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Kabir says that ‘you are that’ already… recognize it before its too late!

by | Aug 1, 2020 | Advaita, Awareness, Chanting, Consciousness, Enlightenment, Kabir, Paths, Pranayama, Sakshi Bhav/Witness, Silence

Question:

I found this Kabir poem recitation by Shabnam Virmani. She learned this poem from Bhairavidevi who sings songs about Kabir. Please can you help translate it into English?

Swansa Swansa mein naam le aur biratha swansa mat khoy
Na jane is swansa ka awan hoye na hoye
Swansa ki kar sumirani, aur kar ajapa ko jaap
Param tatva hryday dharo to Sohum Aapo aap
Sohum poya pawan mein aur bandho surat sumer
Brahma ghat hryday dharo issi vidhi maala pher
Mala hai nij swans ki aur pherega koi daas
Chorassi bhar mein hain nahi, mite kaal ki phaas.

Answer:

Here is the translation for the poem: SOHUM AAPO AAP

Swansa Swansa mein naam le aur biratha swansa mat khoy
You’ve been chanting the name in every breath. Don’t lose any more breath.
Na jane is swansa ka awan hoye na hoye
Who knows whether this breath will return or not?

Here the poet is pointing out the futility of breathing techniques for the spiritual seeker searching ONLY for PURE Awakening/Enlightenment. The poet does not reject the usefulness of the breathing techniques for physical and mental health benefits. He is simply providing guidance for the spiritualist who is looking ONLY FOR ENLIGHTENMENT as he might get distracted from his search if he thinks it can take him to Enlightenment. The second line is a gentle reminder by the poet that we have very little time to live, and our breath might not return so if we are sincere about our search for the Truth, we must pull up our socks and get serious.

Swansa ki kar sumirani, aur kar ajapa ko jaap
Remember to take your normal breath & instead search within for the ajapa jaap [un-chantable chant].
Param tatva hryday dharo to Sohum Aapo aap
If you recognize the consciousness/awareness in your inner core, then you recognize that you ARE already that.

In the first line, the poet is pointing out that the seeker of Enlightenment must continue with normal breath instead of giving it a rhythm; and he must make an attempt to look within and find the inner stillness where the sound of silence can be clearly perceived. This refers to the sound of the creation and is called ajapa jaap [un-chantable chant].

Once the seeker finds the witness consciousness within himself through Advaita techniques, he immediately knows that what he was seeking for all his life lies within him only. Param tatva is the witness that witnesses the mind, that is reading the screen through the eyes. That Param tatva has always been there but totally ignored. That is what is meant by ‘God lives in your heart’. Kabir says, hold onto that param tatva, in your heart and you will realize that you are already THAT – Sohum aapo aap!

Sohum poya pawan mein aur bandho surat sumer
Sohum is all-pervading like the air, come to its direct experience by turning [facing] towards the Witness
Brahma ghat hryday dharo issi vidhi maala pher
Be steady in the witness consciousness moment to moment, that’s how you roll the beads.

The Witness has always been there watching over every action all our lives. We have been ignoring it as our senses are outward-facing. One cannot look inwards, but one can sense the witness inside. The poet gently cajoles the sincere seeker to sense the witness who is not just witnessing the words on a screen but also the eyes reading it, as well as the mind interpreting it. He says that Awakening can happen only by direct experience of the Witness. Sohum / ‘I am that’ is a recognition that comes directly to a spiritualist when he abides in the Witness.

In the next line, the poet emphasizes that by staying in the witness/abiding there, one recognizes the real meaning of the ritual ‘turning the beads’. Here the beads are of moments. From 1 moment to the next, abide in the witness. The abidance in the Witness from moment to moment automatically throws you out of time into timelessness. Rolling the beads of time is the best technique.

Mala hai nij swans ki aur pherega koi daas
The rosary is personal like the breath. How can an outsider [servant] roll the beads for you?
Chorassi bhar mein hain nahi, mite kaal ki phaas
Even in 84 lac births, you won’t be able to get out of the trap of time/karma.

Only you can turn the beads of your own time. Someone external, giving you commands, to roll your internal beads, will never set you free from the trap of time, not even in 840,000 lifetimes. The poet is gently encouraging the seeker to attend to the quiet space of consciousness again and again. It is a personal journey that must be traversed alone. The road to God/Love is too narrow, there is no room there for two. If you try to piggy-back on someone else, you will never succeed. Learn to walk alone and get there quickly!

Hope this poem helps you attain the highest truth!

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2 Comments

  1. Hemant

    🙂

    Reply
  2. Seeker

    Beautiful poem and explanation! Thank you Ektaji.

    Bhagavan Ramana composed a verse : “Hridaya Kuhara Madhye Kevalam BrahmaMaatram hi, Aham-Aham iti Saakshaat Aatma Rupena Bhati”—Only Brahman shines in the cave of the Heart in the form of the Self, as I-I.

    He called this Aham-aham or I-I as Ajapa and said the Self repeats Aham-Aham of its own accord. I quote:“If you search and try to find out who it is that is doing japa, that japa itself becomes the Self.”😊 Ref: Ajapa tatvam, Letter 120, in the book Letters from Sri Ramanasramam.

    Reply

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