Early Life of Kabir
- Kabir was a poet and a sant of India, whose writings have influenced the Bhakti movement & is still making influencing by way of ‘Kabir ke Dohe’ or ‘Sant Kabir ke Dohe’
- The year of Kabir’s birth is still uncertain as some historians favour 1398 as the period Kabir was born, while others favour 1440 as his birth year
- According to one traditional version of his growing up, Kabir was born to a Brahmin widow (today Varanasi). The widow abandoned Kabir to escape dishonour associated with births outside marriage.
- He was brought up in poor family Muslim weavers Niru and Nima. Vaishnava saint Swami Ramananda accepted Kabir as his disciple. When Swami Ramananda died, Kabir was really young and was just 13 years old.
Works of Kabir
- The messages in Kabir’s works appealed to the poor and oppressed. Famous scholars and researchers describe primary purpose of his works as a “protest against social discrimination and economic exploitation of oppressed”. He opened the eyes of people and taught them a strong lessens of humanity, morality and spirituality.
- He was a strict follower and promoter of the ahimsa.
- Kabir too often refers to Rama as his lord. Kabir calls his God by the name of Rama. However, his Rama is not the Rama of Ayodhya born of Dashratha. His Rama is Niranjan (without hint of bad qualities), Nirakar (formless) and Nyara (extraordinary).
Death of Kabir
- As his birth was unclear so was his death, Some historians who believed he lived from 1398-1448 while others believed he lived in the period of 1440-1518
- Kabir’s influence was so great that, similar to how different communities argued to cremate the Buddha upon his death, after Kabir died both the Hindus and Muslims argued to cremate his body in Varanasi or in Maghahar them according to what their tradition demands.
Some Famous ‘Kabir ke Dohe’ along with Meanings
“गुरु गोविंद दोनों खड़े, काके लागूं पाँय । बलिहारी गुरु आपनो, गोविंद दियो मिलाय ॥
It means teacher and lord both are standing in front of me, of whom should I touch the feet first? But my teacher/guru is the one who told me God is the Greatest.
बुरा जो देखन मैं चला, बुरा न मिलिया कोय । जो दिल खोजा आपना, मुझसे बुरा न कोय।।
If one starts to find someone as bad, he or she will not find any but when they start to look inside themselves. They’ll realize that their inner self is bad and no one else is.
चिंता ऐसी डाकिनी, काट कलेजा खाए | वैद बेचारा क्या करे, कहा तक दवा लगाए ||
It states the condition of every human being, Worry is such a thief that it eats one’s heart; what can a doctor do? How far will his medicine reach?
दुख: में सुमिरन सब करे, सुख में करे न कोई । जो सुख में सुमिरन करे, तो दुःख काहे को होय ॥
Everyone remembers God, prays to him and chants hymns to him in bad times but no one remembers him in good times. But, if you’ll remember him and pray to him in good times as well, you’ll never ever face bad times in your life.
General Knowledge Questions Related to KABIR
Q1. Where was Kabir Born?
A- Kabir was born in Varanasi, Jaunpur, India to a Brahmin widow who later abandoned Kabir to escape dishonour associated with births outside marriage.
Q2. Who were the parents of Saint Kabir?
A- He was brought up in poor Muslim family weavers Niru and Nima.
Q3. Who was Kabir’s Guru?
A- Kabir became the first disciple of Vaishnava Saint Swami Ramananda. When Swami Ramananda died, Kabir was young and just 13 years old.
Q4. What does the name Kabir mean?
A- Kabir is a common boy’s name which comes from the Arabic Al-Kabir which means ‘The Great’ and it is the 37th name of God in Islam.
Q5. What was Kabir’s Religion?
A- Brahmin widow to whom kabir was born abandoned him, who was found and adopted by a Muslim weaver. Thus his early life began as a Muslim as there is little doubt to that, but he was later strongly influenced by a Hindu ascetic, Ramananda who was Kabir’s guru.
Q6. Where did Saint Kabir die?
A- Saint Kabir died in Maghar which is a town and a nagar panchayat in Sant Kabir Nagar district in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India.
Q7. What is the full name or other names of Kabir?
A- Kabir is also known as Kabir Das and Kabira to many of his followers.
Q8. What did Kabir Preach?
A- He was well known as the guiding spirit of the Bhakti Movement. He preached Bhakti/Devotion through the medium of his Dohas. The primary purpose of his works as a protest against social discrimination and economic exploitation of oppressed.
Q9. Did Kabir follow Rama of Ayodhaya?
A- Kabir calls his God by the name of Rama. However, his Rama is not the Rama of Ayodhaya born of Dashratha. His Rama is Niranjan (without hint of bad qualities), Nirakar (formless) and Nyara (extraordinary).
Q10. Was Kabir married?
A- Most scholars conclude from historical literature and findings that Kabir was likely married, his wife probably was named Dhania, and they had at least one son named Kamal and a daughter named Kamali.