Sadguru Kabir Sahib.
Revered Sadguru Kabir Sahib, a Dalit saint was one of the founding fathers of Bhagati Movement
Kabir Ji said “Guru Manas Kar Jantey,Te Nar Kahiye Andh. Maha Dukhi Sansar Main ,Age Jam Ke Bandh.( Kabir Granthawali- Page 3) Meaning if anybody under estimated authority of a realized Guru, they are blind or ignorant . Such persons suffer heavily in this world and after death face curse of Yamra j( Death god or Kal). Soami Shiv Dayal Ji Maharaj (1818-1876) founder of Radhasoami faith in Sar Bachan Says “ Guru Ka Dhain Dhar Paiyare,Bins Iske Nahi Chhutna ( Only Living Guru ,a realized soul can get one rid of circle of transmigration. Guru Arjundev said “ Vin Guru Purey Nahi Udhar, Baba Nanak Akhey Eh Vichar”. ( AG 886-2) Meaning:- One cannot obtain salvation with out a perfect master, Baba Nank has given his considered opinion. Kabir while praising his master ( Guru) Said
“Sab dharti kagaj karu, lekhni sab banray , Saat samunder ki masi karu, gurugun likha na jaaye”.
Meaning:- It is impossible to write the virtue of a perfect master even if one has ink equal to water in seven oceans, full earth surface as paper to write on and pens made from all woods on earth surface. It simply means perfect mystic master’s authority is indescribable.
The true Bhagati is sharing with God, yoked to God and devotion to God. The Bhagti movement is devotional religious movement, started from Tamil South India ( First saints Tiruppan Alvar’s) in 8th or 9th century C.E. It travelled through Bengal, Karnataka, Maharashtra reached in Northern Indian parts in thirteen century. This movement was at its zenith in fifteen to seventeenth century in North India. Other prominent Bhagati Movement saints included Sad Guru Kabir, (1398-1518) Guru Ravidas (1414-1532) Guru Sain (1343-1398), Sahib Guru Nanak Dev (1469-1539) with other Gurus in his linkage of Sikh Mat , Mahars Chokhamela and Banka ( Both of 14th century) , Mewad queen Meerabai ( 1498-1557) , Sehjobai (1725-1805), potter Gora Kumhar, (1236-1317) Savata Mali (1217-1328), Saint Palto Sahib(1710-1780),Eknath (1548-1600), Guru Ghasidas (1756–1850) Chhattisgarh founder of Satnami sect of Hinduism of Tukaram (1598-1649) Dadu Dayal of Rajsthan (1544-1603), Malukdas (1573-1671),Jagjivandas (1669-1760) and many more. Majority of Bhagati Movement saints or religious guides, preachers, poets Gurus, and Bhagats came from all walks of life and religions. But majority of them were from Dalit castes or Hindu exploited low caste persons including Shudras and Ati Shudras. They rejected the theory of polarity of gods as well as the Vaishnava doctrine of Avatars of supreme Lord. The saints or seers believed in and preached God as an Absolute and ultimate Reality. Kabir said “Sahib Ka Ghar Santan Mihi, Sahib Sant Kush Anter Nahi”.( Kabir Shabdavali Part -2/37) God is present in Saints body frames. There is no difference between God and Saints i.e. they are one and the same.
Sadguru Kabir has the distinction among all saints that his teachings and Bhajans (Songs in the praise of God) crossed all religions and geographical barriers. His teaching are every household lore and his name every household word. His teachings are held in high esteems among all religious personalities. He befittingly exemplified his Dohas (Couplets), to prove their fruitfulness. Kabir was a devoted revolutionary saint with democratic bent of mind. He discarded all that was unnecessary for God realization. Since Dalit saints had seen poverty from very close angle and suffered at the hands of rulers including hard liner priestly class of their times for opposing man made religious illusions for Bhagti (Worship) for God realization. Saint Peepa Sahib (1408-1448) said about Kabir
“ Jo Kal Mainj Kabir Manj Na Hote, To Ley Ved aur Kalyug Milkar,Bhagat Rasatal Dete”. ( SGGS Panna 695)
Meaning:- If in the Kalyuga there had not been Kabir, both religious scriptures and Kalyug ( Iron age) would have thrown souls in to hell.
Dadu Sahib a prominent Kabir disciple said “Dadu naam Kabir ki, jae koi leve ot ,। unko kabahu laage nahin, Kaal vajr ki chot” . Meaning:- who so ever recited Kabir’s name( Kabir Manter),shall not be punished by Kal( Negative power)
These Bhagti Movement saints broke the superstitious, dogmatic religious cages of pundits, moulvies and alike to preach true God realization with in human frame with the help of a God realized/ dyed soul or Master. For this these saints were given harsh punishments. Many of them were done to death, teased, discarded as untouchables and declared as Nastiq,or non believer in gods and goddesses. The 5th Sikh Master Guru Arjundev Ji, who authored Adi Guru Granth in 1604 , was made to sit live on a hot iron plate and hot sand was poured on his head. He declared in Adi Granth Sahib, (AG-622).
