This is why Kabir says that only the lover of Ram does not die. The lover of Ram does not mean the devotees of Ram one sees here and there. Kabir is not talking about this ordinary kind of devotee. Kabir is talking about a true lover, in the authentic sense of the word. In real love there is no longer any Ram nor any lover of Ram; there is neither God nor devotee. There is only the manifestation of Ram. When the duality is gone, when the devotee and God are both lost, then there is neither worshipper nor worshipped. The devotee and God are both lost, and the river that flows between, touching both the shores, is the love of Ram, the love of God. That love cannot die because all that is perishable is already dead and gone. With any kind of experience a very subtle ego would have lingered, but that too has gone, that too has died.
In reality, the devotee has nothing at all; he has neither yoga, nor samadhi, nor miracles. He is totally helpless, totally blank, totally empty. There is not even emptiness because even the experience of emptiness is gone. Through weeping and crying and emptying himself, through effacing himself, he is totally lost. No trace, no sign of him is left behind. That is why Kabir says that the whole world dies but that no one knows how to die rightly.
The man who dies in the right way does not have to die again. Only the death of the true devotee, only Kabir’s kind of death, is the right kind of death. And it is wise and correct death, because first he knew and then he died. He saw death as a step forward; he turned death into a ladder to reach the last point on the journey of life. Just as the drop loses itself and becomes the ocean, we become one with Him when we die.
The man who has surrendered himself at the feet of God is a true devotee. Although he is alive, he is as good as dead, because he has said, “Now only You are. Now I am not.” And in such a man the voice of the ego no longer arises because his own existence is lost, because he has killed himself, because he has killed his ego. Then there is no death for such a man. Then he is not – so who is there to die?
The yogi will die because he is full of ego as he practices his sadhana. He undertakes penances, learns techniques, practices tantra, repeats a mantra – and so he creates an enormous paraphernalia around himself. This simply means he is still there. But the devotee has already gone. The yogi reaches in the end, but the true devotee arrives with the first step. And a yogi can fall.
We have spoken of the word yogabhrasht, meaning one who has fallen from yoga – but have you ever heard of bhaktibhrasht, of one who has fallen from devotion! There is not such word as bhaktibhrasht! It is possible for a yogi to fall back because he has to take the final step at the end of his sadhana. Before this, there is always the possibility of a fall. But for a devotee there is no possibility of a fall. The devotee has to take the final step in the beginning; the yogi will drop his ego when he completes his sadhana.