Kabir Saheb Ke Jeevan Darshan
15th Century Kashi
Neeru and Neema
The Seven Day Old Calf
Initiation by Swami Ramanand
Journey to Maghar (the dry Ami River)
Departure from this World
Emperor Lodi Summons Kabir Saheb
Immersion in the Ganges
Attack By Drunken Wild Elephant
Death by Canon
Rice Offerings to Ancestors
The Temple of Jaganath
Kabir Saheb’s ‘Bhandara’
Disciples and Famous Followers
Dhani Dharmadasji and Amini Mata
Sarvanand/Sarvajeet (Suratigopal) Saheb
Madangopal (Madan) Saheb
Tattva and Jeeva
Emperor Sikandar Lodi and Sheikh Taqqi*
The Baghela (Vaghela) Dynasty
King of Kashi, Veer Singh Baghela
King of Bandhogarh, Ram Singh Baghela
Bijali Khan Pathan of Magahar
Sultan Ibrahim Addham of Balakh Bokhara
The Camel Herder
*These stories can also be accessed under the heading ‘Baawan Kasni’
This page is dedicated to Kabir Saheb’s jeevan darshan; a look into Kabir Saheb’s life story. The above is a compilation of many stories which occurred throughout Kabir Saheb’s life. It is important to remember that among all the events which have occurred throughout Kabir Saheb’s life, only those were remembered by his devotees which gave an insight into his teachings and morals. Thus, rather than debating the veracity of these events, it is more important to understand their significance and the teachings which they impart unto their readers (or listeners). Please feel free to browse through the stories which we have provided on this website by navigating through the Table of Contents (above).
It is to be noted that from the time of Kabir Saheb, such stories were transmitted orally and passed down from generation to generation; therefore, there exists many versions of each of these stories. We have analyzed and researched many versions of each story from various different sources most notably from the Kabeer Manshoor and the Kabeer Kasautee (amongst other sources)
At the time of Kabir Saheb’s appearance, India was under Islamic rule; the current Sultan of Delhi was the Emperor, Sikandar Lodi (historically the son of Bahlul Khan Lodi and father of Ibrahim Lodi, Sultan of Delhi 1489 – 1517). He was known to be a cruel and arrogant ruler by his subjects, he was especially discriminatory towards his Hindu subjects; there have been many accounts of the atrocities he had committed against the Hindus under his rule.
The Pundits and Mullahs became fed up with Kabir Saheb’s comments and accusations against them; they eventually went to complain to the Emperor along with their followers. The Emperor assured the angry crowds that he would rid them of this problem and sent a procession to acquire Kabir Saheb so that he would be brought to the royal court.
When the procession arrived at Kabir Saheb’s hut, the Emperor’s dignitaries asked him to come outside so that they could bring him to the Emperor’s court. Kabir Saheb came out and inquired on the reason for which he was summoned, he was informed of the complaints lodged against him and threatened to take him forcibly if he would resist. Kabir Saheb then went along with his followers to the Emperor’s court. On reaching the court, the Emperor asked Kabir Saheb to identify himself, Kabir Saheb replied:
Hindoo Turuk Ke Beech Men, Meraa Naam Kabeer;
Jeev Muktaawan Kaarane, Avigat Dharaa Shareer.
Both Hindus and Muslims know me by the name ‘Kabir;’
To liberate souls I have come in a celestial body.
Meraa Naam Kabeer Ho, Sakal Jag Jaaharaa Ho.(Chorus)
My name is ‘Kabir,’ the whole world knows.
Teen Lok Men Naam Hamaaraa, Aanand Hain Asthaanaa;
Paanee Pavan Sumer Samaanaa, Yah Vidhi Rachyo Jahaanaa…
I am known in all the three worlds, bliss is my abode;
Using water and air as mighty as the mountain ‘Sumeru,’ I have brought the world to existence.
Anahad Lahar Gagan Men Garaje, Gaajai Baaj Sohantalee;
Brahmabeej Hamaheen Parakaashaa, Hamaheen Ajab Khayaalee…
Infinite surges roar in the skies generating the Primal Sound (Soham);
I have, myself, conceived and generated the Seed of Creation.
