What is acceptable and what is unacceptable may change depending on where you are. And it may also change over time. Amid the COVID-19 crisis, lots of ‘acceptables’ are no longer acceptable. No handshakes, no physical meetings, no travels….. We make plans and cannot execute our projects. This pandemic has caused many of us to be stranded. Many of us made plans, some probably over a year ago, and then all of a sudden we have to change our programs. Is there a reason for that? Obviously we are being tested. Who will pass the test?

“Surati phansi sansaar mein, taate parigo door
Surati baandhi sthir karo, aatho pahar hazoor”

Those whose consciousness is immersed in the unreal world are very far away from God. Once you set your consciousness firmly on the Supreme Being, you will be in His presence always. Satguru Kabir Saheb teaches us that as long as we are concerned about the unreal world, we will not be happy; we will be stranded. Because the unreal poses all kinds of dualities before us. We are swung from one end to the other end. Making plans in this unreal world, which we have to make anyways, are always ‘subject to’. We should never attach ourselves to outcomes which we ‘create’ as per our plans. Satguru Kabir Saheb gives us very clear teachings in that respect.

“Pakki kheti dekh ke, garb kiyaa kissaan
Ajahoun jhoolaa bahut hai, ghar aave tab jaan”

Seeing the crop ready for harvest, the farmer becomes excited with pride. There is no point in getting over-excited before you actually bring the harvest home and sell it. Even if the crop is ready, it may still be lost to a fire or pilferers or pests. Only after the crop is harvested and sold that the farmer can really earn the fruits of his efforts. Similarly, if we plan an event, it is our duty to do all we can to make it successful. But the success can only be experienced when the event occurs. We have to be aware that many things can happen in between, and we should be ready to face them. If we are prepared for any contingencies, then we will NOT be stranded. The challenge is to not lose ourselves in either our plans or in the events which may disturb our plans. Satguru Kabir Saheb tells us that if we lose ourselves, we will be no different than a blind person claiming to be a reliable torchbearer.

“Jo tou paraa hai phand mein, niksegaa kab andh
Maayaa mad tokoon charhaa, mat bhoole matimand”

Oh Blind Man! When will you free yourself from the noose of the world (Maayaa)? You have allowed illusion to intoxicate you so much that you have even lost your own ‘Self’! Many people boast of their plans, claiming that they are the best planners, thinking they are better than anyone else. This is not being wise. The wise one avoids the traps of Maayaa.

Knowing who we are, where we are, and where we are going, let us not be fooled by the tricks of Maayaa.

Mahant Jay Jaggessur, Kabir Association of Toronto.