Kabir Das was a Hindi mystic poet of the 15th century. He is well known for his critical view on idol worship and the caste system. He faced stiff opposition from both Hindu and Muslim religious gurus. I have given below three essays of different word lengths on Kabir Das for my readers.
Short and Long Essay on Sant Kabir Das
Essay 1 (250 Words) - Philosophy of Kabir Das
Kabir, also known as Sant Kabir Das, was a Hindi mystic poet who lived during the 15th century. He was a sharp critic of Hindu and Muslim religious customs and preached brotherhood and wisdom of character and conduct.
Against Caste System and Idol Worship
Kabir Das wrote small poems called 'Dohas' in either Sanskrit or simple Hindi. Though these dohas, he condemned the caste system and other discrepancies that existed in the society. He was also opposed to untouchability and animal sacrifice or meat-eating, for that matter. He opposed all this through his impressive poetic skills as a poet would do.
Kabir was also of the view that idol worship is a useless practice ordained by people. In fact, he was of the opinion that it would be much useful to contemplate one’s conduct and character than to visit temples and worship idols.
He was also the first poet in the history of the Indian subcontinent who outrightly rejected the caste system as prescribed in Vedas.
He was also critical of daily morning Azan conducted in mosques. He had wisely asked Muslim clerics that – Does giving Azan loudly lets Allah to hear the cry? Due to his opposition to rudimentary religious customs, Kabir had faced severe threats and opposition from staunch religious men.
Despite stiff opposition for his critical approach towards religious practices and societal norms, Kabir kept up his good work, courageously. Though he was threatened many times, but these didn’t deter him from spreading the truth about society and making the people practically wiser.
Essay 2 (400 Words) - Teachings of Sant Kabir Das
Sant Kabir Das was a Hindi poet born in India during the 15th century. He is well recognized for his ideology against the oppression, exploitation of the poor, and also the discrepancy that exists in the society. He expressed his dislikes of rudimentary and orthodox religious customs, through poems and dohas.
Teachings of Kabir Das
Teachings of Kabir Das were centered on ‘bhakti’ or devotion to God. He contested that it is only through devotion that one would be able to meet God but not by following religious pageants. This is the reason why he had earned foes from both Hindu and Muslim religious communities.
Through his work, Kabir taught the people about harmony and peace and on several social subjects. He was opposed to idol worship and other religious practices that he thought were unnecessary.
His teachings were in a way a collection of virtues contained in both Hindu and Islamic religious philosophies; however, he also openly criticized the show off of religious customs.
Kabir’s philosophy stressed on unity between Hindus and Muslims. In fact, he considered that Allah and Hindu God forms are one and can only be achieved through devotion.
Kabir Das and Sikhism
Verses written by Kabir had also been incorporated in Adi Granth – Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the holy scripture of Sikhs. Kabir is the largest Non-Sikh contributor in the Adi Granth. Though, there are differences of opinion over this fact.
Some historians claim the Guru Nanak was largely impressed by Kabir’s philosophy and poems and hence he incorporated his verses in the Holy Scripture. There are some, who contest that there is an evident difference of ideology and philosophies between Guru Nanak Dev Ji and Kabir Das.
Some historians also claim that Guru Nanak in his early days was a Hindu and was influenced by the Sant tradition, reportedly started by Kabir. There may be several opinions on whether Kabir had an influence on Guru Nanak or not, but one thing is clear that he nevertheless had an influence on Sikh people. Many Sikhs have been converted to Kabir Pant and today take the legacy of Kabir Das forward.
More than being a poet Kabir Das was a critic of pageantry that exists in religions. He was a poet who tried to unite the communities beyond religious differences. He tried to teach people simple social issues through his simple poems in Sanskrit and vernacular Hindi.
Essay 3 (600 Words) - Life and Legacy of Sant Kabir Das
Kabir Das was a Hindi mystic poet of the 15th century. He preached abstinence from the religious pageant and inspired people to adopt a rather humane and practical approach towards life. Till date, the poems of Kabir are popularly used throughout the country, in talk shows and TV, radio programs.
Early Life and Legends
The exact years of the life of Kabir are disputed. Some historians believed that he lived from 1398 to 1448 while others contest it to be from 1440 to 1518.
Till date, there is also a dispute on Kabir’s parental lineage. There is a legend associated with his birth, stating that he was born to a Hindu Brahmin mother in the holy city of Varanasi. His mother gave him birth in a seedless conception. However, she kept him in a basket and abandons him in a pond.
Consequently, Kabir was found by a Muslim weaver family in the same city and adopted. Thus, Kabir’s actual parents and their religion are unknown but he was born and brought up in a Muslim family. Some historians also do believe that the Muslim family that had adopted Kabir was recently converted to Islam; perhaps, this could explain Kabir’s critical view towards orthodox Islamic practices.
Some historians also believe that the legend of Kabir being born to a Brahmin mother and then his abandonment is a story that had been created to project him of a Hindu lineage but without any concrete evidence.
The most credible story to this fact is that an abandoned Kabir was found by a Muslim weaver family of Varanasi who adopted him.
Kabir’s poetry was in simple Hindi, in dialects spoken every day by ordinary people of India. His compositions are called ‘banis’ or dohas and are in the form of songs, poems, or couplets.
Kabir’s writings send a message to the masses against rudimentary religious practices and other social issues. Through his work, he had inspired people to disdain religious pageants and practices that divide the communities and are superstitious. He inspires the people, through his work to adopt a more practical and humane approach towards life and others.
He was also particularly critical about Hindu and Islamic religious practices and contested that neither temples nor mosques can take you nearer to God. In fact, a single good deed towards a poor soul will be as rewarding as visiting a temple or a mosque maybe a thousand times.
Some of the well-known compositions of Kabir are – Kabir Bijak, Kabir Parachai, Sakhi Granth, Adi Granth (Sikh), and Kabir Granthawali. It is also claimed that from time to time many poets had made contributions in Kabir’s poems and dohas, just out of respect for him.
Legacy of Sant Kabir
The legacy of Kabir was carried forward by two of his ardent disciples named Bhagodas and Dharmadas. Kshitimohan Das a Sanskrit scholar collected songs of Kabir through various sources and the same were translated in English by Rabindranath Tagore.
A new translation by Arvind Krishna Menon has been successful in preserving the ferocity of Kabir’s poems in English.
Followers of Kabir formed a separate sect called ‘Kabir Pant’ and are called Kabir Pantis. These are the people today who carry the legacy of Sant Kabir Das. They keep gathering from time to time on occasions like Kabir Das Jayanti and others, and do the job of promoting Kabir’s literary work and his philosophy.
Kabir Das was a poet who is born only in millenniums. He was revolutionary in writing and has inspired millions through his writings. The works of Kabir must be promoted for their spiritual value.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
Ans. Sant Kabir Das was born in 1398, in the Varanasi district of Uttar Pradesh.
Ans. Sant Kabir Das said that God is omnipresent i.e. present everywhere and can be worshipped by devotion and love.
Ans. Niru and Nima found Kabir Das as a newborn child in the Lahartara pond of Varanasi.
Ans. Swami Ramananda was the Guru of Sant Kabir Das.
Ans. Sant Kabir Das had a son named Kamal and a daughter named Kamali.
Ans. The poems of Sant Kabir Das are called Dohas.