Shabd 8

santo awai jai so maya;
hai pratipal kal nahin wako, na kahun gaya na aya;
ka maksud machh kachh na hoi, shankhashur na sanghara;
hai dayal droha nahin wake, kahahu kown ko mara;
wai karta nahin varaha kahaye, dharani dharyo nahin bhara;
i sab kam saheb ke nahin, jhuth kahai sansara;
khambh phori jo bahar hoi, tahi patije sab koi;
hirnakush nakh bodra bidara, so karta nahin hoi;
bawan rup na bali ko janche, jo janche so maya;
bina vivek sakal jag bharme, maya jag bharmaya;
parsuram kshatri nahin mare, i chhal maya kinha;
satguru bhed bhakti nahin jane, jiwahi mithya dinha;
sirjanhar na byahi sita, jal pashan nahin bandha;
wai raghunath ek kai sumirai, jo sumirai so andha;
gopi gwal na gokul na aya, karte kans na mara;
hai meharban sabahin ko saheb, nahin jita nahin hara;
wai karta nahin bowdh kahaye, nahin asur sanghara;
gyan hin karta ke bharme, maya jag bharmaya;
wai karta nahin bhaye niklanki, nahin kalingahi mara;
i chhal bal sab maya kinha, jat-sat sab tara;
das awtar ishwari maya, karta kai jin puja;
kahahi kabir suno ho santo, upjai khapai so duja.

Meaning

Oh saints! Whatever appears and disappears is maya. God is the sustainer of all and is not affected by time. He neither goes nor comes from anywhere . What purpose did he have to appear as a fish or tortoise, or to kill the demon Shankhasur. He is all merciful and has no enmity. Tell me then how can he kill anyone? The creator never incarnated us a boar to hold up the earth, nor did he make others hold it up . These are not the works of God. The world tells lies. Everyone believes that he tore the pillar and came out as the Narsingh form; They believe that he tore the abdomen of Harnakush with his nails, but God does not do such things; He who incarnated as the dwarf did not beg king Bali. He who begged was maya.

Without spiritual discrimination the whole world is in doubt which is perpetrated by maya. The Lord did not come as Parshuram to kill the Kshatriyas; this was also the deception of maya. Without having the knowledge of satguru and devotion, you accepted maya as the truth. God the creator did not marry Sita, and he did not float the stones, nor build a bridge across the ocean; People who say that Ragunath and God are one, are those lacking in discriminative knowledge; The creator did not come to Gokul as Krishna, nor did he live with the cowboys and cowgirls, nor did he kill Kansa; He is all merciful and the master of all; he neither wins nor loses. That creator did not come as Buddha; he did not kill the demon; The ignorant people create doubts about the creator by the influence of maya. That creator will not come as Kalki, nor will he destroy the demon Kalinga; These deceptions are the creations of maya, and the yatis and satis are deluded by her. The ten incarnations are the maya of God; do not worship them as the creator. Kabir says “Listen Oh saints! Those who are born and die are others than the Imperishable Lord who is beyond maya.

Commentary

God is above maya. He is eternal and formless. He is Omnipresent i.e present in the whole world at the same time. He is also present in the whole universe. God is beyond time and space, and every other type of limitation. He is infinite being. With these attributes of God, it is not conceivable that God will come to earth in various forms as stated in Hindu mythology. This mythology states that God came in nine different forms already, and will come in a tenth form at the end of this present iron age. He came as fish, tortoise, boar, half-man-half-lion, dwarf, Parshuram, Ram, Krishna, and Buddha. He is to come as Kalki who will destroy the demon Kalinga at the end of this iron age. People accept these various incarnations of Vishnu – the preserver God. Guru Kabir is saying that God is beyond all of these, and these are only parts of his maya. He states emphatically that any being that can come or be born, and then disappear or die, cannot be the Eternal Lord. He also emphatically states that God is all merciful and kind towards all his devotees. He therefore could not perform some of the violent and deceptive actions attributed to Him. Guru Kabir is saying that those people who accept all of these as factual and true, are not using their spiritual discriminative knowledge in order to arrive at the real truth. If God is formless and Omnipresent, and is in the whole universe, the size of which is unimaginable, how can he come to one little speck of earth for the benefit of a few here and there, or for the destruction of a puny demon here and there. He is saying that people who believe these, are actually believing lies. This is somewhat difficult for the average people to believe who accept these teachings. But a person on a spiritual path must have an open mind, and realize that God is spirit and dwells in the hearts of all beings, including that of the demons. It is thus a fallacy to think that God will appear in one form to destroy another form, in which he is also present. God is sarvavyapak or Omnipresent. It is illogical for God to attack and destroy God. This is what it amounts to, if you accept the mythologies. Proper discriminative knowledge will say that God is beyond these things, which are machinations of the human mind. This being so, it is maya, the illusive power, that has kept on deluding the whole world. The world is thus in doubts according to Guru Kabir. If we open our spiritual eyes and examine the truth, then we will inevitably come to the conclusion that God does not partake in these petty things of the world. His purpose is much grander. He bestows mercy, love, and bounty on all beings. He has set his Law of Karma in motion. This law will automatically take care of all the demons in the world. People are the creators of demons. Imagine wiping your mind clean of all demons that you have ever imagined or heard about, and just realize that there are you, your soul and God. Wouldn’t that make life much simpler and keep it on the true spiritual path? That is what Guru Kabir teaches us. Let us have open minds, and accept that God dwells in all of us, and that we create our own sufferings according to our own karmas. There is no evil force anywhere in the universe, unless we have created them. Let us free ourselves from doubts and delusions, and accept the beauty and the love of God, and set our minds free.