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Full text of "Kabir and the kabir panth."

KABIR 

AND 

THE KABIR PANTH 



JJY 



REV. 0, 11 WESTCOTT,Jil 



KKLliOW OK ALLAHABAD (TNIVKUSITV, 



PWNTMD ANU I 



OAWNroltK : 

AT TH OHKWT C!IUH 

I907 







Or 



PREFACE 

The following pages represent the "iresult of 
inquiries extending over the last ten years. The 
gradual way in which such Information, as is 
given, has been acquired and the number of 
times that first impressions have had to give 
way to subsequent discoveries would be suffi- 
cient warning that this representation of the 
subject is little likely to he free from errors. 
My hope is that this study will do something 
to increase the interest already felt by many in 
the various religious sects that have been called 
into existence in India through the efforts of 
distinguished teachers. 

I have tried to avoid dogmatising on ques- 
tions that call for fuller investigation ; but we 
have at any rate in the teaching of Kabir an 
attempt to break down the barriers that separate 
Hindus from Muhammadans, and we have 
probably in the Kabir Panth a religious system 
that owes .something to Hindu^ Muhammadan 
and Christian influences. 



(IV) 

If Christ had been an Indian, would not his 
Gospel have been welcomed by many who now 
refuse to listen ? 

For help in this undertaking I am principal- 
ly indebted to my Mali, Badlu Dass, who is 
himself a member of the Panth. He has 
visited all places of interest in connexion with 
the Panth, has introduced me to many Mahants 
and conducted inquiries with great intelligence. 
The Rev. Ahmad Shah, who is now engaged 
in bringing out an edition of the Bijak, has 
made many valuable suggestions and has also 
superintended the copying of various Kabir 
Panthi MSS. Mr. U. R. Clement and the Rev. 
Prem Chanel have also rendered valuable assist- 
ance, while the Rev. B. H. P. Fisher of this 
Mission has kindly seen these pages through 
the Press. 

G. H. WESTCOTT. 

S. P. G. MISSION HOUSE 
CAWNPORE. 



(V) 



CONTENTS, 



L THE LIFE OF KABIR . I 

Additional Note. Kabir in History 25 

1L THK LIFE OF KAII1K (Gvnttf.) ... 2g 

45 

73 
74 

77 



III. THE TEACHING OF KAlilR 

Additional A>;Ms\ The: Bijak 
The Doetime of Shabda (word) 

IV. SAKIIIS ATTKHiUTKT) TO KAHIR 



V. THK KABIR PA NTH ... ... <)B 

Additional Mole. Lists of Mahants 114 

VI. THK KABIR PANTH. ... 117 

Additional Notes. 

The Religious Orders of Islam . . 135 

Rarly Christian influences in Nor- 

"thern India .. ... 137 






(Ti) 

VII. THE TEACHING OF THE PANTH,., 140 
Additional Notes. 

Literature on life and Teaching of 

Kabir ... * ... 160 

Pandit Walji Bhai ... ... 172 

Addenda and Corrigenda ... 174 

GLOSSARY OF INDIAN TERMS ... 177 

INDEX ... ... . S 



ILLUSTRATIONS. 

Kabir, as represented in the picture hung in the 

Kabir Charan Math, Benares. 



A Potter at work, io illustrate Sakhi,(9). 

to fact p. 80, 

A group of Kabir Panthis, in camp at the Magh 
Mela, Allahabtd. 

to face p. 104. 



(Til) 



CHROXOLOGICA! TABLE, 



Century 
A. D. 



Hindu, 



Uiri:*uan. 



1 1 oo ' Rumapuja 



1200 



Raman.iw! \Vyrk liiTf* 1324-84 

1300-1400 (r) Joi'danus* 1321 



1400 j Gorakh Naih !'4";i;>inu.; 1467- 
1420-14X5 (?) i :.'<' 

j 

Kahir 1440-151^ Luther 14^3-1546 



Nanak 14^0-1538 Crannicr 1489- 

1555 
Chaitanya 



Vallabha Swami Fr Xavicr 1506- 



Dadu 1544-1603 : J. Xavicr to 

: Lahore 1596. 
Tuki Bass 1544* ' 



Sankarucharya was horn in 78! and died In 828, 



Chapter L 
THE LIFE OF KAB(R. 

It is generally allowed that of all the great 
Hindu Reformers Kahir and Tulsf Dass have 
had the greatest influence for good among 
the uneducated classes of Northern and Cen- 
tral India. KabiV has been fittingly described 
by Sir W. W* Hooter as the Indian Luther 
of the 1 5th century. 

Among those who acknowledge their in- 
debtedness to Kubir as a spiritual guide are 
Niinak Shah of the Panjab, the founder of 
the Sikh community ; Dddii of Ahmedabacl 
(1544) ] founder of the Pauth that bears his 
name, and Jag Juvan Dass of Oudh (1760) 
the founder of the Sat Nami sect. Among 
religious teachers whose doctrine is said to 
be largely based upon the teaching of Kabir 
are Bribhan, the founder of the Sddh com- 
munity (1658), Biba Lai of Mdlwi and Shivi 
Naraia of Ghazipur. 

Of these Ndnak Shdh is the teacher with 
whose name the English reader is most familiar 
and it is therefore well in his case to enlarge 

(1 ) All the elates given in the text refer to the year Anno 
Domiui. 



2 THE LIFE OF KAB{R. 

somewhat upon a bald assertion of indebted- 
ness. 

In the Janam Sdkht 2 Kabir is mentioned as 
a Bhagat equal in merit to Nanak himself, and 
other Bhagats are exhorted to follow his exam- 
ple. On more than one occasion Nanak quotes 
with emphasised approval verses attributed to 
Kabir. 

The Adi Granth, the sacred book of the 
Sikhs, gives much information concerning the 
life of Kabir and the character of his teaching. 
The interest which Nanak felt in Kabir was 
probably enhanced by the fact that he had 
enjoyed personal intercourse with the reformer, 4 

In modern days the number of those who 
have in one way or another come under the 
influence of Kabir is very great. In the ( Census 
Report for 1901 the number of Kabir Pantbis 
alone is returned as 843,171 and the actual 
number is probably considerably larger, as in 
the United Provinces many Kabir Panthfs 

(2) Janam Sakhi (Evidence or Story of birth) IH the 
name given to the accounts of Nannie, current Hwotitf iiltt 
followers. A translation of two such account* will ! found 
in Trumpp's edition of the Adi Granth. 

(3) Adi first, principal. Granth book The term Granth 
is used by several sects to denote their authoritative wrftftigH 

The quotations from the Adi Granth are takim from 
Trumpp's translation. 

(4) Ninak is said to have been 27 years of a# when h<* 
met Kabir, As Nsiriak was born in 1460 the year of marling 
will have been 1496, the very year in which Bikamtar Loiii, the 
Emperor of Delhi, visited Jaunpur and other cities in that 
neighbourhood. 



THE LIFE OF KABfR. 3 

seem to have been returned as Rimdnandfs and 
the figures for the Panjab are not included. 5 

There is no doubt as to the greatness or 
Kabfr's influence as a religious teacher ; he has 
also been described as the founder of Hindi 
literature. The hymns of Kabir are still sung 
by many a wandering minstrel, while his pithy 
sayings are frequently employed to win the at- 
tention of a dreamy audience or to clench a 
lengthy argument. 

Unfortunately the material for a life of Kabir 
is miserably scanty. If we confine our atten- 
tion to traditions of historical value, we are left 
in uncertainty as to the place and date of his 
birth, his name, the religion to which he was 
attached by birth, the state of life in which he 
lived, married or single, and the number of years 
that he resided in any particular place. It is 
true that many legends have gathered round his 
name, but however interesting these may be 
from various points of view they can hardly be 
said to meet the needs of those who desire ac- 
curate information. 

(5) Thin total is distributed an follows : Central 
Provinces, 41)3,393 : United Provinces, 215, 77 i ; Central India 
124,000 ; Bombay Presidency, 9,407. 

(6) It in stated, in the Benares* Gazetteer that Kabir was 
born at Belhara, a village in the district oC Azamgarb. 
According to the belief of KaWr Panthta be was bom in 1808 
mul died in 1518. The latter date is probably correct ; the 
former is probably dictated by a deelre to make him contem- 
poraneous with liamiuaud who is supposed to have lived in 
the 14th Century. 



4 THE LIFE OF KAB!R 

it is admitted by all Kabir Panthis that 
Kabir was brought tip as a child in the house of 
Nini, a Muhammadan weaver. In the Janam 
S&khi Nanak is reported to have told Baku that 
Kabir was a Muhammadan weaver. In the Adi 
Granth occur these lines : 

By caste a weaver and patient of mind : utters 
Kabir with natural ease the excellencies of ..Ram. 7 

In one of his best known Hymns Kabir says 
that he will shortly give up weaving and de- 
vote himself entirely to singing the praises of 
Hari. 8 In another hymn he says that he 
had in a previous birth beer* born as a Brahmin, 
but had been re-incarnated as a JuMha (Mu- 
hammedan weaver ) because he had in that 
life neglected the worship of Rdm (Itttm JBha- 



In none of the writings that can be traced 
directly to Kabir is any account given as to the 
manner of his birth, but the following 
have long been current in this country : 

The first legend relates that his mother was a 
Brahmin widow who went with her father on a 

. (7) In such passages Kabir seems to apply the imm< 
Kam to the supreme God and not to the incarnation of Vi*hnft. 
He writes in the Brjak that the true Master did not ttikv 
birth in the family of Dasrath. 

(8) Kabir likens the process of birth, death and re-birth to 
the movements of the shuttle. This passage may be interpreted 
as the expression of a hope that he will shortly obtain deliver- 
ance from the trials of transmigration. 



THE LIFE OF KABfR. r> 

pilgrimage to the shrine of a famous ascetic. 
To reward the devotion of the pilgrims the as- 
cetic prayed that the woman might become the 
mother of a son. The prayer of so holy a mam 
could not fail to find fulfilment and in due course 
the Brahman widow became the mother of Kabir. 
The mother to escape dishonour exposed the 
infant, who was discovered and adopted as her 
own by the wife of a weaver. }) 

According to another version of this story 
Ramanand, who was the ascetic referred to ; said 
that he could not recall his blessing but would 
arrange that the birth should not be after the 
usual manner, but that the infant should issue 
from the palm of its mother's hand. 1 His pro- 
mise was realised and the infant after birth was 
placed on a lotus flower in the midst of the 
Lahdr Tank. It was there discovered by Nima, 
the wife of Niru, and by her taken to her hus- 
band's house. 

The second account is more poetical in cha- 
racter and runs thus : 

(9) Most of the logonrlH contained in thin Chapter are 
taken from a Hindi pamphlet entitled K&bir Mmuti, 
published at Bombay in 1885, Thin pamphlet is the joint 
production of five members of the Kabir Parith and Is based 
upon information gleaned both from books and oral tradi- 
tion. 

(10) This legend enables the Hindu section of the 
Panth to explain the name Kabfr as a corruption o Kar~ 
Bir or the hero ( born from ) the hand ( of a Brahmia 
woman). 




! ,; g THE LIFE OF KABR. 

Kabir descended from heaven to earth, 11 
, ;*' The lotus flower was blooming in the place where 

Kabfr was born. The bees were tired of hum- 
];}f, ming. Peacocks, larks and other kinds of birds 

In their flight passed circling round the tank. 
Thunder and lightning were in the air when 
Kabfr became manifest in the heart of a lotus 
flower, in the midst of the Lahar Tank, A 
of thirst overcame Nima, the newly wedded wife 
of Nirii, the weaver as after the marriageccre niony 
she was making her way to her husband's house. 
She approached the tank but was much afraid 
when she there beheld the child. She thought 
in her heart 'this is probably the living evidence 
of the shame of some virgin widow/ Niru sug- 
gested that they might take the child to their 
house, but Nima at first demurred^ thinking that 
such action might give rise to scandal. Women 
would ask, " Who is the mother of a child so 
beautiful that its eyes are like the lotus " ? 
However laying aside all fears they took pity 
on the child. On approaching the house they 
were welcomed with the songs of women, but 
when the women saw the child dark thoughts 
arose in their hearts and they began to ask "How 
has she got this child" ? Nimi replied that she 
had got the child without giving birth to it and 

(11) In the Jfabir Kasauti this phrase occnr8~-&wa.& 
vfre u P-irtMwimmhi "becoming a servant he dcftcemiod tuxm 
this earth," * 



THE LIFE OF KAB!R. 7 

the women then refrained from asking further 
questions. 

The mystery surrounding the birth of the 
child was further deepened when Nirii called in 
a Qazf 1 - and requested him to open a Ooran 
and find for the child a name. He found the 
name Kabfr, and also from the same root, Akbar, 
Kubra and Kibriya. On finding these names the 
Qazf was much perplexed and bit his nails, for 
was not the term Kabir a title applied to God ? 
News of what had taken place soon spread, and 
after a short while five or six more Qazi's arrived 
upon the scene. All opened the Qoran, but with 
the same result. They closed the book in silent 
astonishment. It was impossible, they all 
agreed, that a title of such dignity should be 
given as a name to a weaver's child. They 
opened the Qoran again and found the names^ 
Zind&, Khinjar, Pfr and IIaqq. Thereupon 
they said to Nirii, 'You must in some way des- 
troy this child/ Nini in obedience to their 
order took the child within the house to put him 
to death, but before he had time to carry out 
his intention the child gave utterance to this 
Shabda : 

"I have come from an unknown place. Maya 
has deceived the world ; no one knows me, I 

(12) Q&zi, a Muhamniadaii judge f whose services are 
requisitioned in connexion with bifthu, marriages and other 

legal matters. 



8 THE LIFE OF KAfR. 

was not born of a woman, but manifested as a 
boy.' My dwelling was in a lonely spot nigh to 
Kasi, 13 and there the weaver found me. I 
contain neither heaven (air) nor earth, but wis- 
dom only. I have come to this earth in spiritual 
form and of spiritual significance is my name. 
I have neither bones nor blood nor skin. I re- 
veal to men the Shabda (word). My body is 
eternal I am the highest being. These are the 
words of Kabir who is indestructible. " 

Thus were the Qizis defeated in their object 
and the name Kabir was given to the child. * 4 

As a boy Kabir gave great offence to both 
Hindu and Muhammadan playmates. When in 
the course of play he cried out "Rim, Ram" and 
"Had, Hari," the Muharnmadans called him a 
Kafir (unbeliever.) To this charge he retorted 
that he only was a K&fir who did evil. One day 
he put a tilak on his forehead and bjdneo round 
his neck and cried out "Narain, Ndrain." This 
action roused the ire of the Brahmins, since they 
regarded it as an infringement of their privileges, 
To their protest he objected : 

"This is my faith, my tongue is Vishnu, my 
eyes are NArain, and Gobind resides in my heart. 
What account will you give of your actions after 

(13) Ksi, the Hindu name for Benares, 

(14) For further comments on this legend sue Chapter IL 



THE LIFE OF KABR. 



9 



death ? Being a weaver, I wear a thread. You 
wear the sacred thread, and repeat the Gyatrl 
and Gita daily, but Gobind dwells in my heart. 
I am a sheep, you are shepherds; it is your duty 
to save us from sin. You are Brahmins, I am a 
weaver of Benares. Hear my wisdom. You daily 
search after an earthly king, while I am contem- 
plating Had." 15 

He was further taunted with being a nigura, 
one without the benefit of a spiritual guide. He 
was determined to remove what he, as well as 
they, regarded as a reproach. He desired to be- 
come the chela (disciple) of Ramanand but felt 
that there were difficulties in the way which 
could only be overcome by means of some 
artifice. 

He knew that if only he could gain posses- 
sion of the mantra peculiar to this sect, his in- 
itiation must necessarily follow. He learnt that 
R&minand regularly visited a certain bathing 
glidt and determined to lie down upon the steps 
of that ghdt in the hope that Rumknand might 
step on him by accident. His hope was rea- 
lised and the holy man in his astonishment ex- 
claimed "Ram, Rim." Kabfr knew that no words 
would rise so readily to the lips of this holy man 
as the mantra of his order and so claimed that 
as he was already in possession of the mantra he 

(15) Adi Grantk, Trumpp's translation, p, 661. 







10 THE LIFE OF KABR. 

could no longer be refused admission to the or- 
der. 16 

When Kabir announced that he had become 
the chela of Ramanand, both Hindus and Mu- 
hammadans were dismayed and a joint deputa- 
tion went to inquire of Ramanand whether It 
were true that he had received a Mtihammadan 
boy as one of his disciples. Ramanand asked 
them to produce the boy. The people took Kabir 
to him. Ramanand on his arrival raised the curtain 
which screened him from the public gaze and 
asked the boy when he had made him his dis- 
ciple. Kabir answered, "Various are the mantra* 
that Gurus whisper into the ears of their disciples, 
but you struck me on the head and communi- 
cated to me the name of Mm." The Swihnt 
recalled the circumstance, and drawing aside the 
curtain clasped him to his breast and said, "Be- 
yond all questioning you became my disciple." 
The members of the deputation returned home 
disappointed. Kabir returned to the weaver's 
house and set to work on the loom. When any 
Sadhu came to the house he used to have the 
ground prepared after the manner of Hindus and 
got food cooked for them in vessels not previous- 
ly used. He himself would wait upon them while 

(16) Kabir Pan this in conversation Bpeak of their mantra 
as "Earn Earn," but it is a mistake to suppose that thette 
words constitute the mantra either of their Paiith or of the 
Bamdnandis. These mantra* may riot be d totaled to the 
uninitiated, 



THE LIFE OF KABIR. 



11 



they took their food. His mother, Nima, was an- 
noyed at these proceedings which, she said, were 
not in accordance with tho customs of the 
family, 

From the time of his initiation Kabir is said to 
have regularly visited his Guru and, as years 
went on, to have taken part in religious disputa- 
tions with distinguished Pandits who came to do 
battle with his master. According to tradition 
Kabir was not possessed of any great amount of 
booklore, but in any case he must have gained 
through instruction, conversation and participa- 
tion in religious disputations a considerable 
knowledge of Hindu philosophical tb ought and 
familiarity with such questions as arose out oi 
the meeting of Hindu with Muhammadan be- 
liefs. 

It appears from legends of uncertain date that 
he continued to work as a weaver, giving part of 
his earnings to Nini and spending the rest in 
charity and more especially in giving food to 
Sidhus. Stories are told as to how on several 
occasions he mysteriously disappeared fora while 
from, his father's house and in miraculous ways 
supplied the needs of others. 

By some Kabir is said to have been married 
to a woman, named Loi, and to have had by her 
two children, a son Kamil and a daughter Kamd- 
li The circumstances which gave rise to this 



M 



12 THE LIFE OF K/\efR. 

conjecture are thus related in Kabir Kasautf. 

One day Kablr when he was some thirty 
years of age was walking along the bank of the 
Ganges when he came to a cottage belonging 
to a Bankhandi Bairdgi. 1 7 He went tip to the 
cottage and there sat down. After some time a 
girl, about twenty years of age ; also arrived. To 
her question as to who he was, Kabfr replied *I 
am Kabfr/ She again inquired as to his caste 
and sect (BhesK). To both questions he return- 
ed the same answer, 'KabiY. The girl observ- 
ed that though many Sants had come to that 
place none of them had ever given such a name 
for themselves, their caste or sect. Kabir said 
that in saying this she had said what was per- 
fectly true. 18 ' Meanwhile more Sants arrived. 
Presently the girl brought forth from the house 
a large supply of milk which she divided into 
seven shares. Five shares she gave to the Sants, 
one to Kabi'r and the remaining share she kept 
for herself. Kabfr placed his share on the 
ground. The Sants drank theirs and 
Kabir why he also did not drink his. Kabfr 

(17) BanWiandi is an epithet applied to Bairagfe who 
live in thejangal. 

(18) The meaning of this legend appears to be that there 
is only one God and that all men are lam ervanta and will oa 
day be brought into dose union with Him. Religious digt fac- 
tions are therefore out of place. The religious reformer may 
hare hoped that Hindus and Muhammadana would lay 

all prejudice and accept as a title for the one true God tho 
comparatively unknown term, Kablr (The Great One). 



THE LIFE OF KABK. 13 

replied that he was keeping it for a Sadlui, now 
on his way, travelling from the other side of the 
Ganges. The girl said, "Sir, drink your share, 
I have plenty left for him." Kabfr made answer 
"My food is the Word of God/' (Ham Shabda 
ahari /tain). Shortly afterwards the Sddhii 
arrived and the milk was given to him. The 
Sants asked the girl (Loi) of her parentage 
and how she came to be living in so lonely a 
spot, Loi replied that she had no parents 
living, that she had been brought up by a Sant, 
but that now he too was dead and she was 
living alone. They inquired the name oi the 
Sant and the circumstances under which she had 
come to be living with him. 

The girl, Loi,replied, "The Sant was a Bank- 
handi Bairdtji and he lived on milk alone. In 
reply to questions concerning me he used to say, 
'I was bathing one day in the Ganges when a 
basket struck against me. 1 opened the basket and 
found in it a female infant. 1 took the infant to 
my home and reared it by means of a wick soak- 
ed in milk. Having found the infant wrapt in 
clothes I gave it the name of Loi (blanket). 
Such is the account that the Swami would give 
to the Sants. 1 ' 

Loi having observed the gravity of Kabfr 
said to him. "Swdmi, give me such teaching as 
will bring me peace of mind/' Kabfr was pleased 




14 THE LIFE OF KAB*R 

with the obvious sincerity of the girl and ins- 
tructed her thus, "Always repeat Satyd Ndm 
(the true Name) and spend your days in the 
service of the Sants." In obedience to this teach- 
ing she laid aside all worldly thoughts, went to 
Kasf and passed her time in the service ol the 
Sants. Nimk thought that Kabfr had brought 
home with him a wife and asked for what 
purpose he had married her as they did not live 
together as husband and wife, 

On another occasion Kabir was walking 
along the bank of the Ganges, accompanied by 
Shaikh Taqqi, when the latter suddenly caught 
sight of the dead body of a child floating down 
the stream. The Shaikh suggested that Kabir 
should call the child. Kabir whispered some- 
thing into its ears, whereupon it at once began 
to weep. Shaikh Taqqi allowed that Kabir had 
worked a miracle. On account of its beauty Kabfr 
named the child Kamal (Perfection) and made 
it over to Loi who reared it. The child regarded 
Loi as its mother and others seeing the child in 
Loi's lap regarded Kabir as a married man. 

Some time afterwards Kabir happened to be 
in the house of a neighbour when his infant 
daughter died. Kabir sought permission to re- 
move the dead body to his house. The mother, 
who had heard how he had brought Kamil back 
to life, after some persuasion induced the fathe^ 



THE LIFE OF KAB!R 



15 



to give his consent. Kabir recalled the child to 
life by means of Shabda, called her Kamali and 
made her over to Loi to be reared. Both children 
worked at the loom and addressed Kabir as 
Swdmi ji. 

One day when Kamkli was now 20 years of 
age she happened to be drawing water at a well, 
when a Pandit came up and asked for a drink. 
Having quenched his thirst he asked whose 
daughter she was. He was greatly horrified 
when he learnt that she was the daughter of a 
weaver and exclaimed 'You have broken my 
caste/ Kamali was at a loss to understand for 
what reason he had become so angry, and per- 
suaded him to come and discuss matters with 
Kabir. Before either had had time to explain 
matters, Kabir, who could read the thoughts of 
men's hearts, exclaimed, "Before drinking water 
think on these things. What is defilement ? 
Fishes, tortoises, blood, salt, rotten leaves and 
the carcases of dead animals are all to be found 
in water. Croresof men have been slain by Kill ; 
at every step you take, you tread upon the dead 
body of some man and yet from such earth the 
vessels from which you drink are made. At 
meal times you take off your clothes for fear of 
defilement and wrap yourself in a dhoti that has 
been woven by a weaver. The fly that visits 
the dung hill settles on your food. How can 




THE LIFB: OF K 



you prevent this ? Dispel such illusions from the 
mind ; study the Vedas and take refuge in Rain/' 

At the Pandit's request Kabir jj;.vc him fur- 
ther instruction in the doctrine of Sutyd A\im 
and gave him Kamali in marriage. 

The plain speaking of Kabir and his general 
disregard for the conventions of society raised 
him up enemies on every side. According to 
Kabir Panthi traditions it was Shaikh Taqqi who 
voiced the feelings of Mulmmmadans ! : *. This 
famous Pfr came before the Emperor, Siknndar 
Lodi and accused Kahir of luyin;* rlaim to 
Divine attributes. Hemmed that nidi conduct 
merited the penalty of death, The Emperor is- 
sued a warrant for his arrest and sent men to 
bring him to the court. Not till evening could 
the men who were sent persuade Kabir to ac- 
company them. Kabir stood before the Km- 
peror in silence. The Q&zf exclaimed, "Why 
do you not- salute the Emperor, you kdfir ? " 
Kabir replied, "Those only are Piw who realise 
the pains of others, those who cannot are kdfir sf 
The Emperor asked him why, when ordered to 
appear in the morning, he had not come till 
evening. Kabir replied that he had a sight 
which arrested his attention. The Emperor ask- 
ed what kind of a sight could justify him in 

(19) On chronological and other grcmods it highly 

improbable that Shaikh Taqqi pkjed the part to 

him in this legend. See Chapter II. 



THE LIFE OF KABIR, 17 

disregarding his commands, Ivabir rejoined that 

he had been watching a string of camels passing 
through a street narrower than the eye of a 
needle. The Emperor said that he was a liar. 
Kabir replied, "O Emperor, realise how great is 
the distance between heaven ami earth. Innum- 
erable elephants and camels may be contained 
in the space between the sun and the moon, and 
all can be seen through the pupil of the eye which 
is smaller than the eye of a needle, " The Km- 
pcror was satisfied and let him go,- hut the peo- 
ple murmured and complained that ihe Emper- 
or had disregarded their complaints. Shaikh 
Taqqi said that it was contrary to the touching 
of the Prophet that a man who claimed Divine 
powers should be* allowed to live, and that Kabir 
should suffer as Mansur and Shams Tahre/J had 
suffered of old. -. 

The Brahmins added that he was be-dha*m 
because he had associated with a woman of ill 
fame and Rae Dass, the chanmr:- 1 Kabir told, 
the Emperor of his doctrine, but to no effect 

(20) lloth thfiFft mon wuiv Huff saints. Alaiwir was 
cruelly tnrtuwl and ni'rorwanl,- hmijj for mvirr? .!' MwwlF 
"I am thu Truth". Hhams-ud-dni Tahrr/.i w.rs tiw Mwxhitl 
(spiritual iliroctor) of .lah'ti-uil-diu, lUiuuu., an tlut author ol 1 
the Masriavi. He, flourishcil jthuul. I^M. 

(21) The Ohtimur* an* workcrHn Ic-aUnT and iu'**unl<vl 
of ^ very low c'tiste an bciiiji; tiKhorjiatisI itt thrir work with \\M\ 

kinHof clwtcl iinimnls. Svcml t'*ls|cianH rt-ibnutTH wwt> tncu 
of low caste ; ilw. DIIHH was a M//w/?y ,- Hf:i a birh<*r ; k'niij 
a cotton ftleannr; Nrtbhftji. thu unthor of* thr- Ma fit MMrt n 
aom 



18 THE LIFE OF KAHIK. 

for he sided with the people and gave orders 
that Kabir should be put to death. Kabfr was 
removed and made fast in chains. He was 
then placed on board a boat which was filled 
with stones. The boat sank, but Kabfr re-appear- 
ed as a boy, floating clown the stream on a 
leopard's skin.* 2 He was again captured and 
now an attempt was made to born him alive, 
He was locked up in a hut which was after- 
wards set on fire. When the flames were ex- 
tinguished Kabfr re-appeared in a form of great 
beauty. He was now accused of witchcraft and 
the people demanded that he should bc tram fil- 
ed to death by an infuriated elephant. Be- 
tween the elephant and Kabfr there appeared a 
lion, at the sight of which the elephant took 
fright. 23 Finally the Kmperorasked forgivinuss 
of Kabir and expressed his willingness to un- 
dergo any punishment that he might name. To 
this Kabir replied that a man should sow flowers 
for those who had sown him thorns. 

The stories so far related speak of Kabfr as 
a resident of Kasi ( Benares ). It is natural 
that his Hindu followers should wish to associ- 
ate him as closely as possible with their sacred 

(22) BairagiR often carry about the nktn of a !<>i*r or 
other animal upon which they take thttfv writ upon f bit tfrmiiifi, 
It is symbolic of a life spent in place* apart from the Imuni^ 
of men. 

(23) See additional Note, Kabir In History,' 1 nd<n- 
Shaikh Abdul Kabir, 



THE LIFE OF 



19 



city, but there is evidence both from the 

and the Adi Grant h to show that he did not at 

any rate spend the whole ol his life in Benares. 

In the Bijak is found a Ramaini which 
may be interpreted thus : 

" Kabfr settled for a while in Manikpur hav- 
ing heard of the praises of Shaikh Taqqi. He 
heard also about Ujf in the district of Jaunpur. 
At Jhusi he heard the names of his Pfrs/ 2 * 
He heard of twenty-one Firs in all They preach 
in the name of the Prophet. On hearing this 1 
could not refrain irom speaking. The people 
have looked on the shrines and gone astray. The 
works of Habibi (Beloved) andNabi (Prophet) 
are all contrary to law ( hardm ). O Shaikh 
Aqardi and Shaikh Saqardi, listen to my words. 
See the beginning as well as the end with open 
eyes, consider every period of the world's his- 
tory." 

In the opening lines of this Ramaini Kabfr 
seems to be enumerating the places which he 
had visited in his search for religious guidance : 
in the closing lines to be grieving over the 
thought that more honour is paid to the tombs of 
the dead than to the GOD in whose service their 
lives were spent. 25 

(24) HisPfrB,*. & Whaifrh Taqqi ami his father Shabfai-ut 



,. 

mUlat, who were always closely twKOcIatod together. 

(25) F<n' fui'lher comments upon this Ilamami see 
Chapter 11, 



20 ' THE LIFE OF 

In the Adi Qranth are put into 

the mouth of Kabfr, 

MyHajj is on the hank* of iltr Crtitittt ; where 
dwells my Pir f wearing i yellow roin:. 5 * 1 ' 

Reference is here apparently iii.nk to jaun* 
pur wnich is situated on the leli or northern 
bank of the Gointi. Jaunpur was iitc capital ot 
a famous Muhiimmadun (Sharqu d>na^ty. Ib- 
rahim, one of the kings of this ch im ty 1 1412), 
was a great patron of Muhammad;. n learning, 
bat was In this respect siinpasMul by Bib? Kajah, 
who built a magnificent Jami MoHjiur, a ('oHe/jc 
and a Monastery. She also appropiiatcii large 
sums of money for the niainUMutnrc ol those 
learned in Theology and the Sciences. With 
the exception of the Mosque all these building** 
were subsequently destroyed by Sikamiar Lodi 
either on religious or political ground*.-* 7 

We gather from this quotation that Kabfr 
was bom elsewhere than in Jaunpur, but that he 
received religious instruction in that city. 

