Ramaini 12

matik kot pashan ko tala, soik ban soi rakhwala;
so ban dekhat jiw derana, brahman vaishnav ekai jana;
jyon kisan kisani karai, upje khet bij nahin parai;
chhadi dehu nar jhelik jhela, bude dowu guru ow chela;
tisar bude parath bhai, jin ban daho dawan lagai;
bhunki bhunki kukur mar gayawu, kaj na ek siyar se bhayawu.

Sakhi: mus bilayi ek sangh, kahu kaise
rahi jai; achraj ek dekho ho santo, hasti singhahi khai.

Meaning

This body is a fort of clay, secured with a lock (mind) of stone. The fort is in the jungle of doubts, and doubt is its keeper. Seeing the doubts, the soul is sorely afraid. The brahmins and vaishnavas are trapped in the same doubts. Just as the farmer tends his fields, just so the farm of doubts exist, but flourishes without seed. Oh man, give up the pulling and pushing (arguments indicating doubt). Because of doubt, both the guru and the disciple drown. The third to drown is the hunter who sets fire to the jungle to drive out the animals. The dog has died of barking, and the jackal could not accomplish his task.

Sakhi:The rat and the cat are placed together; tell me, how can they remain together? Oh saints! I see such a marvel that the elephant is eating up the lion.

Commentary

In this ramaini Guru Kabir tells us that we become victims of doubt if we do not have a clear perception of the spiritual path to God realization. We have this body, which can function only by the dictates of the mind. The mind, however, is full of ignorance when it comes to the subject of a true spiritual life. Doubts are fed to us from all around, by people who, themselves, have not realized God, and are thus not able to give us the true teachings. Thus Guru Kabir says that doubts spring up, just as the carefully tended field of the farmer springs up in abundance. None is actually spared of these doubts, whether he is a Brahmin, a Vaishnav, or any other caste. He advises us to give up argumentations and seek to know God, who dwells within. There are many false gurus who, along with their disciples, drown in this world of materialism and bondage. Guru Kabir likens the leader of the false gurus to the hunter who sets fire to the jungle in order to drive out the animals to be captured. Just so, the false gurus put the fire of doubts in the minds of the people. The dog here represents the ignorant person who gives endless talks, but dies without God realization. Similarly, the jackal represents the cunning person, who in his cunningness thinks that he knows God, yet he has only fooled himself. In the sakhi, Guru Kabir refers to the rat as the ignorant person, and the cat as maya. Just as the rat and the cat cannot stay together, since the cat will eat the rat, just so, maya destroys the ignorant person. The marvel which he describes about the elephant eating the lion, refers to the mind full of doubts, figuratively destroying the soul. In essence, Guru Kabir teaches us to get rid of doubts by seeking the truth, so that we may not be fooled by maya (illusion), but rise to spiritual illumination and salvation.