The paathi sings the Bani of Sant Kabir Sahib...
Kabir kya main chinthoon mam chinten kya hoye.
Kabir kya main chintahoon mam chinten kya hoye.
Meri chinta hari karai,
Chinta mohen na koye.
THIS IS THE BANI of Param Sant Satguru Kabir Sahib. In this Bani, Kabir Sahib has talked about the importance of faith. Just like a foundation of a building is important for the entire structure of the building, likewise, faith is important for the entire Path of Spirituality.
He tells us, “Till our faith is strong, we will not be able to remain constantly devoted.” Because, oftentimes, we have a problem, which we invariably have to face, as per our Pralabdh karmas. But, we tend to put all these before us as impediments on our Spiritual Path, and we distance ourselves from our devotion.
There are three types of deeds. The first is Kriyaman. Kriyaman are the karmas that we do in our lifespan. The second is Sanchit karma. Sanchitkarmas, or Sanchit deeds, are like our bank balance. They are the deeds that, during a lifetime, we incur, but we cannot redeem in one lifetime. So, a lot of the unredeemed deeds are then stored in Brahm by Kal and Maya. And these are then later used over other lifespans. So, when the other karmas are reduced, then some of these karmas are drawn from the Sanchit, from the Brahm, and then they are cast upon the soul for them to be redeemed. The third is the Pralabdhkarma. Pralabdhkarmas are the good and bad karmas that one is going to be enjoying, or suffering, in the current lifespan.
So, before a lifespan is given, the Pralabdhkarmas are already determined. And some karmas from the Sanchit are taken and added to the Pralabdhkarmas, and that becomes the total good and bad karmas that the soul is going to enjoy or suffer during the lifetime. So, when we go through our life, we get wealth, we get poverty, we get pleasure, we get sorrow, we get respect and insult. All of these are cast upon us by Pralabdhkarmas.
The Kriyaman karmas that we have incurred during our lifetime, and a lot of the Sanchitkarmas, both deeds are taken care of by the Masters. And, during the initiation, the Masters usually redeem all of the karmas that necessitate a soul to go to hell. So, all the heavy and bad karmas are assumed by the Masters and redeemed. But, the Pralabdhkarmas are not disturbed by the Masters, because the body is being cast on the basis of the Pralabdhkarmas. And, if these karmas are taken, then the soul has to come back for another birth and redeem these karmas. So, all the pleasures and sorrows are determined by these Pralabdh karmas. And that is what we enjoy or suffer during our lifetime.
But, what happens is that the mind uses this and it remains fickle on the Path of Spirituality. Oftentimes, the devotees feel that “I have been so many years in this Satsang, and I've been so many years doing meditation, but then how could such a karma come to me, and how come I am suffering so much?” It is, actually, all these karmas that you have already been given beforehand.
But, if your faith is resolved, if you have strong faith, then all these karmas do not affect you, and you continue to be devoted to the Masters.
So, Kabir Sahib says, “How should a devotee have his faith? He should, basically, feel that his worries are all taken care of by the Almighty, by the Masters. And he need not worry about any of those.” So, all his worries are taken care of by the Masters and God Almighty.
Sadhu gaath na bandahee udaar samaana laye.
Aage peeche hari khade,
Jab mange tab de.
Kabir Sahib points out the gurumukhs. He says that gurumukhs have faith in God Almighty. They do not store and create bank balances. They, instead, selflessly spend their wealth on the Spiritual Path for the betterment of others. Because it is God Almighty Who is providing for them now, and it is God Almighty Who will provide for them in the future. So, they have complete faith in God Almighty Who has provided for them so far. And He will also provide for them in the future as well.
There are some sadhus who go from household to household asking for food or alms. Asking, as such, is not bad. But how much you ask is what determines whether it is good or bad. So, if you ask for something that is just enough to take care of your immediate needs, then the benefit of your meditation is also going to the person who is giving you that food, or who is providing you with something. So, that is good for him and it is good for the sadhu also who is taking that food because then it meets both their needs.
Unfortunately, this has now become a malpractice, where there are these sadhus who come and they have four bags, two bags hanging on each side. And from household to household they go and ask for food, grains, etc. And, once all these bags are full, where they can no longer carry that load, they go to a shop and they sell off these things, which they have collected from different households. And then, they misuse that money.
