Sunday, July 1, 2012
The Hamsa is a mythical bird which is supposed to cry "Ham-sa-ham-sa" as it crosses the high peaks of the Himalayas. This cry of the migrant swan is an affirmation "I am that", and is a manifestation of the Word, which is also the mystic sound AUM, that echoes in the heart of the cave which is within the mountain.
The mystic bird who is often referred to by Kabir as the Hamsa, is a symbol of the spirit or the soul of the searcher. This bird crosses over all boundaries, flying from this world which we experience with our senses, to another world or desh, which is an inner landscape. The bird is itself like a seed that takes wing, and finally takes root in another land of the spirit.
The spiritual language of Santh Kabir is full of mysterious opposites. A bird which belongs to another world, like the Persian image of Phoenix, is coming from the land where there is no sun or moon. This bird of the heavens comes down to the earth, where it meets the serpent which also symbolizes the waters that lie hidden in the depths of the soil. In the songs of Kabir heaven and earth meet in what he often refers to as the "Gagan Mandala", the circle that embraces what is above and what is below in the fiery egg, or germ of life.
The image of the inverted tree which we find in the Upanishads, can also be related to an up-side-down language, used by mystics, that apparently seems to be illogical. The external tree which we observe with our senses, can be compared to a spring of life which comes up from the depths of the earth. The leaves of this tree are like fishes.
There are two aspects of Kabir the Poet. One is the active external self, which lowers Kabir the inner poet, to discover the source of inspiration within the depths of his own being. This inner Kabir is enclosed within a pot which is itself overflowing. From this inner space of the well, a tree of life is growing.
The image of Santh Kabir dreaming relates to an inner journey. Kabir is himself like a well. The image of the up-side-down tree is to be found in the Upanishads. Here this inverted tree is related to the concept of a plant that grows up from the depths, like a spring of water welling up from within Kabir's own dreaming body.