Tagore Kabir XV. A million is just short

This is the ninth post in the Tagore/Kabir series.

A million is just short
A million is just short of a
Billion; the
Vishnus and Brahmas and Krishnas and Shivas and Indras, their

Anchor is surely just sort of a minion, and minions
Do not go gently into that good night, brother, and the

Depths are not plumbed by
Following; nor
Leading, but by sinking and singing, by the float of the play on

Vina; the flowers and scents of sandal are the
Good night, the crumb of the good good morning.

Tagore comes short of Kabir

II. 57. jânh khelat vasant riturâj

  Where Spring, the lord of the seasons, reigneth, there the
    Unstruck Music sounds of itself,
  There the streams of light flow in all directions;
  Few are the men who can cross to that shore!
  There, where millions of Krishnas stand with hands folded,
  Where millions of Vishnus bow their heads,
  Where millions of Brahmâs are reading the Vedas,
  Where millions of Shivas are lost in contemplation,
  Where millions of Indras dwell in the sky,
  Where the demi-gods and the munis are unnumbered,
  Where millions of Saraswatis, Goddess of Music, play on the vina—
  There is my Lord self-revealed: and the scent of sandal and
    flowers dwells in those deeps.

The three eternities

1. Reverence is the greeting of summer; it is
2. Bound, which is truth outside of
   Matter, truth in thrall of antimatter
3. Convergence is the ball of fiber rolling you towards three eternities
3a The one which 
       lies low, the
3b One which hides from the line of sun, and
3c One which is you/asking
   Me deciding/

Tagore/Kabir XI. and now I am greatly afraid

Here is the eighth from the Tagore/Kabir line

Tina turns on love
Love, the second hand emotion, a
Chemical dependency that soaks
The inclement, the unceremonious
Lamp, the unguent that sticks, sticks

Like potassium disulphurous bloody
Chloride; the second hand emotion.
Withdraw the veil if you must; your
Body listens hard to calcified fumes.

Tagore turns on Kabir

I. 131. nis' din khelat rahî sakhiyân sang

  I played day and night with my comrades, and now I am greatly
  So high is my Lord's palace, my heart trembles to mount its
    stairs: yet I must not be shy, if I would enjoy His love.
  My heart must cleave to my Lover; I must withdraw my veil, and
    meet Him with all my body:
  Mine eyes must perform the ceremony of the lamps of love.
  Kabîr says: "Listen to me, friend: he understands who loves. If
    you feel not love's longing for your Beloved One, it is vain
    to adorn your body, vain to put unguent on your eyelids."

the thorn of passion
I bore in my heart
the thorn of passion:
Drew it out one day
And my heart is numb.

– Antonio Machado

Tagore/Kabir X. where is the fakir?

ix_th in the Tagore/Kabir set

Where is the fakir?
Where is the fakir that will stain the
Red of a million wants, a million stains
Of vermilion that breathe a hefty pant,
That breed a global want; the billion

Stars will testify to the wantonness of
The wanting fakir; where is she now,
The wafting fakir? save the busted cow,
Save too the million rows of unwanted

Bread, the grief of want, the want of
Grief, the million red, where is she now,
The warring fakir? shuck the busted shell,
Shuck too the million vows of private hell.

Tagore’s reflection on Kabir

I. 121. tohi mori lagan lagâye re phakîr wâ

  To Thee Thou hast drawn my love, O Fakir!
  I was sleeping in my own chamber, and Thou didst awaken me;
    striking me with Thy voice, O Fakir!
  I was drowning in the deeps of the ocean of this world, and
    Thou didst save me: upholding me with Thine arm, O Fakir!
  Only one word and no second—and Thou hast made me tear off all
    my bonds, O Fakir!
  Kabîr says, "Thou hast united Thy heart to my heart, O Fakir!"

shuck the hired bent of morn

Berate the blister; shuck
   the hired bent of
   morn; will the sub-

Human out of captivity and raise
   the humid accent into

Tagore/Kabir XII. play!

7th in Tagore/Kabir posts

This ancient joy is your song
This ancient joy is your song to
Breathe, your

Final core, the dream, the pith,
The dust, the

Swan of luck and will, this ancient
Tale, this rim

Of axe and word and tale and
War, war.

What Kabir sung and how Tagore thunk it to be sung

II. 24. hamsâ, kaho purâtan vât

  Tell me, O Swan, your ancient tale.
  From what land do you come, O Swan? to what shore will you fly?
  Where would you take your rest, O Swan, and what do you seek?
  Even this morning, O Swan, awake, arise, follow me!
  There is a land where no doubt nor sorrow have rule: where the
    terror of Death is no more.
  There the woods of spring are a-bloom, and the fragrant scent "He
    is I" is borne on the wind:
  There the bee of the heart is deeply immersed, and desires no
    other joy.

play! as the duststorm wants you
to; play! as

the gatherer of forms will wilt an
archform, the

typecast word rummaging with
ancestral worms;

play! for the harbinger of verbs is
wont not to act.

Tagore Kabir XIV: Is it not like a bellows?

This is the sixth post in the Tagore/Kabir series.

The bridge is the swan that tickles your
fickle feather at night; it is the shadow

That falls between heaven and
The idea of earth; it is the

Bellows that swings between the
Real and what passes for the act

Of motion and its resting place; it is
The poem, but you knew that, no?


II. 59. jânh, cet acet khambh dôû

  Between the poles of the conscious and the unconscious, there has
    the mind made a swing:
  Thereon hang all beings and all worlds, and that swing never
    ceases its sway.
  Millions of beings are there: the sun and the moon in their
    courses are there:
  Millions of ages pass, and the swing goes on.
  All swing! the sky and the earth and the air and the water; and
    the Lord Himself taking form:
  And the sight of this has made Kabîr a servant.