Yam Bandhan Te Lewau Ladaaee, Nirmal Karau Shareeraa;
Sur Nar Muni Koee Ant Na Paihain, Aise Sant Gambheeraa…
I sever the Bondage with ‘Yama’ (Lord of Death) by sanctifying living beings;
Saints, Sages and the Wise have not been able to fathom my secret, I am such a mysterious Sant.
Ved Kiteb Koee Paar Na Paihain, Aise Mati Ke Dheeraa;
Kahai Kabeer Suno Sikandar, Donon Din Kee Peeraa…
I am endowed with such wisdom that I can reveal what neither the Vedas nor the Holy Scriptures have not;
Kabir says to the Emperor, Sikandar Lodi: “I am the Master of both the Hindus and Muslims.”
Kabir Saheb’s followers then threatened the Emperor that he was making a great mistake by insulting a great fakir. The Emperor’s religious minister, Sheikh Taqqi, advised Sikandar Lodi to test Kabir Saheb to see if he truly was a Fakir. It was then that Kabir Saheb was put through fifty-two tests by Emperor Sikandar Lodi and his religious minister, Sheikh Taqqi, called the ‘Baawan Kasni’ meaning fifty-two trials/tests. In the end, Kabir Saheb was able to pass all 52 trials and both Emperor Sikandar Lodi and his minster, Sheikh Taqqi, became his disciples. Below are only a few of the 52 tests of Kabir Saheb.
Haaraa Hai Shaah So Dai Anek Peeraa, Naaheen Faqeeraa Yah Hai Aap Peeraa;
Jaanaa So Narnaah Saranaah Gahure, Kabeer Kabeer Kabeer Kahure.
The Emperor accepted defeat after Kabir Saheb passed all his trials realizing that he was not but a mere Saint but in fact a Master;
He therefore took refuge in his shelter, recite ‘Kabir, Kabir, Kabir.’
Khoone Aneke Jo Shaah Ne Keenhaa, Jaanaa Jo Apne So Chit Men Na Deenhaa;
Jimi Taatsoot Kare Avaguna Na Gahure, Kabeer Kabeer Kabeer Kahure.
Although Kabir Saheb knew that the Emperor was guilty of many crimes;
Still he accepted him just as a father forgives the wrong-doings of his son, recite ‘Kabir, Kabir, Kabir.’
(Kabeer Chaaleesaa 22-23)
Infuriated by Kabir Saheb’s success of overcoming his previous attempts to harm him and also having been humiliated, the Emperor, Sikandar Lodi, had ordered Kabir Saheb to be tied up in iron chains and thrown into the Ganges to drown to death. The Emperor and his men bound Kabir Saheb in heavy iron chains, brought him onto a boat then submersed him in the Ganges River. Reassured of his victory, they returned to the river shore only to find Kabir Saheb sitting peacefully in meditation.
Shaah Sikandar Su Andar Men Lekhaa, Kaisaa Faqeeree Yeh Chahiye So Dekhaa;
Kar Baandh Pag Baandh Bora Su Dahure, Kabeer Kabeer Kabeer Kahure.
The Emperor declared: “Let me see for myself what kind of an ascetic He is;”
He ordered for Kabir Saheb’s hands and feet to be bound in chains and dumped in the river, recite ‘Kabir, Kabir, Kabir.’
Toote Hai Janjeer Baithe Hai Teeraa, Bola So Shaah Yah Saanchaa Fakeeraa;
Phir Bol Bole Kee Gajamast Ahure, Kabeer Kabeer Kabeer Kahure.
The chains were severed and He (Kabir Saheb) was sitting on the bank of the river, the Emperor thought to himself “He must be a true Saint;”
He then ordered for a drunk elephant to be brought, recite ‘Kabir, Kabir, Kabir.
(Kabeer Chaaleesaa 15-16)
The Emperor Sikandar Lodi was very upset at Kabir Saheb’s numerous victories over him and so, he prepared yet another test for him. He ordered to have Kabir Saheb to be put in a chamber with a drunken wild elephant, the ministers and emperors were watching from atop. The elephant began to charge towards Kabir Saheb when suddenly, two lions appeared by each side of Kabir Saheb. The elephant then decide to move back as he did not want to be attacked by the lions.
