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[salok] Bhagat Kabeer Jeo Kae


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vaheguru ji ka khalsa vaheguru ji ki fateh

ਕਬੀਰ ਰਸ ਕੋ ਗਾਂਡੋ ਚੂਸੀਐ ਗੁਨ ਕਉ ਮਰੀਐ ਰੋਇ ॥

Kabīr ras ko gāʼndo cẖūsī­ai gun ka­o marī­ai ro­ė.

Kabeer, the mortals suck at the sugar cane, for the sake of the sweet juice. They should work just as hard for virtue.

ਅਵਗੁਨੀਆਰੇ ਮਾਨਸੈ ਭਲੋ ਨ ਕਹਿਹੈ ਕੋਇ ॥੭੨॥

Avgunī­ārė mānsai bẖalo na kahihai ko­ė.

The person who lacks virtue - no one calls him good.

ਰਸ = juice; ਗਾਂਡੋ = sugarcane; ਚੂਸੀਐ = suck; ਗੁਨ = virtue; ਮਰੀਐ ਰੋਇ = with great difficulty/turmoil; ਅਵਗੁਨੀਆਰੇ = one without virtue; ਮਾਨਸੈ = that person ;ਭਲੋ = good; ਕਹਿਹੈ = say.

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Here Bhagat Kabeer Ji uses the metaphor of sugarcane being crushed between rollers in order to extract its juice. The poor sugarcane has to go through so much pain and anguish in order for the sweet juice, its essence, to be obtained. In the same way, we need to crush the ego/anger/other vices which plague our minds in order to be a decent human being. To gain anything valuable, hard work is required (unless stolen - and there is no way to steal virtue from anyone else). In order to plant nice qualities within our hearts, we need to put in effort, just like effort is required to crush the sugarcane.

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Usually we'll head for any easy option available to us, sometimes forgetting which is morally right or which will truly benefit us/those around us. So many people think they are content with living life - childhood/youth/work/family/retirement/old age/death - never having to think about anything deeper, never stopping to think that maybe there's something bigger out there than a pointless cycle of chores and events. So many try to ponder over the so-called unanswerable question: What's the meaning of life? Some go mad with the monotony of their lives, getting depressed and eventually ending it all. Guru Saheb has handed us the answer on a plate, but in order to taste that sweetness we need to instill those God-like qualities within ourselves. If we just opened our eyes to Guru Saheb's path, there would be so much to see and enjoy.

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Perhaps we won't truly realise the importance of this until it is too late, but we are so lucky to have a guide who can lead us to the Truth. There is no immediate eternal damnation or salvation as soon as we say 'I'm a Sikh' - the path is there to be followed, with commitment and internal reflection along the way. We are not zombies, our life has a purpose, but we need to use Gurbani and our sangat in order to reap the potential fruits of that. I say this after realising that some believe if Madeleine's kidnapper is a Catholic, he/she will be absolved of all sin regardless of whether they have committed murder or not. How can we expect to have our goodness handed to us all at once in a gift bag, free of charge? Sure, it could happen if Guru Saheb wanted it to but that's not currently how it works. We have to work for our gift bags, not lie back and expect it to fall out of the sky from the beak of a stork.

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If kaam or greed for materialistic things consumes us, we can ask Guru Saheb for help - He's holding our hand every step of the way. In the cruical moment when something doesn't go according to plan, or when someone makes a rude comment, stop for a second and think what the benefit of an angry response would be. Bhagat Kabeer Ji tells us that one who expects to be a good person whilst harbouring anger, lust, pride and other bad things within them can never be judged as good by anyone, let alone after death.

~l~

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vaheguru ji ka khalsa vaheguru ji ki fateh

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