Nirbhay nirgun gun re gaunga [Bhajan]

Uploaded by Uday Mohole

Fearlessly I Will Sing the Attributes of the One without Attributes
By Kabir
Duet by Pandit Kumar Gandharva & Vidushi Vasundhara Komkali

I dedicate this bhajan to Ali Habib

Nirbhay Nirgun Gun Re Gaunga Gaunga
Nirbhay Nirgun Gun Re Gaunga Gaunga.

Fearlessly I will sing the attributes of the One without attributes

Mool Kamal Dradh Aasan Bandhu-ji
Mool Kamal Dradh Mool Kamal Dradh Aasan Bandhu-ji

Using the base lotus as the steady seat

Ulti Pavan Chadaunga Chadaunga
Nirbhay Nirgun Gun Re Gaunga Gaunga
Nirbhay Nirgun

Make the breath flow upward.

Man Mamta Ko Thir Kar Laun-ji
Man Mamta Ko oh Man Mamta Ko Thir Kar Laun-ji

I will still the mind and feelings

Pancho Tat Milaunga Milaunga
Nirbhay Nirgun Gun Re Gaunga Gaunga
Nirbhay Nirgun

I will unify the five elements

Ingala Pingala Sukhman Nadi-ji
Ingala Pingala Ingala Pingala Sukhman Nadi-ji

Ingila, Pingala and Sukhman are the channels

Tirveni Pe Haun Nahaunga Nauhaunga
Nirbhay Nirgun Gun Re Gaunga Gaunga
Nirbhay Nirgun

I will bathe at the confluence of the Three Rivers

Panch Pachhison Pakad Mangaun-ji
Panch Pachhison oh Panch Pachhison Pakad Mangaun-ji

I will master the Five and Twenty-Five by my wish

Ek Hi Dor Lagaunga Lagaunga
Nirbhay Nirgun Gun Re Gaunga Gaunga
Nirbhay Nirgun

And string them together by one common thread

Shunya Shikhar Par Anhad Baje-ji
Shunya Shikhar Par Shunya Shikhar Par Anhad Baje-ji

On the peak of emptiness where the unstruck sound resounds,

Raag Chattis Sunaunga Sunaunga
Nirbhay Nirgun Gun Re Gaunga Gaunga
Nirbhay Nirgun

I’ll sing thirty-six ragas.

Kahat Kabir Suno Bhai Sadho-ji
Kahat Kabir ah Kahat Kabir Suno Bhai Sadho-ji

Kabir says, "Listen, truth-seekers"

Jeet Nishan Ghuraunga Ghuraunga
Nirbhay Nirgun Gun Re Gaunga Gaunga
Nirbhay Nirgun Gun Re Gaunga Gaunga
Nirbhay Nirgun
Nirbhay Nirgun
Nirbhay Nirgun
Nirbhay Nirgun.

I’ll wave the sign of victory.

Explanation by Rajender Krishan
"In this song, Kabir clearly shows the "real" meaning of certain phrases used in ancient texts. Often these are mistaken to be reference to physical places while in reality an internal experience is actually being told.

Fear is the first and biggest obstacle to spiritual realization. And a state of fearlessness shows that a person has actually accepted the environment or physical reality for what it is. In that state of accepting oneness, Kabir says that he is going to expound on the attributes of the ultimate.

Mapping out the procedure for this spiritual journey, Kabir says that we have to start by rooting ourselves (as the tree or plant roots itself) at the base or seat of the energy. The lotus is a reference to a spiritual experience of energy that "flowers" much like a lotus rising above the negativity and fear. Note that the source for nourishment of this lotus is indeed coming from the same swampy muck of negativity. In other words, the negativity or fear is not intrinsically "bad" but really needs to be channeled into more creative expressions. In such a re-channeling of energy, the subtle life force (much like a wind or molecular energy current) starts defying gravity (of our limitations) and moves in a reverse elevating fashion. The further it moves up the less constrained it becomes - in effect integrating all of reality into a universal oneness.

What pulls the energy down is the gravitational force of our attachments. Therefore the mind needs to be steadied to a state of equilibrium where these attachments are no longer forcing us downward to the realm of fear. In such a state of upward transition, the earthy reality of fear gets transformed to the watery reality of creativity, then the fiery reality of power onto the airy reality of love and finally the ethereal realm of freedom and total spatial detachment. In effect, the five elements of earth, water, fire, air and ether are merged in a transcendental fashion.

