SAINT KABIR

INFORMATION

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Saint Kabir, was born in Varanasi (Benares) to Muslim parents, India, probably around the year 1440 (though other accounts place his birth as early as 1398). But early in his life Kabir became a disciple of the Hindu bhakti saint Ramananda.

It was unusual for a Hindu teacher to accept a Muslim student, but tradition says the young Kabir found a creative way to overcome all objections.

The story is told that on one particular day of the year, anyone can become a disciple by having a master speak the name of God over him.

It is common for those who live near the Ganges to take their morning bath there in the sacred waters. The bhakti saint Ramananda took his bath as he did every day, by arising before dawn.

On this special day, Ramananda awoke before dawn and found his customary way down to the steps of the Ganges. As he was walking down the steps to the waters, a little hand reached out in the predawn morning and grabbed the saint's big toe.

Ramananda was taken by surprise and he expressed his shock by calling out the name of God. Looking down he saw in the early morning light the hand of the young Kabir.


Ramananda Swami

After his bath in the early light he noticed that on the back of the little one's hand was written in Arabic the name Kabir.

He adopted him as son and disciple and brought him back to his ashrama, much to the disturbance of his Hindu students, some of whom left in righteous protest.

It is said that what really made this meeting the most special is that in this case it, was only after Kabir's enlightenment that Ramananda, his teacher, became enlightened. Not much is known about what sort of spiritual training Kabir may have received.

He did not become a sadhu or rununciate. Kabir never abandoned worldly life, choosing instead to live the balanced life of a householder and mystic, tradesman and contemplative. Kabir was married, had children, and lived the simple life of a weaver.

Although Kabir labored to bring the often clashing religious cultures of Islam and Hinduism together, he was equally disdainful of professional piety in any form.


Saint Kabir Math at Varanasi

This earned him the hatred and persecution of the religious authorities in Varanasi. Nearing age 60, he was denounced before the king but, because of his Muslim birth, he was spared execution and instead, banished from the region.

He subsequently lived a life of exile, traveling through northern India with a group of disciples. In 1518, he died at Maghar near Gorakhpur.

One of the most loved legends associated with Kabir is told of his funeral. Kabir's disciples disputed over his body, the Muslims wanting to claim the body for burial, the Hindus wanting to cremate the body.

Kabir appeared to the arguing disciples and told them to lift the burial shroud. When they did so, they found fragrant flowers where the body had rested.

The flowers were divided and the Muslims buried the flowers while the Hindus reverently committed them to fire.

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The Legends

1- Kashi Naresh got pardon

Once, the Kashi King, Virdev Singh Ju Dev invited all the saints to his kingdom as he heard much fame of the Kabir das. Kabir das attended the kingdom with a small bottle of water.

He poured all the water on his leg, and some part of water flowedon the ground further away. The entire kingdom was full of water.

The king asked Kabirdas thereason for his action. Kabir das clarified that, one of his devotees, panda, in Jagannathpui, while cooking food in his hut, caught fire and the water poured by me would protect the hut being gutted.

The King and his followers were not convinced by this clarification and they wanted a witness in support of it. They presumed that the fire was caught in the Orissa city and Kabir was pouring water in Kashi.

Immediately, the King deputed one of his followers for the investigation. On returning back to the kingdom, the follower confirmed that whatever explanation given by Kabirdas was true.

The king was ashamed of his doubts and decided to go to the Kabir math, alongwith his wife to get pardon, else commit suicide there. They got pardon and thereafter the King always remained united with the Kabirchaura Math.

2- Dead boy back to life

Once King Sikandar Lodi alongwith Kabir Saheb, Shaikh Taqqi and others were on stroll near the bank of the river Ganges. Suddenly they spotted saw a dead body of a boy floating on the river surface.

Shaikh Taqqi, immediately requested sarcastcally to Kabir to prove his power by bringing the dead boy back to life.Shaikh Taqqi wanted to expose the inability of Kabirdas to do it.

So that he will be humiliated by people and he will be respected more than Kabir. Saint Kabir who was aware of Shaikh Taqqi's motive accepted his request and with his divine power brought the body near to the river bank.

Saint Kabir then placed his hand on the corpse's head and said - "O soul! Re-enter this body." While saying so, abeam of divine light emerged from Kabir's hand and enetered the dead body.

Soon the boy woke up and came back to life. The boy, in gratirude laid down flat on Kabir's feet. The amazed king exclaimed - You did 'Kamal' (a miracle). On this saint Kabir said that this boy will be called by the name 'Kamal'.

3- Dead girl back to life

Shaikh Taqqi tried to test the divine powers of saint Kabir fifty-two times, but he never succeeded in his motive. Still he thought of testing Kabir one more time and wanted to request him to bring back to life his daughter who died a some days before. The King agreed to this and they both approached Saint Kabir. Shaikh Taqqi, with folded hands, requested Kabir to bring back his daughter to life. Satguru Kabir in acceptance went to the graveyard with them.

Saint Kabir went near to the tomb and stared at it and the tomb got opened. Looking into it, Saint Kabir said - "O Shaikh Taqqi's daughter, come out of the tomb!".

Since there was no any response, Kabir said - "O my daughter! Enough of rest, come out now." Soon, the dead body came back to life and stepped out of the grave. In gratitude she laid her head on Saint Kabir's feet.

The amazed king exclaimed - "O Kabir! you did Kamal again." The girl was named as Kamali, who then became a great disciple of Saint Kabir. ###

Saint Kabir ke Dohe

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