There are many other stories connected with 
the life of Kabir, but we will only reproduce 
one more before passing on to consider the 
manner of his death. This story is of 

(20) ^ Muhamrajulaa Pirn wear yellow 

(27) Jaunpur in mid to be a corruption of Jftvunpnt'. 
Jmm a term applied originally to thcj'UreukH, was 
tly applied to the Muhaiwnadaoft. The til 

would therefore be The city of 



THE LIFE OF KAB|R 21 

as it associates Kabir with Central India whexe 
at the present time his influence is most strong- 
ly felt. 

There lived in the Deccan two brothers, 
Tatva and Jiva, who were anxious to find for 
themselves a spiritual guide. They used relig- 
iously to wash the feet of the many Sadhiis 
who visited their house and listened attentively 
to their teaching. At a loss to discover which 
of these Sadhus were possessed of real spiritual 
power they devised the following test. They 
planted in the courtyard of their house a with- 
ered branch of a banyan tree and agreed to ac- 
cept as their Guru that Sddhu whose power was 
such, that the washings of his feet would avail 
to restore the branch to life. For forty years 
they waited in vain for one who could satisfy 
the test and were almost, in despair of ever find- 
ing the desired Gurii, when Kabir arrived upon 
the scene. The branch when sprinkled with the 
water in which his feet had been washed imme- 
diately returned to life. Kabir was accepted as 
their Guru and gare utterance to these lines : 

The Sadhus arc my soul and I am the body of the 

Sidh&s : 1 live in the S&dhus, as rain lives in the 

clouds. 

The Sldhus are my Atmd, and 1 am the life of the 

Sldhus : I live in the Sidhus, as gU lives in the 

milk. 




22 THE LIFE OF KAIUR. 

The Sfidhus are my Atma and I am ihc bread <!' 

the Sidhus: I. live in the Sadlnis as inij^nUK'c live* 
in the flowers. 

All accounts agree that the earthly lite of 
Kabfr came to a close at Magiuir in the district 
of Gorakhpur. We are not told whether he had 
ever previously visited this place, hut he may 
possibly havedone so when on a visit to Gorakh- 
Nath,the famous Yogi and founder of the Shivitc 
sect that bears his name, 

There are lines in the Adi Granth in which 
Kabir refers to the austerities practised by Gor- 
akh Ndth and speaks of him as* having died in 
spite of all. 28 

Tradition relates that Kabir died in extreme 
old age, when his body had become infirm and 
his hands were no longer able to produce the 
music with which he had in younger days cele- 
brated the praises of Ram. If he had lost the 
company of earthly friends he felt more closely 
united, than ever before, to one from whom lie 
would never more be parted. Such appear to be 
the thoughts which find expression in the follow- 
ing lines, quoted from the Adi Granth ; 
Benares has been left by me and my intellect has 
become little : my whole life i lost in Slrivpuri, 

(28) Gorakh Nath and another Hindu ascetic, Uuehhmi- 
dar, who is more than once referred Lo in the JB\jak t wrc 
by tradition associated with Jhtisi, Sec Allahubad 
p, 190. 




THE LIFE OF 



at the time of death I have arisen and come to 
Maghar. 

my King, I am a Bairagi and Yogi : when dying, 

1 am, not grieved, nor separated from Thee, 

The mind and breath are made the drinking gourd, 

the riddle is constantly prepared : the string has 

become firm, it does not break, unbeaten the fiddle 

sounds. 29 

Sing, sing, O bride, a beautiful song of blessing : 

King Ram, my husband, has come to my house. 

It was the wish of his disciples that Kabfr 
should end his days at Kasi where so much of 
his religious work had been accomplished. All 
who died in Kasi, they urged, would pass 
immediately into the presence of Ram, while 
those who died at Maghar would return to 
this world and assume the form of an ass. Kabfr 
rebuked them for their want of faith. Is the 
power of Ram so limited that he cannot save his 
servant because he prefers to die outside Kasf, 
the city of Shiva ? 

What Kasi ? What Maghar ? He who dies at Maghur 
is not dead, when Ram has taken up his abode in 
my heart; : he who dies elsewhere puts Ram to 
shame. 

A difficulty arose with regard to the disposal 
ofhis body after death. The Muhammadans 

(29) In Kabfr literature the soul of man is often compared 
to a string, FJis soul is now attuned to sing the praises of 
Ood, 






24 THE LIFE OF KAitta 

desired to bury it and the Hindus to cremate it. 
As the rival parties discussed the question with 
growing warmth Kabir himself appeared and 
bade them raise the cloth in which tin* liody lay 
enshrouded. They did as he commanded and 
lo t beneath the cloth there lay but a of 

flowers ! Of these flowers the Hindu* 
half and burnt them at Benares, while what 
remained were burled at Maghar by Muham- 
madans. 10 



(80) A vcrv ftimilar fttory in tnM In rannoYMtt wittt tit** 

death of Nilaak. ttee HuftheH* Dfciiciiiiiry of I*ltti, ji. rHH. 



ADDITIONAL NOTE. 
Kabir in History, 

The following abstracts from standard books of 
reference will suffice to show that the name 
"Kabir" is not so rare as has sometimes been sup- 
posed. There is reason to question the accuracy 
of some of the dates* and reason to believe that 
some of Kabir's biographers, working upon the 
assumption that there was only one Kabir, have 
unhesitatingly appropiatcd details from the lives 
of several. 

In Khazinat-ul-A&fitt ( Treasury of Saints ), 2 
written by Maulvi Gulam Sarwar and published 
at Lahore about 1868, mentioned is made of 

(1) Kabir Chink-it, Sufi and inhabitant of Nlgo re 
who on account of ill-treatment at the hands of 
Muhammadans journeyed in the direction of Guj- 
erat: and died there in 1854 

(2) Shaikh KMr Juldha, the disciple and 
successor of Shaikh Taqqi, who is described as 
being one of the great men of his time and a leader 
among Thcists. He is described as the author 
of many Hindi writings which prove him to have 

(1) Dates may have been tratiHferred from the History of one 
man to that of another bearing the same name, or difficulty 
may have been experienced in deciphering dates written in. 
Peinian figure*, without an accompanying verbal explanation. 

(2) In thin book Shaikh Taqqi in described t&Jffaydk, the 
Arabic equivalent of the Persian Jtoll&ha. He Is said to have 
ilvod at Mamkpur and to have died in 1574. 





1J 



r V 
i ' 

i / 



26 KABfR IN HISTORY. 

been a man of great ability. He taught the 
Sufi doctrine of Wital (Union with God) and 
preserved silence with regard to the contrary 
doctrine of Firaq. (Separation). He is said to 
have been the first to write anything about God 
and his attributes in the Hindi language and to 
have been the author of various Hindi poems. On 
account of his religious toleration he was accepted 
as a leader by Hindus as well as by Muhammadam 
and styled by the former fir Kabtr and by the 
latter Shagat Kabir. The -date of" his death "u 
given as 1594. 

(3) "KhwAjah Aulid Kablr who visited Bokliinl 
and died in 1229, 

(4) Syed Kabir-ud-din llawnn of the same 
family as Kabir-ud-din Ismail, who is said to 
have travelled three times round thtr world and to 
have lived to the age of 180. He resiilcd at Uch 
in Balakh (Baluchistdn) were he died in 14*10, 

(5) Shaikh JTa6fr, the son of Shaikh Munawar 
and resident of Bajaora, who is simply described an 
a conceited man and a victim of the opium habit. 

I n Sair-ul-Aqtab (History of Pillar Saints), 
written by Shaikh Allah, Diya, mentuni is made tl' 

(6) 'Shaikh Abdul Kallr who is H;IIC! to haw 
been a saint from his mother's womb and to have 
possessed a great power of foretelling event!,. Hi* 
was known as Shaikh Kabir or Bull Plr and inherit- 
ed the priestly robe of the Sufis from his father, 
Abdul Quddus. He performedjmany miracles aud by 



KABIR IN HISTORY. 



27 



merely shaking the sleeve of his robe was able to 
cause a lion to appear. He had a taste for singing 
and was lavish in his hospitality. He had four 
sons and many disciples. The king of Jaunpur, 
Sultan Sikandar Lodi, together with his Vizier, 
Bhura, and Malik Mahmud, determined to test his 
powers as a saint. It was arranged that they 
should visit him one evening, each having pre- 
viously in his own mind thought of some parti- 
cular dish. If the Pfr supplied the want of each 
he was to be regarded as a man of God. As soon 
as they entered his house Kablr brought a dish of 
venison sandwiches and placed it before the king ; 
to the Vizier he offered a bowl of soup and some 
bread and to Malik Mahmiid a dish of sweetmeats. 
The result was that his guests begged forgiveness for 
having ever called his powers in question. This 
Kablr died in 1539. He is said to have been 
succeeded by his son Shaikh Usm&n, who was gener- 
raily known as Zinda Pir. 3 

In Mutff.khib-ul-Taw<lrikh by Mullah Abdul Qadir 
of Budaon mention is made of 

(7) Shaikh Kablr, a resident of Multiin, who 
journeyed northwards to Balakh and returned from 
thence to India and travelled in the company of 
Akbar. Owing to exhaustion brought on by the 
severity of his devotions and night watches he is 
said to have presented the appearance of a drunkard. 
(3) The name jftdld Plr occurs in the list of the Mahants 
of the Dharra Dass flection of the Kablr Panth and the words 
Zinda, Pir in the legend of the naming of Kabir. 



28 KABfR IN HISTORY. 

Mullah Abdul Qidlr himself met this saint at 
Fatehpurin 1585 A. D. 

In Akhbar-iil-Akhy<lr mention in made of 
(8) Amir Kablr Mir Syed All JfAmdani who visit- 
ed Kashmir in 1379 and died there five yearn later, 
After his death a dispute arose concerning the dis- 
posal of his body between the people of Kashmir, 
Sultan Muhammad and Shaikh Ac{\vam-uti*ciin of 
Badakhshan. The last named finally neatml the 
"body, but the people of Kashmir erected a cenotaph 
at the place where he died. 

In the PerisMa mention is also made of 
(9) Syed Ahmad Kabfr, the Father of Syce! 
Jaldl-ud-din, and 

(10) KaUr-ud-dln hmafl, grandson, ilndplt* and 
successor of Syed JaUlI-ud-dfn, otherwise known as 
Mahlcdum Jahanian or Jahnn Qn*ht Hhtib frtim the 
fact that he travelled extensively to Mecca, Halakh 
etc. Kabir-ud-din Ismail also travelled extensively 
and died in 1421. 

(n) At Jaunpur there is a small Ma*ji<i, built 
in memory of Divin Shih Kabir who was one of 

four brothers, all of whom lie buried in the name 
j 

plot of ground. This Masj id, which was buih dur- 
ing the reign or the Emperor Humayan, "u situat- 
ed in the Muhalla Tdr Tali. 



Chapter II. 



THE LIFE OF KABfR (Contd). 

The traditional life of Kabir has a poetical 
beauty which in its power to commend a 
Muhammadan Saint to Hindu followers may be 
thankfully regarded as a prophecy of the great. 
er reconciliation of conflicting faiths to which 
so many of us look forward. The veil that has 
been drawn over the first beginnings of an f| 

important religious movement we would rever- 
ently raise, trusting thereby to add additional 
lustre to the brave efforts of a distinguished 
champion of religious truth. 

Prof. Wiiioii, die distinguished Sanskrit 
scholar, to whose investigations every English 
student of lauuin religious thought owes so deep 
a debt of gratitude, writes of the improbability, 
not to say impossibility, of Kablr's having been 
a Muhammadan, and with no more respect does 
he treat Col Malcolm's suggestion that he 
belonged to the Sufi sect. Later writers have 
been content to yield to authority and t 
accept as established truth the judgement of a 
great scholar. 

Did we believe that Prof- Wilson had care- 
fully investigated all the documents that are 



30 



THE LIFE OF 





- if! 



now available to students, we should hardly 
presume to question the accuracy of his judge- 
ment, but we cannot help feeling that in the 
immensity of the tasks which he imposed upon 
himself he has overlooked some part of the 
evidence, or possibly too readily accepted the 
statements of fellow workers in the same fidd, 
Any one who has read Prof. Wilson's ac- 
count of Kablr's life would carry away* the 
impression that Nabhaji, the author of the 
Bhakta Mala, had recorded some at least of the 
legends which have found a place { ,,h pre . 
vious chapter. Nabhaji himself, to judge from 
the carefully printed edition of the Bhaki* 
Mala now ^ current in India, is only responsible 
tor the following statement : 

"Kabfr refused to acknowledge caste dis- 
tortions or to recognise the authority of the 'm. 
aoho of Hindi philosophy, nor did he 

y ' 



ascetiasm, fasting and almsgiving had no 



IT \ ' 

' of Ramaim's, u a uas ana 




THE LIFE OF KAB!R. 



31 



He spoke out his mind fearlessly and never 
made it his object merely to please his hearers." 

This short account describes a man who 
had no great sympathy with Brahminical teach- 
ing, who believed in a personal God and in 
salvation by faith rather than by good work$ 9 
and who delivered a message, regarded as God's 
message, to Hindus and Muhammadans alike. 

This is all that is stated in the text, but to 
the text is appended a commentary written by 
a later hand 1 . In this commentary it is stated 
that Kabfr in his desire to wear a Kkanti round 
his neck and a tilak on his forehead (to attract 
a Hindu audience) made up his mind to be- 
come a disciple of Rdmdnand and achieved his 
purpose as described in the previous chapter 2 ; 
that Muhammadans objected to the repetition 
of 'Ram, Ram/ by a co-religionist and asked 
Rdmanand whether it were true that he had 
received %.julahd as his disciple ; that Rama- 
nand at first denied that he had done so but 
when confronted with Kabfr acknowledged his 
mistake. Mention is also made of the fact 

(1) A wording to one account Nabhaji wrote hin account 
of the llkagatit in Hannkrit and awked bin dmciple IMya Dasg 
to provide it with a commentary, Priya made a beginning and 
then handed over the MH to Gobardhari Nath. Finally the 
commentary was completed by Narairi DattH, a disciple of Go- 
bardhan Nafch and published in 1769. 

(2) We gather from the legend that Kabir waa received 
into the Ka'mo'nandi Beet a& a Hindd and that trouble 
aroB<i Bubflqucntly when it was dincovercd that he was really 
a Mubammadan. 



THE LIFE OF KABI'K*. 



that Kabir was before thf Emperor, 

Sikandar Lodi, and refused on that occasion to 
salute the Emperor, that he was sentenced to 
death and was in succession thrown into the 
Ganges, committed to the flame* and 
to the fury of an elephant, but all to no pur- 
pose. It is added that the Emperor, 
In his desire to destroy Kabir, reco^nis") that 
he had acted wrongly, Kabir's forgive- 

ness and offered to compensate him lor the 
injuries inflicted* 

N&bhiji may have been acquainted with the 
legends BOW appended to his statement and liii 
editor may have known of other not 

recorded, but we have no right to usbUtue 
knowledge, nor uiu we yet in a position to itay 
at what time other legends gradually iu-ramc 
current. All that we know is that such are 
BOW to be found in various writings of unknown 
date, but accepted as authoritative by 
of the Kabfr Panthu 

. We are Inclined to accept both of the theo- 
ries advanced by -Col. Malcolm and to 
not only that Kabfr was a Muhammadan by 
birth but also that he was with the 

Sufi order ; and that the great object of his life 
was to break down the barriers that 
Hindus from Muhammadam. Wa believe 
in his desire to achieve this object he actually 



THE LIFE OF KABR. 33 

took up his residence in Benares and associated 
there with the followers of Ramanand. We 
can well imagine that his teaching gave offence 
both to orthodox Muharnmadans and to or- 
thodox Hindus, and it is probable that both 
parties welcomed the opportunity afforded by 
Sikandar Lodi's visit to Jaunpur in 1495 to wait 
upon him with a request that he would rid 
them of one who despised tradition when in 
conflict with the truth. 

Sikandar Lodi is represented by Muhamma- 
dan historians as one who was zealous lor the 
faith and had on one occasion put to death a 
distinguished pandit, Jodhan by name, because 
he refused to allow that Islam had a monopoly 
of spiritual truth. Fortunately for Kabfr Mu- 
hammadan rulers were wont to allow Sufis 
considerable license in their criticism of the 
faith, especially when such Sufis combined 
personal piety with poetical talent. When we 
read how the enemies of Kabir reminded the 
Emperor of the fate that had befallen Mansur 
and SMms Tabrezi who were both distinguished 
Sufi saints, we feel that they had some know- 
ledge of this weakness and feared lest Kabfr 
might on such grounds escape the death penal- 
ty which alone would satisfy their embittered 
feelings. Their fears were realised, for we 
gather from the legend that the Emperor coil- 



34 THE LIFE OF 

promised the case ; he spared the life of Kabir, 
but banished him from the city where his 
teaching had given so great offence* 

That Kabir had been brought up in a Mu- 
hammadan family was probably a fact too well 
known to allow of contradiction* All that his 
Hindu followers could do was to that 

he was not of Muhammadan origin, but only a 
Muhamniadan by adoption. The name Kabir 
was also too well established to allow of any 
alteration. It only remained to explain its origin 
in a way that would commend itself to those 
who accepted the story of the virgin birth. Such 
an explanation was to be found in the fact that 
Al Kabir is one of the 99 names (if God in use 
among Muhammadans. The name Kabir occurs 
in the Qoran six times as a title of Allah and 
once as a title of Al-Rabb. 

The legend that calls attention to this fact 
|;;fy|' presents a curious blend of Hindu and Muham- 

madan procedure. It is customary for Muham- 
||! madans to open a Qordn and give to the child 

|f'|f ; the name on which the eye of the reader may 

T j*jf| first chance to fall ; it is customary for Hindfis 

\ ' JM to bestow upon a child a name containing three 

1 ;,.><' words usually beginning with the same letter 

j ' ,/ and so similar in sound. This name is suggest* 

f edb y the position of the stars at the time of 

and is known as the jfttaor astronomical 



THE LIFE OF KAB!R. 



35 



name. The three names, Akbar, Kubra and 
Kibriyk said to have been found by the Qazi in 
the Qordn are all derived from the same root 
KBR ' great/ Of these three names however 
only one, Kibriya, is to be found in modern 
Qorans. Of the three nrmes Zinda, Khinjar 
and Pir, the first and third are Persian words 
and as such not found in the Qordn. Khinjar is 
probably a corruption ofKhizar the name of the 
saint who is in the Qoran associated with Moses. 

A legend containing impossible details can 
hardly be regarded as a literal representation of 
historical fact. 

Muhammadan tradition asserts that Kabfr 
had a son, Kamdl by name. This name also is 
of Arabic origin and so a source of difficulty to 
those who regard Kabfr as a Hindu sddh$. 
There is a word kamnial, a corruption of kam- 
bal (blanket) and in one version of the Kamal 
legend it is slated that Kabfr caught sight of 
the child floating down the stream, wrapt up in 
a blanket and cried out, not " Kamal, Kam&l " 
but " Kammal, Kammal." 

Muhammadan tradition implies that Kabfr 
like other Sufi leaders was a married man, but 
as, in accordance with Muhammadan custom, no 
mention is made of his wife's name, Hindis 
were free to supply her with a Hindi name and 
chose Loi which also means a blanket* 



ii; 



I 



i| 



r?/' 



36 THE LIFE OF 

There is a possible reference to his wife in the 
following lines contained in the Adi Grants 
The first wife was ugly, of tow caste, of ill- 
boding feature : wicked in the house <f her father- 
in-law and in her father's house ; 

The present wife is beautiful, intelligent, of 
auspicious features, easily child-hearing* 

These lines may be interpreted to mean that 
Kabir had lost his wife, but found comfort in 
closer union with God ; or they may moan that 
the soul at first united with a material body re- 
f, ?! ' jolced in the thought of becoming spiritually 

!' ; ',^ one with God. 

i ,'!'"]', In certain respects the legendary life of 

t,l l )! Kabir presents remarkable parallels to incidents 

I, 1 !;?;!! in the life of Christ. After an account of the 

virgin birth we read that Kabfr, as a boy, 

* |^ ijPit 

|i r |)f meets and worsts in argument a learned Pandit; 

j j Hjf; he is criticised for associating with the outcasts 

of society.; he miraculously supplies the poor 
with bread ; he incurs the hostility of the rcii- 

;|; \\ 1 gious leaders of his time ; he from the 

dead a boy and a girl and is ministered to by 
women. The full account of his appearance 
before Sikandar Lodi presents in many details a 
striking resemblance to Christ's trial 
Pilate. 

The books containing these are of 

comparatively late date and the writers may 



THE LIFE OF KABR. 



37 



have been influenced by a desire to assimilate 
the life of Kabfr to that of Christ. 

Many of the legends, especially some which 
have not been mentioned in this chapter seem 
to have originated in a desire to explain the 
circumstances under which some of KabiVs best 
known sayings were first spoken, or to associate 
the memory of Kabir with persons and institu- 
tions held in special reverence by Hindus. 
Several appear in different forms and nearly all 
contain details which must raise difficulties in 
the minds of all who are not overcredulous. 

In the Dabistin, a Persian history, said to 
have been written by Mohsin Fani of Kashmir 
in the reign of AJkbar, it is stated that Kabir was 
a weaver and a Muwahid i.e. a believer in one 
God. It is further stated that in his desire to 
find spiritual guidance he visited Muslim as well 
as Hindii sages, and finally became a disciple 
of Rdminand under the circumstances already 
recorded in this legend. Mention is also made 
of the following story : 

One day when certain Brahmins were expati- 
ating on the purifying qualities of the Ganges 
water, Kabir filled his wooden cup with water 
from the river and offered it to them to drink. 
They were horrified at the thought of drinking 
out of the cup belonging to a low caste man ; 
upon which Kabir remarked, "If the Ganges 



**., 



38 THE LIFE OF KABfR. 

water cannot purify my cup, how can I believe 
that it can wash away my sins ? " 

The statement that Kabir was a Julaha and 
, Muwahid is confirmed by AbulFazl and has never 

\ been contradicted. What we have to deter- 

mine is the exact meaning of the statement. 
Hindus have assumed that Kabir in early life 
actually followed the profession of a weaver and 
f have quoted his use of weaving metaphors by 

way of illustration. This he may have done, 
5 but we must also bear in mind that it was cus- 

V v ternary for Muhammadans of that age to attach 

i ' : to their personal names the name of the profes- 

;,' \, sion with which their family had originally been 

J I associated. The term Muwahid was not, so far 

| ;/| as I can learn, ever applied by Muhammadans 

^ ! | to those whom they regarded as idolaters. It 

! * I implies that he was a Theist and not a Panthe- 

;';, I ist. The prevailing impression that Kabir was a 

; '; Pantheist appears to be based upon two false 

'; 4 assumptions, (i) that he is responsible for all 

i , ,|, the teaching given by his Hindu followers at a 

later age and (2) that all the statements contain- 
ed in the Bijak represent his personal views 
There is reason to believe that insufficient care 
has been taken in studying the context in which 
certain sayings occur; reason to fear that Kabir 
has been credited with the argument of Maya 
whom he at all times ruthlessly condemns. 



THE LIFE OF KAB!R. 38 

Great interest attaches to the mention of 
Shaikh Taqqi. According to the Hindu legends 
Shaikh Taqqi was the rival and opponent of 
Kabir, while Muhammadans regard him as his 
Pir, In the Ramaini quoted in the previous 
chapter there is probably a reference to two 
Shaikh Taqqis whom later writers have not 
been always careful to distinguish. 

Shaikh Taqqi of Mdnikpur Kard was a najdf, 
(cotton cleaner) by profession and belonged to 
the Chistia order of Sufis. He is said to have 
died at Bhandarpur in 1545 but there is probably 
some mistake about the date. In the Aina 
Oudk it is stated that this Shaikh Taqqi was 
the disciple and successor of Shaikh Nathan 
Ddni who himself succeeded Shaikh Khw&jah 
Kargh and that the last named died in 1305. 
Shaikh Taqqi was succeeded by his son Makan 
who founded a village in the Fatehpur district 
which is called after him Makanpur. His des- 
cendants are still to be found in that and the 
neighbouring villages. From the statement 
contained in the Ramaini it appears that Kabir 
visited Manikpur and remained there for some 
time in attendance upon the Shaikh or his 
successors. 

The Manikpur referred to is situated on the 
Northern bank of the Ganges, between Fateh- 
pur and Allahabad. It was for a short time the 



40 THE LIFE OF KA&IR. 

Military head quarters of the Emperor Sikandar 
Lodi. Near Minikpur, but on the Southern 
bank of the river is Kari generally known as 
Kark Mdnikpur, at that time a ciiy of consi- 
derable importance, the MuhammaUan capital 
of the surrounding country Kara. 

Kara Minikpur is the head quarters of a 
sect, called Maliik Dassis. Members of this 
when on pilgrimage to JaganmUh are required 
to visit the Math of the Kabir Panthis and to 
receive there Kabir ka Tardni which consists of 
a piece of bread and a spoonful of sour 
water. 3 

At the same time it would seem that Kabir 
was more closely associated with Shaikh Tucjqi 
of Jhusi 4 or his successors in office* This 
Shaikh was the son of Shaban-ul-Mttlut and 
belonged to the Soharwardfi order of Sufis. He 
died in 1429 (A. BL 785) and his tomb at 
is still a place of pilgrimage, 5 Kabir in said to 
have been a young man of about 30 of 

age when he first made the acquaintance of the 
Shaikh. At the time he desired to have as his 
Pir one whose hand would ever remain over 

(3) Maldk Dim is said to have boon born lit IE74, TIw 
Granth of this sect includes Qykn JDipak, Sukh *Y/<i/U utui 
3f<M1c Dil$8 U JBhaUL The two ftrefc are Kabir ftinth 
writings. See Wilson, E. 8. P. 102. 

(4) Jhusi stands aear the confluence of the OIUI^IM am! 
the jrtwma, in the immediate ndghbcmrhood of Allaliiilniit. 

(5) In. the Aina Oudh the fatlior of Bteipi Taqqi !i mM 
to have been born in 1261, 



THE LIFE OF KABfR, 41 

him to protect him from all evil. Shaikh Taqqi 
promised to help him in this way and proved 
true to his word, for even in the remote regions 
of Balkh and Bokhara Kabir saw the protecting 
hand of his Pir stretched over him as that of a 
guardian angel. f; When Kabir returned from 
his wanderings and repaired to Jhusi to pay his 
respects to his Master he felt the pangs of hung- 
er and asked that he might have some food. 
The Shaikh provided him with some vegetables, 
cooked rice and some skimmed milk spiced 
with caraway seeds. Kabir regarded these sup- 
plies as inadequate to the occasion and exclaim- 
ed : 

Sdg, bhdt, jirwdni mlthi 

Hamre Pir ke yehi hat&. 

Vegetable, rice, skimmed milk spiced with caraway ; 

These things only can behad in the market of my Pir, 

The Shaikh was vexed with his ingratitude 

and replied: 

Yih chhor aur kya khah hai mati, 

Toll upar pare che mas ki tlti. 
Beside this what would you eat, earth? 
May six months disease come over you. 

As the result of this curse Kabir for six 
months suffered severely from attacks of diarr- 
hoea. He rolled on the ground in agony and 
the two empty water courses in which he was 

(6) The people of JhM were not sure that Kabir ac- 
tually visited those distant lands. They thought it possible 
that he merely closed his eyes and visited them in imagination, 

D 





42 THE LIFE OF K 



then compelled to pass his time are still to be 

seen, the one bearing the name of Kahir Nala 

and the other that of Lotan Nahu At thy end 

of six months he was once more permitted to 

approach his Pir. He apologized for his past 

ingratitude and received a blessing from his 

Master. Kabir besought the Shaikh to bestow 

upon him, such a blessing that he might be en- 

abled to remove those differences of ticliVf which 

separated Hindus from Muhamntadans. Shaikh 

Taqqi regretted that this lay beyond his power, 

"but said that he would bring it about that both 

Hindus and Muhammadans should regard Kabir 

himself with reverence, Kamal,tho son of Kabir 

when he heard of bis father's request went to 

Shaikh Taqqi and requested him as his Pir to 

release him from all further obligations to his 

father for he could never bring himself to look 

with favour upon Hindus. The Shaikh gave 

Kamil permission to go and settle at Jahilpur v 

some ten miles distant from JhusL 

Kabir was sorrowful when he learnt of his 

son's determination and exclaimed, 

Dubba bans Kabir ka. upja put Kimdl 

The family of Kabir became extinct when his son 

Kamal was born. 7 

' (0 A similar saying occurs in the Ad! Omnth: T!ic f 

progeny of Kabir dead; there was born a sou Kam&l Having I 

given up the remembrance of Hari, he has brought wealth to 
the house. 



THE LIFE OF KAB|R. 



43 



Previous to the mutiny there was at Jhusi a 
large Mosque, associated with the memory of 
Shaikh Taqqi and endowed with landed property, 
bringing in an annual income of Rs. 100,000. 
After the mutiny the Mosque was destroyed and 
the lands confiscated.* 

The various allusions to persons and places 
contained in the Raraaini quoted in the previ- 
ous chapter have been a great cause of per- 
plexity to Hindu readers of the Bijak. Ma- 
nikpur they explained as being the city of the 
man (mind;. Of Uji, a village near Kharauna 
in the district of Jaunpur, famous of old as the 
residence oi some distinguished Muhammadan 
saint, they had never heard. When the people 
of Jhusi were asked about the 'Ikkis Pir' (twen- 
ty one Pir) they at once made mention of the 
Akela Per (solitary tree), a large tree that 
stands alone and under which a Muhammadan 
saint used to take up his abode. The piompt- 
ness of their reply suggested that the original 
text might have been emended by some Hindu 
who had never heard of the Akela Per. Shaikh 
Akardi and Shaikh Saqardi who became a still 
greater cause of perplexity were according to 
local tradition the Tujdwar or caretakers of 
Shaikh Taqqi's shrine, who were regarded by 

(8) Mont of the information concerning Jhtisi traditions 
was supplied by Shah Fida Hussafu, Government Pensioner, 
resident in JhiM. 



