Sant Kabir Das was one among the foremost influential saints. He was a 15th-century Indian mystic poet, whose writings influenced the Bhakti movement.
This article will provide relevant information on Sant Kabir Das for candidates preparing for the IAS exam as recently there was news related to Sant Kabir Das.
Sant Kabir Das related context in news –
Sant Kabir Das Jayanti was observed on June 24th 2021 to mark the 644th birth anniversary of Kabir Das.
- Kabirdas Jayanti also referred to as Kabir Prakat Divas is celebrated once a year on the full moon day (Jyeshtha Purnima tithi) in the Hindu month Jyeshtha as per the Hindu lunar calendar. Candidates can check out the Calendars in India on the linked page.
Sant Kabir Das [UPSC Notes]:-Download PDF Here
Candidates preparing for upcoming UPSC Prelims must know that the facts on Sant Kabir Das hold relevance under the Art and Culture section of the civil services exam’s syllabus.
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Sant Kabir Das – Overview
About Kabir Das-
- Sant Kabir Das was born in the city of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. He was brought up by a Muslim couple who were weavers by profession.
- He was a renowned saint, poet and social reformer of India who lived during the 15th century. His esteemed works and poems describe the greatness and oneness of the Supreme Being.
- Sant Kabir Das was a proponent of Bhakti Movement.
- The legacy of Kabir Das still remains through a sect referred to as Panth of Kabir, a spiritual community that considers him as the founder. Kabir Panth is not a separate religion, but a spiritual philosophy.
- In his poems, Kabir calls himself a julaha and kori. Both mean weaver, belonging to a lower caste. He did not associate himself completely with either Hindus or Muslims.
Check out the List of Bhakti Movement Saints on the linked page.
Education of Sant Kabir Das-
- Kabir did not undertake any formal education. He was not even trained as a weaver. While his poems abound with weaving metaphors, his heart was not fully into this profession. He was on a spiritual journey to seek the truth, which is clearly manifested in his poetry.
Kabir Das was a Follower of –
- Sant Kabir Das’ early life was in a Muslim family. He was brought up by a family of Muslim julahas or weavers, but he was strongly influenced by Vaishnava Saint Swami Ramananda (his teacher), the Hindu bhakti leader.
Sant Kabir Das Literature –
- Sant Kabir Das was a highly acclaimed poet of his time.
- His writings significantly influenced the Bhakti movement.
- Some of his famous writings include ‘Sakhi Granth’, ‘Anurag Sagar’, ‘Bijak’ and ‘Kabir Granthawali’.
- 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‘.
- The major part of his work was collected by the fifth Sikh guru, Guru Arjan Dev.
- The verses of Kabir Das are found in Sikhism’s scripture Guru Granth Sahib.
Language of Kabir Das-
- Kabir’s works were mainly written in the Hindi language.
- In the 15th century, when Persian and Sanskrit were predominant North Indian languages, he chose to write in colloquial, regional language.
- His poetry is a mixture of Hindi, Khari Boli, Punjabi, Bhojpuri, Urdu, Persian and Marwari.
- 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.
Recently, the Uttar Pradesh Tourism department has initiated to promote Maghar (place in Uttar Pradesh) as a tourist destination where Hindus have built a temple in memory of Kabir, while Muslims have constructed a mausoleum in his memory.
Aspirants can go through the information on relevant topics provided below for comprehensive preparation-
|Guru Nanak Dev||List of 24 Jain Tirthankaras|
|Difference between Nayanars and Alvars||6 Orthodox Schools of Hindu Philosophy|
|Difference between Buddhism and Jainism||NCERT Notes: Jainism In India|
|Buddhism – Definition, Origins, Teachings||Lodhi Dynasty|
|Sufism in India||Difference between Bhakti and Sufi Movements|
|Sufi Saints – Emphasis on Devotion||Differences between Buddhism and Hinduism|
Contribution of Sant Kabir Das to Bhakti Movement
Sant Kabir Das got fame all over the world because of his influential traditions and culture. He was prejudiced by the existing religious mood of that time like Hinduism, Tantrism as well as personal devotionalism.
- Kabir Das tried to coordinate the religions by giving a universal path which could be followed by all human beings.
- According to him, every life has a relationship with two spiritual principles (Jivatma and Paramatma). His view about the moksha is that it is the process of uniting these two divine principles.
- He simply followed the oneness of God. In the Dabistan of Mohsin Fani and Ain-i-Akbari of Abul Fazl, he is mentioned as a ‘Muwahid’ (Believer in one God).
- He always opposed the idea of worshipping the idols and showed clear confidence in Bhakti and Sufi ideas.
- He composed poems in a concise and simple style, resonating the admiration for the factual guru.
