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A Challenge of writing a Speech in English from Hindi on Sant Kabir Das, The Great Indian Philosopher

Updated on June 6, 2016

Kabir, the Great Philosopher


Some readers may not find this article to be very interesting if they do not understand Hindi, the national language of India. Still, I would suggest that if you read it thoroughly then, excluding those few excerpts in Hindi, it will help you to enlighten your mind and lead a perfect life.

Speech is a Medium of Communication

Some time back I wrote an article titled A Good Speech is a Great Form of Communication in which I dealt with the art of speech writing. Writing speech is a form of creative writing because speech is a medium of communication. Through speech people try to present their opinion and so speech has to be very articulate so that people can be inspired. That’s why there are many points to take care of while writing a speech. Well, in this article I am not going to deal with the nuances of speech writing because I have already discussed all the important points in the above mentioned article. This article has a speech on a great philosopher and mystic poet mainly for the students of class five or so but I believe that as a whole this article will make a strong impact upon human lives..

In the school where my son studies the classes are divided into four houses. Different type of competitions and other programmes are conducted on the basis of inter house or house level functions. His school has four houses and they are named as: Dayanand House, Guru Nanak House, Vivekananda House and Kabir House. The names of the Houses depict the great spiritual and religious preachers of India. All these great personalities had contributed a lot in changing the culture of the Indian society and the outlook of the Indian people.

Challenge of Writing a Speech

Recently, I faced a great challenge when my son informed me that he had got a chance to participate in the function of Kabir’s birth anniversary ('Kabir Jayanti' in Hindi) as he belongs to Kabir House. The challenge was not in his participation because it is a normal routine for him from day one of his school life but he had to deliver a speech on Kabir. Now, that was a great challenge for me because the speech had to be written in English while Kabir who expressed his thoughts in couplets popularly known as Doha were all in colloquial Hindi (mainly Awadhi language). His teacher had advised him to include some Dohas in his speech. A ten year old had no pressure because it was not of his standard to write the speech on Kabir and so it was my turn to face the challenge. I was literally in a dilemma on how to begin the speech and continue with it.

The first and foremost inputs which I took were from the internet and also from a book published by the school authorities on all the four great personalities but it is in Hindi. I had no option but started assembling my thoughts and ultimately wrote down the speech for my son to learn it by heart. While writing it down I faced some challenges as:

FIRSTLY, due to the language spoken by Kabir was colloquial Hindi. In the speech I had to include the Dohas in Hindi but as the speech was in English so I had to incorporate the meanings of the Dohas in English too.

SECONDLY, I got confused while finding out Kabir’s year of birth. Different years were mentioned in different sources so now it was quite difficult for me to find out the correct one. Lastly, I decided to consider the year which was mentioned in Wikipedia.

THIRDLY, there are numerous Dohas written by Kabir and for a speech I had to incorporate hardly four or five. Now, the confusion was which four or five were to be considered. Mainly because I had to keep it in mind that the speech was to be delivered by a ten year old of class five. Even, it had to be delivered in the assembly which would be attended by his batch mates and students of the classes below fifth other than the respected teachers.

FOURTHLY, a speech needs to have a meaningful continuation so while I wrote the speech it was always in my mind to put forth the couplets I mean Dohas in such a manner that the speech must not lose its flow and sound meaningful. I wanted to present a meaningful picture of Kabir by the end of the speech and it was a difficult presentation.

Speech on Sant Kabir Das

It’s time to present the speech on Kabir. Address the gathering and start the speech in the manner written below:

As we all know that we’ve gathered here to celebrate the Jayanti of Sant Kabir Das.

It is well known that Kabir is also known as Kabir Das and Sant Kabir Das too. He is known to be a great philosopher and mystic poet. There are many stories related to his birth and death. It is said that in 1440 A.D. Sant Kabir Das was found by a weaver couple Neeru and Neema near Lahartara Lake at Benaras Ghat.

He never believed in God having any particular image or shape so he was against idol worship. Sant Kabir believed that God is everywhere and if truly searched then people will find God in their hearts. Kabir was not at all an educated person but his viewpoints were thought provoking.

He was the disciple of ‘Ramanand’, a great Mahatma. His name ‘Kabir’ means ‘the great one’ which proved right as he received respect from people without any restriction of class and religion. Before his death in 1518 A.D. he imparted philosophical messages to people through verses of two lines each which in Hindi is called ‘Doha’ and in English is called ‘couplets’. Sant Kabir earned respect and this proved one of his Dohas absolutely appropriate. It is like this in Hindi:

Jab tum aaya jagat mein, log hanse tu royen

Aisi karni na kari, pache hanse sab koye

It means at the time of a baby’s birth the newborn baby cries and others laugh. Then the poet said that one must not do any wrong so that others get the chance to laugh when the one who commits wrong dies.

One Doha of his is very popular which is very much related with the people’s attitude who are lazy and are always willing to defer the work on their hand. Sant Kabir was against of wasting time and he recited a verse in Hindi:

Kal kare so aaj kar, aaj kare so ab

Pal mein pralay hoyegi, bahuri karoge kab.

The meaning of the above couplet is that the work of tomorrow is to be done today and the work of today is to be done right now. If one looses time then how the work will be completed.

There are almost more than 500 Dohas which are incorporated in Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikh religion, too. He was an advocate of love which the world at present needs badly. Sant Kabir expressed his thought in his colloquial Hindi about love and education:

Pothi padh padh kar jag muaa, pundit bhayo na koye

Dhai aakhar prem ka jo padhe so pundit hoye.

