Bhukhe Bhagati Na Kijai

1. Poverty


I cannot be a devotee when I am hungry:
Take this rosary of yours.
I ask for the dust of saints’ feet.
To none am I indebted.
Lord, how can I be with you;
If you do not give, I shall beg. [Pause]
I ask for four pounds of flour,
Half a pound of ghee, with salt.
I ask for a pound of lentils,
To eat twice a day and live.
I ask for a four-legged cot,
A pillow and mattress,
As well a quilt for cover.
You shall have my devotion.
I have not been covetous.
Your name is all I adorn.
Says Kabir, my heart be content;
For when my heart is content, the lord I shall know.

This text is an English-language translation of the original version:

This is a selection from the original text


famine, food, hunger, natural dye, oral narrative, patachitra, scroll, starvation

Source text

Title: Bhukhe Bhagati Na Kijai

Author: Kabir

Editor(s): Ayesha Mukherjee

Publisher: University of Exeter

Publication date: 2021

Place of publication: Exeter

Digital edition

Original author(s): Kabir

Language: Braj Bhasha, English


Texts collected by: Ayesha Mukherjee, Amlan Dasgupta, Azarmi Dukht Safavi

Texts transcribed by: Ayesha Mukherjee

Texts translated by: Ayesha Mukherjee

Texts encoded by: Shrutakirti Dutta

Encoding checking by: Charlotte Tupman

Genre: India > poetry

For more information about the project, contact Dr Ayesha Mukherjee at the University of Exeter.