English translation of the Hindi monoact by Shekhar Sen
making the Kabeer production accessible to all.
Download the Kabeer Monoact - 66kb.
bazaar mein, mange sabki khair
na kahu se dosti, na kahu se bair
(In this doha, Kabeer without saying much, presents a balanced approach. He affirm that while conducting one's business, one need not adopt tricky means and should not become emotional. An honest deal does not warrant the businessman to become either friendly with one's clientele nor develop any malice).
The first question asked
by the people in our time was "What is your religion?" Human nature
is very strange in that people will first ask your religion even before offering
you water. Does anyone ever ask whether the Sun is a Hindu or a Muslim or whether
the moon is a Pundit or a Maulavi? How about me? Even after my death people
fought over by body in search of my religion, as to whether I was a Muslim or
Let me introduce myself, I am Kabeer. Some call me an illiterate, some a beggar, others say I am a saint and some say I am a philosopher.
I have been told since childhood that my mother was a Brahmin widow. To save her dignity she made me an orphan as the cruel society did not permit a widow to be pregnant. How painful it must have been to leave a new born baby in a pond.
BUT who can harm me if HE (God) is there. JAKO RAKHE. HE who is sitting up there, above the skies, with the universe dancing on his finger tips, HE saved me ....
It was a dark night, pitch dark. My mother had made a boat with lotus leaves and had left me floating in the water just after my birth. I was crying when a newly wed Muslim couple Neema and Neeru heard my wails and stopped. They lifted me out of water and took me home and that's how they adopted me.
So, I found my mother and father, a weaver couple. Some called them Julaha, some even called them kori, but both meant weavers, those who weave on the hand loom. There I got my home and shelter. So my life started and very soon I was holding the hands of my new mother. She was a loving women who would hide my mistakes and also apologise for my blunders and pranks. She always told me, that when she first saw me she was taken by my beautiful smile and she always felt as if she was my mother. All women have a hidden mother in them which she also had. My father was a strict man. What option does a poor man have? And I was a fukkad, a careless vagabond, with shabby dressing and a carefree attitude, a poor man's pride.
Mother asked me once to take some yarn to Rangrej chachaa for dyeing. I was hardly 5 to 6 years old when I took the yarn and went to chachaa.
"E Ranrej chachaa, please dye this load,"
"Wait son let me finish my job," he replied.
I sat there watching him work.
"Who's son are you?" He asked me.
"He is Neema's adopted one, they found him in the pond an illegitimate child, a kafir." His wife said bitterly.
I was shocked and disturbed. 'Kafir?', Amma told me we all are Almighty's creation so how can I be a kafir?.
A few days ago when I was
playing near the river our village pundit Lalua Misirji shouted at me, "E
dallidar, go back, if your shadow touches me I will have to bath again."
A storm hit my mind. Am I an outcaste, unwanted in the society? I was young but could easily understand that I had been abused. I felt strange. I could feel the sky above my head descending, the land below my feet shrinking. It was midday but it was dark around me. My ears had turned red with anger and I could hear no sound.
Then suddenly I saw a light, lights all around me as if the whole universe was lit, and a soothing cool breeze touched me and I felt almost weightless. Then I heard a soft divine song , which sounded like an echo from a tunnel. It was coming from my soul.
"E bachuwa, hey boy, are you there? Give me the yarn. Can you hear me, don't take your aunt's comments seriously, she is mad and will say anything." I was looking at him like a puppet.
"What colour should I dye the yarn?"
My mind was blank, and said, "Which ever colour you like."
"Are you joking? Go home and ask your mother which colour I should use?"
As I was running back home, my mind and soul were confused. I was confused between the colour of the yarn and what is the colour of my soul.
There are so many incidents in my bag. You might ask, 'why are you telling us these stories?' My answer will be that if you have a grandparents or elders at home sit with them and listen to their stories, share their experiences, learn from them and all your problems will be solved.
I had a friend called Rahmani. He used to play gilli danda with me and was an excellent player, almost magical. One Friday he said, "Let us go to the mosque for namaz." I agreed. When we reached there, his father shouted at him, "Why have you brought this kafir."
"He is not kafir Abba, he is Kabeer." Rahmani replied.
"You will not teach me who is kafir and who is Kabeer, your deeds will send us to hell, jahannum." His father said bitterly.
Rahmani followed his father to the mosque like a lamb, and left me there, alone. What do you call it, dil, yes my heart was broken. I came back home and sat quietly in a corner.
My mother asked, "What happened Kabeer?" I did not answer and she asked again, "Has someone said anything?"
I burst out, "Amma why doesn't my father go to the mosque?"
She said, "Why should you worry about these things?"
I lost control, "Amma why my father does not go to mosque? Why, why?"
My mother replied loudly, "Because when we adopted you, we were made outcastes, we were treated like untouchables, but your father said, our work is our God, and our loom is our mosque. But why should you upset yourself?"
I broke down into tears, "Why am I not allowed to enter a mosque?"
