overcome the flesh. The messengers of death have put their noose on his
neck and they march him on whither he knows not, nor do the messengers of death tell
him this. Those who were his can do naught for him, so they have also deserted him out
In vain did he pride over his all, all is lost in a moment. Such is the human lot!
But never, O never, has the winter a sting for those who have met the Master I The Guru
protects them to the very last.
All things freeze in winter, but the feelings of love break open the crust of earth!
Ah! Love flows in a stream!
Come someone and take me to the Beloved! the Saints aid one on the path of love, Saints and
no one else.
Come, O my mother! Take me to the Saints! There is no other way, my mother, no other way.
There is no other place, my mother, no other place, where I can find rest.
Nothing else can please me, nothing else can make me happy, restore me to the arms of my
They who have drunk of this cup, are informed of His Bliss that never breaks! Once with Him,
for ever with Him!
The Bride is with the Bridegroom! where is winter? where is Death?
For our distress we blame no one! No one but we ourselves make our lot, be it good or bad.
We invite all distress and disease to ourselves when we turn our backs on God.
We suffer the pangs of separation, life after life.
All that is, is good! All this Evanescent Mâyâ splendour is delicious!
But bitter indeed is the cup, when He is not amidst us.
O Deliverer of the Bound!
O Saviour of the Fallen!
Grant me the society of Saints!
All life for a Saint!
When once again I thus shall meet my Lord, the misery of ages will be left behind as a mortal
Those who live with the Beloved never perish.
I see them standing there in eternity, how bright are these figures of Love!
The garlands of rubies and diamonds and pearls sparkle on their necks,
I long for the life-dust of their feet!
They are standing there doing the service of Love!
The garlands of rubies and diamonds and pearls sparkle on their necks.
MAHLA I. (GURU NANAK)
THY stellar and astral systems stand: they are Truth.
All Forms of Thy Creation that are are Truth.
All Thy Doings are Truth, and all Thy Thinkings.
Thy Will is Truth and Thy Presence.
Thy Sayings are Truth and Thy Bidding.
Thy Blessing is Truth and Truth is Thy Sign.
Thou art Truth, and Thy Power, and Thy Life,
And Thy Praise is Truth.
Thy Emanations are Truth.
Thy Miracle of Creation is Truth and Thy Art of Creating.
They are true who love the Truth,
All else is flesh of change like fragile glass.
Wonder of all wonders! So wondrous the sound itself and then the sound with meaning
Wonder of wonders! so wondrous this life and then this life with all its mystery !
So wondrous the forms of life, and then the forms of life with all their feelings!
So common teems all life before us, yet how secret!
How wondrous these waters, these winds, these fires that play!
How wondrous the earth and the dust and the minerals in it!
All kingdoms of life how various!
Wonder of wonders! so wondrously! Men have taste in their mouths, they have likings and
How wondrous we meet and part!! We feel hunger and we have the feeling of satiation!
How wondrously lips pipe His Praise!
Wonder is the path we tread and the wilderness with no path!
Wonder is what is near and what is far!
A wonder is the man that, filled with wonder, sees his Maker in himself and everywhere.
And how wondrous is the repose that sees the Glory even above the realms of wonder:
The knowledge above all knowledge, the knowing above the knowing of wonder, this worship,
this illumination is the perfection of human destiny.
It is the miracle of His Own Presence!
We see but the products of His Art of Creation!
We hear but the music of his Art of Creation!
The Awe of His Wondrous Presence, the Truth, the Peace are all elements of His Divine Art.
Above the skies is the display of His Art,
And below is the same.
All thoughts of men, their books and their process of thinking, aye, all inspiration is of His Art.
The arts of eating, drinking, wearing and the art of loving are of His Art!
The countless colour-glories, the created beings, all goodness and virtue, all vice and wickedness,
all pride and glow, all humility and pallor, move with the all-teeming life on His canvas.
Everything is His expression.
O Lord! this is all Thy Art Divine.
Above all and in all art Thou, the Immaculate, the Supreme Immanence.
He who lives in Thee sees but One.
He read and read, and heaped carts on carts of the books of learning:
He read and read and carts behind carts of the books of learning moved behind him as he went:
He read and read, and ships on ships of the books of learning sailed:
He read and read, and heaps on heaps of the books of learning were buried in dust:
He read and read, years on years and centuries sped:
Let him read, let him acquire more if he likes:
Ah, but not this way, not this way!
