Biography of Sant Kabir
Sant Kabir was one of India’s greatest poets and mystics. He firmly believed that all people are equal. He said that every individual should strive to be one with God. His poems clearly reflect his devotion and love towards the supreme being. More than 500 verses penned by sant Kabir feature in the Guru Granth Sahib. These verses are still admired today by his followers. This article reveals the fascinating biography of sant Kabir.
Kabir was born in the year 1398 AD. A Muslim weaver found him lying on a leaf of lotus in the city of Benares. The vulnerable baby touched the weaver’s heart. So, he took him under his care and christened him Kabir which means ‘great one’. Kabir displayed a marked penchant for spirituality even in his childhood.
Meets his Guru
Kabir was interested in studying under the guru Ramanand. But, as a Muslim it was not possible for him to get initiated by a Hindu. So, Kabir adopted an intelligent trick. Ramanand used to bathe daily in a bathing ghat. One day, Kabir lay prostrate on the ghat even as Ramanand was approaching. As a result, Ramanand had to step on Kabir. The guru was shocked and uttered “Rama! Rama!”. Kabir told Ramanand that these chants were like an instruction for him. This intelligent ruse impressed Ramanand who immediately took Kabir under his wing.
Kabir firmly believed in the Vedantic concept of atman (soul). He was against idol worship as he lay more stress on the impersonal aspects of God. He taught that all people are equal. Thus, he was firmly against the social caste system, which he considered fallacious. Kabir said that God can be realized only though direct experience. Therefore, common methods such as austerities and chanting are inherently worthless.
Kabir believed in karma and reincarnation. He taught simple living. He said God was one and did not differentiate between Hindus and Muslims. Kabir abhorred hypocrisy and double standards. He advised people to be compassionate towards others, by practising true love. Kabir’s writings beautifully express his lofty beliefs and values.