Thursday, November 19, 2009

सुनता हैं गुरु ज्ञानी - Sunta hain Guru Gyani - Nirgun Bhajan by Kabeer

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संत कबीर रचित निर्गुण भजन - Nirgun Bhajan by Kabeer

Rendition of this Bhajan by Pandit Kumar-Gandharva


Another Rendition of this Bhajan by Rahul Deshpande (I love this version more)


सुनता हैं गुरु ज्ञानी गगन में,
आवाज हो रही झिनी झिनी - (धृ)

पाहि लीयाये नाद बिंदु से,
पीछे जमया पानी हो जी
सब घट पूरण बोली रह्या है,
अलख पुरुष निर्बानी हो जी ll 1 ll

वहां से आया पता लिखाया,
तृष्णा तौने बुझाई ..
अमृत छोडसो विषय को धावे,
उलटी फाँस फंसानी हो जी ll 2 ll

गगन मंडलू में गौ भी आनी
भोई पे दही जमाया...
माखन माखन संतों ने खाया,
छाछ जगत बापरानी हो जी ... ll 3 ll

बिन धरती एक मंडल दीसे,
बिन सरोवर जूँ पानी रे
गगन मंडलू में होए उजियाला,
बोल गुरु-मुख बानी हो जी ll 4 ll

ओऽहं सोऽहं बाजा बाजे,
त्रिकुटी धाम सुहानी रे
इडा पिंगला सुखमन नारी,
सुनत भजन पहरानी हो जी ll 5 ll

कहत कबीरा सुनो भई साधो,
जानी अगम के बानी रे..
दिन भर रे जो नज़र भर देखे,
अजर अमर वो निशानी हो जी ... ll 6 ll

Attempted Translation

Says the all knowing teacher from the sky, if you care to listen His gentle whisperings... (Dhripad)

1. I am unable understand the full significance of this verse as yet.. :-)

2. When You arrived from There at a particular address (took birth in particular family), spotless and desireless you were.. why then are you falling back in trap by desiring worldly pleasures over eternal peace and complete knowledge?

3. The celestial cow (of knowledge/Brahman) is milched for the benefit of everyone.. The knowledgeable opt for butter (spiritual knowledge), while the commoners out of ignorance are content in butter-milk...

4. Instead of seeing at earth, understand that it is merely a circle... Just like seeing at lake, one should understand that it is (in principle) nothing but water.. When one starts experiencing the underlying unifying principle over apparent diversity and duality, the knowledge dawns.. Says the words of the Teacher..

5. When this happens (verse 4), then all the questions like "Who am I" and "So am I" are answered and one easily can meditate on Agnaa-Chakra (आज्ञा चक्र ) and experience peace and pleasure. Ida and Pingala Naadis are pacified and Sushumna Naadi is activated upon listening these protective hymns... Says the Teacher from sky....

6. Says Kabeer, listen oh righteous brothers.. Understand and experience and become one with the Non-Aging and eternal One-Principle who looks after this entire universe every single moment..

Comments

The composition of this song in Raaga Ahir Bhairav is highlight which makes it enjoyable, even if one decides to overlook the deeper esoteric meaning of the words being sung. However, it is bound that listeners who get stuck with these beautiful renditions and listen to it often, enquire about the meaning of the composition.

To analyse and comment on experiences of Kabir authentically requires a spiritual qualification far beyond my current understanding and status. Furthermore, my incomplete knowledge of Bhojpuri language makes it further more difficult. I wish and hope that at some point of time in future, when the complete significance of these verses dawn on to me, I will update this blog-article and share it with my readers..

Meanwhile, if any of the readers have any greater understanding and insight of the verses than the one provided by me, please feel obliged to correct me.. :-)

P.S. - I would request the Sikh-readers of the blog to please comment on this article and let me know whether this bhajan is included in Sri Gurugranth Saahib or not. If yes, what is the elaboration of this Bhajan from Sikh perspective. My translation is slightly influenced by Advaita-Vedanta world-view. I would appreciate the Dvaita and Sikh take on these verses.

Dhanyavaad...

30 comments:

Govind said...

Chhan aahet. Purna nirgun dhyan che aahe. Atma/'guru/gyani/bindu
ekach arthane waparale aahe. Dhi (budhdhi) che mage pani (man)ani kundlini ch prawas sarva chhan darshan aahe.

Rajesh said...

I am a complete novice to Kabir's philosophy, and simply attracted to him due the beauty of the poetry. Thanks for explaining some of the terms that were unclear to me.

However, I feel there is a consistent imagery used - that of the rain - that's missed in the translation. Here's my interpretation.

