Kabir (1440AD to 1518AD) was one of the early saints of bhakti kaal who lived in northern India. By profession he was a weaver. He was a disciple of Guru Ramanand from southern India. He shunned religious affiliations and sang the glory of one God in vedanta as well as bhakti tradition. Kabir wrote in simple language that common people could easily understand.
Kabir Poems - Kabir ke dohe
Maati kahe kumbhar ko Tu kya roondhe mohe Ek din aisaa aayega Mai roondhoo gi tohe. Aaye hai jo jaayenge Raaja rank fakir Ek sinhaansan chadhi chale Dooja bandhe janjeer. Chalti chakki dekh re Diya kabira roye Do paatan ke beech mein Baaki bacha na koyi Baaki bacha na koyi. Dukh mein sumran sade kare Sukh mein kare na koyi Jo sukh mein sumran kare To dukh kahe hote.
Gur Dhobi Sikh Kapda, Saboo Sirjan HarSurti Sila Pur Dhoiye, Nikse Jyoti Apaar.Translation of this doha :Guru the washer man, the disciple is the cloth The name of God is like the soapWash the mind on foundation firmTo realize the light of Truth
Dohas (Couplets) I (with translation)
Chalti Chakki Dekh Kar, Diya Kabira RoyeDui Paatan Ke Beech Mein,Sabit Bacha Na [Looking at the grinding stones, Kabir lamentsIn the duel of wheels, nothing stays intact.]**Bura Jo Dekhan Main Chala, Bura Naa Milya KoyeJo Munn Khoja Apnaa, To Mujhse Bura Naa Koye[I searched for the crooked, met not a single oneWhen searched myself, "I" found the crooked one]**Kaal Kare So Aaj Kar, Aaj Kare So UbPal Mein Pralaya Hoyegi, Bahuri Karoge Kub[Tomorrows work do today, today's work nowif the moment is lost, the work be done how]**Aisee Vani Boliye, Mun Ka Aapa KhoyeApna Tan Sheetal Kare, Auran Ko Sukh Hoye[Speak such words, sans ego's ployBody remains composed, giving the listener joy]**Dheere Dheere Re Mana, Dheere Sub Kutch HoyeMali Seenche So Ghara, Ritu Aaye Phal Hoye[Slowly slowly O mind, everything in own pace happensGardner may water a hundred buckets, fruit arrives only in its season]**Sayeen Itna Deejiye, Ja Mein Kutumb SamayeMain Bhi Bhookha Na Rahun, Sadhu Na Bhookha Jaye[Give so much O God, suffice to envelop my clanI should not suffer cravings, nor the visitor goes unfed]**Bada Hua To Kya Hua, Jaise Ped KhajoorPanthi Ko Chaya Nahin, Phal Laage Atidoor[In vain is the eminence, just like a date treeNo shade for travelers, fruit is hard to reach]**Jaise Til Mein Tel Hai, Jyon Chakmak Mein AagTera Sayeen Tujh Mein Hai, Tu Jaag Sake To Jaag[Like seed contains the oil, fire in flint stoneYour temple seats the Divine, realize if you can]**Kabira Khara Bazaar Mein, Mange Sabki KhairNa Kahu Se Dosti, Na Kahu Se Bair[Kabira in the market place, wishes welfare of allNeither friendship nor enmity with anyone at all]**Pothi Padh Padh Kar Jag Mua, Pandit Bhayo Na KoyeDhai Aakhar Prem Ke, Jo Padhe so Pandit Hoye[Reading books everyone died, none became any wiseOne who reads the word of Love, only becomes wise]**Dukh Mein Simran Sab Kare, Sukh Mein Kare Na KoyeJo Sukh Mein Simran Kare, Tau Dukh Kahe Ko Hoye[In anguish everyone prays to Him, in joy does noneTo One who prays in happiness, how sorrow can come]
These Dohas or couplets are each complete in themselves and are the most famous of Kabir's poetry, there are many more and many of them are often quoted in India even now. There is profound wisdom hidden in each couplet and they reflect Kabir's way of expressing the most profound thoughts in the simplest words.