There was a man called Dani Daram Das – one of the richest persons in India. Inspite of being such a rich person, he was very lovable, honest, and very pious in all his deeds, and he who has all those virtues will definitely think of God. So he had begun with the traditional way of worshipping God. Now the Masterpower staying above sees where there is a heart that demands for Him.
So Kabir went to the house of Dani Daram Das, who was just making prayers to the gods and goddesses made of stone. Kabir took the idols one after the other, held them up and said, “This one is heavy, this is lighter, and this is heavier again.” Dani Daram Das said, “Who are you to interfere with my prayer?” But when after the twinkling of an eye he looked round, he saw nothing there. He thought that some ignorance was removed now. God had appeared to him to show him his ignorance, otherwise he would have had to face that very ignorance after death.
Kabir appeared to him a second time and asked for Dani Daram Das, while he was taking the food inside the kitchen. His wife told the old man, “He is just taking the food, after some time he will meet you.” But again Kabir called for Dani Daram Das. His wife said, “You are a sinner, you do not know how to behave when you come into a house!” Kabir replied, “I am not the sinner, you are sinners because in your kitchen many insects are burning in the decayed wood.” At that moment they were very alert because they even used to wash the wood before burning it in the kitchen. But inside of the decayed wood there were thousands of insects which were burning. They could see that in the kitchen.
Dani Daram Das felt very angry with his wife, “You did not do justice to this old man. He was God who had come to us.” And Dani Daram Das deeply repented all. His wife told him, “A rich person like you need not bother, you can perform some Yajnas (religious festivals where it is the pious custom to give food to Sadhus and holy men, to the poor and needy). There can be lots of flies on the molasses.” And he started to do that only to get this holy person back to him.
Such a Power may constantly remain beside you but you may not be knowing Him throughout your life. Because it is up to Him alone if He awakes somebody, otherwise nobody can help himself. After having made so many Yajnas, they became bankrupt. They had no money left, they had even no food to live on. Their attention had got focused so much on the very right view of life that they had even forgotten their business. They wanted to finish with everything for the sake of truth. This view, which was very opposite (to that of the world), was given to them by Kabir.
At last, both decided to suicide by drowning themselves in the river. Both went to the river Ganges, and just when they wanted to throw themselves into the water, Kabir appeared, got hold of their arms and asked, “Where are you going?” – “O Master, now when we do not have anything to eat, You come, You had better come beforehand so that we could have also served You.” Kabir said, “This is not that fly which sits on the molasses, this fly is from Desh.” Desh means from the eternal home.
Later on, after initiation, Dani Daram Das asked Kabir, “This difference of our condition, which had been created by Your grace, what is this due to?” Kabir replied, “Beforehand your condition was like that of a dog who is barking at his own reflection in the house of mirrors – that was a big ignorance.” He further said, “Your condition was like that of a monkey.” A monkey holds the branch firmly (when you try to catch him), because he takes the branch as attachment. He thinks that this branch will not leave him. And Kabir said, “Your condition was like that of a lion: when he sees his reflection in the well, he jumps into the water and loses his life there. Your condition was like that, it was due to your ignorance.” Man commits all those things due to his ignorance, and this is why he is bound to the world. If you do everything with right understanding, there is no problem. Everything will become as bright as you would think. In the sunshine everything appears in its original condition. With right understanding we can watch our short-comings, and at the same time we can help ourselves to overcome them.
excerpt from a talk by Dr. Harbhajan Singh