Shabd 25

avadhu wo tattu rawal rata, nachai bajan baju barata;
mour ke mathe dulha dinha, akatha jori kahata;
mandav ke charan samdhi dinha, putra vivahal mata;
dulhin lipi chowk baithari, nirbhai pad parkasa;
bhatai ulati baratahi khayo, bhali bani kushlata;
panigrahan bhayo bhow mandan, sukhmani surati samani;
kahahi kabir sunahu ho santo, bujhahu pandit gyani.

Meaning

O ascetic, great personalities have been absorbed in hat great Truth; in that state the musical instruments dance, while the wedding party is being played The bridegroom sits on top of the wedding crown; this union of the soul and God is difficult to explain; The people sitting in the marriage place became of balanced intellect, seeing that the son has married the mother; The bride sits in the polished open space and there becomes aware of the fearless abode; The rice turns around and eats up the wedding guests; this is a very beneficial achievement; The hand-holding ceremony was performed, and birth has become justified, and meditation became absorbed in sushumna; Kabir says, listen O saints and O pandits! Please consider this teaching.

Commentary

In this shabd guru Kabir talks in his familiar parable style. This shabd can be interpreted in different ways, but the following explanation is a reasonable one, given the mystic intent of Guru Kabir.

People who practice meditation and are burning with the desire to realize God are great personalities, once they have realized that union. When they have achieved that union, they are blissful, and the instruments, which are their sense organs, dance for joy, and the wedding guests are the souls which are being played. This means that they are very happy. The bridegroom is the soul and the crown atop his head on which he sits is God realization. Guru Kabir is saying that this union of the soul and God is difficult to explain to the ordinary person, because they often think that it is only fanciful thinking.

In any wedding there is a mandap or a wedding platform and the wedding party sits there. The wedding party are the senses, mind, ego and intellect. They all become balanced or in blissful harmony. The son marries the mother which means that the son (soul) marries meditation which is, figuratively, the bride. The bride is sitting in the open chowk, that means meditation is not hidden, and the person realizing union is fearless and attains that abode of fearlessness which is union with God. Guru Kabir further states that the rice turns around and eats up the wedding party. Here the rice means meditation and the wedding party again are the souls. Souls lose their identity when they merge with God, and such a state of being is truly a great achievement. When the hand-holding ceremony takes place indicating that the soul and God are united, then the birth of such realized souls are justified. Here meditation enters into that channel of God realization called sushumna. This results in liberation of the soul from karmic bondage. Guru Kabir is challenging the learned pandits to consider what he is saying.

Guru Kabir is speaking in parables because the average person does not understand what God realization is, and what union of the soul and God is. So he describes a few material examples such as a bride and bridegroom getting married, or that the sense organs are dancing in rapture. Guru Kabir says that one must try to attain this state so that one can be freed from the bondage of karmas.