"The Wife Gives Birth To Her Husband....The Son Marries His Mother...."

ਜੋਇ ਖਸਮੁ ਹੈ ਜਾਇਆ ॥ ਪੂਤਿ ਬਾਪੁ ਖੇਲਾਇਆ ॥...:
Joi khasamu hai jaaiaa. Pooti baapu khelaaiaa...: (sggs 1194).
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The foregoing Shabad is of Bhagat Kabeer Jee in Rag (pronounced Raag) Basant on page 1194 of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS). Alike many other Shabads of Bhagat Kabeer Jee throughout the SGGS, his this Shabad is also impregnated with spiritual suggestions. He draws our attention to his extraordinary statements in this Shabad and would like us to understand their proper purport. The following is the full text of this Shabad, first with just worldly-meaning in English as shown in one of the available Teekaa (which, by the way, is not its true spiritual gist of the Shabad), followed by an attempt to understand its deeper crux.

  • ਜੋਇ ਖਸਮੁ ਹੈ ਜਾਇਆ ॥ ਪੂਤਿ ਬਾਪੁ ਖੇਲਾਇਆ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਸ੍ਰਵਣਾ ਖੀਰੁ ਪਿਲਾਇਆ ॥੧॥ ਦੇਖਹੁ ਲੋਗਾ ਕਲਿ ਕੋ ਭਾਉ ॥ ਸੁਤਿ ਮੁਕਲਾਈ ਅਪਨੀ ਮਾਉ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਪਗਾ ਬਿਨੁ ਹੁਰੀਆ ਮਾਰਤਾ ॥ ਬਦਨੈ ਬਿਨੁ ਖਿਰ ਖਿਰ ਹਾਸਤਾ ॥ ਨਿਦ੍ਰਾ ਬਿਨੁ ਨਰੁ ਪੈ ਸੋਵੈ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਬਾਸਨ ਖੀਰੁ ਬਿਲੋਵੈ ॥੨॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਅਸਥਨ ਗਊ ਲਵੇਰੀ ॥ ਪੈਡੇ ਬਿਨੁ ਬਾਟ ਘਨੇਰੀ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਬਾਟ ਨ ਪਾਈ ॥ ਕਹੁ ਕਬੀਰ ਸਮਝਾਈ ॥੩॥੩॥: Joi khasam hai jaaiaa...: "The wife gives birth to her husband. The son leads his father in play. Without breasts, the mother nurses her baby. ||1|| Behold, people! This is how it is in the Dark Age of Kali Yuga. The son marries his mother. ||1||Pause|| Without feet, the mortal jumps. Without a mouth, he bursts into laughter. Without feeling sleepy, he lays down and sleeps. Without a churn, the milk is churned. ||2|| Without udders, the cow gives milk. Without traveling, a long journey is made. Without the True Guru, the path is not found. Says Kabeer, see this, and understand. ||3||3||" (sggs 1194).

In this entire Shabad, Bhagat Kabeer Jee is describing the sorry plight of the conditioned Jeeva (individual beings) caught in the spell or influence of Maya ("ਕਲਿ ਕੋ ਭਾਉ": Kali Ko Bhaaou", ਫੁਰਨੇ, ਕਾਮਨਾਵਾਂ, wanderings...). With this in mind, it would become relatively easier to appreciate the inner message of this Shabad.

First, before attempting to reflect on this Shabad, allow to hit upon as to why Bhagat Kabeer Jee used seemingly contradictory or seemingly unusual statements in some of his Shabads. From ancient time, the Gurmukhs in India have been using such statements as a teaching tool to help seekers of Truth (ਸਚ) break free from the chains of their ignorance (ਅਗਿਆਨਤਾ), douts (ਭਰਮ), etc., and thus Enlighten them. In addition to this kind of teaching, in some traditions they speak to seekers in outwardly paradoxical instructions or in questions with no right answer. The idea behind all these different traditions of teaching is to make or trick the disciple into surrendering his conditioned and narrow intellect and making his contact with the Unconditioned Consciousness beyond (Mool-ਮੂਲ...). The Gurmukhs thus teach using various tools to clearly show how we could all lift ourselves and live the Divine life (the Gurmukh Lifestyle). Yet it all begins with the expanded vision (mind's expansiveness), and development of Spiritual Understanding (ਸੂਝ-ਬੂਝ) of the Gurmat (Aatam-Giaan...).

