Kabir Dohas

Chalti Chakki Dekh Kar, Diya Kabira Roye
Dui Paatan Ke Beech Mein,Sabit Bacha Na Koye



Looking at the grinding stones, Kabir laments
In the duel of wheels, nothing stays intact.

My understanding

This doha picks up a situation from our daily life. Kabir watches the woman grinding wheat on the flour mill. I have used the word woman here as generally it is the woman who does this work even today in the rural Indian society. The wheels are made of stone. One is stationary while the other on top is made to rotate by turning it with the help of a handle attached to it. The grain that is put into it gets crushed and the converted flour comes out. Thus the literal translation given above conveys that.

(Diya Kabira Roye) Kabir cries out, however, is what makes the reader to contemplate on this Doha and realize for oneself the hidden meaning behind this metaphor. Dui Patan here signifies earth (Prithvi) and sky (Akash) and within the ambit of these is all creation and life as also the manifestation of all natural phenomenon of dualities:  day and night, life and death, joys and sorrows, thereby making life forever in motion (Chalti Chakki) and an ever changing process. Trapped in this duality, whatever we see is perishable. Nothing that we comprehend is eternal.

Rajender Krishan
Visual Art by Simi Nallaseth

Views: 146144      Comments: 75

Comments on this Doha

Comment I love Kabir's rhyming sense and language use. It is called 'sadhukkadi', I remember. Love him and his language. Only some of them provoke my thought, because they are the only ones I understand! Would love to share one here:---

मानसरोवर सुभर जल, हंसा केलि कराहि
मुक्ताफल मुक्ता चुगै, अब उड़ी अनत न


Saarthak Sabharwal

07-Aug-2019 12:06 PM

Comment Nice

Chinki Tyagi

26-Sep-2018 07:47 AM

Comment Nice deep thought in this doha

Tushar Bhardwaj

14-Aug-2018 05:47 AM

Comment Nice Doha


07-May-2018 03:02 AM

Comment Nice doha


23-Apr-2018 08:05 AM

Comment further to this doha is:

chalti chakki dekh kar,
diya Kabira roi,
Dui patan ke beech mein,
sabut raha na koi,

jo raha sahare keel ke,
to ball na baka hoi.

Meaning: of the last two lines is, if you stick to the centre rod of the chakki i,e, GOD, you will be saved by him.

Suhas Pande

19-Jul-2017 06:58 AM

Comment The meaning read once was the two wheels are one of a householder and the one of Sanyasi. Both entangle the seeker in birth and death circle.

The one who know who am I is out of this two wheels.

Dipesh Chothani

17-Feb-2017 02:49 AM

Comment Dui Paatan Ke Beech Mein

Dui Paatan - Here Kabir means Birth and Death. These are the two Paatan which includes everything.

Sanjay Ghatpande

05-Aug-2016 00:47 AM

Comment we are squeezed between the wordly responsibilities of making a living today and carrying this burden for the future.....leaving no room for life ...no room for the almighty who brought us.

dr sanjeev jain

31-May-2016 11:04 AM

what Kabir meant was that all contradictions emerge out of dvaitha tatwa. The duality; as me and you; us and others etc, at the most basic emotional and existential level. This leads to our perception of the world in duality

This separate-ness breeds the emergence of 'samsara' whose worst form is human conflict and destruction.

In this duality in perception whole meaning and purpose of life is lost.

Kabir's observation is seeped in sufiana and advaita.
''Dui Paatan Ke Beech Mein,Sabit Bacha Na Koye''. every one is lost in this duality.

Respects to all.

KR Matcha

22-Oct-2015 16:18 PM

Comment Chalti Chakki Dekh Kar, Kamal Diya Thathaye
Jo Dana Kil Ko Lagey Wo Sabit Bacha Jaye.

Anil Gupta

22-Jan-2015 06:57 AM

Comment Like the grinding stone we humans grind away at life and in the finality become completely ground down to sheer dust. The grinder represents the living spirit ; while the grains represents consumption of efforts and the stone wheels our physical biomass. JAYANT JOKHAN


10-Sep-2014 19:21 PM

Comment Chaila of Guru Kabir Das (Kamala) Replied about this Doha as under:-


Means: Kamal cheers looking at grinding stones. One who attached himself with Center (Pivot) never perished.

