The paathi sings the Bani of Sant Kabir Sahib from the book: Kabir Dohavali
Kaaya bauri chalat praan kaahe royee,
Kaaya bauri chalat praan kaahe royee.
THIS IS THE BANI of Param Sant Satguru Kabir Sahib from His Dohavali. When the soul leaves the body at the time of death, there is considerable pain and the soul is sad because this company with the body has been there for some time. So, while that separation happens at the time of death, the body cries and the soul asks the body, “Why are you crying? Because I will be leaving and, that way, I have left several bodies before also.”
Kal has created this entire creation and karmas, or deeds, are its essence. And these deeds or karmas are done at the behest of the mind. And, all the deeds that we do for the redemption, that account is also prevalent on the mind.
So, the mind has to come back and redeem all these deeds. Both the mind and the soul leave their body, but the mind and the soul are forever tied together. And this is for crores, or several hundred million years, that the soul and the mind have been tied together.
Several rishis and munis earlier have tried to control the mind. They have done austerities and penances for sixty thousand years, eighty thousand years. A lot of penance they have done to try to gain control of the mind. But, despite these penances for so many years, they have not been able to gain the control on that mind.
We can gain control of the mind when we go beyond Brahm because the mind comes from Brahm. So, when we go there with the Grace of the Master, we cross Brahm. And that's how we are able to separate the soul from the mind.
So, while in this body, whatever we do is all very limited, and we will not be able to gain control of the mind or separate it from the soul.
In this world, the mind is continuously doing these deeds, and all these deeds are getting built up on the mind. And for redeeming these deeds also, the mind has to keep coming back to redeem each of these deeds. And the soul is tied up with the mind. So, the soul has to accompany the mind everywhere where it has to redeem these deeds.
Even in the Gita, it is said, “The soul leaves the clothes behind. It sheds off its clothes, and then dons new clothes.” So, each life is like we take this body, and then once our activities here are over, we have redeemed all the karmas for which this body is built, we go to the next body. The Gita also says that we keep donning new clothes and we keep wearing new clothes and shedding the old ones.
Kaaya paay bahut sukh keeno,
Neet uti mali malin doyi.
So tan chiya char hoyee jae,
Naam na leye koyi,
Kabir Sahib says, “We take so much care of this body. We apply soap and we keep it clean, and we do all kinds of things to take care of the body. But, eventually, the soul has to leave this body, because this body has been given as per our earlier deeds. And we have been given a finite number of breaths that we will be able to take in this lifespan.” As soon as that number of breaths are finished, that number of days, which we have spent taking those breaths, that comes to an end, and life comes to an end.
But, because we are ignorant about this reality, we start associating with everything outside. We associate with the world outside. We get attached here. We follow our desires here. And then, we keep suffering as a result of that, because neither our attachments, nor our possessions here, nor these relationships that we have here, will last forever. All these things have come to you as a result of your past deeds. And they will all stay here for a few days. And, as soon as that deed is redeemed, those things will go away.
Kabir Sahib says, “Great avatars like Rama have gone, and big, very learned people, like Ravana, have all gone, who had huge families and who were kings and who had large empires.” So, all of them have died, all of them have gone, and there is nothing constant in this world. Everyone who comes into this world, whether it is an avatar of a god, or whether it is a Mahatma, or it is an ordinary person, everyone has to leave this body. Everyone has to die. The only difference is how people view this.
The Mahatmas view this world as something which is momentary because They keep Their death, They keep the end of Their life, in front of Their eyes at all times. They know that They have to go from this place and this is not continuous.
But, the worldly people feel this is something permanent, and they do not keep death in front of them.
Mahatmas come into this world. They may set up a number of ashrams. But, They have no attachment whatsoever with all these ashrams and all the things that are here. They are forever in love and intoxicated at the Feet of Their Masters. That is why Mahatmas very easily leave Their body in the final moments because They have no attachments whatsoever here.
Unlike that, the worldly people have got all their desires, have got all their attachments, and it gives them a lot of sorrow and pain when they have to die and leave all of these things here.
Kahat praan sun kaaya bavri,
More tore sang na hoyee.
The soul tells the body, “I'm going to be leaving. Our paths are different because I will be leaving you. I have gone in so many such bodies and I have left those bodies earlier also.”
Sant Ji used to often relate this story about Sheikh Farid. Sheikh Farid was once going on the road. He used to usually go on His own on foot. So, He was once passing by a city, and there was a very well known and famous prostitute there. And one of her maids had prepared her eyeliner, which is called kajal here. It's made from the carbon sediment on a lamp when we burn ghee in a lamp. The sediment that accumulates around that lamp is very fine carbon. So, they extract that, and they make the eyeliner from that.