T.S. Eliot/Lao Tsu
Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow – T.S. Eliot, “The Hollow Men”

The space between Heaven and Earth
Is it not like a bellows?
Empty, and yet never exhausted
It moves, and produces more. – Lao Tsu, “Tao Te Ching”

Tagore/Kabir XIII. X

This is my fifth post in the Tagore/Kabir series.

To be blind to all
     but X
To be exfoliated 
     of X
The retributive
     was X
Whence the unknown
     is X
Where the X itself is
     not X

Here’s Tagore channeling Kabir

II. 37. angadhiyâ devâ

  O Lord Increate, who will serve Thee?
  Every votary offers his worship to the God of his own creation:
    each day he receives service—
  None seek Him, the Perfect: Brahma, the Indivisible Lord.
  They believe in ten Avatars; but no Avatar can be the Infinite
    Spirit, for he suffers the results of his deeds:
  The Supreme One must be other than this.
  The Yogi, the Sanyasi, the Ascetics, are disputing one with
  Kabîr says, "O brother! he who has seen that radiance of love,
    he is saved."

Let’s count the ways

Let's count the ways the dead ravine
    Speaks; let's

Dine with hampsters and speak ill of
    Their fathers;

Let's see what's in store for the red
     Pillage of my

Ink tying throbknots with yours; let's
     Turn this eye

And go blind.

Tagore/Kabir XIV: the hue of hubris

This is the fourth post in the Tagore/Kabir series.

You seek the hue of hubris in
The pine flavor of sky and you
Call it I; you rest in the palm of
Wilful Sky and try, try and call it
I; you bring me the pulp of a paper
Cut sluiced and threaded with dread
and call it I; there are many I’s, no?

The original representation of the even more original

II. 56. dariyâ kî lahar dariyâo hai jî

  The river and its waves are one
  surf: where is the difference between the river and its waves?
  When the wave rises, it is the water; and when it falls, it is
    the same water again. Tell me, Sir, where is the distinction?
  Because it has been named as wave, shall it no longer be
    considered as water?
  Within the Supreme Brahma, the worlds are being told like beads:
  Look upon that rosary with the eyes of wisdom.

And here’s a useful tangent
The way you create a deliberate lilt
In the fabric

And let the hazelnut fry your brain’s

Its thrust into being another, its voltage
Of stammer

And becoming, walking; this stroll through
A laugh and


Tagore/Kabir V – Maya as oppression

This is the third post in the Tagore/Kabir series.

An oppressive taunt is Maya’s
Brother in law; the

Cusp of a lesser heaven; the
Beerbelly is contingent

Upon remembering how much seep
Was ingested and

How it came about that you wept
So soundly.

A fellow blogger/poet, ThotPurge, interpreted the original thus:

I killed my shadow
Blocking the afternoon sun
Now clouds distract me

And this is how Tagore originally appropriated Kabir

I. 63. avadhû, mâyâ tajî na jây

  Tell me, Brother, how can I renounce Maya?
  When I gave up the tying of ribbons, still I tied my garment
    about me:
  When I gave up tying my garment, still I covered my body in its
  So, when I give up passion, I see that anger remains;
  And when I renounce anger, greed is with me still;
  And when greed is vanquished, pride and vainglory remain;
  When the mind is detached and casts Maya away, still it clings to
    the letter.
  Kabîr says, "Listen to me, dear Sadhu! the true path is rarely

Tagore/Kabir IX: Not Known

This is the second post in the Tagore/Kabir series.

The thorn of passion, a larger
Head, the 
         substance and grind and tenor of which is 
Not rhythm

The thorn of passion, a silent
Dig, the 
        plunge and prick and singe of which is
Not song

It is in the now, also then, also
Hence, the
        inner and outer and which and what is
Not known

Tagore’s take on Kabir

I. 104. aisâ lo nahîn taisâ lo

  O How may I ever express that secret word?
  O how can I say He is not like this, and He is like that?
  If I say that He is within me, the universe is ashamed:
  If I say that He is without me, it is falsehood.
  He makes the inner and the outer worlds to be indivisibly one;
  The conscious and the unconscious, both are His footstools.
  He is neither manifest nor hidden, He is neither revealed nor
  There are no words to tell that which He is.

I bore in my heart
the thorn of passion:
Drew it out one day
And my heart is numb.
– Antonio Machado

Tagore/Kabir II. the dallying dollopful deity

This is the first of a series posts tagged Tagore/Kabir. Basically, a few of my rend(er)ing of Tagore’s rendition of Kabir from his Songs of Kabir.

It is only in active play that being is discovered. Every act of hoarding is fundamentally static, and it turns being on its head as you end up revering icons and symbols.

Versified Exegis
the dallying dollopful deity
drips a symmetrical drop of
godful godliness; even Raidas
gets a handful, imagine that

the dallying dollopful deity
trills the songs; the caste of
the casteful castigated is
cast aside; rammed in the

sloppy merryness of the car
pentar, the washerwoman, the
priest who knows no name but
the dallying dollopful deity

Tagore’s translation of Kabir

I. 16. Santan jât na pûcho nirguniyân

  It is needless to ask of a saint the caste to which he belongs;
  For the priest, the warrior. the tradesman, and all the
    thirty-six castes, alike are seeking for God.
  It is but folly to ask what the caste of a saint may be;
  The barber has sought God, the washerwoman, and the carpenter—
  Even Raidas was a seeker after God.
  The Rishi Swapacha was a tanner by caste.
  Hindus and Moslems alike have achieved that End, where remains no
    mark of distinction.