So, creating a big bank balance out of these kinds of practices is not what helps in spirituality. And then, use of such money is also not something that is contemplated as a good thing in spirituality.
But, when they go and ask for some food or grains, and that is only for their immediate need, then that is something that is acceptable.
Kabir Sahib says, “For a gurumukh, he is not worried about tomorrow because whenever he has needs, God Almighty always provides for those needs.”
Chinta na kar achint rahu,
Pasoo pakheru jeev jant,
Teen ke gathi na hath.
Kabir Sahib says, “Now that you have become a devotee, you should not be worried because you are a devotee of the Almighty, the Provider. And He is not only a provider of yours, the human beings, but he is a provider for all the life forms that are there.”
Maluk Das says, “Even the great python is provided for by the God Almighty.” He doesn't go to any mill to work. He, with this huge mass and size, is unable to move. But, even though he is at one place, God provides for his food. And he doesn't have to go and do any other occupation.
Even the birds, when they wake up, don't go for any work or for doing any laborious jobs. They just fly out. And they are not even aware of which direction they will get food, but they keep flying. And, the God Almighty is so gracious, that He feeds each and every bird. And, before they come back in the evening, they are all fed.
So, therefore, Kabir Sahib says, “You are now a devotee of the Great Provider. So, don't have any worries about tomorrow. He has provided for your needs today, and He will provide for them tomorrow also.”
Anda paale kachuhi,
Been tan raakhe kok.
Yon karta sab ki kare,
Paale teen lok.
Now, Kabir Sahib is trying to explain how the God Almighty provides for all the three worlds and how He protects the three worlds. So, He gives us an example.
There are these turtles that swim in the sea and they live in the sea. But, when they lay their eggs, they come to the beach. And, on the beach, they lay their eggs. They lay a lot of eggs, not one or two, but hundreds of eggs. And then, they cover that and go back into the sea.
Now, in the sea, they go for their food. They eat and they also protect themselves from other predators. They go about their routine. But their attention is always on those eggs, which they have laid on the beach. So, they wander away, even ten, twenty kilometers away from where they’ve laid their eggs. But, their attention is always and continuously on those eggs. Even if their attention gets diverted for a second, that egg gets spoiled. So, at all times, that attention of that turtle is always on those eggs.
And the Masters give an example for devotees to have their attention towards God-Almighty like that of the turtle which, even for a second, should not get diverted. While going about their routine, the devotees should have their attention focused on God Almighty. So, those turtles have their attention, at all times, on their eggs and, because of that attention, the eggs mature. And the young ones, also because of their attention, come out from that and get into the sea.
So, that is how the Almighty has attention on each and every soul across the three worlds. And He is providing for all of them only by His attention.
Pow faati pagra bhayaa jaage jeev jun.
Sab kahu ko det hai,
Chonch samaana choon.
Kabir Sahib says, “This is how it should be.” But, what happens is that the human doesn't have that kind of faith in the Provider. He runs and goes about his living. And he even tears out the soles of his shoes, but he keeps struggling, not knowing that whatever he does, how much ever he runs, he's going to actually get only what is provided for him by the Almighty.
And so, the God Almighty is providing for each one as per their Pralabdh karmas. But, the Pralabdhkarmas of each one are quite different. So, therefore, each one gets differently. Nevertheless, they are all provided for by the God Almighty.
So, Kabir Sahib, by giving all these examples, is saying that a devotee has to have his faith in the Masters. And though he's working and going about his routine, he should have faith that he will be provided for. He should have faith in the Masters. Just like He is providing for all the 8.4 million life forms everywhere, He will also definitely provide for us. We will all get as per our own Pralabdhas. But, it is our desires that make us unhappy. People who have more desires are more unhappy. People who have fewer desires are happier.
Sath naam se man mila jam se para doorai.
Mohi bharosa ishta ka banda narak na jaaye.
Kabir Sahib Ji talks about faith. So, as devotees, we should have faith, as we are connected with the Sound Current, with the Sar Shabd. We should be having faith that we will never go to hell.
