SATB and SAB semi-chorus
Chanticleer at the American Choral Directors Association convention, 2011
Symphony Hall, Chicago
American Choral Directors Association - Raymond W. Brock commission, 2011
ECS No. 7715, SATB and SAB semi-chorus
Me to tere paas me (I Am Within You) is the third of the Three Mystical Choruses. The Indian mystic and poet Kabir (1440 -1518) provides the text for the final piece in the trilogy. Kabir was born in Varanasi (Benares), India of Muslim parents, but later became a disciple of the Hindu bkahti saint Ramananda. He referred to himself as “a child of Allah and Ram,” and his poetry is honored in Islamic, Hindu, and Sikh traditions. Although a Muslim, Kabir’s personal beliefs incorporated Hindu thought and philosophy. He spoke of the inherent unity of humanity and espoused the view that God could not be constrained by sectarian and religious divides. Much of his poetry reflects a universal view of spirituality and a rejection of religious dogma, both in Hinduism and Islam. In Mein to tere paas me (I Am Within You), Kabir states numerous spiritual practices, pathways and edifices that humankind employ in the search for God; but he insists that God cannot be found in these practices, pathways or edifices. Rather, we must come to the realization that the divine is within each of us. If we seek in earnest, we may come to this realization through a single moment of faith.
Text / translation
Me to tere paas me (I Am Within You)
Moko kahan dhundhere, Bande, Mein to tere paas mein
Na teerath mein, na moorat mein, na ekant niwas mein
Na mandir mein, na masjid mein, na Kabe Kailas mein
Mein to tere paas mein, Bande, mein to tere paas mein
Na mein jap mein, na mein tap mein, na mein barat upaas mein
Na mein kiriya karm mein, rehta nahin jog sanyas mein
Nahin pran mein, nahin pind mein, na brahmand akas mein
Na mein prakuti, prawar gufa mein, nahin swasan ki swans mein
Khoji hoye turat mil jaoon, ik pal ki talas mein
Kahet Kabir suno bhai sadho: mein to hun viswas mein
An IPA transliteration of the Hindi is included in the published score.
Where do you search for me, my devotee? I am within you
Not in pilgrimage, not in signs, not in solitudes
Not in temples, not in mosques, neither in Kaba nor in Kailash*
Devotee, I am within you.
I am not in prayers, nor in meditation, nor in resolutions of fasting,
I am not in rituals of Karma; I do not dwell in yogic exercises, nor renunciation
Not in vital force nor in the body, nor in the universal sky,
Not in Nature, Not in the breath of the breath
Seek in earnest; in one moment of the search
Quickly, you shall find me out.
Says Kabir, Listen well: I can be founding a single moment of faith.
(English translation SS)
*Khabe, a stone in Mecca sacred to Islam.
Khailash, a place of Hindu worship in the Himalayas where Shiva is said to reside.
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