44 THE LIFE OF KAB!R. 

the people with so great respect that they were 
popularly known as Shaikhs. 

We have probably written enough to show 
that It is not impossible that Kabfr should have 
been both a Muhammadan and a Sufi The 
picture of Kabfr which forms the frontispiece 
of this volume and which is more likely to have 
been painted by a Hindu than by a Muhamma- 
dan represents him as having Mulmmmadan 
features, and his grave at Maghar has always 
been in the keeping of Mtihammaclans. That 
a Muhammadan should have been the Father 
of Hindi literature may indeed be a cause of 
surprise, but it must not be forgotten that Hin- 
dus also have gained distinction as writers of 
Persian poetry. Kabi'r, moreover, wan a man of 
no ordinary ability and determination, and the 
purpose of his life was to get his ac- 

cepted by those who were best reached through 
the Hindi language. 



Chapter III. 

THE TEACHING OF KABIR. 

In the days of Kabir the power of the Brah- 
mins was very great. As some would express 
it, the whole land was overcast by the dark 
clouds of priestcraft and sacerdotalism. Brah- 
manisrn, invigorated by its triumph over Buddh- 
ism, asserted its authority over all, until the 
Muhammadans invaded the country and gra- 
dually extended their influence throughout 
Northern India. Then people saw that there 
were men whose views about religion were radi- 
cally different fivm those of their own Pandits ; 
they became acquainted with men who were 
only with difficulty restrained on political grounds 
from exterminating all who refused to acquiesce 
in their own religious beliefs. 

We are not in a position to say how far 
religious thinkers were encouraged by the pre- 
sence of Muhammadans to give expression to 
the thoughts of their hearts, but there is no 
doubt that the presence of the followers of Islam 
stimulated thought on such subjects as caste, 
spiritual birth and the personality of God* 
Among the Muhammadans none were more 
ready than the Sufis to recognise the good in 



46 THE TEACHING OF KAB!R. 

every form of belief and to dwell upon the love 
of God towards all his creatures. 

Before considering the character of Kabir's 
teaching we have first to determine what his 
teaching was. It seems probable that the 
teaching of Kablr was delivered orally and not 
reduced to writing till a later age. The earliest 
writings in which his teaching is recorded are 
the Bijak and the Adi Granth. It is probable 
that neither of these books was composed till 
at least fifty years after the death of Kablr, and 
they can hardly be regarded as retaining in all 
passages the actual words of the teacher, much 
less such words without additions. 

Though it is inadvisable to express any defi- 
nite opinion on such a subject, until the contents 
of the Bijak have been carefully examined and 
compared with the productions of a later age, 
yet there is reason to believe that the teaching 
of Kabir has gradually become more and more 
Hindu in form. At any rate we have no right 
to assume that the teaching of Kablr was iden- 
tical with that given at the present time by the 
Mahants of the Panth that bears his name, 

So far the contents of the Bijak have only 
been made known in part, and all who have 
studied the book allow that it contains many 
passages that are practically unintelligible to us 
of a later age, dark riddles which they are tin- 



THE TEACHING OF KAB!R. 



able to interpret. An exposition of teaching 
which is based upon a selection from selections, 
must of necessity be defective ; and may possib- 
ly be misleading, if regarded as an interpreta- 
tion of the whole. A mind influenced by Chris- 
tian thought is naturally inclined to dwell up- 
on teaching that seems to have affinity with 
truths that it is in a position to appreciate 
Passages which to the original teacher may 
have seemed no less important are hurriedly 
passed over because the reader through lack of 
knowledge is unable to estimate their value* 

Bearing in mind these limitations we will pro- 
ceed to examine the teaching of Kabir as illus- 
trated by quotations from the Bijak and the Adi 
Granth. 3 We shall meet with teaching which 
will immediately call to mind passages of Scrip- 
ture f we shall meet with condemnations of 
falsehood which, as regards directness of speech, 
should amply satisfy the feelings of the most 
militant type of Missionary. We shall admire 
the Teacher, alike for his sincerity and his 
courage. 

THE WORLD AND RELIGION. 

There are men who live in the world as 
though it were their permanent abode ; men 

(1) Sec Additional Note on Bijak, 

(2) To thoHc who have a knowledge of the subject the 
references to Sufi teaching will probably appear to be rery 
n umerous. 



tl 



48 THE TEACHING OF KAB!R. 

who take thought for the body and pay heed 
to its desires, as though it were a permanent 
possession ; men who accumulate riches as 
though they were free from the thraldom of 
death. Such men will never obtain true happi- 
ness, nor will they unravel the knots by which 
they are bound, until they look to Gocl for help. 
He who would know God must die to the world* 
God is a jealous G-od who loves not those who 
entertain in their hearts love for another god. 
Man cannot serve God and mammon. Only 
those who give their entire heart to God will 
realise their true self. The knowledge of Gocl 
is as a precious diamond, recognised only by 
those who are spiritually minded. The true 
>ki i^ servants of God are few in number, and to the 

^ijS; worldly minded seem as men who arc beside 

{' l!^' themselves. 

j! 1 $?! All who live in this world are liable to temp- 

fr^ff tation; the black snake coils itself round the 

^f^(l ' sandal tree. The poison of the snake received 

>; ; f ;|t i nt the body works corruption and in 

['',''fil death. Those alone escape who place their 

,, ';! trust in God. 

I '%j Selfishness and pride of intellect are the ene- 

; , ^ mies of spiritual development* 3 Those only 

, ( ; 4 see God who have a forgiving spirit. The strug- 

'' <u ^5' Ka k* r ' s condemnation of pride and commendation of 

Hi* ^ U 5 lllit ? r are mucl1 more in accordance with tho teaching o C 

Sufi Batata than with the practice of Hindu pandits. 



THE TEACHING OF KABJCR. 49 

gle against evil is hard to maintain, but sloth- 
fulness is fatal. The opportunity lost may not 
recur. Now is the time to prepare for the jour- 
ney that lies before us. 

Illustrations. 

(i). We are idols of clay, to which the name of 
man is given ; we are guests of four days, in a very 
great pit of fuel is our place. G, 4 

(2). The physician has died, the sick man has 
died, the whole world has died ; One, O Kabir, has 
not died, for whom is no weeper. G. 

(3). O man, thou hast a precious body indeed. 
Thy flesh is not used. No ornaments are made of 
thy bones ; no drums are mounted with thy leath- 
er. B. 

(4). Man in this world is wholly sinful from his 
very birth, and there are many ready to claim his 
body. The parents say, u He is our child and we 
have nourished him for our own benefit." The 
wife says, u He is my husband," and like a tigress 
wishes to seize him. The children gaze at him, and 
like the god of death, keep their mouths wide open 
for support. The vulture and the crow look for- 
ward to his death. The pigs and the dogs wait on 
the road for his bier to pass on its way to the burn- 
ing ghat. The fire says, u I shall not leave him, 
until he is utterly consumed. " The earth says, l l 
shall obtain him/ The wind thinks of carrying him 
off. O ignorant people, you speak of this body as 

(4) G indicates a quotation from the Adi &mnth ; B a 
quotation from the Bijttk. 



50 THE TEACHING OF KAK!R. 

your house; do you not sec that a hundred enemies 
hang about your throat. Beguiled by the Illusion 
of this world, you regard such a body as your own. 
So many desire a share in your body thai you will 
live in trouble all your life. O madmen, you do 
not wake up to a knowledge of this, but repeatedly 
say, l It in mine, it is mine.' B. 

(5). Adding kauri to kauri he brings together 
lakhs and crores. 

At the time of departure he gets nothing at all, 
even his langoti is plucked away from him. ( J. 

(6). To the miser wealth is given for the sake 
of keeping it. The fool says, { The property is 
mine. 7 

When the staff of Yania strikes his head, the 
matter is decided in a moment. G* 

(7) Immense riches and a kingdom which ex- 
tends from the rising of the sun unto the going 
down thereof could not equal the pleasure arising 
out of devotion (to God). Of what use then is 
wealth ? B. 

(8) Fire does not burn it, the wind does not 
carry it away, no thief comes near it ; collect the 
wealth of the name of Rim, that wealth is never 
lost. G. 

(9) For gold he is not obtained, Rdm is obtain- 
ed for the price of the heart. G. 

(10) Without devotion life is spent to no pur- 
pose ; without worshipping the Lord in the socie- 
ty of the pious, happiness remains in none* G, 



THE TEACHING OF KAB!R. 



51 



(n) The poor soul of man is tied to this world 
with many knots. It cannot unloose itself without 
the help of God. B. 

(12) He (God) whom you seek, is near you. He 
is always near to his devotees and far from those 
who do not worship Him. B. 

(13) Kabir says, Where shall I find a supreme- 
ly loving saint who will give pleasure, destroy pain 
and remove all stains of sin ? B. 

(14) Who \vhilst living, goes on dying, he lives 
again ; in this wise he is absorbed in space ; he 
who remains in the darkness, unaffected by the 
darkness, is no more thrown into the sea of exist- 
ence. G. 

(15) Now my mind on the contrary has become 
eternal ; then the mind is known, when one dies 
when living. G. 

(16) At the bank of a river and at a Tirthl 
there is no reassurance for the mind of him who is 
clinging to light ways. G. 

(17) What is muttering, what austerity, what 
vows and worship to him in whose heart there is 
another love ? G. 

(18) What is muttering, what austerity and 
control of the passions, what vows and ablutions ; 
so long as the right, loving worship of the Lord is 
not known ? G. 

(19) In the heart there is a looking-glass, the 
face is not seen in it ; then only you will see the 
face when the doubleness of the heart is removed. B. 



52 THE TEACHING OF 

(20) The pure diamond is sold for plates of 
gold. He who knows not its value, what will he 
do with it ? B. 

(21) The diamond was lying on the road, he- 
smeared with ashes : many in their ignorance passed 
it by, but the diamond specialist picked it up. B. 

(22) Pearls are scattered on the road ; the blind 
draw near and depart ; without the light of the 
Lord, the world passes them by. G. 

(23) The black snake is in the heart. It has 
deposited venom in the souls of all ; the few who 
sincerely worship the true God, will be saved, B. 

(24) Why should one suffer a dog to listen to 
the Smritis"? why should one sing the praises of 
Hari in the presence of a Saktit ? that Rdm, Rain 
is contained in all should on no account he told to 
a Salcat ; why should one suffer a crow to feed on 
camphor ? why should one give a black snake 
milk to drink? the instruction of the foolish is 

' ' |^|Y waste of knowledge ; a maund of soap cannot wash 

^|{|ji charcoal white. G. 

i;-^ llfi ( 2 S) Sandal, restrain thy fragrance, on thy ac- 

count the wood is cut down; the living slay the 
li'tyA, living and regard only the dead. B. 

(26) He is naturally called drunk, who is drink- 
ing the juice of Rim and meditating on Divine 
knowledge. G. 

(27) If one take nectar and besprinkle a mm 
tree, its nature does not leave it, says Kablr. G. 

(28) Venomous snakes have twined round the 



THE TEACHING OF KABfR. 



53 



sandal tree. What can the .sandal do? in every pore 
venom has soaked in, where shall nectar enter ? B. 

(29) The snake of separation has attached it- 
self to the body, and darted its fangs into the heart. 
Into the body of the Sadhu it finds no admission : 
prepare yourself for what may happen. B. 

(30) In the small pond, O fish, the net is spread 
by the fisherman ; in this small pond thou wilt not 
escape, think again of the ocean. G. 

(31) The pride of intellect is manifold, now a 
swindler, now a thief ; now a liar, now a murderer j 
men, sages and gods have run after it in vain ; its 
mansion has a hundred gates. B, 

(32) In pride there is adversity, in sin there is 
suffering ; in kindness there is stability, and in 
forgiveness there is God. B. 

(33) Unless you have a forgiving spirit, you 
will not see God. You may speechify as much as 
you like, but without a forgiving nature you will 
never reach Him. B. 

(34) He who enters into intimacy with the 
highest light, he subdues the five senses. Religious 
merit and demerit, both he discards. G. 

(35) What thou art doing tomorrow, do now ; 
what thou art doing now, do at once : afterwards 
nothing will be done, when death comes on thy 
head. G. 

(36) Now is the time to prepare, henceforth the 
path is difficult ; the travellers all hasten to pur- 
chase, where there is neither trade nor market. B. 



54 THE TEACHING OF 

(37) The righteous man does not give up his 
piety, though he meet with crores of wicked per- 
sons : even as the sandal tree is not deprived of 
its cooling properties though venomous snakes 
twine round it. B. 

(38). With the Sakat company should not be 
kept, one should flee far from him ; if a black 
vessel is touched, some stain is received. G. 

RELIGION IN LIFE, 

God is one ; how has it come about that 

there are many religions ? All men are of one 
blood ; how comes it about that they are sepa- 
rated by religion and by caste ? God is one ; 
the Hindus are therefore at fault in their wor- 
ship of many gods. These are in truth the 
creation of Maya ; they have their origin in sin 
and are themselves the cause of sin in others. 

Muhammadans put their trust in circumci- 
sion, Hindus adore the Vedas and the beauties 
of Nature. The things which are seen are 
transitory. True worship should have as its 
object the unseen source of all truth, the unseen 
Creator of the universe. 

The Hindus bathe in sacred streams, go on 

pilgrimage to sacred places, bow down to images 

of brass and stone, and think that in so doing 

they are honouring God. In this they are 

What God desires is purity of heart ; 



THE TEACHING OF KAB!R. 55 

to rest in symbols that should lead men on to 
God is to be guilty of idolatry. 

Hindus and Muhammadans alike profess to 
fast, but curb not the desires of the flesh ; they 
praise God with their lips, but their hearts are 
far from Him. All such religion is vain. 

Muhammadans repeat prayers and texts of 
scripture which they cannot understand ; Hin- 
dus believe in gods who destroy men, sport 
with milkmaids and assume the form of ani- 
mals. All such religion is vain. 

Vain too are the distinctions of caste. All 
shades of colour are but broken arcs of light, all 
varieties in human nature are but fragments of 
true humanity. The right to approach God is 
not the monopoly of Brahmins but is freely 
granted to all who are characterised by sincerity 
of heart. He who reflects on Brahm is rightly 
called a Brahmin. The distinctions observed 
by Hindus are merely productive of that pride 
which God abhors. The rules regarding impu- 
rity deal merely with externals and cleanse not 
the thoughts of the heart. 

Hindus believe in transmigration. If they 
would be free from the trials of this world, let 
them meditate on the Supreme and attend the 
courts of His temple. 

Above all things let men speak and practise 
the truth. Suffer all men to worship God ac- 




56 THE TEACHING OF KAB!R. 

cording to their convictions. Be not the slaves 
of tradition and love not controversy for its 
own sake. , Fear not to walk upon unbeaten 
tracks, if such tracks bring you near to Him 
who is the truth. 

Men are saved by faith and not by works. 
None can understand the mind of God ; put 
your trust in Him ; let Him do what seemeth 
Him good. Spiritual joy is felt, though it can- 
not be expressed in words. To set forth the 
glory of God is a task beyond the powers of 
human language. Those who put their trust in 
God are no longer subject to fear. Perfect 
love casteth out fear. 

Illustrations. 

(39) God, light, Bound and one woman ; from 
these have sprung Harf, Brahma and Tripurari. 
Innumerable are emblems of Shiva and Bhavdnf, 
which they have established, but they know not 
their own beginning nor end. A dwelling has been 
prepared for them : Hari, Brahml and Shiva are 
the three headmen and each has his own village. B. 

(40) I and you are of one blood, and one life 
animates us both ; from one mother is the world 
born ; what knowledge is this which makes us sep- 
arate? B. 

(41) All have come from the same country and 
have landed at one ghat, but the evil influences of 
this world have divided us into innumerable sects. B, 



THE TEACHING OF KABR. 



57 



(42) From whence have Hindus and Turks 
come? By whom have these ways been started? 
Having searched and reflected in thy mind tell me. 
By whom have Paradise and Hell been made? G. 

(43) By force and love circumcision is made: 
I shall not agree to it, O brother. If God will make 
me a Turk by him will I be circumcised : if a man 
becomes a Turk by being circumcised, what shall be 
done with a woman ? She must remain a Hindu. G. 

(44) If your Khuda wished circumcision, he 
would have sent you circumcised into the world. If 
by circumcision you become a Muhammadan in 
that case what should you do with your women. A 
woman is said to be the half of man; being so, would 
she remain a Hindu? If by wearing the sacred 
thread a man becomes a Brahmin then what do 
your women wear? They by birth are Shudrins, 
why should you being a Pande take the meal placed 
by them before you ? Whence have the Hindus and 
Muhammadans come ? Who has started these religi- 
ous systems. Think well in your hearts who has 
obtained heaven. O mad man, give up the illusion 
of this world. brethren, you resist (the warnings 
of conscience.) Kabir is on the road to God and is 
marching on to his end, forsaking all partial views. B 

(45) Is Brahma great, or he by whom he is 
produced? Is the Veda great or he from whom it is 
come? G. 

(46) What thou seest, that is passing away: 
whom thou dost not see, on him continue to reflect. 

B. 



58 THE TEACHING OF KAB!R. 

When in the tenth gate the key is given : then the 
sight of the merciful one is obtained. G. 

(47) A well-made picture is of high value: 
leave the picture and think of the painter. B. 

Variously coloured is this immense world : leav- 
ing the picture, keep the painter in thy thoughts. G. 

(48) Saints, the world has gone mad ; if I tell 
the truth it conies down upon me to kill me, but 
believes a lie. I have seen the devout and the 
pious who regularly bathe in the mornings. They 
forsake God and worship stones ; in them there is no 

wisdom They have commenced to worship 

brass and stones and are proud of their pilgrimages. 
They wear garlands, caps and frontal marks and 
chhaps on their arms, and engage in singing the 
praises of their gods; they have forsaken God." B. 

(49) The beads are of wood, the gods of stone, 
the Ganges and the Jumna are water. Rftma and 
Krishna are dead. The four Veds are fictitious 
stories. B. 

(go) If by worshipping stones one can find God, 
I shall worship a mountain : better than these stones 
(idols) are the stones of the flour mill with which 
men grind their corn. B. 

(S 1 ) Although I entreat much, even falling at 
their feet, with tears in my eyes, the Hindus do 
not forsake idol-worship and the Muhammadans are 
too stiff-necked to hear anything. B, 

" (52) For the sake of bathing, there are many |; 

Tirth&s, O foolish mind ; for the sake of worshipping f 



THE TEACHING OF KAB!R. 



59 



there are many idols. Kabir says, No emancipation 
is thus obtained, emancipation is in the service of 
Hari. G 

(53) If by immersion in the water salvation be 
obtained, the frogs bathe continually. As the frogs, 
so are these men, again and again they fall into the 
womb. G. 

(54) A stone is shaped by the hammer and 
formed into an (image, with breasts and feet ; 
If this image be true, then it will eat the ham- 
merer, G, 

(55) Kabir says, lam completely at a loss ; Is 
the Tirthi great or the servant of Harl? G. 

(56) As long as the sun does not rise the stars 
sparkle; so as long as perfect knowledge (of God) is 
not obtained men practice ritualism. B. 

(57) The water is near but the cattle do not 
drink in wading through it. By continually re- 
membering Hari water issues. That water is pure, 
says Kabir. G. 

(58) Within his heart is filthiness ; though he 
bathe at a Tirtha, he will not go to Paradise. By 
the belief of the people nothing is effected, Rim is 
not ignorant. G. 

(59) The Hindus fast on the nth of the light 
half of each month for singhard (a sort of fruit) and 
milk. They give up food during the day, but do 
not curb the evil passions of their heart and take 
meat. The Muhammadans keep fasts, repeat the 
nam&z and (early in the morning) cry aloud "Bismil" 



fl 



60 THE TEACHING OF KAB{R. 

Eke the crowing of a cock. Kahir says, "O 

saints do not call on Rama or Khucfc." B, 

(60) O Moulvi, what books are you explain- 
ing? Although day and night you remain babbling 
and jabbering you have not found out the one (true) 
religion. B. 

(61) All have exclaimed, Master, Master, but 
to me this doubt arises ; How can they sit clown 
with the Master, whom they do not know? G. 

(62) The mind knows everything and know- 
ingly commits vices ; what is the good of the 
lamp, if with it in his hand a man fails into the 
well? G, 

(63) Follow the true Sahib (God) who will 
uphold you in all your trials. He was not born in 
Dasrath's family and did not oppress the king of 
Lanki. Jasodd did not fondle him in her lap and 
he did not enter the womb of Devdkf. He did 
not ravage the world. He did not descend into 
P&t&l to deceive Bali. He did not fight with King 
Bali nor did he kill Hiranyaksh, throwing him down 
on the ground. He did not assume the form of a 
boar nor did he destroy the Kshattriyas. He did nofc 
hold the Gobar Dhana on the tip of his fingers nor 
did he remain in the jungle with the milkmaids (of 
Muttra and Brindaban). He is neither 9htdgr&m&^ 
nor any other stone; he is not fish, nor tortoise, 
dwellers in the water. He died not at Dwankwati 
nor was his corpse buried at Jagannith. Kablr 
proclaims, let none follow such teachings ; he whom 



THE TEACHING OF KAB!R. 



61 



they believe to be of gross and material elements is 
of subtle principles. B. 

(64) Brahma is dead with Shiva who lived in 
K&shi; the immortals are dead. In Muttra Krishna, 
the milkman, died. The ten incarnations are dead. 
Machhindra Nath, Gorakh, Dattitreya and Vy&$ 
are no longer living. Kablr says, with a loud voice ; 
U A11 these persons have fallen into the slip-knot of 
death," B. 

(65) Whilst dwelling in the womb, there is no 
clan nor caste ; from the seed of Brahm the whole 
creation is made. 

Say, () Pandit, When were the Brahmins made; 
by saying, "I am a Brahmin/' thy life and religion 
are lost. 

If thou art a Brahmin born of a Brahmin wo- 
man ; why hasl them not come in another way ? 

Whose art thou, the Brahmin ? Whose am I, 
the Sudra; whose blood am I ? whose milk art thou ? 

Kablr says, Who reflects on Brahm, he by me 
is called a Brahmin. G. 

(66) Colour proceeds from colour, yet behold 
all are but one ; of what colour then is life ? Think 
well of this. G. 

(67) By the touch of others you Brahmins 
consider yourselves polluted. Let me ask you, 
who is lower than you ? You are puffed up with 
pride. Great pride never produces any good, How 
will he who is called the vanquisher of the proud 
bear with your pride ? 





62 THE TEACHING OF KAB!R. 

(68) There is impurity in water, impurity in 
earth; there is impurity at the time of birth, there 
is impurity in the hour of death, there is impurity 
in destruction (corruption of the body ?) 

In the eyes is impurity, in the speech is impuri- 
ty and in the ears impurity. 

In rising and sitting impurity clings to man, 
impurity falls into the food. 

The way of ensnaring every one knows, but few 
only the way of escape. 

Kablr says, those who reflect, in their heart on 
Rim, in them no impurity is found. G. 

(69) As fixed and movable things, as worms 
and moths, in many and various ways have we 
been born. 

Many such houses will be inhabited by us, till 
at length we return to the womb of R&m. G. 

(70) Having wandered through the $4 lakhs 
of wombs he has come into the world ; now having 
gone out of the body he has no spot nor place. G. 

(71) Kabir says, Meditate thou on the Supreme. 
Go to his house, that thou come not again. G. 

(72) Clear away the pain of birth and death, 
the pleasure of works, that the soul may be libera- 
ted from rebirth. G. 

(73) To be truthful is best of all, if the heart be 
truthful. A man may speak as much as he likes ; 
but there is no pleasure apart from truthfulness, B 

(74) He who has no check upon his tongue t 
no truth in his heart : with such a one keep 



THE TEACHING OF 

not company. He will kill you on the high- 
way. B. 

(75) No act of devotion can equal truth ; no 
crime is so heinous as falsehood ; in the heart where 
truth abides, there is my abode. G. 

(76) If you are a true dealer, open the market 
of veracity ; keep clean your inward man, and re- 
pel oppression to a distance. G. 

(77) Put a check upon the the tongue ; speak 
not much ; associate with the wise; investigate the 
words of the teacher. G. 

(78) Let truth be your rate of interest, and fix 
it in your heart; a real diamond should be purchas- 
ed; the mock gem is waste of capital. G. 

(79) I have examined the religious doctrines 
of Muhammadans and Hindus. They do not lay 
aside their bigotry for the sake of relish for their 
tongues. B. 

(80) Kabfr cries aloud to his fellows, "Ascend 
the sandal ridge; whether there be a road prepared 
or not, what matters it to me ?" G. 

(81) O God, thou knowest thine own move- 
ments, I have no power to know them. Kabir says, 
"In this the world has erred and has been led into 
doubt." B, 

(82) Thy name is my support, as the flower will 
grow out of the lotus stalk. Kabfr says, lam theslave 
of thy house, vivify or kill me, as it pleases thee G. 

(83) As many as are making efforts, they are 
drowned ; the ocean is not crossed by them. 





64 THE TEACHING OF KABR. 

Though they be performing works, and many 
abstinences, their mind is burnt by egotism. G. 

(84) Kabir says, I am a sacrifice to my own 
Guru, by whom I remain in connexion with the 
jj; jjjpjjii, society of the pious. G. 

, |-|'/ (85) Madhava, my thirst for water docn not 

' 't- y'tyf 1 cease ; in drinking the water the fire increases still 

$(Pjij,| more. 

; fft ! '^y/' , Thou art the ocean, I am the fish of the water; I 

*J^ (S f^' dwell in the water ; without the water, I am done 

44' for.G. 

(86) In me there is nothing mine ; whatever 
there is, that is thine. In entrusting what in thine to 
thee, what remains mine ? G. 

(87) If a dumb person eats molasne^ what can 
he say about it when questioned ? G. 

(88) If I make the seven oceans ink, ifl make 
the trees my pen, if I make the earth the paper, the 
glory of Hari cannot be written ? G. 

(89) If fear of God springs up, fear goes; then 
fear is absorbed in the fear of God. 

If the fear of God subsides, then fear again 
cleaves to man ; when a man loses the fear of God t 
fear springs up in his heart ; he dies. G. 

(90) Where the fearless one is, there is no fear, 
where fear is, there Harf is not ; Kabfr says, having 
reflected in his mind ; "Hear this, O ye saints." G. 

(91) On the day on which I died, on that day 
jdy sprang up. The Lord met with me, Govind 
honours his own companion, G. 



THE TEACHING OF KABIR. 



65 



(92) Death of which the world is afraid, is joy 
to my mind ; by death the full perfect joy is obtain- 
ed. G. 

THE WAY TO GOD. 

Kabir was a great believer in quiet reflec- 
tion as a means of approach to God. 

He recognised that the ancient scriptures 
of both Muhammadans and Hindus were of a 
certain value, but felt that their value had been 
greatly overestimated. 

Through the understanding of the heart and 
mind man becomes conscious of God's existence. 
Thoughts and feelings are expressed in words, 
words are composed of letters. All that is of 
use in communicating to man a knowledge of 
God has a significance that may well be re- 
garded as sacred. What is multiform now will 
hereafter be seen to be single. The 52 letters 5 
will give place to the one letter which denotes 
man's union with God. The revelation of God, 
given in Rim, surpasses all other revelations in 
simplicity and purity, but the unity of Truth 
has not as yet been fully apprehended. 

Through his own powers man cannot attain 
to a knowledge of God; but God will reveal 
Himself to those who listen to his voice. He 

(5) Kabir probably reckoned that there were &2 consonants 
In Baiinkrlt and Arabic, the sacred languages of Hindtts and 
Muhammadans, 



1 f v'i 

-'ill 

i 



1 



THE TEACHING OF KAB!R. 

alone overcomes doubts and truly lives who has 
welcomed this message in his heart. 

Strange and sad it seems to those who have 
experienced a knowledge of the Truth that men 
should be content to grope on still in darkness. 
Men are not equally endowed with spiritual 
insight. The mass of men must seek guidance 
of those who have, through a knowledge of God, 
discovered for themselves the way. The Hin- 
dus trust in vain to those who wear the symbol 
of sacrifice while they lead lives of pride and 
self-indulgence. Helmsmen of this kind will 
never bring the boat to the haven where it 
should be. Others there art who practise all 
kinds of austerities, but mistaking the weans for 
the end find not the true path. Those who 
escape not themselves from death, are unable 
to impart to others the gift of life. 

The true guide is one whose love is fixed on 
God; 'who recognises his own worthlessness 
apart from God; who lives for others and god- 
like himself has entered into life. For such a 
one death has lost its terrors. He is the true 
ascetic and walks in the path of life. 

Illustrations. 

(93) O Qizi, What book is expounded by thee; 
all such as are pondering on the book are killed; 
no one has obtained true knowledge; give up the 
book, adore Ram, O foolish one; thou art practis- 



THE TEACHING OF KAB!R. 



67 



ing heavy oppression. Kabir puts his trust on 
Ram; the Turks are consumed and defeated, 

(94) Thou expoundest the book right that 
Allah is no woman or man; but by reading and 
perusing nothing is effected, when there is no in- 
formation in the heart. G. 

(95) By the Turk Gocl is known from worship, 
by the Hindu from the Veda and Punmas; in order 
to form the mind divine knowledge should be read 
to some extent. G. 

(96) Thou shouldst ride on thy own reflection; 
thou shouldst put thy foot into the stirrup of tnin- 
quility of mind. Kablr says, Those are good 
riders who keep aloof from the Veda and Qoranu 
G. 

(97) I know that reading is good, but better 
than reading is meditation; the attachment to Ram 
J do not give up, though people revile rne. G. 

(98) The 52 letters are joined together by me, 
but I am not able to know one letter ; Kabir tells 
the word of the true one ; who becomes a Pandit, 
he remains fearless. 

The profession of the Pandit is for the sake of 
the people 4 ; he who is skilled in divinq, knowledge, 
he reflects the truth. In whose heart such an 
understanding is ; he will know it, says Ka- 
bfr. G. 

(99) Remove doubt, put aside the paper ; 
having investigated the 52 letters apply thy mind 
to the feet of Hurl. G. 



?; 



68 THE TEACHING OF KABIR. 

(100) As the stars at (lawn pass away, so the 
world passes away; these two letters (Ram) do not 
pass away, them Kablr has seized. G. 

(101) There are many words and there is a 
great difference between them: accept the true 
word. Kablr says he who has found the true word, 
has no pleasure in this life. B. 