ਜੋਇ ਖਸਮੁ ਹੈ ਜਾਇਆ ॥ ਪੂਤਿ ਬਾਪੁ ਖੇਲਾਇਆ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਸ੍ਰਵਣਾ ਖੀਰੁ ਪਿਲਾਇਆ ॥੧॥: Joi khasamu hai jaaiaa. Poot baapu khelaaiaa. Binu sravanaa kheeru pilaaiaa ||1||.

Here consider Maya to be the female gender (Istaree Ling) and Mann (the mind) to be the male gender (Purash Ling). Maya gives birth to the mind (the sense of false ego or Haume). The reason the mind is called "husband" is that, even though Maya gives birth to the mind, but it's the mind that turns around and enjoys Maya! This is the wife's giving birth to her husband. Caught in the vertex of Maya (duality or relativist consciousness, Manmukhataa...), the mind ("Poot" = the son) cradles or leads his father ("Baap" = the Jeevaatmaan) in the worldly play. Under the influence of Maya, the mind nurses the defiled senses. This is the woman's nursing of her baby without breast.

  • ਮਨ ਕਾ ਸੂਤਕੁ ਦੂਜਾ ਭਾਉ ॥: The pollution of the mind is the love of duality (sggs 229).
  • ਇਸੁ ਮਨ ਮਾਇਆ ਕਉ ਨੇਹੁ ਘਨੇਰਾ ॥: Is mann Maya kaou nahu ghaneraa: This mind is so much in love with Maya (sggs 1038).
  • ਇਸੁ ਮਨ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹਿ ਬਿਨਾਸੁ ॥: Is mann Maya mohi binaas: This mind is ruined by its attachment to Maya (sggs 1344).
  • ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹਿ ਸਭੋ ਜਗੁ ਸੋਇਆ ਇਹੁ ਭਰਮੁ ਕਹਹੁ ਕਿਉ ਜਾਈ ॥: Maya mohi sabho jag soeiaa eihu bharam kahahu kio jaaee: In emotional attachment to Maya, all the world is asleep. Tell me, how can this doubt be dispelled? (sggs 205).
  • ਮਾਇਆ ਪਟਲ ਪਟਲ ਹੈ ਭਾਰੀ ਘਰੁ ਘੂਮਨਿ ਘੇਰਿ ਘੁਲਾਵੈਗੋ ॥ The veil of Maya is thick and heavy, a whirlpool which destroys one’s Inner Home (sggs 1308).

Now, let's attempt to relate the foregoing to the current world situation on a gross material level. Traditionally, the man's role was to be the breadwinner of his family and the woman's role was to manage the house. But due to the industrialization, "globalization!", ever-increasing worldly desires, greed, envy, pride, etc., these traditional roles are reversed. Also, traditionally son (or children) used to listen to and obey his father (i.e., parents). Nowadays, children are seen quarreling with their parents. Furthermore, in old days, mothers used to breast-feed their infants. This ancient practice is not very popular any more. Consequently, these days babies are fed on the "formula" milk sold in the food stores — they are being nursed without the mother's breast!

  • ਕਾਹੇ ਪੂਤ ਝਗਰਤ ਹਉ ਸੰਗਿ ਬਾਪ ॥: Kaahae pooth jhagarath ho sang baap: O son, why do you argue with your father? (sggs 1200).

ਦੇਖਹੁ ਲੋਗਾ ਕਲਿ ਕੋ ਭਾਉ ॥ ਸੁਤਿ ਮੁਕਲਾਈ ਅਪਨੀ ਮਾਉ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Dekhahu logaa kali ko bhaaou. Suti mukalaaee apanee maaou ||1|| Rahaaou ||.

As mentioned earlier, in his entire Shabad, Bhagat Kabeer Jee is describing the plight of the Kali Yugee Jeevas (individual beings of Kali Yuga) caught in the vertex of Maya. This central theme of this Shabad or the intent of Bhagat Kabeer Jee is indicated by this "Rahaaou" verse. Here Bhagat Kabeer Jee makes an another seemingly odd statement: "The son marries his mother." This statement essentially indicates as to how the Mayaic mind (that mind which is influenced by Maya's three qualities) is wedded to his mother Maya. Here Maya is indicated to be the mother of the mind, because as stated earlier, Maya gives birth to the mind. Thus, it's said that "The son marries his mother."