Syed Shoukat Ali

20-Aug-2013 05:48 AM

Comment Just discovered this stie..and Kabir too.

That a simple doha (couplet..?)..could inspire so many different opinions is the beauty of the thought.

I will just add from the last comment to 'chilli palmer'.

The duality is a function of man made thinking.
The duality helps a person to establish one thought as agianst the other..providing a sort of comparison, canvass.

The 'one' is a human concept cos we want to be anchored.

The' one' more is 'sutra', a thread..connecting the whole, maybe not singular, like an algorithm...working, smart but not perfect.

it is fluid, dynamic and adaptable...
It is not in our duty to understand the algorithm...it is our duty to connect to the right nodes around us...and increase our ambit.


22-Jul-2013 04:21 AM

Comment For me: Kabir compares the 2 grinding stones to the Duality of every aspect of life; the yin and yang... both within us and beyond. Black and white, heaven and earth, good and evil, right and wrong, male and female, high and low, mine and your's – everything is duality.

Our mind / ego makes us constantly obsessed with this duality, always in motion.... judgemental, fearful, always wanting - never at peace.

Hence Kabir cries; as he feels everybody's pain trapped and being crushed by this duality.... as rarely, if ever, does one manage to experience and discover the true Singularity, the Self, the Divinity and Peace.... behind the duality....the Oneness...of Everything.

Chilli Palmer

18-Jul-2013 05:36 AM

Comment Really Kabir Das was a great phylospher of the india history. I have been always impressed with Doha's of Kabirdas which is inspire to everyone who read it deeply with fully concerntrate.

Thanks for this website to translate this to a easy way to understanding all readers.

Arjun Singh

21-Mar-2013 09:08 AM

Comment A few days back, our state unit at Dehradun in Uttarakhand had organised "Kabir Lok Sur Sangat" by Mukhitiya Ali ji, a Sufi singer. I forwarded the document related to this event to my colleagues in Karnataka State Institute Bangalore. A colleague of mine, replied that she is a big fan of Kabir and asked for organizing an event of that kind. As i started googling to know more about Kabir, i stumbled upon your website. Not only have you quote the dohas, you have given your understanding, i hope to revisit your website many more times.

Thanks. Best Wishes. God bless

Warm Regards


23-Feb-2013 22:58 PM

Comment Sir,
With due respect to you which you have generated for yourself for so many contributions made by you and to recall & remember Sant Kabirdas, couplet's(dohas),spoken almost 400 years back,are truth and valid even as today. Sir,you have unlocked priceless,valuable & immense treasure to us and also to younger generation.
Salutation to you and will be privilege to speak to you 1-1 whenever you plan to revisit India. I am from Mumbai and will definitely await your positive response. On my dad's death anniversary I had distributed a CD of Kabir Amritvani,which I will likely to gift you one for your library. God Bless You!!
Thanking You,

Prithvi Kishnani

18-Feb-2013 00:09 AM

Comment I loved the dohas and especially the translation in english. I cannot find words to describe this. I learn so much from this and it makes me a better person. Thank you for sharing it and may god bless you.


05-Feb-2013 20:45 PM

Comment It was quite accidentally that I bumped into this website, I simply love it, and your simple explanation makes things even more great. thanks for doing this.


30-Jan-2013 15:54 PM

Comment Dear sir,
I have accidentally bumped into your website today and I'm so glad for it, your maxim is wonderful indeed.
Sant Kabir Truly a great philosopher.I am a big fan of his DOHAS.
His vani or dohas Reflect life in true sense.
Thank you for your help in this spiritual journey of life!