The man needs but One Thing,
All else is vanity, dust, dust and ashes,
FROM GURU NANAK (WHEN A BOY)
NOT this, not this is the sacred thread, O Brahman!
If divine forgiveness is in me, it will provide the cotton for my sacred thread:
And if I am at peace with the Will of my Maker, that will give me the sacred-spun:
If I am in my centre of life and if I am true to the Truth in me, the fibres of my sacred thread are
twisted well enough indeed!
My Brahman! put on me the sacred thread such as this, if you can:
My sacred thread shall break not, nor shall ever be soiled.
Fires can burn it not, nor waters sink it down!
Blessed are they who wear my sacred thread.
SELECTION FROM HYMNS OF GURU GRANTH SAHIB
SRI RAG MAHLA V. (GURU ARJAN DEV)
By self-surrender, He is now mine.
I have met the Man, the true Master!
I know of none else so great!
He is now mine!
He is Fascination,
Dearer than my own father and mother to me,
I know of no affection (nor sister’s, nor brother’s, nor friend’s) so intense, ever growing.
He is now mine!
At His bidding, it raineth here;
It raineth on the fields of life!
It raineth on the fields below!
My hand is on the plough (the Truth), the seeds are in my hands:
The seeds of Nâm I sow;
My eyes are raised and took above; then look they down and I sow.
The crops grow, the crops grow!
He is now mine!
I have seen Him now,
I see no one else,
I have known Him now,
I know no one else,
This is my sweet vocation,
Be it now as He wills,
I don the royal robes;
The Five now till my lands,
No more treason stirs in my soil,
All is Peace, Plenty and Prosperity!
No winds blow against me, all is in fair direction,
He is now mine!
If I could sacrifice, in a minute I would live and die a thousand times for Him, and do this for
O gods! sacrifice me at His feet endlessly.
It is He who has decorated the ruins; the ruins of me, now raised high, they become my Sultan’s
Sacrifice me at His feet endlessly,
He loves me, I do nothing:
He sends me all I wish, I do nothing:
He cares for me and mine, I do nothing:
He gives me the loaf of bread that is enough for all my hunger,
I do nothing for Him,
Nothing concerns me now, neither care nor confusion,
If He be my concern!
The Naming Him is all!
I have tied His love in the knots of my garment,
I have fastened them with my own hands,
I am happy now, all Peace is mine!
Planted by His own Hands, the garden of Nâm grows in me,
Its blossoms fill me up to my very lips;
He but put His hand on my forehead,
And I saw that all was Divine!
I was bound in a vision!
I am now in the Temple of Truth,
The Master chose me, I know not how!
I would fain wash His feet if He come!
I would fain fan Him with these hands if He come!
I would fain fall at His feet and kiss them!
At His feet again and again!
If He come!
I have known it all from His lips,
He gave me Himself and bathed me in holiness,
He put me in His Boat:
The Boat sails to the Infinite I we sail on! The Sweetest!
The whole Creation vibrates with prayer!
Hark I Prayers rise from the very stones!
They call the Deliverer!
The Kind One now so willeth,
A new age beginaeth!
Henceforth no one will injure another!
All shall live here in Peace Absolute.
He reigneth here, the King of Love!
Jhin! Jhin! Jhin! it raineth!
Jhin! Jhin! Jhin! the showers of Peace!
Silence delicious! mouths all filled with honey!
They speak who speak at His bidding,
Endless has been my pride, the pride of being His,
I have moved in a thousand prides, I have thought, all this is His,—
The Saints hunger for Him, no other hunger they have!
O Giver of joy! come!
Fulfil my longings now, come and meet me!
Now spread Thy arms and receive me,
Receive me, my Love, in Thy embrace,—
I looked up and down all earth and heaven,
I saw nothing so noble,
All space is filled with His Glory!
I am the champion-wrestler,
He maintains me,
With Him, as His, I am the greatest of the Great.
The ring is drawn clear, the wrestlers come, the spectators sit around,
The match begins.
He sits and sees!
The bands strike, the pipes play!
The wrestlers strive; how they recede and bow pace forward, and how they weave semicircles
I have thrown them down, and there they lie, the five young wrestlers!
