Kabir: O Friend, Hope for Him

For more about the mystical weaver and poet Kabir or Kabir Das, see this earlier post.  This translation is by the literary Nobel prize laureate Rabindranath Tagore; the language is therefore from an earlier century, but the meaning—that we should not waste this precious opportunity—is worth any extra effort.  The reference to ‘the true Name’ perhaps indicates the practice of chanting sacred names to achieve illumination.

O Friend, Hope for Him

O friend, hope for Him whilst you live,
Know whilst you live, understand whilst you live:
For in life deliverance abides.
If your bonds be not broken whilst living,
What hope of deliverance in death?
It is but an empty dream,, that the soul shall have union with Him
Because it has passed from the body:
If He is found now, He is found then,
If not, we do but go to dwell in the City of Death.
If you have union now, you shall have it hereafter.
Bathe in the truth, know the true Guru,
Have faith in the true Name!
Kabir says: ‘It is the Spirit of the quest which helps;
I am the slave of this Spirit of the quest.’

Tr. Rabindranath Tagore


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