Small Pool vs. Ocean

  • ਕਬੀਰ ਥੋਰੈ ਜਲਿ ਮਾਛੁਲੀ ਝੀਵਰਿ ਮੇਲਿਓ ਜਾਲੁ ॥ ਇਹ ਟੋਘਨੈ ਨ ਛੂਟਸਹਿ ਫਿਰਿ ਕਰਿ ਸਮੁੰਦੁ ਸਮ੍ਹ੍ਹਾਲਿ ॥੪੯॥:  O Kabeer! (if) the fish dwells in the shallow water; (then) the Jheevar (ਝੀਰ, fisherman, etc.) casts his net (and catches the fish). You cannot escape (the Jheevar’s net in) this little pool; (therefore, if you wish to escape the Jheevar’s net, then) think about returning to the ocean. ||49|| (sggs 1367).

Small pool, metaphorically, is akin to ego-mind (Haumai), ego-consciousness, individual identified with his limited body-mind-intellect personality (Jeeva), individual light, individualized awareness, and so on.

The Ocean, on the other hand, metaphorically is akin to the Supreme Light, Infinite Light, Infinite Consciousness, Undivided Awareness, Unlimited Spirit, Totality, Oneness, the Source, God, Allah, Waheguru, so on and so forth.

Here, with the example of the fish, shalloww water and the ocean, Kabeer Sahib is trying to impart spiritual wisdom to all of us.

“The fish dwells in the shallow water” is akin to the Jeeva (individual being) in love with Maya. Dwelling in illusion, ignorance, egotism (Haumai), etc., is living in the shallow consciousness, whereby we get snared in the net of the “five” – lust, anger, greed, attachment, and pride (and their countless variations).

As the fish cannot escape the Jheevar’s net in the little pool, similarly, we cannot escape the torture or beating from the “five”. Kabeer Sahib says if we want escape the “five”, then we should return to the Infinite Ocean of Pure Consciousness.

In other words, the One, All-pervading Consciousness, is to be understood as distinct from, and beyond the physical apparatus constituted of the finite body-mind-intellect personality. Therefore, if we can transcend this limited apparatus, then the individualized awareness ( false ego-sense) projected forth from us will merge with the Totality, the Homogeneous Oneness. One’s experience of this Ocean of Totality is called by many names such as Self-realization, Chauthaa Pada, Turiya Avasthaa, Tenth Gate, etc.

As one’s individual light (Jeeva) blends into the Supreme Light, the heart-lotus blossoms forth in eternal Peace and Bliss.

  • ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਪੀਆ ਸੇ ਮਸਤ ਭਏ ਹੈ ਤੂਟੇ ਬੰਧਨ ਫਾਹੇ ॥ ਜੋਤੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਮਾਣੀ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਤਾ ਛੋਡੇ ਮਾਇਆ ਕੇ ਲਾਹੇ ॥੨॥:  Those who drink the Amrit (nectaar) of Naam are enraptured; their bonds and shackles (of Maya) are cut away. When one’s (individual) light blends into the (Supreme) Light, then the desire for Maya is ended ||2|| (sggs 351).
  • ਹਉਮੈ ਮੇਰਾ ਜਾਤਿ ਹੈ ਅਤਿ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਅਭਿਮਾਨ ॥ ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰੈ ਤਾ ਜਾਤਿ ਜਾਇ ਜੋਤੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਮਿਲੈ ਭਗਵਾਨੁ ॥੨॥: Haumai, self-centeredness (ਮੈਂ ਮੈਂ, ਮੇਰੀ ਮੇਰੀ) and “Jaati” (pride of being superior, separate, different…), (gives rise to) too much anger and pride (i.e., all Bikaar). (If) died through the Shabad (i.e., becoming absorbed in Naam, Hukam, Shabad-Vichaar, Wisdom….), then “Jaati” (pride of being superior, separate, different…) goes away, (and then one’s) light merges into the (Supreme) Light and (he) Realizes “Bhagwaan” (Mool, Parmaatam…). ||2|| (sggs 429).