I hastened to Him,
He patted me on my back!
The guests are scattered one by one, they go each their own way,
Both death and life in the wrestling-ring, one for them who saw Him not, the other for those
who saw Him!
The lines of flesh contain Him not,
The Transcendental Good!
I see Him where I would,
He sweetens the lotus of heart with honey.
He inspires rue with His breath.
Life on life did roll for this!
He has cut my bonds,—the strings that bound me!
Sweeter the slumber, and sweeter the awakening!
The dawn of freedom breaks!
Says Guru Nanak!
DHANASARI MAHLA V., ASHTAPADI
THE Wheel of Birth and Death turns!
All creation whirls along it in utter confusion,
Ah! happy am I being born a man!
O dear Saint! put Thy hand on me and save me, save me from the utter misery of this endless
wheel. By Thy love, kindle in me the Divine.
I have travelled through many births and deaths, and have not felt yet any ground beneath my
Give me Thy service to do, Let me sit at Thy feet,
O Saint! through Thy life show me the way to my Gobind, my Beloved.
I linger still, among material things.
I make a thousand efforts, but pass my days still dwelling here,
Ah! how to get rid of this insatiable sense?
O gods! a meeting with the Saint, pray!
He will wash me free of this misery and incarnadine my soul with Bride-blushes, as the Bride
meets her Lord.
Oh I the showers of roses that his look would rain on me!!
I have read all the Vedâs, but the dual sense is still unextinguished, my doubts are still
The five desires that live within know not for a moment any peace.
If He were to sprinkle the nectar of Nâm on my scorched heart, the dry ground would become
Ah! the Saint I should become,—freed from Illusion, if He so favoured me.
I have bathed in sacred rivers,
But more and more clung to me the rust of Self;
This tyrant bows not even to holy pilgrimage!
When shall my Saint come to me?
When shall that cooling Peace be mine,
And my Saint wash my soul in the fire of Divine Knowledge?
I have tried all modes of thought
My mind yet believes not, my reason sees not,
I have been washing pure the outside; but all was dark within,
The darkness may be pure, washed and holy; but by that it cannot win the dawn.
Only if I found a man! as good as God, a man all dyed in Divine Glory.
He shall wash transparent my dust-laden mind.
If I see Him not, in vain is even virtue, in vain is learning:
Only if I meet my Lord, the soul wakes to the eternal music of His praise!
Through the dear Master’s kindness, I see the Real face to face!
What worth are the forced resolutions, the ascetic vows of Piety, to curb the Self down, just
under a weight!
Not a seed of this hot-house growth is to be reckoned,
All is still in the dark!
The light of Heaven is far away!
All that follow the Self are groping in the dark, still in the great world-illusion!
If indeed there be a Bestower of Divine Bliss!
He shall inspire in us with his lips the Divine Life!
Then the light of Heaven shall shine!
The day breaks! and all is glory!
Man is bathed in His Light, it is Beatitude:
This life kindles another life.
It is He who cuts the bonds of life-in-illusion,
And sets the soul revolving through the firmament of Nâm,
There is eternal Peace!
The fearlessness of the Divine. is attained.
The life of Peace Eternal throbs in the feet of the Saint!
I have now met my Saint!
The pilgrimage of life is fruitful!
All is over! The goal is reached!
He has chosen to honour His slave!
It is His pleasure. He favours me!
What are our little wisdoms, and our little powers?
He knows all things, He knows!
His Glory spreads around us, an infinite expanse!
All call on Him!
He put His hands on me and I am saved!
He waited not, nor did He think of my good and bad,
He has chosen to honour His slave.
He protects me in His embrace, lest a hot wind touch me.
How my flesh cried for this and how my soul rolled in frenzy!
God is, for I am now in His embrace!
He is the King of kings, the master of Masters!!
I live by Naming Him!
He has chosen to honour His slave.
JAI JAIVANTI MAHLA V.
EVEN if I have vexed Thee, bend on me Thy look of favour!
Perished be I if I look to another.
Let me leave not hold of the edge of Thy garment;
Pray I may always have the sense of dependence on Thy favour.
Ever Glorious I my Gem! my Beloved, my Sustainer, my All!
Oh! how shall I call Thee!
Thou art my Friend, my Companion, my Saviour, my Love, I cannot name Thee.
