Jheeni-Jheeni : Cosmic in the Subtle Microcosm

Co-creators – Kabir Bani via Kabir Project by Shabnam Virmani; Hindi seed translation via Pallavi Garg; English interpretative poetry and musical expression via Shahana Dattagupta;

Kabir Bani

Jheeni re jheeni, bini re chadariya

Kaahe ka taana, kaahe ki bharni

Kaun taar se bini re chadariya?

          Ingla pingla taana bharni

          Sushman taar se bini (re) chadariya

Ashta kamal dal charkha dole

Paanch tatva guna teeni chadariya

          Saain ko seeyat maas das laage

          Thonk thonk ke bini (re) chadariya

So chadar sur nar muni odhi

Odhi ke maili kini chadariya

          Daas Kabir jatan kari odhi

          Jyon ki tyon dhar deeni (re) chadariya

English Translation

This Quilt is woven in exquisite beauty

In delicate sheer gossamer subtlety

What be told of its warp and weft?

What be seen of its strings so deft?

          Yet in inhale and exhale right and left

          I surely experience the warp and weft

          And in center I feel the delicate vine

          The thread of life-force rising up the spine

Atop that axis dances and swivels

The lotus-heart of eight luminous petals

And in the visceral water-earth-air-fire-ether

I feel the entire Creation’s sublime tether

          If it takes moments or eons in counts of ten

          To know the Cosmos in the microcosm within

          If pain is the substance and matter of it all

          Painstaking is the Love that weaves it all!

Not just the worldly but many a sage too:

You’ve been blind to the simple and true

Lovingly wrapped in the Quilt all along

You wore and shed it in blundering wrong

          Only through the servitude of dissolving “me”

          Does Kabir wear without making worn you see

          With the lightest touch I breathe into the weave

          And in untouched purity I take its leave

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Rashmi Thirtha

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