Kabir Love Songs

Karavat bhalaa na karavaT teree. 
Laag gale sun binatee mere. 1.
Hau vaaree mukh fer piaare. 
KaravaT dhe mo kau kaahe kau maare. 1. Rahaau. 
Jau tan cheereh a(n)g na morau. 
Pi(n)dd parai tau preet na torau. 2.
Hum tum beech bhaio nahee koiee. 
Tumeh su ka(n)t naar hum soiee. 3.
Kahat Kabir sunahu re loiee. 
Ab tumaree parateet na hoiee. 4.2.35.     (SGGS, Pg. No. 484)

Translation:

I would rather be cut apart by a saw, than have You turn Your back on me.
Embrace me close my love, listen to my humble request. ||1||
I am in love with You - please, turn Your face to me, O Beloved Lord.
By turning Your back to me, why are You killing me? ||1||Pause||
Even if You shred my body apart, I shall not pull myself away from You.
Even if my body collapses, I cannot break my bonds of love with You. ||2||
There could be no other between the two of us.
There is no groom like You, and no soul-bride like me. ||3||
Says Kabir, listen, O people:
Now, I place no trust/reliance on you. ||4||2||35||

* Some authors have translated this song as a conversation between Kabir and his wife Loiee. According to them in the first three stanzas, Loiee is talking to Kabir and in the last, fourth stanza is Kabir’s response to her. However, to me logically it appears that all the words are Kabir’s own, wherein he is sharing his divine love and emotions.

My Understanding:

In this love song we can see Kabir Ji has laid bare his heart’s wretched condition when God turns His back on him. He considers himself to be the bride of God, Him as the Groom, and not another groom like Him. The explanation of this composition can only be initiated from the Rahaao lines which contain the central idea as well.

Kabir Ji starts by saying oh my love, I would sacrifice myself, if You turn Your back towards me. Why are you trying to kill me by turning your back to me? As turning your back towards me deprives me of Your grace, which is tantamount to killing me. Because, without your blessed grace, I cannot even live.

Kabir Ji explains that I would willingly be cut apart by a saw, then have You turn Your back on me. If I tried to save my body, by moving it away from harm’s way, it would be at the cost of our love. So, please listen to my earnest prayer and hug me closely. When your remembrance is in my heart, it becomes a necklace of remembrance around my neck, constantly reminding me of Your presence.

We can see how Kabir Ji is playing with similar sounding words “karavat”. The first word means turning your back, while the second word with emphasis in pronunciation of last letter “t” which means a saw. He is declaring that getting sawed to pieces is preferable to him than turning of Your back. As turning of Your back is very devastating, I prefer to be cut to pieces instead. 

Kabir Ji continues his pleading by saying that even if You were to cut my body apart, still I will not pull my limbs away from harm’s way, to save those. As trying to save my limbs will be tantamount to moving my gaze away from You, compromising our love bonds. I cannot break my bonds of love with You, even at the cost of my body falling apart.

Kabir Ji reminds God of the deep love bonds that exists with Him. He says that between You and I, there is none other, who like a wedge can separate us. As You are the Husband Lord, and I am the soul-bride. The relationship between the bride and the groom is the closest of all human relationships. The third person in the relationship kills its intimacy, purity, and sanctity.

In the concluding lines he says listen to me O folks: Now, I place no trust/reliance on you. By addressing them as folks, he is sharing that it the material attachment alone which becomes the cause of breech in the relationship with God. He is declaring that he is not going to fall for it, even at the cost of his own life.

October 7, 2023

Bhupinder Singh

Views: 3122   Comments:2

Comments on this Love Song

Comment You described the shabad in such a beautiful way that anyone can understand the meaning. The way you described Kabir ji's love towards almighty is commendable
Gurpreet kaur
17-Oct-2023 10:01 AM

Comment I believe your interpretation is more appropriate and logical considering his devotion to God.
Gajindar Singh
14-Oct-2023 21:51 PM




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