Amma said, "Hey Kabeer, mosques are only built by men and mankind is HIS creation. God has created you so why should you worry? You be good and leave the rest to him."
I was a young boy now and had started learning work on the handloom. One day my friend Jagan and I went out far from the village when we saw some suspicious men (aghories) sitting there near a hut, They were smoking ganga. There were clouds of smoke all around and a smell of ganga in the air. Jagan said, "Kabeer let's go, they look dangerous. Look at their blood shot eyes."
I replied, "Wait, let us see what they are doing!"
Then one of the men looked at us and said to come inside. Jagan was scared to death and ran way as fast as he could. But I stood there and was invited in.
"But I am a kafir," I said.
One of the old men laughed and said "Come on in, we welcome everyone. This is the samadhi of our Guru Aughadnath, this place is open to all, and we speak the language of love here, LOVE HIM and LOVE ALL."
I went inside their compound. There were no idols, no books. What place is this? It could not be a temple or a mosque because if it had been they would not have allowed a kafir or an untouchable inside. And who are these people? What is their caste?
It was dark by the time I came back from the samadhi. I heard my mother's voice calling for me, "Kabeera ae Kabeera aaja beta."
I ran into her arms and hugged my Amma. She was crying. "Jagan had told me that you were trapped by the old men. Thank God you are safe,"
"No Amma they are all nice people they talk and teach good things,"
"It seems that you have been hypnotised by them, let's go and I will ask Rajjo's aunt to cure you from their black magic," My mother said angrily.
"What is the matter Amma? I told you they are nice people,"
"I will ask her to tie a tabeej also,"
She was grumbling all the way, "Keere pare muve badmaaso ke jaan ke dushman ho gaye hamaar."
She kept on cursing them but at heart she was a loving mother. All mothers are alike, they are treasures of love and affection.
When I saw Jagan again I told him off for telling stories to Amma.
"What did these men do?"
"I just told her to save you from..."
"Save me? From whom?"
"They looked liked criminals," said Jagan.
"You don't change. Can't you see good in evil? I believe that even a bad person has some goodness in him. I always found people saying bad things about others but my belief was different. It is simple and straight."
bura jo dekhan main chala,
bura naa milya koye
jo munn khoja apnaa, to mujhse bura naa koye
(It has been invariably noticed that we tend to find fault with someone else for our situations and circumstances. Our 'I', the EGO, always tries to put blame on others. Non-awareness of our own self is the cause of this attitude. Resultantly, we find ourselves being busy in criticising and condemning others and conveniently term them as crooked or evil. So Kabeer says that we instead of finding fault and maligning others, dive deep into your own-self. Amazingly, an honest introspection will reveal that all fault lies with 'ME' and 'MY' own perceptions. And attitudes. If there is any evil or crookedness, it is in 'ME'. Correcting this and opting for a loving and compassionate attitude will change one's perceptions and the world will appear wonderful all over again.)
This society is funny, it
preaches good things but practices evil, it criticises you even if you are right.
Do You know why have I comeback to you, I have come to warn and caution you,
caution you from lies, caution you from superstitions, caution you from social
evils and to tell you the TRUTH, to make you aware from the so called religious
men who have exploit common people, with pakhand and adambar. Because I have
fought against these all my life, I have always said do your karma don't do
karmakand. Don't reduce the size of God by chanting malas, because when you
are busy counting the beads your mind and heart are wandering everywhere. God
is mightier than your imagination. Even the vast blue sky is nothing compared
to the Almighty. Don't put the umbrella of temple and mosque over HIM.
Thinking on these lines I grew up fast, as poor kids do and because they start working from their early childhood. So as I sat on the loom from morning till night the world became transparent to me. Have you ever thought of the weaver's magic, the wonder of the loom, this invention which has contributed to our culture (OR WHICH HAS GIVEN US OUR CUSTOMS OR CULTURE) be it the flag of a temple or a chadar of a mazaar or any fabric? The fabric has been created by the magic of the loom, but has been dyed by the so called religious practitioners for their convenience, green is mine, white his, yellow theirs and saffron yours.
They coloured the body, but couldn't colour the soul.
When I was young, I used to sit at Jagan's shop with my friends. Jagan was a barber. If you sit in a barber's shop you get the news from everywhere and everything. Our village Pundit Lalua misirji used to come there regularly to shave his head. He liked me.
One day I asked him why he shaves his head every day.
"You will not understand daliddar."He said rudely.
"That's why I am curious." I said.
"Because if I shave every day, I will go to swarg (paradise)." He answered.
I could not control my laughter. I told my friend Basheer that his sheep will also go to the paradise, as they are also shaved regularly.
Punditji lost his temper. "What is this Jagan, have you opened the shop to insult customers?"
Jagan told me not to upset his customers. I got up to leave. Before I left I said that the people who take oath of River Ganga should face the truth also. "Punditji, you worship man made idols, and at the same time call us untouchables, when we are God's creation." I left singing.
I was singing when I heard the ajaan from the mosque. I started singing again.
