• Kabir was a well-known Indian mystic poet and saint who lived in the 15th century. Born in the city of Varanasi in what is now Uttar Pradesh. The years of Kabir’s birth and death are uncertain.
  • Many followers of Kabir believe that he came from Satloka by assuming the body of light, and incarnated on a lotus flower and claim that the rishi Ashtanand was the direct witness of this incident, who himself appeared on a lotus flower in the Lahartara Pond.
  • A few accounts mention that Kabir in the form of a child was found at Lahartara Lake by a Muslim weaver called Niru and his wife Nima who raised him as his parents.
  • Kabir is believed to have become one of the many disciples of the Bhakti poet-saint Swami Ramananda in Varanasi, known for devotional Vaishnavism with a strong bent to monist Advaita philosophy teaching that God was inside every person and everything.
  • Early texts about his life place him with Vaishnava tradition of Hinduism as well as the Sufi tradition of Islam.
Kabir with Nanak and Mardana
Kabir with Nanak and Mardana

Sant Kabir Das Literature

  • Literature: 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’.
  • 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‘.


  • 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.


  • He questioned what he regarded to be the meaningless and unethical practices of all religions, primarily what he considered to be the wrong practices in the Hindu and Muslim religions. 
  • During his lifetime, he was threatened by both Hindus and Muslims for his views. When he died, several Hindus and the Muslims he had inspired claimed him as theirs.


  • Kabir literature legacy was promoted by two of his disciples, Bhāgodās and Dharamdas. Songs of Kabir were collected by Kshitimohan Sen from mendicants across India, these were then translated to English by Rabindranath Tagore.
  • There are two temples dedicated to Kabir located in Benares. One of them is maintained by Hindus, while the other by Muslims. Both the temples practise similar forms of worship where his songs are sung daily. Other rituals of aarti and distributing prasad are similar to other Hindu temples. The followers of Kabir are vegetarians and abstain from alcohol

Kabir Panth

  • Kabir panth, Path of Kabir, is a philosophy based on the teachings sant Kabir It is considered a spiritual philosophy not a separate religion.
  • The followers of Kabir Panth, known as Kabir Panthis, consider him a guru who guides them towards salvation. They also recognise the works of Sant Kabir.

Nirguna Tradition

  • It refers to the Bhakti concept of worshiping a formless god, who is without trait or attributes
  • It is a form of aniconic worship where Nirgun songs are associated with this tradition

Bhakti movement

  • The Bhakti movement, began in the 7th century in South India, and popularized through the poems of the Alvars and Nayanars, the Vaishnavite and Shaivite poets.
  • It started to spread in North India during 14th and the 15th centuries and was characterized by popular poet-saints Ramananda, Kabirdas etc. who sang devotional songs to God in vernacular languages.
  • It refers to an intense love, devotion and surrender to god which could help in attaining salvation.
  • Many of the saints of the Bhakti movement came from the ranks of the lower to middle artisanal classes such as Kabir (Julaha caste), Raidas (leather worker), Dadu (cotton carder) etc.

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