Hirna Samajh Boojh Ban Charna
Ek Ban Charna Duje Ban Charna Tije Ban Pag Nahin Dharna
Tije Ban Mein Panch Paardhi Un Ke Nazar Nahin Padna
Panch Hirana Pachis Hirni Un Mein Ek Chatur Na
Toye Mar Tero Mas Bikawe Tere Khal Ka Karenge Bichona
Kahe Kabira Jo Suno Bhai Sadho Guru Ke Charan Chit Dharna
Oh Deer Graze With Knowledge and Discrimination
Graze in the First Forest, Graze in the Second Forest
But Don't Tread into the Third Forest
The Third Forest has Five Hunters
Don't Let them See You
Five Deer and Twenty Five Female Deer
None Among them is Sensible and Shrewd
Killing You They Will Sell Your Flesh
Your Skin will be Used as a Covering
Says Kabir Listen Oh Practicing Aspirant
Offer your Mind at the Feet of the Guru
Traditionally, in Indian spiritual terminology, the Deer symbolizes the senses. However, the more latent meaning of a Deer is our pleasure-seeking desire. Fundamentally, each one of us is looking for pleasure and that search is what is alluded to, in this song, as the grazing of the deer.
May 22, 2001
The "third" forest is the physical reality guided by our senses. The "second" forest is the mental world that is guided by our mind/intellect - included in this are the visions and sounds heard by sages in meditation. Perhaps, Kabir does not see the internal visual and sound experiences much different from a mental state where thoughts are the driving force. The "first" forest is the true spiritual realm where oneness with the ultimate is complete. So he says its okay to graze in the first forest of oneness and the second forest of meditation/practice but not in the third forest of physical and sensual pleasures.
Why? He explains that in the third forest the pleasure-seeking tendency is at the mercy of the five sensual stimuli (sight, sound, smell, taste and touch) that are the hunters. He warns that one should stay out of their line of attack/vision.
The deer identifies so completely with the five senses that it takes on the form of five deer seeking the pleasures offered in the third forest. Each of these five senses of perception combined with the five motor organs of action (mouth, hand, feet, excretory and reproductive) makes a combination of twenty five different ways (five multiplied with five) in which the physical world is experienced. While, none of these experiences are permanent, all twenty-five pleasure-seeking ways of the physical world continue relentlessly. Kabir says that none of these pleasure-seeking methods are shrewd enough to see this obvious truth.
Eventually this pleasure search at the physical level ends unsuccessfully with the five sensory hunters "killing" the spirit of the search. Each of these modes become non-living/dead reality that serve as mere external display for feeding, beautifying and adorning the physical world.
So what is the way out of this bleak and hopeless reality? Kabir explains that the root of this transient mode of pleasure seeking is the mind. And therefore instead of controlling the senses, the mind needs to be tamed. But that's a daunting task in itself. Therefore Kabir, in all humility, says that the mind should be offered at the feet of the Guru (within) to show the way, directing it inwards to the true storehouse of pleasure - one that is abundant with everlasting ecstasy.