Ramaini 39

jin kalma kali mahi parhaya, kudrat khoj tinahu nahi paya;
karmat karm kare kartuta, ved kiteb bhaye sab rita;
karmat so jag bhow avtariya, karmat so nimaj ko dhariya;
karmat sunnati owr janeu, hindu turuk na jane bheu;

Sakhi: pani pawan sanjoi ke, rachiya yaha utpat
shunyahi surati samoi ke, kaso kahiye jat.

Meaning

Even Mohammad who taught the Kalma in this Kaliyug (iron age) could not fathom the meaning of maya;
In the name of karmas both Hindus and Muslims perform religious rites, and they have rendered the Vedas and Quran ineffective;
It was because of Karmas that the soul is born into the world, and through Karma the naming ceremony is performed;
It is through Karmas that the Muslim performs circumcision, and the Hindu accepts the sacred thread, but both Hindu and Turk do not understand their inner meaning.

Sakhi: It is by the combination of water and air that all life was made;
If one meditates on the “void”, he realizes that all are made from the same water and vital force. Of whom then will he ask his caste?

Commentary

This ramaini deals with Karmas which here carry two meanings. One meaning is the Law of Karma or Cause and Effect which determines the circumstances of one’s rebirth into the world. The second is the various rites and rituals (sacraments) which people perform, such as the naming ceremony, circumcision, baptism, investment with the sacred thread, funeral rites etc. Guru Kabir is saying that all the people are preoccupied with the manifestation made possible according to their religious beliefs. But they have not understood the real Karma or the Law of Cause and Effect which operates in everyone’s life. The word Kudrat means nature which is the physical manifestation by the power of maya. People who follow orthodox religions do not know, nor do they try to know, what Maya is, and how it operates in their lives. Guru Kabir states that even Mohammad, who was the messenger of God and who revealed the Quran to the people, did not himself truly understand the power of maya. When people become preoccupied with all the sacramental duties, they lose the true essence of a spiritual life, and thus they make their scriptures ineffective in promoting their spiritual path to salvation.

The word water here also carries the meaning of semen and pawan also the Prana or vital energy. Both of these are necessary in order to manifest life. When one meditates deeply, he understands how God has made life manifest in the physical form by the use of the power of maya. When he realizes that all people are created in the same way, of the same elements and energies, then he has no need to ask the caste of anyone. Everybody belongs to the same “human caste”.