National Poetry Month: Kabir of India

Every year I like to share some of the particularly inspiring or meaningful poems from the book Mala of the Heart that my friend Nicole gave me as a gift years ago. Most of the offerings in this collection are historical and sacred in one way or another, and all are meaningful and relevant even now. I invite you to share your thoughts in the comments section: how do these verses inspire you?

Today’s selection is from Kabir of India.

.

Look
what happens to the scale
when love
holds
it.

It
stops
working.

 

***

Kabir Das (ca. 1440-1518, India) was raised by a Muslim family of weavers, though legend has it that his birth mother may have been a Brahmin widow. Kabir became a disciple of the Hindu bhakti saint Ramananda at an early age, and his name is often interpreted as “Guru’s Grace.” Though a great mystic and contemplative, Kabir never abandoned a worldly life. He sought to bridge the religious cultures yet was denounced by mainstream religious leaders during his lifetime. At Kabir’s death, his body turned to flowers, and his Hindu and Muslim followers each took half to perform last rites. A saint in the bhakti and Sufi tradition, Kabir expressed through his poetry self-surrender, divine love, and inward worship of the beloved with the heart.

Biographical information quoted from Mala of the Heart, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt.

 

2 thoughts on “National Poetry Month: Kabir of India

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