17-Oct-2012 08:33 AM

Comment Mail to: Rajender Krishnan
Dear sir,
I have accidentally bumped into you on this website today and I'm so glad for it, your maxim is wonderful indeed.
I'm 65 of age, a few hints of similarity in childhood and youth background as yourself, agree to your views on Kabir, and look forward to advance farther in this good life.
Thank you for the opportunity to have "met you as yet another keyholder to open doors".
Rajan Mahadevan

Rajan Mahadevan

05-Oct-2012 08:26 AM

Comment Very good compilation and nearly good translation. do you have the compilation of THULSI as well as SOOR DAAS poetry? Instead of saying woman I think you should mention it as women in plural.


20-Sep-2012 07:20 AM

Comment Every Doha is like an ocean; How much ever you draw from it, the level will not reduce.

This doha can be explained in many ways... limited only by your imagination. One such explanation canbe

Chalti Chakki => Passage of eternal Time

Dui Paatan - Two stones => Grinding Wheels of time

Sabit raha na koye - Nothing stays permenant. The grain can be compared to The Universe/ our Existance/ our own Ego


03-Sep-2012 02:26 AM

Comment nothing in this world is for ever, they take actually the privilege of being human who are always attached with paramatma.

krushna chandra tripathy

10-Jun-2012 03:54 AM

Comment in sabhi doho mai jindgi ki asli sachaai dikhti hai, jai kabir dass ji ki, its a truth of life.

Amit Kumar

06-Mar-2012 02:24 AM

Comment Truth spoken in rhyme...
Kabir ji's thoughts have always impressed me
Reflect life in true sense.
well explianed by Rajender ji and
well potrayed by Simi ji. ......


24-Dec-2011 12:17 PM

Comment expressionism of life


02-Dec-2011 09:49 AM

Comment Chalti Chakki = the cycles of births and rebirths as it continues.
Dui Patan = Mera (mine) and Tera (Thy) i.e. Maya
ke chakkar me,, everyone falls into this cycle again and again. And, that is why Kabirji crying as he sees that everyone is crushed under this mill and nobody is listening to him or he is helpless.

Arunesh Dixit

15-Nov-2011 01:16 AM



06-Nov-2011 12:57 PM

Comment It is very good thought.Is main bahut bada arth chhipa hai.

Chaitanya sabale

30-Oct-2011 02:29 AM

Comment this is just life


26-Oct-2011 10:40 AM

Comment It seems to me that two stones represent two contradictory desires like "I want to eat the cake and keep it too.". We are crushed between these two desires.

Ishwar Garg

06-Oct-2011 00:49 AM

Comment like ur initiative
keep up the good work


02-Oct-2011 02:43 AM

Comment i dont have words to appreciate your noble effort.

uday kumar

13-Sep-2011 21:34 PM

Comment very buitiful doha


10-Sep-2011 04:19 AM

Comment very nice.

reena chaudhary

09-Aug-2011 04:40 AM

Comment Here's the unsaid in the doha ...

It's an invitation to move out of identifying with duality and take a position on the central shaft ... as a witness ...

It is always still at the center ...

While dualities exist on the periphery, there always is center, for the witness to dwell.


27-Jul-2011 13:46 PM

Comment Everything in this universe is ephemeral or transitory in nature. One who is born will die - it is a universal truth. Only 'Kaal' (time) is eternal. Creation, Existence and destruction are said to be the three stages of eternal time cycle. Nothing is permanent in nature. Once a thing - living or nonliving - is created, it exists for a definite period of time and finally it is transformed for another creation. In this way the whole creation proceeds.
Saint Kabir laments on the materialistic pursuit of the human beings who amass much wealth,relationships,power etc. despite knowing the fact that nothing will be left intact by the grinding stones of eternal time.

Rajesh Karmae

09-Jun-2011 11:02 AM

Comment i like ur thoughts about Kabir very good i thunk u r really a very nice person......... i m very influnced by it great job......


19-Apr-2011 11:40 AM




25-Mar-2011 07:47 AM

Comment One patan is stationary,while other is moving.... there is crush between two....
Two patans could be anything. It entirely depends what we really wanted to see...Whenever there is collision, 'sabit bacha na koi'... it could be collision of ideologies, countries religion, our innerself... avoid collisions


21-Feb-2011 20:58 PM

Comment amazing....


