Ramaini 18

adbud panth varni nahi jai, bhule ram bhuli duniyai.
jo chetahu toh chetahu re bhai, nahi toh jiw yam le jai
shabd na mane kathai ju gyana, tate jam diyo hai thana.
sanshai sawaj base sharira, tin khayo anbedha hira.

Sakhi: sanshai sawaj sharir me,
sangahin khele juwari; aisa ghayal bapura, jiwahin mare jhari.

Meaning

There are many strange religions, and it is difficult to describe them. Beguiled by maya, the people have forgotten God. O my brother! If you wish to awaken, then wake up, or else Yama will take your life. Yama has given a refuge to the person who does not know the Word but discusses words of wisdom. Doubts, as wild animals, are residing in the body, and eat up the precious, flawless diamond.

Sakhi: Doubts, as wild animals, dwell in the body, and gamble with the soul. They have sorely wounded the poor soul and have killed it.

Commentary

The world has many religions which are divided into many sects and sub-sects or branches. Each interprets the scriptures according to its own understanding, and they have devised various ways of worshipping God, and of practising religious life according to their various interpretations of their scriptures. Guru Kabir calls them strange because they all profess to worship one God, one Truth. The followers of each has the same spirit dwelling in them; God resides in all equally, and yet they have caused confusions among themselves because of the proliferation of various beliefs. As a result they have missed the point and have lost sight of God in the process. In other words, they have failed to realize the Truth. They remain fooled by maya (illusion) because they continue to be driven by the various passions of ego, lust, anger, greed and attachments in the world of materialism.

The soul resides within all beings and it manifests the consciousness of God. People cannot find God anywhere else in the world except in their own selves. Of what use then are the various belief systems and practices which people follow. They cause only misunderstanding and intolerance, and God “fall through the cracks” between them. Without realizing the Truth, they try to discuss words of wisdom with great conviction. No wonder Guru Kabir exhorts people to wake up. If they do not, they will not find the salvation which they are seeking, but will find death awaiting them. Because they have not realized the Truth, doubts are having a grand time “gambling” with the soul. The soul is divine, eternal and flawless, but the mind of man cannot grasp its reality because it is caught up with doubts perpetrated by all the various religions and their fragmentary branches. Guru Kabir has used the symbolism of killing the soul figuratively, as the soul cannot be killed. It means that doubts keep the soul in bondage due to spiritual ignorance. When all doubts are removed only then can self realization occur.