Couplets (Dohas) by Rahim and Kabir With English Meanings

Khanzada Mirza Khan Abdul Rahim Khan-e-Khana (17 December 1556 – 1626) (Hindi: अब्दुल रहीम ख़ान-ए-ख़ाना, Urdu: عبدالرحيم خان خانان), also known as Rahim (रहीम, رحیم) was a poet who lived during the rule of Mughal emperor Akbar. He was one of the nine important ministers (dewan) in his court, also known as the Navaratnas. Rahim is known for his Hindi couplets and his books on astrology. The village of Khankhana, which is named after him, is located in the Nawanshahr district of the state of Punjab, India. (Wikipedia)

Couplets (Dohas) of Rahim

जो रहीम उत्तम प्रकृति, का करी सकत कुसंग,
चन्दन विष व्यापत नहीं, लिपटे रहत भुजंग.
A person of excellent nature cannot be corrupted by bad company.
Sandalwood is untouched by the poison of a serpent coiled around the tree.

बिगरी बात बने नहीं, लाख करो किन कोय.
रहिमन फाटे दूध को, मथे न माखन होय.
A million attempts cannot mend a spoiled matter,
As much churning can't turn spoiled milk to butter.

रहिमन देखि बड़ेन को, लघु न दीजिए डारि.
जहां काम आवे सुई, कहा करे तरवारि.
Never despise the little one on seeing the big one,
For where a needle comes to use, of what use is a sword?

रहिमन धागा प्रेम का, मत तोरो चटकाय.
टूटे पे फिर ना जुरे, जुरे गाँठ परी जाय.
Don't snap off the thread of love,
For once broken, it can't be joined, and though joined it leaves a knot.
(Note: The Bible teaches us that Love doesn't keep a record of old things. However, this is not an excuse for being careless. For scars can remain for long. So, be careful to be delicate in protecting love).

रूठे सुजन मनाइए, जो रूठे सौ बार.
रहिमन फिरि फिरि पोइए, टूटे मुक्ता हार.
Try to appease an upset good friend, though need be a hundred times again,
For we do knit back broken pearls into the necklace again and again.

जैसी परे सो सहि रहे, कहि रहीम यह देह.
धरती ही पर परत है, सीत घाम औ मेह.
Bear what falls upon this body
As the earth also bears cold, heat, and rain.

दोनों रहिमन एक से, जों लों बोलत नाहिं.
जान परत हैं काक पिक, रितु बसंत के माहिं.
Two people seem alike as long as they do not speak,
But, when Spring arrives, we know the cuckoo from the crow.
(The crow and the black cuckoo look alike until the cuckoo begins to sing during the Spring season)

रहिमन अंसुवा नयन ढरि, जिय दुःख प्रगट करेइ,
जाहि निकारौ गेह ते, कस न भेद कहि देइ.
Tears flowing out of the eyes reveal the sadness of the heart,
Likewise, why wouldn't someone expelled from home not reveal the secrets of the house?

रहिमन निज मन की बिथा, मन ही राखो गोय,
सुनी इठलैहैं लोग सब, बांटी न लेंहैं कोय.
Better keep one's heart's sorrow to oneself,
For others can neither fathom its depth nor its seriousness.

रहिमन विपदा हू भली, जो थोरे दिन होय.
हित अनहित या जगत में, जान परत सब कोय.
Adversity of a few days is better,
For it reveals who is friend and who is foe.

समय पाय फल होत है, समय पाय झरी जात.
सदा रहे नहिं एक सी, का रहीम पछितात.
There is a time for fruit, there is a time for withering;
Times are not always alike, so why complain? (or regret).

Kabīr (also Kabīra) (Hindi: कबीर, Punjabi: ਕਬੀਰ, Urdu: کبير‎) (c. 1440 – c. 1518) was a mystic poet and saint of India, whose writings have greatly influenced the Bhakti movement. The name Kabir comes from Arabic al-Kabīr which means "The Great" – the 37th name of God in Islam.

Couplets of Kabir

बुरा जो देखन मैं चला, बुरा न मिलिया कोय,
जो दिल खोजा आपना, मुझसा बुरा न कोय.
I went about looking for and found evil nobody,
I searched in my heart and there was none as evil as me.

बड़ा हुआ तो क्या हुआ, जैसे पेड़ खजूर,
पंथी को छाया नहीं, फल लागे अति दूर.
What is the use of being big, like a date palm,
Which gives no shade to the traveler, and its fruit is inaccessibly far.

पोथी पढ़ि पढ़ि जग मुआ, पंडित भया न कोय,
ढाई आखर प्रेम का, पढ़े सो पंडित होय.
One doesn't become a scholar by reading many books,
One becomes a scholar by learning the meaning of the word LOVE.
("Prem" meaning "love" is a two-and-half alphabetical sounds. Kabir literally says that one becomes learned by knowing the two-and-half word "Prem")

निंदक नियरे राखिए, ऑंगन कुटी छवाय,
बिन पानी, साबुन बिना, निर्मल करे सुभाय.
Keep critics close to your cottage yard,
For they'll cleanse you clean without use of water or soap.

धीरे-धीरे रे मना, धीरे सब कुछ होय,
माली सींचे सौ घड़ा, ॠतु आए फल होय.
Gradually and gradually, O heart, everything happens gradually,
The gardener may pour a hundred pots of water, but fruit only comes in its season.

साधु ऐसा चाहिए, जैसा सूप सुभाय,
सार-सार को गहि रहै, थोथा देई उड़ाय.
Saints are like a winnowing fan,
They keep the grain and let the chaff float away.

बोली एक अनमोल है, जो कोई बोलै जानि,
हिये तराजू तौलि के, तब मुख बाहर आनि.
Words are precious to those who know to speak,
They first weigh the words properly on scales before letting them out of their mouth.
(It's the picture of a seller who meticulously weighs precious things (even to the grain) before giving it out to the buyer)

तिनका कबहुँ ना निन्दिये, जो पाँवन तर होय,
कबहुँ उड़ी आँखिन पड़े, तो पीर घनेरी होय.
Don't despise the small particle of dust that you tread under your feet,
If it flies off and falls in your eye, then the pain becomes unbearable.

दोस पराए देखि करि, चला हसन्त हसन्त,
अपने याद न आवई, जिनका आदि न अंत.
We laugh at the mistakes of others,
But never remember our own unending faults.

जिन खोजा तिन पाइया, गहरे पानी पैठ,
मैं बपुरा बूडन डरा, रहा किनारे बैठ.
There are some who search and find like a diver who brings something from the deep;
There are others who are too afraid and remain sitting by the beach.

अति का भला न बोलना, अति की भली न चूप,
अति का भला न बरसना, अति की भली न धूप।
Speaking too much is as bad as speaking too little,
As much rain is as bad as much sun.


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