Maala Pherat Jug Bhaya, Mita Na Man Ka Pher
Kar Ka Manka Chhor De, Man Ka Manka Pher
Eons have passed whirling rosary, restless remains the mind
Give up the beads of rosary and rotate the beads of mind
This doha is an extension of the previous one. Kabir in this doha explains that the purpose of using rosary is not the end but a medium which is helpful in meditation. The aim of all meditations is to calm the mind and become its master. The rosary is but a mere tool.
Having explained this Kabir proceeds to state that although many epochs have elapsed since the human civilization started using the rosary as a tool, yet we see that by and large our mind is restless and agitated while the tool appears to have become a symbol in itself. Addressing the spiritual aspirants, Kabir asserts that instead of concentrating on the rosary beads and its count of rotation, one should focus and become aware of the wandering mind. For only by becoming aware shall we become alert and be able to guide ourselves towards poise and serenity. This is the ultimate aim of meditation – to become calm and experience the oneness between our individual self and the cosmic self.
Dukh Mein Simran Sab Kare, Sukh Mein Kare Na Koye
Jo Sukh Mein Simran Kare, Tau Dukh Kahe Ko Hoye
In anguish everyone prays to Him, in joy does none
To One who prays in happiness, how sorrow can come
Let someone suddenly wave his hand in front of your eyes and you will see that the eyes blink. And if you are caught unawares, you may just say ‘O my God’!
Such is the nature of mankind. When we are in distress, in a state of helplessness, we invariably then look up in the skies and communicate with Him in our own silent prayer. However, when things are going good, we forget Him. Kabir in this doha highlights this and gives a promise when he says that we shall not suffer if we pray to Him during our good times.
Pothi Padh Padh Kar Jag Mua, Pandit Bhayo Na Koye
Dhai Aakhar Prem Ke, Jo Padhe so Pandit Hoye
Reading books everyone died, none became any wise
One who reads the word of Love, only becomes wise
To understand this doha in its true perspective is important. We all read and now with tremendous media exposure, we are seemingly more informed. Everyone seems to know everything. Yet, the truth is that inspite of all this information, there is no awareness. We are not at peace. There is a lot of frustration all around. Our minds are not quiet and relaxed. We talk of Love but have no compassion. Selfishness, greed, fear, hatred and similar tendencies seem to grip us all the time. Why?
I have found myself in this quagmire a number of times.
Kabir in this doha shows the way, in his simple but dynamic style. He daringly says that despite all our readings, despite all our knowledge, we cannot become wise. Only if we ‘read’ Love, become loving and loveable, only then wisdom will dawn on us. Only then Life will be worth living.
Kaal Kare So Aaj Kar, Aaj Kare So Ub
Pal Mein Pralaya Hoyegi, Bahuri Karoge Kub
Tomorrows work do today, today’s work now
if the moment is lost, the work be done how
This doha is a little difficult to translate, particularly when the words “Pal mein Pralaya Hoyegi”, have been translated by many scholars as the doomsday may come at any moment or in similar words. In my understanding Kabir, would not have meant this. He knew more than anyone else that if God is eternal, his creation is also eternal. Also being a Guru, Kabir would not like to talk about doomsday, as he himself was full of life.
In this Doha, Kabir has clearly tried to explain the human tendency of laziness and procrastination. It is a known fact that we all tend to postpone matters, we are indecisive and given a choice we would like others to be doing work and we simply enjoying a cool time. When it comes to us, we try to get away by saying, “Very busy, no time.” Don’t we?
This lethargy is what Kabir is condemning. Besides, according to me, his emphasis is on NOW, the present, the moment as it is. Now, that is Life, the moment. It is in the NOW, in the spontaneous ness that one gets energized to do, to achieve, to realize. As they say, it is NOW or NEVER.
Keeping this context in mind, this Kabir Doha clearly teaches us to shed all procrastination and lethargy. It motivates us to do whatever we have to do, and do it now. If we will keep postponing it, then the work will never be done.