( about why the cries have to be given from the rooftop, is God deaf?)
I was wandering all day.
My mother has already been told of these two incidents with bits added on. When
I asked for water, Amma slapped me on my face and said, "Your mouth has
become a foul, speaking rubbish." I was a young boy then, hot blooded and
replied that I speak the truth and it hurts people who do not want to face it.
"What do you think you are? Do you think you are a saint, a fakeer, who speaks only the truth."
"Hey Rajjo are you listening? Allah saved me from the sin of giving birth to this bastard. He told the Maulavi today that why do you give ajaan 5 times, is Alla tala deaf or what? You will go to hell."
"Okay okay let me go to the hell and you to paradise. Amma you always tell me Alla listens to our hearts then why should the Mulla call ajaan 5 times every day?"
"Ya Alla forgive me. This is sin, even seeing you is a sin, go away from here right now otherwise you will see my dead body."
"No Amma, don't upset your self, I am leaving, I am leaving for good. Hey Rajjo tell my mother that I will never come back I am leaving this home."
I went out grumbling. I had the courage of youth and the shelter of my sahab on me.
I left home without knowing where to go. So I sat near a mazaar outside my village. My mind was full of questions. Am I right or wrong? Should I speak the truth or not? But I said was said to Mullaji and not to Amma. Who can say or tell me whether I was right or wrong?
Then a jogia told me, "You need a guru, a teacher who will guide you and answer all your questions."
I started wandering in search of a guru, visiting Gorakhnath even went to the jungle of Anand Ban in search of a guru. Then in Panchganga ghat of Varanasi I saw a Mahatma, a saint, with a glowing face, the glow of knowledge exuding from his personality. His eyes seemed to pierce me when he looked at me. Some one had told me that he was from South India and that he did not ask the caste or religion. He just sang bhajans and made every one sing with him.
I went to him and said, "Baba please make me your disciple."
He looked at me and said "You will have to give up everything which belongs to you."
"Give up everything?" I said, "Baba I only want gurumantra from you."
"But you will have to give up everything before becoming my disciple, leave home, leave your sect, leave your parents, leave every thing which you think belongs to you."
I started thinking, I had left home I had even left Amma and I never knew my religion, what else was I supposed to leave?
Baba went towards his kutiya (hut).
I was standing there in deep thought, thinking that people give up things from outer surface - if I have to give up, I can only give up everything from within. I could not sleep that night. I got the guru, but not the gurumantra. And then I had an idea. One of his disciples had told me that at dawn he bathes in the Ganga, everyday.
I went to Panchganga ghat and laid down on the steps. When Baba came, his feet touched my body, out of shock a sound came out from his mouth. I GOT MY MANTRA, this is the anhad sound, the echo of the sound filled my soul with spiritual ecstasy. What else could a disciple ask for? With the first rays of sunrise, the water turned red and my soul too was also enlightened. That's how I got the Mantra.
Every thing was becoming clear. I could see and understand everything with a crystal clear clarity. I knew now how the wind blows and how flowers bloom and who plays hide and seek with day and night. I could see that HE whom we search, is very much within us, and very close to our souls.
There was no bitterness in me, I was filled with love, I sat near the Ganga throwing stones in the waves, when I saw the image of my Amma. How is she? She must be crying for me. Is she eating or had she left everything for my sake, and who is running the loom? I wanted to go back but how should I go, after all I had said I will never return.
Then came Basheer, searching for me, "Hey Kabeer do you have any feelings or not. Your Amma is crying day and night, she is not well, come with me."
A son cannot otherwise disobey his mother's words and I was relieved as I was looking for such an opportunity to go back home. So I went back with Basheer.
Seeing me, my mother said, "Ka re Kabeer, your mother's words annoyed you? Can't a mother say anything to her son? One who loves, has the right to be angry also."
"Nahi Amma where would I go? I cannot live without you? Come on let me operate the loom, my hand muscles are hurting without work."
I sat on the loom started weaving and with the rhythm of the loom I started singing .
I left home again for the
second time (laughs). It was becoming a habit, so when I was young, my mother
was after me to get me married,
"Bahu le aa beta, this old lady needs a daughter-in-law at home."
"Chhor Na Amma, come on leave me alone."
"Ae beta teri dulhin ka chehraa dekh loongi to jannat mili hamkaa. Let me see good days son after getting you married I will be the happiest person on the earth."
I used to ignore her as I was so busy weaving in the morning, selling clothes in the afternoon, and in the evening all my friends would come, sit around and hear me speak. What ever I said became Ramaini, what ever I thought became dohas or couplets, and in the state of meditation The shabad, the poem came out of my lips. 'Hum to rahte apne rang aur log kehte ie hai satsang.'
Now there were no worries.
The only trouble was my mother's non-stop grumbling. You do not know my Amma,
if she was after something she would go on repeating it.
I was fed up one day, "Ka Amma jeena haraam huyee gaile hamaar, your grumbling has made my life hell."