(102) My word is of the word; hear it, go not 
astray; if man wishes to know the truth, let him 
investigate the word. G. 

(103) By the power of the word the sin of this 
world is distroyed. The word makes kings for- 
sake their kingdoms. He who has investigated the 
word has done his work well. B. 

(104) Without hearing the word it is utter 
darkness ; say, whither shall anyone go ; without 
finding the gateway of the word, man will ever be 
astray. G. 

t ^ ( j t (105) Without the word the Shastrus, are 

^fl'.M blind. Say whither shall one go? They do not 

(l^ find the gateway of the word but grope on still in 

4c,^ darkness. B. 

W,i (106) There are many words, but take the 

1^;, pith of them; he who takes not the essence, says 

t ! || , Kabir, will live a profitless life. G. 

ll/.' (107) Doubt has triumphed over the whole 

r< y^'i world. No one has overcome it. He who Ends 

* i, f HI i 

; i f j (i ' out the word will overcome it. B. 

(108) Think whence the world has come and 
where has it established itself. Kablr sap, I am a 



u, 



THE TEACHING OF KABIR. 



69 



lover of the word which has shown me the unseen 
(God). B. 

(109) I have wept for this world but no one 
has wept with me; he alone will weep with me 
who understood the word. B. 

(no) All speak of God, but to me this doubt 
arises, how can they sit down with God whom they 
do not know? B. 

(in) Thou pasturest us, never bringing us to 
the other side; Thou art a Brahmin, I am a weaver 
of Klshi, understand my divine knowledge. Thou 
petitionest Kings and Raj^s, my meditation is with 
Hari. G. 

(112.) The jogis, ascetics, austere devotees and 
Sinyasls wander about at many Tirthas; those with 
plucked out hair, those with munj cord, the silent 
ones, those who are wearing plaited hair, all are 
dying at the end ; the Tantras are attended to by 
them, but not Ram ; on whose tongue is put the 
name of Rdm. What can Y^ma do to him ? 
The Shastras, Vedas, astrology and many, many 
grammars they know; they know the Tantras, 
Mantras and all medicines, yet at the end they 
must die; they enjoy dominion, an umbrella and 
many beautiful women; betel, camphor, perfume 
and sandal, yet at the end they must die ; all 
the Vedas, Puranas and Srnritis are searched by 
them but in no wise are they spared ; Kablr 
says, Utter Rm, he extinguishes birth and 
death. G. 






I 



70 



THE TEACHING OF KABfR. 



'typ,', rti' 

hil < ll > , . u . 



(113) "The Pundits are in error by reading 
the Vedas. They have no common sense. They 
daily go through their morning and evening rites 
and other ceremonies with great punctuality and 
regularity. They have caused the Gayatri to be 
read and repeated in the four yugs; ask them who 
has obtained freedom from sin by doing so? They 
consider themselves polluted by the touch or 
others: ask them who h lower then they are?" B. 

(114) Who wear dhotis of three* yards and a 
half and three fold cords; on whose necks are 
rosaries, and in whose hands are white lotas; these 
cheats of Benares are not called the Saints of Hart 
Having scoured the vessels they put them on, 
having washed the wood they light it; digging out 
the earth they make two fire places, but eat whole 
men. G. 

(115) If by wandering about naked union with 
Hari be obtained; then every deer of the forest. 
will become emancipated. 

What are the naked? What are those with skins? 
When they do not know the Supreme ? 

If by shaving the head, perfection is obtained; 
the sheep is emancipated, no one is lost. 

Kabir says, Hear, man and brother; without 
the name of Ram no one has obtained salvation* G. 

(116) In our house the string of the body is 
continually stretched out; on thy breast is a sacri- 
ficial thread; Thou readest the Veda and Gyatri; in 
our heart dwells Govind. 



i 

f 



THE TEACHING OF 



71 



On my tongue is Vishnu, in my eyes Narayan, 
in my heart dwells Govind; when at the gate of 
Yama he will ask thee, O fool, What wilt thou say 
to Mukand? 

We are the cattle, thou art the cowherd, O 
Lord, who art our keeper through the several births 

(i 17) What can he do whose teacher is blind ? 
The blind pushes the blind and both fall into a 
well. B. 

(i 1 8) How is it possible to reach the city when 
the guide cannot point out the road ; when the boat 
is crazy, how shall the passengers get clear of the 
ghat? G. 

(119) The man who fixes his love on the true 
teacher is contained in him. They could not be 
separated they have two bodies but one spirit. B. 

(120) I am the worst of all, every one is good 
except me; who considers himself in this light, he 
is my friend. G. 

(121) The tree bears not fruit for itself, nor 
for itself does the stream collect its waters; for the 
benefit of others alone does the safe assume a bodily 
shape. G. 

(122) The body is wounded by a spear; the 
head is broken off and left in the flesh; it cannot be 
extracted without the loadstone; a thousand other 
stones are of no avail G. 

(123) From heaven and hell I am freed by the 
favour of the true Guru; I remain in the wave of 
the lotus foot at the end and the beginning. G. 



f,* 



m 



iM 



ft fl 

t 

M 



i 




7 2 THE TEACHING OF KAB!R. 

(124) In this society them wilt not die; if them 

knowest his order, thou wilt be united with the 

Lord. G. 

(125) Death, by which the whole world is 

frightened; that death is lighted up by the word of 
the Guru. G. 

(126) Making divine knowledge and meditation 
his patched quilt, and the word the needle, he puts 
the thread into the head of the needle; making the 
five elements his deer-skin he walks in the way of 
the Guru. G. 






ADDITIONAL NOTES. 



The Jft/afc ("Account Book or Invoice) is re- 
cognised as the authoritative exposition of Kabfr's 
teaching. It was probably produced about 1570, or 
some 20 years before the teaching of Ninak was 
embodied in the Adi OrantA by GurCi Arjun, the fifth 
Gurii of the Sikh Community. Most of the sayings 
attributed to Kabfr in the Adi Oranth are also to be 
found in the Bijak, though the editor of the Oranth 
has not scrupled to re-arrange the subject matter. 
There are several printed editions of the SijaJo. 
The two best known editions are both supplied with. 
a commentary, the one by Maharajah Bishwa Nath 
Singh of Rewah* and the other by Baba Puran 
Dans. The former edition has been printed at 
Benares, Lucknow and Bombay, and also without 
the commentary at Gaya ; the latter at Lucknow and 
Allahabad (1905), Of the former it is said that "the 
editor has tried to expound the Baguna Upamna of 
Rima through the teaching of Kabfr, whereby the 
term Baguna ffpatana is meant .the religious con- 
templation of Rima as the embodiment of all good 
*ln the life of Kabir by Muiwhi Mohan LalL Karasth of 
^^\^ upon Anu^Sga?, 

itiRBtatedthat; Kabir visited Turkisten and OB his return 
spent some time with the Maharajah of Itewah by whom he was 
moat hoHpiteb y received, hi return for kindum received Ka- 
v I ?L 0miH ? d ? 10 ^ ah m J ah who at ^e time mw childless that 
*IIH descendant* Bhould sit upon hfs throne foe 42 generations, 



i;, 



74 THE DOCTRINE OF SHABDA. 

qualities." This edition is not well thought of by 
Kablr Panthis. The author of the second Com- 
mentary, Baba Puran Dans, lived at Nagjhari, in 
the district of Burhanpur, C, P., and flourished about 

1837. 

The Rev. Prem Chanel of the Baptist Mission, 
Monghyr, had another edition printed in Calcutta 
in 1890. The editor of this edition writes: 

"Some thirty years ago I was lent a manuscript 
copy of the JBtfofc, taken from the Murshidabad 
edition. This 1 had copied out and afterwards 
compared my copy with othcrn from different parts 
of the country, i found in thee a certain number 
of DoJias (couplets) which were not in my copy and 
these I had printed at the end of the book. The 
other poetical pieces were the same in all editions. 
1 corrected various clerical errors and separated 
words which had been allowed to run into one 
another and added a few foot-notes to make the 
meaning clear to any ordinary Hindi scholar," 

This edition contains 83 Jlamaim\ 113 tihahda, 
33 hymns of various kinds and 364 Sakkl. To these 
have been added 60 SaJckis found in other editions. 
The Rev. Ahmad Shah in the translation of the 
BijaTc that he has now in hand will probably throw 
additional light on literary problems connected with 
this book. 

The Doctrine of Shalda (Word.) 

A doctrine which might be so described is taught 
in many of the Hindu religious sects, but it is not 




THE DOCTRINE OF SHABDA. 



75 



easy to determine in each particular case either the 
origin or character of this teaching. 

In the writings of Kabir three thoughts seem to 
underlie such teaching (i) All thought is expressed 
in language, (2) Every letter of the alphabet, as a 
constituent part of language, has significance, and 
(3) The plurality of letters and words now in use 
will appear as one, when the Mayi that deludes 
men in their present condition shall have been over- 
come. The two-lettered Ram seems to Kablr the 
nearest approach in this world to the unity of Truth 
or the letterless one. 

A distinguished Sanskrit scholar explained to 
me the Hindti conception of Shabda somewhat in 
this way. Man desires knowledge. Knowledge is 
obtainable by means of (i) Perception and (2) Infer- 
ence. These two channels are acknowledged by 
all and to them are added by some (3) Shabda, sound 
(including the voice of the teacher ?) and (4) Upar- 
nam or reasoning by analogy. 

By Mimansists all verbal information is regarded 
as authoritative in itself, unless it can be shown to 
be derived from a corrupt source. Those who deny 
that the Vedas are eternal or self-derived should 
prove that the source from which they are derived 
is tainted. The Mimansists do not believe in a per- 
sonal God but there are others who accept this 
teaching and also believe in the personality of 
God. Such regard the Vedas as a God-given 
revelation. 



l'1'f, 

If <M 



\'& 



a 

I 



i 
i WJ f-i ,1 

' 



I? :?,' 



76 



THE DOCTRINE OF SHAHDA. 



The term SJiabda does not occur in the Vedis, 
but in one Hymn Yak (Speech) is personified. 

For further information this scholar referred me 
to the third volume of John Muir's Original Sans- 
krit Texts, which deals with the VecUh, their origin, 
inspiration and authority. 

It Is not improbable that this doctrine, as set 
forth in the literature of the Kabir Panth has been 
influenced by the writings of St. John, as b con- 
fessedly the case as regards the teaching of the 
RSLdhi Swimi Sect of modern origin. In the Hindi 
translation of the New Testament Logon (Word) is 
represented by Bachan and not by Shaldtt. 




Chapter. IV 

SAKHIS ATTRIBUTKD TO 



All Kabir Panthis have at their command a 
considerable number of S&khis or rhyming 
couplets, bearing witness to the truth. 1 The 
rhythm ot many of these is very fine, with the 
result that important teaching- given in this 
form is easily remembered. 

It is not at all likely that all tho Saklris at- 
tributed to Kabir were really uttered by him, 
but most oi' them are in substance consistent 
with leaching to be met with in the Bijak. 
A good linguir.l would probably, on linguistic 
ground*, reject many as of later origin. 2 

Manv of the Sakhis embody teaching such 
as was cuneul among Huffs and embodied in 
Persian poetry. Some suggest verses of the 
Bible or Qor&n, some in a slightly different form 
have been attributed to other authors and may 
be regarded as expressing truths generally cur- 
rent in the country. We may safely credit 
Kabfr with a considerable amount of originality 

(1) Bakhi w tho corruption of a Sanskrit word meaning 
evidence. 

(2) For tho benefit ot Hindi scholars this collection of 
Sakhis has aUo been printed iu tho original Hindi. A collec- 
tion of 2,500 Kabfr Sakhte has been published at the Advocate 
Press, Lucknow, price One fiupco. 












78 SAKHIS ATTRIBUTED TO KABfR. 



', J i | and, even where originality seems unlikely, feel 

grateful to him for the genius with which he has 
given expression to old thoughts. 3 

In making this selection I have been guided 
by the judgement of Kabfr Panthis and also by 
own judgement as regards the subject matter 
and the rhythm of the original. I have allowed 
a certain number of Sakhis to retain their place 
in this collection in spite of the fact that they 
have been previously quoted. 

(i) My Lord's a store supplier great, in mer- 
chandise he deals ; nor beams nor scales, in his 
own hands this great world weighs and feels. 
Fallon. 

Shims Tabrez wrote : 

Who is that person who weighn and distributes 
without scales or measure, yet his measuring and 
distribution is correct ? 

(2) He who made the whole world, that 
Guru was manifested ; the Guru who saw him 
with his eyes, that Guru revealed Him to 
men. 

Cf i Jn. i 3-1. 

(3) One poor spirit bound with many ties ; 
in its own strength it cannot escape, till God 
rescue it. 

(3) It has seemed best to omit all reference to possible 
sources, until so complicated a subject has been more thoroughly 
investigated 




SlKHIS ATTRIBUTED TO KABfR. 79 

Piw, the word translated God, is a term applied 
to husband by wife ; the loved one. 

(4) The chela whose Guru is blind, while he 
himself is more blind ; the blind one gives a 
push to his blind fellow; they both fall into 
the well. 

Neither understands the truth ; one pushes this 
way, the other another ; both come to grief. 

(5) The soul (Atma) and the great soul 
(Param^tma) for many ages remained apart; the 
true Guru came as a dealer (dalldl] and made of 
them a beateous mixture. 

(6) A sinner from my birth, in sin from head 
to foot I lie ; O generous giver, comforter, but 
listen to my cry. (Fallon) 

With the reading in the ordinary Hindi text, 
translate "second line, U O God, remover of pain, de- 
liver me". 

(6) A Guru should be as a knife grinder; the 
rust of a life time he removes in a moment. 

(7) Regard your Guru as a knife grinder, let 
him grind your heart ; cleansing the heart from 
all impurity, let him make it bright as a mirror. 

(8) Kal hovers over the head, Kdl comes 
not into sight ; Kabfr says, Lay bold of the 
Guru's words(the Mantra) that he may rescue 
your soul from death. 

(9; The Gurii is the potter and the disciple 
the vessel ; he removes all defects. He places the 



yl 



ii 



: 

i.f 



1 






IV <'W', 

.i^Yl' 1 8() SAKHIS ATTRIBUTED TO KAB!R. 

l ',f;',Vr< 1 support (sahdrti) within before with blows he 

i,,\j"* fashions the vessel into shape, 

[ 1 >1 4 4 \M ] ' The Jlahdrd or SaJtard is an instrument of wood 

i^'ff 4 ' 1 or stone which with one hand the potter holds 

1 i'MJ/'V * within the iar while with the other he strikes. In 

' ! V 'i 1 V,i i' i 
" ( ;1 j dCft J this way, the wall of the jar is able to resist the 

Tl'( ! ''fX'i , force of the blows administered by the other hand 

ij^j^, * from without. The public maybe deceived into 

1 * ij '^ |f! . i thinking that the Gum is cruel in his treatment of 

i|';f'|jvJVl the chela. See picture of Potter. 

l^f/jV (10) As he revolves his rosary, life passes 

!^'4i ' ^ away and he knows not the secrets of his heart ; 

J I.^KI," throw away the rosary of the hand and revolve 

the rosary of the heart. 

There is a double play upon words : - Jfmheait 1 
manka = rosary ; PAtfr.-,~..secrets 1 Pfwr also .-j revolve, 
(i i) A man steals an anvil, and offers a needle 
as alms ; he climbs aloft to see how distant is 
the chariot. 

The man who makes tin's miserable offering 
thinks that God will he so pleased with his genero- 
sity that he will at once send a chariot to fetch him 
to heaven. 

Fallen translates thus : 

He steals an anvil and a needle gives in charity ; 

^ ' j * - " J he then the house top mounts to see how farV 

heaven's chariot sent for me. 

(12) Apart from life, life comes not into ex- 
istence, life lives on life ; xefuse not to have 
pity on life j Pandit, take thought on this. 




is completed. 

(14) A man may be a great preacher, as 
the vulture soars in the sky ; but its food is 
on the earth ; does flying in the air make of it 
a saint ? 

Preaching in itself is useless, unless the life 
corresponds. The vulture may ily in the sky, but 
on the earth it devours refuse and so can never be 
respected, 

(15) Whatever 1 have Ls not my own it 
is thine ; it is thine own that I give thee; what 
have 1 ? 

(16) Strain your water before you drink 
it ; test your Guru before you commit yourself 
to him. 

(17) The humble obtain salvation* to a 
man, so many as are submissive ; those sink 
who are puffed up with the pride of high birth. 

The reference here is to the ocean of rebirths ; 
the humble-minded reach the further shore in 
safety ; the proud sink in the waters and escape 
not from the troubles of this world. 

(18; When the Guru is covetous, his dis- 
ciple will be grasping; both employ trickery; 
both will be drowned in their folly, having 
boarded a ship of stone. 





fr< >W 

'^4' 



82 SiKHIS ATTRIBUTED TO KABfR. 

The chela to protect himself from the greed of 
the Guru conceals the extent of his possessions. 
At first he was tricked into owning that he had 
property, but .not a second time ; he tricked the 
guru. In this way both fail to cross the ocean of 
rebirths. In one of the Kabir legends, it is said 
that Kabir was placed on board a boat loaded with 
stones that it might sink in mid stream, hut lie 
miraculously escaped. The idea may have been 
suggested by this stiUL 

(19) From one country have they come; 
at one ghat have they disembarked- They 
have breathed the air of the world, and on 
twelve paths have they gone their way. 

Bdrah hit is a proverbial expression, scattered, 
dispersed, cast to the winds. All men are of one 
blood, all are born of human parentage, caste dis- 
tinctions, invented of men, are productive of much 
evil. Fallen translates : 

All from one country come, alighted also at 
one port ; by winds of wordly passion driven, all 
scattered are in sport. 

(20.) The lascivious, the ill-tempered and 
the covetous, for such devotion to God is im- 
possible. Brave is the man who for devotion 
to God is ready to give up caste and family. 

(21) Small is the door of devotion (Bhakti), 
as the tenth part of a mustard seed. The 
heart of man is swollen with pride to the size 
of an elephant, how can he pass within ? 



knowledge of the true Guru, whatever their 
caste, are chamdrs. 

Rom rom the hairs on the human body ; there Is 
no spot where there is no hair, no point at which 
the great do not display pride. 

(23) The worship of a devotee and the 
water of a torrent in the rains, both flow deep ; 
but that only should be called a river which 
continues to flow in the hot weather (Jeth= 
June.) 

The devotee whose devotion depends upon pros- 
perity is no true devotee. 

/24) He who sows for you thorns ; for 
him do you sow flowers ; you will haive flowers 
at the time of flowering ; he will find a trisuL 

Trisul may nignify a large thorn or it may 
mean that such a one will be punished by Shiva. 

(25) Do not oppress the weak, their sighs 
have great power ; by the puffs of the bellows 
iron is converted to flames ( or is utterly 
consumed.) 

If the puffs from the skin of a dead animal can 
do so much, how much more will the sighs of the 
living effect. The skin of goats, buffaloes and 
bullocks are used as bellows. 







84 SXKHIS ATTRIBUTED TO KABfR. 

(26) Be true to God and loving to his 
servants whether your hair be long or entirely 
removed. 

Many Bairigis shaved their heads. To Kablr 
such matters were of trivial importance. 

(27) The ghat in which love dwells not, 
know that qhat to be a burning ykat (Masan); 
that heart is as the blacksmith's bellows which 
breathe, but have no life. 

There w here a play upon the word Ghat. 
Ghat which** a vessel, in often used uf the human 
heart. Qhat^ is also used, asghat, the burning Ghat 
where the bodies of the dead are burnt. 

(28) Love grows not in the fields nor is it 
on sale in the bazar ; the man devoid of love 
will be bound and cast into hell. (Ydmpilr, 
the city of Yam. j 

(29) He may drink the cup of love who 
gives his all (lit. his head) to God ; the covet- 
ous cannot give all, but only know the name 
of love, or He drinks the cup of love who lays 
down his life for others ; he who works for 
reward, merely speaks of love. 

(30) A man may read many books before 
he dies and yet not be a Pandit ; he is a Pandit 
who understands the two and a half letters 
which form the word Love. 

(31) There is no work of merit equal to 
truth and no sin equal to falsehood ; in whose 



SXKHIS ATTRIBUTED TO KABiR. 



85 



heart Truth dwells, in his heart dwells God 
himself. 

(32) Those who say and do not are great 
liars ; in the end, when God holds his Durbar, 
they will be thrust out. 

DhaTcJca khantl is a phrase applied to badmkshes, 
thrust out of all respectable society. 

(33) When the sun rises, darkness disap- 
pears; before the wisdom of the Guru the corrupt 
thoughts of men disappear ; covetousness des- 
troys sound judgement and pride devotion to 
God. 

(34) Weeds destroy the crops ; the igno- 
rant destroy the assembly ; covetousness spoils 
devotion, as a mixture of earth destroys the 
value of saffron. 

(35) Those who sought found, diving down 
into deep waters ; the heron in its helplessness 
remained sitting upon the bank. 

Fallon gives a different version of this SalcJii 
which he translates : Who in deepwatersjplunged 
and sought have found ; but foolish me sat by the 
shore, through fear of being drowned. This form of 
the saying is attributed to Dharm Ddss. 

(36) All say 'Lord, Lord' (SdhiV), but my 
fear is of a different kind ; when I know not 
God by sight, where can I take my seat or how 
shall I sit down with a God whom I have not 
known ? 



." 



i< 4 
Ji,*J 
il ^ r 






il'ti 



SiKHIS ATTRIBUTED TO KABfR. 

(37) The house of God is distant, as is a 
tall palm ; he who climbs to the top, tastes of 
heaven ; he who falls is ground to pieces. 

(38) What you would do to-morrow, do 
to-day ; what you would do to-day do at once ; 
in a moment the deluge (Parlai) will come, then 
what time will there be for doing. 

Parlai is used of the destruction with which 
each of the several ages closes. 

(39) When I went in search of evil men> 
none appeared to view ; when I searched my 
own heart, I felt that none were so evil as my- 
self. 

(40) Full knowledge of God is not attained 
when the heart has not been united with God ; 
devotion is simply that of imitation, the colour 
is not fast. 

("41) A. cage with nine doors, in it a bird 
like air ; that it should remain there is the 
marvel ; what wonder if it escape ? 

(42) In timen of trouble men remember 
God, but not in times of ease ; should they re- 
member God in times of ease, would they ever 
experience trouble ? 

(43) Live on friendly terms with all, be 
ready to speak about all ; in word agree with 
all men, but abide in your own abode. 

The rhythm of this Sikhi is so fine that I cannot 
refrain from printing it in Roman character : 



SAKH1S ATTRIBUTED TO KABlR. 



87 



Sab se hiliye, sab se miliye, sab ke lijiye naun ; 

H&nji, Hanji, sab se kahiye, basiye apne gaun. 

This saying in generally interpreted to mean 
that men should be tolerant of religious beliefs dif- 
fering from their own, though in no hurry to sur- 
render traditional beliefs. 

It has also been rendered thus: 

Associate with all on friendly terms ; address 
every one with respect (give them their full titles) ; 
agree with every one in what he says, and you will 
have a village of your own to live in, i.e. Humour the 
public and you will soon have them in your power. 

(44) Upon seeing the mill revolving, Kabfr 
wept ; the grain that tails between the stones 
can never escape entire, 

(45) All men speak of the mill, but none 
make mention of the pin ; the grain that abideB 
by the pin, even its hair is not disturbed. 

The two Htones of the mill are heaven and earth, 
nearly all who live upon the earth are overcome of 
evil ; the few who escape are those who abide by 
the pin, i>. those who call upon God. 

(46) The Brahmins of this age are objects 
of ridicule ; give not to them alms : they with 
their families will go to hell, and take with them 
their employers (i.e. those who give them fees 
or alms.) 

(47) The company of the saints will make 
your burdens light ; the company of the evil 
means quarrelling throughout the eight watches. 




88 SAKHIS ATTRIBUTED TO KAB!R. 

This saying is by Fallen attributed to Tul5 Dass. 

(48) That day is blessed which causes you to 
meet a holy man ; as you embrace him fervent- 
ly, sin is driven from the body. 

A saying similar to this is to be found among 
the Muhammadan traditions (Hadis). 

(49) Through association with a Sadhu comes 
remembrance of God ; that hour is recorded to 
a man's credit in his account with God ; all the 
rest is as valueless as air. 

( 50) The mirror of God is the body of; the 
Sadhu ; he who wishes to see, let him see the 
invisible in him (the Sadhii.) 

(51) The Sadbii is the river, love is the 
water ; in that place wash your body ; Kabfr 
says, Be clean, in company with the Sddhus. 

As people wash their clothes on the banks of a 
river, so should they seek purity of heart tit rough 
associating with S^dhUs- 

(52) The tree does not store its fruit for its 
own use, nor the river its water ; for the bene- 
fit of others has the Sddhu adopted human form, 

(53) Yam roars like a lion, cries aloud Kabir ; 
were not the Guru merciful, Yam would tear 
and rend. 

^54) He who has chosen a bodily Guru and 
has failed to recognise the true Guru; time after 
time he rises and sinks, ensnared in the ocean 
of existence. 



S&KHIS ATTRIBUTED TO KABfe. 89 



A bodily guru is one who is a guru in outward 
appearance, one merely qualified to give instruction 
as to ritual, sacrifice, alms etc., and not to give spirit- 
ual counsel. 

(55) The Chela should be willing to give 
everything to his Gurti ; the Guru should refuse 
to take anything from his Chela. 

Many gurus frequently visit the houses of their 
chehis and by noisy demonstrations in which they 
are assisted by Bairagis and curses extort offerings 
from those who at first declined to give. 

(56) The true Guni took the arrow of the 
Shabda and prepared to shoot ; that which he 
shot with love found its home within the body. 

(57) You arc the wife of one, but have be- 
come the prostitute of many ; say with whose 
corpse will you be burnt ? for you are the wife 
of many. 

There in one God whom men should love ; what 
will be the fate of those who love false gods ? 

(58) The true Guru is a great money chan- 
ger, testing the good and the evil ; rescuing 
from the world the good, he takes it under his 
own protection. 

(59) As the snake when it sees the man 
who has received the mantra, lowers its hood ; 
so K&l, awed by the name written on the Pan 
leaf, turns his head away. 

a 



w 









90 



SlKHIS ATTRIBUTED TO KABfR. 



The second line contains a reference to the con- 
secration of the Pin leaf by the Head Mahant. See 
Ch. VI. 

(60) The Chakwi remains apart from her 
mate throughout the night, in the early morn- 
ing they meet ; the man who remains apart 
from God meets him neither by day nor night. 

(61) He who removes another's head, re- 
moves his own ; in God's Durbar the account 
will have to be settled. 

(62) The power that cannot be described, 
the form that imparts life (the vision of God is 
life), whoever becomes one with him (as milk 
with water) ; that man, says Kabir to Dharra 
Dass, Kal cannot destroy. 

Union with the true God who has neither form 
nor shape lead* on to the development of man's 
true self over which death has no power. 

(63) He who reproaches me is my friend; 
he supplies the soap to wash my dirty linen. 

The man who in reproached pays heed to what 
is said and reforms. A similar saying is attributed 
to the Sufi saint, Imam Ghizdlf, who used the word 
'washerman' instead of l soap. J 

(64) Made articles are quickly destroyed 
and once destroyed are not put right; by an 
admixture of vinegar milk is curdled and cannot 
again be turned to milk. 



SAKHIS ATTRIBUTED TO KABfR. 91 

(65; For man to assume a body is difficult ; 
it cannot be done twice. The ripe fruit that 
falls to the ground, cannot again be attached 
to the tree. 

Hindus who believe in transmigration explain 
this as meaning that many ages will elapse before any 
particular person will again enter the world as a man. 

(66) We know not what the quarter o a 
second may bring and yet we make plans for 
the morrow; death comes suddenly as the 
hawk pounces down on the partridge. 

(67) The gardener comes to the garden and 
seeing him the buds cry out, "The full-blown 
flowers are culled to-day, to-morrow our turn 
will come." 

(68) The earth said to the potter, why do 
you trample on me ? the day will come when 
I shall trample on you. 

The potter tramples on the earth to make it 
workable and plastic. 

(69) All help the strong ; no one heips the 
weak. A breeze gives fresh life to the fire, but 
extinguishes the candle. 

(70) What place has the coward on the 
wrestling ground ? when wrestler meets with 
wrestler then is a real contest. 

(71) Consider him a wrestler, striving to 
attain the favour of God, who though crushed 
to pieces, refuses to give up the struggle. 




ATTRIBUTED TO KABfR. 

In the second line reference is made to an ins- 
truction often given to a wrestler by his trainer, 
iCrushhimto pieces.' (Us ke -purzc imrzr diia kar do)* 

(72) The days of yore are gone ; he loved 
not God (Hari) ; of what use is remorse, when 
the birds have eaten all the crops ? 

These words are often used of a l no'er do well, 
when on the point of death, 

(73) The wood that has already been burnt 
(in the process of conversion into charcoal) that 
too cries out. "If I go to the blacksmith's forge, 
I shall be burnt a second time." 

Sinners die once in this world and a second time 
in the world to come. 

(74) Remain apart from the world, as water 
refuses to mingle with oil ; deposit your heart 
where is neither death nor the dungeons of KdL 

(75) Who saves his head, loses his head ; 
who severs his head, finds a head ; as the wick 
of a candle gives additional light when trimmed. 

The head is regarded an the most precious of 
human possessions ; a man will give his head for a 
friend. 

(76) The pearl is found in the oyster, the 
oyster is in the sea ; the diver brings him up ; 
with no one else is the power. 

There is probably here a play upon words. The 
word translated Diver may also mean, One who lives 
through death, or conquers after a hard struggle. 



SAKHIS ATTRIBUTED TO KABIR. 



93 



(77) Consider the parable of the sieve ; it 
suffers the flour to pass, but retains the husk ; so 
men let pass what is good and swallow what is 
useless. 

Star -that which passes through the sieve; Asar^ 
that which is retained. 

(78) Consider the sugar cane press; the 
juice flows out, the fragments of cane remain. 

His heart is wanting in wisdom who retains 
thoughts of no value and disregards spiritual my- 
steries. 

(79) All Kadhiis are in appearance alike, 
resembling a field of poppies ; some few thinkers 
are as red flowers, the rest are perfectly white. 

It is the white poppy that is cultivated in In- 
dian fields for the production of opium. 

(80) Holy men will not relinquish holiness, 
though they associate with crores of unholy men; 
though snakes may cling to the sandal tree, it 
will never lose its coolness. 

