A few weeks ago the community in Pune was blessed with the soulful presence of Prahlad Singh Tipaniya and his family as they offered us the mystic wisdom of Kabir thru folk music. It was a dream come true for us as our online Maitri Tunes are now increasingly manifesting in our homes too.
Click below to listen (you can also download here):
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Prahlad Singh Tipanya is is a name that needs little introduction as one of the most compelling folk voices of Kabir in India today. He sings in the Malwi folk style from Madhya Pradesh and has an incomparable ability to sing and explain the words of Kabir, making them easily accessible to the listener. He has been felicitated with many national awards, including the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and the Padmashree.
When Prahladji is'nt travelling to spread the message of peace and oneness through singing the poems of the mystic saints, he can be found in his village, where he has been a teacher in a government school for over 40 years. Every year for the last 20 years, his family hosts the Malwa Kabir Yatra where over 20,000 people gather to listen to wisdom songs by some of the best contemporary musicians. This event is run in the spirit of gift, completely funded by his family's own resources as well voluntary contributions from well wishers.
When asked how the experience has been of running this massive yatra every year, he says "It is a miracle how it happens. When we started the yatra, we bought hundreds of sacks of grain to feed the people. And at the end of the yatra, we had more sacks then we started with. People would contribute grains and money, often anonymously. When we are doing His work, he takes care that there is abundance. Come once for the yatra, and you can see the magic with your own eyes."
Prahladji now dreams of creating and is in the process of designing a world class residential centre in his village, where people from around the world can come and study the wisdom of mystic saints like Kabir, Bulleshah, Mira, et al. The government has already gifted him the land for the same, on which he and his family run a beautiful school for the local children.
Sab ghat more saiyan, aur suni se janak hoye
Balihari unha ghat ki, aur ja ghat par ghat hoye
Sahib tama ri sahibi, aur sab ghat rahi samayi
Jo mehendi ke paat mein, aur lali lakir nahin jaaye
Inka bhed batha mere avadhu, acchi karni kar le tu
Dali phool jagat ke mahi, jahan dekhu va tu ka tu
E hathi me hathi ban baitho, chidi mein hai chhoto tu
Hoye mahavat upar baithan, hankan vala tu ka tu
E choro ke sang chori karta, badmashon mein bhedo tu
(choron ke sang su pan jaave, dakuon mein bhedo tu)
Chori kar ke tu bhag jaave, pakadne vala tu ka tu
E data ke sang data ban kar, bhikari mein bhedon tu
Manton ho kar mangan lage, dene vala tu ka tu
E nar nari mein ek biraje, do duniya mein bhise kyon
Balak ho kar rovan laage, rakhan vala tu ka tu
E jal thal ji mein tu hi biraje, jahan dekhu va tu ka tu
Kahe kabir suno bhai sadho, guru milaye jyun ka tyun
In every body, there is my lord
No vessel is empty
I revere that body
which reveals the lord
O God your divinity
Pervades every body
Like the unseen red
In the green henna leaf.
Do you see the difference, o wise one!
Always engage in good deeds
Be it flowers or branches, in this whole world
wherever I look, I see you
As an elephant, you become huge
And in an ant, you are tiny
As a mahout, you sit on top
And the driver is you, only you
With thieves you become a thief
You are in scoundrels too
You are the one who robs and runs
The cop who nabs is also you, only you.
With givers you become a giver
You are among the paupers too!
As a beggar you go begging
The donor too is you, only you!
In man and woman only "the one" resides
Who in this world could call them two
As a child, you start to cry
The care-taker is also you, only you
In water, earth and life you are present
Wherever I look, I see you, only you!
Says Kabir, listen seeker
I have found a guru, as is, where is.