Lord of death turns into Ram.
Misery gone, I relax in joy.
Foe reversed becomes a friend;
friends are seen as gentle men.
Now, for me, all is blessed.
Knowing bhagwan, silence descends.
A million problems in the body
turn into joyful, simple samadhi.
A recognizing deep within my heart:
disease no more affects me.
Mind now becomes the eternal.
I know now: I was living dead.
Says Kabir: I’m simply joyous.
I’m not afraid, nor frightening others.
There is an ancient anecdote about Valmiki. He was not a learned man and he forgot the particular name for God his guru had given him as a mantra. He had given him “Rama,” but the reverse of Rama – mara – became fixed in his mind. Mara means death. It is said that he repeated this mantra for quite a long time and ultimately achieved liberation. If the words “Mara, Mara, Mara” are repeated continuously, the sound of “Rama, Rama, Rama” will begin to emerge of its own accord.
Whether this really happened or not is unimportant, but the story is very symbolic and very beautiful. You are also repeating “Mara, Mara,” but it does not turn into “Rama, Rama.” Everyone is afraid of death and keeps repeating “Mara, Mara” within.
Kabir says a man dies a hundred times a day, and whenever any fear whatsoever catches hold of him the sound of “Mara, Mara” is created within. Fear is nothing but the repetition of the mantra of death. But your “Mara, Mara” does not become like that of Valmiki – you have not repeated it with as much sincerity, rapidity and continuity as Valmiki did. The point of this story is that if anyone continues to remember death correctly, that remembering of death will itself become the remembrance of God.
When someone remembers death correctly his attachment to life is broken. Such a person will see death hidden in every moment of life. The attachment to life, the infatuation for life, of someone who has known death rightly will be killed naturally, will naturally disappear. Such a person will soon come to know the nectar hidden behind death, will soon come to know that death is one side of the coin and God is the other. On one side there is death; on the other, nectar.
Those who have known death have also known nectar. This is the substance, the inner meaning of the story that prevails about Valmiki – that while repeating “Mara, Mara” he achieved Ram, he achieved nectar.