The Indian Teaching Tradition
This text, taken from Kaushitaki Upanishad, explains the way in which, in ancient India, a father on his death bed passed his power to his son.
"Now next, we describe the Father-and-son ceremony, or the Transmission, as they call it.-
A father, when about to decease, summons his son. Having strewn the house with new grass, having built up the fire... the father, wrapped around with a fresh garment, remains lying. The son, having come, lies down on top...Or he may, even, transmit to him seated face to face. Then he delivers to him thus:-
Father: 'My speech in you I would place!'
Son:'Your speech in me I take.'
Father:'My breath in you I would place!'
Son:'Your breath in me I take.'
(The father, in this way, places in his son his sight, his hearing, his taste, his actions (karma), his pleasures and his pains, bliss, delight, procreation, his mind and his intelligence.) If, however, he should be unable to speak much, let the father say summarily:'My vital breaths (prana) in you I would place!' and the son reply:'Your vital breath in me I take'...
If he should become well, the father should dwell under the lordship of his son, or he should wander around as a religious mendicant. If, however, he should decease, so let them furnish him how he ought to be furnished.'
Hymn to Dakshinamurti
This is one of the most well known hymn of Shankaracharya, who probably lived in the eighth century A.D. Dakshinamurti is the emanation of the Absolute who incarnates himself in the Vedantin guru in the form of a young man, manifesting the status of non-duality realized by him.. Shankaracharya himself was a young guru, since the tradition tells us that he died at thirty two years of age. We present herewith the following excerpts of this hymn:
"Seeing the universe contained within Himself, like a city seen in a mirror, but appearing as if produced outside through Maya or illusion as in sleep -as being really in the Self, He who realizes at the time of spiritual illumination His own immutable Self alone, to Him, incarnated as the blessed Teacher, to Shri Dakshinamurti, is this salutation.
He, whose manifestation, the source of which is reality, appears as the object of fictitious notions, who imparts direct enlightenment to those who have resorted to him by the Vedic teaching 'Thou art That' and through immediate perception of whom there is no more return to the ocean of worldly existence, to Him, incarnated as the blessed Teacher, to Shri Dakshinamurti, is this salutation.
He who intelligence vibrates outside through the eyes and the other sense-organs, like the bright light of a great lamp placed inside a jar with various holes, and after whose shining this whole universe shines, to Him, incarnated as the blessed Teacher, to Shri Dakshinamurti, is this salutation.
He who destroys the terrible infatuation created by the play of the power of Maya, of those who consider themselves as the body, or the vital energy (prana), or the senses, or the changeful intellect, or as the void, and through error declare themselves repeatedly to be a woman, a child, a a blind or an idiot, to Him, incarnated as the blessed Teacher, to Shri Dakshinamurti, is this salutation
He who goes into deep sleep on the withdrawal of the senses and become only Being covered by Maya, the illusion, like the sun or the moon in an eclipse, and who on awakening remambers to have slept, to Him, incarnated as the blessed Teacher, to Shri Dakshinamurti, is this salutation.
Because the universality of the Soul (atman) has thus been explained in this hymn, therefore, by hearing it, by reflecting and meditating on its meaning and by reciting it, one will realise that Divine state endued with the grandeur of being the Universal Self as also that inimpeded Divine Power eightfold divided (i>e the five senses, the spirit in its automatic functioning (manas), the ego (ahamkara) and the intuitive intelligence (buddhi).)
I worship Dakshinamurti, the young guru who teaches the knowledge of Brahman through silence, who is surrounded by very old disciples -rishis devoted to the knowledge of Brahman, the Teacher of teachers, whose hand is in the pose for imparting Knowledge (the 'jnana-mudra, with the hand upward, palm in front, the thumb and index forming a circle and the three other fingers in extension)), who is bliss itself, ever sporting in the Self and who is ever silent.' (2)
Song of liberation
We give here below to excerpts of Kaivalya Navanita, a title which literally means 'cream of emancipation'. It is a short text composed in the end of the Middle Ages: Ramana Maharshi often quoted it. It clearly shows that pure Vedanta does not lack either emotions or devotion to the guru.
