Dohe of Kabir 1

Kabir Doha on Awareness: नींद निशानी मौत की, उठ कबीरा जाग

नींद निशानी मौत की, उठ कबीरा जाग,

और रसायन छाँड़िके, नाम रसायन लाग

(Unawareness is a sign of death, wake up, Kabira! Leave aside all the drugs and practice the drug of meditation )


It has been quite a few weeks and I have not written anything on Kabir. Today, a friend of mine asked me to suggest her few Kabir Dohe. While suggesting her, I came across this Kabir Doha, which talks about awareness. There are many debates going around use of chemicals and drugs to boost awareness. This Doha of Kabir, guides all the seekers that they should never depend on chemicals to maintain their awareness. It seems, use of chemicals to maintain awareness is not something which has recently started and even in those days, drugs were used for lifting awareness.

In the first line of this Doha, Kabir says that sleep is an indication of death. Needless to say, when Kabir uses word ‘sleep’, he is talking about our unawareness. He is not talking about the sleep which we have every night, but the sleep which controls us every moment even when we are fully aware. If one observes her life closely, it can be easily known that even when we are awake, we are under sleep. We talk, walk, and take crucial decisions in the spell of this sleep. Whenever we fight with someone or hate someone, we do it in the sleep. Kabir says, this sleep is an indication of death. So true, if we live our lives under the without awareness, we are not at all living.

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Kabir is humbly telling us all that whatever time we have spent on this earth, we have not lived at all. We are all dead men walking. Kabir is asking us to wake up. He is calling us back to life again. He is inviting us to become alive again, full with our awareness.

It seems Kabir knew us very well. When he says ‘get up!’ he was sure that we would ask him- how? Hence, in the next line of this Doha, Kabir himself answers the question. He says,

और रसायन छाँड़िके, नाम रसायन लाग

In one simple line, Kabir tells us the right way and also the wrong way. It is very easy to get hooked to something which assures a fast success. There are many experiments, conducted by different bodies about use of drugs to attain bliss and awareness. It has been found out that some drugs can take us to the same heights where some form of meditation will take us. There is a glitch here which everyone should understand.

Drugs make you dependent. The first thing which a seeker should always accept is, he should not be dependent on anything. The true bliss and awareness comes from within and not from outside. Kabir rightly warns us- he says, live all the drugs and chemicals aside. The only thing which you should practice is meditation, he says.

If one takes the meaning of the second line literally, it simply means, leave aside all the drugs and start taking the name of the lord. Considering Kabir and his broad perspective, he is asking us not to endlessly chant lord’s name, but to dive in within us. He wants us to go within ourselves and find the source of awareness inside us.

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By Mandar Karanjkar

Mandar Karanjkar is author, motivational speaker and consultant based in Pune. Mandar works with handful of organizations helping them with strategy, communication and culture. Mandar is trained in Indian Classical Music over a decade. He is a classical singer and flute player.

Mandar has written columns for many reputed newspapers. Engineer by profession, he conducts workshops and delivers talks on subjects as wide as strategy, innovation, online marketing, spirituality, Kabir, Zen etc.

Mandar is a published author.

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