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Kabir

The Art of Swimming Through Life Without Getting Entangled : Wisdom of Sant Kabir

Kabir.

When we hear this name, the picture that our minds create is of a saint, living a minimalistic life while maintaining a distance from the society. Living silently in his Kuti, may be surrounded by a few disciples. Loi, which we all assume to be his wife, would be sitting silently in a corner. The constant sound of this weaver’s loom might be the canvas on which the couple lived their ‘non-happening’ life.

Kabir might be going out every day for a few hours to sell the fabric he religiously wove. On the way back, he would be buying few vegetables and some rice. Such a boring life!

On the face of it, the life of Kabir seems so much devoid of ‘life’! People writing and talking about Kabir or singing Kabir have much busier and much more happening lives than the saint himself!

Was Kabir happy with his life? If he comes back on earth now, having lived a simple life, how will he feel when he finds out that people singing his Bhajans and Dohas are celebrities? Kabir, the ultimate creative being, might have lived in a leaking hut all the life. Will Kabir get depressed looking at the scenario around now?

I know the answer. In fact, I know it because Kabir himself has given the answer in one of his Doha’s. He says,

फुलवा भार न ले सके, कहे सखियन सो रोय |
जो जो भिजे कामरी, त्यो त्यो भारी होय ||

We are so delicate, that weight of even a flower is too much to bear! Still, we get involved in life and become heavy like a drenched blanket!

In these two lines, Kabir has beautifully demonstrated a middle way to live life. We are used to live life at the poles; either we get extremely involved in the life or we start rejecting it straight away. Not even one of Kabir’s Dohas are against life. The very fact that Kabir worked as a weaver tells us how well he accepted life and was a part of it.

Kabir asks us neither to get involved in life nor to reject it. He hints at the third possibility – living life totally, without getting entangled in it. The problem is not with life; the problem is when we start getting entangled in it.

To be honest, Kabir is not the only saint who has emphasised this middle way. Another mystic from India, Ashtavakra Muni, who lived much before Kabir, has said the same thing. In fact, not running from life, but living it and looking at it without getting attached has been a central thread running in the wisdom of most of the Indian saints and mystics.

If we take a closer look at the above Doha of Kabir, it is quite clear that the saint was against even slightest of attachment.

We are so delicate, that weight of even a flower is too much to bear!

Attachment is the problem. How large or small that attachment is, makes no difference.

What’s wrong with being attached?

The most fundamental principle in Eastern Philosophy is the principle of ‘negation’. To put it simply, truth cannot be found out positively. Rather, you can just find out what truth is not.

Kabir says,

साहिब है घट माही

Which means, god or truth is within you, rather, you are it!

The problem is, we have identified ourselves with too many things which we are not! In other words, we have attached ourselves to what we are not. When we detach ourselves from all that we are not, we are left with what we are – the Truth.

So, the shortcut to finding god or truth is not finding out what we are, but rather realising what we are not!

We misinterpret that all the saints, including Kabir, are against life. It’s our misinterpretation. They were in fact very much for life; but life devoid of attachments. More entangled and involved we are, farther we are from the truth.

How to cut through the entanglements of life? Again, the answer comes from Kabir.

राम निरंजन न्यारा रे, अंजन सकल पसारा रे

Ram is not the god that we worship. The Ram in Kabir’s Dohas and Bhajans is located inside us. The one who gets entangled, attached and involved.

Kabir says, the Ram within you is the only truth and not the things in which he is involved.

To make it simple, when we get attached to something, we should move the eyes within and try finding out the one who is being attached. When this process happens more frequently, one realises that this feeling of attachment is just an illusion. The Ram within is beyond any attachment.

The simplicity in Kabir’s life is not because of lack of life; that simplicity came out of lack of attachments. Though his life looks non-juicy on the face of it, it was throbbing with the nectar of life!

Steering through life without getting entangled is one of the most precious pearls of wisdom which Kabir gave the world!

