Saturday, April 18, 2020

Kabira khara bazaar mein

- 500 words
--- Write a non-fictional piece based on your interpretation of this:
"Kabira Khara Bazaar Mein, Mange Sabki Khair
Na Kahu Se Dosti, Na Kahu Se Bair"
In the marketplace stands Kabir, Asks for the good of all
With none does he claim friendship, nor for enmity to befall"

In these days of Covid 19, Sant Kabir wouldn’t be standing in the marketplace, selling his wares.                           As a weaver, fabric wouldn’t be treated as an essential commodity, and he would have to remain in lockdown at home. Since, however, he has had the great good fortune of departing from this world several centuries ago (in a most dramatic fashion, if the stories are to be believed), we will not literally transpose his words to the present day, at least not just yet.
Kabir is the one poet whom I personally admire greatly. He has, over the years, become a core part of my being. The more you read of him and study his words, the more there is to know. His wit and wisdom, his radical thinking, his incisive observations on practically everything, his equal opportunity religion bashing, his deep spiritual core, what is not to love?
In these lines written above, he reveals himself as a truly evolved soul:
The marketplace is not just an actual marketplace, it depicts the world with its myriad pleasures.                 So many things to crave for, to desire. All human senses can be satiated in this world. When, while in the marketplace he prays for the well-being of all, it includes the wish that they not be led astray by the temptations of this world, that they also remain detached from it. Similarly, when he says that he wishes for neither friendship nor enmity, he also wishes the same to the denizens of the world. The burdens of both friendship and enmity lead one astray from the path to salvation. Humankind’s well-being is rooted in detachment. Friendship and enmity both have roots in the ego: my friend, my enemy. (However, I do believe in kinships of the soul that ease our paths through the messiness of life, which, in common parlance, we do call friendship).
And yet, humanity has strayed so far from the path of limited wants. Greed has messed up our poor Earth, perhaps irretrievably. At the present moment, we are living almost saintly lives: far away from the clamour and temptations of the market place, far away from friends and enemies alike. At this point in time, we pray for the well-being of all, even our ‘enemies’. The descriptions of the disease in its final stages are truly terrifying. It is hard to imagine that so many people, many in the prime of their lives, have succumbed to it. The very thought of the final moments of ones life without the comfort of a loved ones touch is truly tragic.
Can we, at this critical juncture, (post-lockdown and post Covid 19, if that happens), learn to be able to traverse the marketplace of the world without getting caught up in its fascinations? Can we actively seek the well-being of all, friend and foe alike?  A little less consumerism, a little more detachment, a lot more concern for the creatures on our planet.  We all need to channel our inner Kabir!

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