Guru Kabir's Ocean of Love
Anurag Sagar - Oceans of Love
Guru Kabir’s “Ocean of Love”, is one of many sacred texts composed and used by the Dharamdasi Branch of Kabir Panth and Sant Mat — the Sant Dharam Das line of Masters
Kabir belongs to that small group of supreme mystics amongst whom St. Augustine, Ruysbroeck, and the Sufi poet Jalalu’ddin Rumi are perhaps the chief who have achieved that which we might call the synthetic vision of God. These have resolved the perpetual opposition between the personal and impersonal, the transcendent and immanent, static and dynamic aspects of the Divine Nature; between the Absolute of philosophy and the “sure true Friend” of devotional religion. They have done this, not by taking these apparently incompatible concepts one after the other; but by ascending to a height of spiritual intuition at which they are, as Ruysbroeck said, “melted and merged in the Unity,” and perceived as the completing opposites of a perfect Whole.
Anurag Sagar and Sant Mat
Anurag Sagar occupies a very unusual place in the literature of the Masters; it is one of the most venerated and least known of all esoteric books. It is the Masters themselves who venerate it, and they have often made use of it in one way or another; they themselves are able to read it, but most of their disciples know it only by hearsay, mostly because it is written in the pre-Hindi dialect called Braj which, according to the leading modern scholar on Kabir, had “already by Kabir’s time…become the lyrical language par excellence but which is extremely difficult for modern Indians to read it relates to Hindi as spoken today somewhat as Chaucerian or Middle English relates to our language. There are also problems of interpretations: as with other mythopoeic treatments of these themes (particularly those of Blake, who of all Western writers is closest to Kabir both in spirit and in poetic genius) the poem is dense, at times enigmatic, and always demanding; so that to understand it fully without an authoritative commentary is not easy.
His powerful and inspired songs helped fuel India’s Bhakti movement-a movement emphasizing devotion to God and the chanting of His Name. Even today Kabir’s words can be heard echoing throughout the cities and villages of India and Pakistan. One scholar writes: 1n the whole sweep of north Indian religion there is no voice more stringent, more passionate, more confident than that of Kabir.”
Kabir was uneducated and spent most of his life as a poor weaver in the back streets of Benares. He was not of the proper class to have a Guru or receive any teachings on spirituality, yet his poetry is filled with mystical insights and profound teachings which baffled the great pundits of his time. Kabir’s profound insights into truth, philosophy, and the nature of man came about from his direct experience of God-an experience that went beyond the ken of the intellect and worldly knowledge.
One major theme in Kabir’s teaching revolved around the repetition of God’s Name Uapa). Kabir rejected all outer religious practice-and one reason why Kabir emphasized repeating God’s Name was that this powerful practice was available to all people of all classes.
“If you want the truth, I’ll tell you the truth; Listen to the secret sound, the real sound, which is inside you”
Ever since the Almighty Lord started coming into this world in the form of the Saints, it has always happened that during a Saint’s lifetime only a few people care to know about his life; where the Saint was born, how he used to live, what qualities he had, and why he came into this world. They don’t care about all these things while the Saint is alive; but when the Saints leave this world, their incredible power and their teachings which change the lives of many people impress the people of the world, and only then – when the Saint is gone – do the people of the world start thinking about them and devoting themselves to them. So that is why, according to the understanding of the people. stories are told about the Saints. It is very difficult to find out much about the Mahatmas of the past – their birth, their place of birth, their parents, their early life, etc. Whatever people have written about the Great Masters has been written many years after their departure from this world. That is why Kabir’s life sketch has different versions. According to most the traditions, Kabir Sahib was born in 1398 in Benares and he died in 1518, living for 120 years.
There are many different stories of Kabir and of his effect on others, some of which are told in the Introduction of to this book. Dharam Das was Kabir’s gurumukh disciple and successor, who was a very wealthy person and an idol-worshipper. It is said that once when he was doing his worship, Kabir appeared to him and asked, “What are these little idols? If this big idol is God, what are these small ones?” and then disappeared, leaving Dharam Das to think about what had happened. At that time, of course he didn’t know that it was Kabir Sahib who had appeared to him.
Second time Kabir appeared to Dharam Das was in the form of a sadhu. Dharam Das and his wife were sitting by the fire, and Kabir Sahib said to Dharam Das, “You are a sinner.” Dharam Das’s wife could not bear this criticism so she said. “How can yo usay that he is a sinncer? You are sinner!” Then Kabir Sahib replied, “Dharam Das, look in the wood that you are burning — and you will see that you are really doing.” When they looked they saw many insects in the wood, and Kabir said,“You are burning so many insects alive! What is this? Are you not sinning?” After saying this he again disappeared, and Dharam Das realized the truth of it: “I am a great sinner.”
Because he was a good soul devoted to God and he wanted the knowledge of God, he remembered that he had met someone before who had asked about idols, and he realized both of them were the same person. Now Dharam Das repented very much, and he thought that if his wife had not got upset at Kabir Sahib, he might have been able to get the knowledge of God. When he told that to his wife, she said, “Well, flies come to the sugar. You have so much money; if you perform some kind of yajna and announce that you are going to donate things to the sadhus, many sadhus will come. It is possible that this sadhu will also come, and you can talk to him and get some knowledge of God from him.” So Dharam Das performed many yajnas in the town of Benares, but Kabir Sahib never came there. Then Dharam Das went to other places and there also he performed many yajnas, but Kabir Sahib never came. In that way he just wnet on spending his money, and even after he performed his last yajna after selling every single thing, Kabir Sahib still didn’t come.
So when Dharam Das had lost all his money and still didn’t get to see the Sadhu, he thought, “Why should I go back home when I have lost everything? It is better to commit suicide.” So he went to the bank of the river and was about to jump in when Kabir appeared there. And then Dharam Das touched Kabir Sahib’s feet and said, “O Lord, if I had met You before, I would have given You all the wealth which I had, instead of wasting it performing the yajnas.” Kabir Sahib replied, “This was the right time for you to come to me. If you had come to me earlier, when you had all that wealth, it is possible that you would not become what you will become now.”
So Kabir Sahib gave him initiation, and, after Kabir Sahib left the body, Dharam, Das continued the work of giving initiation into Shabd Naam. And the book Anurag Sagar is in the form of questions from Dharam Das and Kabir Sahib’s replies to those questions.