Saint Kabir – A Revolutionary Saint

Saint Kabir Das is widely acknowledged as one of the great personality of the Bhakti movement in North India. He is one of the medieval Indian saints of Bhakti and Sufi movement. Saint Kabir’s life was centered around Kashi, also called Banaras (Varanasi). His caste was that of Julaha and from his sayings his caste’s heriditary occupation of weaving. Kabir immensely contributed to the Bhakti Movement and is considered a pioneer of Bhakti along with Ravidas, Farid, and Namdev. His concept of love as a path of suffering may possibly indicate, in some measure, a debt to the Sufis. These and other elements from Nath tradition, bhakti and sufism, kabir combined with his own mystical nature and produced synthesis which is the distinctive religion of Kabir.

In fifteenth century, Benaras was the seat of Brahmin orthodoxy and their learning center. Brahmins had strong hold on all the spheres of life in this city. Thus Kabir belonging to a low caste of Julaha had to go through immense tough time of preaching his idealogy. Kabir and his followers would gather at one place in the city and meditate. Brahmins ridiculed him for preaching to prostitutes and other low castes. Kabir satirically denounced Brahmins and thus won hearts of people around him. Kabir through his couplets not only reformed the mindset of common villagers and low caste people but give them self confidence to
question Brahmins. Kabir was in fact first person to go against Brahmins and be so successful. Kabir traveled in and around Benaras to preach his beliefs. Kabir believed in self-surrender. The Kabirpanthis
follow a lite of singing the praises of God, prayers and a simple and pure life of devotion. He is against all ritualistic and ascetic methods as means to salvation. The moral tone is quite strong in Kabir’s hymns. ” Kabir deck thyself with garments of love. Love them is given honour whose body and soul speak the truth. The ruby of goodness is greater than all the mines of rubies, all the wealth of three worlds resides in the goodness of heart. When the wealth of contentment is won, all other wealth is as dust. Where there is mercy, there is strength, where there is forgiveness there is He. The man who is kind and practices righteousness, who remains passive in the affairs of the world, who considers creatures of the world as his own self, he attains the immortal Being; the true God is ever with him. Kabir suggests inward worship and remembrance of God. For him, true worship is only inwards. Put on the rosary inward. By counting beads, the world will be full of light. He clearly suggests moral discrimination between good and bad deeds. What can the helpless road do, when the traveller does not walk
understandingly? What can one do, if, with lamp in hand, one falls in the well. Or goes astray with open eyes. Discern you now between good and evil.  It is not surprising that Kabir’s satire was brought to bear not simply on the vices and weaknesses of men but reached through and beyond them to the very system themselves. Saint Kabir rebelled against the pretension of resolving by the means of books or by way of authority, the mystery of human conditions and the problem of liberation (Moksha). He spent his last 40 days living in a place where it was believed that if you die you will born as a Donkey in next life.
Kabir is a firm advocate of ahimsa. His doctrine extends even to the non destruction of flowers. The life of the living you strike dead and you say your slaughter makes it dedicated. It is blood haunting you and those who taught you. ” ” They fast all day, and at night they slaughter the cow; here murder, there devotion; how can this please God?  In his poems, he was quick to tell the illustrations of moral and spiritual truth in the incidents of everyday life , and many of his similes and metaphors are very striking.

Some of Saint Kabir’s Hymns with English Translation:

Chalti Chakki Dekh Kar, Diya Kabira Roye
Dui Paatan Ke Beech Mein,Sabit Bacha Na
[Looking at the grinding stones, Kabir laments
In the duel of wheels, nothing stays intact.]
Bura Jo Dekhan Main Chala, Bura Naa Milya Koye
Jo Munn Khoja Apnaa, To Mujhse Bura Naa Koye
[I searched for the crooked man, met not a single one
Then searched myself, "I" found the crooked one]
Kaal Kare So Aaj Kar, Aaj Kare So Ub
Pal Mein Pralaya Hoyegi, Bahuri Karoge Kub
[Tomorrow's work do today, today's work now
if the moment is lost, the work be done how]
Aisee Vani Boliye, Mun Ka Aapa Khoye
Apna Tan Sheetal Kare, Auran Ko Sukh Hoye
[Speak such words, sans ego's ploy
Body remains composed, giving the listener joy]
Dheere Dheere Re Mana, Dheere Sub Kutch Hoye
Mali Seenche So Ghara, Ritu Aaye Phal Hoye
[Slowly slowly O mind, everything in own pace happens
The gardener may water with a hundred buckets, fruit arrives only in its season]
Sayeen Itna Deejiye, Ja Mein Kutumb Samaye
Main Bhi Bhookha Na Rahun, Sadhu Na Bhookha Jaye
[Give so much, O God, suffice to envelop my clan
I should not suffer cravings, nor the visitor go unfed]
Bada Hua To Kya Hua, Jaise Ped Khajoor
Panthi Ko Chaya Nahin, Phal Laage Atidoor
[In vain is the eminence, just like a date tree
No shade for travellers, fruit is hard to reach]
Jaise Til Mein Tel Hai, Jyon Chakmak Mein Aag
Tera Sayeen Tujh Mein Hai, Tu Jaag Sake To Jaag
[Just as seed contains the oil, fire's in flint stone
Your temple seats the Divine, realize if you can]
Kabira Khara Bazaar Mein, Mange Sabki Khair
Na Kahu Se Dosti, Na Kahu Se Bair
[Kabira in the market place, wishes welfare of all
Neither friendship nor enmity with anyone at all]
Pothi Padh Padh Kar Jag Mua, Pandit Bhayo Na Koye
Dhai Aakhar Prem Ke, Jo Padhe so Pandit Hoye
[By Reading Holy books , none became anymore wise
One who reads the word of Love, only becomes wise]
Dukh Mein Simran Sab Kare, Sukh Mein Kare Na Koye
Jo Sukh Mein Simran Kare, Tau Dukh Kahe Ko Hoye
[In anguish everyone prays to Him, in joy does none
To One who prays in happiness, how sorrow can come]

One Response to Saint Kabir – A Revolutionary Saint

  1. Shrad Ram on July, 2011 at 7:00 am

    कबीर दास जी ने मूलनिवासियो की आजादी का आन्दोलन चलाया था मगर ब्राह्मणों ने कबीर दास के आन्दोलन को भक्ति आन्दोलन में बदल दिया उनका कहना है की ” नदिया नावमें डूबी जाये ” “एक अचम्भा मैंने देखा मुर्दा रोटी खाए बुलावे से बोले नहीं मरे तो चिल्लाये ” शुद्र संख्या बल में होते हुए भी मुर्दा की तरह है मर खता रहता है बोलत नहीं है मानसिक गुलामी में जकड़ा है मेरा इतना कहना है कबीर का आन्दोलन भक्ति आन्दोलन नहीं था ब्राहमणों ने उसे भक्ति आन्दोलन में बदल दिया

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