05-Feb-2011 03:58 AM

Comment Truly a great philosopher.I am a big fan of his DOHAS

Dwij Kukana

04-Feb-2011 11:05 AM

Comment "Dui Paatan Ke Beech" means between birth & death i.e "janam mrityu ke bitch". Hindus belive rebirth. No one can escape this rebirth and all the pains. So to overcome these pains one has to overcome the rebirth through "Sadhana"

But no one cares for this. And seeing this, Kabir i.e "Gnyani" cries.

Debapriya Rahut

27-Jan-2011 13:31 PM

Comment Thanks to this site, I GOT THE BEST 2-LINERS!
I wanted them for a Hindi activity and scored a very good remark as well as superb marks, besi=des these are even very inspirational and touching.

Saba Salahuddin

16-Jan-2011 04:27 AM

Comment Kabirji cries when it sees the the grinding wheels. In this material world, nothing stays intact. What is seen is constantly changing and it is all destructible and untruth, and what is not seen is the ONLY TRUTH.

Kabirji says, know this truth and stop the oblation in this wheel of materialism where nothing stays intact or permanent.

Unfortunately, human beings cannot comprehend this divine truth. For them only truth is what is seen except when scientists say then it is believable. We cannot see atoms, we cannot feel we are rotating and revolving, we are upside down. Even Sun is burning constantly to sustain life in the entire universe, this signifies that nothing in this universe is permanent except One that is unseen !

We look for God in a material form, but he lives inside us and the entire creation is his image. He is like electricity that runs many machines. The function of each machine may be different but the electric power is same in all. We say that heater is giving hot air and air conditioner gives cool air, but the force that runs them is unseen and that is electricity.

Similarly, people are evil and good but the consciousness that flows inside the body and all matter in the universe is God's consciousness. It is up to each being to choose it's role good or evil in this society. We are divine beings identical to God ( Aham Brahmashmi ). Remove the veil of ignorance and ego to realize this divine Truth. - Bharat Gohil

Bharat Gohil

23-Dec-2010 21:53 PM

Comment he is a great poet.


20-Dec-2010 08:14 AM

Comment There are many kinds of knowledge. But only one of them is real. There are many kinds of love. But only one of them is real. There are many kinds of peace. But only one of them is real. We human beings live in duality. The truth we seek however lives in a singularity. I was thinking about this ball of light called the Sun. It does not cast a shadow like the Earth. Not only does the Earth cast a shadow, but the Earth is always half lit and half dark. Always. The Sun does not have this duality. It is always lit. The Truth we seek is always lit. Even now it shines. We, the living are in flux. We are in constant motion. Even while we sleep, our cells are in motion. Between the two poles of the changeable and the unchangeable is a swing. This swing is in motion. We are on this swing. This entire universe is on that swing. But while we move, something stays. Something remains rock steady, unmovable, unshakeable. It is very much present, but difficult to perceive. I believe it is the Ramayana where it is written that "the coming and the going of this breath is my blessing".

M. Donahoe

19-Dec-2010 02:33 AM

Comment you r doing brilliant job by show doha's on your web site all most web designer
shows the photos of models.

achal kumar

17-Dec-2010 07:23 AM

Comment It is not only just the observation but what always happened to him i.e Sant Kabir gone through the literal meaning of the doha but as far as I am concerned I believe that CHALTI CHAKHI and DO PATAN are the words in this DOHA that need the higher form of concentration to understand. I believe Chalti Chaki is our life and Do Patan are Two Breaths one in and one out or in scientific term respiration.

Gulzar Ahmad

10-Dec-2010 20:46 PM

Comment this is what we called eternal vision have our great saints like Kabir. If human being want real peace and aim of life should be goes back to the teaching of Bhakti i.e. teaching of saints like Kabir.