- He tried to interpret the meaning of the true religion of human beings that one should follow. This has helped the common people to understand his message very easily.
- He was against the caste system imposed by the Hindu community. Not just caste, Kabir also criticised the rites, rituals and customs which he thought were futile.
- From Khajinat al-Asafiya, we find that a Sufi Pir, Shaikh Taqqi was also the teacher of Kabir. Sufi-influence is also quite apparent in Kabir’s teaching and philosophy.
Candidates can also read about the Important Foreign Envoys Who Visited Ancient India on the linked page.
Some related links to prepare for the Art and Culture section of Civil services Exam even better
|Tribal Paintings of India||Temple Architecture and Sculpture|
|Prehistoric Rock Paintings||Hindustani Classical Music|
|Musical Instruments – Avanaddha Vadya||Gandhara School Of Art|
Sant Kabir Das [UPSC Notes]:-Download PDF Here
Get the detailed UPSC Syllabus for the prelims and mains examination and start your Civil Services Exam preparation accordingly.
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What was the role of Kabir Das in Bhakti movement? ›
Contribution of Kabir to Bhakti Movement:
Kabir Das is the first Indian saint who has coordinated the Hinduism and Islam by giving a universal path which could be followed by both Hindus and Muslims. According to him every life has relationship with two spiritual principles (Jivatma and Paramatma).
He was an advocate of the nirguna form of Bhakti. According to Kabir, the same God was referred to by several names like Rama, Hari, Allah, Rahim and many more. Everyone should be devoted to God and not pay heed to religious differences. He rejected the caste system, idol worship and pilgrimages.What was the contribution of Kabir and Guru Nanak to the Bhakti movement? ›
They opposed idol worship and religious rituals. They were against caste and religious differences. Kabir and Baba Guru Nanak guided their disciples through the path of devotion so they could attain access to God.What is Sant Kabir Jayanti? ›
Kabir Jayanti, also known as Kabir Praakat Diwas, is celebrated to commemorate the manifestation of Kabir, a famous poet and mystic saint in India. It is celebrated once in a year on the full moon day in the Hindu month Jyeshtha, which is the month of May or June according to the Gregorian calendar.What was Kabir's ideology behind his Bhakti and devotion? ›
He, like the other prominent saints of his time, argued that it was only through bhakti, intense love or devotion to God could one attain salvation. In many of his verses, Kabir proclaimed that people of all castes have the right to salvation through the bhakti tradition.What form of Bhakti did Kabir preach? ›
Kabir preached the Nirgun form of bhakti.
This school of Hinduism proposes worshipping of idols as God is believed to be existing in those bodily forms.
- Rejection of major religious traditions.
- Criticism of all forms of external worship of both Brahmanical Hinduism and Islam.
- Criticism of priestly classes and the caste system.
- Belief in a formless Supreme God.
- Emphasis on Bhakti or devotion to achieve salvation.
The major teachings of Kabir were as follows:
Kabir described God as nirankar (having no shape). He used the terms drawn from Islamic tradition like Allah, Khuda, Hajrat and Peer but also used words of Vedic traditions like Alakh ( (the unseen) and nirakar ( the formless). Thus, he freely took to both traditions viz.
Kabir's message is immortal so he is remembered even today. His message of equality, love, communal amity and brotherhood without distinction on the basis of caste, creed and religion remains the beacon light for us.Who is God according to Kabir Das? ›
God was the focal point of Kabir's religion and Kabir addressed him in different names. In his opinion God alone was Ram, Rahim, Govind, Allah, Khuda, Hari etc. But for Kabir, 'Saheb' was his favorite name. He said god was everywhere and His domain is unlimited.
