As the followers of Sant Kabir (1440 - 1518) get ready to celebrate Kabir Jayanti or the birth anniversary of the great Indian mystical saint poet on Sunday, June 23, 2013, let's have a look at the life and teachings of Kabir.
Born near Benaras or Varanasi, of Muslim parents, in c.1440, he became in early life a disciple of the celebrated 15th century Hindu ascetic Guru Ramananda. Hindus called him Kabir Das, but it is impossible to say whether Kabir was Brahmin or Sufi, Vedantist or Vaishnavite. He is, as he says himself, "at once the child of Allah and of Ram."
He may or may not have submitted to the traditional education of the Hindu or the Sufi contemplative and never adopted the life of an ascetic. Side by side with his interior life of adoration, its artistic expression in music and words, he lived the sane and diligent life of a craftsman. Kabir was a weaver, a simple and unlettered man, who earned his living at the loom.
A beautiful legend tells us that after his death his Muslim and Hindu disciples disputed the possession of his body; which the Muslims wished to bury, the Hindus to burn. As they argued together, Kabir appeared before them. Read Full Article
Read Kabir's Dohas: Rabindranath Tagore's translation of Kabir
Photo: A temple dedicated to Kabir at Kabirwad, Gujarat