Kabir is a 15th century Indian poet and is the major spiritual influence on the Bhakti movement and Sant Mat and is revered by both Hindus and Muslims. He has always been popular in India and has achieved remarkable popular fame in the West in the last 30 years. Prem Rawat claims to be the only person who can fully understand Kabir's teachings.
On the death of his father Hans Rawat (Shri Hans Ji Maharaj) the young Prem Rawat was relatively uneducated in the practical and theoretical spiritual and religious knowledge ordinarily found in a guru of his lineage. Kabir is quoted numerous times in Hans' magnum opus "Hans Yog Prakash" and in his satsangs. The young Rawat had picked up a smattering of his father's stories and parables but had none of the indepth knowledge of the Bhagavad Gita and the poetry of Kabir and Tulsi Das that Shri Hans had. But in his earliest speech as the Satguru, the 8 year old Prem Rawat quoted Kabir, something he has continued to do throughout his career especially since he has become in vogue: " You spend the night in sleeping, and the day you waste in eating. This life is priceless but you are spending it as if worth a penny. Today, I tell you the same thing but still you do not listen.". In Patna, Bihar the major centre of his followers on Christmas Day, 1971 he quoted Kabir before over a million people in explaining his own importance: "My dear aspirants, what is that thing which is alive within everyone? To make that living power alive for you, there is a great necessity for Guru Maharaj Ji. Saint Kabir says in his poems that Guru Maharaj Ji and God both are standing and he has to think to whom he should prostrate, God or Guru Maharaj Ji. And he decides that he has to prostrate before Guru Maharaj Ji, not before God, because he was crying so much for God, but God could not save him from worldly miseries. But Guru Maharaj Ji saved him immediately from all the troubles, and liberated him. And now God Himself is also visible by the meditation on the Knowledge of Guru Maharaj Ji." Kabir is considered the prime source of the Sant Mat tradition in which Rawat's teachings are based but only some of the poems and sayings attributed to Kabir are authentic.
In the 1994 Visions International video, "The Journey is the Destination", Rawat reads some of Kabir's poetry. In 2001 in Portland Oregon, Rawat said "You look at so many, you look at look at Kabir, (sniggers), for instance, a very interesting case. This guy before, before he has Knowledge he's, he writes about Master, he writes about gurus and he's bitter, he's bitter. "Ahh, these gurus they're all the same, they're stupid, da da da da, da da da da. Now he meets up with a real Master and hehehehe he say's "Give me Knowledge" and the Master says, "Pffft, no way!" now people make this a religious issue "Oh because they, the Master didn't know what religion Kabir was so he wasn't gonna give him Knowledge. That's not true because if that was true he would have never received Knowledge. His master, his guru Ramanand OK. First he said "No!" Erh, erh, If I was a Master and somebody was writing that kind of stuff you think I'd give them knowledge? And then all of a sudden Kabir ends up with knowledge. I mean there are people Kabir died a very poor man, much poorer than those people who take his works and translate them. Ha ha ha, terrible translations cause they don't know what he is talking about. You know, to a lot of aspirants I want to know what these techniques are, the techniques have been described by so many people, that's not the issue, even Kabir describes all the techniques. Not the issue, the issue is to make sense out of them, what you didn't understand, to be able to make sense out of that."
None of these translators who include people such as the highly respected academic, Charlotte Vaudeville have a fraction of the wealth of Rawat himself. It would be interesting to hear what Kabir would say about Rawat's materialism and opulence, the money for which has all come from his followers.
In 1972, only a few miles from where I was living someone asked the young Rawat a question about something Kabir had said. He answered promptly:
Guru Maharaj Ji, a very great poet, Kabir, spoke of God as formless and yet with form and beyond both of them. The formlessness after that description of the pinch sensation I think I can grasp, but what about this other form and beyond form
"Form" means that energy takes a form which is like Guru. Okay? Formless energy is energy. Formless form of God is energy, and does that energy have any form? No. Guru has a form, right? And Guru is a form; energy is formless. But you have to see to consider something formless and with form. God is not visible by these eyes. So He is formless, He has a form yet He is beyond all that. Because you cannot see Him with these eyes. This is a common thing, but commonsense is uncommon.
