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When help comes, just don’t resist || Acharya Prashant, on Guru Kabir (2019)

Author Acharya Prashant

Acharya Prashant

10 min
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You linked us together, O fakir! I was deep asleep in my temple; your words of love struck my ear and woke me up. I was drowning in the sea of vice; you pulled me out by my arm. Your council sank into my heart, and in moments freed me from earthly bonds. Says Kabir—O gentle soul, listen! The fakir embraced me and pressed my heart close to his.

~ Kabir

Questioner: What is the instruction contained in this verse? How do I understand what is being conveyed here? How can my heart, too, sing with your guidance, Acharya Ji?

Acharya Prashant: In the entire verse, does the seeker do anything? There is a woman who is ostensibly singing this song with respect to a fakir. Between the two of them, please see who is the doer. We will go line by line, and you tell me who is the mover of things, who holds the responsibility to do things.

“Tohe mohe lagan lagaye re fakirwa (You linked us together, O fakir).” Who did this? Fakirwa (the fakir).

“Sovat thi main apne mandir mein, sabad ban mari jagaye re fakirwa (I was deep asleep in my temple; your words of love struck my ear and woke me up.).” Who did this? Fakirwa .

“Dubat hi bhava ke sagar mein, bahiya pakadi samujhay re fakirwa (I was drowning in the sea of vice; you pulled me out by my arm).” Who did this? Fakirwa .

Eki bachan bachan nahi duja, tum mosey bandha chhudaye re fakirwa (Your council sank into my heart, and in moments freed me from earthly bonds).” Who did this? Fakirwa .

Kahat Kabir suno bhai sadhu, pranan pran lagaye re fakirwa (Says Kabir—O gentle soul, listen! The fakir embraced me and pressed my heart close to his).” Who did this? Fakirwa .

And see what you are asking: “How can my heart, too, sing with your guidance, Acharya Ji?” Is the lady in the verse demanding anything, wishing anything, doing anything? What causes her liberation? Her non-doership—the fact that she is not even desiring or demanding, let alone doing. What has she done? Nothing. And that is what is needed of you—do nothing.

So, when the fakir wakes you up from your slumber, do nothing—just wake up. “Sovat thi main apne mandir mein, sabad ban mari jagaye re fakirwa.” So, you are sleeping in your so-called temple… This is such a subtle satire on the places we call as our temples. What are our temples? Places where we can sleep—places where we can sleep !

Sovat thi main apne mandir mein, sabad ban mari jagaye re fakirwa .”

So, this lady is, first of all, in her own self-professed, self-constructed temple. So, according to her, the place must already be holy. And not only is she already in a holy place, she is blissfully lost in sleep there. Now this fakir comes over and hits her with an arrow: “ Sabad ban mari jagaye re fakirwa .” What profanity! Close to humiliation, and that too with a woman. This fakir chap is shooting arrows at a sleeping woman, and that too at a holy place!

“Sovat thi main apne mandir mein, sabad ban mari jagaye re fakirwa.”

There is a lot that this woman could have done in such a situation; there is a lot that could have happened through her by way of reaction. She could have become very angry, she could have lodged an FIR. The fakir dude would have been behind bars. He would have forgotten all about his bows and arrows. But he took the liberty of hitting this woman with his sharp words— shabad baan (arrows of sharp words). And all that the woman did was that she did nothing, she just accepted. That’s your role.

You would be sleeping in your cosy temples, and you would be ruthlessly shaken up, woken up. The arrows hit hard, they pierce. You will have all the reasons to complain and run away, even retaliate. Don’t do anything. When the fakir is anyway taking the responsibility to do a lot of things, then your responsibility is to simply let him do what he wants to do. Do not forget that the woman in the verse does nothing; she just cooperates.

So, just cooperate. See what the fakir is doing. Do not resist him; cooperate silently.

“Dubat hi bhava ke sagar mein, bahiya pakadi samujhay re fakirwa.”

On her own, what was she doing? Drowning. Now, she has already done what she could do. The net result of all her expertise and all her wisdom is that she is found drowning. That’s the sum total of her life—drowning in bhavasāgara , drowning in the ocean called the world. And the fakir comes over, the same chap again, and he holds her by the arm. Now, this could as well be constructed as exploiting a lady in distress. “Just because she is in a bad situation, you are taking liberties with her! How dare you? Was there consent?” The lady does nothing. She simply lets the fakir do what he must. If she does something, not only would she drown—chances are she would also pull the fakir down with herself.

Your role is to allow yourself to be saved. Your role is to not hamper the rescue. Your role, I repeat, is to cooperate.

