A Hymn of Kabir

(A 15th century pre-Nanak saint with 541 hymns in the Adi Granth)

If by going about naked

One could obtain unity

With the Supreme Lord,

All the beasts of the wild wood

Would be among the saved.

What does it matter

Whether a man goes naked

Or wraps himself in skins,

So long as the spirit of God

Is not realized within Him?

If merely by shaving one’s head

One could become perfect,

When the sheep are shorn

Why should they not be saved?

If one could obtain salvation

Merely by remaining continent

Eunuchs should automatically

Reach the supreme state!

Saith Kabir: Listen, my brothers.

None has obtain salvation but through God’s Holy Name!



A Hymn of Guru Nanak

He cannot be installed like an idol,

Nor can man shape His likeness.

He made Himself and maintains Himself

On His heights unstained forever;

Honored are they in His shrine

Who meditate upon Him.

Sing thou, O Nanak, the psalms

Of God as the treasury

Of sublime virtues.

If a man sings of God and hears of Him

And lets love of God sprout within him,

All sorrow shall depart;

In the soul, God will create abiding peace.

The Word of the Guru is the inner Music;

The Word of the Guru is the highest Scripture;

The Word of the Guru is all pervading.

The Guru is Shiva, the Guru is Vishnu and Brahma,

The Guru is the Mother goddess.

If I knew Him as He truly is

What words could utter my knowledge?

Enlightened by God, the Guru has unraveled one mystery

‘There us but one Truth, one Bestower of Life;

May I never forget Him.’



A Hymn of Guru Angad

The Vedic scholars have handed down to us,

A traditional mythology and havd also defined

The doctrines of sin, virtue and retribution.

For what men give they receive.

And for what they receive a gift shall be required of them.

And reaping as they have sowed

They are accordingly reborn,

Either in hell or heaven.

According to actions of past lives,

Men they day, are born in high castes and low,

Yet the world wandereth in doubt as to all this.

But the ambrosial Word of the Guru,

Speaketh of that which is real,

And bringeth knowledge of the Divine,

And bringeth the inner pondering of it.

The saints speak of it,

The saints know it.

They who posses divine knowledge

Ponder inwardly over its Light.

God by His Will made the world,

God at His Will controlleth it;

He beholdeth all things set under Hid Will.

If before a man dies,

He can cast down his ego,

He shall not in the sight of the Lord go unregarded.



A Hymn of Guru Amar Das

All men cry ‘Lord, Lord.’

But in vain repetition man is not made one with the Lord.

It is only when, by the grace of the Guru,

God in the heart indwelleth,

That human effort bears fruit.

He who loveth the Lord from his heart’s core

Shall never forget him, but from his heart and soul

Shall ever repeat the Lord’s Name.

They who are deceivers in their hearts

but outwardly ape holiness

Shall not lose their lusts,

and shall grieve at the time of departure.

However strenuously a man may wash himself

At the many holy places,

It is not thus that self-will is cleansed from him!

The King of Death shall chastise him

Who hath not cast down his self-will.

Only by the Guru’s grace shall man meet

God and understand Him!

Nanak saith: The man who destroyeth his own self-will

Shall certainly meet God!









A Hymn of Guru Arjan

By remembering the Lord we obtain

Divine knowledge, the gift of meditation , and true wisdom.

To remember God is the real essence

Of every kind of devotion, penance, and prostration.

All delusive awareness of that which seems other than the Lord,

Is, on remembering the Lord, dispelled.

To remember the Lord is to bathe in the holy rivers;

To remember the Lord is to be honored in His Presence;

Who remembers the Lord, his acts are always righteous;

Who remembers the Lord feels His Will to be ever sweet.

In remembering the Lord there is profit.

They remember the Lord whom

the Lord hath inspired to remember Him:

Nanak prayeth to be worthy to touch their feet!

To remember the Lord is the highest religious duty…

There is no fear of death while one remembers God;

In remembering Him, all wishes are satisfied,

All uncleanness is washed away from the mind,

And His ambrosial Name fills the whole heart.

The Lord dwelleth on the tongue of His Chosen Ones;

Of such servants of God may Nanak be the servant!