"Ae beta get married, your life will become paradise and I too will be benefit."
"What difference does marriage make."
"The world is like this - only bachelors don't have homes and only a couple can make a home, it is a woman's magic touch which turns a house into a home. BIN GHARNEE GHAR BHOOT KA DERAA."
"Okay if you think that a mere marriage will change your son, go on get me married, but never ask me to do anything else."
"NAI NAI NAI NAI, hamkaa aur kachhu na chahi, hey Rajjo go to the matchmaker, tell him to find a beautiful bride for my Kabeer." I smiled at her, go on, do whatever you like, I am in love with my Saahab, the Almighty, baaki jo nautanki karaay ke hau karaay lo.
Crowds of devotees started
coming every evening at my place, Peepaji used to come, so did Senaji and Dhanna
and many more. Even Raidas-ji used to come once in a while. It is a bliss to
sit together and discuss spiritual ideas, we call it satasang. If you sit in
a spiritual gathering it makes you a different person all together. We ignore
the fact that we need to feed the soul just as we need to feed our body to stay
Speaking, listening and accepting the truth are to be learnt, and the divine words of Raidas-ji, ae hai hai hai, were like a spring of spiritual wisdom flowing all around. He used to make shoes with leather and when he spoke he would say something from the soul for the soul.
My Amma was busy looking
for my bride. An old man who attended my satasang, got the news and proposed
to me for his daughter Loi. Amma accepted it at once.
I am an emotional person, I could not stand violence nor could I see any living creature being hurt. One day before my marriage to Loi, I saw a butcher taking a cow from my village, the calf following it's mother, to be slaughtered. My heart wept, I sang in pain,
When I went to the nearby
village with my Amma to marry Loi, the angry folks of my village gathered and
set fire to my hut. How much time does it take to burn a poor man's small hut?
Within seconds it turned to ashes. When I returned after the marriage, there
were only four burnt walls.
"Hey dulhin ii hou tohre khasam ka rajmahal. (O bride this is the palace of your husband.)" I said.
Loi was looking at the burnt walls with fear.
"Who burnt your house?"
I said sarcastically that as poor people don't have money to spend on fire works they burn the houses and enjoy the fireworks. Loi was almost in the state of shock,
"Have you burnt your own house?"
I laughed, "Why should I burn my house?"
Amma said "Hey dulhin, o bride, now you will have to take care of my son, my bones are too old to run after him. Ae Rajjo, chal chal, take me to your home." Amma went with Rajjo.
Loi said, "God only knows what extra ordinary thing my father saw in you to make me your wife."
I laughed and said "Your father and my mother are the main culprits. Come on Sahab will make every thing alright, sit here have something to eat."
Loi stood there.
"What is the matter?"
A drop of tear came out from her eyes.
"What is this? If you don't tell me how will I understand?"
"My father didn't even ask me, just arranged my marriage in a rush."
"Okay it's not too late, tell me what was your desire."
"I liked the merchant's son of our village, and we had decided to get married."
"That's all? Okay I will take you to his place, get up, gather your belongings."
Loi couldn't believe this and asked whether I will accompany her?
"Listen to this woman, how will you go alone in the night, how will you cross the jungle and how will you convince sahukaar that I have not abandoned you. Who will convince him, come on don't waste time."
I gave the potli in her hand, and started walking. It was cloudy and it soon started raining heavily, Loi was finding it difficult to walk on the wet slippery road, and lost her balance a couple of times.
"Hey Loi, women should be very careful from falling down. Come on sit here on my shoulders, if any bones are broken your lover will not accept you, he is a baniyaa, a businessman after all, businessmen don't accept broken things."
Loi sat on my shoulders, I told her, "Loi this world is like that, full of hypocrites, you make a mistake and you are gone. They will ruin you."
I was singing in full mood
when I heard someone sobbing. Who is crying in this jungle? It was Loi, so I
stopped and took her down,
"Whats the matter?" Loi kept on crying,
"Why are you crying?"
She didn't stop crying and I lost my temper.
"Women crying and Kubhakarna's sleep are alike. You know when it starts,but you don't know when it will stop. See Loi, I must be the first husband in history, who is carrying his wife to her lover's place on the wedding night."
"I will not go."
"Aein, will not go, what do you mean, will you go to your father's home?"
"I will not go anywhere."
"Is it the right time to joke at midnight in this jungle."
"I will go to your house."
"But we have come from there."
"I will go there only."
My god I thought I was an intelligent person but I didn't understand anything here.
"You are a nice person Kabeer, who can possibly look after me more than you have done up to now. My father has destined my life with you, so let me be with you. Please accept me Kabeer."
She was crying on my shoulder. And now I felt that I was truly married to her.
After Loi's coming into
my home I realised that Amma was not wrong. She really made my house a home.
One day when I was working on the loom a beggar called, "Bheekh de do Amma,
give me something."
Loi said "Only lessons of life are taught here."
The beggar could not understand Loi and said what ever there is please give.