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Dohe of Kabir Dohe of Kabir 1

Dohe of Kabir-7(Rare is the birth as a human being)

दुर्लभ मनुस्या जीवन है,देह न बरम्बार ।

तरुवर ज्यों पत्ती झड़े,बहुरि न लागे डार ॥

Meaning – 

Rare is the birth as a human being and one does not again again gets this human body. Once a leaf is detached from the trunk, cannot be joint back again.

In these two lines, Saint Kabir points out two universal truth and connects them together to point out the ultimate truth- a call to wake up for all the human beings.

The first line is a truth in itself. It is rare opportunity to get a human life. There are no proofs to show that there are many births. Neither are there any proofs to show that there is only one birth and nothing like soul exists. In other words, we are clueless and helpless as far as validity of the first line is concerned. But, when I look around, it makes sense to think that its an rare opportunity to be a human being. It  even needs a better luck to be born as human being in an atmosphere and conditions where you can really live like a human being and not just survive like ainmals. So, this proves the first line  of this doha of Saint Kabir.

The second line is more clear and striking. It says once a leaf is detached from the branch, it can never be attached to the tree again. In the context of the doha, it means, once this life is gone, once the soul is detached from the body, there is no way back. Everyone has to die a day. The leaf is going to be detached one day for sure. This precious human life will be taken away one day.

When these two lines of dohe of Kabir are contemplated together, it gives us a wake up call. The precious human life can come to an end and then you wont get an another chance. Once the leaf is detached, it is gone. In this doha, saint Kabir shows us the urgency of waking up fast and starting to act. In many of his dohe, Saint Kabir bluntly puts in front of us the way we waste our lives without sumiran (remembrance of the god). This doha once again points out this urgency and fragile nature of human life.

You are welcome to go through commentaries over more Dohe of Kabir

Dohe of Kabir -6

Dohe of Kabir -5

See the Complete Collection of Kabir ke Dohe

 

 

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Dohe of Kabir

Dohe of Kabir 1

Every man is special. every man has a different built of his body and  his psyche. The more firmly the psyche is built, more difficult it becomes to change it. The truth is one and almost all the saints are pointing to it. The truth is eternal and almost all the mystics show it. But, even after so much of efforts from all these saints and mystics, very few people get the taste of this truth.

One reason behind this is that the language which is used by all these people is not appealing or cutting through the psyche of the person. If we have to peak one saint or mystic whose language is simplest, whose words cut through the psyche of greatest number of people, we have no option other than Kabir.

Kabir has become a symbol of simplicity and straightness. He cuts through the psyche of almost all of the masses. So, this is again one small effort to bring the precious two liner Dohe of Kabir in front of you all. The first two liner of Kabir is-

दुख में सुमिरन  सब करे, सुख मे करे न कोय ।

जो सुख मे सुमिरन करे, दुख काहे को होय।।

These two lines of Kabir, though look simple, have ocean within them. These lines simply show us how bogus our religiousness is. To be religious means to be satisfied with the present, to be blissful, to be free of demands. In life, no one thinks of giving something, every one just goes on asking. Religiousness means, you start giving. You just start giving people without even asking back. You give love, you share joy. The person who can give without hopes of any returns, is true religious.

But, as Kabir says, we pray when we are unhappy. We pray when things are not the way we want. We pray when we want something. We pray when we want to change something in our life. This kind of religiousness is a contract with god. It is ugly. Here, Kabir gives us the true essence of religiousness. And these are not his hollow words. These are words full of his own experience. These are not bookish statements; they are coming out of highest level of consciousness.

Kabir says, the one who prays even when he is happy, is a religious person. Many people pray even when they are happy. But, their prayer comes out of the fear about sustainability of this happiness. The prayer which comes out of no fear, no worry, no insecurity is the real prayer. A person who is dissolved in such kind of prayer is always happy. Worldly conditions cannot take away his happiness. It is coming from within. This kind of happiness is not an outcome of outer parameters. It is a fruit of internal purity.

In two lines, Kabir shows us the reality of our so called religiousness and at the same time, gives us path to the authentic religiousness.