This volume is a translation into English verse of three hundred couplets of Kabir. These couplets along with an introduction by J M Mohanty provide an understanding of Kabir's message to humanity. The translation reflects the mood of the original.
The fifteenth century saint-poet Kabir’s extempore outpourings of songs and couplets numbering thousands have been hailed widely for their deep spiritual fervor and poetic quality. They are widely read with rapture and regard by old and young alike in India.
Some of his poems were translated into English by Tagore in 1915 and later by a couple of others. These have been popular among the English-speaking people at home and abroad. Kabir’s couplets which are considered as rich gems for their spiritual message and worldly wisdom have not been rendered into English so far.
Here is rhymed English verse translation of three hundred of them from a wide cross-section of the multifaceted genius’ utterances. Under each verse have been given a few lines in prose to help the reader grasp the underlying import of the message of the saint-poet.
EXCERPTS FROM REVIEW
Kabir is both a mystic and a great poet. Many in Hindi and elsewhere look up to him as a courageous social activist and the great saint of the Nirguna stream. The Dohas have been well known for their message and insight, their directness and telling effect. There is no doubt reverence and deep respect for the poet in evidence.’ -Focus Malayalam Writing Today
Nanak and the Sufis were instrumental in attempting a reconciliation of apparent opposites, by laying stress on the oneness of god. All these ideas were couched in the simple and sweet language of the people, spiked with examples from everyday life. Shri Das hoped that his book would revive Kabir’s crusade for a simple life devoted to the realization of god. - The Indian Magazine
I am happy to record my appreciation to the translation of Sant Kabir’s dohas made by Shri Gananath Das in the simple and expressive way in which Kabair himself wrote his dohas.
Kabir through his message for the welfare of humanity has become an international poet and the translation made by Shri Das will be read and appreciated by readers in the West unfamiliar with Devanagari in which the dohas are available. -Dr. Ram Kumar Verma
The volume under review is a translation into English verse of three hundred couplets of Kabir. The Couplets selected (and arranged according to subjects) along with the introduction give enough material for understanding Kabir’s message to humanity. The translation reflects the mood of the original.
The author, SHRI GANANATH DAS, retired from the Indian Administrative Service in the year 1972. Since then he has engaged himself in the study of various saint poets starting with the famous saint poet, Kabir Das, of the15th century A D.
On Kabir his works include Life and Philosophy of the Saint Poet in Oriya, and translation of five hundred of his couplets in English Verse, in three volumes: the first of one hundred published by the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan of Bombay in 1992, the second of the three hundred published by Motilal Banarasi dass of Delhi in 1991 and the third of one hundred published by Writers Workshop of Calcutta in 1992, followed by Sayings of Kabir published by the same publisher in 1993.
In 1992 he published his translation of one hundred songs of Guru Nanak Dev as ‘Nanak Satak’, in Oriya and 100 love songs of Kabir in English Verse, which was published by Abhinav Publications of New Delhi. In 1994 he published his Oriya verse translation of the entire Thiru Kural, the immortal work of the Tamil Saint Poet Thiru Valluvar, consisting of 1330 couplets in 133 chapters.
In 1994 he published his Essays on Kabir published by the Writers Workshop of Calcutta consisting of indepth studies of the saint poet’s sayings on as many as 22 topics. In the meantime he has completed his Readings from Bhagabata, being English Verse translation of over 150 Sayings of the famous scripture originally composed by Vyasa Deva and translated into Oriya Verse, by Saint Poet Jagannath Das of Pancha Sakha fame.