“Sant Ka Marg Dharam Ki Porri “. Meaning the worshipping path shown by the saints was the true religious way to achieve salvation
Prior to the Bhagti Movement the God realization was based on external methods and decorations, allowing only few High Caste persons to have right of Bhagati, worship for God realization or salvation from the unending birth and death prison of Karmic circle called “ Action and reaction”. These methods were not only biased and costlier but time consuming too, so beyond the reach of poor strata of Hindus and Muslims, untouchables or untouchable converts. Dalits were debarred by high caste scriptures from worshiping God. In The Valmiki Ramayana epic storey an untouchable Sambuk Rishi or ascetic person, said to be worshiping in Tryta Yuga was assassinated by Lord Rama declaring him sinner for observing austerities and to worship Almighty despite being a Dalit ( Shudra). This was highly appreciated by the Hindu gods and goddesses who are said to have rained flowers from heaven. Lord Rama, did this to save himself from a Brahmin curse. If Lord Rama said to be incarnation of Vishno (Protector and feeder deity of all ) can perform such undesired act, what to talk of their protected high caste religious subjects.( Valmiki Ramayana, Book 7, the 'Uttarakanda' -73-76 )
The religious approved methods of God realization like, idol worshiping( Sarguna Bhagati), fasting, bathing in pre-decided holy rivers/waters; styling one’s hair as some kept long hairs ,others tonsured ,still others kept a long hair lock in the heads crown ( Chotior); shaving of face or keeping long beards; observing complete celibacy; fasting, giving alms, to undertake cumbersome worshiping techniques while living in secluded places in deep forests; caves ; worshiping trees like fig (Peepal), Basil ( Tulsi), offering water to Sun god, to perform Yagnas ( burning food stuffs while reciting mantras ,verses from holy books), reading holy books),put sandal wood paste on fore heads, wear holy thread (Yagyopaveet); circumcision for Muslims , to undertake long journeys to pre fixed religious places Titath or Haj Yarta or journey, deification of ancestors (Pitirpuja), observe all religious laws including caste systems and to observe untouchbility; offering alms to Brahmins, feeding animals like cow , birds like crow and insects and reptiles like ants and snakes, pleasing gods and goddesses by offering sacrifices of animals including humans at altar (Yagyashals),getting sawed bodies for reaching heaven( Karvvat) and many such other acts . Observance of all these methods by ignorant masses proved boon to priestly classes. In practice more ignorant and illiterate were the masses the more prosperous shall be priestly cheats (Thugs). The priests and religious books have described husbands as only god for women to worship and serve them well for their salvation. This was irrespective of the facts that many husbands indulged in intoxicants, followed polygamy, dacoits, deceivers etc. But still they were gods for women. Worst of all a woman was religiously desired to get burnt alive with the dead body of her husband. For doing so the said reward was to live with her husband for 35 million years in heaven. The practice was outlawed by the British Raj in 1829 within British India territories with a general ban for the whole of India issued by Queen Victoria in 1861. Committing Sati by Roop Kanwar on 4th Sepember,1987 shocked India once again. The war on sati is yet not over as the Hindu scriptures glorify it as mean to salvation for women. ( for reference please see Devdasi,Sati Pratha Aur Kanya Hatya by Shitla Sahaye and Atul Krishan Vishvas,Publishers Goutan Book Centre).
Bhagati Movement saints preached the NIRGUNA Bhagti or un-attributable God realization worship. It had no place for external rituals or dogmas. Saint Namdev said “Sanp Kunj shorey Vikh Na Tiyage,Udhak Mahin Jesse Baggu Dhain Mandey”. (Satgur Namdev panna 485) .Meaning a snake can off load its skin, but not the poison and a crane pretends to be engrossed in worship but as soon as it finds a fish ,it pounces upon and swallows it. Kabir said in Kabir Sakhi Sangrah-127) “ Bambi Kutey Bamrey, Sanp Na Mara Jaye; Murakh Bambi Na Dasey sarap Sabhan Ko Kaye”. Meaning: O foolish why beat snake barrow and not snake It is snake not barrow which is poisonous. By saying so Kabir explains that it is your mind power , creator of all sinful ideas, which needs to be brought under control not the body under control of the mind by external means. Similarly a person engaged in worldly ills behaves as if a great worshiper of god but does not lose ego and continues to be hardhearted.
So all Bhagati Movement saints decried external means of God realization as prescribed in holy books and by religious high priests. External worshiping techniques has limited role to control mind. Permanent solution lies in Nirguna Bhagti way through the grace of a realized Master.
Kabir decried such external means by saying------ Ajamedh, Gomedh Yag,Ashawmedh,Narmedh
Kahey Kabir Adharam Ko Dharam Bataven Ved
( Meaning:-Slaughtering animals like goats, cows, horses and men as oblation in religious sacrifices along with religious books including Vedas preach against true religious norms , so said Kabir). ( Kabir Shabdawali page 353)
To Saints or Bhagati Movement God realized guides, described all Sarguna Bhagti or external Religious means or exercises as futile with which only limited gains. Saints approved only way to God realization was to get initiated from a realized Master or saint and then follow his method while living a family life. Saints earned their livelihood by adopting their parental professions. They disapproved the Brahminical methods of living on alms. Kabir Sahib Said, “I shall prefer to die than living on begging”.
Guru Ravidas Said, “I always keep my mind absorbed in Lord’s worship and my hands engaged to earn for livelihood”.
External Religious exercises were used as powerful tools in the hand of religious but superstitious preachers for promised salvation (MUKTI), to get into heaven (SAWARG) and to avoid hell (NARAK). This enslaved frightened and illiterate masses for fear of punishments after death to those who avoided priestly dictates. These illiterates masses worried little for their present deplorable conditions but were more worried for their promised comforts in heaven after death. This further created conditions for their enslavement through the religiouspreists.
But Bhagati saints termed all these as myth. Saint Palto(1710-1780),who was done to death by orthodox priests, proclaimed in his Kundlian:-
“Sant Na Chayen Mukat Ko,Nahi Patharath Char,
Nahi Patharath Char Mukat Santan Ki Cheri,
Rid “hi Sidhi Par Thukan,Sawarg Ki As Na Heri”
Kavan Narak Kaya Saward Vichara ,Santan Dou Radhey
Hum Kahu Ki Kann Na Kadtey,Apne Gur Parsadey
( Kabir Vani-Adi Granth Panna 969)
Meaning:- Saints neither seek salvation, nor worldly wealth’s, as salvation is under their command, they spit (discard) on miracle powers and have no desire for heaven, terming these as misconceptions.