(8 1) Ask not a Sadhii about his caste, but 
about his knowledge of God ; when you are 
determining the price of a sword, there is no 
need to consider the sheath. 

The sword is what you want, it matters little 
of what kind or of what colour the sheath may 
be. 

(82) The methods of a SMhii should be 
those of a winnowing fan ; he should lay hold 



m 

?^> i 




;:;<.?* 



!f""4l 
. ft *$'; 

M#* 



94 SiKHIS ATTRIBUTED TO KABfR. 

of the weighty matters and let subjects of little 
moment fly away. 

(83) Kabirsays ; to associate with a Sadhii 
is like sitting near a seller of perfumes ; though 
the seller sell you nought, yet you enjoy the 
scent of his perfumes. 

(84) As an ant is carrying off a grain of 
rice, it falls in with a grain of del/. Kabfr says ; 
both you cannot carry away, take the one and 
leave the other. 

(85) A madman was beating the hole of a 
snake, but the snake was not hit ; fool, it is not 
the snake's hole that bites ; it is the snake that 
devours men, 

(86) Where is the boundary of tho heavens? 
what is the weight of the world ? what is the 
caste of a Sadhii ? What is the price of the Al- 
chemist's stone ? 

(87) The dog of a Sddhti is virtuous, while 
evil is the mother of one who becomes not the 
chela of a guru ; the one sits and hears the prais- 
es of Hari ; the other speaks evil of gurus. 

(88) Learn to distinguish the honest man 
and the thief from their manner of speech ; all 
the works that are within proceed forth by way 
of the mouth. 

Cf St Matt, xii 34. Out of the abundance of 
the heart the mouth speaketh. 



S^KHJS ATTRIBUTED TO KABiR. 95 

(89) In the midst of the highest heaven 
there is a shining light ; he who has no guni 
cannot reach the palace ; he only will reach it 
who is under the guidance of a trae Guru. 

(90) Feel no care ; be free from care ; the 
giver is powerful ; the beasts of the field, the 
birds and the insects have neither wealth nor 
store house. 

(91) The tortoise takes care of its egg; 
without breasts it supplies its needs ; so God 
provides for all and makes provision for the 
three loks (earth, heaven and hell). 

(92) Whatever I did, you did; I did nothing 
myself; should man say ; I did it, it was in your 
strength that it was done. 

Cf. Phil. ii. 13. 

Shams- i-Tabrez, the famoun Sufi, IB said to have 
raised a man from the dead. Three times he addrens- 
ed the corpse, saying, In the name of God, I bid 
thee rise. These words had no effect. He then said. 
'In my name I bid thee rise' and the man rose. 
The idea is that man'n real power lies in the cons- 
ciousness of his union with Gocl. So long as he 
addressed God as one apart from himnelf, his prayer 
was disregarded. 

(93) Everything is from God and nothing 
from his servant; he can change a mustard seed 
Into a mountain and a mountain into a mustard 
seed. 







. a-y 

m 



96 



S&CHIS ATTRIBUTED TO KARfR. 



(94) Should all the earth be turned into pa- 
per and all the trees into pens; should the seven 
seas be turned Into ink, yet could not an 
account of God be written. 

(95) In blessings, O God, thou surpassest all, 
In thy dealings with men thou art without a ri- 
val; God is chief of all kings, and yet He lived 
upon earth as a/ag"r. 

(96) We shall not die, though all creation 
die; we have found one that quickeneth. 

These lines form part of an introduction to a 



(97) Whoever forsakes what is false and pro- 
ductive of pride and becomes as dust on the 
road, he will find God. 

(98) The difference between the true and 
the false Sddbii is as that between the Am 
(mango) and the Babul trees; the former bears 
life-producing fruit, the latter thorns. 

PJial (fruit^ is often used of the results of action. 

(99) When you see a SMhu approaching^ 
run, touch with your hands his feet (and apply 
them to your forehead). It may be that in this 
form God himself will meet you. 

(100) All say <Rdm, Ram/ but there is a 
difference in the saying; one associated with 
many, another was absorbed in one. 



S^KHIS ATTRIBUTED TO KABlR. 97 

The writer seems to be here distinguishing bet- 
ween Rarn T the son of Danrath, and Ram, as used as 
a title of the one true God. 

(101) O Narayan, there have been count- 
less mighty rulers in this world; they used to 
speak of I and mine, but when they died they 
took not away with them a single straw. 

(102) If a man be meek, humble, respect- 
ful and obedient to Sadhus, in his heart I dwell, 
as a fish dwells in the water. 

(103) Water stays not at a high level, but 
descends; he who stoops down can raise up the 
water and drink; he who remains standing must 
go away with thirst unquenched. 

(104) Only the guru is found, but no disciple 
(every one presumes to teach, none are willing 
to learn); there is some hope of success, when a 
disciple is found. 

(105) What is the une of greatness? the 
palm is a tall tree, but none sit under its shade 
and its fruit is out of reach. 

( ro6) If you wish to worship Ram, worship 
him at once ; when will you find another op- 
portunity ? The grass that now is fresh and 
green will shortly be dried as fuel. 

( 1 07) Thou earnest into this world for gain; 
gamble not away thy life, weigh carefully in 
thy mind, this moment will not return again. 





THE KABfR PANTH. 

The Kabir Panthis of Northern and Central 
India recognise two main divisions of the Panth, 
one with headquarters at the Kabir Chaura in 
Benares and a branch establishment at Maghar, 
and a second, founded by Dharm Dass, with head- 
quarters in the Chattisgarh District, in the Cen- 
tral Provinces. The former is known as Bap 
(Father) and the latter as Mai (Mother). The 
relations between these two divisions have at 
times been strained. The Math at Puri, where, 
in the worship of Jagannath, distinctions of caste 
are disregarded, is respected by both as a place of 
pilgrimage. 1 

It is impossible in the light of present in- 

(i Vi v ; I, formation to determine the date at which either 

of these divisions first came into existence, but 
both were probably founded by Hindu disciples 
of Kabir. 

As already stated Kabfr died and was buried 
at Maghdr, in the district of Gorakhpur. The 

(1) The division of the Panth into twelve branches, as 
given in Wilson, Jt. H, seems to be quite fanciful. There are 
other branches at Bombay, in Gujerat, etc,, but it is doubtful 
whether these regard themselves as independent of those two 
main divisions. Of these two divisions, that which bears the 
name of Dharm Dass, though barely mentioned by Wilson, 
is the more influential at the present time. 




THE 



PANTH. 



99 



shrine at Maghar which has always been in the 
charge of Muhammadans was restored in 1567 
by Nawab Fidae Khan, the officer in command 
of the imperial army which occupied the city 
in that year. 2 

There are at the present time two Maths at 
Maghar, one for Muhammadans, containing the 
shrine, and another for Hindus, in the enclosure 
of which is a hole in which Kabir is said to 
have sat, awaiting death. 3 Each of these Maths 
which adjoin one another, has accommodation 
for 50 Sadhus, though as a rule only one Fakir 
or Sadhu lives in each. 4 About 50 Hindu Sadhns 
live in the neighbouring villages of Balwa and 
Khurswal where the Panth has property in land. 5 

At M!aghdr there are more Muhammadan 
than Hindu Kabfr Panthis. The two sections 
have little in common, except their devotion to 
Kabir their Master. Each section receives 
Prasdd in its own Math. 

(2; From 1300 to 1567 A. D, Mjtghar wat* the capital of 
the Namct llajputs. 

(3) It is hUtwl in the llatti Gazetteer that a Hindu 
Mahant first arrived at Matfhar m 1764> A. I). According to 
Kabir Chaura tradition** the first four Mahants were buried at 
Maghar. Bet; Additional Note, 

(4) The Hindu Math IB under the management *of the 
Kabir Chaura Mahant. The present Mahant, Gur Prasad Dass, 
is specially interested in the superintendence of agricultural 
operations. In the absence of the Mahant the Pujari is 
placed in charge of the Kabir Ohaura Math. 

(5) This land IB chiefly under rice cultivation. In 1900 
the land at Balwa supplied the Kabir Ohaura Math with 750 
noaunds of ricsc and the Maghar Math with 500 maunds. 



100 



THE KAB!R PANTH. 



In connexion with the Muhammadan Math 
a largely attended Mela is held on the last day 
of Aghan (November). In connexion with this 
Mela a sacred feast is held. The Mahant pro- 
ceeds to the shrine, followed by the Diwan, 
carrying in both hands a large dish (Thambe) 
containing Khichri (cooked rice mixed with (Ml) 
and by a Banddli carrying an earthenware 
vessel (Karwa] containing water and covered 
over with a white cloth. Upon reaching the 
shrine these vessels are placed upon the ground 
and frankincense is burnt upon the tomb, in a 
fire of cowdung. 6 The Mahant repeats cer- 
tain prayers in which all present take their part. 7 

At the conclusion of the prayers he takes 
his seat upon the ground while the Dfwan gives 
to each of the worshippers a small portion of 
the JST&icAnand the Bandklf pours from the spout 
of the Karwa a few drops of the water into the 
palm of their hands. When all have received, 
the Dfwan and Bandali consume what is left. 
More prayers are said, after which the Mahant 
departs and the gathering breaks up H 

(6) These ashes are passed through fine muni in and 
preserved in a brass loth, 

(7) The Kabir Panthis apply the term pmycr to devo- 
tional exercises which might be more accurately described as 
meditations. 

^ 4. It 4 , seemed best *, describe this feast here and so 
?? k^* h account relating to Magliar. The rdigious 

SSi Ki 6 U ^ abir Panthis ' which are coveted with 
considerably more ritual, are described in Chapter VI 



THE KABfR PANTH. 



101 



Pilgrims to the shrine are expected to pre- 
sent a rupee to the officer in charge and also an 
offering of rice and d&L They receive in re- 
turn a small portion of KIdchri and a pinch of 
the ashes that result from the burning of the 
frankincense and cowdung. 1 ' 

The Kabir Chaura Math receives its name 
from the fact that it occupies the site upon 
which accord ing to tradition Kabfr gave instruc- 
tion to his disciples. The Math consists of two 
courtyards, connected by a bridge thrown across 
a narrow lane. The main courtyard contains 
the preaching platform, the Mandar, which is 
occupied by a pair of wooden sandals (Khanrdm) 
intended to represent the feet of the Guru, 1 the 
Gaddi, 1 1 the Samadhs(tombs} 12 offiveMahants 

(0) Tl 10 Mu ham randan members of the Panth wear caps 
of a different shape to those worn by the Hindu BairagK 

(10) Originally there was no Mandar (temple) at Kabir 
Chaura, but; in tin's respect., .H probably in others, the Kabir 
Panthis have gradually assimilated their own arrangements 
to those of the Maths of other religious orders. The 
J)amn'wi'h worship the feet of Sankaraeharya, carved in out- 
line in stone or marble. It was probably in order to escape 
the charge of idolatry that the Kabir .'Pan this substituted for 
the Ckart&n Pdd-Mt a pair of wooden sandals. 

(11) The Gaddi is literally the pillow upon which the 
Guru Hits in slate. The (fadtUtf this Math belongs to Kabir, 
his representative upon earth sits behind and not upoix it, 

(12) When practicable the Mnhants are buried within 
the precinctH of their Math. It is the custom of this, as of . 
several other religious orders, to bury and not burn the bodies 
of their dead. The custom which may be due to Muhammadan 
influences is explained by saying that the bodies of Sants 
who have died to the world have already been purified and do 
not require the cleansing of fire. 



v> 4 r*i - 

r>v' 

i, i^r 



?' 



K tt II 1 

r 



102 



THE KABfR PANTH. 



and quarters for Sadhus. The courtyard across 
the lane which occupies the traditional site of 
Nirtfs house is made over to the female Bairagis, 
known as Mai Log. 1 * This court contains the 
Samadhs of three Mahants. 

The room in which the Gaddf is placed is 
immediately opposite the entrance gate. Over 
the Gaddf hangs the picture of Kabfr which has 
been reproduced as the frontispiece of this vo- 
lume. In tliis picture Surat Gopal and Dharm 
Dass, the founders of the two main divisions of 
the Panth, are represented as kneeling before 
Kabfr while Kamal stands behind with a fan in 
his hand. On one side of the picture hangs a 
portrait of Rkmanand and on the other a picture 
of Rangf Dass, the late Mahant, who died eight 
years ago. 

Above the pictures are hung what appear 
from the distance to be armorial bearings, but 
are in reality designs in coloured cloth, intended 
to symbolise the five elements (earth., air, fire ? 
water and dkhds) and the nine doors or points 
of entrance into the human body. In front of 
the Gaddf are placed two flower vases and upon 
the wall at the side hangs a rosary, composed 

(IS) The female devotees aro given the titl of Mother 
"because all Badhns arts required to treat them with thn respect 
due to a mother from her son. When a mairiei man in 
received into the order of the Dantlw he applieft his lips to this 
breast of his wife to indicate that henceforth he stands to her 
in the relation of son to mother. 



THE KAB!R PANTH. 103 

of a thousand beads, which is reserved for the 
use of the Mahant. 

Daily service is conducted in the Math, mor- 
ning and evening, by the PujdrL In the morn- 
ing the Sadlms, so soon as they have bathed, 
assemble in front of the Mandar. Here takes 
place the first part of the service which includes 
the performance ofArtti* and the washing of the 
Guru's feet. After this the various Samadhs 
and the Gaddi are visited and the Sadhus re- 
turn to the Mandar for the concluding portion 
of the service. The morning service is said to 
occupy thirty minutes and the evening service 
an hour. 

The water in which the wooden sandals 
have been washed, known as Char an Mitra, 
is poured into a brazen vessel. Three teaspoon- 
fuls of this water together with three tidsfr* lea- 
ves, are given to all who visit the Math during 
the day. At 8 p. m. the doors of the Math are 
closed and -tiny Char an Mitra that remains over 
is offered in the first place to such Sadhus as 
have not previously received it. The vessel is 
then presented to the Mahant who after drink- 

(14) In Arti lire, usually the flamcH of burning camphor 
is waved before th< object oi" worship. 

(15) The Tulsi leaf in nacred to Vishnu. Many Kabir 
Pan this fuel thai, in tlmn showing reference to Vishnu they are 
cHsreKartUnK the teaching of Kabir, as by Mm he meant not 
the incarnation of Vishnu, but the supremo Deity. 



r 



f;i' ; 

^ i ) i 



104 THE K/\BfR PA NTH. 

Ing what remains rinses out the vessel with fresh 
water and consumes that also. 

An annual Mela which lasts over lour or five 
days is held at this Math in the month of Janu- 
ary. On this occasion the large courtyard is 
crowded with devotees. Those who wish to 
become Bainigis observe a fast lor twelve days, 
eating in the evening a little gur (crude sugar) 
and rice cooked in milk. These candidates are 
admitted as Bainigis at the celebration of the 
Jot Pershad, which, from a religious point of 
view, constitutes the principal purpose of the 
Mel, 10 Of the possessions belonging to the 
Math the Kabi'r Panthis regard the topi (cap) 
and schli woollen necklace of Kabir, the 
Khanraan, the picture of Kabfr and the Bijak as 
those of greatest value, 

The principal officers of the Math are the Ma- 
hant, the Dtwdn, the Kotwdl and the l*uj&ri. 
The Mahant is responsible for the general arran- 
gements and should be a man of learning, quali- 
fied to give religious instruction; the Dlwdn is 
the business manager ; the Kotmdl is responsi- 
ble for the maintenance of discipline, while the 

(16) It in aid that the Jot JPtsr*h-ad WB originally 
celebrated in this Math once a month, but that thin custom 
was discontinued on account of a quarrel that arose between 
Puran Ddns and the contemporary Mahant of tbo Dharm Dte 
section, in consequence of which the latter rct'uHuel to Hupply 
Puran Dass with Koniething which wan regarded an ttHHential 
ior the proper conduct of thin service. For an account of 
the Jot Pershad see Chapter vi. 



tion were ongmauy at JBanaogarn m me 
neighbourhood of Jubbulpore ; from this place 
they were transferred to Koodarmal and once 
again in recent years to Dhama Kheni. 

Dharm Dass, the founder of this section, is 
said to have first met Kabir at Benares and to 
have been rebuked by him for worshipping 
idols. He met him subsequently at Brindaban, 
but failing to recognise him said, " Your words 
resemble those addressed to me by a Sadhu 
whom I once met at Benares. " On this occasion 
Kabir adopted stronger measures and threw 
into the river the idol which Dharm Dass was 
worshipping. Once more Kabfr appeared to 
him in his house at Bkndogarh. Dharm Dass 
was a bunnidh by caste and possessed of con- 
siderable wealth. Kabfr again rebuked him 
for practising idolatry and asked him how he 
could worship an idol made out of the same 
stone as the weights which he made use of in 
his business. On this occasion Dharm Dass 
acknowledged the force of his arguments and 
both he and his wife became his disciples. 
According to the account given in Stikrit Dhydn 
Dharm Ds\ss was the son of one Mahesh, and 
was as an infant saved from death by Gydni 









( , ''I I 




106 THE KABfR PANTH. 

( i. e. Kabfr ) who entered into his body. He 
was originally called JudzUvan, but objected to 
this name and received from Kabi'r permission 
to change it to Dharm Dass. Narayan Dass, 
his son, refused to accept Kabfr as his Guru, 
but through the grace of Kabfr a second son 
was born in 1516 and named ChuramanJ 7 This 
son was installed upon the Gaddf by Kabfr 
himself. Upon tho occasion of his installation 
Kabfr foretold that his descendants should sit 
upon the Gaddi for 42 generations ( Jlan$)> and 
declared that the right to communicate the 
Mantra would be confined to his descendants. 
In accordance witti Kabir's instructions the 
Head Mahant of this section marries and lives 
with his wife till a son is born. After the 
birth of the son the wife becomes a Ilairagl. 
The Mahant holds office for a period of 25 years 
and 20 days and is then succeeded by his son. ' H 
In one case the son is said to have died and as 
the mother had become a Bairhgt the Mahant 

(17.) Thin date has apparently bei:n HH w;n to brinjf 
the birth of Ohunm&n within tint lifetime of Kabii. No 
mention is made of the agu at whieh f :hurainau wa* Installed 
JIB Mahant. No import .aucse can ho attached to dales mention- 
ed, in connexion with the establishment of HIM Puntlu Ug- 

>' ,' ranini IK said to be the, 1 Hth Mahant. Ifelaven Maliunt.mKr.upi- 

- ( ' l{ ed the GadcU for twenty yearn each and ono Mahant for t hreo, 

the Panth would appear to have bi'.un foundcnl 27H yoarn pre- 
vious to the installation of Ugranam, i, i\ about 1(525, 

(18.) The Mahant'H Hon alone, in a tucinber of the 1'unth 
by birth and is initiated by lite fathur. All other mcmbcrn 
Become the children of the Mahant through t .he reception of 
the Mantra. 



THE KAB!R PANTH. 



107 



lived with another woman by whom he had a 
son. 10 The father of the present Mahant died 
after holding office for a period of three years 
only, and many wished that one of his disciples, 
Jugla Nancl, should officiate as Mahant during 
the remainder of his term of office. To this 
proposal the majority of the members strongly 
objected on. the ground that he was not a descen- 
dant of Dliarm Dass, and Ugramim was duly 
installed His grandmother, known as Dddf 
Sahib, who was responsible for this proposal; 
still exercises authority at Koodarmal, and 
Ugranam reigns in the newly established Math 
at Dhama KhenL Jugla Nand with other dis- 
contented Sudhiis retired lo Bombay, where he 
has published various books bearing upon the 
Panth. Kabir is said to have given instructions 
to Dharm Dass regarding the ("haukd and the 
Jot l*'ras<id. 

The Kabir Panth exists as a protest against 
the religious exclusiveness of the twice-born 
castes. As a natural result few but Sudras whose 
cause it champions have associated themselves 
with the movement. The Panth contends for 
a truth which forms part of the Gospel of Crea- 
tion, viz. that all men have spiritual powers 

(19) The hoy who died is nuid to have been Churaman 
who returned to the world, but retired after a short stay 
an ho wan unwilling a second time to nit upon the- 
GaddL 



108 



THE 



PANTH. 



which should find their natural expression in 
communion with God, now in this life.- 

The sons of the twice-horn as they come to 
rears of discretion are invested with the sacred 
thread (Janeo) and reminded thereby of their 
spiritual privileges and responsibilities. The 
members of this Panth wear round their necks 
a Ranthi( rosary) formed of beads made of Tulsi 
wood/ 21 This JKanthi is naturally associated 
with thoughts of prayer and in this way 
reminds those who wear it alike of thmr relation 
to God and of the promises which they made at 
the time oi their initiation.** Permission to 

(20) The exclusive spirit, which find* expression in caste 
and against winch Kabir and others fought, ha* by no mcan 
been expelled From the. mi win of Kalnr Pttnlhlx. Members of 
the lowest castes, such as Mehturs, Uorns and DhnbiH, should, 
i hey consider, join sects such us that of S/mvi ,Vm///a/t and 
not be permitted to wear bant hi*. 

(21) The kanthl of the Kcdri-r Panthw is fonwtd of beads 
made oi'Tiilm wood, which are usually strung on Btriiig of very 
inferior quality. Thin defect may result in the I<WH of the 
beadrf, and no member of the Panth in under nurh drmimKtanee 
allowed to worship or eat food till the IxmdH have IHXJII replaced. 
They are, however, allowed to wear instead of \\w t kaMhl one 
large bead (kira) strung on substantial thread. Thte v/ho live 
in places where a lost katitki cannot txj eamly replaced usually 
avail themselves of thin alternative. B< >me ka/tf/t.i* art* maije of 
material other than wood, #.//. grans or c.oeoamit fibre. 
Some Satnamis wear a wristlet made of Hiring in lieu o f a kanthn. 

(22) Prayer as offered by the Kabir P&nt-his in of an ele- 
mentary Character. One says tliat they pi-ay that they may 
obtain salvation (nmkhti) ; another says that he Hinge the 
praises of Narayan in the morning and in the evening prays 
for protection against evil spirits*. The latter spoke of our 
Church Services as "practice", and regarded thm a valuable 
in as much as they helped to form a habit of punctuality, it 
would be a great mistake to suppose that prayer means for a 
Kalvr Panthi the same as it does for a < JhriHtian. 

At the time of prayer members of the Panth make on their 
forehead the mark (fflak) of Vishnu, using for the purpose 
a special kind of earth mixed with water or with water only. 




THE 



PANTH. 



109 



wear a Kanthi is granted to women as well as to 
men, for they too are spiritual beings; but no 
woman may assume a Kanthi previous to 
marriage nor may she become the disciple oi 
her husband's Guru. 2 * 

To Brahmins at the time of investiture with 
the sacred thread is communicated the Brah- 
minical .Mantra which they are not allowed on 
any account to communicate to those who are 
not Brahmins.-' 1 In like manner at the time of 
initiation a Mantra is whispered into the ear 
of Kabir Fanthis. This Aiautra serves as a bond 
of union between members of the Panth and 
also suggests a position of privilege. 25 

Brahmins wear upon their forehead the sign 
of the God whom they worship. Kabir Panthis 

(23) If disdj.ks df thr same Quru they would be regarded 
as brother and sinter ami &u their marriage would become 
unlawful. Thin, however, appears to be a later refinement 
as Dhartn Daw* and his wife were both the disciples of Ivabir. 
They wui-1;! pitiably argue that thin was a matter of 
iicec*Mi}, a* ui thai time: there was only one Guru whereas 
in modern days thmt arc many. 

(24) The spiritual life of Brahmins, Kshattriyas and 
Vaishyus to recognised from the time when they receive the 
mantra from their Guru and are in vented with the sacred 
thread. From that time they arc; subject to the rules of caste, 
( >nly thosd who have reached years of discretion are admitted 
as members of the J*twt/t. with the possible exception of 
children, both of whose parents are already members. 

(25) The Initiatory Mantra of the Kabir Panthis said 
to contain five* words which represent one name or revelation 
of the on true God. Hhould the chela at the time of initia- 
tion fail to catch the words on account of nervousness or the 
noise of music, he may have it repeated to him by some other 
member of the Panth, provided that this is done in a solitary 
place where there in no chance of the words being overheard 
by others, 



rfiJl' 



<* Yf 




110 THE KABfR PANTH. 

also wear such a mark (Tika), as shown in the 
frontispiece. 

In the days of Kabir a knowledge of religious 
truth was practically confined to those who 
were acquainted with one or other of the two 
sacred languages, Arabic and Sanskrit. These 
two languages were employed both in public 
and private worship with the result that the 
worship of the masses was too often a mere 
repetition of phrases which were unintelligible 
to those who used them. Kabir urged that 
religious books should also ho written in the 
vernacular that all might obtain that knowledge 
of God which was essential to spiritual progress. 
Again to the illiterate masses teaching con- 
tained in books was inaccessible, and so it is that 
we find Kabir laying great stress on the import- 
ance of oral teaching. Few men are qualified 
to become scholars, but all are required to be 
good; therefore he urged his disciples to associ- 
ate with good men and through conversation 
wfth them to acquire such knowledge as is ne- 
cessary. The study of books, he thought, was 
too often productive of pride; to display learn- 
ing and intelligence scholars were often tempted 
to enlarge upon topics of little spiritual value, 
while in private conversation heart speaks to 
heart of its own spiritual needs. Such were the 
views of Kabir and in consequence the Guru in 





THE KABfR PANTH. 

this Panth occupies a position of extraordinary 
importance. 

Kabir was a poet of no mean order and 
gladly consecrated his literary gifts to the 
service of God. He knew that religious instruc- 
tion given in the form of poetry was easily re- 
membered; he knew too that the singing of 
Bhafam (Hymns) was an occupation in which 
the people of India took peculiar pleasure. It 
only remained for him to compose hymns which 
his followers could sing. This he did, and up to 
the present day his hymns enjoy great populari- 
ty with the people and in the Punth occupy a 
prominent position in all acts of public worship. 

As the Brahmins are required to repeat the 
Gyatri daily, so are members of this Panth re- 
quired to use the following hymns, in the morn- 
ing and evening respectively : 

Morning Hymn: Kablr said Spiritual and 
material blessings attend those who wait upon 
the Darwesh ; their account is safe. Love of you 
pervades the whole body of your devotees. 
You are starvation, unmoved by desire, a men- 
dicant. You walk in no one's footsteps, you 
seek ease in no abode. The whose universe is 
your body. You are boundless (a stream with- 
out banks). You pervade the Universe cons- 
tantly. The love which you cause is profound. 
The empty Universe is in me, says the Guni 



m 



112 



THE KABfR PANTH. 



I'm* 

m\->\ 




(Kabir). If we do honour by fire to the true 
name, the body becomes pure. Dharani Dkss 
taking the Guru's arm walked and found Kabfr. 

Evening Hymn. Evening having come on, 
the day having closed, the duck broke into wail- 
ing : "O drake, let us go to that country where 
Day and Night are unknown." If separation 
takes place at night, the duck is to be met with 
in the morning, but ho who is separated from 
the name (of God) regains it neither during day 
nor night. Hear, O Guru, Treasury of kindness, 
I beseech you with clasped hands. Mercy, 
humility, devotion, equality, good nature, cons- 
tancy, these are the ornaments of a devotee. 
Devotion to the one without beginning is adorn- 
ment. The only name, the only Guru, is Kabir^ 
the highest Ptr* 

Anxious as Kabir was to claim for all men 
spiritual privileges he was no less anxious to 
impress upon those who desired to become re- 
ligious that they must live in a way consistent 
with their profession . 

All, therefore, who desire to become members 
of the Panth are required to renounce poly- 
theism and to acknowledge their belief in one 
only God (Parameshwar), They must also pro- 

(26) For these "bhajans In their original form see Crooke's 
TH&<? and Caste* ofN.-W. P. and Oudh, Vol. Ill pp. 75-6. 

For the translation in the text I am indebted to a resident of 
Cawnpore who locally enjoys a reputation as a Hindi poet, 



THE KAHIR PA NTH. 



113 



mise to eat no meat and drink no wine ; to 
bathe daily and sing hymns to God, both morn- 
ing and evening ; to forgive those who trespass 
against them up to three times ; to avoid the 
company of all women of bad character and all 
unseemly jesting in connexion with such sub- 
jects ; never to turn away from their house their 
lawtui wile ; never to tell lies ; never to conceal 
the property of another man ; never to bear 
false witness against a neighbour or speak evil 
of another on hearsay evidence/ 27 

One prominent trait m Hindu character, viz. 
personal devotion, finds ample scope for exer- 
cise in the devotion to their Guru required of 
all members of the Panth. All who wish to 
approach. God must, they say, become thr dis- 
ciple of some Gum and to this Guru when once 
chosen, the disciple must wholly submit him- 
self, mind, soul and body. To Kabir, as the 
chief Guru, many of the bhajans used in public 
worship are addressed, and marked reverence 
is also shown to the living Guru, as God's re- 
presentative upon earth. 

(27) in requiring Huch promines from Im followers JKabir 
cioubtlcHH imlbaU'K those* defects hi Hindu nocial life which 
to him upixtttrai most, detrimental to the development of 
religion. 'Io the promise to ml no meat the greatest import, 
ancefo AttaclKKt in all the Vmshmwite sects," as such a habit 
is supposed to develop tbe material and injure the spiritual 
part of human nature. This belief with reference to eating 
flesh xnakcH them slow to realise that Christianity, which 
regards such questions an matters of indifference, can be really 
a spiritual force. 




?' Mis''"' 

i .<.t;!Ji:..i 



ADDITIONAL NOTE. 
Lut of the Kalir Chaurd Mahants. 



i ' '$?A 


' i ' i Name 


Years 


Approximate 




of 


Samddh of 


date of Instal- 


Y 1 '^' 1 


Mahant. 


at. office. 


lation. 




co' Shydm Dass 


Maghar 28 


1491 ? 


/ $ )( *J 


Lai Dass 


Maghar 22 


1519 ? 


* '* r 


' Hari Dass 


Maghar 1 8 


1541 ? 


