This I-ness has to go away. That is what meditation is –
where you are no more ‘I’ but it is ‘You’.
Kabirdasji has written a beautiful poem about it:
when the goat is living and kicking, she says “Mein, mein” -
that is “I, I”.
But then she dies and her intestines are drawn out into wires
and some saint fixes them on the ‘Tutari’ –
that instrument that they have –
‘Ektari’ as they call it, and he goes on pulling it with his fingers,
then it says “ Tu hi, Tu hi, Tu hi” –
that is “You are, You are, You are”.
- Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi
A weaver by profession, Kabir (1398—1448) ranks among the world's greatest poets. In India, he is perhaps the most quoted author. The Sikh Holy Book, the Guru Granth Sahib, contains over 500 verses by Kabir. The Sikh community in particular and others who follow the Holy Granth, hold Kabir in the same reverence as the other ten Gurus. Kabir means 'great', das means servant of the Divine, and ji is a suffix denoting respect.
The ektara, or ektari veena, is a string instrument of the wandering bards and minstrels of India. 'Ek' means 'one', and 'tara' means 'string', so it is usually single stringed. It is often used in Kirtan - a Hindu devotional practice of singing the divine names and mantras in an ecstatic call and response format. The ektara is used by Sadhus, or wandering holy men, and in Sufi chanting, as well as by the Bauls of Bengal.