How to live a fruitful life: Wisdom from a Doha by Sant Kabir

हरिजन तो हारा भला, जीतन दे संसार ।
हारा तो हरी सो मिले, जीता जम के द्वार ।।

English translation of Doha:

A seeker of truth is happy with the fact that he has not conquered anything and is a loser from the worldly perspective. The whole world is after conquering something and let them conquer. The one who conquers will meet death and the so called loser will meet the lord.

Kabir says, a true seeker is happy as he or she is. He is not looking after conquering anything. Strangely, whatever we call as ‘living’ is nothing but an unending quest to conquer. Our education system is based on defeating others and securing the first position. The competition everywhere around us forces to conquer. Sadly, life is nothing but an unending battle. After we win one battle, a bigger and more complex one is always waiting for us.

When Kabir says a true seeker is happy with not conquering anything, he is highlighting that true seeker is no more interested in the competition. His growth is inspired from within and not forced from outside. Interestingly, when one is caught in this endless cycle of conquering, there is no time left to remain still and reflect.

This is exactly what happens with us. We have kept our lives so busy that we do not have time even to pause for a minute and question where are we heading! The one, who is not in a hurry to win the next battle, has ample of time to reflect, contemplate and improve. Zen saints as well as Indian mystics like Ashtavakra have given a lot of importance to witnessing. Just observe yourself, your thoughts as a third person. This witnessing can only happen when one is not in hurry; when one is at ease with himself or herself. Kabir says, better to be a loser, who has ample of time to be at peace with himself than a blind winner.

In the second line of this doha, Kabir says, the so called loser will meet the lord and the conquerer will meet the death. Clearly, the one who is not in the race will first think and then choose what he wants in his life and has a  higher chance of ultimately finding it. His actions wont be governed by others and the outer circumstances. He will act out of his wisdom. Such a person is more likely to have a fruitful life. On the other hand, the one who is tirelessly fighting and competing in his life, will one day realize that his time has come to an end before he could really ‘win’ anything.

This doha of Kabir enlightens us about two modes of living our lives – the first one is blind, governed by outer competition whereas the second one prompts us to know ourselves better and ultimately accomplish something fruitful. Both the doors are open; which one to choose lies in our hands!







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