That maid was asked to prepare that eyeliner, and she was not very experienced. So, she did not prepare it as refined as it should be. It had some roughage in that. So, when that prostitute applied that, it burned her. It hurt her eyes in the night. And so she was beating that maid in the morning. She dragged her on the road and she was beating that maid. So, while that lady was beating that maid, many passersby were there, but nobody had the courage to go to her and tell her to stop beating that maid.
But, when Farid Sahib passed by, He tried to stop her. He went to her and told her, “Sister, why are you beating this maid? Please stop.”
When He tried that, she told Him, “O fakir, you please continue on your road. You have got nothing to do with this.”
But He kept insisting, and He kept trying to stop her from doing that. So, He again requested her to stop and wanted to know why she was beating that lady.
That lady then told Farid Sahib, “This lady, this maid, is ignorant, and she’s not made that eyeliner properly. And, because it was not ground and it was not refined properly, when I applied it, it hurt me and I was not able to sleep. And I had stress in the night.”
So, Farid Sahib told her, “Okay, please forgive her. She will not do that again.”
Finally, after beating that maid, when He requested, she stopped. And Farid Sahib then continued and He left.
Later, this was after about a year or so, Farid Sahib was passing by that same town and He was passing by that road. But instead of taking that road inside, He was walking from the outskirts.
Now, it had so happened that about a month and a half before, that lady had passed away, and she had been buried in the cemetery on the outskirts of the town. So, animals in the night had dug up her grave and had taken out the body.
When Farid Sahib was passing, there were crows and vultures who were piercing her eyes and eating her eyes. So, as Farid Sahib was passing that cemetery and He observed this, He asked whose body that was.
Someone mentioned that it was the body of that same prostitute who had died recently. So, Farid Sahib addressed God and He said, “This is Your justice. This lady was complaining about a simple eyeliner that was hurting her. And today crows are eating her eyes.”
Earlier, when people would do bad karmas in their lives, they had to redeem these in several, future lives. But, in Kali Yuga, when we are incurring some bad deeds and we are sinning, then we have to redeem that in this life itself.
Kahat praan sun kaaya bavri,
Mor tor sang na hoyee.
Tohee asmitra bahu ham tyaaga,
Sang na leena koyee,
So, the soul is telling the body, “Do not cry. I am leaving you. I have made friendships with several bodies like you. And I have sacrificed and left so many bodies like you. These things are determined by karmas.”
Usara khet kai kusa mangaye,
Chaachar chavar kai paani.
Jeevat brahma ko koina pooje,
Murda ke mehimaani.
Kabir Sahib says, “After a person dies, there are ceremonies that are done after that. There are the rituals that are done after that.” There is a grass called khus, and that grass is used for doing several of these rituals. So, Kabir Sahib is addressing that khus and He is saying, “These rituals are being performed on a dead body, but when the body was alive and God Almighty was in that body, nobody did these rituals.”
For people who are old, oftentimes, they may have two or three children. And such old people get feeble. Even though they have two or three children, none of them are very eager to take care of these old people. They often try to say that their parents should stay with the other brother or sister and, likewise, they keep trying to avoid those responsibilities.
So, Kabir Sahib says that when they are living in this life, even then, at that time, they are not wanting to take care of them.
This is a story that happened in Bangalore. There was a wealthy family and the parents had five children. They were quite well off. They were quite wealthy and the father expired. And then it was decided to share. The mother decided to share that wealth among the five children. So, they split the entire wealth among the five children, then the question came as to whose house the mother would stay in. So, each one started pointing out the other. They were refusing to have the mother stay with them.
Now, this was being decided by the panchayat, by the local brahmin there, which is comprised, typically, of the seniors of a village. So, they tried to convince these five siblings as to how they should take care of their mother. But, none of them agreed.
So, the mother felt very sad at this, and then, it became late in the evening. The panchayat decided, “Okay, we will resolve this tomorrow.” So, they postponed that session for the next day. Now, the mother felt so saddened by all of this, that none of her sons and daughters were willing to take care of her, now that the wealth had been shared. So, she committed suicide during the night.
We see this also in Andhra a number of times. The parents take care of about seven to eight children, but those seven to eight children cannot take care of their parents. So, this is what happens when they're old. Nobody is willing to take care of them and they are completely neglected. And then, after they die, once in a year, good food is prepared and that is left on their grave.
Seeva sanna sannka diya di brahma deekh,
Sesh sahasr mukh hoyee.
Jo jo janam liyo vasudha mein,
Thir na rahe hai koyee.
