Liberation Comes Not in Seclusion - Shune Padiya Na Chootiyo by Rajender Krishan SignUp

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Shune Padiya Na Chootiyo Suni Re Jeev Aboojh
Kabir Mari Maidan Mein Kari Indriyan Sun Jhoojh



Liberation comes not in seclusion listen O ignorant jiva
Enter the arena, says Kabir and combat with the senses

My Understanding

In the Hindu tradition sannyasa or renunciation from the material world is considered the final stage of the ashram systems. [The four ashrams being: Brahmcharya (student life),  Grahistha (householder), Vanaprastha (retired) and Sannyasa (renunciation) and each ashram is given 25 years assuming a person will live upto 100 years of age.]  Sannyasa is traditionally taken by those who develop detachment from all material desires (vairagya), become monks (Sannyasins) and are initiated into Sannyasa by a Guru. 

Sannyasa can be taken by men or women who are older than at least 50 years of age (though going by the ashram system logic, the person should be at least 75 years of age) and dedicate the remainder part of their lives to spiritual pursuits. It is expected that such people would have discharged their householder (Grahistha) responsibilities, commitments and fulfilled their financial obligations towards their family. However, with the exception of a few, bulk of such people actually become recluse.

In all the above cases, how many truly get liberated or attain moksha is anybody's guess. 
In the guise of the Sannyasa tradition, many young people get disillusioned and actually deceive themselves of "having renounced" leading a life of lethargy and procrastination.  Many get "hooked" to this idea, hallucinate* and become drug addicts, alcoholics and ultimately slaves of their senses.

In the contemporary, work-a-day, competitive life, how many of us simply give up, succumb or surrender primarily due to our own vikaras of lust (kama), anger (krodha), greed (lobha), attachment (moha) and arrogance (ahamkara) that derive from sensory perceptions; and collectively due to corrupt societies and polluted environments thereby degenerating ourselves into the clutches of escapism.

It is with this background that Kabir in this doha declares that one cannot attain liberation or moksha by leading an isolated life while one is enslaved by the vikaras  or if one is living an escapist's life.  Kabir dares us to awaken from this chaotic slumber, become a warrior, enter the battlefield (arena) of life, fight and conquer these vikaras and become the master of one's mind. The deduction thus being that one should aspire to be liberated while living life. 

Through this doha one can also learn to discriminate between inertia and action, between a recluse and a socializer and between a coward and a warrior. 

* In my own life I have had moments of hallucinations, anxiety, fears, lethargy, procrastination with a deep sense of the futility of life.  One such experience is recounted in my brief write up entitled "Interpreting Influence".
August 26, 2012

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Comments on this Doha

Comment Here's the meaning Mr Muhammad..

Shoone - being alone
Padhya - staying
Na chootiye - not letting go
Suni re - listen oh
Jeev a booj - life all forms
Kabeer mari - kabeer died
Maidaan - field
Mein - in
Kari - did
Indrayaa - senses
Su - with
Jhoojh - fight

Nirmal Joshi
09/21/2014 06:49 AM

Comment Sanyas- truly happens when the roots of desires for sense gratification are seen, understood and burnt once and forever. Otherwise the external dropping of worldly possession has limited usefulness and wont go deep.

To understand the roots, one has to be in contact with the tree, the tree of life and living. Only then the whole game can be grasped by sharp intellect and burnt in the light of awareness.

That is why his insistence to be in the field of action of senses, not rejecting them, but understanding and then transcending them.

02/11/2014 22:59 PM

Comment Appreciated, if u can give meanings of difficult Hindi words in English. Thanks

08/26/2013 15:48 PM

Comment If only that one gets rid of passions of dark areas in life
that one is exposed to light. Your elucidation is marvelous.

(-pck prem)

p c katoch
04/09/2013 23:26 PM

Comment The philosophy of life is not so complicated as being projected by the religious leaders for ages. Their interpretations are meant to keep their own shops running. It is high time for genuine and educated philosophers like you to explain to masses the true meanings of the rituals and preachings of saints from history. A very logical, simple and straightforward interpretation of the word Sanyasi which is always misinterpreted and misunderstood. Thanks alot.

All the religious leaders preach that all the souls are sinners and given a chance as human beings to repent and correct their wrong doings. I would be personally very interested to hear your views about this.