Maatang Maate Na Jaate Dhige Hai, Lakhi Roop Singhe Su Chikkar Bhage Hai;
De Shaah Ajamat Swaamee Su Bahure, Kabeer Kabeer Kabeer Kahure.
The drunk elephant refused to charge and seeing the form of a lion it receded;
The Emperor thought to himself: “He must be a great Master,” recite ‘Kabir, Kabir, Kabir.’
(Kabeer Chaaleesaa 17)
As the Emperor, Sikandar Lodi, realized that the more he had Kabir Saheb tested, the more it was proven that he was no ordinary Fakir; he became infuriated. He came up with more plans to have Kabir Saheb killed. The Emperor called upon the court’s best cannon master and told him to prepare a cannon, filling it up completely with cannon balls. He then had Kabir Saheb stand in front of the cannon and ordered the cannon master to fire. The cannon master was in shock when he found that all the cannon balls and gun powder that he had loaded into the cannon had turned into water.
Dekho Sab Kaam Karataa Khijookaa, Bhar Top Golaa Su Ropaa Bijookaa;
Jimi Deha Gajatool Golee Na Lahure, Kabeer Kabeer Kabeer Kahure.
The Emperor saw that all of his attempts were futile, he ordered for ammunition to be loaded into a cannon;
None of the cannon-balls were able to harm His body, recite ‘Kabir, Kabir, Kabir.’
(Kabeer Chaaleesaa 18)
As the Emperor Sikandar Lodi’s procession was on their way to the court in Delhi with Kabir Saheb, they decided to make a stop at Allahabad to rest. They stopped at the bank of the river so that everyone could take a bath and drink water. Meanwhile, Sheikh Taqqi, the emperor’s minister, became very jealous of Kabir Saheb because of his good reputation. Seeing the dead body of an infant boy in the river, he approached the Emperor and told him:
“If Kabir really is a great Fakir, let him revive this dead boy”
The Emperor had no objection and called upon Kabir Saheb to revive the boy. Kabir Saheb placed his hand on the boy’s head and instantly he was revived. The Emperor exclaimed:
“Kamaal!” – meaning “Amazing”
And so the boy came to be named ‘Kamaal’ and became a very ardent disciple of Kabir Saheb.
Muradaason Jindaa Kiyaa, Dilason Deen Malaal;
Shaah Parateet Dikhaaeeyaan, Utpan Daas Kamaal.
Bringing a corpse back to life, the onlookers were stunned;
As Kamaal came back to life, the Emperor was awestruck.
Despite the fact that some sources indicate that Kamaal Saheb was the son of Kabir Saheb, this is very unlikely as Kabir Saheb was celibate (see: Loi Mata). Although in Kamaal Saheb’s works, he refers to himself as ‘the child of Kabir,’ and even many Kabir Panthi texts refer to Kamaal as a son of Kabir, this is not interpreted literally but rather in the figurative sense as Kabir Saheb, had given life to Kamaal Saheb (though not physically/biologically) and as such is regared as his son.
One day, Sheikh Taqqi came up with a new test for Kabir Saheb. He decided to have his daughter, who had been dead for only a few days, dug up from her grave and have Kabir Saheb attempt to revive her. Kabir Saheb, his disciples and the Emperor and his men all went to the grave and Sheikh Taqqi had his daughter dug up. When it was the time for testing, Kabir Saheb placed his hand on the forehead of the young girl and instantly she her heart started to beat and she was breathing. When she had been restored to life, the onlookers had said ‘Kamaal’ (Hindi: Kamaal, amazing) and so she was henceforth named Kamaali. As she had been resurrected, Kamaali sang the following shabd:
(Shabd) Kamaali Ji Ke
Hansaa Nikal Gayaa Main Na Ladeesee.(Chorus)
My Soul has left and I did not resist (stop it).
Paanch Sahelee Sang Mailee, Paanchon Main Akelee Khadeesee…
I was tainted in this body controlled by the five senses, I now stand alone and have become pure.
Nau Darvaaje Bandakarleene, Dashveen Moree Khulaa Jo Padeesee…
They have closed my nine orifices to perform my death rites but the tenth (Daswen Dwaar) remained open as I left.
