Kabir Das was born at a time when the land and culture of India were going through a big change. The Mughals- Islamic invaders from Mongolia had attacked and entered India. Hindus and Muslims were still figuring out a way to live with each other in harmony. Kabir Das and his words came like a breeze of fresh air in anxious India.
Kabira Khada Baazar me
Maange Sabki Khair,
Na kahu se dosti,
Na kahu se bair.
These lines of Kabir are perfect examples of what Kabir stood for. This Doha means that- all Kabir Das has ever wanted in this world, is everyone’s good. If there is no friendship, at the very least, there shouldn’t be enmity either.
Kabir Das was born in a Muslim family. He grew up in the city of Varanasi. Varanasi, as its name suggests is known as the place where your bad deeds or karma are washed away. This city is of great significance in the Hindu religion and hence it attracts a great number of Gurus and disciples. As Kabir Das grew up he learned both Islam from his family and Hinduism from society. He would often talk and learn from the saints seated around the banks of the river Ganga.
As an adult, he was well versed in the religious scriptures of both religions. But he also saw how religious people from both sides were mostly superficial. They would quote and verse religious principles but won’t stand on those principles in real life. Confused and overwhelmed by this, Kabir went to Ramananda. Ramananda was known as the most spiritually awakened teacher of that time. Ramananda made Kabir his disciple and gave him a new title of Das, which meant servant of God. This is how Kabir Das got his name.
Learning under Ramananda, Kabir Das began understanding the true nature of spirituality. He started believing in humanity as a religion. Through a lot of his poems, his message was crystal clear- God resides in all humans.
His teachings were so pure and unbiased that Hindus started calling him a saint and Muslims started calling him a Sufi. Years later, the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev, also found inspiration from his works.
Poets, saints, and Sufi of all religions began referring to Kabir and his works. He became a pillar of undiluted truth for religions across.
He has a very famous illustrative story to explain the concept of God. He compares God with underground water and religions with different villages. Although every village claims that the water from their well tastes best, the truth is that they all have the same source.
He is one of the rare poets who, even though ages-old, is still relevant. His Doha is still used as a reference to people and situations. His spiritual prowess is such that the name Kabir is found in almost all the religious communities of India.
None of the religions try to claim Kabir and simply learn from his words of wisdom.
His teachings are evergreen and ever-useful. His thoughts on the basic nature of human behaviour have passed the test of time and remained true. And in this ever-changing world, we still need our own pillar of truth, we need Kabir.