Pandit Kumar Gandharva: Ud Jayega Hans Akela

This week's Maitri Tune is a beautiful Kabir poem "Ud jayega hans akela" immortalised by the late Pandit Kumar Gandharva.

Click below to listen (you can also download here):

Kabir lived in Benares, India in the 15th century. He was a weaver, a free-thinker and mystic, and opposed ritualism and false piety. Kabir's own religious identity was ambiguous. His followers included both Hindus and Muslims. He was a leading figure in the Bhakti movement. He wrote a large number of poems and songs in simple Hindi, which are still sung across north India even today, especially by the common folk. The Sikhs' holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib, includes several of Kabir's teachings.

The great Kumar Gandharva had delved deep in the mystical music tradition inspired by Kabir's compositions. Here is the master singing Kabir's Ud Jayega Hans Akela.

Ud Jayega Hans Akela

Ud Jayega hans akela
Jag darshan ka mela...

(What is this world if not a play of illusions,
the swan (individual soul) will fly away alone from this play)

Jaise paat gire taruvar ke
Milna bahut duhela
Naa jaanu kidhar girega
Lageya pawan ka rela

Ud Jayega hans akela
Jag darshan ka mela...

(Just like it is difficult to trace a leaf that falls away from the tree,
Who knows where we go when the winds of death scatter us)

Jab howe umar puri
Jab chutega hukum huzuri
Jam ke doot bade mazboot
Jam se pada jhamela

Ud Jayega hans akela
Jag darshan ka mela...

(When our allotted time on earth is up, when we cease to act in this drama,
Then the messengers of Death (Jam/ Yama) will arrive to carry us away, forcefully if needed)

Das kabir har ke gun gaawe
Wah har ko paran pawe
Guru ki karni guru jayega
Chele ki karni chela

Ud Jayega hans akela
Jag darshan ka mela...

(Kabir is immersed in the praise of the one Lord and requests an early audience with the Lord,
Each one, guru and disciple alike will reap he fruits of their respective actions)

Ud Jayega hans akela
Jag darshan ka mela

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