Na Main Bolee Na Main Chaalee, Audh Dopattah Kinaare Khadeesee…
I did not speak nor go with them; as they covered my body with a shroud, I stood at the edge of the nether-regions to watch.
Kahat Kamaalee Kabeer Kee Baalakee, Saadee Se Main Kumaaree Bhaleesee…
Kamaali, the daughter of Kabir, says, a simple girl like me has been blessed (resurrected).
It is said that Kamaali became a disciple of Kabir Saheb and was married off when she reached a mature age. Although some say she might have been the biological daughter of Kabir Saheb, there are no such records which indicate this. She is, however, regarded (figuratively), in Kabir Panth tradition, as a daughter of Kabir Saheb as he had brought her back to life. The fact remains though, that no records indicate that Kabir Saheb ever had a biological daughter since he was celibate (see: Loi Mata)
कबीर साहेब के दोहे
गुरु गोविंद दोऊ खडे, काके लागुं पांय ।
बलिहारी गुरु आपने , गोविंद दियो बताय ।।
गुरु और गोविंद (भगवान) दोनो एक साथ खडे हो तो किसे प्रणाम करणा चाहिये – गुरु को अथवा गोविंद को । ऐसी स्थिती में गुरु के श्रीचरणों मे शीश झुकाना उत्तम है जिनके कृपा रुपी प्रसाद से गोविंद का दर्शन प्राप्त करणे का सौभाग्य हुआ।
गुरु गोविन्द दोऊ एक हैं, दुजा सब आकार ।
आपा मैटैं हरि भजैं , तब पावैं दीदार ।।
गुरु और गोविंद दोनो एक ही हैं केवळ नाम का अंतर है । गुरु का बाह्य(शारीरिक) रूप चाहे जैसा हो किन्तु अंदर से गुरु और गोविंद मे कोई अंतर नही है। मन से अहंकार कि भावना का त्याग करके सरल ओऊ सहज होकार आत्म ध्यान करणे से सद्गुरू का दर्शन प्राप्त होगा । जिससे प्राणी का कल्याण होगा । जब तक मन मे मैलरूपी “माई और तू” कि भावना रहेगी तब तक दर्शन नहीं प्राप्त हो सकता ।
गुरु बिन ज्ञान न उपजै, गुरु बिन मिलै न मोष ।
गुरु बिन लखै न सत्य को गुरु बिन मैटैं न दोष ।।
कबीर दास जि कहते है – हे सांसारिक प्राणीयों । बिना गुरु के ज्ञान का मिलना असंभव है । तब टतक मनुष्य अज्ञान रुपी अंधकार मे भटकता हुआ मायारूपी सांसारिक बन्धनो मे जकडा राहता है जब तक कि गुरु कि कृपा नहीं प्राप्तहोती । मोक्ष रुपी मार्ग दिखलाने वाले गुरु हैं । बिना गुरु के सत्य एवम् असत्य का ज्ञान नही होता । उचित और अनुचित के भेद का ज्ञान नहीं होता फिर मोक्ष कैसे प्राप्त होगा ? अतः गुरु कि शरण मे जाओ । गुरु ही सच्ची रह दिखाएंगे ।
गुरु समान दाता नहीं , याचक सीष समान ।
तीन लोक की सम्पदा, सो गुरु दिन्ही दान ।।
संपूर्ण संसार में गुरु के समान कोई दानी नहीं है और शिष्य के समान कोई याचक नहीं है । ज्ञान रुपी अमृतमयी अनमोल संपती गुरु अपने शिष्य को प्रदान करके कृतार्थ करता है और गुरु द्वारा प्रदान कि जाने वाली अनमोल ज्ञान सुधा केवळ याचना करके ही शिष्य पा लेता है
गुरु को मानुष जानते, ते नार कहिए अन्ध ।
होय दुखी संसार मे , आगे जम की फन्द ।।