"At the glance of the Master who was Grace incarnate, the worthy disciple sank into the Ocean of Bliss and merged as the undivided whole, pure Consciousness free from body, organs and all else, with mind made perfect so that he became the true Self, unaware while awake.
After the blessed disciple had remaines in that state for a long time, his mind gently turned outwards. Then he saw his glorious master before him. His eyes were filled with tears of joy. He was full of love and fell at the feet of the Master. He rose up, came around him and with folded hands spoke to him: 'Lord, you are the Reality remaining as my innermost Self, ruling me during all my countless incarnations! Glory to you who have put an external form in order to instruct me! I do not see how I can repay your Grace for having liberated me. Glory to you! Glory to your holy feet!"
The Master beamed to him as he spoke, drew him near and said very lovingly: 'To stay fixed in the Self, without the three kinds of obstacles obstructing your experience, is the highest return you can render me'...
What meritorious work have I done? I cannot describe my good fortune. I am blessed by the grace of my master, Narayana of Nannilam! In my ecstasy I throw up my cloth in the air, and dance for joy!...Befor whom should I put this ecstatic bliss of mine? It rises from within, surges up, fills the whole universe and floods unbounded! I bow to the lotus feet of the Almighty who was so gracious as to bring me into contact with the Master who could teach me the Truth accorcing the the holy texts!" (3)
Ramakrishna, a perfect harmony of human and divine.
Saradananda was one of the direct disciple of Ramakrishna. He became a sannyas and after his master's death followed his spouse Sarada Devi. He wrote a standard biography of Ramakrishna. Here is his own experience that he gives in the beginning of his book:
"Blessed by the opportunity to be in the holy companuy of the divine Master, we have been charmes to notice the coexistence of both the aspects of divinity and humanity in him. The more we have contemplated his life and character, the more we have become concinced of this fact. If we had not see him, we could not have understood how such contrary aspects could co-exist in such sweet congruence and harmony in the same person. It is because we observed it in him that this conviction has grown in us that he was God and man in one, that he was exactly what the infinite being of God and His power are when manifested behind the veil of a human body and human feelings. It is because of our direct experience of this that we have come to understand that he feigned neither aspect, but actually assumed human nature for the good of humanity and for the good of humanity and showed us the path leading to divinity. Again, it is because we saw him that we have become convinced that there were certainly such wonderful manifestations of both these aspects ion the lives of the incarnations of past ages also." (4)
Master-disciple relationship and spiritual vitality
Vivekananda, in his lecture on the various spiritual paths, specifies some important points:
"The preaching of sermons by brooks and stones may be true as a poetical figure, but no none can preach a single grain of truth until he has it himself...
It is a significant fact that where this relation still exists between the teacher and the taught, there alone a gigantic spiritual soul grows, but in those who have thrown it off, religion is made into a diversion. In nations and churches where this relation between teacher and taught is not maintained, spirituality is almost an unknown quantity. It never comes without that feeling; there is no one to transmit, and no one to be transmitted to, because they are all independent. Of whom can they learn?
Our attention should be fixed on the teacher as the highest manifestation of God, and as the power of attention concentrates here, the picture of the teacher as man will melt away, the frame will vanish and the real God will be left there... Such teachers are few in number, no doubt, in this world, but the world is never altogether without them. The moment it is absolutely bereft of these, it will cease to be, it will become an hideous hell, and will just drop. These teachers are the fair flowers of human life..."(5)
Spiritual guide: a Child-King
In this letter to 'Margot', Margaret E.Noble, an English woman who later became one of the main disciple of Vivekananda under the name of Sister Nivedita, Swamiji makes some reflections about his own role of spiritual leader.
some people do the best work when led. Not everyone is born to lead! The best leader, however, is one who 'leads like the baby'. The baby, though apparently depending on everyone, is the king of the household. At least, to my thinking, that is the secret... Many feel things about, but only a few can express them. It is the power of expressing one's self, appreciation and sympathy for others, that enables a person to succeed better in spreading the idea than others...