Meaning:- Saints decry both hell (Narak )and heaven (Sawarg), as they have attained heights of salvations beyond Sawarg or Narak with the grace of their Guru .
God realized persons are called referred as Saints, Gurus, Bhagats, Sadgurus etc. To them “Guru Gobind,Gobind Guru Hai, Inmain Bhedh Naa Dujja” i.e. God and God realized Masters are one and the same with no difference”.
Saint Palto Said “Ram Ke Ghar Ke Bhich Kam Sab Sante Karte,Devta Tantees Kot Sant Se Sab Hi Dartey ”.
Meaning In the kingdom of God, everything is under the command of Saints and 330 millions deities are afraid of Saints, so these deities do not interfere in saints working.
To God realized Saints Rama, Krishana, Hari, Rahim, Allah; Khuda,God, Logas, were the different names attributed to the one supreme power. This supreme power created the universe and also looks after it. At the same time He is immortal. God is above the cycle of birth and death. Guru Nanak in Japuji sahib declares “ Ad Sach,Jugad Sach,Hai Bhi Sach,Hosi Bhi Sach”
Meaning: God Almighty only is permanent, non perishable or true ( Satya or Sach) everything else is temporary, Changing with time ( Asatya).
Kabir Said“ Sach Soyi Jo Sathir Rahiyi,Upje Vinsey Juth Hoi Jayi”. Meaning:- Sach, True or Permanent is HE, rest all is perishable. This permanent power say God, Universal Creator, created every human body frame on His image. God resides in Human frame called Ghar-dar, Mukti Ka Darwaja, Daswan Dawar, and Dasweengali which is in human body.
Dalits are a section of society regarded as untouchable by Hindus. Several influential Hindu saints were members of this caste, including Ravidas, Kabir, Namdev, Chokhamela, and Kanhopatra. The Dalit saints constituted over70% of Bhagti movement saints. Some writers believe that Bhagwan Valmik and Veda Vyasa, the poet writers of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, were also of Dalit background. Bhagti Movement Saints teaching was a direct challenge to the teaching of orthodox Hindus and Muslims alike. People from all religions were Kabir’s disciples. Kabir found Indian history as storey of slavery. Dr B.R.Ambedkar while describing the contents of Hindu scriptures said they contained only stories of kings, queens , warriors and abuses or curses to low caste peoples or shudras.
Kabir was a servant of humanity and thus a servant of Divinity. He preached what he practiced. As per one of the myths, it is said that after the death of Kabir Sahib, both and Hindus and Muslims claimed his dead body. Both wanted to perform last rites as per their religious norms. This created a problem, when a Kabir’s disciple asked to remove the shroud over the body. On removing the cover from the body only flowers were found and no dead body. Both the religious people divided the flowers remains and performed last rites as per their religious faiths viz. cremation by Hindus and burying by Muslims. When they were fighting the Spirit of Kabir appeared and said, “I was neither a Hindu nor a Muslim, I was both. To him who is free from delusion, for him both Hindus and Muslims are same. Remove the shroud of delusion and see the miracle”. Soami Shiv Dayal Ji Maharaj said in Sar Bachan “ Panni Mathey Kush Hath Na Aye, Khir Mathan Aalas Phara: Meaning :- Water churning is a futile exercise but to churn milk to get rewarded with butter is taken as difficult. Here he compares water with worldly rituals , ceremonies and churning milk with proper worship techniques for everlasting salvation.
Since in a majority cases not much was written down about the lives of the saints, by saints themselves or their educated devotees. Saints never wanted anything in their glorification and there was wide spread illiteracy among their devotees. Many things about their life events are carried orally through ages. So confusions and contradictions mixed up later about their parenthoods, places of birth, family details, religion or castes, dates associated with their life facts including births and deaths. Later writers collected different clues from different sources forming their own views, at times varying with one another. In case of Dalit saints this version had more relevancies. After long discussions and comparison of different research works by different scholars, some facts were churned out to be most acceptable by subject experts. The largely accepted facts about the life of Sadguru Kabir are given here. Whereas differences in different writers still persists. The specific purpose of the write up is to throw light in brief on the teachings of Kabir Sahib, than to enter into controversial facts.
Kabir ,( from Arabic al-Kabīr ) which means "The Great ,the Supreme, one of the 99 names of Allah. Many Muslim Ullmans have described Kabir Ji as MUHAVIZ meaning a mystic personally, which cannot be easily understood. Whatever a Muhaviz does it is only for seeking divine grace. As per Sahitya Ka Itehas by Ramchander Shukal in Hindi, Kabir is said to have born of a Brahmin virgin, who abandoned the child on a lotus in Lahartale in Banars, now Varanasi. The child was found and adopted by a childless Muslim couple revered Shri Neema and Pujya Mata Shrimati Neera. Shri Neema and Mata Shrimati Neera were weavers by profession. Birth of Sadguru Kabir from Brahmin mother, Guru Ravidas himself as Brahmin in his previous birth and such other saying seem to have been associated will fully with Brahmin caste, to keep supremacy of Brahmins . But the modern authors point suspicious finger on such theories.
As per legend Kabir is said to have born in 1398 and passed away in 1518. He became disciple of Ramanand (1366-1467) in 1455.So Kabir was younger to Saint Namdev by 128 years, who had passed away 48 years before Kabir was born. Kabir was 16 years elder to Guru Ravidass and 71 years to Baba Nanak. These three legends of Bhagati movement had common life span of about five decades.
Guru Ravidas has said that Kabir’s parents were Muslim, who celebrated Idd and Bakridd by slaughtering animals like cows. His parents also prayed before Peers, Faquirs and Mulvies for worldly blessings. Kabir’s father lived within Shariyat ( Muslim Law) norms But Kabir their son by dint of his high spirituality dyed mind and living principles attained reverence heights and fame in three worlds ( Bhu Mandal, Akash and Patal), i.e. the earth antipodes’ , celestial sphere, infernal or hell.