"Come inside, the donor is working here," said Loi inviting the beggar in and gave him some bread to eat.
I asked, "So baba, What do you do?"
"I am a beggar and I beg."
"Don't you work?"
The beggar was surprised, "Why should a beggar work?"
I said, "Why not? You have hands? You have hands to work, so work hard. Earn your living with your sweat so that you can enjoy the true taste of food. It is a sin not to work, even God will not forgive you."
Loi poked in between, "What do you think this old man can do?"
"If he can shout for begging and can chew bread, it means he can work too."
"I have never worked in my life, I was never asked by anyone," said the beggar.
"Bas maharaj, start working from today."
"Aaein? But what should I do?"
Now I was puzzled, "What should you do? Can you sing?"
He sighed in relief, "Yes, I can sing."
"Okay while you wander from place to place, sing good poems so that common people can know our values (jokingly)."
So, from that day onwards all beggars started singing. If you see someone singing, you know that he doesn't know anything else to do.
You folks have been sitting quiet for sometime. With your wife sitting beside you it is okay to keep quiet. The truth is that when the wife is sitting beside the husband, he forgets talking. Try it for yourself, if you are not successful, get up, come back in a few moments.
aiseevani boliye,mun ka
apna tan sheetal kare, auran ko sukh hoye
(This doha deals with human
psychology, metaphysics and a basic tenet of the Indian Philosophy. The ancients
of the Vedic literature have laid tremendous emphasis on speech. They have mentioned
in innumerable shlokas that our speech has a direct connection with our bodily
humours. They proclaimed that sound and sight are the underlying source of all
vibrations. This has been scientifically proven over and over again. We know
that all sounds create vibrations. And these vibrations affect both the speaker
and the listener. Soothing, compassionate and loving words breed togetherness,
while harsh speech breeds hatred. And, we also know that human speech is one
of the main ingredient that differentiates mankind from the rest of the animal
Thus, Kabeer, in this doha crystallises the power of the spoken words. He teaches us to speak in such a manner that keeps us harmonious and composed thereby making the listener feel a sense of joy in the communication. - experiment yourself and rediscover the power of the SPOKEN WORD).
I was illiterate, had neither
touched a pen nor paper, but frankly speaking when I see this world I get upset.
Do you believe in God? Call Him anything BHAGWAN, ALLAH or any other name you
believe in? But yet you can't love a human being. If you can not embrace a human
being how can you embrace God. Do you know the reason why? Because you read
the GEETA, but never practice it, you chanted verses of holy books, chanted
AYATS of QURAN but never understood them.You read it on the paper, so it remained
on paper, If you would have practiced it in life it would have remained in your
One day I was working at home, Jagan came running in panic,
"Kabeer come with me."
"Where? why?" I asked.
"On the cross roads of Varanasi the chowk."
"What happened Jagan."
"Riots, (he was breathless) riots are on."
"Will you please tell me what happened?"
"It was the chariot of Mahantji from one side and a Moharram procession from the other, and riots started."
I got up quickly and went along with Jagan. When I reached the place there was panic all around, massacre, people killing each other. I jumped in to the crowd, Jagan stopped me but I was out of his reach. The Chariot of Bade Mahantji and the procession of the Imam Sahab of Chhoti Masjid blocked each other.
I shouted "TUMKO TOHAR KHUDA KA VAASTA HAI, BABA VISHANATH KI KASAM HAI AAPKO, please stop this massacre."
One angry voice overruled me, "YOUR DEATH HAS BROUGHT YOU HERE."
I screamed, "If my death will stop this I am ready to give my life , but tell me why are you fighting?"
"If it is a question of who goes first, then it's a pity."
"Mahantji in which of your yagya you need innocent peoples' blood, and Imam Sahab what difference does it make that who goes first. Because your ego's clash you are playing with innocent lives. Ordinary people will die. Have you ever thought of the families after the death of their bread earner? Don't play with fire because when the flames go up they can't be controlled."
One of the rioters hit me from the back with his weapon.
"Saale ka majhab to hai nahi kauno humko sikhaane chalaa hai, This bastard is trying to teach us religion and yet does not belong to any sect."
People dispersed on seeing blood flowing from my wound like a miracle. I was unconscious.
When I opened my eyes I was at home, lying down, my head bandaged. Loi and Jagan were sitting beside me.
"How are you Kabeer?" asked Jagan.
"I am fine but this world . . ." I smiled in pain.
"World! what happened to the world Kabeer?" Jagan said in distress.
"The world is becoming intolerant." I said.
After my marriage Loi changed
my life. She was very kind and would feed every one who visited my home. I used
to be cheated earlier when I sold my yarn in the market myself. But now, as
my devotees started selling it on my behalf there was a little flow of money
into the home. People used to come to my place and Loi would not let anyone
go without food.
One day Senaaji came and said, "Kabeer bhaiyaa you are very famous in the locality, people say that KABEER IS A BIG DONOR."