In a telephoned satsang on August 13, 1978, Rawat spoke about Kabir and the Knowledge at some length. He explained that the Knowledge is omnipresent and that he only came into the world "to try to give that Knowledge, to try to give that experience, to those people who really need it. And who doesn't?"
There's an Indian saint - I think it's Kabir. Kabir says that only those people who are really ready, only those people who have that open heart, only those people who really want to have that try, who really want to have that experience manifest for them, will this experience in fact manifest for. Brahmanand said the same thing, that what I am talking about, what I am trying to say, only a very few people can understand.
Kabir says, "In the water the fish is thirsty. And every time I hear that, it makes me laugh." And then he goes on, "Only those people who have that understanding will be able to understand me. Only those people who have that openness, only those people who have that realization, will be able to understand."
I mean, okay, not trying to be pretentious: "Yes, yes, I really understand," a philosophical way of it, or this and that. Because when I was in school, in our Hindi lesson, which was for about forty-five minutes a day, our teacher would come up and there would be all these poems written by Saint Kabir, Saint Tulsidas, Brahmanand. And they would teach them to us. And they would have this philosophical explanation for them.
And I had heard all those poems in Shri Maharaj Ji's satsang. And his explanation was not philosophical. His explanation was not based upon the idiosyncrasies of the word. His explanation was not based upon, "Oh yeah, because this is how it ..." - his experience. His explanation was completely based upon his experience. And to me, that made every sense rather than trying to have a literate meaning of something.
Because Kabir himself didn't write poems to show the world that, "Yeah, in 1978 when people read my poems, they're going to say, 'Yay for Kabir. He was such a graduate person.' " As a matter of fact, he didn't know anything. He was not graduated at all! And it's so incredible that Kabir is really right. In the ocean, in the water, the fish is thirsty.
Now, okay. Maybe somebody has some real idiotic, scientific explanation: "How can a fish be thirsty? Fish don't feel thirst." It's speculation, as if they live with fish and they would talk to fish every day, "Yeah, you don't get thirsty." But he's just trying to make a simple point come across: wouldn't it be funny if you heard that? Wouldn't it be funny if that were a phenomenon, that the fish became very thirsty? And the reason why they died, in water, was because they became very thirsty. We would all say, "Wow, can you imagine that?"
And that's all Kabir's trying to say is that in this world where Knowledge really exists, in this world where Guru Maharaj Ji's present, we are thirsty. We are lacking. When Knowledge exists really within our hearts, we are thirsty. And it's so true!
Because why should we be? There is no reason to be thirsty. That thing that's going to quench our thirst is right there, above us, beyond us, below us, in front of us - everywhere! It's omnipresent. And Guru Maharaj Ji comes in this world only for one reason: to try to give that Knowledge, to try to give that experience, to those people who really need it. And who doesn't?
If people think they don't need it, does it mean that they really don't need it? I don't "think" people need it, I know people need it! It's not a concept of mine, a "philosophical theory." No. It's not a philosophical theory. It's my experience. I'm not speculating that if you were to put two with two and put an add sign in between, it should amount to four. It's not a theory. It's not a "way." It is the way. Because this is what I have experienced. This is what I have really realized.
Because when I received this Knowledge that was the experience that manifested, an experience that really needed to manifest. And the tranquility that comes from that experience is - I know that this is exactly what everybody's looking for in this world. And they can't get it. And the reason they can't get it is, of course, as Kabir puts it, "If the fish is thirsty in the water -" that makes him laugh every time he hears it! And of course that's a good phenomenon.
Kepala Batas, Malaysia on April 20, 2009
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