Kabir Sahib also lived on very frugal earnings. He used to make silk saaris. And, with those earnings, He would take care of His family. And there used to be a huge influx of various religious people coming to His residence, and He would provide for food and water to the people who would visit His house. As a result, He had to, in fact, borrow many times to buy food for such visitors. But He never prayed to the Almighty to make Him richer, where He would be better off from what He was doing. So, His prayer was not to get the riches, but He prayed, “Give me just enough earnings so that I can provide for my family, and I can give food, shelter, and water to the visitors who come to my house.”
Karam karima likhe rahe ab kuch likha na hoi.
Masa ghate na til badai jo sir phode koi.
Kabir Sahib says, “What is fated for you, the Pralabdh, is what you will get.” Whatever you try, whatever efforts you do, regardless, nothing is going to change. You are going to get exactly as per your Pralabdhkarmas.
Before the soul takes the birth from the womb of the mother, the fate of the soul is sealed. It is written on the forehead and it is written on the palm. And, after his birth, he will exactly undergo the fate as it is. And there is nothing that can be done to change that.
So, Kabir Sahib says, “Whatever is fated will definitely happen.” Nothing can change what is to happen, what is destined to happen.
He says, “In Ramayana, Raja Dasharath had decided to retire from his kingdom and he wanted to place his eldest son Rama on the throne. He had hoped that he would put him on the throne and then retire. So, he chose an auspicious time.” This auspicious time was determined by the sage Vashisht, who had the knowledge of all the three worlds. So, such a great sage had chosen an auspicious time for the enthroning of King Rama and the retirement of Dasharath.
But, at that time, what actually happened was, Rama had to actually go in the jungle for exile. He and his wife, Sita, and his brother, Lakshman, had to go into exile. And Lord Dasharath died because of that shock because it was fated for Rama that he had to spend his time in exile. So, how would he get a throne at that time then?
Therefore, Kabir Sahib says, “A devotee should not carry all these tensions. He should relax and do his meditation and Simran, and not worry about all these things.”
Sai itna deejeye ja main kutum samaye.
Mai bhi bhooka na rahu sadu na bhooka jaai.
A devotee should also limit his desires. The desires should also be only limited to taking care and providing for his family, providing for visitors and their hospitality. And with that, limiting it to that desire, he should pray to the Almighty. And he should spend his time in devotion.
Jo ke man bishwaas hai sada guru hai sang.
Koti kaal jhak jholhee tahu na chit hai bhand.
Kabir Sahib says, “The devotees, who have a strong faith and resolute faith, the Masters always help such devotees.” At the required time, They extend all Their help, and such devotees then do not waver because of their karmas.
So, with whatever Kal may try to get the devotee away from the Path of Spirituality, the devotee would rather give up his life, but he will continue to have his faith and do his devotion.
There was Emperor Gopi Chand and Emperor Bharthari. Both were excellent kings and very righteous kings, and both decided to retire from their kingdom and spend time in religious and spiritual pursuits. So, both of them went out together, and they were staying in the caves for a long time, trying to do various practices. And then, they decided, “Okay we will do our meditation. We will go out and do it also.” So, after a long time, both of them came outside those caves. They traveled to various places. They would spend time in their own devotion and they would also do the preaching of that devotion. And, at one time, they went to a place at a washerman’s house, and they stayed there for some time. So, from this washerman's house, they were doing their preaching. And word reached the king of that place that the kings Gopi Chand and Bharthari, who are yogeshwars, are doing their preaching and they have come in the kingdom.
The king thought, “These are great kings who have spent a lot of time in their own devotion and have definitely progressed in that devotion. And I must meet them and inculcate some of their good habits.” And he, accordingly, got his chariot ready. And he got his family, ministers and some of the king’s men to meet and take Darshan of these two. They moved out of the palace and they started out for this washerman’s house, which was in a village slightly away from the main town. And as the king and all his ministers proceeded, a lot of people started following them also. And then, there was a lot of din. There was a lot of noise as they were going because they were all keen to know where the king is going, and everyone, in general, was also following.
Raja Bharthari and Gopi Chand, from where they were sitting in the washerman’s house, also heard this noise. And they asked the washerman as to what this noise was all about.
The washerman told them, “The king, along with his minister and generals, is coming to meet you. And, because they are coming, all the rest of the people in the town are also following them, and they are making all this noise where they are coming.”