So, the soul is explaining to the body, "Even rishis, munis, and all the other people, everyone has to leave their body like this. So, don't cry and don't feel saddened by this separation of us, because this has happened in the past. I have had to leave several bodies like this. And, in the future also, I'll have to make a friendship with several bodies and, then, separate from them.”
Paap punya hai janam sangaathi
Samaj dekh nar lohi,
Kahat kabir abhi anthar ki gathi
Jaane biralaa koyi.
Kabir Sahib is explaining to Loi, “This is how the relationship is there between the body and the soul, and this relationship is not permanent.”
Jaaa din man panchi udhi jeehe,
Jaaa din man panchi udhi jeehe.
Tha din tere tan tarvar ke
Sabe path jarijehe,
Tha din tere tan tarvar ke
Sabe path jarijehe.
Kabir Sahib says, “The birds, which are the soul and the mind, they will leave this body. This body, which is like a tree, all the body parts will be shed, and none of them will work. This tree will be shedding all its leaves.” So, Kabir Sahib gives this example of a tree here. When the tree is green, all the birds come and flock together on the branches of these trees. And when the same tree sheds all the leaves and dies, nobody is willing to come on it.
So, similarly, this body, when the soul departs from it, it sheds off all the parts of the body and it becomes earth. It is of mud, and it will go back to mud, back to earth.
Yaa dehi ko garv na keeje,
Chaar kaag gid ke,
Tan gathi tin vista karam hai,
Who na tare khake udhe.
Kabir Sahib says, “Don't be egotistic about this body of yours, because this same body will be eaten by animals, or it will be buried. And when it is buried, it will again become soil again.” The farmer will again till his land on this same soil, which will be your body, and your body will again be converted to fine dust particles, which will go in the eyes of that farmer. Because, where there are cemeteries, there are towns. And where there were towns, now there are cemeteries. Many times these places have changed like this. So, where we sit now would have been a cemetery at some point in time. That's over so many years and this keeps happening.
I relate this story to events during the Mahabharata. In those days, when this war was going on, in the evening at five o'clock, they would blow the bugle. And, at that time, everyone would stop fighting and go back to their respective camps. There was no fighting after that till the next day. So, this is how they used to fight wars earlier. And what used to happen was that people who were dead on the battlefield, or people who were deeply injured, those people would be looted and their jewelry or anything precious would be taken from them by those soldiers and they would go back.
So, Karna, on the eleventh day was also dying and, accordingly, people took all his ornaments and everything he that he had on him. And there was not a speck of any gold or anything on his body. So then, later, when it became quiet in the evening, Krishna told Arjuna, “Today, in this world, this soul will be departing. And there has been no one before this who has been so generous and fair. There will be no one after this who will be so generous and fair and brave.”
So, Arjuna was wondering, “Who is this person?” So, he asked Krishna.
Krishna told him, “Okay, I will show you.” Then, he changed the form of Arjuna to a fourteen-year-old boy and he himself changed and became a brahmin. Then, he took him to that battlefield. So, they went there, Krishna as a brahmin and Arjuna as a fourteen-year-old boy, and they went to Karna.
Karna was lying there and they asked for alms. So, as a brahmin Krishna asked for alms from Karna.
Now, Karna recognized them and he said, “You have come so late. You have come now to me after everyone has snatched all my ornaments and everything that I had on me.” He was such a generous person that if anyone would go to him to ask anything, he would always give it. And he felt, “If now I don't give or I ask someone to turn back empty-handed when he has come to ask me for something, then everything that I am called as generous for, that will no longer remain valid.” So, he took out an arrow and he wrote in his blood and he said, “You take this to my home, you show this to my wife, and then, whatever you ask her she will give you, saying that I've asked her to give this.”
The brahmin told him, “No, this is not right, because if I take a bloodstained letter of yours to your wife, then she will definitely not give me anything. Instead, she will curse me for doing this. So, if you have something to give me, you can give me now. Otherwise, it's okay. I will go back empty-handed.”
So then, he thought, “What can I give him?” He remembered that he had gold, some cavities filled with gold. He asked that brahmin to go and fetch a stone, so that he could take out that gold from his teeth, and then be able to give that to him.
But then, Krishna told him, “No, you are already in so much pain. Now, if I bring you a stone and you will pull out your teeth, that will cause you more pain. I don't want anything by causing you pain like this. So, if you can give me something, it's fine. Otherwise, I'll leave.”
Karna said, “Okay. Instead of asking you to fetch that stone, I will go myself and do it.” So, he tried to roll to go and fetch that stone. And while he was trying to do that, Krishna changed his form and manifested as Vishnu, with one hundred arms. So, Vishnu told him, “I am very impressed with your generosity because even when you're dying, you're not allowing me to go empty-handed. So, ask for any boon. I'm willing to give you any boon that you will ask for. This whole war is being fought for the kingdom between Kauravas and Pandavas. If you want, I will give you that kingdom. I'll give you a new body and I'll give you that kingdom.”
