CHOOSING THE RIGHT PATH
CHOOSING THE RIGHT PATH
~Mahant Jay Jaggessur – Kabir Association of Toronto~
Many times people miss the obvious. What may seem to be the reality to the outer senses may just be an image or mirage of what is or what is not. True that on the physical plane, our only means to discern things is our five senses. However, if we realise that we are living in an illusion of time and space, we will try to transcend the physical plane to comprehend our real Self and its connection to the Universal Consciousness.
Even when we think of the future, we are somewhere influenced by the past. In mystical reality, past, present and future are all the same. Take relationships as an example. Many people have come and gone in our life, many more are to come. That does not mean that those relationships we developed with those people are finished. Mystically speaking we are all connected to one another. Events happen to make us meet people at a certain specific point in time. The connection was already there, but the physical meeting did not happen yet. Even after we depart from this planet, our connection to those souls remain. The Guru-disciple relationship is a great example of that.
We talk of ‘thinking out of the box’. But do we really do so? Or do we just think in ways that would appeal to us or that would be convenient for us? Satguru Kabir Saheb has taught us how the reality is different from what we see and sense. In the following bhajan he asks us to reflect on what we should really do to attain our goal. The bhajan invites the seeker to reflect deeply on his spiritual path.
“Avadhoo, Aissa Gyaan Vichaaram”
Reflect on this parable, O Learned One.
Reflect deeply so you can solve this riddle of your existence. Here Satguru Kabir Saheb is actually inviting the seeker to think out of the box, not just apply his common knowledge, but understand the purpose of his life from a spiritual angle.
“Bere Charhe So Agadhar Doobe, Niraadhaar Vaipaaram”
He who gets on the boat surely gets drowned;
He who does not get on the boat crosses to the other shore safely.
Paradoxically, Satguru Kabir Saheb is saying here that once you have been equipped with what you need to get to your destination, you do not need any support. The point here is that your Guru instils you with the required knowledge which allows you to reach your goal.
“Ubat Chale So Nagari Pahunche, Baat Chale Te Loote”
He who takes the winding and rough road reaches safely,
But he who takes the straight and smooth road loses everything.
In other words, it is so easy to fall into the temptations of the world. People think that the enjoyment they can have from worldly pleasures is the end-all of their happiness but those people who dare to take the difficult path, abstain from worldly pleasures are the ones who will reach their final destination safely.
“Ek Jevri Sab Laptaane, Ke Baandhe Ke Chhoote”
Everyone is entangled with the same rope,
But who gets caught and who is able to free himself?
We are all linked together in one and the same chain. But our objective is to elevate ourselves from that chain which is keeping us away from our source. Those who are able to find their way are able to free themselves; others are stuck in the cycle of births and re-births.
“Mandir Baithe Chahundis Bheege, Baahar Rahe Te Sookhe”
He who sits inside the temple gets drenched and he who remains outside stays dry.
The concept of God being within a person is being illustrated here. Mandir here means the deep seat of the heart, where a disciple goes to be able to connect with the Supreme. But those who are interested in the joys of the outer world remain untouched by the flow of God’s current.
“Sar Maare Te Sadaa Sukhaare, An Maare Te Dookhe”
He who is shot by the arrow in his head is healthy;
He who is not struck by the arrow suffers all the time.
When the Satguru strikes the disciple with the spiritual knowledge, which is the key to the door to salvation, he becomes well. Whereas the one who is not exposed to the Satguru’s spiritual knowledge will remain unwell, meaning not in a position to do what he has to do to move forward.
“Bin Nainan Ke Sab Jag Dekhe, Lochan Anchte Andhaa”
Without eyes the devotee can see the whole world,
But he who has his eyes wide open, cannot see anything.
First of all, the gist of the vision or sight here is discrimination. Discriminating between what is good and what is bad. It is not the physical eyes which enable us to differentiate. And secondly, the concept of vision without eyes is that of the third eye or spiritual eye. Satguru Kabir Saheb is emphasising on the fact that by using your spiritual eye, you can see all that you need to see and know.
“Kahen Kabeer Kacchu Samajh Pari Hai, Yeh Jag Dekhe Andhaa”
Kabir says : ‘Did you comprehend this riddle?
O Ignorant One! The whole world is blind’.
Satguru kabir Saheb is saying that only when we have the right guidance, the grace of our Satguru can we be sure to be on the right track. Otherwise, people are blind, although they have eyes.
There once was a Guru who wanted to test his two disciples. The Guru told them that he will prepare them for their final exams by giving them a test. He brought them both in the forest where there were two roads leading to the same destination. One of them was smooth and clear, and the second one was winding, with lots of obstacles, fallen trees and thorns. The Guru told them to choose their path and get to their destination where he will be waiting for them. The first disciple chose the smooth and clear road, and the second disciple chose the winding road. Of course, the first disciple did not encounter any problems and reached his destination safely. Whereas the second disciple took longer as he had to overcome the challenges on his way, but he did reach safely, though taking more time. After one week, the Guru called them again at another spot for the final exams. This time, it was at the edge of a deep ravine. The Guru just said “Jump!” The first disciple looked at the distance and the depth and his heart sank. The Guru asked him “What happened? This is the leap to Greatness. You have been prepared for this moment”. The first disciple just walked away. The second disciple, who has already gone through the difficult challenges in the preparatory test just took a deep breath and jumped fearlessly. Soon, he landed safely.
If we want to reach our destination, we have to be prepared for what it takes, prepared to face the real challenges, not take short cuts, and know that nothing is obtained without efforts and sacrifice.