About six hundred years ago Kabir was born in India in 1398 AD. He lived for 120 years and is said to have relinquished his body in 1518. This period is also said to be the beginning of Bhakti Movement in India.
A weaver by profession, Kabir ranks among the world’s greatest poets. Back home in India, he is perhaps the most quoted author.
Kabir openly criticized all sects and gave a new direction to the Indian philosophy. This is due to his straight forward approach that has a universal appeal. It is for this reason that Kabir is held in high esteem all over the world. To call Kabir a universal Guru is not an exaggeration. I was so moved by his teachings, life, dohas and songs that I was prompted to name my son Kabir – as one of the five names we are supposed to give when he was born. My Guruji, Shri Chariji has also mentioned several times that he was one of the souls that was pure and liberated.
I have been personally very deeply influenced by reading Kabir. Following Kabir means understanding one’s inner self, realizing oneself, accepting oneself as is, and becoming harmonious with one’s surroundings.
While Kabir was introduced to me when I was a little kid – the first of the verses being “Dukh me sumiran sab karen….and was asked memorize and recite the same first in class as part of our primary school syllabus in Central School, then on stage at a gathering……all that stayed with me were the verses not its meaning….until later in life, with my heart seeking philosophy, spirituality, meaning….came to seek deeper meanings.
Coming from the classic middle class family of Brahmins, the doha ..oonche kul me janam liya….karni oonch na koyi….certainly drove home a point or two very early in my life.
Another reason I took to Kabir was because of the primary message that God is simple and one’s approach has to be simple to seek Him. Kabir and his writings are simple. Yet in his simplicity are all the difficulties. Aren’t all simple things complicated? On the face of it, Kabir says not much, but between the lines, he tends to shake up the entire universe.
I wish I had a stronger inclination, knowledge and talent to write more and translate more of his work to highlight its impact on everyone’s daily life. One of my favorites among his mystic songs is the following…..I love to listen to it sung by Pandit Kumar Gandharva. I am even more moved when a couple of my abhyasi friends in our mission sing it with such reverence and submission.
Ud Jayega Huns Akela,
Jug Darshan Ka Mela
Jaise Paat Gire Taruvar Se,
Milna Bahut Duhela
Naa Jane Kidhar Girega,
Lageya Pawan Ka Rela
Jub Howe Umur Puri,
Jab Chute Ga Hukum Huzuri
Jum Ke Doot Bade Mazboot,
Jum Se Pada Jhamela
Das Kabir Har Ke Gun Gawe,
Wah Har Ko Paran Pawe
Guru Ki Karni Guru Jayega,
Chele Ki Karni Chela
This link is one of the best I found about collection of Kabir songs and their meanings. With sincere thanks to the author of this site, here is the link.