kahat mohi bhayal yug chari, samujhat nahi moha sutnari;
bansahi agi lagi bansahi jariya, bharambhul nar dhandhe pariya;
hasti ke phande hasti rahai, mriga ke phande mriga rahai;
lohe loha jas katu sayana, triya ke tattwa triya pahichana;
Sakhi: nari rachante purusha, purush rachante nar
purushahi purusha jo rache, te birle sansar
Four yugas have gone by and I am still advising the people; through attachment to sons and wives they do not understand me.
The bamboo rubbing on bamboo sets fire to all the bamboo; man, lost in doubts, becomes entangled in worldly business.
The male elephant is trapped by the female elephant, and the male deer is trapped by the female.
The wise person cuts iron with iron, and a woman recognizes the artifice of another woman.
Sakhi: A woman is attracted to a man and a man to a woman; in this world it is rare to find a man in love with a Man.
Guru Kabir is explaining the strong hold which passions, such as infatuation and love can have on people. People thus do not set their priorities correctly and suffer as a consequence. Our foremost goal in life is to know the real Self, which is God dwelling within. However, people become entangled with family relationships, such as wives and sons, or husbands and daughters for that matter, and live their lives in pursuit of material and emotional satisfactions to the exclusion of a spiritual ideal. He cites the example of a bamboo rubbing on another bamboo which results in fire and burns the bamboo grove down. Just so, people entangled with his materialistic pursuits burn with all the passions which such a life arouses.
Guru Kabir cites the example of a male elephant being trapped by the female elephant, or the male deer being trapped by the female deer (the females being used as lures for the males). He advises that we must not be allured, similarly, because of passions, into being trapped into the material world. He cites the example of the wise person cutting iron with iron, such as, that people should be wise and know how to be in the midst of all the worldly activities, and yet, use these worldly activities to steer him to a spiritual life. Just as a woman understands the mystique of another woman, just so a person should understand the artifice of the world and not be trapped by it.
In the sakhi Guru Kabir points out what is obvious to all, in that, a woman loves a man and a man loves a woman. This is the average every day experience of life. But he contrasts this with the idea of a man loving a man, which is rare indeed. (Does not refer to homosexuality). The Man here refers to the Self, or the Soul, which is Purush and is of male gender. Thus, the man who loves the Man (Purush or Soul) is truly the wise person who can free himself from the traps of maya or illusion created by the material world, and obtain freedom.