Six hundred and twenty-one years ago Satguru Kabir came into the world to enlighten people to the Divinity that is their inner Self. He urged people to seek this Truth, and live in spiritual freedom. Purity of life, a guru and meditation are helpful in reaching the goal.
Satguru Kabir was found as a baby among lotus flowers at Lahartara lake near Varanasi. He was raised by a young Muslim couple who were weavers known as Julaha. In childhood he became the disciple of the famous Hindu saint Swami Ramanand. He said the he did not touch ink, paper and pen, but gave his teachings verbally. He wove cloth for a living, and while weaving, he mentally composed and sang his bhajans (shabdas) and sakhis (dohas). His disciples wrote these down. His bhajans and sakhis are very popular, and are sung by Indian people in all parts of the world.
The life and teachings of a Satguru Kabir (Eternal Teacher) serve as a lighted path through the tangled complexities of our material life. They breathe into us the life sustaining principles of spiritual life that alone can bestow upon us an understanding of what it means to live in spiritual freedom. This freedom is not to do as we please, but freedom from passions, illusion, negativity, ego and ignorance of the Divine Self. He taught people to be free of egoism, and all negative passions and to do devotion to God. He shows us the serenity and bliss that await us once we know our Self that is Divine. He taught the uselessness of religious practices if we do not put our heart into them, but observe them superficially. His intent was to make us think of our spiritual state, and to show us the straight and enlightened path to God.
Satguru Kabir was hailed as the Father of Hindi poetry, and as the greatest exponent of Nirgun Bhakti (devotion to God who is formless and beyond attributes). He was the first to introduce Sant Mat (company of saintly people) and the first to teach the concept of Sahaj Yoga to attain Sahaj Samadhi (realization of natural unity with God). He synthesized the various branches of Yoga into a single process of living to attain the highest spiritual knowledge. His life and teachings give ample testimony to them, and research has validated them. He was always attuned to God, and gave his mystical teachings from that vantage point. Many people are familiar with the refrain: “kahat kabir suno bhai sadho” (Kabir is speaking: O brother sadhus! Please listen). This was his poetic stamp of instruction to the people. And he did not make use of any existent scripture, but taught from his inner knowledge. He did not isolate himself from humanity, but taught publicly for the benefit of all people: kabir khada bazar mein, sab ko chahe kheir; na kahu se dosti, na kahu se beir (Kabir is standing in the marketplace and wishes the welfare of all impartially. He is neither a friend nor an enemy to anyone).
The scholar Charlotte Vaudeville stated: “Kabir is one of the best-known and most revered names in Indian tradition. From the Panjab to Bengal and from the Himalayan frontiers to South India, he has long been hailed by Hindus and Muslims alike as a great mystic and bold religious reformer….In Indian religious history, Kabir is unique: to the Hindus, he is a Vaishnava bhakta, to the Muslims a pir, to the Sikhs a bhagat, to the sectarian Kabir-panthis an avatar of the Supreme Being; to modern patriots, Kabir is the champion of Hindu-Muslim unity, to neo-vedantins a promoter of the Universal Religion or the Religion of Man…”
Here are a couple of his sakhis:
awwal allah nur upaya, kudrat ke sab bande; ek nur te sab jag upajaya, kown bhale ko mande
(The Divine Light has produced all of us, and we are all his devotees; that Light produced the whole world. Who then is good and who is bad?)
sab ghat mere saiyiya, suni sej na koi; balihari ghat tasu ki, ja ghat pargat hoi
(The Master dwells in every heart, and none is devoid of Him. It is the great fortune of the one who manifests Him in his heart).
On the occasion of Satguru Kabir’s Jayanti (birth anniversary) it will be good for us to reflect on his teachings and to try to inculcate them into our daily life. The benefit will be ours. Our spiritual life will be more meaningful and enriched.
The devotees of Satguru Kabir will celebrate this Jayanti on Saturday June 15th
You can read more about Satguru Kabir in his web page: www.kabir.ca