From autumn through harsh winter, the land goes barren, leaves fall, and the grass goes lifeless. Wearing the veil of darkness, everything plunges into a deep slumber. Such is the view outside, but what about the ominous gloom that dwells within us?
Sant Kabir says, ‘Asleep in the temple of this body, I have been awakened hearing the Master’s eternal words.’ Sleep symbolises ignorance, darkness, inertia, and unconsciousness. And this very sleep is the inner autumn -- the autumn of the mind. If someone is asleep, we call him out, ‘wake up, the dawn has broken.’ So, the person gets up hearing that voice. But a person in the slumber of ignorance can only be awakened by the words of an evolved master.
Body As Temple
Kabir is referring to the body as a temple, which symbolises purity. It epitomises sacredness, something that is beautiful to look at. The saint says, ‘I am sleeping in this body that is akin to a temple. Temple is where the Lord dwells. If I am asleep in the temple, how would I know who resides within me? I wake up hearing the eternal word of the Master, thus the sleep of ignorance that was going on for eons is over.’
Ignorance is the breeding ground for all types of fears and insecurities. What will we do without money, relatives, and kids? What if I die? These fears are perpetually there, but for the one who has woken up, all these anxieties dissolve away once and for all. The one who knows that the entire creation is an illusion along with this body, what’s there to fear?
If you are sleeping, you are in bondage. When you are awake, you are free. Sleeping akin to ignorance is pain. Wakefulness is eternal bliss. While sleeping, you are in darkness. When you wake up, you are established in the Eternal Truth. Knowing oneself as an eternally pure Self, an embodiment of bliss, where is the space left for worries and insecurities?
When this flower of Ananda, the eternal bliss, blooms inside, we can say that the Basant has come! Basant means blooming. The autumn of ignorance is over. Basant implies that the flowers have blossomed. The gloom of ignorance that enveloped us has left and has been taken over by the illuminance of supreme wisdom.
With the coming of spring, small saplings begin to make headway on the ground shrunk by the winter; the stem grows, buds come, and within weeks flowers bloom. Once the harsh winter is over, colours begin to spread all around. These are the colours of Basant, spring.
When the love for the Lord dawns, or the love for the Master culminates, we experience a permanent Basant! Outside, flowers will wither away with time, however, the flower of divine love that once blooms within never dies; for such a person, Basant is never over.
Published in Speaking Tree on 4 Feb 2022