In News: President of India inaugurated the Sant Kabir Academy and Research Centre Swadesh Darshan Yojana and paid tribute to the Bhakti saint, Kabir at Maghar (Uttar Pradesh)
- According to legends, Kabir is said to have departed from the mortal world in Maghar.
Sant Kabir Das
- Sant Kabir Das was born in the city of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. He was a 15th century mystic poet, saint and social reformer and a proponent of the Bhakti Movement.
- Teacher: His early life was in a Muslim family, but he was strongly influenced by his teacher, the Hindu bhakti leader Ramananda.
- He belonged to Nirguni tradition, in this tradition, God was understood to be a universal and formless being.
- Kabir’s compositions can be classified into three literary forms – dohas (short two liners), ramanas (rhymed 4 liners), sung compositions of varying length, known as padas (verses) and sabdas (words).
- Kabir Das’ writings had a great influence on the Bhakti movement and includes titles like Kabir Granthawali, Anurag Sagar, Bijak, and Sakhi Granth.
- His verses are found in Sikhism’s scripture Guru Granth Sahib.
- The major part of his work was collected by the fifth Sikh guru, Guru Arjan Dev.
- He was best known for his two-line couplets, known as ‘Kabir Ke Dohe’.
- Language: Kabir’s works were written in the Hindi language which was easy to comprehend. He used to write in couplets to enlighten people.
Kabir’s critique of religion and caste:
- Kabir synthesized Islam and Hinduism
- While he did borrow elements from different traditions, he proclaimed his independence from them
- He did not only target the rituals and practices of both Hinduism and Islam, but also dismissed the sacred authority of their religious books
- Instead of God being an external entity that resided in temples or mosques, Kabir argued that God existed inside everyone.
- Kabir’s revolt against the caste system also sought to do away with the complex rituals and ceremonies performed by the Brahmins.
- He argued that it was only through bhakti, intense love or devotion to God could one attain salvation.
- He sought to eradicate caste distinctions and attempted to create an egalitarian society, by stressing the notion that a Bhakt (devotee) was neither a Brahmin nor an ‘untouchable’ but just a Bhakt.
- Kabir’s legacy is still going on through a sect known as Panth of Kabir, a religious community that considers him as the founder.
- A sect in northern and central India, many of their members are from the Dalit community
- Today, the sect exists as a large and distinct community, with various sects under different spiritual leaders.
- However, all regard Kabir as their guru and treat the Bijak as their holy scripture. The Bijak contains works attributed to Kabir
Previous Year Questions
Q.1) With reference to the cultural history of India, consider the following statements: (2018)
- Most of the Tyagaraja Kritis are devotional songs in praise of Lord Krishna.
- Tyagaraja created several new ragas.
- Annamacharya and Tyagaraja are contemporaries.
- Annamacharya kirtans are devotional songs in praise of Lord Venkateshwara.
Which of the statement is given above is/are correct?
- 1 and 3 only
- 2 and 4 only
- 1, 2 and 3
- 2, 3 and 4
Source: Indian Express