The great difficulty is this: I see people giving me almost the whole of their love. But I must not give any one the whole of mine in return, for that day the work will be ruined...What I mean is what I am, intensely personal in my love, but having the power to pluck out my own heart with my own hand, if it becomes necessary, 'for the good of the many, for the welfare of the many' as Buddha said. Madness of love, and yet in it no bondage!... The ignorant sees the person in the non-person (of the Divine, of the Master). The sages sees the non-person in the person. Through pain and pleasure, joy and sorrow, this is the one lesson we are learning.
Yours ever with love and truth, Vivekananda." (6)
Today I gave you all
In this well known text of Indian spiritual literature, Vivekananda narrates how he received the last transmission by his master Ramakrishna.
"Two or three days before his death, Shri Ramakrishna called me to his bed and asked me to sit down facing him; he gazed at me and entered into ecstasy (samadhi). I then actually felt that a subtle force entenred my body like an electric shock! Slightly later I too lost consciousness of the external world and remained sitting without any movement. I do not remember how long did I stay in this state; when consciousness came back, I noticed that Ramakrishna had tears in his eyes. He answered with affection to my queries: 'Today, by presenting you all, I became a beggar. With this power you are destined to perform many works for the welfare of the world before you too would turn back from it!' I feel taht this power constantly guides me when doing one work or another. This body was not made to remain idle."(7)
In one of his last letters, Vivekananda again evokes his Master:
"After all, I am only the boy who used to listen with rapt wonderment to the wonderful words of Ramakrishna under the banyan at Dakshineshwar. Thjat is wmy true nature; works and activities, doing good and so forth are all super-impositions. (technical word of Vedanta who designate whatever covers the Self and forbid to see It as It is). Now again hear his voice; the same old voice thrilling my soul. Bonds are breaking, love dyning, work becoming tasteless, the glamour is off life. Now on ly the voice of the Master is calling. 'I come, Lord, I come.' 'Lead the dead bury the dead, follow thou Me>' 'I come, my beloved Lord, I come.'
Yes, I come. Nirvana (the supreme state) is before me. I feel it at times, the same infinite ocean of peace, without a ripple, a breath. I am gl;ad I was born, glad I suffered so, glad I made big blunders, glad to enter peace. I leave none bound. I take no bounds. Whether this body will fall and relaese me or I enter into freedom in the body, the old ma is gone, gone for ecver, never to come back again!"(8)
The gur of Shri Aurobiondo
After twenty years, Shri Aurobindo speaks about the relationship which he extablished with his guru, a yogi called Lele. This meeting was short, but decisive in the spiritual itinerary of the young sage.
"As for me, I own the first decisive turning point of my inner life to somebody who was infinitely lower to me in intellect, education and capacities, and who was not at all spiritually perfect or supreme. But I saw a Power behind him and I decided to turn in this direction for help I totally put myself into his hands, and I followed his instructions with an automatic passivity. He himself wondered on this and told others that he never met someone who could surrender himself so completely and without reservation or questions to the instructions of him who helped. Its outcome was a series of experiences of transmutation s radical that he was not able to follow the evolution of it and had to advise me in future to surrender myself to the inner Guide as completely as I coulsd surrender myself to his human channel. I give this example to show how things work: not through the calculations that the human reason tries to establish, but through a more mysterious, and also greater law."(9)
for the good of humanity and showed us the path leading to divinity. Again, it is because we saw him that we have become convinced that there were certainly such wonderful manifestations of both these aspects ion the lives of the incarnations of past ages also." (4)
"Two or three days before his death, Shri Ramakrishna called me to his bed and asked me to sit down facing him; he gazed at me and entered into ecstasy (samadhi). I then actually felt that a subtle force entenred my body
"I believed in my Guru and I obtained realization"
Thes words are by Nisargadatta Maharaj who died in Bombay in 1981, more than seventy years old. Though known in the whole world as a master of Vedanta, he often reiterates than he has obtained realization in three years thanks to a total faith in the words of his guru.
"Question of a visitor: 'You want to say that your memory of your guru asnd his words: 'TYou are the Supreme Reality" was enough to obtain realization?"
