RICE AND HUSK

  • ਕਬੀਰ ਚਾਵਲ ਕਾਰਣੇ ਤੁਖ ਕਉ ਮੁਹਲੀ ਲਾਇ ॥ ਸੰਗਿ ਕੁਸੰਗੀ ਬੈਸਤੇ ਤਬ ਪੂਛੇ ਧਰਮ ਰਾਇ ॥੨॥: O Kabir! For the sake of (separating) the rice (from husks), husks get beaten and threshed. In the same way when a person who sits with bad company or ‘Kusang‘ (he gets affected by the ‘Kusang‘ or ‘Bikaar’ and commits vices), hence he has to suffer the consequences of his transgressions according to the divine Hukam: System-Rule-Law of Nature (Dharam Raai or Raaj = divine Hukam). ||2|| (sggs 965).

Through the example (ਮਿਸਾਲ) of the rice and the husk, the foregoing two verses make the following (if not more!) very important points.

  1. In the process of separating the rice and the husk, the rice is beaten with mallet to get rid of the the husk. As the rice is beaten, the husk also gets beaten along with the rice. Similarly, the Gurbani tells us, if we stick (keep, join, etc.) with a bad association (ਕੁਸੰਗ, ਵਿਕਾਰੀਆਂ ਦੀ ਸੁਹਬਤਿ, ਸਾਕਤ ਸੰਗ, etc.) we also get threshed along with the bad company we keep. For, we also become Bikaaree – we also do evil. As the expression goes, “we are the company we keep!”
  2. If rice is likened to “life” and husk is likened to “Maya”, we must remove the husk of Maya from the rice of the life. In other words, through discriminative self-analysis (the proper use of the Viveka-Budhi) and the Inner Inquiry (Vichaar, Reflection, etc.), we can separate the True Self (Originality, True Nature, True Essence, Joti-Svaroopa, etc.) within from the body-senses-mind-intellect personality as one separates the rice from the husk.
  3. Removal of the husk of Maya from the rice of the life will not come easy! It demands sincere efforts (ਉਦੱਮ).

1 comment

  1. Nice analysis.

    My two cents:

    We humans are lucky in the sense that at least we can control our ‘husk’ (unlike poor rice that has no choice).

    And justifiably so, we are held accountable ‘in the end’ if we didn’t make concerted efforts to get rid of our ‘husk”.

    Please do share your insight of Kabir Ji’s other verses with us. Most of those two-liners have tons of ‘not-easily-discernible’ wisdom that needs someone like you to scrutinize for us.

    Deep Regards

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