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This Bhajan (a prayerful song) Gyan Garibi of Sant Kabir (Sage Kabir) is about the realization that the soul and the Supreme Being are one and demonstrate the use of that Self Realization in life. It is observed that a Gyani (a knowledgeable person) is fearful of getting arrogance of egoism and a Yogi (an ascetic) is fearful of emancipation from his supernatural spiritual powers. To overcome from these fears Sant Kabir has used and explained the word Gyan Garibi (Awareness with fairness).

Gyan garibi saachi santo,
Gyan garibi saachi,
Bin samjya sadhu hoi betha,
Hridiye handi kachi re –

If self realization comes with the politeness in the nature of a person then it’s called true ‘Awareness with fairness’. Without understanding this fact if someone has became a Sage then it’s like filling the water in an unbaked big vessel of mud.

Bhekh liya pan bhed na jaanya,
Bel fare jem ghaani,
Satya shabd ka marm na ladhya,
Puje pathra pani re –

By just covering the body with a shawl like sage one cannot apart self from the fascination of the life. Such person will keep walking in a circle on the path of self realization like a bullock walking in an oil-mill. One needs to chant the name of God at every breath to know the mystery and open the innermost seed of the word ‘Truth’. And after achieving such stage one will stop worshiping a piece of stone and water.

Sundar bhekh banyo ati laala
Upar rang lagaya,
Kachi handi gal gai maati
Virle nir jamaya re –

An unbaked mud vessel can look good by applying colors on it; but without giving appropriate heat, that vessel of mud is of no use. In the same way one can appear attractive by applying makeup (or wearing mask of humanity) before the performance but without self-penance one cannot attain spiritual knowledge. And only an exceptional individual can collect water of truth by creating a perfect mud vessel.

Karda taap diye to bagde,
Kachi kaam na aave,
Samta taap diye to sudhre,
Jatan kari ne paave re –

An unbaked vessel of mud is of no use and overheating the vessel is also the destructing way. Giving equivalent heat to each side of mud vessel will give it strength and with careful mold one can create a useful vessel. By the illustration of mud vessel Sant Kabir has explained that creating a false image of self is of no use and in the same way being greedy for any kind of achievement is also a wrong way. To achieve the life’s spirit (true awareness of self) one need to continuously keep trying with full concentration, patience and fairness.

Bhekh lai mukh meetha bole,
Sab ku sheesh namave,
Kahe ‘Kabir’ samaj paarakh bin
Hero haath na aave re –

Wearing a mask of humanity and talking simulated sweet language are just wrecked words without any deep understanding & evaluation. Says ‘Kabir’ without wisdom and self realization connecting with Supreme Being (God) is not possible.

Knowledge brings power and if power not handled fairly; it can bring arrogance. And with such state a mind one will keep walking in a life cycle like a bullock of oil-mill. Through this prayer Gyan Garibi - Sant Kabir explains to become wise & fair enough to get the self realization. And to achieve such state in life one need to chant the name of God with every breath to get connected with Supreme Being… ad

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