Maharaj: 'What6 more needs to be done? It was quite a lot to remember the Guru and his words. My advice to you is even less difficult than this -just remembering yourself. 'I am" is enough to heal your mind and to toake you beyond. Just have some trust. I don't mislead you. Why should I? Do I want anything from you? I wish you well - such is my nature. Why should I mislead you?...
It is not the worship
of a person which is crucial, but the steadiness and depth of your devotion to the task. Life itself is the Supreme Guru: be attentive to its lessons and obedient to its commands. When you personalize their source, you have an outer Guru; when you take them from life directly, the Guru is within. Remember, wonder, ponder, live with it, love it, grow into it, make it your own -the word of your Guru, outer or inner. Put in all and you will get all. I was doing it. I was giving all my time to my Guru and what he told me."(10)
"...My Guru and his words:'You are myself' are timelessly with me beyond time. In the beginning I had to fix my mind on them, but now it has become natural and easy. The point when the mind accepts the words of the Guru as true and lives by them spontaneously and in every detail of daily life is the threshold of realisation. In a way it is salvation by faith, but the faith must be intense and lasting.
However, you must not think that faith is enough. Faith expressed in action is a sure means of realisation. They are teachers who deny faith and trust reason only. Actually it is not faith they deny, but blind beliefs. Faith is not blind. It is the willingness to try.' (11)
Question: 'How to protect oneself from the trap of false gurus?'
Maharaj :'Why be so concerned with others? Whoever may be the guru, if he is pure of heart and acts in good faith, he will do his disciples no harm. If there is no progress, the fault lies with the disciples, their laziness and lack of self-control. On the other hand, if the disciple is earnest and applies himself intelligently and with best to his sadhana, he is bound to meet a more qualified teacher who will take him further."(12)
"When the listener remains in a state of suspension without intruding on the listening as such, what in fact happens is that the relative, divided mind is automatically restrained from its natural proclivity to engage itself in the tortuous interpretation of words, thereby prevented from maintaining a continuous process of objectivation. It is then that the mind is enabled to be in direct communion with both the telling and the listening as such, and thereby to bring about the Yoga of words, enabling the words to yield their innermost meaning and their most subtle significance."(13)
Normal "I", enormous "I" and non-"I"
We have already quoted Ramana Maharishi. In his answer reported below, he clearly points out a function of the guru: to counterbalance pride, which is an inherent risk in Vedantic sadhana.
"Without understanding it properly, people think that the Guru teaches the disciple something like 'tatvamasi' ('you are That') and that the disciple realizes 'I am Brahman'. In their ignorance they conceive of something more huge and powerful than anything else. With a limited 'I' the man is so stuck up and wild. What will be the case if the same 'I' grows up enormous? He will be enormously ignorant and foolish! This false 'I' must perish. Its annihilation is the fruit of Guru seva (service to the guru). Realisation is eternal and is not newly brought by the Guru. He helps in the removal of ignorance. That is all."(14)
'I' and 'you'
This story of the sage Ribhu and of his disciple Nigadh, from the Puranas, illustrates the role of the guru particularly well. We give here an account of it taken from a version narrated by Ramana Maharshi.
"Although the sage Ribhu taught his disciple the supreme Truth of the One Brahman without a second, the latter, settling down in his native village, had fallen back into the old beliefs in the absolute efficacy of religious rituals. On one occasion Ribhu, who had put on the disguise of a village rustic, came into the town of his disciple and found Nigadha intently watching as royal procession. Playing the role of the village idiot, Ribhu asked him: 'What is going on here?'
- It is the king going in procession, answered Nigadha slightly surprised.
- But where is he
-There, on the elephant.
- You say the king is on the elephant. Certainly I see both, but who is the king and who is the elephant?
- If you cannot understand words, says Nigadha, who started being irritated, perhaps you would understand actions; bend forward!'
Nigadha mounts on the shoulders of Ribhu and says to him: 'I am the king above and you are the elephant below. Understood?
- King, elephant, above, below, I understand well; but who is 'I' and who is 'you'?"