  • ਮਨੁ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੈ ਰਮਿ ਰਹਿਓ ਨਿਕਸਤ ਨਾਹਿਨ ਮੀਤ ॥: Manu Maya mai raam rahiou nikasat naahin meet: The mind is absorbed in Maya - it cannot escape it, my friend (sggs 1428).
  • ਮਾਇਆ ਭੁਇਅੰਗਮੁ ਸਰਪੁ ਹੈ ਜਗੁ ਘੇਰਿਆ ਬਿਖੁ ਮਾਇ ॥: Maya bhuiangam sarap hai jag gheriaa bikh maai: Maya is the poisonous snake, the serpent. This Maya-snake has surrounded the world (with its poison that brings death to the Aatmic-Jeevan or spiritual life). (sggs 1415).

Now, let's attempt to relate the foregoing to the current world situation on a gross material plane. Because of the unnatural lifestyle of rat-race, decline in moral values and the principles of Dharma, the family fabric is deteriorating throughout the world (increase in divorce rate, number of children born out of wedlock, etc.). In such chaotic social environment, it's not always possible to know upfront about the person one is going out with. As a result, there have been reports (especially in the west) of people getting involved with their own blood-relations, including even mothers. To avoid these sorts of problems as much as possible, many governments require blood test prior to issuing a marriage license to any couple wanting to marry.

ਪਗਾ ਬਿਨੁ ਹੁਰੀਆ ਮਾਰਤਾ ॥ ਬਦਨੈ ਬਿਨੁ ਖਿਰ ਖਿਰ ਹਾਸਤਾ ॥ ਨਿਦ੍ਰਾ ਬਿਨੁ ਨਰੁ ਪੈ ਸੋਵੈ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਬਾਸਨ ਖੀਰੁ ਬਿਲੋਵੈ ॥੨॥: Pagaa binu hureeaa maarataa. Badanai binuu khir khir haasataa. Nidraa binu naru pai sovai. Binu baasan kheeru bilovai ||2||.

Here we have four more interesting statements! The mind has no legs, but still it jumps (from one thought - ਫੁਰਨਾ - to the other) and wanders around! The mind has no mouth, but still it laughs around! The mind is asleep, fascinated by Maya. Although in it's True Nature as "Joti-Svaroopa", the mind was not to fall asleep to Maya's fascination. But on account of the influence of Maya, the mind has forgotten it's Mool ( ਮੂਲ: Source, Origin...) and has fallen to an endless sleep of illusion (Maya). The man's wandering or imagining mind builds castles in the air. This is his churning of the milk without a churning vessel.

  • ਮਨੁ ਸੋਇਆ ਮਾਇਆ ਬਿਸਮਾਦਿ ॥ : Man soeiaa maaeiaa bisamaadh: The mind is asleep, fascinated by Maya (sggs 182).
  • ਮਤਵਾਰੋ ਮਾਇਆ ਸੋਇਆ ॥: Matavaaro Maya soeiaa: Intoxicated with Maya, the people are asleep (sggs 210).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖ ਹਉਮੈ ਮਾਇਆ ਸੂਤੇ ॥ ਅਪਣਾ ਘਰੁ ਨ ਸਮਾਲਹਿ ਅੰਤਿ ਵਿਗੂਤੇ ॥: Manmukh haumai maya soote. Apnaa ghar na samaalahi ant vigoote: The self-willed Manmukhs are asleep (i.e., unaware of the ultimate purpose of life, etc.) in egotism and Maya. (From Bikaars) They do not protect their own Homes (Heart etc,), and are ruined in the end (sggs 1049).

Now, let's attempt to relate the foregoing to the current world situation on a gross material level. Even if someone for some reason has lost his legs, nowadays he can still walk using the artificial legs (as well other limbs of the body can also be replaced). Those who have lost their natural voice, can communicate using many innovative devices available in the market. People can fall a sleep using sleeping-pills. In dairy farms, the milk is being churned without traditional Madhaanee and Dadhoonee (traditional milk-churning apparatus).