It means no one becomes wise just by reading and gaining knowledge from books. Only learning and understanding that two and a half letters word called ‘love’ will make a person wise.

Almost 120 years, Kabir Das was alive and during it he constantly fought and raised voice against every type of social evils. Among his many Dohas which I would like to recite now in front of you all is as I said earlier is originally in Hindi. The couplet is:

Guru Govind dou khadre, kake langoo paye

Balihari Guru aapne, Govind dioo milay.

It depicts that Sant Kabir places teacher at a higher position than God. It’s so because he said in the couplet that if a person’s teacher and God both are standing in front of him then whose feet is to be touched at first. Then, Kabir said to the teacher that you are great as you have helped me to meet God.

Thus, hereby I pay my due respect to all my teachers and also to the wise thoughts of Sant Kabir Das.

Thank you

Kabir, the Great Philosopher

Hope all the readers will enjoy this speech and take some knowledge from the given Dohas. Imagine a man of 1440 A.D. expressed his viewpoints regarding life and society is still so very applicable in this modern age. It shows that what a great philosopher Sant Kabir Das was!

(In English ‘love’ is comprised of four letters while in Hindi it is ‘prem’ which is written in two and a half letters).


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      All things cosridened, this is a first class post

    • shampa sadhya profile imageAUTHOR

      Shampa Sadhya 

      8 years ago from NEW DELHI, INDIA

      Hello DDE,

      Thank you for your motivating appreciation.

    • shampa sadhya profile imageAUTHOR

      Shampa Sadhya 

      8 years ago from NEW DELHI, INDIA

      Hello Mr. rajan jolly,

      I am simply overwhelmed by your appreciation. Thanks a lot for your inspiring words as well as voting, sharing and a piece of knowledge about Guru Granth Sahib.

    • shampa sadhya profile imageAUTHOR

      Shampa Sadhya 

      8 years ago from NEW DELHI, INDIA

      Hello Sir,

      Thanks a lot for finding my article interesting.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      8 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great work!!!! you have certainly enlightened us on The Great Indian Philosopher. Thanks for this Hub

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      8 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Awesome hub Shamps. you did a fantastic job not only in writing a speech fit for students of the 5th class but your choice of the dohas and their translation were very good.

      Sant Kabir's words of wisdom( we call it Bani in Punjabi) are incorporated in the Guru Granth Sahib along with so many other saints from other religions along with the Sikh gurus.

      It was a pleasure reading this hub.

      Voted up all the way and sharing it too.

    • ARUN KANTI profile image


      8 years ago from KOLKATA

      As a new contributor to the Hub pages I find your hub interesting and great.Thanks.

    • shampa sadhya profile imageAUTHOR

      Shampa Sadhya 

      8 years ago from NEW DELHI, INDIA

      Hello IntegrityYes,

      Thanks for appreciating.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Your style is real.

    • shampa sadhya profile imageAUTHOR

      Shampa Sadhya 

      8 years ago from NEW DELHI, INDIA

      Hello Ruchira,

      Your appreciation is always an extra pleasure. You are always very generous regarding appreciation and so many many thanks to you. Your 'Jai ho' gave me a lot of confidence.

      In fact Kabir's wisdom is very much required in this world but alas! we hardly follow them. Thanks again for sharing it across and all the voting up.

    • Ruchira profile image


      8 years ago from United States

      Awesome read. Sant Kabir was a great philosopher and I thank you to highlight his wisdom, which gets hidden in this westernized world.

      His dohas have been translated and reiterated in many forms by many current philosophers. I salute the original maker :)

      I am sure your kid must have got a standing ovation on this wonderful speech. Jai ho to his mom :)

      voted up with interesting, awesome and beautiful

      sharing it across

    • shampa sadhya profile imageAUTHOR

      Shampa Sadhya 

      8 years ago from NEW DELHI, INDIA

      Hello KDuBarry03,

      Though, I was always interested in writing but the fact is I never wrote very frequently. Thus, when I joined HP some 14 months back I was not confident about the response I would receive. Today, after receiving your praise for my 40th hub has given me immense satisfaction. Now, I have a stronger urge to carry on my writing spree as sincerely as possible.I am thrilled that I have received good comments from non- Hindi speakers. Thanks a lot. It was really tough but my determination and the information from internet gelled well. Thanks again for your great appreciation.

    • shampa sadhya profile imageAUTHOR

      Shampa Sadhya 

      8 years ago from NEW DELHI, INDIA

      Hello billybuc,

      Receiving your appreciation is an honour. I have an inclination to write everything in my own words so while taking all the help from the internet for the meanings of the Dohas I thereafter tried to put it in my own words. Your praise shows it worked. Thanks again!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Ah yes, speech writing is definitely very tedious work. Not only must the writer be aware of the words to choose, they must be aware of the ethos, pathos, and logos of the presenter. Adding to this, in your case, it must have been difficult to convey the meaning because the languages are entirely different and I am sure you had to take into some consideration on Linguistic Relativity to keep the meanings of the sayings and the English translations accurate. I have to say, this was very well done and very well informed. Also, may I add: the speech is definitely excellently written as well. It is definitely a form of writing that is both an art and a skill to master. Great Job!


    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      8 years ago from Olympia, WA

      First and foremost, I am in awe that you could translate and then write a speech in English. In my opinion English is one of the most difficult languages because it breaks its own rules often. I don't know how you did it but you did it very well. Great hub!


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