Ramaini 20

ab kahu ram nam avinasi, hari chhodi jiara katahu na jasi;
jahan jahu tahan hohu patanga, ab jani jarahu samujhi vish sanga;
ram nam lau laisu linha, bhringi kit samujhi man dinha;
bhow as gurua dukh ke bhari,
karu jiya jatan je dekhu bichari;
man ki bat hai lahari bekara, te nahi sujhai war na para.

Sakhi: ichha kari bhowsagar, bohit ram
adhar; kahein kabir hari sharan gahu, gowkhur bachh bistar;

Meaning

Now, Oh soul! Recite the Eternal name of God; do not give up God and go elsewhere. Wherever you go you will suffer as the moth; understand what is poison and don’t burn in it. Fix your love strongly on God’s name; understand the nature of the wasp and fix your mind on Him. This world is weighed down with severe miseries; Oh soul! Realize this and try to overcome it. The mind is full of worldly desires as the sea is full of waves; man is not able to see their beginning or end.

Sakhi: The world is full of desires as the ocean is full of waves; the refuge of God is like a ship on the ocean. Kabir says accept the refuge of God and the worldly expanse will become as small as a calf’s hoof.

Commentary

In this ramaini Guru Kabir contrasts the pursuit of God on the one hand and pursuit of worldly things on the other. He entreats the devotee not to give up God and pursue the worldly things because he states that the things of the world are like poison which superficially appear to be attractive. People have not obtained bliss by pursuing material gain, fame, pursuit of various leisures, etc.. In the modern world, although there is greater leisure time and much more opportunities for recreation and for other accomplishments, people are generally not any happier in themselves. More and more people are suffering from mental and physical ailments and the various stresses of life which make people anxious, depressed, apathetic, lonely, etc.. Even people who enjoy themselves in various social and cultural activities undergo the above turmoil. However, if a person places his trust in God and makes God the motivating principle of his life, then it follows naturally that his life will become stable and he will enjoy inner peace and bliss.

Guru Kabir used the example of the moth burning in the flame to which it is attracted. Just so people are attracted to the worldly things but end up paying for it, often painfully, by suffering in one way or another. He advises not to burn in the flames of this world or by the poison of this material world. He advises to control the material desires which occupy the mind and make it restless just as the waves of the ocean keep the water restless. When a person attains a spiritual life, his desires become less and less as he progresses higher and higher, and reaches a state of indifference to the so-called worldly attractions, because he has tasted the joy of inner bliss. With this experience he sees the expanse of the world, with its accompanying problems, reduced to insignificance when compared to the Infinity of God.