He starts by asking the listner - do you hear the zini zini sound in the sky? That's the guru gyaani (brahma/essence) speaking to you. And he goes on to describe how a simple thing like rains can give eternal knowledge or "sakshatkaar" if only one sees and listens with the right attitude. In the first stanza he is talking about the sounds before the rain, and using clouds filled with water as metaphor for the the sound of brahma.
The second one he is talking to the drop of water and saying that hey drop of water, you come from that holy place, you satisfy my thirst, but how come you turn to evil when you are inside my (human) body? The third stanza seems to me just as you explained, but he is talking about the rains and asking us to view at it in that manner. To be honest I did not understand the fourth and the fifth stanza... But the last one clearly sounds to me like he is saying that if you watch (such mundane seeming matters) with focus, attention and right viewpoint - they become unmistakable "ajar amar" symbols reading the unknown/unknowable "agam ki bani".

I think Kabir's strength lies in his ability to create this wonderful imagery...

Chiron said...

Very beautiful insight, Rajesh ji.. thanksvery much..

Agam is the collection of nirguna composition of Shaiva saints(especially from kashmir and NWFP)during Gupta and Kushan era..

Many shaivas consider Agama as Pancham veda.. the "agam ki bani" referred in this bajan is about these shaiva agamas...

thanks for the valuable comment again..

:-)

Nitin said...

mindblowing and marvellous are no close in describing the feeling you get hearing the bhajan, though not much idea baout meaning

Rahul Deshpandey...heard him first time but cannt resist the feeling of hearing him again and again...

Loveyou ...what a sharing - kaal chiron...

Nitin said...

mindblowing and marvellous are no close in describing the feeling you get hearing the bhajan, though not much idea baout meaning

Rahul Deshpandey...heard him first time but cannt resist the feeling of hearing him again and again...

Loveyou ...what a sharing - kaal chiron...

Guru said...

Dhanyavaad for writing this blog. Since childhood I've heard Pt. Kumar Gandharva's rendition of Kabir songs. It always gave me 'Romancha'.

Some thoughts on the First-Stanza (may not be totally accurate, but I think it's close enough without knowing the dialect used) :
Most of the terms used in Kabir-ji's poetry are related to Nada Yoga.

Jhini-jhini is the sound of Nada.
10 different types of sounds are said to be heard as one progresses in Nada Yoga.
Note: The first one is chini-chini, another is kinkini etc.

Gagan refers to the chit-akaasha (akaash tattva/chakra).
Here the Guru Gyani listen to the jhini-jhini (sookshma) sound in the anaahat chakra (heart)

They listen to the "speech" - of The One who filled (pichey in the past) all the pots (made of earth),
who is alakh (alakshana i.e. without attribute) purush nirbani (mute). The speech i.e. nada comes from the first born 'bindu'.

This is my simple attempt to interpret the verse.

Guru said...

For Fifth-Stanza :
Oham, Soham refers to Kevala Kumbhaka i.e. when Soham turns into Oham ( a-u-ham )
Trikuti dham suhani - the tripura/agna chakra is peaceful when the above happens.
The Teacher says - The ida, pingala, sushumna nadis are made peaceful with Oham Soham.

Guru said...

Note: In First Stanza - Pots made of earth means our earthly bodies (earth tattva).

Guru said...

Regarding 4th Stanza I liked your interpretation, but I feel Kabir-ji may be hinting at more...
When the light dawns (just arises) in the heart centre, the effects of earth are removed from the mandala (of the body) and you see the the next chakra (of water).

Guru said...

Note:
It seems the order of reading should be 3rd, 4th line, 1st, 2nd. So you have 1st and 2nd line giving the Effect and 3rd and 4th giving the cause.

Guru said...

For more information on Nada Yoga see 'Music as Yoga' and 'Nada Yoga' by Swami Sivananda

Kal_Chiron said...

Thanks a Lot, Guru ji..

That was great clarification.. :)

Thank you again for gracious comments.

Guru said...

1) http://www.kabirproject.org
2) kabir songs included in Goindval Pothi first and later in Guru Granth Sahib in Bhagat Bani section later by Guru Arjan Singh as per this site (to be validated) http://searchgurbani.com/index.php/bhagats/bhagat_kabir

Guru said...

@kal_chiron you're welcome.
Thank you for this wonderful post.

Guru said...

3rd stanza can also be interpreted as follows:
Gau (as in gaur-ang I.e. golden body = gold) = golden light when turned inward (aani) in gagan mandal manifested(Dahi jamaya) on earth (bhoi) i.e. as earthly body.

If you follow reading order for 3rd stanza as 3rd, 4th line followed by 1st, 2nd lines, then 3rd stanza connects to 4th stanza which is describes how to reverse the effect... I.e. transmute earth back into water... Thence back into light in the heart chakra.

Guru said...

