Identity

We were taught Kabir’s Dohe somewhere in eighth or the ninth grade, when we were probably 13-14 years old. How much we understood then may very well be limited to the literal meaning as explained and illustrated by the teacher, at least such was my case. But, all of us invariably remember one or two couplets of this Great Saint till today and suddenly the true meaning or essence of the couplet seems to dawn. The simplicity of every couplet is so striking; stilling the mind totally to be able to see through, look deep inside one self and seek the meaning and answers from within. The meaning always eludes the person and seems to come only at the right time, till then the couplet makes and on and off appearance in the person’s life tantalizing the person to seek the truth, go deeper, probe further and seek. This one below came to light when spirituality and this journey of self- discovery began for me:

“jin dhunda tin payiya, gahire pani paith;

            mai bauri duban dari, rahi kinare baith.”

जिन ढूंड़ा तिन पयियाँ , गहरे पानी पैठ ,

मै भैरी डूबन डरी, रही किनारे बैठ ||

Meaning

Those who searched, by diving into the deep water, found the treasure.

I foolishly feared drowning and remained sitting on the shore.

Commentary 

One who wants to get some pearls has to dive deeply into the ocean. The person who fears drowning will not get anything. In the same way, he who wants God realization has to dive deeply in meditation, and merge completely into God’s love.

 

The above lines made sense after I joined meditation, and one year down the line I was still uneasy about myself. The fact that the system could bring no visible change in me and I was still the same egotistic, angry woman I was when I joined meditation was bothering me. This contemplative train of thought resulted in my eureka moment when this couplet popped up in my head with me as the brainless girl; I realised that I was still that scared girl, sitting on the banks of the river, afraid of drowning and yet I was expecting realisation, change and answers to my question of life, its meaning and purpose! How was this possible when I was still sitting on the shore?! If I did seek answers to a change in nature, tendencies making a U-turn; how fruitful and evolving have prayer and meditation been, how close to God Realization I am, and what is the true goal of human life; I needed to dive deep into the ocean. If there is a true craving for God realization then one has to dive deep in meditation and merge with Him in totality. Become Him and be one With Him, no dual Identity, because;

 

Prem gali ati sankari, tamein dou na samai
Jab mein tha tab hari nahi, ab hari hai mein naahi”


प्रेमगली अतिसंकरी, तामें दाऊ न समाई |
जब मैं था तब हरी नहीं, अब हरी है मैं नाहीं ||
The street of love is very narrow, two can’t pass through it at the same time
When I was, there was no God (Hari), now there is God but I am not
MEANING


To attain true love, one has to give up his ego. When the ego disappears, God appears. So the devotee must give up his ego to realize God.

Here it came again, the true meaning and essence of this couplet. My Identity was separate from His the minute I was born. When I was with Him I had no Identity at all and the second I strayed apart, ego developed and a separate identity was born. But true love is only one and in that there is no room for true identities! What separated me from Him was my Ego. This ego is at the root of all my emotions, positive or negative; He knows nothing, sees nothing but love and oneness. So to be one with Him I need to meditate, love Him. When ego disappears, God appears!

 

Like the drop that gets separated from the cloud and falls on the earth, the cloud changes to a drop of rain, it touches the earth and attains a new identity, muddied and brown it becomes a waterfall, a stream, a river, at times a pool or a puddle of stagnated water, and again is reborn as a rain drop, becoming a river and making its way to become one with the ocean, lose its identity and merge with its original parent.

Same is the case with us; we have to go back whence we came from, Him. We are born out of Him and need to merge with Him, today or tomorrow or probably many births later. And this merger is possible only through love, true eternal love for Him.

What was taught in the ninth grade finally began to crystallise bit by bit and the fog of the mind got cleaned in stages. Dive deep into the ocean of the heart, let the heart open itself wide and mute the noises of the mind and world outside. The silence of the heart shows the beloved within and love for Him grows. Meditate. Contemplate on the Divine within, love him like none else, because the road to His abode is very narrow, sinuous and tedious too. To attaint true love one cannot sit on the shore and feel scared, one has to dive deep into the ocean and seek Him. Love him, forget one self, one’s existence and merge with the Divine in complete surrender and loss of all identity.