By Dr. J. Das, Kabir Association of Canada.

Published with permission

No. 1 Om! Salutations to the Eternal Brahm who is in the form of the Word. All the visible forms of life in this world are his form. Who ever wishes the ocean of happiness should go to his refuge and recite Kabir Kabir Kabir

No. 2. Ka (K) of Kabir indicates that he is the creator and sustainer. Ba (B) of Kabir indicates his expansion in the universe. This expansion cannot be seen anywhere except in God. Ra (R) in Kabir indicates that his form pervades in all beings. Understand it and recite Kabir Kabir Kabir.

No. 3. Ka of Kabir represents the form of Krishna in himself and in all visible and invisible forms. Ba of Kabir represents the form of Viishnu who is the king of all the gods. Ra of Kabir represents the form of Rudra who pervades all beings, and destroys old diseased systems (the destroyer). Understand it and recite it Kabir Kabir Kabir.

No. 4. Ka of Kabir represents the form of oneness, and no one else talked like this. Ba of Kabir represents that he was alone with out a second, and he was above the influence of time. Ra of Kabir represents the abolishment of quarrel and non-collecting of too much of anything. Understand it and recite Kabir Kabir Kabir.

#5. Ka of Kabir represents that he was himself the creator of Salvation. Ba of Kabir is the seat which expanded in the universe, and he is the remover of the three agonies (Daivic- caused by natural elements; Bhautic- caused by other living beings; Adhyatimic- caused from within the body). Ra of Kabir is the guide who pervades all beings. Understand it and recite Kabir Kabir Kabir

No. 6. Ka of Kabir represents his power to crush time (give salvation). Therefore always recites it. Ba of Kabir represents the seat of austerity. O rich people! O king! Practice austerity. Ra of Kabir represents his gift of sustenance. Hold on to the arm of guru and recite Kabir Kabir Kabir

No. 7. Ka of Kabir represents fearlessness of those who have surrendered to him. Ba of Kabir represents that guru speaks and instructs. Accept his instruction. Ra of Kabir represents that this path is the way for Salvation. Don’t give it up. Understand it and recite Kabir Kabir Kabir

No. 8. Ka of Kabir represents one of real realization (realized soul) who recites your glory. Ba of Kabir represents those who realize him and are standing in his grace. Ra of Kabir represents that he pervades all and dwells in all. Understand it and recite Kabir Kabir Kabir.

No. 9. After realizing Guru Kabir, a soul starts to long for Sat Lok (Eternal Abode) and there resides where Lotus flowers bloom all around (Lotus represents the pure soul because it grows in the muddy water but remains pure). In many ways, that it is a place of bliss. Reside there in comfort and recite Kabir Kabir Kabir.

No. 10. There, from one egg (Brahmand/ Universe) all creation took place. He created the different worlds which are called the three Lokas. Coming into the world this soul gets scorched by Yama, the god of death. To get rid of this trouble, recite Kabir Kabir Kabir

No. 11. The soul is the victim of fear and the trap of Yama, and cries for mercy. “0 Purush, O Purush” (God) his voice. Ra indicates the sound of Anahad Nad (the sound energy of God heard in deep meditation) which he hears, and he recites Kabir Kabir Kabir

No. 12. Assuming the form of man, he was the king of gurus and came swiftly to earth. He liberated people from evils just as a king rescues a cow from the jaws of a ferocious animal. He saved his devotees from Yama just as Lord Vishnu saved the elephant from the jaws of the crocodile (story in Hindu mythology). Recite Kabir Kabir Kabir

No. 13. The true Word (Sat Nam) can destroy the troubles of the world. This philosophy has been explained in yuga after yuga (four yugas-Sat Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dwapar Yuga, Kali Yuga -great periods of time). You (Kabir) have come in this Kali Yuga and endured suffering for the sake of the people. Recite Kabir Kabir Kabir

No. 14 O Lord, you yourself have performed this wonderful miracle of assuming a body. You assumed the body which was above the five elements and their nine doors of the ordinary body. It is said that you were above pleasure and suffering. (The five elements are earth, water, fire, air and ether. The nine doors are two eyes, two nostrils, two ears, mouth, anus and genital organ)

No. 15. The Emperor Sikandar Lodi thought: “I wonder what type of fakir Kabir is?” He tied Kabir’s hands and feet and put him in a bag, and threw him in the river. Recite Kabir Kabir Kabir (Sikandar Lodi was Emperor of Delhi. Both Brahmins and Muslims complained to him about Kabir. Fakir is a wandering holy man)

No. 16. The people sitting on the bank saw that his chains were broken, and the emperor said that he was the true fakir. The emperor then said to put him in front of the wild elephant. Recite Kabir Kabir Kabir

No. 17. As soon as the wild elephant went near to Kabir, and saw his form, he ran back trumpeting as if he saw the form of a lion before him. The emperor then said that he was a great master. Recite Kabir Kabir Kabir

No. 18. Seeing all of this, the emperor told the cannon bearer to load the cannon with cannon balls. Such a cannon can kill an elephant as if it were of cotton. The cannonball could not reach him. Recite Kabir Kabir Kabir

No. 19. 0 friend of the humble, we feel your mercy in our hearts. All this world dance as you wish, just as the monkey dances according to its master’s wishes. In the same way, Shahh Sikandar acted as you wanted. Recite Kabir Kabir Kabir

