Bhaktavijaya: Stories of Indian Saints

by Justin E. Abbott | 1933

This is the English translation of Bhaktavijaya which is a Marathi poem written by Mahipati in 40,000 lines. The text documents the legends of Indian saints from various backgrounds and extensively covers figures like Ekanath, Tukaram, and Ramadasa, highlighting their contributions to scholarship, philosophy, poetry, and social reform. The Bhaktavi...

5.4: Ram [Rama] weaves for Kabir

37. Well, enough of this long digression. Kabir continued his worship of God, while his business prosperity grew less. The evil-minded laughed at him.

38. ‘You have taken God to your heart, and so has come about this condition of self-neglect. It does not appear how you will continue to carry on your domestic afiairs.’

39. Having that day rubbed paste on the threads, Kabir was made to sit at the loom, but he was not able to think of himself. He was entirely lost in the worship of Ram.

40. Bringing the image of Ram [Rama] to his imagination, he closed both his eyes. His full attention was given to the form and name of God. He no longer remembered his own bodily condition.

41. His mother came to him, and tried to awaken him. She said, ‘Kabir, I do not know what has happened to you now.’

42. Believing that his mother would whip him, he came to selfconsciousness and being now awake he wove a handbreadth of cloth.

43. But just then he again became unconscious and the image of Shri Ram [Rama] appeared in his heart. Seeing this to be the case, the Lord of Ayodhya (Ram [Rama]) Himself sat down to weave.

44. Rama said to himself, ‘He has lost himself in contemplating Me. His mother will give him a beating.’ So thinking, the Holder of the Bow (Ram), sat down to weave the shela (gold scarf).

45. He who finds his pleasure in the ocean of milk, Lord of the universe, Dweller in the Heaven Vaikuntha, He sat down at Kabir’s loom in order to weave.

46. Yogis sit on spiked beds and yet He does not quickly come into their imagination, but seeing Kabir’s bhakti He sat down to weave the scraf [scarf?].

47. He who cannot be attained by the Study of the Vedas and Shastras, by wandering from sacred places to sacred places, He, Dweller at Dwaraka, Ornament of His bhaktas, sat down to weave the scarf.

48. He whom Sanak and other munis bring continually into their contemplation, even He, Hari, sat down to Kabir’s loom and wove the scarf.

49. He whom the daughter of the ocean serves, holding His feet to her heart, He who is the dear ornament of Shiva, even He sat down to weave the scarf.

50. Now awaking, however, Kabir regained his consciousness and after a moment’s thought he hastened to begin to weave.

51. But he was no more than awakened when the Husband of Janaki (Ram) came into his imagination. Kabir’s mind attained its calmness, and beheld that it was Krishna who sat weaving.

52. Whenever Kabir lost self-consciousness then Krishna began to weave. When self-consciousness began to return Krishna would stand at a distance amused.

53. Thus Kabir and Krishna both together, wove the garment; just as when the water of the Saraswati joins the water of the Ganges, the two are no longer different;

54. so God and His bhakta together wove the garment. Kabir folded it up, came into the house and gave it to his mother.

55. The mother now said to Kabir, ‘Go now into the market and quickly sell the scarf and come back bringing me the money.’

56. Saying ' I will do so,’ Kabir started from his home, taking the scarf in his hand, and sat down in the bazaar.

57. He closed his eyes and brought to his mind the form of Shri Ram. He lost self-consciousness and continued singing the praise of Ram [Rama] with his lips.

58. He forget entirely it he had come to sell the scarf. Holding God in his heart, he continued repeating the names of Ram [Rama] in his love for Him.

59. Merchants came into the bazaar and Kabir sat down beside them, but no customers appeared for the purpose of buying the shela.

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