? "V; 


'I Surat Gopdl Ddss 


Jagarmath 35 


1559 


i ; ^ 


; Gydn Dass 


Jaganndth 25 


1594 


4 / "' 


i > * ' 
{ , Sital Dass 


Gaya 24 


.1619 




l t \^ Sukh Ddss 


Niru Tila 20 


1643 


1 % 
f /V 


Hulass Ddss 


Niru Tila 26 


1663 


HlV]'^ 1 MadhoDass 


Niru Tila 20 


1689 


\rf' 


j'f'ijl Kokil Ddss 


Niru Tila 21 


1709 


jjf; 


{ '''i' 1 ' ^ Ram Ddss 


Niru Tila 29 


1730 




! ',1,^!, Maha Ddss 


Niru Tila 22 


1759 


lit 


1 ']| Hari Ddss 


Niru Tila 20 


1781 


H'tH|:'f :>l! Sukh Ddss 


Kabir Chaurd 27 


1801 


| 'f ' | 'i"j' ^ " Saran Ddss 


Kabir Chaurd 16 


1828 


' i j ! ft ; ' J ! |! ! 1 1 Puran D dss 


Kabir Chaurd 18 


1844 


il! 3 )f I/ 1 -!/; ; Nirmal Ddss 


Kabir Chaurd 22 


1862 


J^jA^ " '/'/ " Ranghir Ddss 


Kabir Chaurd 1 5 


1884 


1 ^! t ' 8ll ii 1 ^ Gur Prasdd Ddss 


8 


1899 



The above list so far as the name of Mahant t 
place of Samddh and tenure of office are concern- 
ed was supplied by a Bairagi at Benares. 



THE K.AHIR PANTH. 



115 



The existence of the first three Mahants is high- 
ly problematical. 

Surat Gopal (A I) 1559) in generally regarded as 
the founder of the Panth. It is possible that he 
and the two Mahants who succeded him did not 
have their headquarters at Benares, but that the Niru 
Tila compound \vas acquired during the Mahanti of 
Sukh Dtiss. Bulwant Singh, and his son and succes 
sor, Cheit Singh, were patrons of the Kabfr Panth 
The former died in A. I). 1770. TheKabir Chaura 
Compound may have been acquired in their time. 

Though seven Mahants are said to have been 
buried in the Niru Tila court of the Math at Benares 
only three Samaclhs arc conspicuous at the present 
time, (see p. 102.) 

Lhi of Dharam Daw 



Approximate date 
of Installation 



Churdmant 

Sudarshan 

Kulpati 

Pramodh 

Kewal 

Amol, 

Surat Sanehf Ndm 

Haqq Ndm 

Pdk Nam 

Praghat Ndm 

Dhfraj Ndm 

Ugra Ndm 

Dayii Ndm 



Nam 

Nam 

Ndm 

Ndm Guru Bald Plr 

Nam 

Ndm 



1694 
1714 
1734 
1754 
1774 
1794 
1814 

1834 

1854 
1874 
1894 
1897 



116 THE KABfR PANTH. 

The above have already appeared. Those to 
follow are: - 

Gridhmanf Nam Akah Nam 

Praldtsh Nam Kanthmam Nam 

Uditmanf Nam Santokh Nam 

Mukundmani Nam Chatrik Nam 

Adh Nam Dadhi Nam 

Udai Nam Neh Nam 

Gyan Nam Adi Nam 

Hansmani N&m Malui Niun 

Sukrit N&m Nij Ni\m 

Agrmani Nftm Sahib D;Lss Nam 

Ras N\m Udhuwa Diss Nm 

Gungmani Nnm Karimra Niun 

Paras Nfim Uddhar Nilm 

Jagrat N&rn Drigh N;\m 

Bhringhmani Nam Mahamanf Nilm 

The dates have been calculated on the assump- 
tion that each Mahant held office for 20 yearn and 
25 days, except Dhlraj N*im who is known to have 
died after three years tenure of office. One Mahant 
stated that the regular tenure of office was for 25 
years and 20 days. On Huch a calculation the date 
of Churimanl would be thrown back to A, IX 1654, 
In the Kabir Chauri section the average tenure of 
office has been for 23 years. 

The Sulch Nidm is said to have been written 
during Pramodh Nam's tenure of office. 




Chapter VI. 



THE KABfR PANTH (Contd.) 

This Panth, like other religious institutions 
of the kind, is founded on a double basis. Mem- 
bers may live as householders in their own 
homes, or renounce the world and attach them- 
selves permanently to one of the Monasteries 
belonging to the order. Those belonging to the 
latter class are known as Bairigis. A married 
man may leave his wife, whom he is henceforth 
to regard as his mother, and become a Bairagi, 
provided that he is the father of at least one 
son. Women, as well as men, may become Baira- 
gis, if found properly qualified after a probation- 
ary period of two years. 1 Conventual buildings 
exist both at Kabi'r Chaura and Maghdr. The 
householders perform an important function in 
the economy of the order, inasmuch as they 
contribute largely to the support oi the Bairagis,, 

There are a large number of branch establish- 
ments, each of which is presided over by a Ma- 
hant who spends most of his time in travelling 
round to visit the disciples who acknowledge 

(1) Female Bairagis are usually widows or the wives of 
men who have become Bairagis. At Maghar there are said to 
be about 26 female Bairagis. 







118 



THE KABfR PANTH. 



him as their Gur&.* He is supposed to visit his 
Chelas at least once a year, to note the progress 
they have made, to give instruction to them and 
to their families, and to examine and to receive 
into the order, if found qualified, such candi- 
dates as may be brought to him. On such 
occasions he is entertained by members of the 
Panth and also provided with travelling ex- 
penses. 

The Mahants of the branch establishments 
receive authority to teach and initiate new mem- 
bers from the Head Mahant of the section to 
which they belong. At the time of appointment 
they are given to eat a betel leaf (Bira)'- ] as a 
pledge that they undertake faithfully to per- 
form the duties of their office. 1 Each Mahant 
receives a document, bearing the seal of the 
Head Mahant, and known as the Panja Par- 
wdna. Upon this document are entered the 
names of all disciples admitted by him into the 
order. The Mahant is required to check this 
list at each place that he visits and to present it 

(2) The MahantB are not allowed to shave ; the Baira^is 
must cither shave entirely or not at all. 

(3) In ancient days a pan leaf ( Bird ) was thrown 
down as a challenge. Thin custom is referred to in the 



(4) One of the Mahants at Lucknow uSBumcd office when 
14 years of age. Normally when a minor in nominated for 
succession an unbeneficed Mahant is associated with him in 
office, till he is able to perform the duties unassisted. 



THE KAB!R PANTH. 



119 



annually to the Head Mahant both for inspec- 
tion and the entry of new names. 5 

A.S signs of authority the Mahant receives a 
red topi, a necklace of black wool, known as 
Sefi, G and a special rosary known as the Pdnch 

MaL 

On the occasion of his annual visit to Head- 
quarters the Mahant is required to present 
twelve cocoanuts and twelve rupees on his own 
account and one cocoanut and one rupee for 
each new name that he wishes to have entered 
on his Parwana. He also makes over to the 
Diw&i all offerings made at the Chauka Arti 
services at which he has officiated during the 
year. 

A Mahant upon appointment is required to 
make an offering of cocoanuts, Kabir Panthis 
explain the peculiar significance attached to co- 
coanuts in the Panth in the light of the following 
facts: (i) it has a lace resembling that of a 
man, (2) its surface is divided into three parts 
recalling Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu, (3) its 

(5) OH th<* occasion of a vim t to any place the Mahant 
rccitoH at cttlel.mil ion of the Vhaulttt, Arti all the names enter- 
ed cither upon his own I'tirwaMi or those of his predecessors 
in office, and writes the words Whalanit kar f/aya? against 
the names of any who havti dice*. In the case of a deceased 
Mahant the phniwj used IB *Nti-utadhi In ll\ 

(f>) The Mi in very Himilar to that worn by certain 
followers of Nanuk. In each case there are five tassels attach- 
ed to the Mi. In tite Kabir Panth Mi there are three tassels 
placed together in tlte centre with one on either side ; in the 
Nanak SV?/Ulw five twael** are placed it regular intervals, 
For Hhapti of 7}//;/ wee 




i 'i rfi ,; 

. 



120 



THE 



PANTH. 



flesh Is formed gradually as human flesh is for- 
med and (4) it differs from other fruits in con- 
taining no seed. 7 The breaking of the cocoanut 
is regarded as a bloodless sacrifice, a peace offer- 
ing presented to Niranjan to secure for members 
of the Panth admission into heaven. 

The ordinary Mahants are not men of great 
learning, though they have usually committed 
to memory a certain number of sayings attribut- 
ed to Kabfr and possibly also some book of 
which they have managed to secure a copy. 
Want of learning is in some sort atoned for in 
the opinion of their followers by a detailed 
knowledge of the ritual to be observed in the 
performance of religious ceremonies. The more 
learned Mahants have generally some know- 
ledge of Tulsl Dass's Kdmdyana and The BJidga- 
wad Gzta. 

Before giving an account of the ceremony 
of initiation and the two sacramental meals, 
the Chaukd Arti and the J6t Prasdd, it seems 
best to explain two terms which are especially 
associated with the initiation ceremony and the 
J6t Prasad. The two terms in question are 
Char an Mitra and Parwcma. 

Charan Mitra, the amrita of the feet, is 
the name given to the water in which have 

(7) Do they wiph to imply that the cocoaaut represents 
God made man, the word become flesh ? 




THE KABfR PANTH. 



121 



been washed the feet of the Head Mahant, 
Kabir's representative upon earth. This water 
is mixed with fine earth and then made tip into 
pills. These pills may either be swallowed 
whole, or pounded up, mixed with water and 
drunk. 

Parwdna (Passport) is the name given to 
the betel leaf specially prepared at head quarters 
at the time of a celebration of the J6t Prasdd* 
A pile of; betel leaves, sixteen handbreadths 
in height is arranged upon the ground. At 
night time a pewter saucer is placed upon a 
specially prepared spot and the dew collected 
in this vessel is known as amar, water derived 
from heaven direct. In the morning the Mahant 
meditates in front of the pile of betel leaves and 
with the amar writes upon the topmost leaves 
the secret name of God. The betel leaves thus 
consecrated are made up into small portions, 
about a quarter of an inch square, and distribut- 
ed among the Mahants for use at a celebration 
of the J(U Prasdd or for presentation to a 
candidate at the time of his initiation. The 
Parwdna is said to represent the body of Kabir. 
The ceremony of initiation is one of consi- 
derable solemnity. The candidate in the pre- 
sence of the Guru and other members of the 
Pantk makes the required promises and is 
solemnly warned as to the consequences for 




122 THE KABfR PANTH, 

r|/'i ^ good or evil that will depend upon the way in 

jf i.%*. " .' which he afterwards observes them. 8 While 

bhajans are being sung by those present half 
of the mantra is whispered into the left ear of 
the candidate by the Guru, who afterwards 
places in his two outstretched hands, placed 
together, some grass, pan leaves and white 
flowers. A Bairagi, taking a brass vessel con- 
taining water in one hand, with the other leads 
the candidate to another quarter of the room 
where he allows the grass, etc. to fall upon the 
ground. Having moved a short way from that 
spot the candidate again places his hands to- 
gether and into them the Bairagi pours water 
from the vessel. With the first handful of water 
he rinses out his mouth ; with the second he 
washes his face. After this the candidate is led 
back to the Guru. The Guru takes up a Kanthi 
and makes it over to a Bairagi who takes it 
round the assembly and presents it to all mem- 
bers of the Panth in turn. All touch it with 
their hands and it is then returned by the 
Bairagi to the Mahant. The Mahant placing 

(8) Most members fear to violate prominen made in HO 
solemn a manner, lest the wrath o God Bhould fall upon them. 
It is said that one, a seller of oil, drank some wine and eat 
some flesh. He was expelled from the Panth and immediately 
fell ill. After six months he recovered and was readmitted 
Into the Panth, but after an interval of a year he repeated bis 
offence and died in consequence. Another member who com- 
mitted a similar offence is said to have lost the use of a hand. 

(9) This process is known as Gawtihl (Witness), 





THE KABfR PANTH. 123 

the Kanthi in his open hands does obeisance to 
the Gaddi and then stretching it between the 
thumb and first finger of both hands lets it fall 
over the head on to the neck of the candidate, 
as he kneels before him. 10 At the conclusion 
of this ceremony he whispers the whole mantra 
into the right car of the candidate, 1 1 So soon 
as the mantra has been communicated the new 
disciple is warned that he must on no account 
eat the fruit of the fig tree (f&lar). In reply to 
inquiries as to the reason for this prohibition, he 
is told that the fruit contains many flies and 
cannot therefore be eaten without much des- 
truction of life. From amongst the articles of 
food that have been placed beneath a clean 
cloth the Guru then takes a cocoanut and places 
it in the two hands of the candidate who touches 
with the fruit his right shoulder, his breast and 
torehead and returns it to the Guru with a fee 

(10) None but a Mahant may invest anyone with the 
Kanthi of the ordnr. A Oawnporo Mahant once fell Into the 
bandtt of the nnHco who at once destroyed MB kanthi. As 
soon aa the Mahant recovered his freedom he invested himself 
with a second kanthi. Thfe irregularity WOB at once reported 
to the Head Maliaut and the offender and another member 
of the Panth who was supposed to have connived at his 
offence, were immediately excommunicated. 

(U) In the Kiibir Ohaura section only one mantra in 
communicated to the candidate, vfsf. the Guru Mantra. In 
tbe Dharam JDmw nection two mantras are communicated at 
the time of initiation the Guru Mantra and the Tink Arpan 
mantra, and throes more subsequently in response to inquiry, 
viz. the Flinch Nte, the Safe Mm and the Mar mm. The 
Ourt Mantra in use in the two sections is said to be different 
in form. In the Kabir Ohaura section any reference to 
Dharara Dam In avoided m far as pos&ible. 




124 THE KAB!R PANTH. 

of one rupee. The Guru, having washed the 

cocoanut with betel leaves dipped in water, 

breaks it upon a stone. He proceeds with a knife 

to cut up the flesh of the cocoanut into small 

portions and deposits them in an open dish, 

He next pours into the hands of the candidate 

some Charan Mitra which he reverently drinks. 

The Mahant then takes a pan leaf and placing 

upon it a parwdna, a portion of cocoanut, some 

latdsa, gilr^' 2 raisins and currants, deposits it 

in the outstretched hands of the candidate who 

transfers it to his mouth. After the candidate 

has in this way been received into the Panth all 

members present receive at the hands of the 

Guru a betel leaf upon which is placed a portion 

of the cocoanut, some laf-dsa, g-&r^ raisins and 

currants. No portion of the cocoanut may be 

destroyed or eaten by those who are not mem- 

bers of the Panth. 1 8 Any portion that remains 

over is carefully preserved by the Guru and given 

to PantUs in other places that he may visit, with 

a statement as to the name and residence* of the 

new disciple at whose initiation it was offered. 

This ceremony is followed by a feast, in which 

(12) BaUsa IB a small sugary wafer in common uncut 
religious gatherings : Qlw in a preparation of Hujrar, 

C 1 ^) A coiTcHpoudhig ceremony exwtB amonjr o<,h(r nects 
Taut diffcreut fruits are uned, e. g. the followers of Tulsi l)& 
partake of a plantain. One plantain only is uwnd for this pur- 
P se - If many members are present, it in mixed with other 
food till the quantity is sufficient. The lUmtnMnd'w cat the 
leaf of the Tulsi plant. 




THE KABIR PANTH. 



125 



members of other religious sects are also permit- 
ted to take part, Reverence is paid to the Guni 
and Parameshwar and many bhajans are sung in 
honour of Parameshwar and Kabfr. 

This ceremony which in a measure corres- 
ponds to Christian Baptism is known as Tinka 
Arpan. In the Dharm Dass section the candi- 
date presents one cocoanut only and one money 
offering which must not be less than one rupee. 
In the Kabir Chaura section, candidates are 
required to present no less then sixteen cocoa- 
nuts, since they say sixteen sons (Silt) were 
begotten of the Word, and with each cocoanut 
an offering of money which must not be less 
then four annas. 1 * There is another important 
difference in the practice of the two sections. 
In the Dharm D&S8 section this ceremony Tirikb 
Arpan, may never be repeated, whereas in the 
Kabfr Chaura section it is performed twice, 
once by the candidate's personal Guru and again 
by the Head Mahant in the Kabfr Chaura Math. 
This difference may in part be accounted for by 
the fact that the Mahants of the Kabfr Chaura 
section are not supplied with a parw&na and 
also by the fact that in this section any Bairigf 
Is authorised to initiate new members. 

(14) Of the sixteen cocoanut a four axe broken at the 
ttnka Arpan ceremony, wx are sent to Magha~r, and three are 
broken at each of the two Chauka Arti ceremonies in the 
months of Pb&gun and Bbldon. 




126 



THE KAB!R PANTH. 



1 1&$ 
Mnn*te 



Every member of the Panth is required to 
supply the material wants of his Guru to the 
best of his ability, and also to pray on his be- 
half. As on account of such material help the 
Guru is benefited by an increase in the mem- 
ber of his chelas, lie is not himself allowed 
to invite others to become members of the 
Panth. 

As regards discipline, any disciple who brings 
discredit on the Panth by irregularity of life or 
who in other ways offends against the traditions 
of the order is in the first place censured by his 
Guru and subsequently, should he refuse to lis- 
ten to advice, excluded from all religious gather- 
ings. His company is avoided by other members 
of the Panth and his salutations disregarded by 
the Guru. 

The ordinary members of the Panth believe 
that the souls of Panthis after death enter Heav- 
en (Baikanth) or Hell (NaraK) and there re- 
main till they have been sufficiently rewarded 
or punished for deeds done in the body. They 
then return to earth, but always apparently 
clothed in a human body. This succession of 
lives continues till the soul freed from desire be- 
comes absorbed in God. A member of the 
Panth quoted to me the following saying 
attributed to Ndnak : "We want neither 
Baikanth nor Abra^, -but true life(fitir{ zindagrf) , 



THE KABfR PANTB. 



127 



and that is obtained when there are no more 
links with this earth/' 15 

Members of the Kablr Panth are encourag- 
ed to observe every Sunday as well as the 
last day of the lunar month (Puran M&si) as 
a day of fasting, and having bathed to assem- 
ble at 8 o'clock in the evening to join in a service^ 
known as Ckauka, 10 which takes the form of 
a religious meaL 17 A piece of ground measur- 
ing either 5 or 7 yards square is specially pre- 
pared and cleaned. In the centre of this square 
is measured out a smaller space, 2\ yards square. 
This inner square fo covered over with Hour, and 
in its centre are placed some flowers 18 imme- 

(15) W<? may possibly in thiH beliet see traces of Muhain- 
madan or ChrwUau teaching. 

(16) Chffitthti IB the term applied to the portion of ground 
specially prepared for the consumption of fod. The ground 
is divided up into squares, each one of which is occupied by 
one person, 

(17) AH who attend the Ohaukaobic-vea fast throughout 
the preceding day, but are allowed to drink water or water 
sweetened with nugar, if they find thwr thirst opp'-e-raive. The 
majority of those who belong to the Panth are content to per- 
form their devotions at home on Hwulaysaml in M* case only 
keep the tat up to midday. The full Chauka service, followed 
by a meal as described below is only performed of necessity on, 
two occasions in the year, in the months of Ph&gun and ShMon, 
which roughly correHpond to Match and August. On these 
occasions the Mahant himself IB necessarily present and all 
members arc recjuircd to attend Observance of the whole day 
fast is a necessary condition, of attendance at a Ohauka whe- 
ther the Mahant is present or not. 

(18) This specially prepared ground is corered over with 
an awning ( t Chandio&). The colour of the awning, as well as 
that of the flowers, is white on festal occasions; red when the 
service is held in memory of the dead. In addition fco the 
flowers that lie upon the elwtikb a bunch of flowers is suspea- 




f^' 





fi* 



128 



THE KAB!R PANTH, 



diately in front of the service book(Puno Granth). 
The Mahant sits in the enclosure, facing the 
congregation, with the service book before him. 
On his right hand within the smaller square are 
placed (i) a small metal box containing Charan 
Mitra and Parwana, (ii) a dish containing 125 
betel leaves 19 arranged around the edge with 
a single leaf in the centre on which is placed a 
piece oi camphor, and (iii) a pillar composed of 
dough, constructed with a hollow top, in the 
centre of which is placed a stick enveloped in 
cotton wool. During the service ghi is poured 
over this stick which is then lighted and serves 
as a candle throughout the ceremony. On the 
left hand of the Mahant aro placed (i) a dish 
containing batdsa and gur, (ii) a cocoanut and 
(iii) a brazen vessel (Khalsa) containing water. 
At each corner of the inner portion of the 

Chauka is placed a small earthenware jar con- 
ned from the centra of the awning, 

The Ohauka is arranged by the Mahant. When he is not 
present the central portion in not overlaid with flour; there la 
no box containing Charan Mitra and JPanoana : in the place 
of the dough-made candle-stick to placed a dtah on which 
camphor is burnt, the water is placed In an ordinary lota and 
notinaMafra; for the whole cocoanut are substituted frag- 
ments of cocoanut bought in the bazar. 

The flour in the centre of the inner portion of the Chauka 
5s fashioned to represnt nine lotus flowera arranged in a circle, 
Upon these, which represent the sun, moon and seven planets 
rest the natural flowers. 

s (19) To eat a betel leaf on such occasions is equivalent to 
taMnga vow to loyally observe the rules laid -down. The 
"Mahan* removes to his own lodgings any betel leaves that may 
"be o^er from the Chauka service, but may only eat them him'* 
self or give them to another member of the Panth, 



THE KABfR PANTH. 



129 



taming water ; on this jar rests an earthenware 
plate containing grain, and over this is placed a 
lamp (chirhgh) fed with linseed oil.* 



Man 



Women, 



Chela Imeels 

here 


to receive 
water 



Water 



Water 




c 

Witter 



Oharan Mifcra 
Diwan's 
Mahaat's Gaddl Stone X seat 

Water 

Place for newly 
initiated Ghelas 



The Mahant, at the conclusion of the service* 
which he reads out of the book, lights the 
candle which stands in thejcentre of the candle- 
stick made of dough. He next lights a piece 
of camphor on a stone that is set beside hitdi 

(20) The grain in the plate is to absorb any oil that may 
fall from the lamp and *o preserve the purity of th6 water. 
There is a -similar arrangement in the case of the Khalaa. The 
water in ttoe earthenware Teasels is used should the supply 
of water In the Khalsa (a large round brazen vessel) 
insufficient. 



7 , 
M*" 1 ! 



iji 

^| i 

lii 
J*i 



;;f ; 



>ff 
'" itf 



,'lt 



a<; 




130 



THE KABfR PANTH. 



and taking the cocoanut pours water over it 
and then breaks it upon the stone- 1 , and 
finally lights the piece of camphor In the centre 
of the pdn dish and while the camphor is burn- 
ing waves it backwards and forwards (Arti.)T!ba 
dish is then passed round and those present 
place in it a small offering. These offerings are 
taken by the Mahant for the use of his Math. 
He then takes half of the flesh of the cocoa- 
nut and with a penknife cuts it up into small 
portions which he places on a pewter plate, AH 
present approach the Mahant in turn 22 and 
receive into the palm of their right hand a 
betel leaf, a fragment of cocoanut, a little gtlr 
and some batdsa. This they eat as they kneel 
before him on one knee, exercising the great- 
est care lest any portion should fall upon the 
ground. Each man as he retires has water poured 
upon his hands for cleansing purposes. 

When all have received, the Mahant says 
some prayers privately , then some more aloud, 
and closes the service with a short address 
in which he urges all to lead good lives. After 

(21) The shell of the cocoanut represents Shattan (Kkl) 
who wishes to keep from men the blessing contained in the 
milk and milk-formed flesh of the fruit. 

(22) On great occasions there may be as many as 200 pre- 
sent, men and women. The men sit on one side and the women 
on the other facing the Mahant, but come up in any order to 
receive the PrasM,. It m said that about a fourth of those 
present at the Chauka service receive the Jfot JPrat&d. 



THE KAB!R PANTH. 



131 



the address the Gurii does reverence to the 
Chauka, after which all present do reverence 
to him. This part of the service which is in- 
terspersed with the singing of many &hajan$ 
usually concludes at about 3 a. m. 

After an interval of an hour or so this service 
is followed by one of a more solemn character 
known as Jot Prasad. 2 $ The Mahant's servant 
takes the dough out of which the candle-stand 
was formed and mixing with it additional flour, 
ghi and fragments of cocoanut, with the help of 
others kneeds it up again and makes it over 
to the Mahant Out of this dough the Mahant 
makes a number of small wafers, (puri), mea- 
suring about two inches in diameter. When 
these have been prepared he calls aloud that 
Jot Prasad is ready, and all return to their 
places. The Mahant reads a short address, 
after which an interval is left for private prayer 
or meditation. All who feel themselves un- 
worthy to proceed further with the service then 
retire to a distance. Those who remain ap- 
proach in turn the Guru and placing their hands 
together receive into the palm of the right hand 
which is uppermost a small pill of Charan Mitrd 
and a portion of Parwdna^ and this disposed of 
receive into the same hand one of the wafers* 
They then draw near to the Diw&n, who from 

(23.) Jo/, the flame of a candle ; Pras&d, consecrated food, 




132 



THE KABfR PANTH. 



1>-> 



"{' ''4; '4 r A;*i" 

N4;!K 



I?" J M 



a brazen vessel pours into the palm of their 
right hand a few drops of water which they 
drink. After this they retire to a distance and 
an attendant pours water over both their hands 
to cleanse them from contact with their lips. 
This food is regarded as Kabir's special gift 
and it is said that all who receive it worthily 
will obtain eternal life. 

This service is followed by a substantial 
meal, which is paid for by subscription, should 
no wealthy member of the Panth have come 
forward to defray the cost. 2 * 

After listening to this account of the service 
I inquired of the Mahant as to the fate of those 
who abstained from receiving the gifts of Kabir. 
He replied that all men on their death-bed 
could receive from their Mahant Prasdd, Cha- 
ran Mitra and Parwdna and that in cases 
where the Mahant lived at a distance it was 
usual to place a certain amount of Charan 
Mitrd and Parwdna with one or more of his 

(24.) When a Mahant is not present thee servieeB arc con- 
siderably curtailed, as the officiating chel& is only provided 
with a service book containing a portion of the service, nor IB 
he authorised to do all that a Mahant would do. Even when 
a Mahant is present the service on Sundays is only said in 
part and is usually brought to a close at midnight. The full 
service is read at Pur an Mhsi. One of my informants told me 
that there wore generally between 30 and 40 present at the 
Chauka which he attended on Sundays, 

A full Chaulta service or Arti Praa&l, followed by Jot 
fimsdd, can be held at any time, if some one Is willing to 
defray all expenses, including the cost of the meal that follows 
in accordance with custom. 





THE KABR PANTH. 



133 



Chelas who could be trusted to keep them safe 
from all pollution. Such supplies could be 
utilised at the close of a Pur an mdsi Chauka, 
when a Mahant was not present, or in cases 
of serious illness. Every Mahant, he added, 
kept by him a certain amount of Prasad, but 
he alone could administer or prepare this. 

The Mahant explained further that it was 
only essential that the dying should receive 
Lharan Mitra and Parwdna; the former testified 
to the Chela's utter devotion to Kabir, while 
the latter constituted his passport to the Guru's 
heavenly mansion. 

Upon the death of a member of the Panth 
two cocoanuts are immediately purchased. One 
of these is carried by the barber in the funeral 
procession and placed by the side of the dead 
body, immediately before cremation or burial ; 25 
the other is kept in the house and reserved as 
an offering at the funeral Chaicka to be held 
at some subsequent date. 

The arrangements in connexion with a 
Funeral Chauka differ from those of an ordinary 
Ohauka in that the awning over the prepared 
ground is of red instead of white material, a 
piece of white cloth is placed over the chanted 
to represent the dead man's body and the 

(2r>). The bodies of Bairdgis are buried ; those of; house- 
holders, unless they have received J^aira^ arc usually 
cremated. 



134 THE KAB!R PANTH. 

number of betel leaves is reduced to 124, the 
leaf removed representing the dead man's 
portion. 

At the commencement of the service the 
Mahant prays silently on behalf of the de- 
ceased that he may be preserved from all 
dangers on his journey. Upon the conclusion 
of this prayer five funeral bhajans are sung, 
after which all present three times do bandagi 
to the Guru and to the piece of white cloth 
that represents the body of the deceased. 

The cocoanut which has been specially 
reserved for this service is next washed by the 
Mahant and made over to some relative of the 
deceased or, should there be no relative belong- 
ing to the Panth, to some member attached to 
the same Guru as the deceased. This man 
after applying the cocoanut to his forehead, 
shoulders etc. returns it with an offering to the 
Mahant, who breaks it upon a stone upon which 
camphor is burning. The rest of the service 
is conducted in the manner already described. 

, , The number of cocoanuts offered varies from 

t, \ < | 

one to nine according to the means of the 
friends and relatives. Each cocoanut involves 
a separate offering to the Mahant, The flesh of 
the cocoanut or cocoanuts is made up with flour 
etc, into small cakes which are sent round to the 
houses of Kabfr Panthis by the bands of Bairagis- 



ADDITIONAL NOTES. 



The IteKyious Orders of Islam. 
The various orders of Darweshes in Islam corres- 
pond in a measure to the Sects of Hinduism, An 
interesting account of these Orders will be found 
in Essays on Mam by Canon Sell From this ac- 
count it appears that two at least of these Orders 
were probably established in India previous to the 
time of Kabfr ; the Q:\diriyah, founded in 1165, 
and the Qalandariyah, who were practically Sufis 
and founded in 1232. 

The following details in the organisation of these 
Orders are worthy of attention in connexion with 
our subject : 

(i) The extreme respect shown to the Super- 
ior of the Order. 

" The head of an Order in the spiritual heir of 
its founder, and is called the Shaikh. ...He is look- 
ed up to with the greatest veneration ; in fact abso- 
lute obedience to the Shaikh is the very essence of 

the system The adoration of the Master too 

often takes the place of the worship of God, and 
the Ideal life of a Darwesh is one which is absolute 
conformity to the will of the Shaikh. Thus, Thou 
shalt be in the hands of thy Shaikh as a corpse in 
the hands of those who prepare it for burial. God 
speaks to thee through him. Thou art hin slave 
and thou canst do nothing without his order. He 



136 



THE 



PANTH. 



w 

w,n 



is a man chosen of God. Banish from thy heart any 
thought to which God or the Shaikh might object." 
(2). Branch establishments (Zawiyah) under 
the control of a Muqqadim who must be implicitly 
obeyed by all members of the Order, living in the 
monastery. 

(3). The spiritual guide is called a Fir (Hindu, 
Guru). The ordinary members of the Order are 
called Ikhw&n (Brothers), Ashab (companions), 
Murid (Disciples), or generically Darwcshes. 

(4). There are lay associates, not resident in 
the monasteries who are in possession of secret 
signs and word*, by use of which they can obtain 
protection from the community. .Lay associates 
also employ the rosary of the Order. 

