Ramaini 42

jab ham rahal rahal nahi koi, hamre mahin rahal sab koi,
kahahu ram kown teri sewa, so samujhai kaho mohi deva;
phur phur kaheu maru sab koi, jhuthehi jhutha sangati hoi,
andhar kahain sab ham dekha, tahan dithiyar baithi mukh pekha;
yaha bidhi kaheun manu jo koi, jas mukh tasjo hridiya hoi,
kahahi kabir hans muskai, hamre kahale chhutihahu bhai.

Meaning

When I (Soul) existed in the beginning no one else existed; all then existed in me;
Tell me, O Ram! who served you then; O Lord! explain this to me;
If I explain the truth everyone wants to beat me; the liars enjoy the company of other liars;
The blind person says that he sees everything, and the person with sight looks at him in surprise;
I preach in this way if people will listen to me; it is proper that people’s words and actions should agree;
Kabir smilingly says to the devotee: “O brother you will obtain liberation if you follow my teaching.”

Commentary

The purpose of this ramaini is to explain two very important concepts in spiritual life. The first is that before creation only God existed, and all beings and things existed in God. The second is that liberation or salvation can come about only by understanding the nature of the soul. Guru Kabir is stating that it is necessary to understand that the soul is eternal and existed in the being of God at the very “beginning”. No one else then existed. All beings emanated from, or were projected from, the being of God. Since no other living being then existed, Guru Kabir is asking the question of God: “Tell me who then did service to you?”

When Guru Kabir tells the truth and asks troubling questions like these, the people do not understand, and they oppose him or try to beat him. People seem to be contented to follow the company of those who propagate spiritual falsehood and hypocrisy. It is thus that figuratively the blind (ignorant) person says that he sees everything, (understands everything), but the person who has vision looks at him in surprise. That is, the person with spiritual wisdom looks at the spiritually ignorant person still deluded by his ignorance, yet proclaims that he has spiritual enlightenment. Guru Kabir explains, quite correctly, that what is in the heart, is what is the truth, must be what people should “utter”. Yet people say things which are false and do not talk about the Divine Soul with any understanding. He endeavored to teach them the truth about the soul and speaks to them with a benevolent smile that: “O brother! If you understand and follow what I am teaching you, you will obtain liberation.” Liberation comes from the knowledge of the Soul or the Absolute Atman which is always in union with Brahman or the Omniscient or Omnipotent Lord.