Aisee Vani Boliye, Mun Ka Aapa Khoye
Apna Tan Sheetal Kare, Auran Ko Sukh Hoye
Speak such words, sans ego’s ploy
Body remains composed, giving the listener joy
This doha is a gem. It deals with human psychology, metaphysics and a basic tenet of the Indian philosophy. The ancients of the Vedic literature have laid tremendous emphasis on speech. They have mentioned in innumerable shlokas that our speech has a direct connection with our bodily humors. They proclaimed that sound and sight are the underlying source of all vibrations. This has been scientifically proven over and over again.
We know that all sounds create vibrations. And these vibrations affect both the speaker and the listener. Soothing, compassionate and loving words breed togetherness, while harsh speech breeds hatred. And, we also know that human speech is one of the main ingredient that differentiates mankind from the rest of the animal kingdom.
Thus, Kabir, in this doha crystallizes the power of the spoken word. He teaches us to speak in such a manner that keeps us harmonious and composed thereby making the listener feel a sense of joy in the communication.
Experiment yourself and rediscover the power of the spoken word.
Dheere Dheere Re Mana, Dheere Sub Kutch Hoye
Mali Seenche So Ghara, Ritu Aaye Phal Hoye
Slowly slowly O mind, everything in own pace happens
Gardner may water a hundred buckets, fruit arrives only in its season
Nature never works in haste. Picking up from this eternal law of Mother Nature, Kabir brings forward the state of our daily hurried lives. We are always in a rush to achieve, acquire and be victorious. It is like a mad race. This brings us under pressure causing ill-health, fatigue and frustration. More than that it breeds ill-discipline. We get forced into a habit pattern whereby we find ourselves either negligent or indulgent.
This all can be corrected if one understands the Doha. Kabir, addressing the doha to the mind which is chanchal or monkeying around, brings about the importance of a relaxed mind, a quiet mind. By relaxed mind, one should not imply lethargy. A very active mind can also be very relaxed. Relaxation comes through awareness and acceptance.
It is a known fact that a seed sprouts into a sapling only after some time and the sapling grows into a tree gradually. And the fruit arrives only in its own season. By the gardener pouring “a hundred buckets of water” (extensive irrigation) will not hasten the arrival of the fruit, rather will ruin the process.
Kabir thus makes us realize that one must do one’s best and yet should have the patience for the results to manifest in their own appropriate time. For Nature does not work in haste.
Sayeen Itna Deejiye, Ja Mein Kutumb Samaye
Main Bhi Bhookha Na Rahun, Sadhu Na Bhookha Jaye
Give so much O God, suffice to envelop my clan
I should not suffer cravings, nor the visitor goes unfed
Very simple in the native Hindi, but very difficult to translate. It is also true, that because of its simplicity, the reader can miss the point that Kabir wants to make.This Doha deals with the concept of contentment, compassion and a very clear attitude of service. It is not greed when Kabir asks God for abundance. We have to remember that Kabir was a professional weaver, a house-holder with children. Thus, being the primary provider, he reveals in this Doha his commitment to his clan. At the same time, Kabir is content. He is not greedy. He prays to God to give him enough that would be suffice to take care of his needs.
The next lines add another dimension. It reveals the compassion Kabir has for others. In India it is a tradition that if a sadhu visits, the household will make sure that they feed him. Sadhu literally means a monk, a sanyasin, who has renounced the world.
I personally understand that Kabir implies here the the ‘sadhu’ to be any visitor or as we call “Atithi” – a guest. Kabir wants to ensure that if someone visited his household, that guest should also go fulfilled.
Bura Jo Dekhan Main Chala, Bura Naa Milya Koye
Jo Munn Khoja Apnaa, To Mujhse Bura Naa Koye
This doha deals with our perception behavior and tendencies. It has been invariably noticed that we tend to find fault with someone else for our situations and circumstances. Our “I”, the ego, always tries to put blame on others. Non-awareness of our own self is the cause of this attitude. Resultantly, we find ourselves being busy in criticizing and condemning others and conveniently term them as crooked or evil.So Kabir says that instead of finding fault and maligning others, dive deep into your own-self. Amazingly, an honest introspection will reveal that all fault lies with “me” and “my” own perceptions and attitudes. If there is any evil or crookedness, it is in “me”. Correcting this and opting for a loving and compassionate attitude will change one’s perceptions and the world will appear wonderful all over again.