Guru Bhakti – Devotion to the Master is difficult
Guru Bhakti is extremely difficult. It is like walking on the edge of a sword, and is not the work of a coward. On this path one has to walk with his head on his palms (in his hands), i.e. one must destroy his ego. In devotion one has to efface himself completely by merging in his Beloved Master. This is to be done daily, and those who cannot do this are busy in eating, drinking and enjoying life (worldly pleasures).
Karam Yoga (devotion through action) is achieved by means of some effort, but in devotion one has to eliminate all other attachments, because this method is directly connected with the heart (spiritual heart centre). If the mind is conditioned accordingly, so that other attachments are eliminated, then everything is achieved.
In Bhakti one does not depend on any outward observances (religious ceremonies, etc.). All these things are artificial and showy. There is a world of difference between a true devotee and one who merely lives according to the rules of a religious order. A devotee is absorbed in the feet of his Beloved (Master), but the worldly man is influenced by worldly opinion.
True devotion does not depend on outward forms. Such devotion and love is rare in this world. So long as we are confined to the outward forms and rituals, we cannot be true devotees. All these ties have to be removed from the mind and from the heart, in order to become a true devotee.
Kabir has also further expressed this thought as follows:
There is a vast difference between a devotee and a person following outward observances, just as there is a vast difference between the earth and the sky. A devotee is happy at the feet of his Master, while the ascetic depends upon the approval of the world. Asceticism, caste or creed do not exist in a true devotee. Those who are the devotees of Naam (Shabd, Sound Current, Word) are rare in this world. So long as one is attached to caste or creed, he is not a true devotee. He alone is a true devotee who renounces all connections with caste and creed.
Bhakti (Devotion) is difficult and very rare. To follow outward observances is easy and common. Bhakti is not merely an outward practice. When one is blessed with the wealth of devotion, the Master becomes a part of every cell of the body of the devotee and guides him with his Grace. But such devotion, full of intense love, is achieved only by one with good karmas.
Devotion is difficult and rare. Outward practices are easy to perform. Everybody knows that devotion is quite different from outward observances. When the treasure of devotion has been bestowed on a person, the Guru comes to his aid. Such devotion is achieved only with very good karmas.
Kabir Sahib further states that it is not always possible to be born in the human form. Therefore, we should abandon the transitory pleasures of the world and be absorbed in devotion to the Guru.
Oh Kabir! You should show your devotion to your Guru by discarding all the pleasures of the world, which are like poison eating into a man, because this human form cannot be obtained every time.