When Thou art by me, I am rich, my joy and pride know no bounds;
By coming to me, Thou honourest me, O Lord! me the poorest.
To-day Thou art with me!
And how Thou smilest, the smile of forgiving kindness, Thou smilest on me, me, the poorest!
O happy one! if I then have Thy favour, so favour me that I see none else but Thee, depend on
none else but Thee.
Pour into these—these opened lips—this honey! Pray that I may keep it for ever in my heart!!
Beneath Thy sheltering arms, pray that my quivering lips may close in a holy kiss upon Thy
Flower Feet I May I stay, holding the edge of Thy garment, O King, for ever and ever!
These feet of mine, pray, they tread Thy path of Love for ever and ever.
These eyes of mine, pray, they look at Thee for ever and ever.
Favour me so that these ears of mine hear but Thy Praise Eternal.
Myriad is beauty, but nothing can match a single hair of my Beloved!
Thou art the Maker of all, the Beautiful Master!
Ah! who can speak of Thy Beauty; beyond all paintings of thought and feeling.
For a moment, only for a moment, Thou art with me to-day.
I know Thou hast devotees by millions and all are fairer than myself, all are more innocent, more
beautiful, more loving and sweeter, but to-day Thou art mine, though only for a moment,
only for a moment.
Before Thou departest, look once again on me, just for a moment and just for a moment.
Be before my eyes and let me look at Thee and let my eye drink the kind Glance of Thine; just
for a moment, my Beloved! for a moment!
Be with me and let me be with you! Sustain, sustain my frail life and hold me up in Thy arms lest
I faint and fall, and let this be for a moment, my Beloved! for a moment!
At whose very sight my throbbing heart is at rest and my noon-scorched mind finds a shade!
O mother! how can I forget Him of whom everything here reminds me.
I did but fall on the ground, before Him,
I fell like a corpse,—a love-slain one.
Of Himself He came and lifted me from the dust. I had no adornment but dust in my hair, dust
on my hands and feet:
A dusty beggar-maid He made His own;
Such has been the fruit of the true Love planted in my heart by my Saint.
My Saint has witnessed my wedding-day!
(SORATH BANI BHAGATAN)
(NAMA had a hut. The hut was burnt by accident. God came with His masons and put up a new
hut for Nâmâ. People knew Nâmâ as a common poor man while he was a prophet. To this
incident the following dialogue refers.)
The neighbour’s wife:
Nâmâ! How beautiful is the new thatching of thy hut! Please tell me who has covered thee with
this wonderful thatching of golden straws.
I would offer him double the wages you have given. I too want a thatching like that, so
O sweet woman!
I cannot tell thee who made this hut for me, nor can I bring Him to thee!
Seest thou not the Maker of this roof is here, there, and everywhere?
This mason needs no wages, He works for love.
Be His, He will build, thy hut!
Be His and no one else’s.
MAJH MAHLA V.
THAT season is spring when they are with Thee,
That doing is doing when they sweat in labour for Thy Love;
That heart is heart where shineth the Light of Thy Presence,
Thou art the common Father of us all,
In Thy storehouse there is plenty for us all,
He who owns the jewel of Love given by Thee is great,
All sit at Thy door and wait for Thy Gifts.
Thy life beats in every heart and each one holds by Thee as if Thou wert his and none else’s,
This is Thy great family, here each one has his share and each one his joy.
All, mysterious is Thy life-play; here is the Saint and His art of sending blossoms up in the sky
supported on the thin frail rays of life,
And there is the wheel of birth and death that turns.
The same pulse beats in all seen things.
GAURI MAHLA V.
O MY mother! how can I aspire to see my Beloved?
How can I approach Him who gives me life?
Nor beauty, nor wisdom nor power have I!
A poor beggar girl, a stranger come from afar, thread-bare my garments!
Nor youth, nor pride, nor glow of life, how can! aspire to see Him?
Even I, I have been wandering for Him, I have no other concern in life, I only wish I could but
have a glimpse of Him,—even I, with my hair dishevelled, my garments outworn, and
myself almost naked in poverty, even I search for Him.
I am thirsty and no waters quench my thirst, I am hungry and no bread can appease my hunger,
But, my mother! how can I aspire for Him, so poor, so frail and so humble?
Happy, happy news! mother! the news from the invisible!
