You know, the best & the strange most thing about inspiration –
It can come from any nook or corner. Sometimes when you are least attentive. Remember those short two liner Dohas from Hindi literature classes during school days? Back then, I mugged them (like so many others) to pass my exams. Today, I spend hours researching them for my Corporate Events because of the sheer brevity of inspiration contained in them. Below is the first part i.e. 6 out of 12 of my favorite most inspirational Dohas by Sant Kabir ji. Every 2 liner is a powerhouse of inspiration in the form of Spirituality, mysticism, habits, daily life, education, human behavior etc.
Have compiled my most favorite and diverse ones for you. Please feel free to add more in the comments below / correct me if I am wrong with any of the explanations / add your version or understanding to these inspirational Dohas by Sant Kabir. Would love to read them!
1. Bura jo dekhan main chala, bura na milya koy
Jo mann khoja aapna, mujhse bura naa koy
Translation: I searched the world for evil and bad people. But after introspection, I realized – a lot of evil resides in me as well.
Reminds me of a small story. I am sure you must have heard of it too. A young couple moved into a new house. The next morning, looking at the neighbor drying clothes from her window, the wife remarked that their new neighbor doesn’t know how to wash clothes. The same thing happened the next day too. The third day however, to the wife, all clothes looked spotlessly clean and the wife remarked that her neighbor had finally learned how to wash clothes. To which her husband replied – Honey! I just cleaned our windows today.
They say it right –
“Zindagi bhar yehi bhool karta raha
Dhool thi chehre par aur aaina saaf karta raha”
Kabir ji points out the same thing. Most of us have a permanent fault finding telescope attached to our DNA like mothers-in-law. Criticism comes to us as naturally as breathing. Even if you are not voicing out your criticism, you probably waste your time thinking about it / gossiping about it later to your friends. What’s the point? Think of your mind as a palace where you could house so many beautiful thoughts and memories. But what do you keep in it? Negative thoughts, ideas, people – all living rent free.
This habit of fault finding takes up a lot of energy. If you spend even one fourth of it towards your goals / introspecting /finding ways to improve yourself – I can vouch that you will become stellar. Upgrade yourself but don’t do it by downgrading anyone else. And if you absolutely have to criticize because someone asks you for your opinion – get into the habit of constructive criticism. Destructive criticism has never helped anyone anyway.
2. Mana unmana na toliye, shabd ke mol na tol
Murakh log na jansi, aapa khoya bol
Translation: When your mind is enraged, try not to speak much because you will have no way to evaluate the words you use then. Everything gets clouded by your rage. And fools are those who do not realize this and keep losing their mental balance.
How many of you have anger management issues?
It is a ‘been there done that’ situation for me. And I don’t think I need to tell you – how much regret the words spoken in a fit of blinding rage bring along with them. It feels really awesome to tear apart the person in front of you – when you are angry. Probably, we believe that the other person deserves whatever caustic, venomous, trashy words we throw at them.
The truth is – this is not always true. There is always more to the story than what we see tangentially before exploding. Whenever you feel like tearing someone down like a fool – take a step back and calm down for a minute. Bite back your beautiful words and think – what would be the repercussions of what you are going to say next? If it solves your problem – go ahead and say it. If not, it is better to take a minute to weigh what you are going to say.
It takes a lot of practice. Trust me, it does. But if you accomplish this – you will be a top class relationship manager. Sant Kabir ji said it so very right so many many years ago 🙂
3. Nindak niyare raakhiye, aangan kuti chavaye
Bin paani sabun bina, nirmal kare subhaav
Translation: Keep your critics near you and listen to what they are saying. They can cleanse you without water and soap.
I think I agree to this but partially. Yes, it is important to have critics. They are like free soul laundry people! But is also important to separate the clean ones from the dirty laundry. You do not need to entertain every critic’s whims and fancies.
Your job is to – listen to those 24×7 mothers-in-law and then decide which one of them has a genuine point. Not every criticism about you is right. And not every is wrong either. Sit back and think – is it something you really need to work on? If yes, work your ass off and get better. If not, just smile, listen to them, make a polite promise that you will work on it – and then take your own highway 🙂
Don’t let destructive criticism get to you. Scourge for those constructive points that will definitely make you a better person. And such critics are keepers!
4. Chinta aisi dakini, kaat kaleja khaye
Vaid bechara kya kare, kaha tak dawa lagaye
Translation: Worry is like that ‘dayan’ or banshee / ghost / chudail which will slowly eat away your heart. Even the best of doctors won’t have medicine for you. Don’t be a Worrier. Be a Warrior.
No doctor will have a definite medicine to treat the root cause of your worry. He / she will only be able to try and treat the symptoms. The medication for anxiety will interfere with your reactions, subdue them probably. But it won’t be able to uproot and destroy them.
Because that worrying is on you. It is a crop you grow out of your own mind and it is something only you can harvest. And until you do that – It will keep eating into you slowly. Worrying will become the screensaver of your mind and soon, a habit. Even before looking for alternatives, you will look for a place to sit and worry.
Never let the birds of tension create a nest in your head. Or, if they do make their nest – do not forget that you can remove the nest any time. The gravity of your situation probably remains the same. The worrying only aggravates your inability to see clearly. There is a way out. There is always a way out. Sometimes, we just need to look into the right places to see the right pathways. And, I can say with a lot of surety that worrying never opens any of those pathways.
5. Jaisa Bhojan Kijiye Vaisa Hi Mana Hoye,
Jaisa Paani Pijiye Taisi Vani Hoye.
Translation: As you eat, so becomes your heart & soul. As you drink, so are the words that come out.
I have never believed in a single goal. A portfolio always makes much more sense. A mixed bag of 5 broad things you have to achieve in life – no matter what. You could have anything you want – relationship goals, career goals, spirituality goals, hobby goals etc. Upto you.
But, always always have Fitness Goals, health goals. It is only your body that will remain with you always. You will be amazed at how much is linked with your good eating and drinking habits. Research proves that a proper, balanced diet calms your whole system down.
And that’s what Sant Kabir ji has tried to teach here. What you eat & drink gets reflected on the kind of words you end up eventually using (directly linked to your mental state). For e.g. if you are too used to eating stale food, you will tend to be more negative in your thoughts and hence the words that come out won’t be inspiring either. And, let us not even begin to talk about the drunken talk people do 🙂
Eat well. It will slowly change you. And you will be able to notice.
6. Raat gawai soye ke, diwas gawaya khaay,
Hira janam anmol tha kodi badle jaye.
Translation: You fritted away your nights in sleeping and days in eating only. The One life that you got was precious like a diamond but you wasted it like a useless penny.
Do I really need to say more about this?
It is all about habits. We sleep late, then we get up late. And trust me – not much work happens late in the night – for those who claim they were actually working. Mornings are the best time to start your day productively. An early morning person may even feel that his day has more than 24 hrs!
There is no point wasting your youth in frivolous pursuits only to repent in the future about why you didn’t work harder. Remember, how you spend your days is also how you spend your life. If you feed your short term self only & try to only make it happy – by enjoying the current moment without sparing even one thought for the future, your long term self will slowly starve and decay.
If you are okay with not becoming who you want to become in the long run – you may just let it go too.
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Rise & Shine