At this stage of the journey the pair of opposites are balanced. That is, the cold dispassionate channel and the hot passionate channel are balanced in the center channel through a dynamic equilibrium. However, reality is still flowing and time is not transcended. Only when the triad of flows (cold, hot and lukewarm, or past, future and present, or left, right and center) merge that one is able to overcome the grip of Kala or time. It is then that the three rivers or channels merge at the confluence of Triveni and one takes a holy dip of immortality. Why immortality? Because at this point the constraints of both space (through the unifying of the five elements) and time (through the merging of the three channels) have been removed. In fact, the holy dip in the immortality of Triveni is an internal experience and the physical location of Prayag (Allahabad, India) is only a reminder of this inner truth. In other words, Kabir is indicating that only when one experiences such holy bathing within does one become immortal and not by a mere dip in the waters of the three rivers at Allahabad.

When such a confluence is achieved one has the ability of controlling the five senses and twenty-five ways of experiencing world and stringing them with the oneness of your inner self much like a garland. Since there is nothing but yourself, Kabir calls it the summit of nothingness. The feat of reaching the summit of creation is celebrated by the waving of a flag of victory and sounds of a myriad of rhythmic symphonies coming from the eternal un-struck sound that brings forth the entire creation itself." SOURCE

Note From The Gull

Thank you, Kabir, Pandit Kumar Gandharva & Vidushi Vasundhara Komkali, Ali Hamid and Rajender Krishan for sharing beauty. Kabir believed that God is One and that all religions are aspiring towards the same goal. If we look for the commonalities, we will find them. One of the bhajans I learned growing up in Trinidad, expressed it this way:

Call Him Allah, call Him Christ
Call Him Krishna, call Him Ram
He's the same God to all man
He's the same God to all man
He's the same God to all man.

I first encountered the concept of Bindu in the bhajan, Sunta Hai Guru Gyani also performed by Pandit Kumar. One of its meanings in metaphysics is the point at which creation begins and may become unity. It is also described as the sacred symbol of the cosmos in its unmanifested state. Thanks to Ali Habib, a visitor to the blog, I was pointed in the direction of another concept - nirgun. I discovered that nirgun means formless. Mandar Karanjkar describes it as "something which has no physical attributes like form, color, smell or even physical existence. In India, a large number of religious seekers believe that god is formless, it cannot be identified with any idol, color etc. Sant Kabir has written a large number of verses which talk about formless god. These verses, called as nirguni bhajans are at times very difficult to understand as the apparent and hidden meanings differ a lot." SOURCE   I then found the nirgun bhajan featured in this post and as I listened, I recalled that mystical verse in the first book of the Bible - Genesis:

"Now the earth was formless and empty, 
darkness was over the surface of the deep, 
and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters." 
--Genesis 1:2

Sometimes my experience is that it is an extremely beautiful world in which we live and at other times, I feel that this is a place of great suffering. The discipline which can bring a person to the point where he or she does not have to be burdened by overwhelming pain or too intense and fickle joy, is something with which I have not been blessed.

"On the peak of emptiness where the unstruck sound resounds..."

That is where/what I want to be.

Jeet Nishan Ghuraunga!

"Patria est communis omnium parens" - Our native land is the common parent of us all. Keep it beautiful, make it even more so.

Blessed is all of creation
Blessed be my beautiful people
Blessed be the day of our awakening
Blessed is my country
Blessed are her patient hills.

Mweh ka allay!


Adityan said...

My dear friend,Hari Singh introduced me to this beautiful Bhajan,which I propose to listen for the rest of my life and try to understand the inner meaning of this profound composition of Sant Kabir.I thank you for your brilliant commentary.
Raghu Rajan

Guanaguanare said...

Thank you, Raghu Rajan, for your kind comment and for sharing your experience of this bhajan. If you find another similarly beautiful bhajan that you want to share, please remember me. I wish you success on your path.

Unknown said...

I am very thankful for sharing the deep meaning of this sweet bhajan.

Guanaguanare said...

Dear Unknown,
Whenever we encounter goodness and beauty we will rejoice and pass it on. Expressing your gratitude is also sharing and I thank you in return.

Siddhartha Mishra said...

My dear friends right now you can also experience the mystical unstruck sound, just close your both ears tightly, now carefully try to listen the sound like cricket "cheeeeee". If you are able then 75% work is done, gradually try to listen the same with open ear and at any circumstance. Now chase it. Remember, with open ear it should come from right side. Rest is practice.

Guanaguanare said...

Thank you, Siddhartha Mishra for sharing your technique. I have heard the crickets with my ears closed but have not yet attempted the next step.