24th June marked the birth anniversary of Sant Kabir Das.
About Sant Kabir Das
- Kabirdas Jayanti also known as Kabir Prakat Diwas is celebrated once a year on the full moon day in the Hindu month Jyeshtha.
- It was sometime in the mid 15th century that the poet-saint Kabir Das was born in Kashi (Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh).However, Sant Kabir’s birth and death are unclear.
- Even sources discussing his life are scanty. Earliest sources include the Bijak and Adi Granth.
- Some believe that he took birth from Muslim parents, while others insist that he appeared on a lotus flower in the lake Lahartara.
- According to the Gregorian calendar, Kabirdas Jayanti falls in the month of May or June.
- In Indian tradition, he is commonly supposed to have lived for 120 years from 1398 to 1518, which “permits him to be associated with other famous figures such as Guru Nanak and Sikander Lodi.
- Sant Kabirdas was best known for his two-line couplets, known as ‘Kabir Ke Dohe’.
- Kabir’s poems were in vernacular Hindi, borrowing from various dialects including Braj and Awadhi
- They cover various aspects of life and call for a loving devotion for God.
- Kabir and his followers named his verbally composed poems of wisdom as “bāņīs” (utterances).
- Kabir’s poetry is a reflection of his philosophy about life. His writings were mainly based on the concept of reincarnation and karma.
- He believed in living life in a very simplistic manner.
- He had a strong faith in the concept of oneness of God
- He was against the caste system imposed by the Hindu community and also opposed the idea of worshipping the idols.
- On the contrary, he advocated the Vedantic concepts of atman.
- He supported the idea of minimalist living that was advocated by the Sufis.
- He preached Bhakti or ‘Devotion’ through the medium of his ‘Dohas’.
- Love: Love for all was Kabir’s principal tenet. He emphasized that love was the only medium which could bind the entire human kind in an unbreakable bond of fraternity.
- God: He said God was everywhere and His domain is unlimited.
- Teacher:In Kabir’s dictum the Teacher or ‘Guru’ has been accorded the prime position. The teacher, according to him, was the incarnation of God.
- Bhakti: Kabir stressed that the only way to attain God was through the path of Bhakti. Kabir advised his followers to attain Godhood through the path of Bhakti.
- Soul according to him was life, breath and knowledge.
- It was a part of the ‘ultimate knowledge’.
- The soul itself was the creation and it also was the creator & destroyer.
- Impermanence: Kabir asserted the impermanence of all things in the world
- Salvation: Liberation according to him was a state of “fearlessness”. Liberation implied freedom from the pangs of life and death.
- Nature of Saint: A saint according to Kabir should give up all trivialities and preserve only the kernel of all knowledge.
Literary works with compositions attributed to Kabir include Kabir Bijak, Kabir Parachai, Sakhi Granth, Adi Granth (Sikh), and Kabir Granthawali (Rajasthan).
However, except for Adi Granth, significantly different versions of these texts exist and it is unclear which one is more original; for example, Kabir Bijak exists in two major recensions