This strange question makes a string sound in the memory of Nigadha, the disciple. He recognizes his Master and prostrates himself before him: 'Who else but my worshipped Master, Ribhu, could take me back in this way from the superficiality of physical existence to the true Being of Self! Compassionate Master, I beg you to grant me your blessing!" (15)
Jnaneshwar was one of the first great mystics of Maharashtra. He lived in the thirteenth century. His father, after taking his monastic vows,, followed the command of his guru who asked him to go back to his wife, whom he had left without informing him. Afterwards, he had been declared an outcast by the group of Brahmins to whom he belonged, because he had given up his vows: for to abandon them was considered a serous fault in the society of that period. Jnaneshwar was disciple of his elder brother who was himself of the Gorakhnath lineage, the supposed founder of Hatha-Yoga.
According to tradition, at hardly fifteen years of age, Jnaneshwar had already written his commentary to Bhagavad-Gita (16) which is among the most famous. He is also the author of poems (abhangas) which are still read and sung, particularly in Maharashtra. He composed slightly after his Commentary on the Gita his second great work, 'Experience of Immortality' (amritanubhava) which includes a part on Master and disciple of which we shall quote excerpts. After the two chapters on the Guru in Hinduism, the reader will have a basis to meditate on this text as beautiful as it is meaningful. I prefer not to comment upon it. Each person will comprehend it according to his own experience or his intuitive capacity. I bid the reader to keep an open mind so that he can directly receive the word of one of the greatest mystic of India.
"When we have a protector like Shri Gurunath (the lord guru), why should we go on counting the treasures of others? Does the wife of a king go on begging alms? She gets at her bidding whatever is desired by her. What is that a person sitting under the wish-fulfilling tree would ever lack?
Says Jnaneshvar; I have been saved by the grace of Shri Guru. I have been uplifted." (17)
"Resting on a cosy bed of equanimity I am fulfilling my mission with the grace of Shri Nivrittinath, my guru. The earth is my bed and the sky a covering for my body...While deeply lost in self-realisation, I fall asleep and in that state I had experience of bliss in the company of my spiritual master.
Says Jnaneshwar, I am concerned with the almighty Paramatman (the Supreme Spirit). The brightness
of His form shines forth everywhere."
Experience of immortality (Amritanubhava)
"I bow in worship to that authentic Master (Sadguru) who is like the spring season to the garden of the various ways of doing a spiritual practice, who is the thread running through the great formulations made in the Scriptures (mahavakya) and who, though in reality formless, is the very embodiment of compassion." (19) (Ch II, verse 1)
"Just as the flow ceases once it reaches the sea, so also all discipline and effort for liberation cease when one meets the Guru" (II, 8) Until there is a meeting with the Guru, the seer sees the universe as the other; thereafter, the distinction between the 'self' and the 'other' disappears.' (II, 9) Having bathed in the Ganges of Guru's grace, one becomes so pure that even Lord Shiva seems impure as a mere concept in consciousness" (II, 11)
"The Guru enjoys the apparent duality between himself and the disciple" (II,13) "It is only when the spring season in the form of Guru's grace comes about that the fruit hidden in the jungle of the Vedas is clearly perceivable and becomes available" (II, 18)
'Just as gold and the gold ornament are both gold, or the moon and the moonlight are both the moon, or the camphor and its fragrance, or the sugar and its sweetness are one, so also it is the Guru who instructs and the Guru who is instructed through this apparent duality of Guru and disciple" (II, 66-67)
"The appreciation of this unity in diversity is not possible for those who need a mirror to see their own eyes. The Guru gives such knowledge by which the disciple can see his own eye without the help of a mirror" (II, 68-69) "When the Guru speaks, he speaks from that state where the word does not arise at all, where even the thought of duality is unbearable. The Guru is not subject to any proof or criteria, but that does not mean that he does not exist. If, by any chance, the true nature of the Guru is perceived, the perceiving at once absorbs the perceiver" (II, 28-30)
"As a Guru, you are not satisfied until you totally demolish the identity of a disciple with the individual entity, so that he should not have even the satisfaction of having merged in you"(II, 39). "If one should wish to fall at the Guru's feet and worship him, he refuses to be an object of worship. Just as the sun has no reason to rise, the Guru finds no reason to be an object of worship" (II, 43-44) "The mirror of the sky will not allow any reflection; similarly the Guru will not allow anything to disturb his sense of unity [not even a disciple who still wastes his time in the world of separation] (II, 46)
'The flame that is created by the combination of the oil and the wick cannot be compared with the light that arises when a piece of camphor is burnt. When the camphor and the fire are brought together, both eventually disappear"(II, 51-52).
