Heaven & Paradise: Story of
Bhagat Kabeer Ji
By Manvir Singh Khalsa
One day a Jehavoh Witness came to our house. He was very keen to sell his religion to me. “Are you happy with the world?” I said, “Yes, I am.” “Really? But there is war, crime and destruction. Jesus has promised us
surg mukiq bYkuMT siB bWCih iniq Awsw Aws krIjY ] hir drsn ky jn mukiq n mWgih imil drsn iqRpiq mnu DIjY ]1]
Everyone longs for paradise, liberation and heaven;
all place their hopes in them. The humble long for the Blessed Vision of His
Darshan; they do not ask for liberation. Their minds are satisfied and comforted
by His Darshan. ||1||
(Ang 1324, SGGS)
I thought why not consult my Guru (literally meaning ‘Enlightener’ who dispels the darkness of ignorance) about Heaven and
Baba Kabeer Ji’s shabad is on ang 1161 of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Gurbani is the living and speaking light of Guru Nanak Ji. Just as a person communicates with someone with different emotions and feelings which illustrate the mood and message conveyed when someone is saying something, similarly Guru Sahib has used Raag to indicate the mood and emotion of a shabad, which the shabad is to be sung in. This particular shabad is in Raag Bhairo. The raag Bhairo embodies the soul’s faith and heartfelt devotion towards the Creator. It is a kind of fanaticism, where there is a feeling of not being aware or caring about anything else. The emotions conveyed are those of contentment and of being absorbed in a steadfast belief or faith. In this Raag, the soul is relaying the happiness that the mind could potentially experience if it joined in with this devotion.
The Muslim describes the greatness of his God that he has seven thousand angels, one hundred and twenty five thousand Prophets, etc; and that God lives in the Seventh Sky above Earth. In this shabad Baba Kabeer Ji offers a reply that I am a Weaver by background, even if I become a Muslim, I will remain poor. You say that your God’s Court is in the Seventh Sky; no-one will bother to notice me there and nor can I travel that far. Instead Baba Kabeer Ji says that he prefers to remain drawn and in the presence of Waheguru’s Lotus Feet, which for him Heaven.
sqir sYie slwr hY jw ky ] svw lwKu pYkwbr qw ky ] syK ju khIAih koit ATwsI ] Cpn koit jw ky Kyl KwsI ]1]
(O person!) The God (you say) has 7,000 commanders, and (you say) has one hundred and twenty-five thousand prophets serving Him; He is said to have 88,000,000 old sheikhs (living at His door), and who (you say) has 56,000,000 attendants (up to His court). ||1||
mo grIb kI, ko gujrwvY ] mjlis dUir, mhlu ko pwvY ]1] rhwau ]
I am meek and poor - what chance do I have of being heard there? (Then you say that) His Court is so far away (in the seventh sky); (I am a poor Weaver,) who will find God’s House? ||1||Pause||
qyqIs kroVI hY Kyl
Kwnw ] caurwsI lK iPrY idvwnW ] bwbw Awdm kau ikCu ndir idKweI ] auin BI iBsiq
GnyrI pweI ]2]
(The people who talk of Heaven also say that) He has 33,000,000 angels as His servants (how will they even listen to me?). His beings (separated and lost) wander insanely through 8.4 million incarnations. (O person! You say that God kept ‘Adam’ (the supposed father of Mankind) in Paradise, but according to you) when God (according to His Will) glanced his eye of Grace on Adam, then that Adam only enjoyed Paradise for a short while (because he was removed from there, so if people like Adam have been removed, then tell me, how long will someone like me be allowed to last there?) ||2||
idl Klhlu jw kY, jrd rU bwnI ] Coif kqyb krY sYqwnI ] dunIAw dosu, rosu hY loeI ] Apnw kIAw pwvY soeI ]3]
Those who have
forsaken (the path shown in) their religious-books and turn to follow bad
practices, their hearts are disturbed (with wickedness and corruption), and
their faces turn pale (i.e. he or she get pushed away from Waheguru’s Door).
A person receives the fruits of one’s own action, but (in ignorance) one blames
others, and gets angry with the world. ||3||
Here the conversation is with a Muslim, for this reason the word used for religious-books is “Kateb”.
qum dwqy hm sdw iBKwrI ] dyau jbwbu, hoie bjgwrI ] dwsu kbIru qyrI pnh smwnW ] iBsqu, njIik rwKu rhmwnw ]4]7]15]
(O my Lord!
I have no need for any
The use of the word ‘Daas’ highlights that Baba Kabeer Ji was born and brought up in a Hindu household, and was not a Muslim.
Following on from this shabad talking about the issue of Muslim concept of Heaven, the next shabad focuses on the Hindu concept of Heaven, which will I discuss next week.
To be continued.
Manvir Singh Khalsa can be reached at email@example.com