Jaa Ke Idd Baker Idd Kul Gau Re Vadh Karheye,
Ja Kei Bap Vessi Kari Poot Asi Sari
Manhiye Seikh Sahid Perra
Tihun Re Lok Parsidh Kabira
( Adi Granth Sahib Panna 1293)
Kabir’s deciple and spiritual heir Dharamdas said,”Mai Turkani,Bapp Julaha, Beta Bhagat Bhaiy “.
Meaning:- Kabir’s mother was Muslim his fater was weaver( Julaha), but their son became worshiper of universal Creator.
Kabir himself has said about his caste
Hindu Kahun To Main Nahin, Musalman bhi Nahin
Panch Tatav Ka Putla,Gabhi Kheley Mahin
(Kabir Sakhi Page 75)
Meaning:- I am neither Hindu nor Muslim. My body is made of five perishable material ( Earth, water, air, fire and ether) , where in my invisible Soul with Almighty as it source resides.
Kabir was a weaver by caste as mentioned in many slokas by saints including Kabir Ji himself
“Oshi Mat Meri Jat Julaha,Har Ka Nam Liyo Main Laha”.( AG524) My caste is lowest Jolaha ( Weaver). But I have got benefitted by worshiping Hari ( God Almighty)
Guru Amardas, 3rd Sikh Guru said “ Nama Shinbaa Kabir Julaha,Pure Gur Te Mat Pai”.( AG Panna 830) Meaning Namdev was tailor and Kabir Ji weaver. But both despite their low caste attained spiritual heights by their Guru’s grace.
said in (AG-Panna 656).
Maharashtra Sain Tukaram said, “ The Momin Kabir”. Or Kabir was Muslim.
Kabir is said to be married with Mai Loi and the couple had one son Kamala and a daughter named Kamali. Kabir earned his livelihood from profession of weaving. Although Kabir was a highly realized Nam dyed personality, even then his opponents called him Nirgura meaning not having a religious, spiritual Master, which as per Sant Mat is a must for every sadak or Saint. So he approached Ramanand (1366-1467) for seeking his blessing. But Ramanand belonged to Sri Sampardai ,who observe strict Caste system . Ramanand Ji would never accept a Shudra or Muslim as his disciple. So Kabir Ji lied on the steps leading to Ganga Ghat, where Ramanand used to go for bathing daily before sun rise. While coming down on steps he struck Kabir and Said “Ram Ke Parare Kaho Ram Ram “.O, Ram’s creation say Ram Ram. This way it is said Kabir Ji became disciple of Ramanand. This was confirmed by Ramanand later. Earlier Kabir and Ramanand had worshiping norms poles apart; even then Kabir respected Ramanand as his Master. Later Ramanand also adopted Sant Marg or NirgunBhagti Marg and one of his poems is contained in Sri Guru Granth Sahib ( Adi Granth Panna 1195)
( Kat Jayeyo Re ghar Lago Rang, Mera Chit Na Chaley Man Bhayo Pang---)
Meaning why go elsewhere and adopt external means of God realization, when He resides in one’s body. With this worship his ( Ramanand’s) mind had been lamed and tamed, so had come under his control. On surrendering to Guru’s will, his chian of birth and death has been cut. His delusions and confusions are removed. He have understood the secret that God is omnipresent and Guru‘s shabad eradicates curse of million karmas. This qualifies that Ramanand adopted Nirguna Bhagati too and accepted the path Kabir preached. But Kabir explains about his Guru or master as Vivek (intellect) He said(AG-793), “Sant Ko Mat Koi Nidyho,Sant Ram Hain Eko. Kaho Kabir So Main Gur Paya Ja Ka Nam Viveko”.
Meaning;- Kabir proclaims on the basis of his intellect the Sant ( saint) and God Almighty are one and the same.
Now it is settled by many authors that Kabir undertook long journeys to places in Punjab, Utter Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and some other places. During theses visits he is said to have met many other Bhagti Saints including Guru Nanak. Kabir had many spiritual disciples.
Although Kabir did not get formal education but he was brilliant and laborious from childhood. He has inclination towards Bhagati or worship even in his young days. Kabir vani is full of compassion, respect for different religions but opposed to irreligious customs, dogmas, superstitious principles devised to keep illiterate masses under the control of Pundits and Moulvies. All unnecessary acts not falling in line with Nirguna Bhagati were decried with convincing examples and explanations. Kabir Vani contained words from many languages which show he had association with many learned persons and had travelled widely. Kabir himself confesses in one of his Padha( Couplet)
Mas-Kagaj Shuyo Nahi,Kalam Gahi Nahi Hath. Meaning:- I have not touched ever ink and paper., the medium of writing.
But Kabir have vividly described the true state of our society ( Samaj ) .Whatever he preached, he testified its validity by getting practical practices
. Kabir said “ Tou Kahta Kagaj Ki Lekhi, Main Kahta Ankhan Dekhi”. Meaning worldly philosophers say what they have read from books but Kabir says out of his practical knowledge.
Renowned authors Karine and W.H.McLeod in their book” The Saints” published by Motilal Banarsidass has give following details of Kabir’s works in a easy by Linda Hess.
1. Guru Granth Sahib 226( Padas) distributed in 16 Ragas. With 237 or 239 Salokas. But V.K.Sethi of RSSB in his Kabir the weaver of God’s name, mentions them as 228 peoms and 243 salokas)
2. Panchvani 810 Sakhis in 59 sections or angas with 384 pads.
3. Kabir Bijak has 84 Ramainis,115 Sabadas,353 sakhies, 34 miscellaneous
4.Kabir Granthavali has 403 poems,810 couplets and 7 Ramanies( Edited bySham Sunder Das).
