We had to give a name to this virus : coronavirus or COVID-19. Indeed. Otherwise, how would we have referred to it? This name, once we know what it means, can create an image in someone’s mind, which can trigger fear, scare, disgust, apathy or even anger. A name is to give an identity, but a name is also a word. The word itself is not tangible, but it is very powerful. So powerful that its meaning drives us to do things or behave in a particular way. What about that word which cannot even describe what it is referring to? Except that it is Truth. The only truth. That truth which is immutable, sacrosanct, which holds us all together.

“Aaoungaa na jaaoungaa, na maroungaa na jioungaa
Guru ke shabad mein rami rami rahoungaa”

Neither do I come, nor do I go anywhere; I am just immersed in the Guru’s word. The word is the manifestation of the Supreme Spirit. Just like a drop of water, when falls in a lake becomes one with the lake’s water, similarly the word which is our true spirit, when merged with the Supreme Spirit becomes one. The word here, referring to the spirit, the soul, is not bound by time or space. The being, living in the physical plane of existence, is caught in the snare of coming and going, dying and being born. In the spiritual plane of existence, there is nowhere to go and come, there is no age or death.

“Aape katoraa aape thaali, aape purikhaa aap naari”

Whether it is a bowl or a plate, the container and the contents are the same; there is no gender. The soul is formless, genderless. Identities on the physical plane of existence go by size, gender, form, shape. Not when it comes to the spirit. Satguru Kabir saheb is referring to the omnipresence of the spirit. It is not confined in any small or large space. And it is the same whether in a man or a woman.

“Aap sadaaphal aap nimbu, aap musalmaan aap hindu”

The essence is the same, whether it is sweet or sour, Hindu or Muslim. The spirit does not change if it is in a sweet or sour fruit. The same spirit prevails in everyone, whether he is a Hindu or a Muslim. All the fights and disputes among religious groups are useless. Because we are all the same. The distinctions we see in the world are all unreal. Our true ‘Self’ is just trapped in the world and needs to get back to its real home.

“Aap machkacch aap jaal, aap jeevaraa aap Kaal”

The fish or the net, the being or the God of Death : there is no difference between them. Satguru Kabir Saheb explains that all the dualities we know in this world are not real. In the spiritual realm, there is no such thing as predator and prey, King and subjects.

“Kahein Kabir ham naahin re naahin, naa ham jeevat na moule maahin”

Kabir says : I am non-existent in this plane of existence; therefore neither do I live nor do I die. The beginning and end or birth and death applies only to the physical existence. The spirit is above birth and death, it just is.

We are the manifestation of the WORD which is elementless, holy and eternal. Let us find ourselves in the word. Satyanaam.

Mahant Jay Jaggessur, Kabir Association of Toronto.