धीरे-धीरे रे मना, धीरे सब कुछ होए
माली सींचे सौ घड़ा, ऋतु आए फल होए
dheere dheere re mana, dheere sab kuch hoye
maali seenche sau ghada, ritu aaye phal hoye
Kabeer’s ability to crystallize a profound thought doesn’t cease to amaze me. He takes the most mundane and familiar of things, and uses them as guided missiles to get his message across.
I have felt the urge to skip through parts of my life numerous times. I am not sure how common that is, but for me, if I am working towards a goal, the stuff in between seems like a waste of time to me. I think that if only I could rush through the boring parts and get to the time where I get to actually realize the fruits of my efforts, wouldn’t that be great.
But of course that can not and does not happen. Even if a time machine existed, the stuff that needs to happen in between will not happen on its own. The idea of steady dedicated effort is something that we take a while to accept and internalize. Notice any young kid devouring his stack of goodies on Halloween rather than spreading the loot over a few days and you will understand that delayed gratification is not something that we are born with.
But Kabeer’s words, gently insistent, urge us to remember that things don’t happen in an instant, but rather in their own sweet time, and that is, in fact, their beauty and joy. And that not everything instant is great. Actually many people are now realizing that instant is most likely never great, which has led to this whole slow food movement (and to more tongue-in-cheek counterparts like the International Institute of Not Doing Much).
But to me, slow somehow doesn’t quite capture it. I would prefer to use a word like सहज (sahaj) that encompasses the state of being centered, natural, in sync with the earth. However you choose to refer to it though, seems like at least this is one of Kabeer’s teachings that is totally relevant today.
*Check out the Cherry Blossom Festival which is from March 27th through April 11th this year.