There are two tendencies of mind – one is egoistic and the other is modest. Egoism comes from foolishness and modesty is the result of good sense. Out of foolishness, people become proud of their wealth, learning, power or good looks. ‘Nobody has the power, beauty, learning, wealth or the family like I have,’ they think. Billions like you have come and gone. If you look at the beauty, power or the family (the universe) of God, from Whom you and all others got theirs, where is the room for pride? When we are ignorant, when we are unable to see the splendour, the Knowledge, the potency, the opulence of the Supreme Lord, we become proud of this body which started from a drop of vital fluid and collecting some information by reading books and hearing others we boast of our learning, power, status or wealth. And we blow our own trumpet making our finite individuality separated from That Indivisible Whole.
A son may get separated from his father and have another house or factory for himself. But can a jiva build any factory separated from the indivisible Pure Consciousness? Can we have peace imagining ourselves to be separated from the Supreme Being and taking pride in our assumed individual existence? We have egoistic feelings only because we do not have Knowledge of the Infinite, the Cosmic Person. It is not that only the educated or the uneducated or the wealthy feel proud. People feel proud also of not having wealth. Many people are proud of renunciation, being an ascetic. They take pride in things like, ‘I am no run-of-the-mill sadhu; I have not taken salt for the last twelve years.’ ‘I walk barefooted.’ ‘I have not shaved my beard for six years.’ Our ego assumes various forms and turns the mind outwards. And without turning the mind inwards one cannot attain absolute peace, absolute Knowledge and Indivisible existence.
The most learned of men, if takes recourse to enquiry (in to the nature of reality), his pride of learning cannot persist. The most powerful men, if takes recourse to enquiry, his pride of power cannot persist. The most beautiful person, if takes recourse to enquiry, his/her pride of beauty can not persist. Non-enquiry is the only cause of pride. Enquiry brings modesty.
विद्या ददाति विनयम् । ‘Learning brings modesty.’ Suppose your enemy comes to your house. Finding the enemy at your house, you get up, offer him a seat, give him a glass of water and show respect towards him; you bow your head before him. Your treating him with respect doesn’t make your enemy great; it shows your greatness. One who makes another great (by showing respect to him) is greater than the great for he is the maker of the ‘great’. Modesty does not make one meek. Rather modesty coupled with discriminative insight delivers the mind from the ego and fills it with Self-Bliss.
Allegations were levelled against Kabirji and Kabirji received them with all humility. The king of Kashi says, ‘Kabirji! There is still time to mend your ways and if you do so, I can forgive you. Hitherto I have been dismissing what the priests said about you as rubbish but when I with my own eyes see you holding the hand of a whore in your one hand and a bottle of liquor in the other, I am constrained to ask you what has brought this degradation in you. It is the question of your honour. When you have disciples like me, the king of Kashi why is it that you are seen in this state – holding the hand of a whore in your one hand and a bottle of liquor in the other?
‘Listen O brethren! Listen my friends!
Kabir is changed.
The milk is curdled when mixed with curds
And it is changed into butter.
Kabir is changed. Coming into contact with the philosopher’s stone, iron is transformed.
That iron is transformed into gold.
In the Society of the Saints
Kabir is transformed,
That kabir is transformed into a saint. Kabir is changed.’
The ego based on false notions is destroyed. When the ego is destroyed, the mind is established in Supreme Self. While Kabirji was saying all this in the court of the king of Kashi, he poured the water filled in the wine bottle on the ground.
The king of Kashi asked, “Why did you spill the liquor on the ground?”
Kabirji replied, “The clothes of the cook at Jagannathpuri, who cooks food for the Lord have caught fire; I am extinguishing that fire.”
“Extinguishing the fire at Jagannathpuri from here…!”
Messengers were sent to Jagannathpuri whereby it was confirmed that the clothes of the cook at the temple had actually caught fire but he was miraculously saved as his clothes suddenly became wet. This made the king of Kashi realise his mistake. He became convinced that this must have been a malicious ploy of the prostitute or the priests and sought Kabirji’s forgiveness. Kabirji took this respect in the same manner as he had received the earlier insulting treatment. Those free from ego don’t get perturbed at being insulted or disrespected nor do they become puffed up at being treated respectfully because the respect is given by the other person. It is out of his goodness that he gives respect. If we become conceited, it means we have forgotten the Supreme Self, the source that enabled the person to respect us. This will strengthen our false ego.
Conceitedness is born of Ignorance. To get rid of the ignorance, pray, ‘O Lord! It is You Who inspires those who give respect to me. O merciful Lord! You also take care to destroy my ego by getting me insulted at times. Your mercy is great and unbounded. For thousands of times the troublesome nature of the mind has caused me to hang upside down in mothers’ wombs. So many times I have been passing through the dirty organs of fathers’ bodies. O Lord! Endow me with good sense at least now.’
The prayer made early in the morning gives great strength. The wishes and resolves made in the morning get accomplished. This will endow your life with the virtue of modesty and remove your egoism. The radiance of satsang will illuminate your life.
It is strange that we don’t want to keep our bathroom or kitchen or compound dirty but we are blissfully unaware of what we should do to clean our heart that will accompany us even after death. The heart that will accompany us even after death is full of filthy things like pride, egoism, sexual desire etc. If we don’t take care to clean our heart, howsoever clean and sparkling our bathroom and kitchen may be, it is of no use.
So, go to the company of the holy to fill your heart with blessedness and pray to God early in the morning seeking His company, ‘Lord! Bless me with satsang. Let me be endowed with the virtue of modesty today. Let some good deed be done by my body today. Be merciful enough to let this body, this mind, this intellect and the wealth of mine be used in making some contribution to the embellishment of Your Creation; to let this servant of Yours render some service to You and repose in You, my True Self.’
If you pray like this early in the morning, the Lord will be ready to give you what yogis get by practising yoga in mountain caves, what ascetics get from mortifying themselves in dense forests, what chaste women get through unwavering devotion to their husbands. Nothing is difficult for Him.
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