A Hymn of Guru Tegh Bahadur

That man who in the midst of grief is free from grieving,

And free from fear, and free from the snare of delight,

Nor is covetous of gold that he knows to be dust,

Who is neither a backbiter not a flatterer,

Nor has greed in his heart, not vanity,

nor any worldly attachment,

Who remains at his center unmoved by good and ill fortune,

Who is indifferent to the world’s praise and blame

And discards every wishful fantasy

Accepting his lot in a disinterested fashion,

Not worked upon by lust or by wrath,

In such a man God dwelleth.

The man on whom the Grace of the Guru alights

Understands the way of conduct:

His soul, O Nanak, is mingled with the Lord

As water mingles with water!















A Hymn of Mardana

(A Muslim travel companion of Guru Nanak

with 3 hymns in the Adi Granth)

In the vat of the body

Egoism is the wine,

Desire and low cravings

Are its companions.

The cup of ambition is

Abrim with falsehood.

And the god of death

Is the cup bearer;

By drinking this wine O Nanak,

One gathers multiple sins.

Make knowledge your yeast,

The praise of God the bread you eat

And the fear of God your meat.

This, O Nanak, is the true spiritual food.

Make divine Name your substance.




A Hymn of Ramanand

(A 14th century pre-Nanak saint with only one hymn in the Adi Granth)

Whither need I go to seek holiness?

I am happy here within myself at home.

My heart is no longer a pilgrim:

It has become tied down to itself.

Restlessly one day I did want to go:

I prepared sandal-wood paste,

Distilled aloe wood, and many perfumes:

I set out towards a temple to worship:

Then my Guru showed me God in my own heart.

Whatever holy place I seek as a pilgrim

All I find is worship of water or stones,

But Thou, Lord, equally pervadest all things!

I have studies all the Vedas and Puranas:

There or elsewhere thou mayest seek God

If God is not here in thy heart!

O gracious Guru, I am beholden unto thee

Who hast cut away my doubts and my vacillations!

Ramanaand’s Lord is the all-pervasive God:

The Guru’s word removeth countless delusions.



A Hymn of Namdev

(A 13th century pre-Nanak saint with 60 hymns in the Adi Granth)

As water is precious to the traveler,

As the hungry camel yearns for the creeper,

As the wild deer at night hearken enrapt to the hunter’s bell,

So God is the object of the yearning of my soul!

Thy Name is beauty,

Thy Form is beauty,

Thy Hues are beauty,

O my living Lord! As the dry earth yearneth

In thirst for the raindrops,

As the honey-bee yearneth

For the scent of the lowers,

As the kokil loves the mango-trees,

So I long for the God.

As the sheldrake longs for sunshine

As the swan yearneth for the Mansarowar Lake,

As the wife pines for her husband,

So God is the object of the yearning of my soul!

As the babe yearneth for his mother’s breast-milk,

As the chatrik who drinketh only the

raindrops yearneth for the rain,

As the stranded fish yearneth after water,

So God is the object of the yearning of my soul!

All seekers, sages, teachers yearn, O Lord, after Three.

How few of them have seen Thee!

As Thy Name is yearned after

By Thy whole vast creation,

So for God is the object of the yearning of my soul!



A Hymn of Ravidas

(A 15th century pre-Nanak saint with 41 hymns in the Adi Granth)

When I think of myself

Thou are not there.

Now it is Thou alone

And my ego is swept away.

As billows rise and fall

When a storm sweeps across the water,

As waves rise and relapse into the ocean

I will mingle with Thee.

How can I say what Thou art

When that which I believe is not worthy of belief.

It is as a King asleep on the royal couch

Dreams he is a beggar and grieves,

Or as a rope mistaken for Serpent causeth pain,

Such are the delusions and dears;

Why should I grieve,

Why by panic-stricken?

As a man who seeth several bracelets

Forgets they are made of a single substance, gold,

So I have been in error but am no more,

Behind all the various manifestations there is one God;

In the motions of every heart it is God that throbs.

Ravidas, He is nearer to us than our hands and feet!

As the Lord willeth, so all things come to pass!