I answered with modesty, "Earning bread and eating it is the rule of nature, one who snatches other's bread is a vulture but one who shares it with others reflects our culture. People forget that it is HE who is providing us everything."
sayeen itna deejiye, ja
main kutumb samaye
main bhi bhookha na rahun, sadhu na bhookha jaye
(This Doha deals with the
concept of contentment, compassion and a very clear attitude of service. It
is not greed when Kabeer ask God for abundance. We have to remember that Kabeer
was professional weaver, a house-holder with children. Thus, being the primary
provider, he reveals in this Dhoa his commitment to his clan. At the same time,
Kabeer is content. He is not greedy. He prays to God to give him enough that
would be sufficient to take care of his needs.
The next line add another dimension. It reveals the compassion Kabeer has for others. In India it is a tradition that if a sadhu visits, the household will make sure that they feed him. Sadhu Literally means a monk, a sanyasin, who has renounced the world).
By now I had become quite
famous and fame brings many things. If your resistance is low you are attacked
by diseases, and if your profile is high you are attacked by people, but there
were all kinds of people coming. Their presence benefited me too and some people!
they used to get lessons from me.
One Soofi fakeer from Arabia, Jahani Baksh Sahab sent a message that he would visit me, he was a very peculiar type of a fakeer. So I tied a pig out side my house, Jahani Baksh Sahab saw the pig and said bitterly, "LAAHAUL VILA KUVVAT," putting a napkin on his face he came in, the first sentence he said was, "KABEER SAHAB WHY HAVE YOU KEPT GARBAGE OUT OF YOUR HOUSE."
I smiled "Yeah, some people keep it inside, I have taken it out."
Do you really want God?
If your answer is yes then become a baby, an infant. He finds his mother without
offering the namaz or performing any puja. He doesn't fast also but he knows
his goal and achieves it. He cries for his mother and the mother comes running
for him. You can also find him, you will have to look inside yourself, and you
don't have time for that too. Whether you mind or not I want to say that if
you are stuck to your own selfish desires and you will never be satisfied.
Once a great philosopher came, Baba Shekh Fareed, a very learned fakeer spent two days with me. Neither of us uttered a word. It was a silent conversation.
After his departure, Dhanna said anxiously, "What is this Baba? Why didn't You talk?"
I smiled, "We talked a lot. If he knows what I know then there is no point in wasting words. Words can misguide you, their meanings changed but the meaning does not change itself."
Dhanna asked, "Then why these priests and Maulavis , always tell us to follow WORDS."
"They are wise people, but without soul, no ventilation, knowledge is like flowing water. If you store it, it stinks. Its better not to dance before blind souls."
This world is full of hypocrites,
It tries to cash in even on a dead body, it can open shops on your grave. Same
thing happened with me too. They made me a God, if you establish a God then
business becomes easy. If you say God has said this, people will believe you,
and so they made a God out of me, did all the rituals that I was against all
Once I was travelling with my devotees from Orissa to Bengal by boat. Didn't know that the boatman Ajeet Singh was a villain. Midway, he threatened us, and said "Be ready to die now." I smiled, "We are ready brother, when are you coming to join us?" He understood my words. This world is like a fun fare, we all are visitors here. I told him, who ever has taken birth will die one day. Our bodies will perish but only one thing will remain, our good deeds.
So I was travelling all
over, meeting people, preaching against wrong and superstitions. But there were
rumours about my godliness also, rumours run faster then the wind (laughs).
So I was going ahead, ignoring all this nonsense. At that time the King of Hindustan
was Sikander Shah Lodhi, he was very unpopular amongst his people, because he
had demolished thousands of temples all over the country.
One of his messengers came to me, asked, "So Kabeer Sahab, you also oppose idol worship."
I said, "Of course, but I don't support the demolitions of temples. If your king is brave tell him not to show his bravery on stones. There are thousands of good things which should be done by the kings.
Yes, I say that there is no God in the temples, but what is there in a mosque? If pundits are corrupt, Maulavis too exploit innocent people. Tell your Sultan to behave, because the poor can't say anything, but their curse ruins kingdoms."
The royal messenger lost
his temper, "You are not afraid for your life it seems."
I laughed, "Kings come and go, who remembers them? Tell him that hatred is like forest fire, burns everything and vanishes too, but love is like moon light, it cools every one.
You also claim to oppose idol worship, but you worship your king, also an idol made of flesh and blood. If you believe in HIM then believe in HIM only, bow your head in HIS honour, don't forget to tell your badshah, because he thinks that he is a crusader of religion. Tell him to understand it and practice, before torturing the innocent he should know who a kafir is."
Kafir means one, who has no compassion for others.
When Sikander Shah Lodhi
was told this, he was after me, left no stone unturned to torture me but at
last he also calmed down, poor chap! He thought that he could kill anyone and
save anyone from death.
Humans are fond of misconceptions, one who donates, thinks that he is giving donations but forgets HIM who gives everything.
When Sikander Shah Lodhi came, he asked me rudely, "Hey Julaha, you believe in ISLAM or not?"