(5). Once or twice a year the Muquddhns meet 
in conference to consider questions relating to the 
well-being of the Order. This meeting is called 
Hazrat ; cf the use of Huzur as applied by Kabir 
Panthis to the Mahant at Headquarters. 

(6). Novitiates are required to prepare them- 
selves for admission into the Order by fasting, 
spiritual retreat, prayer and almsgiving. 

(7). Newly admitted members are said to have 
entered upon the Tariqa (path, Panth). 

(8). All members are required to repeat daily 
a special form of prayer (Zikr), 

Hindu Monastic Orders had been previously 
formed in India by Sankar&charya, R&manuja 
R&manand etc. 



THE 



PANTH. 



137 



Nunak, a Hindu by birth, was frequently ad- 
dressed as a Darwcsh and associated much with 
Muhanimadans. 

Early Chrhtian mjlufinrr* m Northern India. 
There have been Christians in Southern India 
from early days and it is quite possible that Hindu re- 
formers, such as Sankaracharyaand Ramanuja, came 
in contact with them. The former was possibly 
indebted to Christianity for some part of his re- 
forming xeal, while Rirnanuja and his disciple Rama- 
nand 1 seem also to have been influenced by Chris- 
tian leaching. From ancient times the more reli- 
giously deposed Hindus have been accustomed to 
visit places of pilgrimage in all parts of the country 
and when on pilgrimage to converse freely with all 
who enjoyed a reputation for spiritual enlighten- 
ment, Christian thought, in varying degrees of 
purity, may in this way have penetrated regions 
unvisited by professing Christians.- 

The first Roman Catholic missionary to India 
of whose work we have any account was Friar 
Jorclanus of the Dominican Order. He visited the 
east in 1321-3 and again in 1330. He mentioned 
Surat, Baroch and Quilon as placets well suited to 
become centres of Missionary effort. The Inquisi- 
tion, established at Goa in 1560, punished Muham- 

(1) In describing Ifamanand as a disciple of Bamantlja 
i do not wlnh to imply that the two were contemporaneous. 
All that Is (crtain ta that Kamanaud belonged originally to 
the School of JUmanfija. 

(2) For further information on this subject see Dr. 
Grier&ou'n lecture on Modern Ifinduum m& its debt to the 




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138 



THE KAB!R PANTH. 




maduns and other strangers who exercised their 
religion in the countries subject to the King of 
Portugal.- 1 It is probably to the Inquisition that a 
Kabir Panthi refers when, in describing the evil- 
which the Panth was intended to remedy, he writes 
that at one time religion was so little thought of 
that ... strange people came from the West and 
made the observance of religious rites a criminal 
offence, punishable with death, 

We do not as yet know much about the work 
of Christian missionaries in Northern India previ- 
ous to i S7o, 4 but we know that the Emperor Akbar 
in 1^79 sent an envoy to the Viceroy of Goa, with 
a request that he would send to his court some 
Christian teachers, capable of holding controversy 
with Muhammadan Mullahs. In response to this 
request Father Rudolf Aqua viva and two others 
were despatched to the royal court at Katehpur 
Sikri. Rudolf returned to Goa in i^Bj. 5 At the 
request of the same Kmperor a second deputation, 
including Hieronymus Xavier a grand nephew of 
St. Francis Xavier, was sent to Lahore in 1595- 
For the instruction of non-Christians Father Xavi- 
er wrote several books ; Dast&n Masih (Life of 
Christ), Dast&n San Pedro (Life of St. Peter), and 

(3) See The Syrian Clwrvh ?"/* India by 0. M. line 
pp!87.8, 198. 

(4) I am informed that Father Fulix "m engaged in col- 
lecting material for a book tliat ahould throw intercHtinjf light 
upon the work of the Boman Church in Northern India, 
including Kashmir and Thibet. 

(5) For further details about Father Rudolfs Mission, 
see ffwst Christian Mission to the Great Moghul, by Father 
Ooldie, published by Gill and Sou, Dublin. 



THE 



PANTH. 



139 



Aina Haqq nrima (The mirror of Truth). Dastan-f- 
Masih was presented by him to Akbar at Agra in 
1602 and subsequently published with a Latin 
translation by Lmlovicus tie Dieu in 1639. This 
work is described as "Historia Christi, sed contami- 
nata." Xavier's work entitled Aina Ilaqq numa was 
published about 1608 and provoked a reply from 
Ahmad Ibn Xain to which he gave the name u The 
Divine rays in refutation of Christian error." Dean 
Prideaux calls thin book u The Brusher of the 
Glass 1 ' and Guudugtioli refers to it as Politer Spe- 
cuU. Guaclagnull possibly made use of an Arabic 
version of the original Persian. The Jesuits were 
much alarmed at the appearance of this Muham- 
madan work and invited Home one to answer it 
without, delay. Bonaventura Malvasia, a Francis- 
can friar of Bonnnia, replied witJi Dilucidatio Specu- 
liverum monstranti* in 1628 and Philip Guadagnoli 
wrote Apologia pro Christiana rdiyione which was 
published in Latin at Rome in 1631 and translated 
into Arabic in 1637, This latter ensay contained 
many appeals to Popes and Councils which would 
carry little weight with Muhammadan and Hindu 
readers. 

(0) 1 havu had an opportunity of examining two inter- 
osting publtcMitioiiH bearin|( npon tlie subject, vi& "Controver 
nial Tract H n ('hriHti'inity and Muhammadaniem" by Henry 
Marty n, edited by Kev. B. Lee, Professor of Arabic -in' the 
University <jf Cambric l^c and published at the Cambridge 
UniverRity l*rwH in 1824 ; and a work by Dean Prideaux of 
Norwich, 'first publlnhed in 1697 entitled "The true nature of 
impoHtnrc T fully display t-d In the life of Mahomet." This 
second work con till as an Interesting account of all books con~ 
suited by the author. 




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Chapter VII. 



THE TEACHING OF THE PANTH. 

In considering the teaching of Kabfr we 
confined our attention to two books, the Bijak 
and the Adi Granth. In that ca^i we hat? prac- 
tically no choice in the mailer; these were the 
only two books which could he regarded as truly 
representative of the Guru's teaching. The 
literature of the Panth is ever on the increase, 
but the thoughts expressed in most of the writ- 
ings are very similar. 1 It therefore seems best 
in this case too to confine our attention to two 
works which may be regarded as represen- 
tative of the literature as a whole and to present 
the reader with an abstract of their teaching. 
The books selected for this purpose are tiukh 
Niddn and Amar Mul f both of which are closely 
associated with the Dharm Dass section of the 
Panth. 

The Sukh Niddn is highly spoken of by 
Prof. H. H. Wilson, but we have come across 
no evidence in support of his statement that its 
teaching "is only imparted to pupils whose 

(1) For a list of the more important writings in con- 
nexion with the Panth, see Additional Note. 



THE TEACHING OK THE PANTH. 141 



studies are considered to approach perfection/'^ 
According to Kabir Panth tradition this book 

was written about 1729. The character of the 
language in which it is written, and the subject 
matter of the treatise afford evidence in support 
of this tradition. The Amar Mul is of still later 
origin, but more representative of the teaching 
given at tho present time to members of the 
Panth/' 

A bstr act of Sukh Kidan.* 

Chapter L The Creator who made all things 
is king of all* H< is the ground, the seed, the 
root, the branches and the tree itself. Nothing 
exists apart I mm him. He has existed in all 
ages and has admonished all. He is to be found 
in the heait wherein he has settled. Men have 
been led astray by Maya. From the heart of 
man springs good and evil ; charity, faith, right- 

(2) Prof. Wilxon ftwtttH to huve regarded Dharm Dass 
(the servant, of religion) UM the* ropt'c&cutativc disciple and 
to havft rowtivud no information about that section of the 
Plinth whldi worn* in many ways to bo the more important 
of the two. 

(8) Kunh hook bdoritfing to the Dharm Base section, 

and pi'iicilmlly nil the literature does belong to this section, 
IH prefaced by a Iit of MnhanU up to the date of produc- 
tion. Thin prnfttico nhould throw considerable light upon 
the datt of production, but. ite value is neutraliwd bj two 
drcumatanceft. The M.BH are generally so badly written 
that this copyiHt prcfew to copy the liwt of Mahante trpm 
some printed book, whllo those who do perserere in copying 
from the original often think it more respectful to the ruling 
Mahant to bring the lit up to date. 

(4) For thin abstract I am Indebted to the Eev. Ahmad 
Shah, 




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II 



142 THE TEACHING OF THE PANTH. 

eousness, sin, goodness, nearness, distance, tlrath 
and fasts. 

Chapter II. Dharm Dass was in the habit of 
worshipping Salig Rama. He used to bow 
down to Bhagats and Bairagis and to entertain 
Sadhus of all kinds. He read the Rhagawad 
Gita and honoured Gopala in word and deed. 
He wore a tilak on his forehead and round his 
neck a mdla of tulsi wood. He visited Dwarka, 
Jaggannath, Gaya and Benares, but (ailed to find 
rest for his soul. He sang the praises of R&ma 
and Krishna, but all in vain. When he was at 
Mattra Kabfr suddenly appeared before him and 
asked what he had been doing all his life. 
Dharm Dass replied that he had been engaged 
in worshipping the gocls and in visiting places 
of pilgrimage. Kabir told him that both be and 
the gods whom he worshipped had been deluded 
by Mdyd; that gods, like Rdma and Krishna 
who did not even know the hour of their death 
had no right to be considered omniscient or 
omnipresent. 

Chapter III. Dharai Ddss was at first dis- 
gusted by the teaching of Kabir and thought, 
* This low caste man wishes to lead me astray/ 
He ordered his servant to make a fire that he 
might prepare food for Sdlig Rama. Dharm Ddss 
perceived that numberless ants together with 
their eggs were being consumed in the fire. 



THE TEACHING OF THE PANTH. 143 

His heart was touched and he began to think 
that it was sad that the preparation of food for 
Salig Rama should involve the loss of so much 
life. Kabfr again appeared before him and re- 
buked him for his cruelty. He implored him to 
have mercy upon Jiva$ t to put out the flame 
and save as many lives as possible. He once 
more explained that Rama, Krishna and S&lig 
Rama were no gods and that Rama himself 
had been responsible for the loss of many 
lives. Kabfr when he saw that Dharm Dass 
was much addicted to fasting, rebuked him, 
saying that without food or rest he could not 
expect to find God. It was equally futile, he 
said ? to wander about from one place of pilgrim- 
age to another. He .should look for one in 
whose heart was pity and true religion, Dharm 
Diss disregarded this advice and continued in 
his former course. 

Chapter IV. Dharrn Dass next visited 
Benares and saw there an extraordinary spect- 
acle ; learned Pandits and Brahmins worsted in 
argument by an ordinary man. He thought 
to himself, " This must be the Zinda Purush 
whom I met before at Mattra." He according- 
ly asked Kabir, Who are you ? Where do you 
live ? Whom do you worship ? Who is the 
Creator of the world and who is the Master 
of this life? 




11.4 THE TEACHING OF THE PANTH. 

Kabfr replies, I am Sat Purush ; I am peace 
and comfort ; I am Sukrit ; I am Sat Kabfr : 
I am the Creator of this world. I have created 
the five elements : I have established three quali- 
ties. I am the seed and the tree ; I am the 
possessor of qualities. All are contained in me: 
I live within all and all live within me. 

Dharm Dass inquires^ If you are all things 
and there is nothing apart from you, how comes 
It about that there are heaven and hell, R&ma 
and Krishna, Hindu and Turk ? 

Kabfr replies Your questions are reason- 
able, but remember earth, air, fire, water and 
ether are but forms of me : the whole universe 
Is made of these. Therefore I am in all and 
all is contained in mo. Kabir then in a lengthy 
speech explained how the universe came into 
existence. This speech is practically an exposi- 
tion of certain Ramaini^ and Shabdas contain- 
ed in the Bijak. 

Chapter V. At the conclusion of this 
speech Dharm Dass throws his Salig Rama into 
the river Ganges. He then asked Kabir how 
ke cou ^ be described as NirdAdr (without 
form) seeing that he is in all things, acts in all 
things and speaks in all things. Kabfr explains 
at length that Mdyi has deceived Brahma, 
Vishnu and Shiva, and that woman has long 
been notorious for her craftiness. He mourns 



THE TEACH INC; OK THE PANTH, 145 



for his three sons, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, 
who had been deceived by Maya, and explains 
that It is for their sakes, to save them and their 
descendants, that he has appeared in the world 
in every age. 

Chapter VL Dharm Daiss asks, "O Zinda 
Punish, when there were no fields, no trees, no 
fruits, no herbs, upon what did you live ?" Kabir 
explains that his body is immortal and re- 
quires no material food. He again refers to his 
three sons and the wickedness of Maya and 
relates the efforts made by his sons to remove 
the effects of Maya's evil doing, 

Chapter VII. Dharm Dass next inquires re- 
garding the division of earth and sky, and the 
institution of places of pilgrimage. Kabir ex- 
plains thai all this H the doing 1 of his three sons 
whom Maya had deceived. He explains the 
character of the various plaees of pilgrimage 
and the origin of religious sects and caste. Dharm 
Dass asks what orders he has for him, that he 
may obey them, Kabir replies ; My only order 
for you is that you should save yourself and 
save others. He concludes by declaiming against 
false teachers and enlarges on the punishments 
that await their followers. 

Chapter VIH. Dharm Diss gives expres- 
sion to a difficulty that perplexes him. Men 
journey on pilgrimage to every quarter of the 



VI 



No man can be saved by the mere singing of 
God's praises, any more than a parrot can save 
itself from the cat by singing the praises of God. 
Dharm Dass asks how salvation is to be 
obtained. Kabi'r replies : Be constant, utter 
not false words, show love to othors, associate 
with good people and especially with Sadhus. 
Gather wisdom from every source, attend to 
the wants of holy men : whenever they come to 
your house, wash their feet and drink the 
Charan Mitra : feed them and supply them with 
every comfort, learn from them whatever of 
good they can teach TOIL 1 am the Saclhu and 
all Scidhtis dwell in me. If you meet with a 
ttue Sadhii, then your thoughts, words and 
deeds will become perfect. There are men who 
have disguised themselves as Sadhus, but have 
no right to the title. Then Dhaim Dalss says, 
O Sat Guni, now I know that you are the 
Creator, the true Sidhu and all in all. You are 
my Master and my place of pilgrimage. I have 
only one more question to ask : Those who 
confess their faith in you, dwell in you ; but 
those who fail to recognise you or decline to 
obey your commands, what will be the end of 




THE TEACHING OF THE PANTH. 147 

such men ? what has become of those who 
in old. days wen* accounted sages but knew yon 
not ? Kabir replied, All such have been re- 
warded according to their works. Some have 
become stars, some insects or moths, some have 
become plants. Others have gone to hell and 
there they will remain for many ages. All such 
must pass through 84 lakhs of forms before they 
can obtain salvation. Those who believe in me, 
become absorbed in me. 

Dhann Dass entreats Kabir to accompany 
him to his house that he may also instruct his 
wife and son. When he returned to his house 
at Bandogarh his wife, Ammf, asked him why 
he had been absent so long. He tells her that 
he has found in Kabir him for whom he had 
been searching so long at places of pilgrimage 
and bids her also find in him the Creator of the 
universe, for Kabir had solved for him all the 
mysteries of this world. Aminf says, ( What 
answer shall I give to your request ? You 
know that some say that the creator is without 
form, others that he is to be found in the 
persons of Rama or Krishna/ Dharm Dss 
relates his own experiences, after which Amini 
too becomes a disciple of Kabir. Food is pre- 
pared and a cocoanut and betel leaf are also 
brought and Kabir prepares for them the Mahd 
Pvasdd. 




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14.8 THE TEACHING OF THE PANTH. 

Abstract of A^mar Mul : \ 
Chapter I. Dharm Dass explains that all the 
souls in the world are overwhelmed with troubles 
and implores the Sat Guru to extract with all speed 
the arrow with which their heart is pierced. In 
reply to this entreaty the Sat Guru declares 
that immortality attaches to those into whose 
heart the immortal Word has entered. To 
Dharm Bass's request for an explanation of the 
mystery of union and separation; the Sat Guru 
replies that to obtain Mukhti an understanding 
of the Letterless One is necessary with the help 
of the Betel Leaf and the Cocoanut ; that the 
Supreme Being is unconditioned as containing 
the essence of the Letterless One; conditioned as 
manifesting the Divine mystery to man; that a 
true belief in the conditioned and the uncondi- 
tioned and absorption in the Word are required 
of all who would escape from the power of 
Yama and the toils of transmigration. 

Without a knowledge of the Narae none can 
safely cross the ocean of existence. To four 
Gurus has it been given to convey souls safely 
to the Satya Loka (Paradise), and of these four 
the chief is Dharm Dass. It is for him and his 
42 decendants to rescue souls from the tyranny 

(5) This abstract was prepared from a translation of Ama-r 
Mul made for me by Mr. 0. B, lenient, Head Mauler of the 
Mission School, 1 adore, and tormorly Becond Master of the 
Collegiate School, Cawnpore, 




THE TEACHING OF THE PANTH. 149 

of Kal. Of one alone is Kill afraid and that one 
is the Word. The spoken word is Maya; the 
unutterable name alone is true, the name that 

pervades all hearts. When the voice of the 
Word was sounded the indestructible one took 
form. As clouds obstruct the rays of the sun, 
so does Maya withhold from man true know- 
ledge. That soul alone attains perfection which 
leunis the secret of the immortal root (Amar 
MuL) 

I )hann D.T-S pressi*-; for a further explanation 
of iiie Betel Leaf and the Ccx:oanut. The Sat 
Guru replies that the Betel Leaf was not 
produced in the way of nature but proceeded 
from the Word, and that the Cocoanut when 
broken by the true Word is accepted as a subs- 
titute lor the soul which, as all else in the three 
Lokas, has been made over by Purusha to 
Dhamnie, the Angel of Death. The Cocoanut, 
the Betel leaf and the Word are the three boats 
in which souls can safely cross the Ocean oi 
life. 

He who would be saved must receive the 
Betel Warrant, serve the Sadhus with attention 
and become absorbed in the true Word. This 
is the secret to be revealed to the wise by Dharm 
D4s3 and bin descendants. 

Chapter II. The Sat Guni explains that dtma 
and Brahma are one through union with Param- 




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150 THE TEACHING OF THE PANTH. 

atma. Atma stands in the same relation to Param- 
atma as the wave to the ocean, the spark to the 
fire and the ornament to the gold out of which 
it is fashioned. The soul abides in Brahma, as 
light shines in the rays of the sun. Thus Jiva 
and Brahma which are commonly regarded as 
two are really one. Those who have gained 
this knowledge obtain emancipation. 

Dharm DJiss next asks the Bat Guru to ex- 
plain to him the Letterless One, the bodiless 
Shabda in the body. The Sat Guru explains 
that all who have assumed bodies have been 
produced by Shabda. Shabda is perfect and all 
else fragmentary The true Shabda reverberates 
in the Universe, He who knows the Letterless 
One finds an abode in Sutya Loka. In answer to 
further inquiries the Sat Guru explains that the 
splendour of the soul in Satya Loka is equal to 
that of sixteen suns while the glory of Purusha 
himself is indescribable. The true name is the 
basis of the soul. By a draught of nectar doubts 
are removed and the thirst of ages satisfied. All 
the souls in Satya Loka see with the feelings of 
love and never give utterance to unkind thoughts. 
Hope and desire find no place there. The sins 
o millions of births are washed away by the 
influence of the Name. Without the Name all 
efforts are in vain; without the Name knowledge 
is of no account. As darkness prevails where 



THE TEACHING OF THE PANTH. 151 

there is no lamp, so is there darkness in the heart 

that is without the Name, 

Chapter III. To reach the Ocean of Bliss 
souls must serve the Satgur and so banish the 
fear of all ; they must receive the sacramental 
food and render acceptable service to their 
Guru; they must promote the happiness of 
others and recognise that the Guru is identi- 
cal with the Lord ; they must be simple-minded 
and drink the water in which Sadhus have 
washed their feet ; they must never speak ill 
of their Guru and meditate on the love of the 
Letterless One; they must remember the Name 
day ami night, and place no trust in the illusion 
of Karma. He who knows the Name Is of the 
family of Dharm Dass, The Veda knows not 
the extent of the Name. All declare, c We 
know not, we know not'. The Pandit reads and 
gropes in the dark; he knows not the existence 
of the Adi Brahma. The acquisition of know- 
ledge* produces pride and is of no use in the 
hour of death. Eighteen Puranas have been 
written and of these the Bhdgawata is the best. 
It explains the glory of Brahma and establishes 
the efficacy of devotion. Foots read, but to 
no purpose; they think not of that which is 
obtainable through the intellect. Those only 
OuUiu sv^dora who fall in with the Sat Guru, 
Of what use is the boat without the boatman ? 




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152 THE TEACHING OF THE PANTH. 

He who knows the secret of the rosary is 
absorbed in the true Name. Welcome the sec- 
ret that overcomes fear in all three forms, phy- 
sical, mental and spiritual. Escape thus Irom 
the halter of many births. 

Doubt, the angel of Kal, has taken up his 
abode in the hearts of men. Doubt is the off- 
spring of Dlianna. Ho who understands the 
letterless one banishes doubt and enters into the 
house of immortality. Only through a know- 
ledge of the Name c;m doubt be banished from 
the heart. 

Dharm Dass urges that but few Jivas possess 
knowledge. How then can the world escape 
destruction ? 

The Sat Gurii replies, I impart to ) r ou the 
secret of him that possesses knowledge. The 
Hansa that receives the Betel warrant will 
undoubtedly attain Nirvana. He in whose 
heart there is belief will safely cross the ocean 
of rebirths. After receiving the Betel he will 
speak the truth. He will keep the feet of the 
Satgur in his heart. He will sacrifice all for the 
Satgur and attend to the needs of the saints. 
He will banish all fondness for sons and wife and 
forsake all for the feet of the Satgur, He will 
wash his feet and drink of the washings. So 
in the hereafter will he drink nectar in Satya 
Loka. Dharm Dss inquires whether women also 



THE TEACHING OF THE PANTH. 153 

can obtain salvation. The Sat Guru replies : 
Women also can cross the ocean by faith in the 
Name. Women are without knowledge, there- 
fore they must ofier their body, mind and wealth 
to the Sants, and serve them devotedly. If 
they despise tho Sants they will fall into the 
snare of Dhamrae. Those women can escape 
the noose of Kal who offer all at the feet of the 
Guni and serve him day and night. 

The Sat Guru exhorts Dharm Dass to shake 
off illusion and teach to men devotion, for on 
him has been placed the burden of the world 
and it is his seal that will be everywhere respect- 
ed. To him too has been entrusted the touch- 
stone by means of which crows (Jivas) can be 
converted into swans (Hamas}. Through the 
vehicle of the Name the shape and colour of 
the Jiva can he changed. 

Chapter IV. Dharm Ddss inquires into the 
meaning of the touchstone and is told that it 
varies in tlw case of individuals. In the case of 
the wise it is to be found in a knowledge of 
Shabda, in the case of children in the reception 
of the Betel leaf, and in the case of the passion- 
ate in devotion. 

After all these explanations the Sat Guni is 
angered when Dharm Ddss asks how it is possi- 
ble for the Sant to live in this world, and 
disappears from view. Dharm Ddss is much 

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154 THE TEACHING OF THE PANTH. 

distressed and cries, "Be merciful, Lord, the 
perfect Guru- I knew not that you could read 
the heart; through ignorance I failed to under- 
stand your teaching. In my pride I erred; pardon 
my fault, O Guru, you are the true Guru ; like 
unto Brahma. I was very proud, but when a 
child speaks foolishly its parents hasten to for- 
get its foolishness, O Lord, the merciful one, 
have pity on me now. If you do not reveal 
yourself to me again, I will destroy my life. It 
was you who imparted to me this religion, 
therefore I put to you that question. 1 ' Kabir 
had pity on Dharm Dass and again appeared 
before him. The joy of Dharm Dass was as 
that of the Chakor when it beholds the moon. 

He held fast to the feet of the Guru and 
worshipped him ; he washed his feet and drank 
of the water in which they had been washed. 
Then he prayed, a O Lord, give unto thy servant 
Mali&prasdd" . 

At the bidding of Dharm Dass Amini pre- 
pared a plentiful repast and Arti was offered in 
a golden vessel. The wife of Dharm Dass and 
all his children fell at the Guru's feet and drank 
the water in which they had been washed. All 
listened to the words of divine knowledge. 
The Lord Kabir sat at the Ohauka. After Kabfr 
had eaten and washed, he offered Prasad to 
Dharm Ddss and all those who were present. 



THE TEACHING OF THE PANTH. 



All that were in the house were filled with 

joy- 

Then Amlni prepared a bed upon which the 
Sat Guni took his seat. Dbarm Dass fanned 
him, while Amini shampooed his feet. All the 
Sants adored him. Then Amini said, Lord, I 
offer in thy service this body of mine, my heart, 
my wealth and all that I possess. Do as it 
pleaseth thee. Then the Lord took her by the 
hand and set her beside him on the bed. He 
tested her and placed his hand kindly on her 
head and said, Amini, go your way, I see that 
your mind is chaste. The mind leads one to do 
good and bad actions, and makes the body act 
according to its pleasure. For your sake I have 
renounced all desires of the flesh. 

The Sat Guru then renewed his promises to 
Dharm Dass assuring him that he should have 
forty-two generations of children in whose hands 
would rest the salvation of the world. 

Dharm Dass said, 'O Lord, grant unto my 
descendants this blessing that through them souls 
may be set free. This is my prayer, that my 
descendants may be accounted as yours; then ' 
all will be saved.' . . 

The Sat Guru replied, "In the world the 
Kansas will be set free by the hands of thy 
descendants. The children of thy generations 
shall be welcomed as a touchstone. They will 



' ^ 




IJH'^Hr 

4l,M . U*, 

ill! 




156 THE TEACHING OF THE PANTH. 

fte free from the disturbance of passion, their 
minds will bo absorbed in the contemplation of 
Shabda, their mode of living will be serious and 
collected ; their thoughts and words will be 
directed towards the truth; they will have a 
knowledge of self and subtle things. He is my 
descendant who knows Shabda. How can he 
lie saved who makes distinctions in the touch- 
stone ? I have revealed the path to you, but 
remember that there is no sin so great as that of 
hiding the path of salvation. Those who know 
the word should proclaim it in various countries 
and liberate all Kansas that have intelligence. 
None can be saved without the Name. All who 
are without the Name are proud. Very few 
teve experience of the Name. Dbarm Dass, 
remember, I am day and night with him who 
knows the Name." 

Chapter V. The Sat Guru explains that 
Dhamrae had objected to his coming into the 
world to save souls since all three Lokas had 
been made over to him by Purusha, and had 
asked by what name he hoped to liberate the 
Kansas. All who performed religious acts were 
in his power, including Shiva, as lie sat with 
pride in Samddhi; in the great day of destruc- 
tion all would be destroyed by him, even Vish- 
nu, the greatest of all. Gyani had replied that 
Dhamrde tad acted as a thief, seeking to estab- 



THE TEACHING OF THE PANTH. 151 

lish his authority where he had no right to rule 
and that for this reason he had been sent forth 
to rescue souls by Purusha, the true God, witk 
whom Dhamrae had vainly striven to identify 
himself. DhaninJe had implored Gyani to be 
kind to him, even as Purusha had been kind, but 
that Gyani had only consented to leave him 
undisturbed on condition that he would promise 
not to approach those who had received the 
Betel leaf, to treat with kindness all who had 
become Gyani and to show love to all who had 
welcomed Shabcla. Dhamrde had accepted 
this offer, but had at the same time been warn- 
ed that his rule would come to an end so soon 
as Shabda had become established in the world. 

Dharm Dass thanks the Sat Gurii for having 
thus cooled the lotus of his heart, and asks for 
a fuller account of Kal. 

The Sat Guru explains that K61 is the cause 
of all actions in this world, that he has deceiv- 
ed the ten Avatars of Vishnu, is the cause of 
virtue and vice, is in reality a form assumed by 
Purusha and has power over all but Shabda* 
K&l is the author of that duality which exists 
wherever the true Word has not been appre- 
hended. Tog, jap, tapj sacrifice and alms-giv- 
ing all have their origin in a fear of Kdl. K&i 
is an embodiment of selfishness ; be devours all 
who live a life of enjoyment. Through 




V 1 



I'M 



;$! 

' ;: B1 




158 THE TEACHING OF THE PANTH. 

creation has corne into existence and in KM it 
will fade away. 

In reply to an inquiry as to which was first, 
Purusha or Kal, the Sat Guni explains that first 
was space, and that in that space Purusha pro- 
duced Shabda from Shabda, that space and 
time (Kal) were really one, but that so terrible 
was Kal that none dare look upon his lace. But 
for the noose of Kal there had been no need 
for devotion. Only through a knowledge of 
the Name could the fear of Kal be overcome. 

Chapter VI. In connexion with an account 
of the Chauka Dharm Dass asks for how many 
sins a cocoanut should be broken and is told 
that a cocoanut is broken for sins a lakh and 
a quarter in number. He is also told that the 
splitting of the straw will wash away the sins of 
many births. 

The following Mantras arc prescribed : 

1 i ) At the time of dnnldmj water, Immor- 
tal tank and transparent water. The Hansa 
drinks to his satisfaction. The body is gold, the 
mind is blissful, the fear of Karma is effaced. 

(2) At the time of bathing. The water of 
Sat Sukrit was brought in. The child of Dhani 
bathed* He directed his attention to the feet 
of the Lord. Kabir says Hear, Dharm Dciss, 
in the beginning and the end there exists an 
abode of blazing flame. The immortal name 




THE TEACHING OF THE PANTH. 159 

is peaceful. In fourteen mansions and nine 
apartments there is one true Kabir. 

(3) At the time of taking food. The Chauka 
is made of the Word that removes fear; purifica- 
tion is the result of satisfaction and good char- 
acter. There is the light of love and faith; 
Sat Sukrit began to dine. When the name of Sat 
Sukrit was pronounced,the water became sacred, 
giving joy to the Sants. All the Sants united 
to produce light. Father Kabir began to eat and 
the \vcalthy Dharni Dass was taking his food. 
Then all the Sants took Prasacl. The saved 
enjoyed the absence of fear. 