Some of the salokas,padahs given in different books have resemblances as well
It is said Kabir used to sing these in his satsangs (spiritual discourses). Dalit saints of Bhagati movement have addressed God Almighty by names like Ram, Hari, Gobind, Guru, and associated names of Krishana, Vishno etc. repeated a number of times. Sri Guru granth Sahib addressed the Almighty God as Ram 2533 times, Krishana( 22) Mohan( 60) Murari(179).Where as in Kabir vani contained in Adi Granth these salutations (Ram—112, Krishana with associated name—33, vishno -18 Guru 35 times) and in Kabir Panchvani (Ram-220-Krishan—71 ,Vishno—13, Guru 35 ) and in Kabir Bichak ( Ram—49 times, vishno-2 ,Guru 7 times). This created an illusion in some minds that these Bhagti Movement saints also worshiped Ayudhiya king Dashrath ‘s son Ram, whose wife Sita was stolen by Lanka king Ravana, Vasudeva and Devki’s son , Arjuna’s charioteer Krishana, goddess Laxmi’s spouse Vishno etc. But it was not so, their Ram was not Vishnu Avatar, who killed Dalit Sambuka Rishi to earn praises from Brahmana gods and goddesses. Ram to them was the spiritual power which is universal Creator.
Guru Ravidas has said “ Ravidas Hamare Ram Ji Dashrath Kar Sut Nahi”. Or Ravidas’s Ram is not Ayudhaya King Dashrath ‘s son, but the One which prevails in every universal creation.
Guru Namdev has said” Raja Ram Japat Ko Na Tariyo “. Or nobody got salvation by worshiping King Ram.
Kabir Said” Ram Bhara Ki Ramhi Jaya “ or Is Raja Ram greater or One, who has given birth even to Raja Ram.
Kabir Ji specified four Rams, not one.
“ Ek Ram Dashrath Ka Beta,Ek Ram Ghat Ghat Main Leta,Ek Ram Ka Sagal Pasara,Ek Ram En Sab Se Niyara”. Meaning:-
One Ram was King Dashrath’s Son, One Ram is Mann( mind power) residing in all humans who commands human sensual power currants, One Ram is Kal ( Dharam Raj) the mythological administrator,who mages Triloki affairs and one Ram is above all other three. Kabir worships the last one which is aloof from others..
Pointing that he worships Nirgun power, Kabir Ji said “ Kabir Ke Sawami Esey Thakur, Ja Ke Mai Na Bap Re” Meaning:- Kabir’s worshiping Lord has no mother or father i.e. He is beyond birth and death circle and He is Immortal. Guru Granth Sahib also proclaims “Varn,Jat,Chihn Na Koi,Sab Hukme App Chaliynda” meaning The universe Creator has no colour ,caste, or mark. He is everything by Himself and everything in this universe moves under His will .
Like many other Bhkti Saints, Kabir sahib decried the external false methods of worshiping Lord, human division on the basis of castes, religions and sex.
Below is given in brief Kabir’s preaching’s for God realization along with some other saints in support of Kabir Ji
All Bhagati movement saints have decried caste system. Sain Buley Shah said
“ Amlan Uthey Hon Ge Nabere,Jat Kise Pushni Nahiyo”. Meaning:-On the day of judgement, only actions shall be accounted for not the castes.
Barrey Barayi Paye Kar,R
Saint Palto Said “ Palto Unchi Jat Ka Jan Koi Karey Anhkar,Sahib Ke Darbar Main,Kewal Bhagat Payar”. Let no body be proud of his/her caste, on the day of judgment only actions shall be evaluated.
Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji(1666-1708) Ji said “Eh Pitta Eks Ke Hum Balik”. Meaning We are all children of the only One Creator, or Vaheguru. He again said “ Manas Ki Jat Sab Eke Pahchanoyo”. Consider all human as having only one Caste.
Palto Sahib said “ Palto Unchi Jat Ka Mat Koi Karey Ahnkar,Sashib Ke Darbar Main Keawl Bhagat Payar”.
Palto Saib says let nobody should feel proud of his/her high caste, as on the day of judgment only severity of love for the Lord shall be judged or evaluated and not the superiority of one’s caste.
-“Jat Nahi Jagdish Ki, Hari-Jan Ki Kaha Hoi. Jat Pat Ke Kich Main Dub Maro Mat Koi”. ( Kabir Granthawali-359)
Meaning; If the Creator “Jagdish” has no caste, how a person can have it. Let no one get drown in the caste mud and dirt differences. So give no importance to castes.
“Alla Ek Masit Basat Hai,Avar Mulak Kis Kera, Hindu Murat Ram Nivasi,Duh Mahi Tat Na Hera”.( AG Panna 1349)
Muslim say their Alla Khuda (God) resides in Mosque and Hindu Says his God resides in an idol, then Kabir questions, who reside elsewhere. Both has great differences due to ignorance.. In the same verse Kabir said, “ Eitey Utrn Murda Sajey, Eh Sab Roop Tumhare, Kabir Pangura Ram Alla Ka, Sab Gur Peer Hamarey. Meaning:- to Kabir He resides in every leaf, everywhere with all figures as His. Kabir is son of both Alla and Ram and all His names are dear him. Kabir ji also said:-
“ Ek Bund Ek Mal Mutar, Ek Cham Aur Guda. Ek Jyoti Se Sab Hi Janmey, Ko Brahman Ko Suda”.
( Dalit Kabiya dhara Mata Prashad-page 70)
Meaning: Everyone is born out of a drop semen, all similarly excreta body wastes, posses similar skin, and anus . All are born with similar soul and Anant Jyoti, and then what differentiates persons as Brahmin and Shudra with high or low castes.