Ashish Shende

04-Dec-2010 05:50 AM

Comment more valuable words in my life

pradeep kumar

14-Nov-2010 00:13 AM

Comment I vikas karun like very much kavir poem. because it more valable in my life

vikas karun

12-Nov-2010 21:57 PM




27-Oct-2010 12:22 PM

Comment The first time I heard the name Kabir was from Maharaji. Thank you for this wonderful translation I will include it in my blog, La Columna de Jesus. I will send my readers to your homepage. http://www.jesusjay.org/


26-Oct-2010 22:50 PM

Comment The two wheels of day and night, wind and stillness, wet and dry, hot and cold, these ever-changing wheels grind everything back to powder. Nothing stays intact. Nothing. Not you. Not me. Not the Sun. Not the Moon. Not the Earth. The force of gravity collects the dust of this universe and creates stars and planets. This same gravity coupled with the unique phenomenon called "time" are responsible for the destruction of those stars and planets. Kabir cries knowing that there will be no more you and no more me. Gone! Not a trace left. And the trace that is left will be indistinguishable from all the other traces. Everything is turned into flour. It's hard to fathom an ending to my existence. But indeed it will happen. It's hard even to fathom the beginning of my existence! Did I begin one day? Or have I always been around? What makes me so sure I will go on forever?

M. Donahoe

26-Oct-2010 05:02 AM

Comment Samsara grinds all beings to dust


20-Oct-2010 11:02 AM

Comment Very beautiful truth....as for me the stationary grinding stone represents the constant unchanging eternal singularity( Vishnu)...and the moving grindstone is the continuously changing cycle of life(our world)...and between these two are the human beings(us)...who can never escape the constant struggle of life....:)


14-Oct-2010 14:25 PM

Comment I think the right meaning of this Doha is that in the running Life in this world ( chalte chakki ) , no one of us could survive. All of us are go through the pain of life.


13-Oct-2010 00:13 AM

Comment i believe Kabir class was the about making daily life simple in comparison to bigger aspects of life. How i would read this is " that we get so involved in our daily life and crib about our chores that we tend to forget that bigger picture that no one is immortal, so if we keep the bigger picture in mind we will learn to enjoy today making us better individuals and contributing to a better society"


07-Oct-2010 06:03 AM

Comment It is easy to understand in english, thanks to translating dohas in english.

Mukesh Negi

27-Sep-2010 20:05 PM

Comment Nice .. very good work.


23-Sep-2010 03:13 AM

Comment true words & well potrayed

shobhnath singh

20-Sep-2010 11:07 AM

Comment Gopal,
If your intention is to write on Kabir, feel free to email to me at rk@boloji.net. If found suitable, we will be glad to publish.


12-Sep-2010 08:48 AM

Dear Sir,

Please allow me some Doha of Kabir
because for I a Kabir bhakt hu.

Gopal Sahu

12-Sep-2010 06:04 AM

Comment very nice explanation i like it in english


08-Sep-2010 15:29 PM

Comment awesome. i listen to this dohas frequently


06-Sep-2010 01:49 AM

Comment Thank You for keeping these words alive....

Indra Thapa

29-Aug-2010 16:39 PM

Comment I love your work and am thankful for this website!

For me the following are evidences of Sat Sri Akal:

We see cycles in nature (cycles are eternal: planet motion (sun,moon, earth, galaxy etc), life/death, plant growth cycles, reproduction) Cycles continue until they end and new cycles continue. Truth is evolving love and intelligence.

For me the observation of these systems indicates that both intelligence (chit nam ji) and love (visnu) are eternal. Just my personal opinion, we all should meditate (jap gur).

Thank you for your help in this spiritual journey of life! Your progress is impressive.

Har Das

20-Aug-2010 13:03 PM

Comment dear Rajindharji your adwaitc iterpretation of couplets is excellent


19-Aug-2010 16:14 PM

Comment kabir das here have mentioned the life human being which in between of karama and destiny. where we try to get sumthing and we get sumthing and in the race of life we get crushed with the both.

prateek anand shrivastava

19-Aug-2010 03:09 AM

Truth spoken in rhyme...
Kabir ji's thoughts have always impressed me
Reflect life in true sense.
well explianed by Rajender ji and
well potrayed by Simi ji.


17-Aug-2010 12:16 PM

Comment You are right. Kabir describes the cycle of life and death in this doha


07-Aug-2010 22:45 PM

Comment We know about sant kabir das...............

Amirul hussain

22-Jul-2010 08:11 AM

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