Ramaini 35

pandit bhule padhhi guni veda, ap apanpow janu na bheda;
sanjha tarpan ow shat karma, i bahu rup kare as dharma;
gayatri yug chari padhai, puchhahu jai mukti kin pai;
owr ke chhuye let ho chinchha, tum so kahahu kown hai nicha;
i gun garb karo adhikai, adhike garb na hoi bhalai;
jasu nam hai garb prahari, so kas garbahi sakai sahari;

Sakhi: kul maryada khoi ke, khojin pad nirban;
ankur bij nasai ke, nar bhaye videhi than.

Meaning

The pandits have gone astray by studying and practicing the teachings of the Vedas, because they do not know the secret of their own Selves.
They perform the evening and morning prayer and offer water to their ancestors, and they perform their six karmas. In these many ways they perform their religious duties.
They taught the gayatri mantra in the four yugas; go and ask them who obtained liberation?
If an untouchable person touches you, you sprinkle water on yourselves. Tell me who is lower than you?
You indulge in this kind of behaviour and yet you are boasting; there is no benefit from so much pride.
He whose name is the Killer of pride, how can He tolerate your pride?

Sakhi: Give up the pride of your clan and tradition; try to find the place of immortality;
By destroying the seed and shoot of pride, people become liberated in this very life.

Commentary

The pandits are the brahmins who belong to the ‘high caste’. They study the Vedas which are the most ancient scriptures of India, and contain a great deal of instruction on various aspects of life, philosophy and religious teachings. They became very versed in the Vedas and they performed the various ceremonials and their six duties as outlined in the commentary of ramaini #34 . They initiate disciples and teach them the gayatri mantra. If a ‘low caste’ person touches them, they feel themselves polluted and have to ceremonially sprinkle water on themselves to become purified. Guru Kabir is pointing out here that the pandits have really gone astray because they have developed pride in their clan, caste and religious education, but they have not really experienced the Reality of their own souls. The same holds true for most priests everywhere. They are preoccupied with their doctrines, dogmas and rituals, but do not delve deeply within themselves to know the Reality of God which is within. All religious practices are of no avail unless one gives up pride and the other passions, and purifies the heart, and humbly approaches the indwelling, ever present and eternal Master.