How Can Three Opposing Religions Respect One Man? The Indian Mystic & Poet Kabir's Views on Death

The world is dying, dying to death, but no one knows how to truly die. The world is terrified of death; everyone longs to live. One who dies while yet alive understands the divine. - Kabir

How Can Three Opposing Religions Respect One Man? The Indian Mystic & Poet Kabir's Views on Death
Painting of Kabir weaving, c. 1825

Kabir Das (1440-1518)

Why is Kabir so revered?

Kabir (Arabic: “Great”) is revered by Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs. He is considered one of the greatest poets and mystics born in India.  

What did Kabir believe in?

Referred to as Sant Kabir, a 15th-century Indian mystic poet and saint. He believed in syncretism and in the existence of a divine reality, one universal God (monotheism) and that god was inside every person and everything. When one walked their spiritual path they considered all creatures as their own, and passively detached from worldly affairs.

Kabir rejected major religious traditions. He criticized all forms of external worship of both Brahmanical Hinduism and Islam. Criticism of priestly classes and the caste system. His message of equality, love, communal amity and brotherhood without distinction on the basis of caste, creed and religion.

Where are Kabirs' Writings?

His writings influenced Hinduism's Bhakti movement, and his verses are found in the Satguru Granth Sahib of Saint Garib Das, and Kabir Sagar. The fifth-largest religion in the world Sikhism has over 500 of his verses in their scripture the Guru Granth Sahib.

How Does Kabir View Death?

Kabir brings a view on mortality that is universal and timeless. His verses on death were translated from a passage in Sikh scripture the Guru Granth Sahib  - Ang 555 are shared here;

One who praises You obtains everything; You bestow Your Mercy upon him, He alone is a true banker and trader, who loads the merchandise of the wealth of the Your Name, O Saints, let everyone praise the divine, who has destroyed the pile of the love of duality.
Kabir, the world is dying - dying to death, but no one knows how to truly die. Whoever dies, let him die such a death, that he does not have to die again.
What do I know? How will I die? What sort of death will it be? If I do not forget the divine from my mind, then my death will be easy. The world is terrified of death; everyone longs to live. By Guru's Grace, one who dies while yet alive, understands the divine. Will O Nanak, one who dies such a death, lives forever?
When the Divine Master Himself becomes merciful, the Divine Himself causes His Name to be chanted. He Himself causes us to meet the True Guru, and blesses us with poise. His servant is pleasing to the Divine. He Himself preserves the honor of His servants; He causes others to fall at the feet of His devotees. The Righteous Judge of Dharma is a creation of the Divine; he does not approach the humble servant of the Divine.
One who is dear to the Divine, is dear to all; so many others come and go in vain. The entire world roams around, chanting, ""Raam, Raam, Lord, Lord"", but the Divine cannot be obtained like this. He is inaccessible, unfathomable and so very great; He is unweighable, and cannot be weighed. No one can evaluate Him; He cannot be purchased at any price.
Through the Word of the Guru's hyms, His mystery is known; in this way, He comes to dwell in the mind. O Nanak, He Himself is infinite; by Guru's Grace, He is known to be permeating and pervading everywhere. He Himself comes to blend, and having blended, remains blended. O my soul, this is the wealth of the word; through it, comes poise, forever and ever.
It never brings any loss; through it, one earns profits forever. Eating and spending it, it never decreases; He continues to give, forever and ever. One who has no skepticism at all never suffers humiliation. O Nanak, the students of life obtains the Name of the Divine, when the Divine bestows His Glance of Grace.
He Himself is deep within all hearts, and He Himself is outside them. He Himself is prevailing unmanifest, and He Himself is manifest. For thirty-six ages, He created the darkness, abiding in the void. There were no Vedas, Puraanas or Shaastras there; only the Divine Himself existed. He Himself sat in the absolute trance, withdrawn from everything. Only He Himself knows His state; He Himself is the unfathomable ocean.
In egotism, the world is dead; it dies and dies, again and again.

Source: Sri Guru Granth Sahib- Ang 555

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