Vijay Khurana
08/28/2012 16:19 PM

Comment Kabir was one of the great favourites of Rabindranath. He translated many of Kabir's dohas. In his following poem in my translation we find an echo of Kabir's philosophy as expressed in this wonderful doha -


Deep was the night
Disillusioned with the world
Suddenly he announced,
‘This moment for my god
Everything I’ll renounce
Through deception
Who has kept me here bound?’
‘It’s me’, his god replied
But he didn’t listen.
On the bed by his side
His wife was sleeping with the child,
Also fast asleep,
Holding it in her tight embrace.
He told them, ‘You always deceive,
Sheer illusions, who are you?’
‘It’s me’, his god again told
Again he paid no heed.
He left his bed and called aloud,
‘My god, where are you?’
‘Here I am’, told his god
Yet he didn’t hear.
In a dream the child cried out
And cuddled closer to its mother.
‘Turn back, my son’,
Came his god’s command
But he didn’t obey.
‘Alas!’ sighed his god,
‘Me my devotee is leaving.’
Translation of the poem Bairagya from the collection Chaitali (The Summer Harvest) by Rabindranath Tagore.

08/28/2012 00:01 AM

Comment You are right when u said that sanyasa stage often leads to drug taking etc. Even in Allen Ginsberg's poetry , meditation is linked to drug taking. They find in drug taking an ecstasy comparable to that of Spritual absorption in divine thoughts. Your translation of Kabir is quite rewarding.. want more such articles on this page.

Dr.Ratan Bhattacharjee
08/27/2012 09:26 AM

Comment I think we will all agree that whatever a man does is determined by his idea of life. Animal life is sustained by the dictate of appetites. Appetites translate themselves into affection for specific acts that are ideated. For example, a tiger, incidentally, a solitary creature, experiencing hunger will at once experience the need to enact a specific act that is ideated and to which it conforms using every power of its intelligence and sinew. This does not mean the tiger disregards all inhibitions: on the contrary, the priority of its life safety will rule out certain ideas - such as to attack an elephant; or to come too close to a village to snatch a tethered calf. The degrees of risk are entirely judged by its intelligence as linked to its instinctive affection for life, which of course, it has no means of defining.

It is no different in the case of a man: an idea of life that compels all his actions, or occasions inhibition, in the instinct for its preservation. Man is a social animal, in which context the preservation of his life assumes certain priorities, and defines what action is to be taken. Like the animal, man cannot define what life is that he seeks to preserve. The idea of detachment from earthly things is only possible if there is sufficient appetitive affection for life that is so achieved.

In the last analysis, even detachment is a selfish pursuit. The doha to commit oneself to action in the world, likewise, is selfish - if it is specifically to attain personal liberation. Any appetitive affection is directed to preservation of one's life. The ultimate mystery of life is that it created us, it formed our bodies, and our subject awareness is purely to a preservation of it. The mystery of life is somewhat understood in man's social function, when specific acts are determined whereby the life of the society is preserved. In this context, we see that selfless action is in affection of the life of the society, which our own life serves.

08/27/2012 09:20 AM

Comment A riveting read. I particularly loved the way you interpreted the doha and shloka in a contemporary context and made it so very prasangik.

Ramendra Kumar
08/27/2012 07:38 AM

Comment This doha exposes the most common fallacy among people about sanyas. Neither seclusion nor isolation bring sanyas. The sould must be detached from the temptations of the mind to become a true sanyasi. A true sanyasi ethically participates in the affairs of the world following his dharma without being attached to the results. That is what the avatars, saints and messiahs have taught. Kabir was among the very greatest of saints.

Rajinder Puri
08/27/2012 07:36 AM

Comment It is a wonderful explanation of Kabir's Doha. the figures are so illustrative that they reflect the entire text. Kabir was very right. For liberation, one need not go to isolation-it can be attained even while living with a crowd.
I firmly believe in karma. If one performs his karma with earnestness without expecting a reward, he reaches a sainthood. The hindi saying, 'Neki ker dariya mein daal' explains my view point.
I personally feel that you should submit a thesis on kabir-your study is real deep.
Keep it up.

V.K. Joshi
08/27/2012 07:06 AM

Comment A courageous utterance for the daring and who like challenge. Yes we have to fight or tame the senses and not run away from them and their attractions. Just trying to avoid them by going to seclusion. Because seclusion should b;e to the mind not to the body.
This truth is very well brought out in the doha and translation. The translation is nice and truly convrys the sense of the original. Thanks for sharing a profound truth, Sri Rajendra Krishan! Regards.

Varanasi Ramabrahmam
08/27/2012 05:23 AM

Comment I liked your simple and apt interpretation of this Doha. The translation also captures the spirit maintaining the right poetic tone.

PGR Nair
08/27/2012 03:24 AM

Comment The truth of life. If only we could follow the teachings and preachings of great men and learn from their experience, the world would be a much better place to live! To win over others, one has to first win his/her own self.

Kapil Bamba
08/27/2012 01:03 AM

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