Kabir, Sant sharan mein aane se, aayi talae balaa |
Jae bhagya mein sooli ho, kaante mein tal jaay ||
There was an ashram of a saint in a village which was approximately two kilometres away from the village. Many families of that village were disciples of that saint. The saint only used to come to that ashram twice a year. Some permanent disciples also used to come with him. Each time the saint along with his team used to stay in that ashram for two months. Then he used to go to other ashrams. The saint according to his program had come for two months. The devotees of that village had done the arrangement of food from their respective homes. One family used to prepare food every day and bring it to the ashram and feed those in the ashram. Every devotee had this desire that they feed the best food, rice pudding, vegetable dish and chapattis, to their Guru ji. One day, it was turn of a family to prepare food. The milk went off that day. That woman’s name was Kasturi. In her neighbourhood, there was a family in which there were only a mother and her son. The reason was that, that woman Ramo’s husband passed away when the boy was only two years old. That sister had witnessed an incident in her family where a daughter-in-law of one of the children of the second grandfather-in-law had become a widow. She had a three years old son. She got married to her younger brother-in-law. The brother-in-law was also married. She had a son from the brother-in-law too. The brother-in-law and his wife used to treat her like a labourer. They used to give plain and simple food and left-overs to the mother and son. Due to which, the boy committed suicide on growing up. His mother also became insane and went somewhere. (All brother-in-laws are not bad.) Remembering this incident, that Ramo sister did not marry her brother-in-law (younger or elder). She raised her son Karmpal. She worked hard. She had some land too. She used to work hard in it and rear cattle. She used to feed proper milk and ghee to her son. She used to contemplate that – “My son will soon grow up. I will marry him off. He will handle the work. I will live happily.” But without satsang, one does not have knowledge; and knowledge is given by Satguru. A living being cannot be happy without bhakti no matter how wealthy one is. He did not have a father. Generally, a son gets spoilt by the love of his mother. A mother’s nature is to provide all possible comforts to her child. There is a saying that a widow’s son and a widower’s daughter always get spoilt (are vagabonds). The reason is that a father is unable to monitor his daughter’s activities due to his work. A mother is unable to monitor her son’s activities. However, she keeps the daughter with her. As a result of which, Karmpal started consuming intoxicants. Quarreling with his mother, he used to take money, or millet, barley, peas etc and selling them off used to consume intoxicants. His mother used to cry the whole day thinking that – “What I had thought, and what is happening? Everything is going wrong.” Because of this tension, she had become very thin and weak. Devotee Kasturi went to her neighbour Ramo’s (Rampyari) house. Initially, doing the formality of asking her wellbeing, she asked, “What is your son doing? How are you both mother and son?” On hearing this, sister Ramo started crying and said, “Sister! We are not good. My son has got spoilt. He consumes intoxicants. He does not listen to me. He quarrels with me, and even resorts to name-calling. As you know the family and the villagers had put a lot of pressure on me to marry the elder brother of my husband. Frightened by the incident of Rajvanti, and to see my son happy, I did not marry my elder brother-in-law. Today, he has given me much more grief than that. I feel like going somewhere or committing suicide.” Devotee Kasturi said, “Sister! Do not think of wrong things. He will improve once he becomes mature. If you die, his paternal uncles will grab the entire land. They will intoxicate the boy heavily and kill him. Do not think of any such thing. Do one thing. Come with me to satsang. Here such thoughts will keep arising in you while you are alone. You have emaciated.” Ramo said, “No, sister. No. Already the villagers look at me with suspicion. If a man comes to my house for some work, then people suspiciously peep from their roofs. You have a husband. If I will go to satsang, the people will make my life hell. I would have to then certainly die. Sister, tell me; what brought you here early this morning?” Kasturi said, “Sister, as you know our Guru ji is staying in the ashram. Today it is my turn to feed them. Sister, I had to make Kheer (rice pudding). The milk has gone off. Lend me some milk. I will return it tomorrow.” On hearing this, sister Ramo felt like an electric shock. She had milked the cow and hung the bucket of milk on a hanger. She took it and put the entire milk in Kasturi’s bucket. Kasturi said, “Sister! Keep some milk.” Ramo said, “Sister! God knows which birth’s virtuous deed has arisen; the milk of the sinner me will get used in a meritorious act. Take it, sister. Feed the saints and devotees.” Sister Kasturi was amazed that – “Despite being a satsangi, even I would not have given the entire milk. I would have at least kept one or two litres of milk. Sister Ramo needs the inspiration of Satsang.” That day, Kasturi did not get time. The next day at around 11-12 pm, she went to Ramo’s house. In the village, women get free time from 12 to 2 pm during the day to chat. For two hours, she told all the things she had heard in the satsang from Guru ji. But Ramo was not agreeing due to regard for public opinion.
The context of Meera Bai
Sister Kasturi told, “O Sister! Have you heard the name of Meera Bai?” Ramo said, “Yes, she was a devotee of Krishna ji.” Kasturi said, “She used to go to temple. She had born in a Thakur family. The women were prohibited to go out of the house, but Meera Bai did not care for anyone. Then she got married to a king. Rana (king) was of religious disposition. He did not stop Meera from going to the temple, but to avoid public discussion, he started sending three-four maids with Meera. As a result of which, everything went well. After a few years, Meera’s husband died. Her younger brother-in-law sat on the throne. He forbade Meera to go to temple on the advice of the people of their clan, but Meera did not comply. Due to which, the king plotted to kill Meera. He conspired that such a plan should be made that she also dies and I also do not get slandered. The king thought, “How shall I kill her?” The king said to a snake charmer, “Bring such a snake which when kept in a box bites the person who opens the box and the person instantly dies.” The snake charmer did the same. The king celebrated his son’s birthday. He invited his relatives and other distinguished people in it. The king said to Meera’s maid that, “Take this precious necklace. It is my son’s birthday. My relatives have come from far off places. Tell Meera that she may wear beautiful clothes and put this necklace around her neck, otherwise the relatives will say that I do not keep my sister-in-law properly. It is a question of my honour-dishonour.” The maid gave that jewellery box to Meera and narrated the order of the king. There was a white and black coloured venomous snake in that jewellery box. Meera opened the box in front of the maid. It had a necklace made up of diamonds and pearls in it. Meera thought, “If I will not wear the necklace, an unnecessary altercation will occur. This necklace is soil for me.” On thinking this, Meera put that necklace around her neck. The king’s motive was that – Today Meera will die from the snakebite, and everybody will be assured that – “The king has no hand in it. Meera has died in front of us from snakebite.” After some time, the king along with his ministers and some relatives went to Meera’s palace. On seeing a beautiful, expensive necklace around Meera’s neck, Rana (king) got agitated and said, “Corrupt woman! From which boyfriend have you brought this necklace?” Meera Bai had tears in her eyes. She said, “You had yourself sent it through the maid. It is the same necklace.” The king summoned the maid and asked, “Where is that box?” The maid took it out from under the bed and showed it to him, “Here it is, King. You had sent it.” The king came back. The king thought, “This time I will make her drink venom in front of me. If she will not drink it, I will behead her.”
Read further in the next topic.