“Eki bachan bachan nahi duja, tum mosey bandha chhudaye re fakirwa.”

So, the lady must be talking of a lot of things, like any commoner, like any worldly person. We talk of a lot of things. Our universe is rich and diverse in our estimate; there are so many things, there is so much to gossip about, there is so much to call our attention. So, we are full of stuff; we talk of this, we talk of that. And then comes over the fakir, and he doesn’t talk of anything but the One— “Eki bachan bachan nahi duja.”

And the lady must have felt irritated. You are talking of the spicy stuff in the latest South Indian restaurant. You are saying, you know, “Special rasam,” and he says, “Rama.” You say, “No, no, rasam!” He says, “Rama!“ Eki bachan bachan nahi duja —very boring, isn’t it? The lady could have run away. She is talking of this, that; she says, “Uttapam!” He says, “No. Uttam (the ultimate).”

Eki bachan —she didn’t run away. What did she do? She did nothing. She is talking of Jupiter and Saturn, and the fakir says, “Rama.” She is talking of left and right, and the fakir says, “Rama.” There were genuine reasons to declare the fakir insane. What did the lady do? She did not declare the fakir insane. He had just one answer to every question: Eki bachan bachan nahi duja. Whereas the questions were apparently very diverse, the answer was always one. What was the answer? Rama.

The lady could have abandoned the fakir, saying, “He is a false one. Because he has no specific solutions to any problem of life, so he keeps repeating the same, one, old, hackneyed, rotten answer. He is stuck at one point; he knows nothing.” But she doesn’t abandon him; she stayed put. What did she do? She stayed put even though the fakir never gave answers that satisfied her intellect.

“Eki bachan bachan nahi duja.” Answers are predetermined. Doesn’t matter what you ask; you will get just one answer—one answer in various forms, in various words, just to entertain you a little. The fakir too apparently has some minor weakness: he doesn’t want to let you go, you know. He doesn’t want to be too blatant with you; otherwise you would feel disappointed and you would go away. Instead of Rama, he sometimes says, “ Ayodhyapati (King of Ayodhya),” and you feel satisfied. You say, “This time there was a different answer.” And the next time he says, “ Kaushalya Nandan (son of Kaushalya).” “Nice,” you say. Next time he says, “ Dashrath Putra (son of Dashrath).” “Now he makes sense!” you say.

And it just so happens that the word ‘Rama’ has a million synonyms, so the fakir can keep you engaged for a very long time. But essentially, he is saying just one thing: Eki bachan bachan nahi duja . Even if you see through his trick, stay put. That’s what is needed of you.

“Eki bachan bachan nahi duja, tum mosey bandha chhudaye re fakirwa.”

After you have been liberated of the bondages, then you are able to call bandha (bondage) as bandha . After liberation, bandha is bandha . Before liberation, bandha is kamarbandha (waist band)—very attractive. What other kinds of bandhas (bands) are there? Name the ornaments. There must be many─ kamarbandha (waistband), bajubandha (armband)…

After liberation, you are able to call a bondage as a bondage. Before liberation, a bondage is a thing to be celebrated. It is the spice of life, it is a jewel; it adds to you, it makes you shine, right? Only after liberation do bajubandha , kamarbandha become bandha (bondage).

So, when the fakir was robbing her of her kamarbandha (waist band), she could have shouted, “Thief, thief! My precious jewellery is being stolen! The bugger merely looks like an ascetic—in reality, he is very fond of my gold. See, he is taking away all my gold!” It is only after you are liberated of it that you will realize that that which you thought of and called as gold was merely the chains that enslaved you.

What did the lady do when the bandha was being removed? She just kept quiet and probably also cooperated. You see, fakirs are not very skilled in matters of ladies’ ornaments. So, it would have been very difficult for the fakir to remove all the intricate pieces of jewellery. They will not know how to open stuff and where the locks are and such things. So, she would have definitely cooperated. Without her cooperation, the fakir would not have been able to remove all the stuff hanging about her. She cooperated; she made the fakir’s task easier. She didn’t resist; she didn’t shout, “Help, help!” She could have done that.

So, what are you to do? Just don’t raise an alarm.

“Kahat Kabir suno bhai sadhu, pranan pran lagaye re fakirwa” —that will happen. But the fakir is not going to force things. He is not going to dictate matters. He requires your cooperation. His wish is eternal; it is your wish that is missing. His wish is anyway present. When your wish gets aligned to his wish, then the divine hug will materialize. Till then just practice the art of cooperation. Cooperating, cooperating, one day you will learn surrender.

YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqeMZWeimmU

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