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BHAGAT KABIR JI


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includes pics of birthplace of Bhagat Kabir Ji:

http://members.lycos.co.uk/mrmal13/saints/

http://www.sarbloh.info/htmls/kabir.html

Kabir

Kabir (1440 - 1518) was an Indian Mystic who preached an ideal of seeing all of humanity as one. He was known to be a weaver and later became famed for scorning religious affiliation, seen as a threat to both Muslim and Hindu elite. His monist philosophies and ideas of loving devotion to God are expressed in metaphor and language from both the Hindu Vedanta and Bhakti streams and Muslim Sufi ideals.

His Work and Philosophies

His greatest work is the Bijak, or Seedling, an idea of the fundamental one. This collection of poems demonstrates Kabir's own universal view of spirituality. His vocabulary is constantly full of ideas regarding Brahman and Hindu ideas of karma and reincarnation, and yet he also espouses ideas that are clearly Sufi as well as Hindu Bhakti understandings of God. His Hindi was a very vernacular, straightforward kind, much like his philosophies. He often advocated leaving aside the Quran and Vedas and to simply follow Sahaj path, or the Simple/Natural Way to oneness in God. He believed in the Vedantic concepts of atman and yet spurned the orthodox Hindu societal caste system and worship of statues, thus showing clear belief in both bhakti and sufi ideas.

While many ideas reign as to who his living influences were, the only Guru of whom he ever spoke was Ramananda, a Vaishnav saint whom Kabir claimed to have taken initiation from in the form of the "Rama" mantra.

Was Kabir Hindu or Muslim?

It is a fruitless endeavor, indeed one that Kabir himself disliked, to classify him as Hindu or Muslim, Sufi or Bhakta. The legends surrounding his lifetime attest to his strong aversion to communalism.

His birth and death are surrounded by legends. He grew up in a Muslim weaver family, but some say he was really son of a Brahmin widow who was adopted by a childless couple. When he died, his Hindu and Muslim followers started fighting about the last rites. The legend is that when they lifted the cloth covering his body, they found flowers instead. The Muslim followers buried their half and the Hindu cremated their half. In Maghar, his tomb and samadhi still stand side by side. [1]

Another legend surrounding Kabir is that shortly before death he bathed in both Ganga and Karmnasha to wash away both his good deeds and his sins.

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