Beyond The Beaten Track: Offbeat Poems From Gujarat (Heritage Collection)

Revered Mentor Taught Me Robbery (Jeevandas (Dasi Jeevan))

My revered mentor taught me to rob
and the wisdom-pickaxe got forged.

Mounted the breeze-stallion and contrarily raced,
crossing Ganga-Yamuna1, to the mystic homestead.

There bellows resounded, lightning flashed, beat the ‘anahat'2 drums
everywhere torches were lit, and sentience kept watch in the bastions.

Making a ladder of Name-chant, the mentor placed me there
reached through narrow, confusing lanes, peered into the Owner's palace.

Robbed virtue and contentment, with love made incursion
got the touchstone on entry, wares I seized of soul's liberation.

This time I profited greatly, all the needed booty I managed to get
chaste Dasi Jeevan at Bheem's3 feet, successful indeed was my theft.

My revered mentor taught me robbery.

1 Holy rivers that merge at Prayag
2 Primordial sound associated with Godhead
3 Bheemsaheb, Jeevan's guru

સતગુરુએ મુંને ચોરી શિખવાડી (દાસી જીવણ )

સતગુરુએ મુંને ચોરી શિખવાડી
ને જ્ઞાન ગણેશિયો ઘડાયો રે.

પવન રૂપી ઘોડો પલાણ્યો, ઊલટી ચાલ ચલાયો રે,
ગંગા-જમનાના ઘાટ ઉલંઘી, જઈને અલખ ઘરે ધાયો રે.

ધમણ ધમુંકે તિયાં વીજું ચમુંકે, અનહદ નોબત વાગે રે,
ઠારોઠાર ત્યાં જ્યોતું જલત હૈ, ચેતન ચોકીમાંઈ જાગે રે.

સાંકડી શેરી ત્યાં વાટું વસમી, માલમીએ મુંને મૂક્યો રે,
નામની તો નિસરણી કીધી, જઈને ધણીને મો'લે ઢૂક્યો રે.

શીલ સંતોષનાં ખાતર દીધાં, પ્રેમે પેસારો કીધો રે,
પેસતાંને પારસમણિ લાધી, માલ મુગતિ લીધો રે.

આ રે વેળાએ હું ઘણું જ ખાટ્યો, માલ પૂરણ પાયો રે,
દાસી જીવણ સત ભીમને ચરણે, મારો ફેરો ફાવ્યો રે.

સતગુરુએ મુંને ચોરી શિખવાડી.

Category in Beyond The Beaten Track

Human and Divine


The devotee of God mentored to be a robber – what a strange idea! This is a fine poem, consistently building on the imagery of robbing divinity from the Divine.

About The Author

Jeevan (‘Dasi Jeevan’) (1750 - 1825) ‘Dasi Jeevan’, literally maid servant Jeevan, was actually a male who thought of himself as a maid of the Lord. He was born Jeevan Dafda in the low-caste tanner community in Ghoghavadar near Gondal in Saurashtra. He belonged to a well-to-do family and had two wives. Jeevan belonged to the Ravi Bhan sect of devotional singers, and he was the spiritual disciple of Bheem. But before accepting Bheem as guru, he had changed gurus some 17 times! He was good-looking, and people considered him to be an incarnation of Radha, the playmate of Krishna. He wrote in Gujarati, but some Hindi compositions too are attributed to him.