In love of the Saint I have found Him.
My thirst is quenched, I now live at the Fountain,
I now live at the Fountain, mother!
KANARA MAHLA II. (GURU ANGAD DEV)
How can I praise Thee who has given me life.
Thou hast bought me with Thy Love and Kindness, bought me—a slave, but not by gold, hast
bought me a slave, flesh and bone, Thine for ever.
Thou hast drawn me to Thee, O Roseate Beloved!
I am a sacrifice in Thy Glorious Sight ever and ever.
Thou art the King and I Thy humble slave,
Thou art kind for ever and ever.
How can I regale Thee, Thou Regaler?
How can I, I, render any service to Thee? Thou servest all!
How can!, I, have a glimpse of Thee? Thou seest all.
O Immeasurable! I thirst for the Lotus of Thy feet,
I ask again and again so shamelessly! touch my lips with the dust of the flower-feet of Thy Saint.
SARANG MAHLA V.
O mother! how can I live without my Beloved.
When He goes away I cannot live in this empty house of clay.
Withouf Him, what is life, what is joy, what is land, house or city?
O mother! how can I live without my Beloved?
O Saints of God! favour me now, and help me to sing His auspicious arrival!
O Saints! put your holy feet on me, put the pollen of your flower-hearts into my eyes ; O, pray
that I may see the Divine.
Woe be to us if we sacrifice not ourselves in the service of those who unite us with our Beloved.
GAURI BAIRAGAN MAHLA IV. (GURU RAM DAS)
EVERY day I rise with the same hope; every day I have the same thirst, every day I have the same
longing; to be with my Beloved.
They who have these love-wounds understand my days pierced with pain of love.
Oh! I love Him!
Great is my Master, at whose feet I lie as a sacrifice,
It is He who has united me with my Creator after such a long time of separation.
O my Beloved! I a sinner take refuge in Thee, I fall at Thy door; now favour me.
I cannot count, numberless are my shortcomings,
But what of these little reckonings, when Thou art so kind?
Forgive me and favour me now.
Not as a saint but as a criminal I stand at Thy door,
Pray! save me in the company of Thy Saints.
Give me the gift of Naming Thee.
O my true Lord!
How can I praise Thee!
As I open my lips and say “Glory to God,” the whole of me is lost in wonder.
Could there be another so kind as my Guru and could there be another so fallen as myself?
Au! how has He rescued me!
My Master is all for me,
I pour at His feet my affections—affection of a son to a mother, affection of a friend to a friend,
affection of a sweetheart to her lover,
At His feet!
Had I not met my Master, miserable was my lot He knew it and He took pity,
I was a beggar, a forlorn wanderer of streets, trodden under many a pair of feet, none inquiring
of me nor of my misery.
The Master picks up a worm like me, and transmutes it into the King of things,
Great is Guru Nanak, the Saviour,
I met Him and all distress is over,
The life in me gets attracted by the glitter of gold and flesh-attractions of man-life.
I am attached to my horses; I an concernd for my prosperity:
I find joy in all those things that are mine.
If I love not my Divine Husband, what am I and what are these things?
Without Him I cannot have my freedom! my God!!
Such are my base inclinations, such are my vain pursuits, being Thine, I fail to be.
Thou art kind, forgive me all my misdeeds and strayings.
I have no beauty, nor noble descent to boast of, nor culture, nor art,
I bear no blossom of Nâm in my hands, ah! I have not even loved Thee, O God!!
With no accomplishment then, with what face can I approach Thee or aspire after Thee?
But my Guru has chosen me.
And ushered me into Thy Divine Presence.
I come to know Thou hast given me my all, body and soul, Thy waters I drink, it is Thy meat I
eat, and Thou weavest me the garments I wear; above all, Thou givest the joys of life and
the higher sense of joy.
I know now, he is a beast who does not remember his Maker.
Thou art the All-Knower, Thou ponetratest the inmost of every heart.
What we Thy creatures do or propose,—it is all Thy doing.
What Thou sayest cometh to pass.
Guru Nanak has opened a store, He distributes Thy Nâm..
Life, the whole of it!
Say Guru Nanak, the Sweetest!
SARANG MAHALA V. CHHANT
O SAINTS! tell me how does my Beloved look?
Give me an idea of His Beauty!