Dharm Dass makes inquiry as to what is 
necessary for the proper performance of Artf, 
He is told that in the first place the house 
should be whitewashed. There should be 
provided seven cocoanuts, thirty and a quarter 
mautuls of sweet meats of eight different kinds, 
three and a quarter pounds of sugar candy, 
twelve thousand betel leaves and a plentiful 
supply of sandal wood, camphor, cloves, betel 
nuts and cardamums. A silk dhoti should be 
provided for the officiating Mahant, the canopy 
over the Chauka should be made of gold cloth 
and the vessel in which the dew is collected 
should be of gold* 

Whoever celebrates an Artf after this manner 
will pass immediately to Satya Loka, provided 



;* 




y 






160 THE TEACHING OF THE PANTH. 

that it Is not celebrated from any selfish mo- 
tive. 

Dharm Dass urges that in this Kali Yuga 
men are poor and very few could afford to 
celebrate an Arti on so liberal a scale. 

The Sat Guru replies that a simpler form 
is permissible. In this three and a quarter 
pounds of sweets, one cocoanut and a hundred 
betel leaves will suffice, but a new Dhoti must 
be provided for the Mahant and an offering of 
money made by all present to the Sat Guru. 

He further adds that when the Kadh&r 
(disciples) are not in a position to celebrate the 
Arti once a month, it will be sufficient to 
celebrate it twice in the year, in the months 
of Phdgun (February) and of Bhadoa (August), 

In conclusion the Bat Guru warns Dharm 
D&ss that the Guru who celebrates the Arti 
must have a knowledge of the letter, otherwise 
both he and his disciples will find themselves 
in Hell (Jim Loka). 

Chapter VII. The Sat Guru discourses on 
the four castes. 

The special duty of the Brahmin is to gain 
a knowledge of Brahma. He in vain repeats 
the GydM, performs Sandhya and reads the 
Vedas, if he is devoid of knowledge. Why do 
he Brahmins confine their attention to Sans- 
krit ? Is the vernacular unsuited to spiritual 



THE TEACHING OF THE PANTH. 161 

instruction ? The Brahmins in pride of heart 
despise the S&dhus who are true seekers after 
God and taunt them with having given up caste 
for the sake of their stomachs. Those who 
know not Brahma and neglect to practise 
devotion cannot obtain salvation. 

The special duties of the Rshatrya are to 
protect cows, Brahmins and women. But in 
an age when cows are slaughtered, Brahmins 
draw their own water and men commit adultery,, 
of what use are the Kshatryas ? They commit 
murder and receive the praise of men, but the 
true Kshatrya is he who exercises forbearance 
and has true sympathy with others. 

The special duties of the Vaishya are to 
have pity upon the hungry and to go on pil- 
grimage, but it is vain to strain water before 
drinking, in the desire to save life, if there is 
no faith in Hari. Those who indulge in sensua- 
lity fall into the power of Yamarij, and in vain 
worship Parasnith, the great, wise Guru, when 
they disregard his counsel Let all such fall 
at the feet of the Sat Guru and learn the secret 
of the Name. 

The Sudra whose duty it is to render 
service has discovered the Bhakti of the Satgur. 
He serves the Brahmin and has cast forth from 
his heart all desires of the flesh, anger and 
avarice. He serves also the Kshatryas and the 




V I VL# 

Mi 



i&l 



V)i if * 

If 




1.62 THE TEACHING OF THE PANTH. 

Vaishyas and is well spoken of In Brahma 
Loka, Other castes neglect their duties, but 
the Sudra prostrates himself at the feet of the 
Sat Gurii and so finds his way to Satya Loka. 

Dharm Dass, you arc a Sudra by caste, but 
all who honour the water of your feet will 
escape from, the ocean of rebirths. The soul 
that Is born a Sudra is saved, if it meditates on 
Brahma. Kal in vain attacks the soul that 
knows the mystery of Shabda. 

Dharm Dass says, Lord, through you I have 
obtained Mukhti, but why has not my family 
also obtained it ? 

The Sat Guru explains that his descendants 
up to the eighth generation will be tainted with 
pride, treat with contumely men who bear the 
name of Kabir, and seek honour in the world 
instead of placing reliance on the Name, 

Those who practise true Bhakti save them- 
selves and others, spend all that they have in 
feeding SMhus, speak the truth to all, cherish 
the true name in their hearts suffer not feelings 
of anger to arise, speak under the influence of 
the Name, reason about knowledge and preach 
the doctrine of Shabda. 

In the eighth generation will be born a child 
who will bring men back into the true Path. a 

(6) Are we to infer from this statement that Amar Mul 
was written when the eighth Mahant was on the gadtli ? 



THE TEACHING OF THE PANTH. 163 

The Jiva that finds the immortal Name loses 
all fear, I dwell in the heart In which the 
immortal Shabda shines. Regrets will be the 
portion ol" him who finds not the immortal 

Name. 

Chapter VI I L Dharm Bass gives expression 
to his belief that the Pnrusha dwells in the Guru 
and that there is no distinction between the 
Guru and the Purusha. The Sat Gimi again 
describes the work assigned to Dharm Dass and 
his descendants. Dharm Dass says that with 
the permission of the Guru he will send all the 
children (disciples) to Satya Loka. The Sat 
Guru reminds him that there are two kinds of 
children, those of the fksh and those of the spirit, 
and that the spiritual children are those who 
cherish tho name of the Sat Guru. The time 
will come, he adds, when all creation will enter 
Satya Loka and all animate beings become 
absorbed in the Hatgur. 

Dlmrm Dass urges that the work of saving 
souls belongs to the Sat Guru and that he him- 
self might well be relieved of so great responsi- 
bility. This the Satgur declines to do. ' . 

Dharm Dass inquires why he, being the Puru- 
sha, had visited this mortal world. The Satguni 
speaks of the time when there was neither space 
nor non-space, neither sin nor righteousness, 
neither Shesha (serpent) nor KAl, neither the 




jfflM ';f .') 
t '<!' , * i 

#* 



"-0 



* W> L J> f t 

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164 THE TEACHING o* IHE PANTH. 

seven days of the week nor the fifteen days o 
the lunar month, when Brahma^ Vishnu and 
Shiva had no existence. Then the Adi Puru- 
sha produced the world through Shabda and 
Shabda produced intelligence. Finally Kal was 
brought into existence and began to persecute 
the Jivas. Purusha perceiving this had pity 
upon them and sent the Satgur to rescue them 
from the clutches of Kal. 

He compares Purusha to a child who builds 
a house and then destroys it and afterwards 
runs crying to his mother, saying, " Build again 
for me my house. " Such is the sport of Puru- 
sha. He is foolish and he is wise, he is proud 
and he is humble, lie is true and he is false. 
Such teaching is only for those who have the 
power to understand. 

Dharm Dass asks for an explanation of 
Atma Gyan that all the Kansas may obtain 
salvation. The Sat Guru explains that he who 
has divine knowledge will understand that the 
Guru and the Chela are one. So also the enemy 
and the friend are one. Himself is active and 
himself is passive; himself shows and himself 
sees ; himself causes birth and death, and him- 
splf is death ; himself is the image and himself 
the worshipper ; himself is the branch and him- 
self the tree ; himself is all manifest and himself 
is hidden in himself. 



THE TEACHING OF THE PANTH, 165 

But why, Dharm Dass asks, why if all Is 
equivalent to Brahma, does the Jfva remain in 

ignorance ? The Sat Guru explains that Brahma 
is the seed out of which all things are develop- 
ed and that the Shabda is of subtle form ; that 
the Jiva is in Brahma as the wave is in the sea, 
the ray of light in the sun, oil in the oil seed 
and the scent in the flower. 

Such IB the relation of Atma to Param&tina. 

Chapter IX* The Sat Guru explains that all 
sense of duality is due to Maya, that when man 
knows himself he becomes himself, and when 
he realises himself he becomes Brahma. Until 
he knows himself he weeps and cries, and wades 
through the swamp of delusion. 

The light of knowledge shines forth when 
Brahma abides in the heart. Then Karma and 
Dharma are obliterated ; then there is neither 
coming nor i^oing. As it was, so it is, and all 
intervening delusion disappears. All apparent 
contradictions are reconciled in the fulness of 
knowledge, Brahma himself is the Word that 
cannot be uttered, and himself the Word that 
speaks to all ; himself is formless and himself 
islall the forms ; he is both Nirguna and Saguna. 
Dharm Dass is warned that he must first purify 
his own heart and mind before he can so preach 
to others that they can obtain Mukhti and es- 
cape from the toils of Transmigration. All 



16(5 THE TEACHING OK THE PANTH. 

reasonings and religious writings are the work 
of Maya ; what is required is devotion and Tatt- 

wagydn, ( the knowledge of essentials). All 
delusion (Bharma) is removed through medi- 
tation. 

The Sat Guru explains that he was once in 
Satya Loka, or rather beyond it, and that he 
then saw what is indescribable ; that the form 
of Purusha was wonderful, to be imagined, not 
described ; that the abodes in Satya Loka were 
innumerable and that in all Kansas was dis- 
cernible the one letter* In the Loka of Kabfr 
he saw the forms of many Kabirs, but looking 
again ho saw thai, it was but one form multi- 
plied. In the light of the true Shabda all in 
one, there is no second. 

The people of the world are taught by means 
of stories, but for those who understand, all 
such stories fall far short of the truth* All ap- 
parent distinctions are the creation of the mind. 
He who knows the letter thoroughly suffers no 
duality to enter into his mind. The only differ- 
ence between Brahma and Jfva is this, that the 
latter is the reflection of the former. 

Chapter X. Tho Sat Guru instructs Dharm 
Dkss to act thus in the case of one who wishes 
to become a disciple. In the first place he 
should give him betel, then, if he seems to pos- 
sess gydn, reveal to him the majesty of Shabda, 



THE ThACHiNG OF THE PANTH. 167 

and when his faith in Shabda is confirmed im- 
part to him profound knowledge. Atmkram 
abides in the heart of him who has full know- 
ledge. When Atmaram is realised, he himself 
is Atmaram ; he knows no second. 

The Sat Guru tells how once when he was 
in Satya Loka Purusha appeared to him and 
said " Kabir, you and I are one ; entertain no 
thought of duality. I am in you and my form 
Is in all the earth. There are eighty-four lakhs 
of species and I live in all. Beside me there 
is no second. All creation is delusion. All the 
countless gods and sages, even Brahma himself, 
are entangled in delusion/' Dliann Dkss re- 
joins, "O Guru, this is your statement. Is there 
not need of a second witness ?" The Sat Gurii 
replies that hu made this statement in the Treta 
age, and that Madhukar, Brahmin, is the second 
witness. He continues, "Kabir is in all bodies; 
the speaker is Shabda. There is one form and 
one Shabda. There is only one form, and one 
Shabda. There is only one form, one Shabda 
and one .Purusha, manifest in all. He who 
knows one is one ; the second is this world/' 

Dharm Dfc*3 asks how it is that Jivas fail to 
realise their unity with Brahma. The Sat Guru 
replies, All the Jivas eame from Brahm Loka 
uncleffled and devoid of Karma. The clouds 
lift up tue water from the ocean and rain down 



so does u-yan remove jts.arma ana me purity or 
the Jlva is restored. Knowing itself, it sepa- 
rates itself from the water and being disem- 
bodied reaches the Durbar. The Atma mingles 
with Paramatmd, as the rivers flow into the 
ocean. Only in this way can ParamJitmii be 
found. The Atma without Shabda is blind and 
cannot find the path. He who sees Atmaram 
is present everywhere ; all he sees is like him- 
self, there is nought else beside Brahma. "I 
am he, I am he ; the true Kabfr." 






ADDITIONAL NOTES, 



M Ub X|S 

printed in Ittlte 
in ' 

, th frfw of 

An 



m !/// ' '' '' r '-i' 1 

H JV ', / jBtWPPf' ,jrfflpwFPHfW, ^ ^ . ' s 

^'' "r ^^^%'''^^f''^'' f ^ 




WK& 

;,'';;, 

^fe][?v; 

p^ ; 

feF'^, 



,, ^ * , \ 







23 
24 

25 

26 

27 

28 

29 

.30 

31 

32 

33 

34 

35 

36 

37, 

38, 

39. 

40. 

41. 

42. 

43. 

44, 

45. 

46. 

47* 

48. 



Chauka fei Bamdini 



Garur SbdL 
tfottrt. 

Qoraklk Gusht* 

Gur Updfesh. (Bombay.) 



'Gyin Sigan (Bombay.) 

Hansdwali. 

Hanumdn 

JEForl. 

Jfforl Bim 

Kabir Charitra Bddh. (Bombay.) 

Kablr KasautL (Bombay.) 

Kablr Manshfir, (Bombay.) 

Kabir Upistti. (Bombay.) 

Kablr Sihib ki Sikhi (Lucknow.) 



t fco 

Kami SaMi Eatknl Tto an$* 



ADDITIONAL NOTES. 



171 



49, 
50* 
51. 
52. 

53, 

54, 

55. 

56* 

57, 

58. 

59. 

60, 

61. 

62* 

63, 

64* 

65. 

66. 

67, 

68, 

69* 

70* 

7 1 . 

70* 

73, 

74, 

75. 

76. 

77, 

78. 



Miil RamainL (Lucksoir) 

Mdm Jlfa&dtam, 

Giii, 

Nfrbhai %i. 

Piy a ho (wi^. 

'ko &ng. 

ko on$r. 
^al Ifco oi^r* : 

Ssmtokh IMdli* (07 writings, Bombay) 



Self 0fW ho mg, 

Sar Saiigrali Prislmdtar, (Luckaow.) 
Bmgar Smywht. 

Sat ki Sttik (Blares.) 

Afol it any. 

8*t la mg. 

^ , - 
" , ' - 

Gmjwr* 






172 



79- 
80* 
81, 



ADDITIONAL NOTES. 

Ugr GiU. (Lucknow) 



*Vmwt Mnni 

VavekSigan 

Fatufc 



(Bombay.) 



In addition to the above Prof, a a Wilson in 
Buoy* on the Religion tf fa MMrn, VoL 1 PB 
mentions * 



kt 



ShabdawalL 

Pmdit Waff i 
it WaljIBhai, who worked for 



. 

w the districfot Kh a i rata G 






"$ 



'I 
' 



1 

: i 



ADDITIONAL NOTES. 



173 



i. In Kabfr's book it is written that when the 
first woman Eve, being deceived, repented of her 

sin, God promised that from her sex a great Man 
will be bom and He shall overcome Satan and save 

His people. ^ . 

a. According to the promise, God sent His Son 

to save the world. This Son lived with God as 

Word from the beginning, and at the appointed 

time flesh to save His people and was called 

Kabfr. 

3. He was tempted by Satan. 

4. At last He was nailed to a tree and suffered 



* _ 

5, God's Son took the burden of His people 

upon Himself. 

6. God's Son worked miracles. 

7 God's Son rose from the dead. 

8 After God's Son rose from the dead He 
commanded His disciples to go to all countnes and 

preach the Gospel. 

9 . God's Son ascended into heaven. 

10. In Kabfr's books baptism and die Lord* 






Ww 

\ /'*{, P 

'iW 

U , 1 t f 



^4 

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V i*T I 

>, ;^|^ 

t;if fS 1 

P-'vtl 

|, V ^;C 

H V' r ^1 

: W^ 

'f M 



174 



ADDITIONAL NOTES, 



published the results of his studies in two small 
volumes, Jffan Charitra a jRjf 10 tfo JJt 

Gran**, 1 

I had some interesting correspondence with the 
Pandit which was only interrupted by his death in 
December 1903. 

The Pandit's writings are not marked by any 
great critical acumen, Many of his interpretations 
may be regarded a for fetched, while his suggested 
derivations of words are often more Ingenious than 
convincing. His main position Is undermined by 
the assumption that Kabir is responsible for all 
literature connected with the Panth. In spite, 
however, of these defects he has much to say that 
is both interesting and Would that 

more Indian Christians would study the religious 
beliefe of their country with equal industry and 
enthusiasm, and that all Indian Clergy were w 
diligent as he in studies that result in a more per- 
fect understanding of the Scriptures! 
Addmda and Corriymda. 

Page 7, In the Qorin, Sura Mariam t the 
Jesus is represented as addressing those who 

fco the nature of his birth, 
I am the servant of God etc." Sm 
Shfth> p. K*, 

fc tht 

Bw^ 



1 



''"n, 
*,$ 

P*%! ^< 

y& '" 

>^ 

f,B 



ADDITIONAL NOTES. 



178 



Pace 17. A short .account of Mansur Al Halras 
8 'and ShdmsTabrezi, together 



the birth place of JaM-ud-dl*, 



35- The statement that of .the 
AlcbarKubra, and Kibriya, Kibriya 
found in modern Qortos.is tuaccurate. 
nles are to be found. Akbar 
Kubra 6 times and Kibriya twice. 

x. Balakh in north Afghanistan 



ls said to have visited Bakkh. 
is said w writings, 

also occurs in the title 01 wu 

IoU and JBaWA " ^ 

Page 46. The following Sakhi (187) occurs in 



Kabir Declared hfe word by mouth. 



I 



$1 



vi! 



* 

4 



,fr'i; 




176 ADDITIONAL NOTES. 

Corrigenda. 

Page 17. U. 17 and 25. For TahrezI read TabrezL 
Page 25 1. 13. For ChisMt read ChishitLr 
Page 27. 1. 6. For Bhura read Budfal* 

Page 31. t 12. For Khanti read KhantH. 
Page 40. note 3, L 2. For Nidin read Nidhiti, 
Page 43. sub. fin. For Akardl read Aqardij and/or 

Tuj&war read Mujlwar. 
Page 71* L 22. For safe read SMM, 
Page 73. 11. 1 8 and 20. For 
Page 76. L 11. For RidM 
Page 116. sub. fin. For Nidin rmd Nidhte. 
Page 136, 1 25. For Tariqa read Tariqat* 



p& 
? 

li 

1 1 

li.f 



ipf s 
lw 






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M* f i ' ^ tfr 

i&IJ 



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GLOSSARY. 

letter of the alphabet 
deep, unfathomable. 
Agam unfathomable. 
Akhte the fifth element, ether. 
JLIif-ntlma account of Arabic alphabet. . 
Amar Immortal ^ ' . 

Ambu perception, mind* 
Amnta immortal (drink), nectar. 
Anand happiness. 

df desire. . 

saCTifioial oftring of light. 
souL 

ranundation of the world. 
< service, respectful salutation as from a 
slave to his master. 



with the season 

of spring. 
small wafer, made of sugar. 

without religion. ,. 

JBin/aw hyraa, sung as an act of worship, 

lag hyttm* 
fear* 

t secret, mystery. 
knowledge, 
JJmnrnk shop-keeper. 

an evening hymn- 
, blograpliy. 






;!> 



.1*3], "t 
'H,m ,A M 

' m i ?Ji 




178 



GLOSSARY. 

square space, specially prepared for the 
consumption of food. 
*rf Thirty/our, letters of Hindi alphabet, 
disciple, m 'relation to spiritual guide 



'J 1 of certain kinds of pulse. 
ued round the waist and feffine 
over the legs. 5 

;M attention to. 
Dipak lamp. 

levee, the judgement hall of 



in the 



J' hical bird ' 

a musical measure. 
mind. 

Wdt flight of ste ps ; leading down to the river ; 
used /or religious bathing, for the 

. ^'^ of the dead etc - 
clarified butter 

' 



dialogue, controTersy. 
wisdom* 

< possessed of wisdom. 
wise* 

a sacred verse from the Rig Veda, used 



goose, used figuratively for the soul of 
. . ." ^ never abiding in one place. 



i 



GLOSSARY, 179 

Jdm angel of death. 

Jdneo the sacred thread worn over the left 

shoulder by members of the twice-born 

castes ; the Brahmins, the Kshattriyas 

and the Vaishyas. 
Jap the mumbling of prayers or other devotion- 

al exercises. 
JMlana hymn sung while swinging, in a stand- 

ing position. 
Jiva soul, life, 

KadMr disciple. 

Kdfir unbeliever, from a Muhammadan point of 

view. 

Kaharh a musical mode. 
JTdUimd, dearth. ,,, . 

KantM a necklace, made generally of fruit seeds 

, or wooden beads. , 

Karma action as involving punishmejit or re* 

ward. . / - ; 

Kamnti touchstone. 
KhmA group, division. 

associating with wicked persons. 



number, ioo,ooo 
oti loin-cloth. 
I*IU play, drama* 
world. , 



MaM prefix great. 
fifaMt^m gf-eatums. 
JUI* rosary. 

Mmffaljoy, hywacrfF^^ , -. * 
Jfa^ifa a verbal formula, us^d for reltgWW 

seml-relirious purposes. 
M<xmk&r spreading abroad, 



month. 
Math monastic 



180 



GLOSSARY* 



Muktt liberation, salvation. 
MM root. 

Niddln mansion, abode. 

Mranjan void of passions, a title applied to 

God by Kabir Panthis* 
WMhai without fear. 
Jfirguna without qualities. 

PahcMn knowledge* 

Paij entry. 

Pdn betel leaf. 

Pdnch Mdl rosary with five strings. 

Pande a high caste Brahmin. 

Pdnji path. 

Param-dtmd the great, all-pervading soul. 

Param-esiiwar the great God. 

Parwdna authoritative document, passport, 

Pir Muhammadan saint* 

Pvya husband* 

Prasdd offering made to God. 

Prix/motar catechism. 

Pukdr call. 

pmo the day of Ml moon* 

Puno Gram form of service ustd at Pwnn 

MM 

Purm Mdn the festival of Mi moon. 
PurmJi being, person* 

Ramami a short exposition of religious truth, 
Rehhta Poetry, written in a mked dialect 
(Hindi, Urdu, Persian, Arabic etc.) 

SddM a Hindu monk, 

Sdgar sea. 

Saguna with qualities. 

Sdkat man of the world, unspiritual. 

Samadh the tomb of a holy man. 



I 



GLOSSARY. 18I 

SamAdti the condition of one completely 

absorbed in religious meditation 
Sam Darn concentration of attention on one 



. 

SamjJw understanding. 

Sdndkya the meeting of day and night ; a form 

of devotion used at that time. 
SangrdA protection. 
Sanffrdm battle, controversy. 
Sanyukt union. 
Sdr whole. 
Sarab complete. 
Sarawag whole. 

Sat-mng association with good men 
Satyatms. 
Sha6d<* a word .or saying ; the word of God, see 

Add. Note p 74. 
SkaJMi a Muhammadan priest 
SMito* a code of laws, the Hindu scriptures. 
^ftatah one hundred approximately. 
Smnti memory, religious teaching based upon 

tradition. F 

Somtokk contentment. 
Sowan$a breath. 
Sndra a Hindu, not belonging to one of the 

three twice-born castes. 
SufcA peace. 
t Tirtuous. 



. 

Stodmi a Hindu religious teacher, held in great 
respect by his disciples. 

Tap the practise of religious austerities. 
rff<m enabling to cross (river or ocean.) 
Ttlak a sect mark, usually worn upon the fore- 

head. 

Imkd straw. 
Tinted- Arpan the offering of straw in sacrifice ; 






182 



GLOSSARY* 



the name given to the initiatory 

in the Kabir Panth. 
Ttriha a place of pilgrimage. 
Tok atom. 

Ugra a title of Shiva. 
Ujiydr light, 
Vpama fasting. 
updeth teaching. 

discrimination* 



Yam the angel of death. 
Yog religious meditation. 

world's history. 



living, 



INDEX 



Mi 2, 46, 

Shah, f he Rev* 7A,U1, 
174% 



of, 



wife o! Dharm Dans, 

H7, 154 

urn, 180. 

Alma, in relation to Pftfam- 
atma Ui>, 18% 161, 

AtifiteriUo* condemned 51. 80, 
70. 

HairngiMlOf, 117, 

Biiltfckhli, 175. 

Btuuingarh lot, 147, 



Cocoantit, SacramLentel use of 

128-4, 183-4, 140 
OoTetousaMS comdemmed 81 -2 . 
DaWstan 1, 17. 
Dadi Sahib 107. 
BMu 1, 17. 
Death ceremonies 18&. 
.Deccao fil. 

Dhama Khera 105, 107. 
Dharm Dass 0a, 102, 105 ^ 

and Chap. YII pawim. 
Discipline in. the Paath 126 
Diwao 100, 104, 181, 
Duality attributed ta Maya 

105* 
Durbar, The, of God 85. 90. 



Bathing, Efliglmw 5S-0 

t Him Kiwi, 

I l<mf (Biii) il, 128, 124, 
149. 8w *lw> /fertofaa. 
r UK 

10* 
40, 7I 

BJiitil 70. 

IliHlj f ? ftlno 0f 49, 

Bmbmitttf, tbo ilatlet ol 100, 
Eriiitlntett 1% 105, 
198. 

Ottiilnwititt <*! 5fl 01. 
107, lfl-L 

10% 1S4 181 
IH-S. 
4fM 107, 
. 



f e, baaiiiierl by fear of 6k>d, 
14 



Ood, Maa'0 , dependence upon 

51. 

Goomti 20, 
Gorakli Nsth 88. 



The true 71-2, 89.; Need 
of a 95, 110, 118; support 
of by disciples 186. 
Clyaai (ftabir), Agreement of 

with JUhamrae 157. 



a title of 0044 
Hitwfe 
of 17. 



with 
2hri8tinn Infltienoeft In 

em Imlfak Bij 137. 
Dhumman lt>6-7. 
Circumcision 57. 



Humility, 

157. 
Jclolatry 66 ; 

of 58. 
Initiation, ceremony 121 



of 



184 



INDEX. 



il 



111 



Imagery* Dwelling of milk 90 
Bellows W, BW cm 86 
Jtamoml 64, 68. IHvtag 

SS Bye of ft finedle 17, 
Wsh 5ft, Journey 58, Knife 
grinder 70, Locking 
51, Kill atones 87, Ifatttid 

8ed 8ft, 06, Kootor 51, 

Bctare 5S POfcto 71,9* 

wow! 1, ?% 80, 

Brwke 51, 54 f 80, 80, 04, 

Sugar press 0$, 



* uri) 40, 



10, fiO, 28, 
Jbtuft 10, 40 t 48* 
lowlaaos 187 
M lOT, lit, 



Kabir Chiitfft 98, 

Kfcbir fCsmtttt ft, 6* 

P;uiU, conditions of 
iwim!fou to 1 1 24 <soa* 
jeottt^i inrtittttioa of, by 
Jemiito i?S* 

ooneortting S* 



. JUteruT 

Bitiii of % 5-ft 5 

his wtoae 7 ; reoeitiKl a* 



fmm 



maete 



* o 4 1 



t 



t 

o( body 



It f 



lift of, 
will ^ $ 



41 



bj 



4$ | 






w cmito* 
144 ^ 



the 



II, H f *%41 
11, 15, 16. 
Kwi 1% **-8, 100. 
Knowioago^ IxumMcieaoy oC 

151. 

KixWtftrm&l 105 9 107. 
104 

Tta tlatlet of 101, 

im, 

Karma 160. 

Ei*Iffl0tt nm of 
Vernacular 110* 

lbte <tf 

Kabir $7, 

flfiy *wo Sft 67, 
X4fo tlinwgb ilwtb A1 T f 1. 
XfipHenrio0 of ttft 14$, 

i*0i ti, i f ii. 
it t m. 

of 

ur f 114 

!W 
H7.90. 

JW ^y 

%L It. 

40, 

1 

17, II, 110* 
Kwitm, Th^ of 
, 10, K*i f 1, 
te be 6ft 

IIS* 
M ; a t > -:J U l) s ; i,[. 



f 



of % 7 f If, 
' 

who have borne 

f , , 



141. 

t S4 f 14 t * 

with Lbc 
i. on, 

14% 



H' , 
; '4> 



INDEX. 



185 



Ttfabhaji 1, 2, 137, 173. 
Name, Efficiency of the 150, 

152, 156, 162, 
Nanak 1, 2, 137, 173. 
Narayan Dass 106, 
Kima 5. 
Niru 4. 

Niru Tila 102, 115. 
jPA/i (Betel) 121-2, 128. 
Ttanah Mai 119. 
Pandits, False 70. 
Pandits, True 67, 84. 
J'anja Parwana 118, 
JParwana, (Betel) 121, 124, 

131-3. See also Betel. 
Prem Chand, The Rev, 74. 
Pride, Condemnation of 48, 

81. 

Pnj&riJW, 105. 
Puna Oratith 128. 
Puran Dass 73, 114. 
JPuran Mh,$i 127. 
Qoran 7, 67. 
Badha Swamis 76. 
Eae Dass 17, 

Ham a title of God 8 ; Kabir's 
disbelief in divinity of 
historical 142 ; name of, 
as true riches 50. 
Earn, Bam, 10 96. 
Ramanand 5, 9. 10, 31, 102 

136,-7. 

Ramanuja 136-7. 
Religious differences con- 
demned 50. 
Riches, Love of, condemned 

50. 

Rosary 80, 

liudolph Aquavlva 138. 
Sacraments, Efficacy of 158. 
Sadhus, Benefits of associating 

with 88, 04. 
Bakhis 77-97. 

Salvation, available for all 
156, 163. See also Mukti. 
Sam&dlut 101. 
Sankaracharya 137. 
Satyb, Loka 150, 166 
SffhH 104, 119, 



Self-sacrMce 84, 92. 

Sena 17. 

Shabda, (The word) 8, 74-6, 81 

167 and Chap VII passim, 
Shaikh Aqardi 1 9, 43. 
Shaikh Saqa.di 19, 43, 
Shaikh Taqqi 14, J6, 25, 39, 
Shams Tabrezi 17, 33, 175. 
Sikandar Lodi, 2, 16- 8, 20,27, 

32, 33, 40, 

Snake as Symbol of evil 52. 
Sudras, The duties of 161. 
Sufis 25, 29, 33, 45, 47, 136, 

175. 
Suhli Mdkan, Abstract of 

140-7, 

Sunday, Observance of 127. 
Surat Oopal 115. 
Teachers, True and false 71. 



Tilak 108- 

2ink& Arpan 122, 125. 

Tirtha 51, 59. 

Toleration 86-7. 

Tongue, The, an unruly mem- 

ber 62-3. 

Touchstone, The 153. 
Transmigration 62. 
Truthfulness 62-3. 
Tulsi Dass 1, 88. 
Tulsi leaves 103, 124. 
Dgranam 107. 
TJji 19, 43 

Vaishyas, the duties of 161. 
Walji Bhai, Pandit 172, 
Wilson, Prof. H. H. 29, 98, 

140. 
Word, The 68, 149. See also 

Shabda. 
Women, Religious position of 

109, 117, 153. 
Xavier, Hieronymus 138,