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BirthplaceLahartara near Kashi (present-day Varanasi)
Weaver, poet
Known for influenced the Bhakti movement, Sikhism, Sant Mat and Kabir Panth


(kəbēr`), 1440–1518, Indian mystic and poet. A Muslim by birth, he was a weaver in Benares (Varanasi) and early in life may have become the disciple of the famous Hindu saint Ramananda. Representing the anticlerical, antiauthoritarian Indian bhaktibhakti
[Skt.,=devotion], theistic devotion in Hinduism. Bhakti cults seem to have existed from the earliest times, but they gained strength in the first millennium A.D. The first full statement of liberation and spiritual fulfillment through devotion to a personal god is found
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 movement, Kabir opposed caste practices, ritual, image-worship, and all forms of religious sectarianism; he taught the brotherhood of Hindu and Muslim under one God. Because of his anti-institutional ideas he was subject to persecution and banished from Benares c.1495. Thereafter he traveled from one N Indian city to another and died at Maghar near Gorakhpur. Originally composed aloud by the illiterate Kabir and after his death written down by his followers, his songs in Hindi show the fusion of Muslim and Hindu devotional traditions.


See Poems of Kabir (tr. by R. Tagore, 1915, often repr.) and Songs of Kabir (tr. by A. K. Mehrota, 2011); I. A. Ezekiel, Kabir, the Great Mystic (1966).



Born circa 1440; died circa 1518. Indian poet who wrote in Hindi. About 80 works are ascribed to Kabir; those included in the Adi Granth, the sacred book of the Sikhs, constitute the most authentic part of his literary legacy. Kabir’s poetic activity, which was connected with the Bhakti religious reform movement, opened a new stage in the history of Hindu literature. His poetry blends the opposing religious-mystical currents of Hinduism and Islam and the artistic traditions of the Hindu and Tajik-Persian classics.


In Russian translation:
Poemy.In R. Tagore, Sobr. soch., book 6. Petrograd, 1916.
Lirika. Moscow, 1965.


Serebriakov, I. “Kabir.” In the collection Vostochnyi aVmanakh, vol. 2. Moscow, 1958.
Istoriia indiiskikh literatur. Moscow, 1964. (Translated from English.)
Dvivedi, Hazariprasad. Kabir, 5th ed. Bombay, 1955.
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