Ramaini 46

binse nag garud gali jai, binse kapti ow shat bhai;
binse pap punya jinh kinha, binse gun nirgun jinh chinha;
binse agni pawan ow pani, binse shrishti kahan lo gani;
vishnu lok binsai chhin mahi, hown dekha parlai ki chhanhi.

Sakhi: machh rup maya bhai, jabarahi khelai aher,
harihar brahma na ubare, sur nar muni kehi ker.

Meaning

Both Sheshnag and Garud died. Those who are cheaters and betrayers also die.
Those who perform evil or virtuous deeds also die; those who believe in nirgun and sagun will also die.
Fire, air and water are perishable, as is all of creation; how far can I count?
Even Vishnu Lok is destroyed in a moment; I see all destroyed under the influence of Pralaya.

Sakhi: Maya is like a fish which is always preoccupied with hunting for food.
Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma could not get freedom from maya. What then can one say of the gods, men and sages?

Commentary

In this ramaini Guru Kabir speaks of the perishability of all physical bodies or things, whether living or non-living. Sheshnag is the great mythological serpent which floats on an ocean of milk and on which Lord Vishnu rests. Similarly, the Garud is a great mythological bird, similar to the eagle on which Lord Vishnu rides. They are no more. All people are destructible whether they are cheaters or evil doers, or even if they are virtuous. Even those religious people who say that God has attributes (sagun) and those who say that God has no attributes (nirgun) are perishable. Even inanimate things such as fire, air and water are perishable just as all of creation is. Vishnu Lok is the heaven where Lord Vishnu resides; even that is perishable when the great dissolution called Pralai takes place. The gods, men and sages all perished under the influence of maya.

In order to understand this ramaini, one has to understand what maya is. This is discussed in the philosophy of Vedanta. All things in the universe, both animate and inanimate, became differentiated into their various manifestations from the undifferentiated God because of the power of maya. There are two levels of understanding in this ramaini. One is that we see all things around us being destructible. According to Indian cosmology, a time will come when there will be a great dissolution of all things on earth; and all things will then be recreated or differentiated again from a Primal Being. The second level of meaning is that when one obtains Self-realization or God Realization, then one immediately sees that all things have dissolved into the Being of God as all are really part and parcels of God. What then is the point of the ramaini? Guru Kabir intends to point out that we must not lose sight of our true being which is the Eternal Soul which is indestructible. Too often we are pre-occupied with all the material things of life and we become victims of maya which keeps us from realizing our True Self.