Question: Sir, in the morning, we were listening to Kabir. So, there was one of the doha which said, “Na kahu se dosti, na kahu se bair” (Neither friendship nor enmity with anyone at all). Usually, when you listen to it, it feels similar to what you also say that a Real man would be dishonest. I probably felt that this is what is being said. He would not be the same always.
Acharya Prashant: His friendship would be Real. It would not be a carry-over from the past. Similarly, if he offers resistance or resentment to something, even that would be Real; born by the fact of the moment, not carried ahead as a tradition.
Why do you oppose people of that particular country? Because traditionally they are our rivals – his resentment would not be like this. Yes, he would support a few things; yes, he would oppose a few things. To somebody, he would say kind words; to somebody, he might say harsh words. But, all of that would be as per the situation, as per the realization, not as per tradition. That is what is meant when Kabir says, “Na kaahu se dosti, na kaahu se bair”.
That doesn’t mean that Kabir is incapable of friendliness; and of course, it doesn’t mean that he is incapable of resistance. Kabir, in fact, resisted like nobody else! Sitting in the centre of orthodoxy, he resisted stale, harmful, dogmatic beliefs coming from all communities. He made enemies from all sides, he did not discriminate.
And when you are prepared to make an enemy of everybody, it only means that you have found the Real friend. When you are in company of your Real friend then you can easily afford to have as many enemies as the enemies would like.
And Kabir was truly a friend; you cannot find a better friend than Kabir. He says, “Na kaahu se dosti,” he says, “No friendliness with anybody,” but you cannot get a better friend than Kabir. Provided, you are not obstinately sticking to your beliefs and concepts, then Kabir cannot be a friend, he is a destroyer.
It is such a strange thing: when you try to be friends, then you become the worst enemy possible. A wise man has said that “Husband and wives are intimate enemies”. A wife finds no worse enemy than the husband and it is a fact, ask the husband. He is so henpecked, always troubled. He might have to act nice, out of social pretence, but wherever there is an obligation to be nice, there is an internal violence. And sooner than later that violence will erupt. But, when you really have no obligation to be siding with somebody, to be good to somebody, then you can be really good.
Look at your festivals, it is almost mandatory to act as if you are enjoying and that is why nobody ever enjoys any festival. What kind of stupidity is this? — ‘A pre-appointed day comes and you are supposed to feel blissful’. Is this the way Bliss descents? On ready-made dates! But when you can get past the tyranny of the calendar, then you really know Joy.
At present, our celebrations are all nothing but dictatorship of the calendar. The anniversary comes and it dictates; the birthday comes and that is the authority of the calendar; the new year comes; the religious festivals come; and what then you get is just inner turmoil, boredom and suffering. Kabir says — he will have none of that and then he has Real religiousness, Real celebration, continuous!
A Diwali or any other festival would mean nothing to Kabir. How can he be especially festive on that day? How? Because that would only mean that on the other days there was something missing in his devotion, his religiousness, his festivity.
When he has been at the climax of his festivity through-out, then what is the point in celebrating one particular day or night? He has always been at the maxima; he never came down. “Shoonya shikhar par anhad baaje ji” – He never descended from the peak, how is he going to climb again? And he doesn’t want to pretend to climb.
You look at this contradiction: The ones who are there already, are just there; and the ones who are not there, do not even want to reach there. They just want to pretend that they are climbing.
What do you think — you really experience some religious bliss on particular days? Does that happen? You just pretend! Not only are you not there, you are actually not even moving towards being there. Anybody, who ever really felt anything important on his/her birthday? Yes, superficially you may feel so many things, and there are all these trivial excitements. But, does that day really bring anything substantial to you?
Ask Kabir, he himself would give no importance to dates, or to people, or to anything else, because he has given importance to the Really Important. Know, “Na kaahu se dosti, na kaahu se bair”.
Listener 1: Sir, there are days celebrated such as environment day, Hindi divas (day). Are they any good or not? Means on a particular day you are creating awareness that celebrate Hindi divas, speaking Hindi…
Speaker: They can be celebrated like you celebrate an A.I.D.S. awareness day. Because ‘awareness’ is missing, so on this particular day, we will try to educate people about it. But, there this realization must be there, that this day is coming only because awareness is missing.
You know you need to celebrate a Hindi pakhwada (fortnight) – why do you need to celebrate that? Because, this generation is losing touch with that language, right? That realization must be there then, that it is not out of some great attainment that this day is being celebrated. This day is being celebrated as a warning; it is not a celebration at all! It is some kind of a notice that on this particular day we will sensitize ourselves to the dangers of what we are doing and how we are.
You can have a climate change day, probably there already is. You are not celebrating climate change that day, are you? That day is being used to see how ignorant we are, how deep in suffering we are and how we have plunged ourselves in misery out of our own selfishness. That is the way days can have some relevance and significance and utility. But, that is the only way.
You cannot have a day for celebration; you can have a day to issue warnings, notices. You can have a particular day when you are going to be operated on the surgeon’s table, but you cannot have a day for health.
You can have an operation day, but you cannot have a health day.
~ Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session: Prashant Tripathi on Kabir: Free to befriend and free to offend
Read more articles on this topic:
Article 1: Who is a Friend?
Article 2: Friends, jobs and the need for entertainment
Article 3: The mind is your best friend