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Chapter 3: From Belief toward Truth

There was a fakir, Sheikh Farid. In the course of his pilgrimage he happened to pass by Kashi, where Kabir resided. His companions urged him to visit Kabir. “Let us spend a day or two at the sage’s ashram,” they implored him. “We shall gain immensely from your talk with him. This is a God-given opportunity and we do not want to miss it.”

“As you wish,” said Farid. “We shall visit Kabir, but about the talk, I cannot promise.”

“Won’t you talk to him?” they asked with surprise.

“There is no need to talk to Kabir,” he said. “Kabir knows and I know - what shall we talk about?”

Now Kabir’s companions too, were urging him to meet Farid.

“We all have a lot to gain, when the two of you converse. It will be a rare treat!”

“That is going to be difficult,” said Kabir. “I shall call him if you wish. We will meet each other, embrace each other, cry together, but we shall not speak.”

They still insisted however, for they were sure this could not be. When Kabir saw that they were adamant, he invited Farid to the ashram. On the appointed day Kabir went to the outskirts of the village to welcome him. The two met and they embraced. For a long time they clasped each other, tears streaming down their eyes. They sat together under a tree. The disciples waited eagerly to catch every word that was spoken. But there was no talk. A full day passed, then the next and then the time came to say good-bye. The disciples became restless. They implored them to talk but they merely looked at each other and laughed. Then they parted.

Kabir’s disciples demanded an explanation and Farid’s disciples did the same. “Why did you not speak?” they demanded.

“What could we speak about?” said Kabir. “What is known cannot be expressed. And nothing remains to be said before one who already knows.”

And Farid told his disciples: “The one who spoke, would have proved himself a fool.”

But the question arises: Why did these two not speak? Truth can only be known, never spoken. But the Sheikh spoke among others and so did Kabir! Then of what did they speak if truth cannot be spoken? They spoke in order to convey the message that truth cannot be spoken by, nor derived from others. They wanted to convey this negative thought that truth can be attained, can be sought - but it can never be obtained from someone. If their talk could implant just this idea into a person’s mind; if this much is understood, that this is an individual quest in which there are no partners, then perhaps he may set out on this path - for then he will have grasped the hint.

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