What was the moral influence of Bhakti movement? ›
The most important social impact of the Bhakti movement was that the followers of the Bhakti movement rejected the caste distinction. They began to mix together on the basis of equality. They took their meals together from the common kitchen. The movement tried to loosen the bond of caste.What was one factor that led to the Bhakti movement? ›
A large factor that led to the spread of the Bhakti movement was the invasion of India by the Islamic people who propagated the Muslim religion and discouraged Hinduism. The text that was most influential in Bhakti Hindusim was the Bhagavad Gita.What was the message of Sant Kabir? ›
Sant Kabir stressed the idea of one God. He taught that Ishwar Allah Ram and Rahim were different names of one God. He spread the message of Hindu-Muslim unity Universal brotherhood tolerance and banned idol worship caste system and rituals.What is the message of Kabir? ›
Kabir spread his messages through verses and Saakhi. These made a deep impact on people. He believed that there is only one Supreme being and who was omnipresent. He told people that they should love all God's creations as it was similar to loving god himself.Why is Sant Kabir important? ›
He was a renowned saint, poet and social reformer of India who lived during the 15th century. His esteemed works and poems describe the greatness and oneness of the Supreme Being. Sant Kabir Das was a proponent of Bhakti Movement.What was the role of Kabir in Bhakti age in India? ›
Kabirdas was a disciple of Ramananda, and was raised by a Muslim weaver. He stood for doing away with all the unnecessary customs and rituals in both religions and bringing union between these religions. He became one of the mainstay of Bhakti movement during medieval period in India.What is the theory of Bhakti movement? ›
Bhakti movement in Hinduism refers to ideas and engagement that emerged in the medieval era on love and devotion to religious concepts built around one or more gods and goddesses. Bhakti movement preached against the caste system using the local languages so that the message reached the masses.Which belief system influenced Kabir's philosophy? ›
That his early life began as a Muslim there is no doubt, although he later became influenced by a Hindu ascetic, Ramananda.What are the 8 ways of Bhakti? ›
These are, shravana, kirtana, smarana, pada-sevana, archana, vandana, dasya, sakhya and atma-nivedana. Shravana is listening to the divine name, the lila's or sports of the Lord, the stories of saints, as these may orient one's mind towards spirituality.What religion was the Bhakti movement? ›
bhakti, (Sanskrit: “devotion”) in Hinduism, a movement emphasizing the mutual intense emotional attachment and love of a devotee toward a personal god and of the god for the devotee.
What are followers of Kabir teachings called? ›
His followers are known as Kabirpanthis which means travellers who go on the path of Kabir.What is the difference between Kabir and Guru Nanak teachings? ›
Sant Kabir Vehemently Criticised Social, Religious Evils Unlike Guru Nanak. Kabir strongly criticised certain religious and social evils (of both Hindus and Muslims), which according to him were not important or even detrimental to the spiritual growth of people.What are the differences between Guru Nanak and Kabir? ›
The Main Differences
Guru Nanak established a new religion called Sikhism, which was quite different from Hinduism and Islam. He explained his teachings in the holy scripture of Guru Granth Sahib. Whereas saint Kabir never found any religion but went on to earn millions of followers using his dohas.
Sant Kabir stressed the idea of one God. He taught that Ishwar, Allah, Ram, and Rahim were different names of one God. He spread the message of Hindu-Muslim unity, Universal brotherhood, tolerance, and banned idol worship, caste system, and rituals.What was Kabir dream of a religious practice? ›
Kabir preached that a simple union (sahaja-yoga), an emotional integration of the soul with God through personal devotion, could be achieved by all people, whether they were Hindus or Muslims ("I am not a Hindu, nor a Muslim am I"), or whether they were of high or low caste ("Now I have no caste, no creed").How did the teachings of Kabir describe the ultimate reality through his poems? ›
Kabir described the 'Ultimate Reality' by drawing the ranges of traditions such as from Islam, he had drawn the Ultimate Reality as Allah, Khuda, Hazrat and Pir. Several terms from the vedantic traditions, such as Alakh, Nirakar, Brahmana, Atman were also taken.What is unique about Sant Kabir? ›
Born in the city of Varanasi in what is now Uttar Pradesh, he is known for being critical of both organized religion and religions. 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.Which religion did Kabir Das follow? ›
That his early life began as a Muslim there is little doubt, but he was later strongly influenced by a Hindu ascetic, Ramananda.Who is the god Kabir in the Quran? ›
The knowledge giver of Quran Sharif says HE is the same GOD, Allahu Akbar 'Kabir, who created the entire universe and all that is between the Earth and Sky in six days and sat on the throne, in His Eternal Place (Satlok) on the seventh day.Who is the supreme of God? ›
Brahma(ब्रह्म), God, paramātmā (परमात्मा), khudā (ख़ुदा), allāha (अल्लाह ) are all synonymous names for Supreme God, the Lord of the universe. The literal meaning of brahma is great or big. He is not only bigger than other big things, He is the biggest of all.
