>Sakhis of Guru Kabir, 1-7
>Sakhis of Guru Kabir, 1-7
Sakhis of Guru Kabir, 1-7
1 jahiya janm mukta hata, tahiya hata na koi;
chhathi tumhari hown jaga, tu kahan chala bigoi.
Meaning [translation of Kabir verses of the Bijak into English]
O soul! Before birth you were free, and had no worldly bondage with a body;
Then your sixth sense (mind) arose; now where are you wandering as if lost?
Commentary [By Dr. Jagessar Das]
Guru Kabir is here speaking of the soul prior to being born in this physical body. The soul is eternally free until it comes into the bondage of the body and the world. It begins to be preoccupied with satisfying all kinds of desires and seeking material pleasures. It forgets its original, pristine, state of existence. Once the mind arose as a sixth sense and an instrument to be used by the soul, it started to create all types of desires and passions. It has become entangled in the material pursuits of the world. It has become deluded, thinking that the evanescent material things are really the Reality. In fact, all material things are temporary, but the soul is eternal, as it is Divine in nature. The mind does not recognize this. It is thus that Guru Kabir is saying that the soul was free, but because of the mind and its delusions it has become trapped in the material world, and is wandering in a lost state. One has to return to a realization of the pristine and free nature of the soul.
2 shabd hamara tu shabd ka, suni mati jahu sarak;
jo chaho nij tatv ka, to shabdahi lehu parakh.
The Shabd (Word) is mine, and you are produced by Shabd; listen to it and do not shun it;
If you wish to realize your own Reality, then realize the Shabd.
Guru Kabir is stating that he has realized the Word, and states that we are all produced by the power of the Word. We must try to realize that Word and not try to avoid it. Everything in the universe proceeded from the Word of God. That Word also manifests as our own Reality which is the Divine Soul. He thus states that if you wish to know your own Reality, then you must realize the Shabd.
To realize the Shabd means that you have to enter into meditation with the mind absolutely still. Meditation is the only path to realization of your own true Self, which is the Word, manifesting within.
3 shabd harmara adi ka, shabdai paita jiw;
phul rahana ki tokari, ghore khaya ghiw.
My Word is from the beginning, and the soul resides in the Word;
The basket is for holding flowers, while the horse is eating up the ghee.
In the beginning was the Word (Shabd, Sound), and from the Word proceeded the Soul and then all material manifestations, including the human form. It is thus that Guru Kabir states that in the beginning there was the Word and the Soul resides in the Word. It is the Soul that animates the body and gives it consciousness and makes it ‘beautiful’. He compares the beautiful flowers that are kept in a basket. They are fragrant and beautiful to look at. Similarly, if through meditation you are able to realize your own soul, you will also realize the beauty of the soul, as it is an expression of the Word.
In India, it is common to feed ghee (clarified butter) to the horses, when it is mixed up with other grains. Ghee is a delicacy in India. The horse eats the ghee with the grains, but does not know that the ghee is a delicacy prized by humans. Similarly, the person who is not awakened to reality of his own self, does not realize the greatness of his own soul.
Another explanation is that the clarified butter is contained in the milk that is being churned to produce it. The ghee is hidden in that milk but it is not seen, just so, the soul is hidden within the body, but the unrealized person does not perceived it.
4 shabd bina surati andhari, kaho kahan ko jai;
dwar na pawai shabd ka, phir-phir bhataka khai
Meditation without the Word is blind; tell me where can it lead you?
When meditation does not reach the door of the Word, then again and again it strays.
The Shabd (Word) is the origin of all manifestation. The Word is the power of God. In meditation we need to delve into the Word and experience it, personally. If this is not achieved, then meditation “abandons” the devotee, as his meditation wanders from subject to subject and ideas to ideas. To truly understand meditation one has to still the mind so that there is no distraction. Only then can the Word be experienced in the depth of one’s own consciousness. This realization of the Word gives stability in spiritual life, and removes all doubts.
5 shabd-shabd bahu antare, sar shabd mathi lijai;
kahahin kabir jahan sar shabd nahi, dhrig jiwan so jijai.
There is much difference between word and word, but churn the essence of the Word;
Kabir says where there is not the essence of the Word, then that life is cursed.
If we think of a word in ordinary usage, then every word has a different meaning. But when we think of the Word, then it is the essence of all words and it is the essence of our being. It is essential that we know this Word by churning it over and over in our mind, and then meditating on it, until we realize its essence. Guru Kabir is saying that where this essence of the Word is not realized then that life is, indeed, cursed. By this he means that a person who has not realized his own essential nature which is the Word dwelling within, then he wanders in the world of desires and passions and suffers. Tranquility and bliss is attained when one realizes the Word.
6 shabdai mara gir para, shabdai chhora raj;
jin-jin shabd vivekiya, tinka sarigow kaj.
Being struck by the Word, one falls down, and one can also give up the whole kingdom;
Whoever deeply considers the Word will have his life’s goals fulfilled.
Guru Kabir is again speaking of the Power of the Word. To fall down means that you have become humble when you realize the Word. On realizing the Word and its Divine significance, a king will often give up his kingdom. History tells us that many kings have given up their kingdom to follow a saint. One who really considers the Word deeply and has the meaning imprinted on his heart, will find that his life runs very smoothly. He is contented and peaceful. His life is full of harmony. Whatever he undertakes, he undertakes with a very positive attitude and will often have success, whereas others may fail. God is the source of all power and well being. The person who realizes the Word of God is truly the blessed one.
7 shabd hamara adi ka, pal-pal karahu yad;
ant phalegi manhali, upar ki sab bad.
My Word is from the very beginning; remember it at every moment;
It will bear inner fruit, while all other words are useless.
In this sakhi Guru Kabir is saying that the Word that he has realized is from the very beginning and was co-eternal with God. He exhorts us to remember this Word from moment to moment, for it is this Word that gives enlightenment. It allows us to realize our own eternal nature. If we meditate on the Word [Sound] then it will bear fruit within us. That means that our own consciousness will be elevated and enlightened. All other words that we use and think upon are only external, and they will not lead us to the treasure which we seek in spiritual life. Realization of the Self is an inner journey, and all words used in languages are of no use.
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