Kabir questions a Brahmin by saying “ Je Toou Brahmin,Brahmani Jaya,Aur Bat Kahe Na ayya”. If a Brahmin is superior than others, why he did not adopt different route ( body aperture) for his birth. If the process of birth and death is same for everybody where is justification to be superior and inferior, high and low? Guru Nank said
“ Nichayan Ander Nich Jat,Nichi Huh Ati Nich, Nanak Tin Ke Sath Sang, Badian Se Kaya Ris”
Meaning Nanak is with those who have lowest of low caste, and he has no relations with high caste people ( AG- Panna15)
Guru Ravi das decried this system
“ Ravidas Brahmin Matt Pujiye,Joo hovey Gunn Hinn,Pujey Charan Chandal Ke Joo Hovey Gunn Parveen”. Meaning do not worship a Brahmin devoid of virtue, instead worship feet of a Chandal ( Lowest of low in caste) if he is righteous and honest..
Murti Puja (idol Worship):-
Kabir has shown that the worship of dead stone idols was a futile exercise for salvation .He said
.“Pakhan Ghar Ke Murti Kini De Ke Shati Paun, Je Eh Murti Sachi Hai To Gharan Harey Khau”. ( AG-Panna 479)
Meaning: A sculptor from a stone piece sculptures an idol with cutting and beating with hammer and iron tools while sitting on its chest wearing shoes.If the idol has life and feels pains of hammering it should first kill and eat up the sculptor. But there is no such thing. So idol is life less stone and to worship it nothing but useless.
Kabir ji saith “ Joo Maritik Ko Chandan Charave,Us Se Kahu Kavan Phal Pave.” Meaning by making offering sandalwood paste to a lifeless body or stone ( idol),what one is going to get, as idol being dead cannot grant any boon. Hitting hard on idol worship Kabir Sahib said, “ Pathar Pooje Har Miley ,To Main Poojon Pahar, Murat Se Chakki Bhali,Pees Kaye Sansar”. Meaning If one gets access to Hari ( God) or salvation by worshiping a stone idol, he shall worship a mountain. He again jokingly takes a nip at superstitious people that a grinding stone is better to a stone idol, as it feeds people by grinding grains into flour for making bread.
Dadu Sahib Ji Said “ Dadu Duniya Bavri,Marian Pujan Utt,Jo Challey Gaye Jahano,Unse Mangen Poot”.
Meaning:- People have become made, who worship Marhi cremation places ( dead) who ask for boons of giving sons from dead persons, how can their boons ber granted by those who have left the world since long?
False Sadhus (Hermits) :-
All those who wear different colored and styled clothes but void of real worshiping techniques are not saints or Sadhus. Many of them have run away from their worldly duties and pretend as Sadhu living on alms. There may a few realized souls among them. But majority of them have left none of the worldly ills. They remain filled with filthy ego. Many get irritated on small provocations. Kabir said “ Khima Sadh Ka Khel”. Means real Sadhus observe forgiving and forgetting as nobody else can do this. ( Kabir Granthawali 122)
Again while describing qualities of a Sadh a begger with dyed clothes and Sidh (Realized soul persons) Kabir said
“Sadh Sidh Barr Antra,Jese Amm Babool, Wa ki Dari Ami Fal,Ya ki Dari Sool”.( Kabir Sakhi Sangraha Page 122)
Meaning: - Between a Sadh and a Sidh there is world of difference as in mango and acacia trees. Mango tree gives sweet mangoes but the acacia tree produce only thorns.
Kabir declared “Vey Nar Jogi Kar Janey,Khoje App Sarira. Tinko Mukti Ka Sansa Nahi Kahit Julah Kabira ( Kabir Granthawali--Page 246)
Meaning:- The Jogi ( A person absorbed in Surat-Shabad Yoga) is one who searches Lord with in his body. They should not worry for salvation as salvation is assured to such persons proclaims Kabir, the weaver. Kabir further explains that a real Sadhu is found of love and not of money. A sadu found of money or worldly pleasures is not a real Sadhu but a Thug (Cheat)
Those who wear three and half yard cloth around waists, put on thee thread holy yagyopavits, chains of beats around necks and have round brass mugs in hands, are not Saints but cheats of Banaras.
“ Gajj Sarey Tray Dhotian,Tehrey Payan Tagg,
Gallian Jinah Japmalian Lote Hath Nibagh
Ou Har Ke Sant Na Akhiye,Banaras Ke Thag”.
Kabir Ji again said” Kabir Sangat Sadh Ki Jou Ki Bhussi Khaye,Kheer Khan Haluwa Miley Sakat Sang Na Jaye”.
Meaning :- A real saint lives prefers company of spiritual minded persons in whose company he may have to eat barley bread( Cheap grain), but avoid the company of Sakat or Manmukh , who is after mind and sensual pleasures, even if such persons can provide rich food and pleasure full life comforts Guru Baba Nanak also avoided rich man Malik Bhago,s meals and instead stayed and dined with a poor carpente Bhai Lalo . On arguments why Guru Nanak refused his rich meals in the feast, Guru Nanak took dry Chappty of Bhai Lalo in one hand and rich meals of rich man in the other hand and squeezed both.Blood flew out of the meals of rich man and milk from poor carpenter’s dry bread. Baba Nanak then explained that a labourer earns his livelihood with labour but rich by deception. The meals of poor honestly earned are worth more for spiritual life. Sadguru Kabir Ji stressed a moral virtuous life for all especially with greater stress for Sadhus( Saints). Kabir ji said” Kami,Karodhi,Lalchi. En Se Bhagat Na Ho,Bhagati Karey Koi Surma,Jat,Varn ,Kull Kho”. Meaning persons with desires of lust ( sex),anger, ego and greed are unfit for worship. A few who are above these shortcomings including hue of their, castes, creads, dynasties linkage ego etc. are capable for achieving heights in the worship of Lord.
