He (1440–1518) is considered one of the foremost mystic poets in India. Legend says he was born to a Hindu Brahmin widow but was adopted by childless Muslim weavers named Niru and Nimma, who supposedly found him afloat a giant lotus leaf in the Lahara Tala lake, adjacent to the holy city of Varanasi.
He was influenced by Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs alike. He promulgated oneness with God, embracing the Hindu concept of jivatma (individual soul) as being directly linked to paramatma(universal or supreme soul). Kabir focused on common fundamentals of organized religion, such as love and devotion, as well as weaknesses. He delivered this message of tolerance and understanding between the faiths through his dohas (couplets) and songs. Kabir’s idea of loving God with devotion appealed to both Hindu Bhakti as well as Muslim Sufi concepts and practices.
Sharing with you a song of Kabir saab translated by Rabindranath Tagore in 1915 for SONGS OF KABÎR.
O How may I ever express that secret word?
O how can I say He is not like this, and He is like that?
If I say that He is within me, the universe is ashamed:
If I say that He is without me, it is falsehood.
He makes the inner and the outer worlds to be indivisibly one;
The conscious and the unconscious, both are His footstools.
He is neither manifest nor hidden, He is neither revealed nor unrevealed:
There are no words to tell that which He is.
So from the inspiration of the saint Kabir, I write, what I hope is a suitable tanka and a haiku.
this poet’s dumbstruck
before the infinite
humility the better robe
© G.s.k. ’14
describing the creator
© G.s.k. ’14