कबीरदास जी ने सांसारिक प्राणियो को ज्ञान का उपदेश देते हुए कहा है की जो मनुष्य गुरु को सामान्य प्राणी (मनुष्य) समझते हैं उनसे बडा मूर्ख जगत मे अन्य कोई नहीं है, वह आखो के होते हुए भी अन्धे के समान है तथा जन्म-मरण के भव-बंधन से मुक्त नहीं हो पाता ।
गुरु गोविंद करी जानिए, रहिए शब्द समाय ।
मिलै तो दण्डवत बन्दगी , नहीं पलपल ध्यान लगाय ।।
ज्ञान के प्रकाश का विस्तार करते हुए संत कबीर कहते हैं – हे मानव। गुरु और गोविंद को एक समान जाने । गुरु ने जो ज्ञान का उपदेश किया है उसका मनन कारे और उसी क्षेत्र मे रहें । जब भी गुरु का दर्शन हो अथवा न हो तो सदैव उनका ध्यान करें जिससे तुम्हें गोविंद दर्शन करणे का सुगम (सुविधाजनक) मार्ग बताया ।
गुरु महिमा गावत सदा, मन राखो अतिमोद ।
सो भव फिर आवै नहीं, बैठे प्रभू की गोद ।।
जो प्राणी गुरु की महिमा का सदैव बखान करता फिरता है और उनके आदेशों का प्रसन्नता पूर्वक पालन करता है उस प्राणी का पुनःइस भव बन्धन रुपी संसार मे आगमन नहीं होता । संसार के भव चक्र से मुक्त होकार बैकुन्ठ लोक को प्राप्त होता है ।
गुरु सों ज्ञान जु लीजिए , सीस दीजिए दान ।
बहुतक भोंदु बहि गये , राखि जीव अभिमान ।।
सच्चे गुरु की शरण मे जाकर ज्ञान-दीक्षा लो और दक्षिणा स्वरूप अपना मस्तक उनके चरणों मे अर्पित करदो अर्थात अपना तन मन पूर्ण श्रद्धा से समर्पित कर दो । “गुरु-ज्ञान कि तुलना मे आपकी सेवा समर्पण कुछ भी नहीं है” ऐसा न मानकर बहुत से अभिमानी संसार के माया-रुपी प्रवाह मे बह गये । उनका उद्धार नहीं हो सका ।
गुरु पारस को अन्तरो , जानत हैं सब संत ।
वह लोहा कंचन करे , ये करि लेय महंत ।।
गुरु और पारस के अंतर को सभी ज्ञानी पुरुष जनते हैं । पारस मणी के विषय जग विख्यात है कि उसके स्पर्श से लोहा सोने का बाण जाता है किन्तु गुरु भी इतने महान हैं कि अपने गुण-ज्ञान मे ढालकर शिष्य को अपने जैसा ही महान बना लेते हैं ।
गुरु शरणगति छाडि के, करै भरोसा और ।
सुख संपती को कह चली , नहीं नरक में ठौर ।।
संत जी कहते हैं कि जो मनुष्य गुरु के पावन पवित्र चरणों को त्यागकर अन्य पर भरोसा करता है उसके सुख संपती की बात ही क्या, उसे नरक में भी स्थान नहीं मिलता ।
गुरु कुम्हार शिष कुंभ है, गढि गढि काढैं खोट ।
अंतर हाथ सहार दै, बाहर बाहै चोट ।।
संसारी जीवों को सन्मार्ग की ओर प्रेरित करते हुए शिरोमणि कबीरदास जी कहते हैं- गुरु कुम्हार है और शिष्य मिट्टी के कच्चे घडे के समान है । जिस तरह घडे को सुंदर बनाने के लिए अंदर हाथ डालकर बाहर से थाप मारता है ठीक उसी प्रकार शिष्य को कठोर अनुशासन में रखकर अंतर से प्रेम भावना रखते हुए शिष्य की बुराईयो कों दूर करके संसार में सम्माननीय बनाता है ।
गुरु को सर पर राखिये चलिये आज्ञा माहि ।
कहैं कबीर ता दास को, तीन लोक भय नाहीं ।।
गुरु को अपने सिर का गज समझिये अर्थात , दुनिया में गुरु को सर्वश्रेष्ठ समझना चाहिए क्योंकि गुरु के समान अन्य कोई नहीं है । गुरु कि आज्ञा का पालन सदैव पूर्ण भक्ति एवम् श्रद्धा से करने वाले जीव को संपूर्ण लोकों में किसी प्रकार का भय नहीं रहता । गुरु कि परमकृपा और ज्ञान बल से निर्भय जीवन व्यतीत करता है ।