Pitirpuja (Deification of ancestors) :- hue
The innocent peoples were made to shed offering to Brahmins on the death of a person, then at monthly and yearly intervals for salvation of the departed soul. This has remained since ages a great source of income of the pundits , that is why Brahmins do not let this system die. Bhagati movement saints one and all decried it with full force. Guru Ghasidas said “I see pitarpuja as act of foolishness”.
Kabir Ji saiyth “Jivat Pittar Na Manney Kou,Muye Siradh Karahi,
Pittar Bhi Bapurey Kahu Kaya Pavhi,Kouya,Kookar Khahi”
Meaning:- During life time people do not serve their patents well but after death they perform deification for ancestors .Out of offerings ancestors also do not get anything only crows and dogs are fed on the food offering. The cash and kind offerings are taken away by pundits, befooling all by false promises of heaven for the dead.
Alms or begging:- The majority of Brahmins live on alms in one way or the other proclaiming that the Jajmans (gift giver to Brahmin for performing religious ceremonies) shall be granted heaver after death if they gave offering to Brahmins in cash and kind.. This was refuted by the Bhagati Movement saints. Guru Nanak Said
“Guru Peer Sadaye,Mangan Jaye,Ta Ke Mool Na Lagon Paye; Ghal Khaye Kush Hathon Dey,Nanak Rah Pashaney sai”.
Meaning:- Any saint or Guru living on begging, is devoid of truth, so do not accept him as guru. A person who earns his livelihood by hard and honest means and serves his guests out of his honest earning, he is exalted saint.
Kabir said “Marr Jayon,Mangoon Nahi, Apne Tan Ke Kaj, Parmarath Ke Karney, Mujey Na Away Lajj”
Meaning I shall prefer death than resorting to begging for my livelihood. But begging for community cause, I do not feel hasitant..
Kabir has also said “Guru Ko Assa Chahiye,Sish Ka Kashu Na Leh”. It is imperative for a guru not to accept anything from disciples. Kabir again explains the qualities of a Sadhu or actual realized soul as
“ Sadu Bhuka Bhav Ka, Dhann Ka Bhukha Nahi, Dhan Ka Bhukha Jo Phirey,So to Sadhu Nahi”. Meaning a sadh or God realized soul has passion for love and not money( wordly temporary gains).Any body craving for money is not Sadhu.
Guru Ghasidas also advised his disciples not to declare him superior to any commoner.
Woman:- The woman was also declared of low caste by upper caste norms. She was declared as most impure and vile Gosowami Tulsidas said in Ramchrit Manas in Aranya Kand(43) “Lust, anger, greed pride etc. constitute the most powerful army of ignorance. But among them all the fiercest and the most troublesome is that incarnation of Maya (the Lords deluding potency) called woman. Prashar Samiriti (7/20) declares that on first day menstruation period woman is Chalnadan or Out Caste on second day Brahhatyari or killer of a Brahmin and on the third day a Dhobinor or washerwoman, all lowest of low in caste hierarchy. Against this Guru Nanak said “ Je-kar Sutak Maniye,Sabtey Sutak Hoye”.(AG-572) meaning If one considers impurity, impure is every thing in our working. Since majority of our life acts are performed by women, so all these should be declared as impure. In another verse of AG-473 sahib “So Kayon Manda Akhiye,Jit Janmey Rajan”. Why call ill of woman ,who gives birth to kings the rulers ,gods, goddesses, Peers, bhagats all human. Kabir Ji Said( KSS-106)
“ Sab Ghat Mere Sayian,Sooni Sej Na Koi,Valihari Va Ghat Ki, Ya Ghat Praghat Hoi”. Meaning:-My lord is Omnipresent and there is no creation devoid of Him. But I salute the person in whom He has manifested.
Tirath Asnan (Bathing in manmade holi waters) :-
Saints decried Tirathasnan as well. It was not only wastage of time and money, but it enhances ego. External rituals were futile like repeatedly cleaning an empty pot. Kabir said’
“ Kayya Manjis Koun Gunna, Jyon Ghat Bhitar Malna. Layoki Athsath Tirath Nayi Kayorapan Tyon na Jayi”.
(Adi Granth Panna 656). Meaning that bathing, washing and cleaning of body has no spiritual use .It is like cleaning an empty earthen pot. If a bitter guard is made to wash in sixty eight holi water of designated rivers/ tanks (Tiraths for Hindus),it does not lose its bitterness. The Maan or mind cannot be controlled by external means. Saint Namdev sayth,
“Sanp Kunj shorey Vikh Na Tiyage, Udhak Mahin Jesse Baggu Dhain Mandey”. (Satgur Namdev panna 485)
As a snake can off load old skin, but not the poison and a crane pretends to be engrossed in worship but as soon as it finds a fish ,it pounces upon and swallows it. Similarly a person engaged in worldly ills behaves as if a great worshiper of god but does not lose ego and continues to be hardhearted. Kabir Ji also said( AG-484)
“ Jall Ke Manjin Je Gatt Hove, Nit,Nit Mendik Navhi, Jesey Mandik,Tesse Uhi Nar, Fir,Fir,Yuni Avahhi”. Kabir says if a man could get salvation by bathing, then the frog which lives in water it self should have been granted salvation. But it is not so. Persons those want to get salvation by bathing even in different waters shall get it as this process is devoid of it. So it is no use to go to different places, may be designated as holy water bathing sources, as it shall not help full in attaining salvation.
“ Innttar Maail Jey Tirath Navey, Tise Vakunth Na Jana, Pujeye Ram Ek Hi Deva Sacha Navan Gur Ki Seva”. Meaning: Even if a person internally impure ( full of worldly desires like ego) take bath in holy waters, he shall not get into heaven. The real worship is to contemplate on Almighty God by serving one’s master well. By serving well a master is not to offer him worldly riches or body services but to follow his spiritual teaching. Kabir also said (
Styling the hairs. (Sirr- mundane). In the name of religion some people keep long hair on heads and faces, others tonsured and still others kept a long lock in the their head crowns( Choti). But Kabir disproved it for being religious persons. Kabir Said KSS-127)“ Moond Mundaye Har Miley Sab Koi Leye Mundaye, Barr Barr Ke Mundtey Bhedh Vekunth Na Jaye”.
