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Chapter 5: One Who Walks Alone

But what guarantee is there the yogi will be able to give up his ego? As the ego becomes finer and finer, more and more subtle, it becomes proportionately enchanting and pleasing. And the more subtle it becomes, the sweeter its net becomes. Your ego is bitter and still you are unable to let it go, so how will you be able to drop it in the final stages of yoga when there is a continuous showering of ecstasy on all sides? You did not drop it when it was poison, and now it will be as sweet as nectar. So in the final stages of yoga a moment comes when the yogi has to make a decision to drop the ego which, until then, has been the basis of all his happiness. That is why people fall from yoga. No one falls from devotion. A person on the path of devotion cannot even take the first step if there is a possibility he will fall. And if he falls, he will immediately turn his back on that path. For a real devotee there is no question of turning back, because the first sutra of devotion is to die, to die once and for all. As Kabir asks, So why die hundreds of times a day? Die only once so that you can be saved from the world’s entanglements. From the very first step this is the insistence of the path of devotion.

Whether you choose the path of yoga or the path of devotion you will have to drop your ego. The only difference between the two is that yoga will try to purify you first. When your consciousness is on the point of becoming totally pure, when there is only a faint smoke-screen of ego but the fire is bright and shining, when only a few particles of dust remain, then yoga will ask you to drop the ego. Yoga will purify your ego first and then ask you to throw it away.

The path of devotion asks you to throw away the ego at the beginning, because no matter what you do you will remain impure as long as you continue living with the ego. The ego is poison, so whatever you touch will be polluted. You cannot pour nectar into a contaminated vessel, because then the nectar will be turned into poison as well. And so Kabir says:

A true lover never dies.

In these sutras of Kabir, the name Ram has no special significance. Even if you have never heard the name Ram you can still be a lover of Ram. The Sufi fakirs are lovers of Ram, although they have nothing to do with Ram of the Hindus, the Jewish fakir Hassid is also a lover of Ram. In this connection do not think of Ram as the son of Dasarath. Kabir’s use of this name has no relation to Hindu mythology whatsoever; he uses the name of Ram only to indicate the supreme, to indicate God.

Why can you not attain to the state where you can surrender yourself completely at the feet of God? Why does this not happen to you? Kabir says:

Death - the whole world fears.
Death - my heart overjoys.

Why does this not happen to you? Why are you not overjoyed at the prospect of encountering the death the whole world fears? No one is safe from the clutches of death. Everyone has to die. Even if you run away, even if you hide yourself somewhere, at the end you will surely face the jaws of death.

Since death is such a definite part of life why not accept it in an easy and natural fashion? Why can’t you see the joy in death? Why are you running from it? Stop running.

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