Kabir

Kabir
Highlights

Kabir, Long ago there lived a weaver in Varanasi. He was very poor. His name was Nura and his wife was Nima. They were Muslims. They brought up a boy of unknown parentage whom they called Kabir.

Long ago there lived a weaver in Varanasi. He was very poor. His name was Nura and his wife was Nima. They were Muslims. They brought up a boy of unknown parentage whom they called Kabir.

Kabir

From early childhood, Kabir was fond of singing the praise of God. Even while playing he would say ‘Ram, Ram’, ‘Hari, Hari’.

At that time a great saint Ramananda was preaching about the love of God at Varanasi. Young Kabir heard him speak and wanted to become his disciple.

One night, Kabir slept outside the saint’s house, just near the door. Early next morning Swami Ramananda stepped out to go to the river as usual for his bath.

In the dark, he stepped on Kabir’s hand. At once he jumped away and said: “Ram, Ram! Who is here?”

Kabir rose and prostrated himself before the saint and said: “Swami, please accept me as your disciple. I have taken the name of God you just uttered as the mantra given to me. Bless me.”

The Swami found that Kabir was sincere. So he blessed Kabir. Kabir became even more devoted to God from that time.

He put on the sacred thread and wore the tilak on his forehead.

Kabir wove cloth as his parents did and sold it in the market.

With the money so collected, he supported the family.

Kabir married a girl called Loi. Later on, he had a son called Kamal. The family lived on Kabir’s earnings.

One day Kabir went to the market for selling the cloth he had woven. On the way, he saw an old man shivering in the cold. He had no clothes on. So Kabir called him and said: “I shall give you half of this cloth.” The old man said: “Please give me the whole cloth. Half is not enough to cover me!”

Kabir gave him the whole cloth, and went back without any money. So his family had to go without food for a couple of days. God took pity on Kabir. He assumed the form of a sadhu, and when Kabir was away, went to his mother and said: “Kabir asked me to give this money to you,” and gave her enough money.

When Kabir returned home, his mother told him about it.

At once Kabir knew it was God. He shed tears of joy.

From then on he gave up his profession. He became wholly God-minded.

Kabir was put to much trouble by vicious people. Some said he was a thief. Once they accused him before the king of Delhi. But the king was convinced of Kabir’s innocence and came to know of his bhakti. So he let him go.

Kabir lived for 120 years. When he died, there was a dispute among his disciples. There were two sides. One wanted to bury his body and the other wanted to burn it.

A sadhu passed by at the time. Seeing the wrangle, he said: “Remove the cloth covering the body and see.”

They did so, and the body had disappeared! In its place were fresh flowers.

Kabir in his lifetime had written many poems. They are all hymns of devotion.

Kabir had four chief disciples and eight others. To them he taught his gospel.

People who follow his teachings are called Kabir Panthis. Some people have built temples for Kabir too.

Kabir condemned the caste system. His followers are vegetarians. They also do not drink.

Kabir taught that God is one, and we must focus our thoughts on Him. We must love all living creatures and should not give pain to any of them. We should not speak unkindly of others. We must revere our gurus as God.

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