The Time Before Death

by Kabir

English version by Robert Bly
Original Language Hindi

Friend, hope for the Guest while you are alive.
Jump into experience while you are alive!
Think... and think... while you are alive.
What you call "salvation" belongs to the time
     before death.

If you don't break your ropes while you're alive,
do you think
ghosts will do it after?

The idea that the soul will rejoin with the ecstatic
just because the body is rotten--
that is all fantasy.
What is found now is found then.
If you find nothing now,
you will simply end up with an apartment in the
     City of Death.

If you make love with the divine now, in the next
     life you will have the face of satisfied desire.

So plunge into the truth, find out who the Teacher is,
     Believe in the Great Sound!

Kabir says this: When the Guest is being searched for,
     it is the intensity of the longing for the Guest that
     does all the work.
Look at me, and you will see a slave of that intensity.

-- from Ten Poems to Change Your Life, by Roger Housden

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The Time Before