Ramaini 49

dar ki bat kaho darvesa, badshah hai kowne bhesha;
kahan kuch kahan kare mukama, mai tohi puchhow musalmana;
lal jard ki nana bana, kown surati ko karo salama;
kaji kaj karahu tum kaisa, ghar ghar jabah karawahu bhainsa;
bakari murgi kinh pharmaya, kiske kahe tun chhuri chalaya;
dard na janahu pir kahawahu, baita padhhi padhhi jag bharmawahu;
kahahi kabir ek sayyad bohawai, ap sarikha jag kabulawai

Sakhi: din ko roja rahat hain, rati hanat hai gai,
yeha khun waha bandagi, kyon kar khushi khudai.

Meaning

O Dervish! Tell me the address of God and the form of His clothing?
Where does He travel and where does He live? O Musalman! I am asking you.
You talk of red and yellow colors in heaven; to what sort of meditation do you pay respect?
O Kazi! What sort of work do you perform? You help the people from house to house to kill the buffalo.
Who ordered you to kill the goat and the hen? Who advised you to use the knife on the animals?
You are called pir, but you do not understand the pain of others. You deceive the people pretending that you are reading the verses.
Kabir says that one sect is called Sayyad and it persuades the world to agree with it.

Sakhi: In the day they observe roza and in the night they kill the cow;
On the one hand they spill blood and on the other they do devotion. How can they please God?

Commentary

In this Ramaini Guru Kabir is asking some pointed questions of the Muslims urging them to examine their conduct and see if God will be pleased with what they are doing. He has also done the same thing with the Hindus, as Hindus and Muslims are the two major religions of India. A dervesh is a Muslim fakir who dances in a whirling fashion and dress in white. They do this in order to obtain attunement with God. Thus the term ‘Whirling Dervishes’. Musalman is also a term used for Muslims. The Muslims pray to God (Allah) facing Mecca five times a day, and they must affirm that there is no God but Allah and that Mohammed is His prophet. Considering their actions, Guru Kabir is asking them who is their God and where does He live, and what is His form of clothing? Muslims believe that when they go to paradise there will be beautiful colors and maidens to wait on them, and they will enjoy life immensely. Kabir is asking from what sort of meditation or spiritual discernment do they arrive at such knowledge.

Kabir addresses the Kazi, who is a Muslim holy man maintaining law and order of the religion, and asks him about his work. (Note the word ‘kaj’ means work and the word Kazi can be derived from that root.) The Kazi is instrumental in helping Muslims to kill the cow and buffalo by offering prayers thus making it halal or pure. This is opposed to haram or bad. Who has ordered the Kazi to kill the goat, the hen or any other animal as sacrifice. All scriptures and holy people, and saints, have taught not to kill. Thus Guru Kabir states that you are called a pir or a holy man but you do not understand the pain (pir) of others. There is one set of Muslims called Sayyad or the Vahavi sect who force other people to agree with them and become Muslims. Holy people do not behave in this way.

In the sakhi Guru Kabir asks how God can be pleased with the Muslims who observed the roza or fasting all day, and at night they kill the cow and eat lavishly. On the one hand they are practicing violence and spilling blood, and on the other hand they are praying to God.

It is our duty in life to love God. If we love God we must also love all the creatures which God created. All scriptures teach us to be non-violent. If we practice violence against God’s innocent creatures, how can we please God? Guru Kabir was a mystic saint of the highest order and, as such, he could not fail to point out to people of any religion their deficiencies and wrong practices in the name of religion. One must have compassion on all living things. Without compassion in the heart one cannot truly be a religious person, in spite of all the scriptures and religious duties he performs.