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Inspiration | Kabir Saamagri

Inspiration

 

10 essentials lighting the path to the divine Mystic within

based on the Kabir Saamagri, a tool kit to explore the Sufi wisdom of Kabir; the mystic weaver poet who lived in 15th century central India

 

What we are searching for in material things, in relationships, in ‘doing’ all that we do as a way of living our daily lives – lies within, Kabir the mystic weaver
poet says. Let us go back ‘home’ to our divine mystic within and from that deep connection with self, reconnect with the world outside!

To explore personal space and reflect on our experiential truth and connect to our authentic and divine self within, here are 10 essentials I have valued:

1. Love

The lessons of ‘Love’ when learnt and practiced in all aspects of life, make lives flow with ease even in the ‘turbulence’ of our modern day existence;
Kabir’s couplet:                                                        पोथी पढ़ पढ़ जग मआु , पंडत भया न कोय,                      ढाई आखर ेम का पढ़े सो पं डत होय   

Translation: You may read many scriptures on ‘Love’. And yet not become a ‘Pandit’ – A wise one! The one who internalizes love, is considered to be ‘Truly’ learned.                                Reflection: Kabir reassures us that we do not need to acquire bookish knowledge to be considered learned. All we need is to imbibe the essence of Love. Learning from the head our logical mind creates barriers through the ‘should’ thinking. The judgments diminish our capacity to love and relate to others.

4. Power of Speech

If it can hurt others, it also has the capacity to heal self and others.
Kabir’s couplet:                                                     ऐसी बानी बो’लये, मन का आपा खोय,                           औरन को शीतल करे, आप हु शीतल होय
Translation: Communicate in a manner that opens the mind, soothing all who hear, while calming self too.
Reflection: Kabir reminds us to speak in a manner that dissolve our ego, soothing all who listen and quietening ourselves too. The power of our speech helps us to build strong connections and foster healing. Let us also remind ourselves to guard against the negative traits that can cause harm to others.

7 Equanimity

The essential quality to strike a fine balance through the ups and downs of life as we know it                                                                                          Kabir’s couplet:                                                 कबीरा खडा बाझार म#, सब क6 मांगे खैर,                       ना काहु से दो7ती, ना काहु से बैर                                                                                                                          Translation: Kabir stands in the marketplace, wishes for the well-being of all. Neither is he friends with anyone nor does he have enmity for any one                                                            Reflection: Kabir’s inter-actions were devoid of clinging or aversion. He engaged with people from different segments of society in a detached and yet a genuinely compassionate way. Being humane is about finding a way to relate to everyone from a neutral perspective. A compassionate witness holds equanimity in each moment to strike a balance through the ups and downs in life as we know it.

2. Hope

That vital ingredient that drives us to manifest the higher purpose of our existence                                                                                                           Kabir’s couplet:                                                 मायला जब लग तेल दया रे माह! बाती,                            थारा मंद”रया म# होयो उजीयारो रे परदेसी                                                                                                                  Translation: Oh! Traveller! As long as there is oil to feed the wick of the lamp, your temple is lit.
Reflection: Says Kabir, when we replenish the ‘oil’ of hope, the flame of brilliance – ‘aliveness’ continues to glow in our life. If we consider our body or our home as a temple, how could we keep the energy alive or replenished? Hope is a critical ingredient to light the path we walk on.

5 Power of Intention

The roots that nourish our action in daily life
Kabir’s couplet:                                                         बडा हुआ तो +या हुआ, जैसे पेड़ खजुर,                          पंथी को छाया नह!ं, फल लागे अ1त दरू
Translation: So what if you are tall, like the date palm; it gives no shade to the traveller, nor are the fruits within reach.
Reflection: Of what use is our growth, when it does not benefit our fellow travellers or those less fortunate than us? What’s the point of being self serving? When we open our hearts and resourcefulness to benefit others, we celebrate our growth in the real sense. Through compassionate action to make life more wonderful for beings around us, this is how we nourish ourselves in daily life.

