More than 290,000 people have died worldwide due to the coronavirus in three months, and this number keeps on increasing every day.  This number may be understated as we cannot be sure if all such deaths are being recorded. And then, there are also deaths due to other causes or even natural deaths. Although this number may not represent a large percentage of the world population (which is around 7.7 billion), the figure itself is quite alarming. In cases where other animal species (fish, birds, mammals) are endangered, human beings attempt to save them from extinction through captive breeding. What would be a comparable way to save humans if they were endangered?

Human beings do not require captive breeding. They need captive indoctrination. People need to re-learn their purpose in life. For that they need to be in the company of saintly people. In ancient times, parents were sending their children to the Guru’s hermit (Gurukul) so that they could acquire spiritual knowledge. Satguru Kabir Saheb expounded the importance of satsang for people to learn their purpose in life and embark on a spiritual path. He said that one does not necessarily need to go to the Himalayas to acquire spiritual knowledge. We can still lead our life normally and be instructed in spiritual values. Satsang is the way.

“Kabahou na bhayawu sang aw saathaa, aisso janam gamaayawu aacchaa”

You have never spent your time in the company of saintly people; you have just wasted your precious opportunity. By engaging in immoral activities, many people waste their time, not knowing that the consequences of their actions will be damaging. It might be too late when (or if) they realise it. If we know our true purpose in life, then we will act accordingly. But if we are lost, and not seek help from the right person (the Guru), we will get into an impasse.

“Bahuri na paiho aisso thaanaa, Saadhu sangati nahin pahichaanaa”

If you do not realise the value of the company of saintly people, you may not get such an  opportunity again. Many people are prejudiced by the demeanor of a Sadhu. The thought of austerity repels people from associating themselves with saintly people. They cannot afford to forgo their habitual practices. But the choice is simple : a vicious or a virtuous life.

“Ab tor hoye narak mah baasaa, nisdin basewu labaar ke paasaa”

By being in the wrong company, now you will live in hell. Satguru Kabir Saheb is using hell to refer to the sufferings that ensue, resulting from the immoral or sinful activities one has indulged in. It is a reminder and a word of caution to those who, enjoying their time in committing sins, fail to realise that they must associate themselves with saintly people.

“Jaat saban kahan dekhiyaa, kahahein Kabir pukaar
Chetwaa hoye to chet le, nahin to divas parat hai dhaar”

Kabir says : “I have seen everyone leaving helpless; Wake up before it is too late, otherwise death will catch up with you in no time”. The message is clear : to fulfil our purpose, we must awaken to realisation.

Not accepting our existence as being a spiritual one is a clear sign that we may soon be endangered. In this Iron Age, we have seen lots and lots of examples of human degeneration. It is time to wake up. Before it’s too late.

Mahant Jay Jaggessur, Kabir Association of Toronto.

Bijak, Ramaini # 44