THE UNIVERSAL NATURE OF GURU KABIR’S TEACHINGS
The Kabir Voice that was published by the Kabir Association of Canada hoped that its readers would find this little publication informative and useful in their spiritual quest. The Kabir Voice stood for certain basic and universal values, which could be easily recognized and accepted by anyone. Although it had its foundation in the teachings of Guru Kabir, it was not in any way dogmatic or sectarian. This was so because Guru Kabir’s teachings, in themselves, have been universal. He was a supreme mystic, and a mystic communicates with God directly, and he has no need for the encumbrances that occupy many peoples’ minds. He was not involved in various doctrines, creeds, dogmas and other belief systems. He spoke from direct knowledge of God and the soul. Because of his exalted teachings, the Kabir Voice had been able to project a similar concept of life. It was unbiased in that it did not support any system that does not have universal value. It was based on truth. If the reader examined the contents of all the past issues, he would discover that the spiritual principles outlined in them were universally applicable, and they did not stand on a foundation of any religious system, in order to convey their truth.
As Editor of the Kabir Voice, it had given me great joy to write the publication and to offer commentaries. For people who are not regularly exposed to spiritual and mystical teachings, it is somewhat difficult for them to understand the teachings if given briefly. For this reason, I had added commentaries to all of Guru Kabir’s teachings given in the publication. I did it with the hope that readers would find the commentaries useful. If there was any deficiency, or any need for changes, or ways of improving the publication, I would be very much obliged for sharing that information with me. Being the Editor of the Kabir Voice, it had given me a greater insight into the depth of the philosophical teachings of Guru Kabir. I endeavored to maintain the universal nature of the ideas and principles put forward in that publication.
We must, at some point in our lives, ponder on the important issues of life. First of all, there is a Universal Being, whom we call God. God is not perceptible to our physical senses, but He is known by intuitive knowledge. He can be experienced, but he is not subject to objective proof to others, no more than one can subject the mind, the soul, or the intellect to objective proof. The soul exists, but we have to understand what the soul means. Some people believe that there is no soul; others believe that the soul dies; there are others who believe that humans have souls, but animals do not. Many people have difficulty in understanding what the soul is, because of the various teachings that are often contradictory, and are given to them by various schools of religion and philosophy. Getting right down to the basics, we can understand that all life must have energy, and that energy must come from somewhere. The being has to live first, before it can partake of the external energy derived from the sun and stored in the plants, animals, etc. That energy which gives life, and is life itself, can be thought of as the soul. That is universal, and does not depend on any school of thought or philosophy for its existence in one form or another. The Universal Power, or God, and the soul are inseparable, for there is no boundary where the soul stops and God begins. God is Universal Being and that includes everywhere at the same moment in time. This being so, God then exists simultaneously in all beings everywhere. God’s existence in all beings everywhere is spoken of as the soul.
Having understood the relationship between God and the soul, or shall I say identity with the soul, it remains for us to follow a life pattern which is cognizant of this fact. There can be no separation from God, except in the mind brought about by ignorance. God does not stand for all the evils concocted in man’s mind. God is purity itself. God is Truth, Bliss, Existence and Consciousness. This being so, it means that God manifests these same qualities within us. That part of us that partakes of these qualities is the soul. In life, therefore we must, at all cost, be pure in thought, word and deed. We must maintain a tranquil mind. We must remove all the passions of lust, anger, greed, attachment, ego, vanity, etc. We must practice love for all beings, just as God would love all beings. If we do less than these, then in spite of our outward professions of religiosity, we are not going to obtain liberation. Our lives would thus become silly and childish games, although we appear to be serious in our activities. In the end, from a Divine standpoint, we are all acting foolishly. Man does not want to be a foolish creature, but only he can do something about it. It is time that we take a serious look at life and understand it for what it is. The Kabir Voice the Kabir Association published attempted to be a beacon for the guidance for all those who want to live a meaningful, happy and spiritually enlightened life.
Dr. Jagessar Das