There is a big push these days to lift restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. People are getting more and more annoyed with staying inside, going out with masks and all kinds of protective gear. In some places there are even protests to re-open the economy. Enough of masks, people are demanding. You would all have heard the analogy that the whole world is a stage and we are but actors playing our roles. Putting a mask to perform our roles. Are we thus hiding from our true identity? By just playing our roles? Of father, mother, brother, sister, child, friend, teacher, engineer, doctor, farmer, driver, pilot… Who is behind all of these?

“Nirkhat apne roop ko, thir hoye sab ang
 Kahaa soonaa kacchu naa rahe, jyon kaa tyon hi abhang”

Once we realise our true form (Self), we find a total equilibrium in our ‘beingness’; nothing else is left to be explained or understood, the body-soul relationship is demystified. The realisation process unfolds to us our ‘hidden’ identity. Satguru Kabir Saheb explains to us that we have to undertake that expedition – to find who we are. Then we will be able to comprehend that we do not belong to this world. That we have another calling. That our union is to be with God. Once the mask is removed, we do not want to wear it again. Because then we experience where we belong to. That is why Satguru Kabir Saheb says there is nothing else to be explained or understood.

“Naam milaave roop ko, jo jan khoji hoye
Jab waha roop hirdaye base, kshudh rahe na koye”

He who searches for it definitely finds the meaning and substance of the name; when that meaning is settled in one’s heart, no other desire is left. What Satguru Kabir Saheb is explaining to us here is that we should not be going after the alphabets that make the name. We should understand the significance of the name, which brings us to the essence of what that name represents. Once we assimilate that essence, the alphabets or the combination of letters or the word itself (written or uttered) have no relevance to what we are searching. What we find is above and beyond the word itself. And once that essence sinks in our heart, we have no thirst for anything else. Like achieving which we do not want anything else. 

We are father, mother, sister, brother, doctor, nurse, engineer, teacher or whatever other profession we are tagged with only for the world. Piercing all the layers that we have been wrapped with, we are able to find who we truly are. Let us come out of that dramatis personae that the world made of us. Let us allow the name (Naam) to lead us to our true person. Unmasked.

Mahant Jay Jaggessur, Kabir Association of Toronto.