Shabd 26

bhai re bahut bahut kya kahiye, birle dost hamare,
gadhan bhanjan samwaran apai, jyon ram rakhe tyon rahiye,
asan pawan yog sruti smriti, jyotish padhi bailana,
chhow darshan pakhand chhanabe, ye kal kahu na jana,
alam duni sakal phiri ayo, ye kal uhai na ana,
taji karigaha jagat uchaye, man mahan man na samana,
kahai kabir yogi ow jangam, phiki unki asa,
ramahin ram ratai jyon chatrik, nischai bhakti niwasa

Meaning

Oh brother, what is the use of much talking! There is hardly anyone who is my friend; God is the power that creates, destroys and beautifies; thus remain as God wishes to keep you; By the practice of asanas, pranayamas, hatha yoga, and study of the Srutis and Smritis, and astrology, people have become confused; People have been preoccupied with the six philosophies and the ninety six hypocrisies; they have not acquired the art of surrendering to God; They have wandered throughout the world, but they have not obtained the art of self-realization; They give up their home, and people consider them highly evolved, but their minds cannot be concentrated; Kabir says that weak is their hope of salvation of such yogis and wandering sanyasis; If you recite the name of God with concentration, as the chatrik bird concentrates on the moon, then definitely you will have devotion in your heart.

Commentary

It is a common occurrence in the world that people keep talking about spiritual life and religion, but not much is attained from such practice. Attainment results only when the teachings are put into practice. It is thus that Guru Kabir states that what is the point of talking. People do not often like to hear the truth because “the truth hurts”. For this reason, saints and sages have always been persecuted by the people who did not understand their message. He speaks to the people that God is responsible for their life – for their creation, destruction, and beautification; in fact the same applies to the whole universe. The wise instruction is thus to be content and to live as God wishes, by surrendering to His will.

People believe that they will obtain God realization by practicing various yoga asanas (postures) by practicing exercises and hatha yoga, and by studying the Vedas and social laws and astrology. But these only cause confusion. Whatever good is taught in them, people do not often practice. The path to God is straightforward, and one need not get into all the forms of argumentative philosophies and hypocrisies often taught by religious people. The secret is to obtain the art of surrendering to God.

People often wander throughout the world for religious purposes, but God realization escapes them. There are many who are held in high respect because they have abandoned their homes, and are wandering as monks or learned people. But Guru Kabir is saying that their minds have not been concentrated enough to realize the Divinity. He says that their hope for salvation is indeed weak. As a solution for God realization, he states that we must surrender to God in body, mind and wealth, and must concentrate on God. He uses the chatrik bird which mythologically keeps concentrating on the moon. If a devotee concentrates on God intently, then definitely he will have devotion in his heart. All the other religious practices fall short of this ultimate goal.