Shabd 12

santo mate matu jan rangi;
piyat piyala prem sudharas, matwale satsangi;
ardhe urdhe bhathi ropini, le kasau ras gari;
munde madan kati karm kasmal, santat chuwat agari;
gorakh datt vashisth vyas kapi, narad sukh muni jori;
baithe sabha sambhu sankadik, taha phirai adhar katori;
ambarish ow yaga janak jad, shesh sahas mukh phana;
kaha lou ganow anant koti lou, amahal mahal diwana;
dhruv, prahalad vibhishan mate, mati shiv ki nari;
sagun brahm mate vrindavan, ajahu lagi khumari;
sur nar muni yati pir owliya, jin re piya tinjana;
kahain kabir gunge ki shakkar, kyon kar kare bakhana.

Meaning

O saints! People absorbed in His colour are intoxicated (with love); The satsangis are intoxicated with it, as they drink cup fulls of nectarine love; They fix the still in the midst of the sky, and there they extract the pungent drink; They have overcome lust and evil actions, and partake of the drops of love, falling continuously; Gorakh, Dattatreya, Vashisth, Vyas, Hanuman, Narad and Sukh Muni, all enjoyed it; Sitting in the assembly Shiva, Sanak and others passed the cup around; Even Ambarish and Yajnavalkya, Janak and Jadbharat, and Shesh with its thousand mouths enjoyed it; How long can I count the endless numbers who enjoyed it, even those in palaces and wanderers have been intoxicated; Dhruv, Prahalad, Bhibhishan were intoxicated, as was Shiva’s wife (Parvati); The incarnation of Brahman (Krishna) was intoxicated in Vrindavan, and even today that intoxication is felt; Gods, men, munis, the yatis, the pirs and saints, all who drank it they know of it; Kabir says, if a dumb person tastes sugar how can he explain it?

Commentary

In this very interesting shabda, Guru Kabir explains the state of intoxication felt by those who have become absorbed in God. They have God realization. Just as a person can become drunk with alcohol, just so a person becomes drunk with the love of God. The difference is that the alcoholic person will do foolish things, and may be obnoxious, whereas the person absorbed in the love of God sings of the glories of God oblivious to his surroundings. He may not verbalize his singing, but he feels that state of experience which is beyond description.

The still is used for making wine. In this shabda Guru Kabir uses the still to symbolize the making of the wine of love, but this still is in the midst of the sky. This means that the God-intoxicated people have gone into meditation, and the midst of the sky is really a high state of consciousness. That is where they distill their wine of love. Once they have reached this stage, they have overcome all lust and evil actions, and they are drinking the nectar of love that is flowing continuously by God’s grace.

Guru Kabir lists a number of personalities of India as listed in scriptures and mythology, who have attained such a state. All of these personalities listed were great in many ways and, perhaps, you can read about them in other books, such as the Ramayan, Gita or other scriptures of India. Guru Kabir is saying that the numbers of people who have attained this state are countless, considering that he is relating events of many ages in the past. Most people are familiar with Krishna, who is supposed to be an incarnation of God. Even he was intoxicated with this Divine Nectar. His influence is even in the world today. The gods, men and munis (philosophers), yatis (ascetics) and pir and awliya (Muslim holy people), have also tasted of this nectar and became intoxicated. Guru Kabir is saying that this state of intoxication is difficult to explain to other people. It is like the dumb person who has tasted sugar and enjoys it, but he cannot explain the sweetness to others.