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2004-11-03 19:24
Kamal, son of Kabir
When Kabir first entered into nothingness, he immediately wrote a beautiful poem, in which comes the sentence, "The dewdrop has fallen into the ocean." His own sentences are very beautiful:
HERAT HERAT HEY SAKHI, RAHYA KABIR HERAYI -- "O, my friend, my beloved, I had gone to search, to seek myself, but something strange has happened. Rather than finding myself, I have disappeared just like a dewdrop disappearing in the ocean."
BUNDA SAMANI SAMUNDA MEN SO KAT HERI JAYI -- "The dewdrop has disappeared in the ocean. Now how can you find the dewdrop again?"
That was his first experience. Then he became more and more aware of the ocean, and forgot all about the dewdrop. Before dying he called his son, Kamal. He was certainly rightly named by Kabir. Kamal means a miracle -- and the son of Kabir was certainly a miracle. He called Kamal and said to him, "I am going to leave my body soon. Before I leave, you have to correct one of my poems. Just a little change...
"I have written, BUNDA SAMANI SAMUNDA MEN -- the dewdrop has entered into the ocean. You have to change it. Just reverse it. SAMUNDA SAMANA BUNDA MEN -- the ocean has disappeared into the dewdrop -- because now I know from the other side.
"My first experience was from this shore; now I am talking from the further shore, the beyond. Now I know the dewdrop has not fallen into the ocean, it is the ocean that has fallen into the dewdrop."
Kamal said to him, "I have always suspected that line. I can show you my copy." And he showed Kabir. He had crossed out that line.
Kabir said, "You are really a kamal. You are a miracle. You came to know it before me." The line was crossed out.
Kamal said, "I was suspicious from the very beginning, that this is the statement of a beginner, the first statement when he comes to see the nothingness. But when he becomes nothingness, this statement will be absolutely wrong. So now that you have come to your senses, just before dying, I can rejoice that you are no longer just a beginner, you have become part of the whole." Then he wrote the new line: the ocean has fallen into the dewdrop.
Kabir had named his only son "Kamal," a miracle, because the young man was certainly not an ordinary man. At one point, even Kabir was angry with him, because he used to raise questions which even Kabir could not answer. And this was always happening when thousands of Kabir's followers would be there. His own son would stand up and make him feel very embarrassed because he was not able to answer the question.
One day he was very angry -- it must have happened before his enlightenment -- and he said to Kamal, "BUDA VANSH KABIR KA -- my family ends with me, Kamal!"
He means the same by "my family" as what Zen people call their heritage, their family, their masters. They are not talking about their parents.
Kabir said, "My family ends with me. I cannot trust you."
Kamal said, "If you cannot trust me, you cannot trust yourself. But because you have disowned me by making this statement, I will not be staying in your cottage. I am going to make a small hut just next to you, so when gullible people come to you and they are going back home, I can deprogram them." And he remained just in front of Kabir's house, and because everybody knew he was Kabir's son, before leaving Kabir they would go to pay tribute to his son also.
Even the emperor of Varanasi was a devotee of Kabir. Kabir was a poor man, a weaver. The emperor of Varanasi asked one day, when he had not seen Kamal for a few days -- he was coming almost every day to listen to Kabir, and he saw that Kamal was missing -- he asked Kabir, "Where is Kamal?"
Kabir said, "It is a sad story. I was just angry, and I told him that my family ends with me, and he immediately left, saying, `If your family ends with you, I no longer belong to your family.' He remains outside, just in front, disturbing my disciples. He is a pain in the neck! Now he has gone outside, so I cannot even say anything. He just sits there."
The emperor of Kashi said -- Kashi is the older name of Varanasi -- "I would go and see him, but what is your problem with him?"
Kabir said, "Thousands of problems. People come with money, diamonds, emeralds, and all kinds of valuable things, and I don't need them, so I refuse them. And he is just sitting by my side, and he tells those people, `Okay, if he is refusing, bring them to me. Anyway it doesn't look good that you have come to offer and you are going rejected. Offer them to me.'
"So I reject, and he goes on collecting. And I told him that this is not right, but he said, `You think about yourself. I know on my own accord what is right and what is wrong. Don't tell me! I am not your disciple, I am your son.'"
So the emperor said, "Don't be worried, I will go and see and check." So he brought with him a very big diamond, and he told Kamal, "I have brought this most valuable diamond in the country as an offering to you."
He said, "You can put it into the bamboos of the roof of my hut. If somebody does not take it away, it will remain there. Once in a while I can see that I have got the most valuable stone in my hut. I don't have much decoration here."
The emperor thought, "Kabir seems to be right, he is very clever and cunning. He is not taking it, but he is telling me, `Just put it there. If somebody does not take it away, I will enjoy seeing it.' And as I go out he will take it, that is certain." So the emperor stayed away for one week, did not come.
After one week he came, and he asked Kamal, "Where is that diamond?"
Kamal said, "If somebody has taken it, then it will not be in the roof; otherwise it is bound to be in the roof. You have put it there yourself, so you can find it easily. I had no opportunity to look at it. I am looking inwards and your diamond is outside."
The emperor said, "Great!" And he looked and found the diamond exactly where he had put it in the roof.
He told Kabir, "You are in a misunderstanding. Your son is really a miracle. I was thinking that he was cheating me, deceiving me, but he has not even looked at the diamond, to say nothing of touching it. He said to me, `If anybody has taken it, then I don't know, because I am looking inwards. Anybody can take it. There is no guard on the hut, there is no door. And sometimes I have to go to the Ganges to take a bath, and anybody can take it. So if it is still there, you will find it.' And I have found it; it was there. He has not even looked at it. So your whole idea is wrong. Your idea that he is interested in wealth is absolutely wrong."
Finally, Kabir had to go to the hut and ask Kamal, "Forgive me, come back. I was wrong. You were just trying to test me, whether I get angry or not -- and I certainly got angry. I thought it was your greed."
Kamal said, "I am your blood, your bones, your very marrow. How could you ever think that I should be greedy? You became angry, and you exposed yourself, that all your teaching not to be angry, not to be greedy, is just superficial.
"It is not your concern. If I am taking things, why are you interested? There must be some greed in you. Just as anger came up, your greed may come up any moment. If there was no greed in you, you would have simply witnessed that Kamal is taking things, that's all. It is Kamal's business to take care of his own being, it is not your business. I'm not your disciple. I am a master on my own authority."
And Kabir looked into himself and agreed with Kamal: "Perhaps you are right. My being interested and being angry that you are gathering money shows my greed, not your greed, shows my anger, not your anger. And you left so joyously, touching my feet, saying, `If you say your family ends with yourself, then a new family starts with me, just after you.'"
So Kamal was persuaded back into the family. He was the successor of Kabir, a far greater man, far more aware, alert, far more conscious. But strangely, it is Kabir who is remembered. He has an organized religion following him -- KABIR PANTH, "Path of Kabir." Kamal has nothing. He never created any following. Although hundreds of people listened to him, he remained only a friend. He helped them, shared his light with them, but never gave any discipline, any commandments, any principles to be followed.


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2004-11-03 19:24