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Kabeer Daas

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Kabeer Daas
1440-1518 AD = 78 yrs
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 Even the Saints who are enlightened by birth, insist on the importance of a Guru. Sant Kabeer Daas was one among them. Though born in a Muslim family, Kabeer Daas had developed intense love and devotion for Raam and His Divine Name. In spite of chanting the Name of Raam, Kabeer Daas longed to be initiated into "Raam Naam" by a Guru. For, he was certain that only the Grace of Guru could take one across the fierce ocean of this Sansaar.

He was a great devotional poet who was born in a Muslim weaver's home, but grew into one of the greatest contributors to Hindu religion and thought. He was a revolutionary poet of all the time. He did not accept anything, even in religion, unless it stood the test of reason. Some of his poems form the "Aadi Granth", the sacred scripture of the Sikh sect.

Kabeer Daas lived in the city of Vaaraanasee, the foremost among the seven Moksh Puree. Saint Shree Raamaanand, who was an ardent devotee of Shree Raam, too had an Aashram in the same city. Knowing him to be a great soul, Kabeer wanted to be a disciple of Shree Raamaanand and be initiated into Raam Naam by him. With this intention, Kabeer visited the Aashram daily. Since he was a Muslim by birth, he was not let into the Aashram and so could never get a chance to have even a glimpse of Shree Raamaanand Jee, whom he had mentally accepted as his Guru. The other disciples of Shree Raamaanand would drive Kabeer away if they chanced to see him at the doors of their Aashram. This happened not for a day or two, but for months together. Still Kabeer wouldn't give up. He unstintingly visited the Aashram and begged to be given a chance to meet his Guru. He would cry for having a Darshan of his Guru but the inmates of the Aashram were not touched by his devoutness or earnestness. Neither did they bother to inform their Guru about Kabeer and his desire. Thus, Shree Raamaanand was quite unaware of these happenings.

Being in constant communion with Shree Raam mentally, once Shree Raamaanand had a vision of his beloved Deity. In the vision, he could see and hear the conversation between Shree Raam and His brother Lakshman. Shree Raam addressed Lakshman, "Lakshman! Let us leave this Aashram this very moment. What do we have to do in a place where a sincere devotee is being neglected and driven away?" Seeing his beloved Deity ready to leave his Aashram Shree Raamaanand spoke to his Lord, "Lord! Please do not leave this slave of yours. I am totally unaware of such an incident in the Aashram. I pray! Tell me what wrong have I done?" Shree Raam said, "There is a devotee of mine who is longing to be initiated into my Divine Name by you. He visits the Aashram unfailingly everyday only to be driven away by your disciples. How can I tolerate if my beloved devotee is ill treated like this in my presence?" Shree Raamaanand was shocked to hear this. He instantly promised, "Lord! I will look into this immediately. But please give me a chance to rectify my mistake and do not abandon this child of yours." Shree Raam too agreed to stay back in the Aashram on the condition that his devotee will not be driven away the next time.

Shree Raamaanand inquired his disciples about the incident narrated by Shree Raam. The disciples were ashamed of their deed and confessed that a Muslim did come everyday to have Darshan of Shree Raamaanand and they drove him away assuming that their Guru would not like meet someone who was a Muslim. Shree Raamaanand was pained by this knowledge. He could not sleep for the whole of night, nor could Kabeer. He was lying in the steps on the bank of Gangaa and was weeping bitterly. He thought, "Another day has passed, Alas! I have not received the Divine Name of Raam from my Guru. When will I have the fortune of having Darshan of my Guru and receive the Divine Name from Him?"

In the early hours of morning, Shree Raamaanand walked to the banks of Gangaa to a have a Holy dip in its waters. His heart was heavy and he was in a very contemplative mood. As he stepped on the steps leading to the Gangaa waters, his Paadukaa (sandals) touched some head lying on the steps. In any state, Mahaan people utter only the Divine Name of the Lord. So, Shree Raamaanand too uttered, "Raam! Raam! Raam!" It was Kabeer, who was lying there weeping for having a Darshan of his Guru. Kabeer looked up and was overjoyed to see his Guru standing before him. He said, "Master! I longed only to be initiated by you into the Divine Name of Raam. But Lo! How gifted am I! You have not just initiated me as you would normally do for others but have blessed me with the touch of your Paadukaa too. Great indeed is my fortune." Saying so, he danced around with joy chanting the Divine Name of Raam. Shree Raamaanand was moved by the devotion and love of Kabeer.

Such was the Guru Bhakti of Kabeer that he says in his couplet (Dohaa), "If I chance to see both God and my Guru at the same time, I would worship my Guru before I prostrate to God. Guru is like a mother. A mother takes care of the child from the day she conceives it. She puts up with lots of difficulties and sacrifices her desires for the welfare of the child. My Guru too took me into his arms and fondled me when I was called as sinner by the rest of the world just as a mother would fondle a child. But God turned to look at me only after I was purified by the grace and love of my Guru just as a father would cherish to see his grown up child holding a high position in the society and shares none of the difficulties of a mother."

If Kabeer, who was a great soul, yearned for grace and love of a Guru, what can be said about the greatness of Guru and the Guru Bhakti of such souls. Kabeer has written many Dohaa regarding Bhakti and social ill-wills.


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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 10/20/12