ਬਿਨੁ ਅਸਥਨ ਗਊ ਲਵੇਰੀ ॥ ਪੈਡੇ ਬਿਨੁ ਬਾਟ ਘਨੇਰੀ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਬਾਟ ਨ ਪਾਈ ॥ ਕਹੁ ਕਬੀਰ ਸਮਝਾਈ ॥੩॥੩॥: Binu asathhan goo lavaeree. Paiddae binu baat ghanaeree. Bin satigur baat n paaee. Kahu kabeer samajhaaee ||3||3||.

Here again we have more thought provoking statements. This cow of Maya is without udders, therefore, she cannot provide the milk (or Joy, Aatam-Giaan, BBibek-Budhi...). However, she lures this mind into the milk of enchanting objects of the mirage-like world. The long journey mentioned is the vicious cycle of coming and going (repeated suffering). Kabeer Sahib says that without the Satigur, the True Path of life is not found. Kabeer Sahib is imparting this Understanding to us.

Now, let's attempt to relate the foregoing to the current world situation on a gross material plane. Many of us, particularly those who live in the big cities, probably never see a cow in life but consume her milk the entire life. The homogenized milk sold in containers in the food stores has long shelf-life (because of preservatives...), and can last several days in the kitchen refrigerator. The dry milk (or the powder milk) has even longer shelf-life. No need to keep cow at home — the milk is available without touching the cow or her udders! Also, in dairy farms, cows are milked using new innovative technologies consisting of automatic milking systems. People travel thousands of miles between continents and into the space, without moving from the seats of an aircraft or a space-shuttle.

Clearly, it's remarkable as to how this Shabad that was written several centuries ago depicts conditions of the current time we live in with such a pinpoint accuracy! Amazing indeed! Isn't it?

There is a similar Shabad of Baabaa Nanak in Raag Aasaa on page 349 of the SGGS. Striking similarity between these two Shabads is pretty obvious, and how accurately both of them portray the nature of the gross world we are currently living in is also incredible! Please note that Baabaa Nanak in his Shabad also uses the words ("ਕਲਿ ਕੋ ਭਾਉ: Kali Kaa Bhaaou").

  • ਆਸਾ ਮਹਲਾ ੧ ॥ ਤਾਲ ਮਦੀਰੇ ਘਟ ਕੇ ਘਾਟ ॥ ਦੋਲਕ ਦੁਨੀਆ ਵਾਜਹਿ ਵਾਜ ॥ ਨਾਰਦੁ ਨਾਚੈ ਕਲਿ ਕਾ ਭਾਉ ॥ ਜਤੀ ਸਤੀ ਕਹ ਰਾਖਹਿ ਪਾਉ ॥੧॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮ ਵਿਟਹੁ ਕੁਰਬਾਣੁ ॥ ਅੰਧੀ ਦੁਨੀਆ ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਜਾਣੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਗੁਰੂ ਪਾਸਹੁ ਫਿਰਿ ਚੇਲਾ ਖਾਇ ॥ ਤਾਮਿ ਪਰੀਤਿ ਵਸੈ ਘਰਿ ਆਇ ॥ ਜੇ ਸਉ ਵਰ੍ਹਿਆ ਜੀਵਣ ਖਾਣੁ ॥ ਖਸਮ ਪਛਾਣੈ ਸੋ ਦਿਨੁ ਪਰਵਾਣੁ ॥੨॥ ਦਰਸਨਿ ਦੇਖਿਐ ਦਇਆ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਲਏ ਦਿਤੇ ਵਿਣੁ ਰਹੈ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਰਾਜਾ ਨਿਆਉ ਕਰੇ ਹਥਿ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਕਹੈ ਖੁਦਾਇ ਨ ਮਾਨੈ ਕੋਇ ॥੩॥ ਮਾਣਸ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਨਾਮੁ ॥ ਕਰਣੀ ਕੁਤਾ ਦਰਿ ਫੁਰਮਾਨੁ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦਿ ਜਾਣੈ ਮਿਹਮਾਨੁ ॥ ਤਾ ਕਿਛੁ ਦਰਗਹ ਪਾਵੈ ਮਾਨੁ ॥੪॥੪॥: Aasaa Mahalaa 1 || Taal madheerae ghatt kae ghaat ... (sggs 349).

— T. Singh
www.gurbani.org