“Where are you searching for me, my friend ? I am with you. Not in temple, nor in mosque, not in Kaaba, nor in Kailash, but here right with you am I “.
KABIR DAS(Kabir-Arabic for “GREAT”, Das-Sanskrit for “SERVANT”) 1398A.D. to 1448A.D.(or 1440A.D. to 1518 A.D.)
Saint Kabir lived in Benaras(Kasi, Varanasi), India during 15th century. His contributions to the BHAKTI and the SUFI movements in India are well known. Some of his poetry was incorporated into the ‘Guru Granth Sahib'(Adi Granth), the sacred book of Sikhs. In this holy book, Kabir’s hymns appear at the head of ‘BHAGAT BANI’. Kabir pointed to the inward life of the mind as the source of contact with the Divine. Kabir grew up as a Muslim and his family was poor and he belonged to a community whose traditional occupation was that of weavers.
THE LEGEND ABOUT KABIR’S DEPARTURE
Kabir’s life, his birth and death, is shrouded in mystery and legend. One popular legend about Kabir’s death claims that after his death, his Muslim and Hindu disciples were fighting about the type of funeral rites as the Muslims believe in burial and the Hindus believe in cremation of dead bodies. When they had finally opened Kabir’s coffin and pushed the cloth that was used to cover the dead body, they were astonished to find that the body was missing. In lieu of the body, they found flower petals and an empty book. His disciples entered Kabir’s sayings in that book.
Humans, who had arrived on this planet earth, are certain to depart as well. The King would be gone after having climbed the throne. The Slave would be gone after having lived in shackles. The Fakir who had no worldly possessions or attachments also would be gone when his time to depart arrives. Kabir may have departed and as per the legend, his dead body had mysteriously disappeared but we still have his ideas and thoughts to inspire us.
HOW AND WHEN MAN HAD ARRIVED ? :
It is very interesting to note that Indian thinkers could be certain about man’s departure. It would be much more interesting to reflect upon as to how man had arrived here in the first place. If we understand as to when and how man had arrived on planet Earth, we could be more certain about man’s status in nature. Each human being arrives as a new object, one of its own kind, original, unique, and distinctive. The genome of each man who has arrived here has not existed before, and would not exist again after the departure of that man. If arrived, man has no choice other than that of existing as an Individual with Individuality. If there is no escape from death; there is also no escape from the fact of existing as an Individual while living. Man has to define the term life, and death and explain the basis for his existence as an Individual with Individuality while he cannot rule or govern even a single individual living cell in his body which comprises of over 100 trillion cells.
’50 Glorious Years of Popular Bhajans’, music cassette volume 1 to 5( SPHD 853212 to 853216) released by HMV( The Gramophone Company of India Ltd) in 1997 includes some of Kabir’s great lyrics and it would be a pleasure to listen to them.
Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,
Danavaipeta Municipal/Corporation High School, Rajahmundry, East Godavari District, A.P,, India,
S.S.L.C., CLASS OF APRIL, 1961.
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