8 Integrity

The inner truth, guiding our ‘being’
Kabir’s couplet:                                                  चाक6 चाक6 सब कहे, 4क’ल कहे न कोइ,                       जो 4क’ल से लगा रहे, वाको बाल न बाकां होय
Translation: Everyone seeks pleasure outwardly, and suffers. The one who remains centered, stays unharmed and whole.
Reflection: Kabir says, when you are in touch with the core of your being, you find yourself undisturbed by the daily grind (or worldly challenges). Let us remain anchored within by living a life of integrity guided by our inner truth.

10 Purpose of Life

That divine moment that extends to the infinite Universe
Kabir’s couplet:                                                       म; लागा इस एक से, एक भया सब माय,                             सब मेरा, म; सबन का, कहां दसरा नाह ू
Translation: I am connected to the One, I find myself merged in all beings; All are mine, I belong to all, there is no ‘other’
Reflection: When I am connected with that divine self within, I experience ‘Oneness with the Universe’. This awareness liberates us from the conflict and confusion caused by ‘Othering’.

3. Gratitude

Helps us dip into the Divinity and the Abundance within that sustains our connection with all around us
Kabir’s couplet:                                                     दःख म# स ु ‘मरन सब करे ु , सख म# करे न कोय ु ,  जो सख म# स ु ‘मरन करे ु , दःख काहे को होय ु
Translation: In sorrow we remember the Divine, in joy most of us do not. Those who remember the divine even in good times are able to tide over the tough times.
Reflection: Through this insight, we realize how immature we can be at times. When we practice gratitude, we learn to take the sad and happy times with grace. We experience a sense of calmness in spite of the upheavals in life. We can then dip into the inner divinity and abundance to sustain and grow our connections around

6 Being Love

Being true to yourself, being at peace, working on inner harmony
Kabir’s couplet:                                                        साधु भखा ेम का ू , धन का भखा ू नाह,                       धन का भखा जो ू 4फरे, सो तो साधु नाह
Translation: A ‘Sadhu’ (a spiritual seeker) longs for love, not for wealth. The one who seeks wealth, is not a genuine ‘Seeker’
Reflection: This insight of Kabir encourages us to simplify our life and realign our relationship with the material world accordingly. This helps create space for things that matter and in time we tune into our inner truth, establishing peace and harmony within.

9 Oneness

That divine moment that extends to the infinite Universe
Kabir’s couplet:                                                       म; लागा इस एक से, एक भया सब माय,                             सब मेरा, म; सबन का, कहां दसरा नाह ू
Translation: I am connected to the One, I find myself merged in all beings; All are mine, I belong to all, there is no ‘other’
Reflection: When I am connected with that divine self within, I experience ‘Oneness with the Universe’. This awareness liberates us from the conflict and confusion caused by ‘Othering’.

These and many more insights from the living experiences of personal truths of genuine people form the basis of humanity. This perhaps, is the relevance of exploring and imbibing the traditional wisdom of saints; to guide us in current times. The simple folks who currently live in villages in India are still deeply connected to nature and traditional wisdom through their folk music folk stories and folk art. They help us to reconnect with our heritage and roots of authenticity. Life is enriched and its magnificence shows in whatever we do. We shift from ‘doing’ to ‘being’!

Gratitude: I express deep gratitude to Sheetal Sanghvi and Nipun Mehta for their insights and support on this compilation.

Personal note: I consider myself to be a dream weaver and a healer. I strive to connect with people by listening to their stories and offering ‘Soul Space’ to deepen the understanding of self and build strong connections with others. This is how I hope to manifest my dream of a just, inclusive and loving world. I live in India and value Vipassana meditation, Buddhist perspectives on the study of the mind, Nonviolent Communication, Process Work and of course the Sufi wisdom of Kabir.