I answered, "Yes I believe in Islam, but more serious question is that whether you understand Islam or not, if you truly believe in it then tell me who understands it well? SHIAS, SUNNIS or SOFEES? If you had the desire you would have found HIM. You could have heard the AN-AL-HAQUE. If you are desperate to cross the river don't wait for the boat, boats are made for the handicapped. One who knows his destination can't wait for the boat, he jumps and swims across the river. Sahab has granted us the power to know HIM, to see HIS light. Yes, the boats are making the boatmen rich but your truth and your God have to be found by yourself. No one else can tell you. You have to search for HIM yourself. This, the layer of dirt, on your soul, this curtain over your eyes, should be removed."
I had two kids, Kamal the
boy as a child was very stubborn, always opposed me couldn't understand that
truth remains truth even if you make it up side down.
When I said,
chalti chakki dekh kar,
diya kabira roye
dui paatan ke beech mein, sabit bacha na koye
(This doha picks up a situation
from our daily life. Kabeer watches the woman grinding wheat on the flour mill.
Women here is used as generally, it is the woman who does this work even today
in the rural Indian society. The wheels are made of stone. One is stationery
while the other on top is made to rotate by turning it with the help of a handle
attached to it. The grain that is put into it gets crushed and the converted
flour comes out. Thus the literal translation given above conveys that, however
Kabeer cries out, is what makes the reader to contemplate on this doha and realise
for oneself the hidden meaning behind it.
In this smile, Kabeer establishes the natural phenomenon of dualities. All nature is dual. Day and night, life and death, joys and sorrows, thereby making life an ever changing process. Trapped in this duality, Whatever we see is perishable. Nothing that we comprehend is eternal.)
He said satirically, "I have also made a couplet, "chalati chakki'
Kamali, my favourite was an intelligent girl, one day she was taking out water from a well, a South Indian pundit named Sarvajit came along with a bullock-cart full of books, desirous of religious debate with me, asked, "Where does Kabeer live?" Kamali smiled, "He stays on the peak, the route is very slippery, how will this poor bull reach there with so many books?" She was a wise girl, used to grasp every good thing, a true disciple of Raidasji. She also wrote poems, wonderful lyrics.
One of my disciples was
Malukdas, one of his couplets is very famous AJGAR KARE NA.
When he read it out to me, I reacted, This couplet will become a guru mantra for all lazy people. He asked me, Baba in all your poems you refer to 'SUNO BHAI SAADHO'
who should be considered a 'Sadho'?
I said, "Sadho is not a saint in a holy saffron dress, Sadho is one who seeks knowledge, he may have differences but he listens to you. If some one is not ready to listen there is no point in shouting and explaining. In no way can you fill a pot if it is kept up side down. It's necessary to understand that one who is spiritually enlightened will understand your conversation. It is very important to know his mental status. You must know that in which direction his mind is moving."
Once in Kashi, a saint and
a prostitute lived in the same neighbourhood, they died on the same day. When
messenger of death the Yamdoot came, he said, take this saint to hell and send
the prostitute to heavens. The saint retaliated, "Why should I be sent
to hell, I have sung bhajans all my life?"
The Yamdoot replied, "But your mind was not in to it, while singing bhajans you were thinking of this prostitute only, how does she look?, how does she dance? So you will go to hell. And this lady, she was working as a prostitute, listening to your devotional songs all the time, she was devotionally inclined, so she gets the place in heaven."
Thus should be the yearning to get HIM, find HIM, every moment every second should one devote in HIS search, then HE is seen all over, every where.
One evening Loi asked me,
"Your real mother, did she never come to see you?'
My eyes filled with tears, "My real mother! Amma told me that when I was a toddler she used to come to see me from a distance. As a teenager, I remember seeing her. She used to look at me with so much affection that I would forget every thing."
Loi asked again, "Did she ever talk to you?"
"No, her affection and love were not in my destiny, and my childhood games were not in her destiny."
"Amma," Loi asked, "She never said any thing?"
"When she used to scold me, she would call me an illegitimate child, but, in a loving mood She used to say, May Allah Tala bless the poor lady for gifting me this baby. Do you know Loi, people call me a bastard, but I feel I am fortunate. I am fortunate to have two mothers. Do you know what women are? They are mothers. Nothing else."
It always disturbed me when
I saw people feeding idols and not the poor. I saw them cremate their parents
lavishly when they had treated them as animals at home. Money is a disease its
like water, when it overflows the boat sinks, same applies with money. You should
try hard to take it out to keep your life sailing, and your heart should be
free like a fakeer. Just leave your worries and worries will leave you.
Loi once served roti and salt to Kamaal, he got mad, "All my friends are eating daal, vegetables, puri and deserts at home, and in our house you are always given garbage, even animals won't eat it." He threw the plate in anger. Loi looked at me I went to Kamaal took him close to me and said, "Bread is a gift of the Almighty neither dishonour it nor be jealous of others. There is no end to greed."
