The Debt

Kabir compares man to a trader who has been given a loan to undertake business and make good earnings with which to repay his debt. Man, with the capital of the human body given to him on loan, instead of engaging in the wholesome trade of the Lordís name, indulges in external forms of worship, austerities, penances, holy baths and reading scriptures, and tries to find God in temples, mosques, forests, mountains and holy places. Although his coffers are full with what he considers true silver, in the eyes of the negative power ( Kal) who sits in judgment over all the actions in the world, they are counterfeit coins and are not accepted as repayment of the debt.

Through these practices man further increases his debt or load of Karmas, and as a result he loses the rare privilege of human birth and is thrown into the dreadful prisonhouse of the eighty four. Kabir calls upon man to seize the opportunity of human birth and seek the company of a true Master, who will stand as a surety, give him the précis jewel of the Lordís name and enable Him to climb home on the ladder of the Lordís Love and grace.

O mind redeem your bill of debt,
What value is your thriving trade, that grew through shady deals?
What worth are your coffers, full of jingling coins of silver
when you have cheated the Great Merchant of the precious coins He has lent you?
and in requital of your debt you proffer counterfeit coins!
Your debt now amounts to eighty four hundred thousand,
And you will pay the penalty with forfeiture of human birth.

O mind, pray redeem, redeem your bill of debt.
If this time you fail to clear it,
You will the face the wrath of Dharam Rai;
He will impound all your wealth, He will hurl you into the dungeon
of sorrowWhere all your pleas of mercy will be of no avail.

O Mind, Pray redeem, Redeem now your debt.
My Master, the true and realized one, readily stood as my surety;
He gave me the priceless jewel of simran, ith which to discharge my
obligations. He raised for me the mighty ladder of Nam,
Kabir, though feeble as a worm, ascended to his Home with joyful ease.





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