Karna told him, “I'm a kshatriya and it is against the ideas of kshatriyas to ask for life when they are dying on the battlefield. So, I will not ask you for another life. But I have seen you. I have got your darshan. That is all that I need. I don't need anything else.”
But Vishnu insisted, “No, you ask for a boon because I want to give you a boon.”
So, Karna said, “Okay, if you're insisting so much to give me a boon, then do one thing. You cremate my body at a place where no one has been cremated till now, and no one will be cremated in the future. It must be such a pure place only, where nobody has been cremated, either the final rites being done by a funeral pyre, or by burial. In such a pure place only, you do my last rites and cremate me.”
So, Krishna then sat down and introspected. He spoke to Mother Earth and he asked her, “Is there a place on your back which is pure, where nobody has ever been cremated, burned or buried?”
Mother Earth started laughing and she said, “What are you asking me? There are hundreds and thousands of Karnas who have died before. And their hundreds and thousands of Krishnas who have come before. There is not a place for a needle where nobody has been cremated or buried, or whose final rites have not been done.”
So then, finally, Krishna said, “Okay, I will give you your boon.” And he lifted his left hand and he said, “Okay, get the wood.” And he placed all the wood on his hand and he cremated Karna on his left hand. So, finally, Karna was cremated on Krishna’s hand, and he was possibly the only person who was cremated like this.
The point of mentioning all this is that there is no place on earth which has not been a crematorium at some point or the other. Where there is a village, there would have been a crematorium earlier. And where there is a crematorium today, there would have been a town earlier. So, there is no such place where people have not died, been buried, or cremated.
Kava naina kavan hai shoba,
Kava roopa dikhe,
Jin logan nehi karath hai
Tehi dekhi jineh.
Kabir Sahib says, “After death, where is that beauty of those eyes? Where is the beauty of that body? Those people, who loved you because of your beauty, they are now scared to even sit next to you.”
So, if there is a dead body, a family member dies in the night and his dead body is there, people are scared to keep that dead body in the night at their home. So they, oftentimes, keep the body outside. They take some old bed cover and cover that body outside. And they are fearful that if he is kept at home, then he will become a ghost and he will possess somebody.
Ghar ke kahat sabere kaado,
Bhooth hoy daari chehe.
Jin poothan ko bahu prati paalo
Devi dev maneh.
Kabir Sahib says, “For that same child, for that issue, people go and do all kinds of rituals, go to deities, go to gods to worship to get a baby and ask for a child, and those same children today, they treat you like this.” So, those same children, they are in a hurry to do the cremation. They take the body out of their home and they put in on the funeral pyre, and then they come back and forget about it.
Jin poothan ko bahu prati paalo
Devi dev maneh.
Tehi lehi baas diyo kopari mein
Shish por ke bikhareh.
This is a ritual mostly in northern India. When the body is being cremated by means of a funeral pyre, and when the fire is lit and the body is burning, the most difficult part of the body to burn and become ash is the skull. And, therefore, the ritual requires the son to take a big bamboo stick and then, beat the skull, so that the skull gets split into two or three parts, so that it can then get burned faster. This has become a part of a ritual, actually, to do this, so that the rites get over faster because there is a long queue for cremation. A lot of other bodies are waiting to be cremated. So, this whole ritual requires the elder son to take that bamboo and break that skull, so that it gets burned faster. And these days, now, because people all flock to the Ganges to do all this, they don't even burn the body fully. So they burn half the body, and then they take it off. And then they take the next body for burning. So, this has become a ritual.
Kabir Sahib says, “You have done so much fasting. Then, you have done so much penance to get a good issue, get a good child, to ask for a good child. You have gone to gods and prayed for a good child. And then, finally, the child comes with the bamboo and breaks your head!”
So, this is how the world works. This is how it all ends.
Aajaa mood kare satsangat
Sant na mein kuch pahae,
Kahe kabir suno bhai saadho
Aava gavan nase.
Kabir Sahib addresses everyone as fools. He says, “Fools, please understand now. Go to Satsang. Understand and get awakened at a Satsang. Go to the feet of a Master and do your meditation and go within. And at least make a success of your life and understand what this reality is all about.”
Because this is how the world will work and this is how you will keep coming again and again in a human birth. And this is how it will end every time you become a human. And so, therefore, go surrender to the Masters and take shelter under the Masters, and make use and a success of your life as a human being.
Aajaa mood kare satsangat
Sant na mein kuch pahae,
Kahe kabir suno bhai saadho
Aava gavan nase.