Now I was a free man. Moved with the mental waves, sometimes weaving and sometimes going out for long journeys. People of Kashi used to say, Kabeer has gone mad. I laughed at them, it's a boon to be mad in this lunatic world. Things become transparent. And a mad man is never frightened of anything, not even death, It's tough to be mad about something, mad about HIM. Now I was quite old, who can escape from ageing. Death used to visit my home and take the members one by one. People are afraid of death and death was afraid of me that's why it never dared to come near me. After each visit of death, people used to cry and I, (pause) I always laughed at it.
One day all my disciples
questioned me, "Baba people say that if you die in Varanasi you go to heaven
and if you die in Maghar you go to hell." The question irritated me, "Can't
you use your brain? How could you believe in these superstitions? Try to find
One disciple asked me, "But Baba people have strong belief in such things."
I said, "My lord is kind to all, every place is blessed by HIM. How can HE differentiate like this?"
People have narrow minds so they limit life to this world, but the truth is that every thing here is false, you are just actors in this great fun drama of the Almighty. Okay let me see what do I get if I die in Maghar. I will go to Maghar. What will go with you after you die? All these luxuries will remain here. Every one has to go to the village of my Saahab empty handed, an old disciple asked, "Baba! You always refer to village of Saahab, where is this? What is there? Is it a beautiful land, place, country or what?" I smiled, "It is an immortal country."
What was there now? Most
of my life was gone - nothing much to do, so I packed every thing and went to
Maghar. Now the world was more transparent, in kids I could see Kamaal and Kamaali,
I used to see my Amma in every old lady, the splash of the river sounded like
my kargha, my loom.
What ever I said my disciple used to write it down, till Loi's death they would go and ask her for all my poems and couplets, she knew them all. When she moved to Saahab's village after death, my disciples started taking care of me. Now I was seeing all colours of spiritualism, I could hear the drums of skies, waves of the winds, I was telling every one go on remembering HIM all the time. It's a boon to get this human body and soul, don't waste this opportunity. But who understands me? Only who is a Sadho at heart will understand the inner meaning of my words.
dukh mein simran sab kare,
sukh mein kare na koye
jo sukh mein simran kare tau dukh kahe ko hoye
(Let someone suddenly wave his hand in front of your eyes and you will see that the eyes blink. And if you are caught unawares, you may just say 'O my God'! Such is the nature of mankind. When we are in distress, in a state of helplessness, we invariably then look up in the skies and communicate with Him in our own silent prayer. However, when things are going good, we forget Him. Kabeer in this doha highlights this and gives a promise when he says that we shall not suffer if we pray to Him during our good times).
How much proof do you need?
Can't you see cream in milk? Can't you see the oil in nuts? Can't you see the
fire in the stones? Can't you even see God in everything. RECOGNISE HIM, I say
touch the feet of sadhus, the saints but only the true saints,
Lions, Swans and Saints travel alone. Followers do not accompany them. Recognise the truth, keep your eyes open. Oh brother, people are either ignorant or smart. They think that they have properties, have money in their safe and family members all around. But poor fellows, when death knocks on your door, they will burn you to ashes, or dig your grave so deep that you can not come back again. What a folly!
The long awaited moment
was approaching. That night when I fell ill, strange things were happening.
There were arguments. In the midst of that night my disciples were busy fighting.
I could listen to some of their discussions.
"He is a Hindu."
"How can you say that? he was brought up in a Muslim family, so he is a Muslim."
"Why are you trying to make him a Muslim now, He never went to any Mosque, neither did he ever offer namaz nor observe the fasts of Ramzan?"
"So what? He always opposed Idol worship, how can you say that he was a Hindu?"
I was listening to them, a thought came into my mind that I should get up and tell them WHO I AM?
But the very moment I thought I was misunderstood by them all my life, how could I make them understand now, who I was? What can I say now, when death is waiting for me at my doorstep?
Suddenly I was FREE, a wind of joy started blowing, webs of confusion were swept away. Sun rays of real truth were ready to wash every dark corner of the night.
Kamaal came, sat beside
me, he started crying. I was uncomfortable,
"Hey betwaa why are you crying? This is a moment of joy! I was waiting for this moment all my life. I will meet your mother, grandmother. What is remaining in this body? Hey see that light, that light is coming closer, which I always saw since my childhood. My Sahabchariot is coming to take me home. E betwaa don't cry my son, who ever is born has to die one day this is the truth accept it. I am not dying, I WILL BE THERE, if the truth exists Kabeer will be there, if you see some one happy on the death bed know that your BABA IS STILL THERE. If there is single person who is not afraid, understand that your BABA still lives, go, go away, go away from here. My dear SAHAB is coming to take me home, go away.
And the people who are fighting outside - don't worry about them, they had been fighting, they are fighting, they will go on fighting like this. They will not find my body. THEY WILL NOT FIND KABEER, BUT WHO HAS THE URGE, WHO HAS THE WISH, WILL DEFINITELY FIND KABEER."
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