So, the two of them thought between themselves that, “Look, we have forgone our kingdoms and our high positions so that we could stay humble and do our devotion. Now, all these people coming back, and the king coming to us, and all of them bowing down to us again, will make us feel egoistic. Again, we will feel we have done something great. And that will only affect our ego. It is for sacrificing this ego only that we have left everything and gone into austerity and devotion. So, we must do something that will distract the king from doing all of that.”
The king and all his king’s men, ministers, everybody assembled at the courtyard of that washerman. And they were, accordingly, seated there. And these two were inside the hut. They didn't come out for a while.
Now, they were thinking between themselves how to dissuade the king and somehow get out of this situation, since they didn’t want all these people to bow down to them so that their ego would again get inflated.
So, it was a while since they had come out. All these people outside, the king and everybody, were waiting and wondering, “What is happening?”
They decided on a plan to discourage and dissuade the king. Both of them took two bags each with them and one stick and both of them came out. And they were talking only between themselves, a little loudly so that everyone could hear. And one, Bharthari, told Gopi Chand, “Look, I'm going to go north now, you go south.”
So, Gopi Chand said, “No, no, no, no, I will go north and you go south. Yesterday, you had gone north and then you had a lot of puri and bhaji and all that. And you ate it yourself. You didn't even share with me. So, today, I will go there, you’ll go south.” And, that way, they appeared to argue, and that’s what they did. And they started fighting with each other with that stick.
Now, seeing this behavior, the king and all the ministers, looking at each other, felt that, “Please God, how can these be saintly people and they are fighting for such food and such measly things?” So, they quietly left that place.
The king, the king's men, ministers and all the followers of theirs, they all left that place.
Once these people left, then Gopi Chand and Bharthari said to each other, “Okay, good, now we are at peace. The flies have flown away.” So, therefore, the devotees have faith in the Masters and stay away from praise and ego. And then, accordingly, they go about their worldly activities.
Khoj pakreee vishwaas gahu,
Dhani milenge aay.
Ajayaa gaj mastak chadhi,
Nirbhai kompal khaay.
This way, the devotees with a firm resolve and faith are successful in spirituality, because faith is the foundation of spirituality.
There is an example in the Shastras. Once, there was a goat that was unwell. And her owner took a lot of care of her, spent some monies for getting her well, but she was continuously unwell. And, finally, he said, “Okay, I'll let go of this goat, let it go outside and, maybe, it will die somewhere.”
So, that goat, crawling and falling, it walked slowly and kept moving away. And it went further into the jungle near a cave. So, the goat was really not scared of dying, because it was quite unwell anyway. And it went towards this cave quite fearlessly.
There was a lion in the cave. The lion smelled the goat and came out. As soon as the lion came out, the goat surrendered to the lion. Once the goat surrendered to the lion, the lion took it under his protection. And he said, “Okay, I will protect you now, now that you have surrendered to me.”
So, the lion decided not to eat it and allowed it to live. But, the lion felt that “Though I have allowed it to live, the other creatures in the jungle may not.” So, the next day, the lion called for all of the other animals to come and attend and, accordingly, everyone assembled for that meeting the next day.
The lion king announced, “Look, this goat is there. I have given it protection and no one is going to touch it or eat it or harm it. And if anyone does so, I will kill that entire family of that animal.” The waterhole was a little distance away. So, the lion king told the elephants, “Every day you should come here and you should carry the goat on your back to that waterhole. Let it drink water, and then bring it back here.” So, every day, this herd of elephants would come, and one of the elephants would carry this goat on its back, and they would take it to that waterhole for drinking water. And now, because it was sitting on the back of that elephant, the goat could easily reach the fresh leaves of the trees, which were tender leaves of the trees, which it could now eat. And it started getting this very healthy food every day. So, by eating these different types of fresh tender leaves, the goat became very healthy. It got quite healthy and well. As a result, it was apparent that a goat was effectively ruling and was sitting on the back of elephants and getting his food.
So, to whom should we give credit for this? The credit of this goes to the one who surrenders to a strong one. So, that way, when a devotee goes and has faith in the Master, the Master also helps him. He gives him all and provides for his needs. But then, that faith should be absolute.
Pander pinjar man bhavar,
Arath anupam baas.
Ak naam seencha ami,
Fal lagaa vishwaas.