No. 20. Then the Shah said that this fakir is not afraid of this cannon. Many brave men who were bearers of swords were afraid of the cannon, but he was not afraid. He also came out of the midst of the water where he was thrown. Recite Kabir Kabir Kabir

No. 21. For how long can I relate the many stories of Kabir Saheb. Leaving such a master, man has lost his way. O man! Follow him, and be without lust anger and greed. Recite Kabir Kabir Kabir

No. 22. The Shah was defeated so he gave Kabir presents, realizing that he was a Pir (great guru). He said that this was no ordinary fakir, but that he was a Pir in his own right. The emperor realized that he should accept his refuge. Recite Kabir Kabir Kabir

No. 23. Even though he knew that the emperor had committed many murders, he did not hold that against him, just as the father does not hold it against his son when the latter does wrong things. Recite Kabir Kabir Kabir

No. 24. The great people who had Crown like decorations on their turbans, and twisted their mustache with great pride, used to come to you to ask questions to expel their doubts. O master! All accept that you pervade all beings. Recite Kabir Kabir Kabir

No. 25. Again I say one more thing; listen to it carefully and digest it. You should not give up such a master if you do not wish to repent. It is said that you (Kabir) lived in the city of Kashi (Varanasi). Recite Kabir Kabir Kabir

No. 26. Once, Gopal Panda spread some rice to dry. The grain burst and scattered, and put out the light of a lamp. No one could understand the secret of this happening. Recite Kabir Kabir Kabir

No. 27. You were the only one who taught everyone of both religions (Hinduism and Islam). You explained to them very graphically what the teachings were according to their scriptures. Give up arms on both sides, and accept Kabir. Recite Kabir Kabir Kabir

No. 28. On both sides (Hindus and Muslims) the fighters in great anger were ready and advancing to fight. They were firm as a rock in their pledge to fight for their beliefs. Kabir advised them to accept Almighty God who is the master of the universe, and give up fighting. Recite Kabir Kabir Kabir

No. 29. Open the shroud and look inside. He (Kabir) is not there. For what reason are you fighting and dying in vain? Then they decided that both religions should not draw a line to separate themselves from each other. Recite Kabir Kabir Kabir (the Hindus and Muslims were disputing over the body of Kabir-the Hindus wanting to cremate it, and the Muslims to bury it).

No. 30. The gross home of his soul (the body of Kabir) was changed into a large heap flowers. The Hindus and Muslims began to chant: “You are Brahm, you are Pir”. The people of both religions listened to the words of Kabir and obtained vision of him. Recite Kabir Kabir Kabir (Brahm is eternal, omnipotent, formless God. Pir is a saint in Islam)

No. 31. Again, I am going to tell you one more thing. Listen carefully! Realizing such a great master, I sing his glories day and night. Accept this reality as you accept your life itself. Recite Kabir Kabir Kabir

No. 32. There was a boy who was dehydrated and worn out by illness. He found God in your form and accepted charnamrit ( holy water) of your feet. Although he was stunted by his illness, by your grace he was able to play in the courtyard of his home. Recite Kabir Kabir Kabir

No. 33. Look around and you will see many people in the world assemble in the form of gurus. Just as you drink water after straining it, just so accept a guru after examining him. The Sadhus remain brave and obtain a good name by upholding their pledge as true devotees of God. Recite Kabir Kabir Kabir

No. 34. Wash his feet which are quite different from the feet of other gurus (in terms of holiness). Wash them in whatever way you wish, but put your love on them (wash them with great love). If you do not get tired of others and come to him, then your heart will continue to burn with restlessness. Recite Kabir Kabir Kabir

No. 35 Then, knowing the love of his devotees, and to keep his promise, he came back in the form of the succeeding gurus. The fire that was consuming the minds of the devotees was extinguished in no time at all. The devotees, getting the holy water of his feet, derived immense happiness. Recite Kabir Kabir Kabir

No. 36. After wandering to many other gurus, they came to have faith in him (Kabir). Brothers who were wandering to other gurus felt defeated by not attaining their goal, and were as if dead, but coming to the refuge of Kabir, they were alive again. Both Hindus and Muslims, being free of doubts, sought refuge in Kabir. Recite Kabir Kabir Kabir

No. 37. He who comes to the refuge of the above (Kabir), will never be defeated in life. Due to the growth of devotion in his heart, Yama, the god of death, will have no power over him. You should thus feel your own form in the form of the Guru by doing devotion to him. Recite Kabir Kabir Kabir

No. 38. Your feet brought death to the greatness and pride of the mighty and proud people (they became humble). Again, look at me with merciful eyes. O man! He is Hari (God). Entrust yourself to him and accept him. Recite Kabir Kabir Kabir

No. 39. O man! Run to his Lotus feet (be quick to accept him), and become happy. By accepting him, you will find happiness here and there (in this life and the next), and you will live in bliss. Realizing that you have his favor on both sides, accept purity of life. Recite Kabir Kabir Kabir

No. 40. Having said all of the above things, Sukhlall emphasizes that coming to his refuge destroys the wheel of birth and death which is due to worldly attachments. Knowing this, O my mind! Accept it and go to his refuge. Recite Kabir Kabir Kabir


He who recites these forty verses will be free from the fear of death. Devotion and love will increase in him, and he will be a pain to the messengers of Yama. Shiv Prasad says that whoever reads the Kabir Chalisa every day with love, will obtain liberation, and become free from the fears of this world.