by Dr. Ashwini Mokashi
The poem we discuss here talks about how to realize our spiritual potential through meditation. Saint Kabir discusses this topic in multiple poems from multiple angles. In this poem, he discusses how powerful the spiritual spark is within us and how it helps us in all walks of life. This poem is taken from the book ‘Paramartha Sopan’, a compilation of Hindi Saints’ Poems edited by Prof. Gurudev R. D. Ranade.
अपने घट दियना बारु रे l
नाम के तेल सुरत कै बाती, ब्रम्ह अगिन उदगारु रे ll
जग-मग जोत निहार मन्दिर में, तन मन धन सब वारु रे ll
झूठी जान जगत की आसा, बारंबार बिसारु रे ll
कहे कबीर मुनो भाइ साधो, आपन काज सँवारु रे ll
Transliteration of the poem:
Apne ghat diyana baru re
Nama ke tel surat ke bati, Brahma agin udgaru re ll
Jagmag jyot nihar mandir me, tan man dhan sab varu re ll
Jhootee jan jagat ki asa, barambar bisaru re ll
Kahe Kabir suno bhai sadho, Aapan kaaj sawaru re ll
Translation by Gurudeo Prof. R. D. Ranade is as follows:
अपने घट में दीपक जलाओ । नाम का तेल डालकर सुरत की बत्ती को ब्रम्ह रूप अग्नि से उद्दीपित करो। मन्दिर में जगमग ज्योति देख कर, उस पर अपना तन, मन और घन सब निछावर कर दो। जगत की आशा को झूठी जान कर बार बार उसका विस्मरण करो । कबीर कहते हैं कि हे साधो, अपना काम अच्छी तरह से सम्पूर्ण करो ।
My English Translation of the same:
Light a lamp in your pot (a metaphor for the human body). With the oil of God’s name, ignite the light of the wick of mind. The wick will be inflamed with fire in the form of Brahma. Seeing the light shining in the temple, offer up all your possessions – body, mind, and wealth. Think of the material world as false and just focus on the name of the Lord. Kabir says, O good man, accomplish your duties in the best way possible.
We all have the potential to be one with the Brahman, with the ultimate reality. We can enjoy that Oneness and imagine that spiritual experience, which takes us into a different realm. Saint Kabir calls it ‘inflaming the mind with the fire of God.’ How does one accomplish that? One needs to light a little lamp in ourselves, using the oil of God’s name to understand and engage the spirit in us. In other words, meditation awakens the spiritual realm within us. When that little lamp begins to shine brightly like a fire, the body and mind are transformed into a temple. Now we are compelled to focus on it with all the energy and power at our command, be they physical or mental powers or material wealth of all kinds. Simultaneously we also start realizing that the worldly desires can only lead us so far. Saint Kabir calls these desires ‘false,’ and says it is essential to forget them. Saint Kabir requests the good man to accomplish our fundamental duties and promises to ourselves, which is to realize this state of Brahman, which is attained through meditation.
Saint Kabir focuses upon three significant points in this poem.
- The first point is to look after ourselves, understand our true nature, remember our spiritual being, and daily nurture it. He suggests that this can be done by meditating. Daily practice will help us grow further, and a small spiritual presence within will expand into a significant and powerful aspect of our personality.
- Then Saint Kabir says that the material desires are false. This does not mean they do not exist, or do not need to be fulfilled, or that they are immaterial. What he draws our attention to is that they are least significant in terms of what matters in human life. Whether we are pining for more money, more prestige, more respect, a house, romantic love, or bank balance, they remain as worldly desires. Whereas one can find meaningfulness in human life, only when one recognizes one’s spiritual potential.
- Lastly, Saint Kabir says that we must meditate and stay focused on what is important.
Thus, we find that Saint Kabir seeks to solve all one’s problems and address all our concerns with one simple stroke. Meditate on the mantra and realize the spiritual potential. Then all other concerns will reduce to nothingness.