"When a person comes out of the bath, he may wipe himself dry, but the water remains in the form of humidity. At midday our shadow, which was clearly noticeable before, is not visible but remains hidden under our feet. Similarly, even after the concept of ignorance is destroyed by the recognition of the state of duality, conceptualizing continues to remain in the form of knowledge. Jnaneshwar says: this remnant of bondage which lurks even in the knowledge of Brahman, was finally destroyed through the worship of my Guru" (III, 29-32)
"You and I are not different, yet out of your love and affection you call me your own. Since I have no existence apart from you this demonstration of duality within unity is your unique achievement. You do not take anything from anyone else nor do you give anything to anyone else -and yet inexplicably you enjoy the relationship of Guru and disciple"(IX, 65-66)
Namdev was born in Maharashtra in the year 1270. He was a friend of Jnaneshwar and a forerunner of Kabir. Originally from the low caste of tailors, he spread Nirguna Bhakti, pure devotion to the Name of God, beyond rituals or sacred texts. This tendency to devotion to the formless is clear from his initiation. He was, at first, a follower of the worship of idols. Entering one day in the temple of Nagnath, he finds there an old leper who was lying with his foot on a lingam (the symbol of Shiva). Shocked by what seemed a sacrilege, he asks him to put his foot down. The old man -actually a yogi- excused himself by saying he was to weak, but that Namdev could help him to displace his foot to whatever other place he considered suitable, provided that God would not be there. This remark was enough and Namdev took the old man, Vishoba Khechar, as his guru (20)
"This state only Thou knowest,
How can mean intelligence describe it?
Thou are not as Thou are called.
Thou art what Thou art, o Lord.
Salt dissolved in water cannot be distinguished;
Thou too, O Lord, are my very breath.
The company of the holy and a meeting with Saints
Sayeth Namdev, lead to union with the Lord."(21)
is one of the most popular mystics in Maharashtra. He was born in the seventeenth century in a low caste; he was illiterate. His poems are oral compositions which are still sung on the roads by the pilgrims of Vithoba in Pandharpur, the Jerusalem of Maharashtra.
It has not yet seen the lion.
The ocean roars?
It has not yet seen the sage Agastya (who could calm down storms)
Words of renunciation?
Not yet any beautiful woman before one's sight.
Words of courage?
Not yet a brave warrior before one's sight.
Rosaries, sacred make-up?
Tukaram has not yet shown himself."
Then diamond does not beam.
The sun has not yet dawned. Stories of Saints? Tukaram has not yet been met."(22)
In an anthology of texts on the Guru, it is right to give a good place to Kabir, who obtained realisation thanks to the company of the Guru (satsang) and the repetition of the Word (shabda) which he received from him. He is the very example of the gurumukh, the one who has his face turned towards the Sadguru. Kabir's life is little known. He is supposed to have been a weaver of Muslim origin in Banaras at the end of the fifteenth century, and that he was married and had two children. As in his poems Kabir constantly plays on the paradox of the outer Sadguru, incarnate in a flesh and blood person, and the inner one, light in the heart, it is difficult for the historian to know if he had a single guru, many or none; nevertheless, tradition says that his guru was Ramananda, the founder of an important vaishnavite movement (sampradaya)
The very story of Kabir's initiation is already full of humour and intensity. Ramananda, as any respectable Brahmin of his time, avoided to look at low caste Hindus and obviously refused to initiate the poor Muslim that Kabir was. The guru used to go to take bath in the Ganges before dawn. Kabir laid down in darkness on one of the steps of the ghat (stairs going down into the river). Ramananda put his foot on the latter's head. Taken aback he exclaimed "Ram, Ram". It was enough for initiation. Kabir had heard the mantra from the mouth of his guru while the latter had his feet on his own head.
