(INDIA: A Devotional
Birth: Six hundred years ago Kabir was bornin 1398 AD in India. "Kabir" is an Islamic name popular in the Muslim world -- it's one of the "Ninety-Nine Names of Allah" found in the Koran, meaning, "The Greatest". He lived for 120 years and is said to have relinquished his body in 1518. This period is also said to be the beginning of Bhakti Movement in India.
Many legends abound about the birth, life and death of Kabir, one of India's most quoted poets and mystics. His birth itself is shrouded in mystery, some say he was the son of a Brahman widow, others that he was of virgin birth, what is known though is that he was brought up in a family of muslim weavers. He was never formally educated and was almost completely illiterate. According to legend, the only word that he ever learned how to write was "Rama".
Kabir represented a synthesis of Hindu, and Muslim concepts. From Hinduism he accepts the concept of reincarnation and the law of Karma. From Islam he takes the affirmation of the single god and the rejection of caste system and idolatry. It is Kabir's view that salvation is the process of bringing into union these two divine principles. Kabir openly criticized all sects and gave a new direction to the Indian philosophy. Following Kabir means understanding one's inner self, realizing oneself, accepting oneself as is, and becoming harmonious with one's surroundings.
One of the most famous legends associated with Kabir is of his funeral. Kabir's disciples disputed over his body, the Muslims wanting to claim the body for burial, the Hindus wanting to cremate the body. Kabir appeared to the arguing disciples and told them to lift the burial shroud. When they did so, they found fragrant flowers where the body had rested. The flowers were divided, and the Muslims buried the flowers while the Hindus reverently committed them to fire.