Ramaini 15

wo nai badariya parigow sanjha,
aguwa bhule ban khand manjha;
piya ante dhani ante rahai, chowpari kamari mathe gahai.

Sakhi: phulwa bhar
na le sakai, kahai sakhiyan son roi jyon jyon bhijai kamari, tyon tyon bhari hoi.

Meaning

Those new clods have gathered and it has become evening ; the leader lost his way in the jungle. The husband is somewhere and the wife somewhere else; she places the folded blanket on her head.

Sakhi: When she was decorated with flowers by her friends she cried out to them that she could not bear the weight; Now as the blanket got wetter and wetter, it became heavier and heavier on her head.

Commentary

This is the shortest ramaini in the Bijak and, as usual, Guru Kabir has packed it with metaphysical meaning. This is based on a story in which a king was under threat by an opposing army. He secretly sent his son and daughter-in-law through a hidden passage to obtain help from the prince’s father-in-law. He sent a guide to show them the way through the forest. After arriving in the forest the wife became thirsty and asked her husband for water. He sent the guide for water and he got lost. He then went himself in search for water and lost his way also. In the meanwhile it started to rain, and the blanket which was folded in four and on which she was sitting, she placed on top of her head to keep herself dry. It became dark and, as the rain fell, the blanket got wet and became heavier and heavier. In the palace she complained of the weight of the flowers with which her friends decorated her, but now she has to bear the weight of the blanket. Guru Kabir, with his usual vivid imagination, used this story to make a comment on our condition in the world. The clouds are doubts and the night is ignorance; the four-folded blanket is our actions; the rain symbolizes desires; the wife is the soul and the husband is God. The leader is Brahma and the jungle is maya (illusion).

In this life we are under the influence of the clouds of doubts and the night of ignorance. The leaders, who are the priests, are themselves lost in the jungle of maya in this world. They have not attained God Realization, the goal which they are seeking. People, goaded on by desires, are occupied in various activities which, like a heavy wet blanket, keep weighing them down in this material world. The soul, separate from God, longs for union with Him, just as the wife in the jungle longs for her husband to return. She, in her ignorance, thought he was lost, just as we do not realize the presence of God.