Sant Kabir Das was one among the foremost influential saints. He was a 15th-century Indian mystic poet, whose writings influenced the Bhakti movement.
This article will provide relevant information on Sant Kabir Das for candidates preparing for the IAS exam as recently there was news related to Sant Kabir Das.
Sant Kabir Das related context in news –
Sant Kabir Das Jayanti was observed on June 24th 2021 to mark the 644th birth anniversary of Kabir Das.
- Kabirdas Jayanti also referred to as Kabir Prakat Divas is celebrated once a year on the full moon day (Jyeshtha Purnima tithi) in the Hindu month Jyeshtha as per the Hindu lunar calendar. Candidates can check out the Calendars in India on the linked page.
Candidates preparing for upcoming UPSC Prelims must know that the facts on Sant Kabir Das hold relevance under the Art and Culture section of the civil services exam’s syllabus.
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Sant Kabir Das – Overview
About Kabir Das-
- Sant Kabir Das was born in the city of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. He was brought up by a Muslim couple who were weavers by profession.
- He was a renowned saint, poet and social reformer of India who lived during the 15th century. His esteemed works and poems describe the greatness and oneness of the Supreme Being.
- Sant Kabir Das was a proponent of Bhakti Movement.
- The legacy of Kabir Das still remains through a sect referred to as Panth of Kabir, a spiritual community that considers him as the founder. Kabir Panth is not a separate religion, but a spiritual philosophy.
- In his poems, Kabir calls himself a julaha and kori. Both mean weaver, belonging to a lower caste. He did not associate himself completely with either Hindus or Muslims.
Check out the List of Bhakti Movement Saints on the linked page.
Education of Sant Kabir Das-
- Kabir did not undertake any formal education. He was not even trained as a weaver. While his poems abound with weaving metaphors, his heart was not fully into this profession. He was on a spiritual journey to seek the truth, which is clearly manifested in his poetry.
Kabir Das was a Follower of –
- Sant Kabir Das’ early life was in a Muslim family. He was brought up by a family of Muslim julahas or weavers, but he was strongly influenced by Vaishnava Saint Swami Ramananda (his teacher), the Hindu bhakti leader.
Sant Kabir Das Literature –
- Sant Kabir Das was a highly acclaimed poet of his time.
- His writings significantly influenced the Bhakti movement.
- Some of his famous writings include ‘Sakhi Granth’, ‘Anurag Sagar’, ‘Bijak’ and ‘Kabir Granthawali’.
- His great writing, Bijak, has a huge collection of poems.
- The writings of Kabir Das were mainly based on the concept of reincarnation and karma.
- After being an illiterate he had written his poems in Hindi mixing with Avadhi, Braj, and Bhojpuri. The poems are called variously as ‘Dohe’, ‘Saloka’ and ‘Sakhi’.
- Sant Kabir Das was best known for his two-line couplets, referred to as ‘Kabir Ke Dohe‘.
- The major part of his work was collected by the fifth Sikh guru, Guru Arjan Dev.
- The verses of Kabir Das are found in Sikhism’s scripture Guru Granth Sahib.
Language of Kabir Das-
- Kabir’s works were mainly written in the Hindi language.
- In the 15th century, when Persian and Sanskrit were predominant North Indian languages, he chose to write in colloquial, regional language.
- His poetry is a mixture of Hindi, Khari Boli, Punjabi, Bhojpuri, Urdu, Persian and Marwari.
- During the last moments of his life, Sant Kabir Das had gone to the city of Maghar (Uttar Pradesh).
- After his death, there arose a conflict between Hindus who wanted to cremate his body and Muslims who wanted to bury it. In a moment of miracle, flowers appeared beneath his shroud, half of which were cremated at Kashi and half buried at Maghar.
- Certainly, Sant Kabir Das died in Maghar where his grave is located.
Recently, the Uttar Pradesh Tourism department has initiated to promote Maghar (place in Uttar Pradesh) as a tourist destination where Hindus have built a temple in memory of Kabir, while Muslims have constructed a mausoleum in his memory.
Aspirants can go through the information on relevant topics provided below for comprehensive preparation-
Contribution of Sant Kabir Das to Bhakti Movement
Sant Kabir Das got fame all over the world because of his influential traditions and culture. He was prejudiced by the existing religious mood of that time like Hinduism, Tantrism as well as personal devotionalism.
- Kabir Das tried to coordinate the religions by giving a universal path which could be followed by all human beings.
- According to him, every life has a relationship with two spiritual principles (Jivatma and Paramatma). His view about the moksha is that it is the process of uniting these two divine principles.
- He simply followed the oneness of God. In the Dabistan of Mohsin Fani and Ain-i-Akbari of Abul Fazl, he is mentioned as a ‘Muwahid’ (Believer in one God).
- He always opposed the idea of worshipping the idols and showed clear confidence in Bhakti and Sufi ideas.
- He composed poems in a concise and simple style, resonating the admiration for the factual guru.
- He tried to interpret the meaning of the true religion of human beings that one should follow. This has helped the common people to understand his message very easily.
- He was against the caste system imposed by the Hindu community. Not just caste, Kabir also criticised the rites, rituals and customs which he thought were futile.
- From Khajinat al-Asafiya, we find that a Sufi Pir, Shaikh Taqqi was also the teacher of Kabir. Sufi-influence is also quite apparent in Kabir’s teaching and philosophy.
Candidates can also read about the Important Foreign Envoys Who Visited Ancient India on the linked page.
Some related links to prepare for the Art and Culture section of Civil services Exam even better
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|Prehistoric Rock Paintings||Hindustani Classical Music|
|Musical Instruments – Avanaddha Vadya||Gandhara School Of Art|
Get the detailed UPSC Syllabus for the prelims and mains examination and start your Civil Services Exam preparation accordingly.