Kabir was an extraordinary poet whose works have been sung and recited by millions throughout North India for half a millennium. He was perhaps illiterate (I don't touch ink or paper, this hand never grasped a pen), and he preached an abrasive, sometimes shocking, always uncompromising message exhorting his audience to shed their delusions, pretensions and empty orthodoxies in favour of an intense, direct personal confrontation with the truth. Thousands of poems are popularly attributed to Kabir, but only a few written collections have survived over the centuries. The Bijak is one of the most important anthologies, being the sacred book of the Kabir Panth and the main representative of the Eastern tradition of KabirÍs verses. All versions of the Bijak include three main sections called Ramani, Sabda, and Sakhi, plus a fourth section containing several miscellaneous folk-song forms. Most of the Kabir material has been popularized through the song-form known as sabda or pada, and through the aphoristic Sakhi that serves throughout North India as a vehicle for popular wisdom. These two forms, universally linked with Kabir, have been emphasized in this translation. Sukhdev Singh and Linda Hess have accomplished a translation of real grace and remarkable accuracy. The introduction and notes explore KabirÍs work, place it in its initial context, and explore its meaning for modern time. The Bijak is one of the most important anthologies, being the sacred book of the Kabir Panth and the main representative of the Eastern tradition of Kabir's verses. Sukhdev Singh and Linda Hess have accomplished a translation of real grace and remarkable accuracy. The introduction and notes explore Kabir's work, place it in its initial context, and explore its meaning for modern time.
Kabir was an extraordinary oral poet whose works have been sung and recited by millions throughout North India for half a millennium. He may have been illiterate and he preached an abrasive, sometimes shocking, always uncompromising message that exhorted his audience to shed their delusions, pretentions, and empty orthodoxies in favor of an intense, direct, and personal confrontation with the truth. Thousands of poems are popularly attributed to Kabir, but only a few written collections have survived over the centuries. The Bijak is one of the most important, and is the sacred book of those who follow Kabir.
This translation presents the hymns of Kabir from the Adi Granth (the holy book of the Sikhs), which has been neglected because it is written in Gurmukhi script rather than Devanagari. The Introduction contextualizes these songs and proceeds to examine their construction of meaning. Most songs have explanatory notes, and there is a Glossary of names and terms that appear in Kabir's work.
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This reference includes alphabetically arranged entries for more than 100 world writers from antiquity to 1945, who were significantly influenced by cultures other than their own. Each entry is written by an expert contributor and provides a brief biography, a discussion of multicultural themes and contexts, a summary of the author's critical reception, and primary and secondary bibliographies. The entries focus on the socio-historical circumstances that led to the author's exile, emigration, religious conversion, education, and travel or residence in a foreign country.
The book opens a new vista in the sphere of verse translation in India. In the introductory part there is a departure from a mass of Hindi criticism. The bases of selection of dohas from the Sakhi are: (1) Kabir`s proverbial and worldy wisdom, (2) analogy-finding gift, (3) richness and variety of imagery, (4) recurrent theme of death, (5) gift for satire, and (6) rhetorical powers. this introductory part primarily focusses on Kabir as poet, which is his `real estimate`. Thus, the introductory part is a piece of scholarly criticism judging and appreciating Kabir`s Sakhi on the canons of English literary criticism. The versification (four-line stanzaform in loose lambic tetrameter lines) has an easy flow and almost parallels the flow of Kabir`s dohas. With the Hindi version and notes, the book will be a valuable reading especially for the English-speaking readers.
Hinduism and Islam are usually considered to be poles apart, especially on religious grounds. But in this work, the author has endeavored to demonstrate that in spite of sharp differences between them, they met on religious, commercial, intellectual and political levels both in and outside of India. Although orthodox Hinduism and orthodox Islam could hardly reconcile, it is shown here that they were bound to accommodate each other. However, the real fusion took place with the coming to India of a host of Sufis; especially the lives and conduct of the left wing mystics of both religions made the two peoples to come closer through Bhakti mysticism. Of the many Bhakta-Mystics who strove in this direction, Dr. Hedayetullah made a special study of kabir (d. 1518) who dedicated his whole life to the achievement of Hindu-Muslim unity on socio-religious levels. So far Kabir has not only been denied his rightful credit as an apostle of Hindu-Muslim unity, but he has also been misunderstood by many. In the present work, he is shown to have gained the place of honor between the two religions as a mediator and a harmonizer. His efforts were crowned with success-the resultant Indo-Islamic culture and civilization is a living proof.
Excerpt from The Bijak of Kabir, Translated Into English The third edition of the Bijak is that printed by the Newal Kishore Press, at Lucknow, in 1898. It is a complete Bijak with commentary by Raja Vishu Nath Singh of Rewah. The fourth printed edition was issued at Allahabad in 1905. It is called the Bijak, with commentary of Puran Dass of Burhanpur. In this the words are separated, but in places the separation is marked by mistakes and in many places the editor has tried to polish and shape the words into their modern forms, which from a literary standpoint is very unwise. The commentary is what is called nirgun upasna. It has 115 Shabdas, while other editions have only 113. But these two extra shabdas do not convey any fresh idea, but only what is embodied in the Ad Mangal. It has a few sakhis which are not found in the edition of the Raja, but there are some missing in this which are found in the Raja's. It contains as follows: Pritham Anusar, 84 Ramainis, 115 Shabdas, Chauntisi, Bipramatisi, 12 Kahras, 12 Basants, 2 Chancharis, 2 Belis, Birhuli, 3 Hindolas, 353 Sakhis. The last printed edition is that from Bombay printed in Sambat 1961 (1906 A. D.). This is the Raja of Rewah's edition, similar to that of the Newal Kishore Press, Lucknow, but it has a life of Kabir in verse and at the end Sayar Pad Bijak and a genealogy and history of the Bhagel Bansha, and Mul Ramaini. It has some fresh sakhis and contains an imaginary picture of Kabir and also a likeness of the Raja of Bhagel Bansha. In this edition many mistakes have crept in and in some places the text is spoiled, but it has preserved the original beauty of the language. After going through all these printed editions as well as some of the available manuscripts, particularly one which I saw in Chunar with Pundit Bhan Partap Tiwari, I tried my best to present the public with a text as accurate as possible in my Hindi Text published in 1911. It is a pity that no ancient MSS. can be consulted. I have separated the words in their proper form and have added foot-notes to show where a foreign word is used. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.