Kabir Sahib says, “If we go about our spirituality with love and affection, then we get success, the fruit of faith and the leaves of devotion.” So, the branches of our tree — our devotion and faith — increase as we go on the Path the Spirituality. Only by moving on this Path of devotion, we get the true faith and love and further devotion of the Masters.
Pad gaavai lavleen hai katai na sansei faans.
Sabai pachorai thothara ak bina vishwaas.
Kabir Sahib says, “For the devotees, who sing the bhajans of the Masters, if there is no faith, then these bhajans are of no use.” So, these bhajans, which are there of the Masters, if we don't give it a thought on what is said in those bhajans, and we don't have that faith, then that bhajan just becomes like any other song, or like any other poem. So, when you sing the bhajans, you have to understand the meaning of what is written in that bhajan. And you should have that faith.
Gaaya jin paaya nahi angaaye te door.
Jin gaaya vishwas gahi ta ke sadaa huzoor.
So, for those who just sang the bhajan without the love and the faith, they have not got anything out of those bhajans. It is only those who sang those bhajans with faith and with love, and who understood the meaning of those bhajans and have done them with devotion, they have got the Grace of the Masters.
Gaavan main rovana rovanhi main raag.
Ak banhi main ghar karai,
Ak gharhi bairaag.
For the devotees who sing the bhajans with a longing, and they really feel and they weep in those bhajans longing for their Masters, then these are the true recluses. They are the true people who did not take these measures of austerity of going outside and staying in the jungles. Staying within the families, they are true recluses. So, these devotees are, from their heart, true recluses. And, whether they stay in their home with their families, or they are outside, they will always remain recluse, and they will have a strong longing for the Master.
Jo saccha bishwaas hai,
Toh dukh kyun na jay.
Kahe kabir bichaari ke,
Tan man dehi jaraay.
Kabir Sahib says, “If you have strong faith, then why will your problems not be solved? Because, if you are doing Simran to the Masters and the God Almighty, then They listen to you and They will take care of your problems.” So, if we have true faith, why will God Almighty and Masters withhold anything? They will definitely take care of your problems. If we, on a worldly plane also, are employed and we work, then the employer also takes care and he provides for us. Then, how is it possible that the God Almighty and Masters will not provide for you and take care of your problems if you have good and correct faith in the Masters?
Vishwaasi hai guru bhajai,
Loha kanchan hoi.
Naam bhajai anuraag te,
Harash sok nahi doi.
So, the faith is so strong that it can convert even iron into gold. Where there is a devotee and he has full faith in God, and he's absolutely doing his devotion on the basis of that true faith, then even iron in his hand can turn to gold. So, for a devotee who has faith and who has a longing for the Masters, for him, everything is equal. He does not weep and he is not lost in sorrow. If there is a birth in the family, he’s content in his happiness. If there is some sorrow, he is equally content in his unhappiness. So, he's very well balanced and neutral.
There were two devotees in Punjab and they used to spend time, at least two, two and a half hours, in meditation and devotion of the Masters. They were husband and wife. He was retired as a teacher and he used to work in a bank post-retirement. And his wife was also old. She was about sixty-two and she was unwell. So, for devotees who do good meditation, the Masters come and give an advanced notice of events and They tell the devotee about the pending death of a near one and the death of themselves.
The Masters had told his wife that she would be leaving her body. So, the wife told him that the Masters had told her that, day after the next day, at eleven o'clock, the Masters will come to fetch her soul and she will be passing away. So, she informed him of this, and then, he said, “Okay, I will take a holiday on that day. I will not go to the office.” And, on that day then, after breakfast, he sat next to her and he held her hand.
He sat for meditation in the morning, and at the given time, the Masters came to take her. She woke him up from the meditation. She told him, “Look, the Masters have come to fetch me.”
He got up, and he held her hand, and he said, “Look, you have served me and did my seva for forty years. I am very pleased with whatever you have done. And now that the Masters have come to you, I have nothing to stop you from going with them.”
So, he happily allowed her to pass away. And that's how, for a good meditator and for a good devotee, happiness and sorrows are all looked at equally. So, just like he allowed her when she passed away also, he did not have too much remorse or any other thing. This was because he was a true devotee and he did his meditation.
Vishwaasi hai guru bhajai,
Loha kanchan hoi.
Naam bhajai anuraag te,
Harash sok nahi doi.