KabirKabīr (c. 1440 – c. 1518) was a mystic poet and saint of India, whose writings have greatly influenced the Bhakti movement.

According to one traditional version of his parentage, Kabir was born to a Brahmin widow at Lahartara near Kashi (modern day Varanasi). The widow abandoned Kabir to escape dishonour associated with births outside marriage. He was brought up in a family of poor Muslim weavers Niru and Nima. Vaishnava saint Swami Ramananda accepted Kabir as his disciple. When Swami Ramananda died, Kabir was 13 years old.

Kabir composed in a pithy and earthy style, replete with surprise and inventive imagery. His poems resonate with praise for the true guru who reveals the divine through direct experience, and denounce more usual ways of attempting god-union such as chanting, austerities, etc.

[catlist id=10766 numberposts=-1 excerpt=yes excerpt_size=50]