Ramaini 48

manikpurahi kabir baseri, madadati suni shekh taqqi keri,
ujai suni jaunpur thana, jhusi suni piran ko nama;
ekis pir likhe tehi thama, khatma pardhe paigambar nama,
suni bol mohi raha na jai, dekhi mukarba raha bhulai;
habi nabi nabi ke kama, jahan lown amal so sabai harama.

Sakhi: shekh akardi shekh sakardi, manahu bachan hamar,
adi ant ow yug yug, dekhahu drishti pasar

Meaning

When Kabir lived in Manikpur, he heard the fame of Shaikh Taqqi;
In Jaunpur he heard the name Ujjai and in Jhusi he heard the names of pirs (gurus);
There he found written the names of twenty one pirs (gurus); they read the khatma (discourses) in the name of the prophet;
Hearing all of this I could not hold myself back; seeing the tombs of the pirs the people got lost;
They used the names of Habi and Nabi but look at their actions. In practice they feel everything is haram (impure).

Sakhi: O Shaikh Akardi and Shaikh Sakardi! Listen to my words:
From the beginning to the end of time, and in every age, see things with your own open eyes.

Commentary

It must be remembered that Guru Kabir was opposed to false piety and external show of religious fervour when true religious or spiritual feeling was not embedded in the heart. He spoke out against these whether the practitioners were of the Islamic or the Hindu faith. In this ramaini he is pointing out some of the deficiencies practiced by the Muslim priests and the lay-people who paid homage to them. He met these holy Muslim preachers in various places where he travelled. He heard them giving discourses and reading scriptures in the name of the Prophet. Some of the prophets were called Nabi and others Habi or the friend of God. He saw the names of famous pirs or religious leaders inscribed on tomb stones. People went and prayed to the tomb stones and made requests for their well being. In spite of their being religious leaders, their practices were not pure and therefore considered to be haram. (Muslims use the word haram to mean that which is not pure, or it is bad, or not sanctified.) Kabir observes that the people get lost seeing the tombs and the famous names written on them. They feel that they will obtain some blessing or favour by praying to the tomb stones in the name of the people listed there. He felt that the people doing so were beguiled because they could not get anything by praying to the dead. The people were not aware of the Law of Cause and Effect which operated in their lives. Speaking to two famous pirs named Shaikh Akardi and Shaikh Sakardi, he admonished them to pay attention to his words. He said that at all times they must use their spiritual intellect to see things in the proper light. They must realize that the soul dwells within and that it is Divine. There is no need to accept a god who resides in the “seventh heaven” surrounded by all kinds of beauties and lavishness.

Kabir was a down to earth saint who was very concerned with the spiritual welfare of the common people. It hurt him a great deal to see that people fell victim to hypocrisy, and were deluded into believing that they were on the right spiritual path. He tried to open their spiritual eyes wherever he went and preached. That is why he states that he could not hold himself back when the saw the wrong things being done in the name of religion, and the people remaining gullible.