Once a lady visited Kabir with her son. She complained of the boy eating heavy amounts of jaggery each day. Kabir listened to her problem patiently and then asked her to return to him with her son after one week. When the women did as asked, Kabir asked the boy to discontinue the practice. On hearing this, the lady asked Kabir why he couldn’t have done the same when they visited him for the first time. “How could have I advised the boy to not eat jaggery when I ate it myself at the time? Therefore, these last seven days I practiced to stay without eating it, so I could advise your son to do the same!”
This was the wisdom and charm of Saint Kabir Das, an Indian mystic poet who lived through the 15th century and continues to live in the hearts of many even today, thanks to his dohas or couplets having passed the test of time. Through the ages, his words have managed to guide many from inside the dark tunnels towards the light which this life has to offer. Happy Ho organizes best Meditation and Tarot classes in Noida and Delhi NCR area in India.
In this final part of the series, we again delve deeper into some of his most cherished dohas, their meaning and relevance in today’s times. Make sure you read Part I & Part II of the series before moving ahead!
1. कबीरा खड़ा बाज़ार में, मांगे सबकी खैर।
ना काहू से दोस्ती, न काहू से बैर॥
Kabira khada bazaar mein ।
Maange sabki khair॥
Na kahu se dosti ।
Na kahu se bair॥
Kabira stands in the market,
wishing the best for everyone.
He is neither anyone’s friend,
nor anyone’s foe.
The legend says that Kabir would sell the cloth he’d woven, at the marketplace to earn a living. He would charge a buyer only as much as he needed to get through the day- nothing more, nothing less. Now, through this doha, he highlights the quality of an honest balanced business. While selling, neither would he be sugar-toothed towards someone nor spill malice at them. He would simply do what he was supposed to – sell cloth.
His words for the market can be extrapolated to life itself. May it be our corporate or our personal lives, we usually have either positive or negative feelings for someone or something, resulting in constant ups and downs. However, in order to get off the roller coaster, we must learn how to detach ourselves and stay neutral for the root cause of suffering is attachment itself.
2. गुरू गोविन्द दोनों खड़े, काके लागूं पांय।
बलिहारी गुरू आपने, जिन गोविन्द दियो बताय॥
Guru, Govind dono khade।
Kake laagu paaye॥
Balihaari Guru aapne।
Jin Govind diyo bataaye॥
Guru and Govind (God) both stand before me,
to whom shall I bow down?
It shall be my Guru,
for he has made me meet God.
How often do we completely forget the ‘means’ in sight of the ‘end’? This is what Kabir is trying to highlight here, through this doha. When both God and Guru (teacher) stood before Kabir and he was asked to bow down to only one, he chose the Guru, to everyone’s surprise. Why? Because Kabir never forgot that it was his teacher who showed him the way to God’s door.
While walking towards the destination, we often forget to be grateful for the journey; we forget to cherish the steps that lead us to the door. But it is these steps, this journey which make a destination worthwhile.
3. लूट सके तो लूट ले,राम नाम की लूट ।
पाछे पछतायेगा, जब प्राण जायेंगे छूट ॥
Loot sake toh loot le।
Ram naam ki loot॥
Jab prana jaenge chhoot॥
Loot it if you can,
the treasure of God’s name.
Or else you’ll regret it,
as you take your last breath.
Life, as much as it is a blessing of God, is also a ticking-bomb. It can end any time. Therefore, Kabir urges us to remember God, be grateful to Him/Her for all that we’ve been blessed with, while we still have our breath with us. Or else we’ll regret not having done so after we don’t have any heartbeats left in us. Genuine gratitude towards God for each second of life we’ve been bestowed with, is what Kabir is asking us to develop.
And with these three dohas, we come to an end of an insightful series. Have any suggestions or questions? Do let us know in the comment section below. And don’t forget to share for you might end up making someone’s day with these warm and wise words of Saint Kabir!