Shabd 35

hari mor piyu mein rām kī bahuriyā, rām bado mein tan kī lahuriyā.
hari mor rahantā mein ratan piuriyā, hari kā nām le kātati bahuriyā.
chhow mās tāgā baras din kukurī, log kahain bhal kātal bapurī.
kahahin kabīr sūt bhal kātā, charkhā na hoi mukti kā dātā

Meaning

God is my husband, and I am his wife. God is the older, and I am the younger.  God is my spinning wheel, and I am the roll of cotton. Taking the name of God, the beautiful wife spins.  She spins the thread for six months, and makes a fabric in a year, and the people say that the beautiful wife spins well.  Kabir says that you have spun a fine thread (of God’s name), but the spinning wheel is not the means of salvation.

Commentary

In this shabda Guru Kabir is speaking about the people who keep on repeating the nameof God. First of all he says that the devotee is the wife of God, because the soul is often thought of as the bride, and God as the husband. The two need to be united as in a marriage. Since God precedes the soul, God is said to be the older and the soul the younger. The soul, having entered a physical body, begins to worship God in some particular religion. In this case the worship is the repetition of God’s name. This repetition is similar to the spinning of the spinning wheel that makes the yarn for weaving cloth. You may spin a beautiful thread for six months, and make a fabric in a year, i.e. repetition of God’s name or mantras to try to obtain liberation, but this does not give liberation. Observers may say that such a person repeating God’s name, is indeed a very noble person, and worthy of adoration. But Guru Kabir is saying that the mere repetition of the name of God is not the means of liberation, as many religious teachers say. If this were so, then repeating the word sugar ought to sweeten the mouth. Life must be purified in every respect, and noble qualities must be developed to go along with the repetition of God’s name. Only then can liberation be assured.