Take-me and all that is mine, but pray give me the news from high!
Give me the news from high, O! how my Beloved looks!
How does he come, and when?
Sweet are the steps with which He enters my house,
Each hair of mine is nectar-laved in ecstasy, there is the ambrosial flow through bone, blood and
He is the Infinite, the Divine Person.
He is the sweet, sweet death, He lives in every heart!
Ah! how can I tell thee how He looketh, how can I give thee His likeness?
The news-bearer is lost in His all-enchanting vision and has no self to return to say how He
Maiden! how can I give thee His likeness!
1. Holy rivers and places of pilgrimage.
2. Yuga is a cycle of time.
3. Meditation; Subject of meditation.
4. Trance of Union.
5. Sacred books of the Hindus.
6. Mohammedan Scribes.
7. This is evidently addressed to a Yogi of the Ai sect. They bore their ears and put in thick
ear-rings of jade or wood. They have a wallet like a bag of cloth swung round their shoulders
in which they keep the alms. They besmear their bodies with ashes. They wear a long gown
made of shreds of cloth. They also carry a staff.
8. Ashes besmeared on the body.
9. The gown of shreds.
10. It evidently refers to the three dynamic principles that keep creation going.
11. The idea is quite clear, that the three principles of Maya are all of the objective, while God is
the subject, the Absolute.
12. The reference is to the Realm of Limitation where the embodied souls have to work out their
destiny—The Jiva Srishti—The Man-world.
13. This is the Region of Liberation—the Ishwar Shrist, the God-world.
14. The word Arati originally meant the ceremony of waving lamps at night before an idol.
15. Another name for the Chatrik, the pied Indian cuckoo, who only drinks when the morn is in
the mansion of Arcturus, and therefore always thirsts.
16. The name of God.
READINGS EROM “SLOKAS”
(GURU TEGH BAHADUR)
LIFE has passed in vain,
Unfilled with the song of His praise, the heart is run all dry!
O me! To be as fish without water in thy love and thy longing for thy Lord, thy God.
Is not life a serious thing?
Is not death there?
No other way of escape but love.
Youth has gone,
Old age makes the traveller infirm;
Life is passing!
O me! Love is not yet in sight!
Dimmed are all senses,
Death is at the door,
Man is still mad, busy about nothing.
It is He who gave thee all this,
This beautiful garment for thy soul;
This fair plenty and prosperity
Ah! thou hast never thought of Him since,
Now is it not all death and ruin?
Too late perhaps!
His Nâm is thy beatitude.
Awake then! for Time is fleeting.
The Beloved is in every heart that beats.
So have the Saints proclaimed;
Whom joy elates not, nor sorrow depresses,
Pride uplifts not, in whom resides not the sense of owning aught,
He is God in flesh.
Who fears none, nor in others inspires fear,
He knows Brahman God.
He is lucky
Who dons the robe of self-denial.
When meum and tuum is gone,
The Divine is in the heart.
He who has seen—it is He who does—
And seeing, has lost his “I”;
He is free.
The deliverer from pain,
The lifter of veils,
In Kaliyuga1 is Nâm,
All winnings are here.
It is a dream,
Know nothing else is real but one He.
Mortals are tossed on the waves of the sea of struggle, all for greed and lust for things,
Perhaps one in a million thinks of Him.
They make great efforts for advancement in this world,
But life is barren without His Love.
He who is His, is His day and night.
Know him, aye! even as He,
For nothing divides him from Him.
To be my Master’s,
And as faithful as the dog is to his master.
All shall die!
That which cometh must go to-day or to-morrow,
Up then! on these shifting ruins, raise aloft the song of His Praise.
1. This iron age: this black age. (Tegh Babadur was martyred.)
READINGS FROM “CHFIANTS”
By GURU RAM DAS, MAHLA IV
I AM bathed by Harí Nâm,
The nectar streams through my eyes,
My mind melts away!
All is Love.
My King of Heaven!
On the touchstone of Heaven He rubbed me,
There was the streak of pure gold!
My mind and flesh are dyed in the ruby-colour of the lips of my Beloved!
How good is life! How good!
Who shoots at me?
Ah! These arrows steel-tipped with keen, keen points!
My heart lies wounded, arrow-pierced!
Ah! These are the words from the lips of my Beloved,
My King of Heaven!