6th stanza interpretation:
Kabir describes the essence of Agam vani (which shows how to achieve the state of guru gyani).
He will achieve that state when he fills his eyes (refers to 3 eyes I.e. Tripura) with the undiminishing, unending symbol/sign I.e. aim.

Guru said...

Correction:
1) Symbol of Aum.
2) the eyes should see only Aum for entire day I.e. all the time.

Guru said...

Updating 5th stanza, 3rd and4th line:
Ida, pingala, sushumna listen to the timeless/infinite bhajan once they become peaceful by doing kevala kumbhaka.

Guru said...

Note: The timeless bhajan refers back to the jhini sound.

Guru said...

Timeless bhajan also is ajapa Japa of Aum I.e. infinite Japa which is said to go on from within (automatically/unconsciously/subconsciously)

Guru said...

5th Stanza :
Initially I thought 'Oham Soham' meant Kevala Kumbhaka because even this technique leads to quietening the mind.
But it may also refer to 'Swara Yoga'/Pranayama technique for Soham breathing.

Note :
As I said before I'm not sure of the exact meanings but more of guess-work based on terms used in Laya-Yoga/Swara-Yoga/Pranayama. To be exactly sure, I'd need to experience these things myself!! Why then would I need to blog on it?!! :-)

Guru said...

'Nirbhay Nirgun' song written by Kabir, sung/composed by Pandit Kumar Gandharva and .
1)Pandit Kumar Gandharva : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHy0r12mfcA
2) sung by Rahul Deshpande : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcuOB_NAfp8
3) Lyrics of Nirbhay Nirgun : http://kahekabira.com/Nirbhay%20Nirgun

From the lyrics it's quite clear he's describing Yogic technique of raising Kundalini shakti.

Unknown said...

To understand this poem of Kabir Saheb one has to be intiated into mystries of beyond. One has to have the knowledge of Light and Sound meditation also called Surat Shabad meditation and Kabir Saheb was master of this meditatio.Zini zini awaz is unstruck melody of the lord and melody is heard by the practitioner.Poem is highly spiritual and can be understood by one who has been ordained to do so. www.sos.org.

Unknown said...

To understand this poem of Kabir Saheb one has to be intiated into mystries of beyond. One has to have the knowledge of Light and Sound meditation also called Surat Shabad meditation and Kabir Saheb was master of this meditatio.Zini zini awaz is unstruck melody of the lord and melody is heard by the practitioner.Poem is highly spiritual and can be understood by one who has been ordained to do so. www.sos.org.

Rupa Abdi said...

While Kumarji's rendition is more passionate and haunting, Rahul Deshpande's version has an underlying stillness and I like the way his voice echoes and resounds at the right moments in the composition.

Rupa Abdi said...

The first verse, perhaps implies that the gyaani is perceptive to and is thus able to hear the subtle cosmic vibrations/divine revelations, also known as 'direct apprehension' by the Sufis.

manmohan singh said...

Kabir is a mile stone pointing towards which is inexpressible.
" Bahutere hain tere ghat "
There is one rare lineage which deals with the origin of words. The path of sound energy which we call anhad naad has 4 steps to meditate upon. They are : vaikhari, madhyma, pashyanti and pra. The source call it ataman, lies beyond them. When we close the senses and the attention turns inward away from the sensual perceptions, we experience a void. Everything disappears except Silence. This Silence is the foundation on which everything appears and disappears, only the unborn and uncreated remains.

manmohan singh said...

Kabir is a mile stone pointing towards which is inexpressible.
" Bahutere hain tere ghat "
There is one rare lineage which deals with the origin of words. The path of sound energy which we call anhad naad has 4 steps to meditate upon. They are : vaikhari, madhyma, pashyanti and pra. The source call it ataman, lies beyond them. When we close the senses and the attention turns inward away from the sensual perceptions, we experience a void. Everything disappears except Silence. This Silence is the foundation on which everything appears and disappears, only the unborn and uncreated remains.

Narendra Bisht said...

Can it be that "jheeni" refers to the resonance of subtle threads of energy vibrating and interconnecting the entire universe as one? His other bhajan "Jheeni jheeni buni chadaria" may give a clue.

Mayuresh said...

Well, I think you've taken down the lyrics based on Kumar Gandharva's rendition of this Bhajan. I recommend referring to the authentic printed version of the bhajan, as getting precise words from classical singing is difficult.
for example, I think its not 'pataa likhaya' (as in address) I think its 'paTaa likhaya' (paTaa as in a 'pat', a spread on which one writes. I think it's saying that 'one comes to this world with the destiny written already'
there are many other places where the lyrics you've written seem a bit wrong. Best is to refer to the authentic printed books of Kabir's bhajans.
Do listen to Kumari-ji's 'Shoonya gadh shahar' its on youtube with detailed meaning and lyrics. do check it out.