|Born |1440 |
| |Pratapgarh, Uttar Pradesh, India |
|Died |1518 |
|Occupation |Weaver, poet |
Kabīr (also Kabīra) (1440—1518) was a mystic poet and saint of India, whose writings have greatly influenced the Bhakti movement.. The name Kabir comes from Arabic Al-Kabīr which means 'The Great' - the 37th Name of God in the Qur'an.
Apart from having an important influence on Sikhism, Kabir's legacy is today carried forward by the Kabir Panth ("Path of Kabir"), a religious community that recognizes him as its founder and is one of the Sant Mat sects. Its members, known as Kabir panthis, are estimated to be around 9,600,000. They are spread over north and central India, as well as dispersed with the Indian diaspora across the world, up from 843,171 in the 1901 census.
[pic] Early life and background
The story is told that on one particular day of the year, anyone can become a disciple by having a master speak the name of God over him. It is common for those who live near the Ganges to take their morning bath there in the sacred waters. The bhakti saint Ramananda was in the habit of arising before dawn to take his bath. On this special day too, he awoke before dawn and found his way down to the steps of the Ganges. As he was walking down the steps to the waters, a little hand reached out and grabbed the saint's big toe. Ramananda was taken by surprise, and he involuntarily called out the name of God. Looking down, he saw in the early morning light the hand of the young Kabir. After his bath, he noticed that on the back of the little one's hand was written in Arabic the name Kabir. He adopted him as son and disciple and brought him back... [continues]
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