Kabir is one of the most celebrated Indian mystic, both in his country of origin and abroad. He deserves his uncommon name in the fifteenth century Banaras: Kabir comes from the same root than Akbar, a name of God, and mean 'the great'. His poems are often sung not only in ashrams but in concerts as well. Usually the musicians improvise during concert, but for Kabir it is usually fixed composition. It is sometimes difficult to distinguish between the authentic works of Kabir and the tradition which has followed. Charlotte Vaudeville has done a good deal of research on the subject.(23) However, as our purpose is to present the tendencies of a movement and not to establish a critical edition, the distinction between Kabir himself and his tradition loses its importance.
"If this time my Master I meet,
That Master is dear to me, o friend
who is not fond of pageantry,
who does not pose as a high priest,
who performs no external worship,
who accepts no gifts for himself.
Kabir says: Who knows no fear
and enables me to attain
that divine state of fearlessness
He alone is my Master,
Him I love and cherish, o friend."(28)
If you get devotion
through the service of the Maste,
only then consider yourself
a human being.
It is your opportunity,
this is your only chance
to contemplate and realize God
within your own body.
Kabir proclaims aver and again:
it is now up to you,
win or loose the game!" (29)
When I was
the Master was not
Now only the Master is -
'I' am no more,
is love's lane, o friend,
where two cannot be."(30)
To dispel the darkness of night
even if a million moons
the man without a Master
will still be a man without sight." (31)
"As long as I was looking for You I did not find You.
I went from door to door knocking,
yet none of the doors was Yours.
I looked for You in so many paths,
yet none of them led to Your court.
But when I received Guru Ramanada's grace,
when Guru Ramananda erased me and I became pure,
I saw that You were accompanying me like muy shadow.
Wherever I went you were there with me."(32)
"All talk about going there
but I do not know where their paradise is!
with tearful eyes my long tale of woe
to him I'll submit, with my head
bowed at his feet I will try to convey
what my heart ever longed to say" (24)
:Devotion to the Master is hard;
It is like walking on a sword-edge.
Without sincerity, without fervour, one cannot reach this state.
Subtle, in fact, is the way of devotion."(25)
"I had come to the world
to see its beauty and charm.
But, says Kabir, I forgot all
when I saw my Master's peerless form." (26)
"I did not find anybody who has burnt his own house and has chased away from it the five boys in order to place there the love of Ram.
I did not find anybody to whom I could attach myself
and watch the world burning in its own fire.
I did not find anybody who could explain me all the paths
and who could be totally absorbed in this Master who
dwells in the void space of heaven.
I myself have burned my house; now I stand
with a flaming torch in my hands.
His house too I shall burn who joins me
on my homewards journey"(27)
That Master I cherish, o friend,
who fills the cup of true Name
who himself drinks it,
and enables me to drink with joy.
They do not know the mysteries of their own I,
and they describe the paradise!
As long as the soul shall maintain desire of paradise,
it could not find its dwelling at the feet of the Lord.
Its moats, citadels, ramparts, I ignore them all,
I do not know the door of paradise!
Kabir asks: now, what can still be said?
The company of saints, that is paradise!"(33)
"The lotus of night remains on a level with water
and the moon high in the sky,
but he who is cherished is always near!
Kabir, if the guru stays in Banaras and the disciple
at the shores of the Ocean
the latter cannot forget the former, if he has some nobility of soul.
He whom we love, somehow comes to us;
He to whom one has given himself body and soul
cannot be taken away.
Guru and disciple have a single soul, they are one in thinking.
It is not quickness of mind which pleases the Master
but an open heart within the disciple."(34)
"Whatever could be said
I tried to say it.
More than that,
I have nothing to add.
Only the One remains
the other has vanished;
the wave has been merged in the Ocean."(35)