Showing posts with label Sants. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sants. Show all posts

Hinduism - Who Was Kabir?


 (middle of the 15th century?) A poet is considered as one of the most important religious personalities in northern India.

Kabir belonged to the Sants, a group of poet-saints from central and northern India who shared several characteristics: an emphasis on individualized, interior religion leading to a personal experience of the divine; disdain for external ritual, particularly image worship; belief in the power of the divine Name; and a tendency to ignore caste hierarchies.

Kabir was a devout follower of these ideas, and in his works, he openly criticizes any religious practice based on habit or custom, such as asceticism, unique ways of clothing, fasting (upavasa), image worship, caste, and text.

Kabir describes himself as a weaver (julaha) in his poems, and according to legend, he supported himself via this employment.

Kabir's background makes it impossible to associate him with a certain faith.

In Arabic, the name Kabir ("Great") is one of Allah's names in the Qur'an, indicating that he is a Muslim.

His poetry, on the other hand, demonstrates his extensive understanding of Hindu religious life.

The members of Kabir's julaha society were supposed to be new converts to Islam who had not yet completely integrated.

Kabir's poetry, on the other hand, plainly demonstrates that he was neither Hindu nor Muslim.

Kabir's appeal is probably due to his forthright, impassioned assertion that true religious accomplishment can only be attained via inward, individual experiences of the divine, which he refers to as Ram.

This is a word for the incomprehensible, ultimate Supreme Reality, not the god-king who is the hero of the Ramayana.

Both of these emphasizes reflect the Nathpanthi ascetics' influence, who also emphasized inward experience and yoga.

Kabir reportedly claimed in one of his songs that he had never put pen to paper since he was so engaged in the holy.

Many of his shorter epigrams have become conventional sayings, and his songs are still popular today.

Kabir's oldest attested poetry can be found in three major collections: one in the Adigranth, the Sikh scripture also known as the "Primal Book," another compiled by the Dadupanth, the religious organization founded by the Sant poet-saint Dadu, and the Bijak, compiled by the Kabirpanth, a religious community that claimed Kabir as its guru (religious preceptor).

These collections show substantial variances, indicating that they are not all from the same source.

For more information, see Charlotte Vaudeville's Kabir (1974); Linda Hess and Shukdev Singh's The Bijak of Kabir (1983); John S.

Hawley and Mark Juergensmeyer's Songs of the Saints of India (1988); Nirmal Dass' Songs of Kabir from the Adi Granth (1991); and David Lorenzen's Kabir Legends and Ananta-Das' Kabir Parachai (1991). 


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

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