Meaning If one can get heaven by tonsuring his head, everybody can get it done, as it is so easy to cut hair. Kabir says it is not so, because a sheep is shaved twice annually, but it does not get in to salvation. So a person following such techniques shall also not get anything worthwhile.
Celibacy, naked wondering in forests:-
Bhagti Saints has disapproved the complete celibacy, leaving one’s home and hearth and living naked as means of salvation. These methods are however taken by pundit and Prohits as religious acts. Kabir Sahib refutes such acts as fruitless, leading no where in spiritual progress. He said in (Sant Sad Guru Kabir-324)
“ Nagan Firt je Payiaye Yog, Van Ka Mirig Mukat Sab Hog.
Moond Mudaye Je Sidhi Pai,Mukat Bherr Na Gaya Kai.
Bindu Rakh Jo Tariye Bhai,Khusere Kyon Na Param Gat Pai”.
Meaning:-If one gets salvation by remaining naked, all animals in the forest should have got it. If by getting one’s head tonsured, he gets salvation then Sheep should have got it. If celibacy observance is way to God realization, then the eunuchs should get salvation. But this is not so. As if one attains salvation, he or she vacates body frame to merge back into Lord.
in the present day Sant Kabir Nagar district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. This place is 175 Miles (280Kms) from Banars and 13 miles ( 20 Kms) from Gorakhpur. But Kabir disbelieved it and when he saw his end near, he shifted to Maghar to worship there. His Samadi (Burial Place) is at Maghar. Writer Gurnam Singh Mukatsar writes in his book( Juth Na Bool Pande Page227) Kabir Ji said On the instance of Brahmins hell ( Narak) will not be granted to those who die at Maghar as Tathagat Buddha who was torch bearer for humanity passed away at this place and now Kabir shall also die there. Both these great worldly personalities granted happiness to millions by their acts, they gave life principles, they showed path to true and practical salvation. Kabir Ji said (AG-484)
“ Manhon Kathor Marey Banaras narak Na Vanshiya Jayi,Har Ka Sant Marey Haranbey Tian Sagli Sain Tarayi”.
Meaning:- A hardhearted person devoid of love for humanity, even if dies at Banaras cannot escape punished in hell, but a saint who worship Hari ( Lord) even if he dies at Haramba i.e. Maghar, shall grant eternal peace to his chain of relations.
Kabir again said. “Bahut Varas Tap Kiya Kanshi,Marney Bhaeya Maghar Ki Vasi,Kasi Maghar Samm Vichari”. ( AG 326)
Meening:- I worshiped in Banaras for many years, but at the end I have become resident of Maghar. Because for me Banaras and Maghar are both equal. No place on earth is devoid of universal creator, the Almighty God. He is Omnipresent.
Kabir further shows his absolute faith in the Creator who is all merciful and powerful.
Sadguru Kabir ji was a great Dalit Saint. Like many other Dalit saints he challenged the superficial, man made worshiping techniques in Kashi a seat of Brahminical knowledge. He broke the religious cage to set free the innocent masses by denouncing external ways. To him continuous repetition of Holy name as given by a true saint or Master and to concentrate on the form of one’s Master can only break the circle of birth and death. This annoyed the Hindu religious Gurus ( Prohits,Pandits) so they all joined hands to Challage Kabir,but every time they got defeated by value based practical arguments.
Kabir said Pandey Koun Kumat Tohe Lagi------ ( Ram kishor Sharma KG-335 ) ,Kabir challenges the worshipping techniques by pundits by explaining ignorant Pandits are influence of stupid wisdom as they do not whole heartedly worship universe Creator ( Ram).Kabir explains that from reading of so called holy books the effect is similar as putting sandal wood load on a donkey back. This way you do not concentrate on Ram-nam and get dust full mouth as reward. One remains devoid of salvation by reciting holy Veda books as your mare reading increases ego, which does not allow you to see Creator in all human body frames and this is known to the creator, Ram. Kabir again says if you kill creator’s creation in the name of religion then what are the nonreligious ways. By killing living beings and declare yourself as Munivar ( Saint)then whom we should declare as kasai ( butcher). O,blind minded you do not follow good advices but teach other to follow what you read. You sell for money your education, reading so you waste your life time, which you got after many years good actions. Vayas, Narad explain the importance of worshiping right techniques ,if you have any doubt you may ask Sukhdev (Vayas, Narad and Sukhdev were Hindu ascetics) they all say with one voice that your false man devised worshiping methods shall make you reach nowhere. Kabir concludes that one remains in the circle of birth and death, if he does not merge back into Creator by continuous getting absorbed in Him ( Ram)
Words 8742 Er.H.R.PHONSA,Jammu
1.Sant Kabir Hindi/Punjabi( Radha Soami Satsang Beas Punjab)
2.Kabir ,The weaver of God’s Name,English(Radha Soami Satsang Beas Punjab)
3. Sar Bachan Poetry(Radha Soami Satsang Beas Punjab)
4.Juth Na Bool Pande,Punjabi ( By Gurnam Singh Mukatsar)
5. Keh Ravidas Chamar,Punjabi( By Gurnam Singh Mukatsar)
6. Kitney Aparsangitb Hain Dharam Granth,Hindi S.Rakeshnath ( Vishav Books N.Delhi)
7. Sri Ramachritamanasa( a Romanized Edition) Geet Press Gorakh Pur.
8.The Saints Edited by Karina Achomer and W.H.WcLeod( M/s Moti Lal Banarsi Das Delhi)