Of this beautiful death in Love, he knows who loves.
I sought His shelter.
He gave me life.
My King of Heaven!
By my dear Master, my Holy One, I found my God.
To love Him is all my craving now.
My mind, aye, my flesh has blossomed up in thousand-tinted flowers!
A sea of blossoms surges in me!
By the love of the Saint, the love of God has now been mine.
The Kingdom of Heaven! O Great Benefactor!
Pray, let me take refuge in Thy Nâm!
Pour into my opened lips this honey!
Thou hast covered my shame;
Great is Thy Vow of Love!
After long, long, weary tossing,
I have found Him now, my King of Heaven!
In the Fort of Gold, in Life, is He.
I bear His diamond cuts in me.
My Man of Heaven!
How brimful am I of sweet joy!
He is Goodness, Superb. Supreme.
I stand for ever on the roadside, waiting!
Yet unblossomed, my maiden youth waits for Him on the roadside.
My Holy One put me on the road, to love;
And I go on Naming Him!
My Holy one has burnt up the poison of self.
My Holy One put me here on the road to love:
And I go on Naming Him!
My meat and drink is Naming Him!
And I go for ever on the road to love.
I stand for ever on the roadside, waiting.
Still unblossomed, my maiden youth waits for Him,
My King of Heaven, come!
For long have I been now away from Thee,
Now come and meet me, my Beloved!
Come! My King of Heaven! Come!
Unbearable any longer is this pain of separation;
My flesh cries and my heart flames up,
My eyes stream with tears;
Unbearable any longer is this pain of separation;
These love-tremors shake my soul with the music of sweetness.
Now come and meet me, my Beloved!
READINGS FROM “SLOKAS”
BY BHAGAT KABTR JI
THE Death, The Death,
All are afraid of Death:
I am right happy, this is the way to the Beloved!
Have you got the Divine Wealth?
Be silent, open not the month of thy purse:
No mart here for this, no appraiser, no buyer, no price:
In silence pass away, O Man of God!
Give them thy love, who are of thy own ilk,
Of what worth are these pundits, kings and lords?
They die and die again, but know not how to die?
Why not die that death once, that one may not die again.
Fast as grass, hair burns.
And flesh and bone as fast as wood;
The thought seizes me, the world might burn as fast.
Laugh not at any one;
Be not proud even of goodness:
Thy boat is yet on the sea,
Who knows what may happen?
I did nothing, nor shall I do anything, nor ever can I;
I know not what my God did for me:
My fame spreads far and wide,
The world-lips pipe, “Kabir! Kabir!”1
I am His dog,
My Name is Mutia,2
The collar is here and the string in His hand,
I go whither he takes me!
“The stroke of Death is painful,
I cannot bear it,” so I cried!
A Saint came near me, he wrapped me up in his garments.
What can I do, if He helpeth me not,
Whichever branch of the tree I touch, it breaks and falls off.
Let wealth go, if it will,
Let life go, if it will,
But leave not the Beloved,
Let not go the holds of Love,
Let me be wrapped in the lotus-corolla of His Feet.
The Vinâ! All its strings are broken!
Poor Vinâ! Rest for ever!
Even the Player has gone!
O Shankhâ!3 Be with thy mother sea!
Or else, at every break of dawn,
Thou shalt be a scream, a wandering wail
From door to door of every shrine!
Go the way the Saint is going;
There is good in it.
Mere seeing him is purity;
His closer contact is Nâm.
Go not near a Sâktâ, a man broken off from the Life Divine,
For the mere touch of soot blackens.
I am the perfume now, I am the flower,
The bees come round me in numbers.
Strange! but it is true; the more they love Kabir, the greater grows their affection for God.
Be as a pebble on the roadside,
But even a pebble kills a bird.
Not a pebble then, O Man of God!
Be as dust on earth,
But even dust annoys, it flies,
Not the dust then, O Man of God!
Be as water, all flowing, one level,
But even water has its temperatures.
Not as water then!
Unlike anything else, be as God, O Man of God!
Where is reality, there is right,
Where is shadow, there is wrong,
Where is lust, there is death,
Where is forgiveness, there is God.
That is the path of learning!
The crowds follow the Pundit!
My path is different, it runs up to these heights!
I am on the Hill named God!
DHAN GURU NANAK.