Who started the Bhakti movement? ›
Bhakti Movement started from South India, by Alvaras and Nayanars. Alvaras are the devotees of Lord Vishnu and Nayanars are devotees of Lord Shiva. These devotees travelled to various places singing hymns in praise of their Gods.What impact did Bhakti movement make on Indian? ›
The evolution of the Bhakti movement awakened the Hindus and Muslims from false superstitions. Both religions appreciated removing differences in their thoughts and practices, resulting in religious intolerance. The movement also dropped the prestige of Brahmins and evolved the Sikhism culture.How did the Bhakti movement affect Buddhism? ›
It may be said that bhakti movement and the neo Vaishnavism in India arose not only with the influence of Buddhism but at the expense of Buddhism. In a way, it may be said that Hinduism banished Buddhism from India and took from it the jewel of bhakti along with other Buddhist elements and institutions as its own.Which one of the following is related to Bhakti movement? ›
Explanation : The Pandharpur Movement is associated with the Bhakti Movement of Maharashtra.Who among the following led the earliest Bhakti movements in India? ›
Some of the earliest bhakti movements (c. sixth century) were led by the Alvars (literally, those who are “immersed” in devotion to Vishnu) and Nayanars (literally, leaders who were devotees of Shiva). They travelled from place to place singing hymns in Tamil in praise of their gods.What is Sufi movement in India? ›
Sufism was a liberal reform movement within Islam. It had its origin in Persia and spread into India in the 11th century. Most of the Sufis (mystics) were persons of deep devotion who disliked the display of wealth and degeneration of morals following the establishment of the Islamic empire.What was Kabir's idea of God? ›
He believed in the oneness of God and opposed the idea of worshipping the idols. Kabir emphasized the need to persistently purify the soul to be close to God rather than to indulge in various rituals.Who played a key role in spreading the Bhakti movement? ›
The Nayanars and Alvars were Tamil poet-saints who played an essential role in the propagation of a Bhakti Movement in the South part of India during the 5th – 10th centuries.Who led the Bhakti movement in India? ›
Bhakti Movement started from South India, by Alvaras and Nayanars. Alvaras are the devotees of Lord Vishnu and Nayanars are devotees of Lord Shiva. These devotees travelled to various places singing hymns in praise of their Gods.Who was the initiator of Bhakti movement in India? ›
The Bhakti Movement was first organized by Ramanuja. From the 7th century, the Bhakti Movement was started in South India as the revival of religion.
What was Kabir philosophy? ›
Love for all was Kabir's principal tenet. He emphasized that love was the only medium which could bind the entire human kind in an unbreakable bond of fraternity. Kabir detested the frivolities and rituals in Hinduism and Islam for, these could never bind together mankind.Which Hindu concept influenced Kabir's philosophy? ›
From Hinduism he accepted the ideas of reincarnation, or transmigration, and the law of karma, but he rejected idolatry, asceticism, and the caste system. From Islam he accepted the idea of one God and the equality of man before God. The ideas of the Muslim mystics, called Sufis, also influenced Kabir greatly.Why was Kabir important? ›
Kabir is widely 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, everything.What was the social impact of Kabir? ›
Kabir laid stress on religious toleration and taught a lesson of brotherhood to Hindus and Muslims. Kabir raised his voice against the custom of sati and child marriage, the two evils which were purely social in character.What caused the Bhakti Movement? ›
Challenge from Rival Religion: the impact of the Muslim rule and Islam put dread in the heart of Hindu masses. The Hindus had suffered a lot under some of the fanatic rulers. They wanted some solace to heal their despairing hearts. Influence of Sufism: The Sufi saints of the Muslim community also inspired the movement.Why was Bhakti Movement considered as a major development in India? ›
Answer: The Bhakti movement was a major religious development in the history of Medieval India. Its results deeply influenced the contemporary religious and cultural trends in India. The movement gave a new dimension to ancient beliefs and values and it initiated great changes in the prevailing social condition.What is the philosophy of Bhakti? ›
bhakti, (Sanskrit: “devotion”) in Hinduism, a movement emphasizing the mutual intense emotional attachment and love of a devotee toward a personal god and of the god for the devotee.Who wrote Bhakti movement? ›
Ramanuja was the pioneer of the Bhakti movement in India. He was a Vaishnava saint. Ramanuja himself wrote influential texts, such as Bhasya on the Bramha Sutra and the Bhagwat Gita in Sanskrit. He organised a group of cadres called Bairagis.When was the Bhakti movement founded? ›
The movement probably began in the Tamil region around the 6th and 7th century AD and achieved a great deal of popularity through the poems of the Alvars and Nayanars, the Vaishnavite and Shaivite poets.When did the Bhakti movement end? ›
The Bhakti Movement gained momentum from the 12th centuries in the central western regions of India, then moved northward coming to an end roughly in the 17th century.
Who practices Bhakti yoga? ›
In Hinduism, Bhakti yoga is the spiritual practice that's centered on loving devotion. It's one of the three spiritual paths that lead to Moksha (aka salvation) in Hinduism. All you need to practice Bhakti is an open, loving heart.Who led the Bhakti movement in Kerala? ›
Bhakti Movement Activists
The founder of the Bhakti movement, Ramananda, is thought to have flourished during the first part of the fifteenth century. From the 16th century, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had been an austere Hindu monastic and a social activist.