Kabir (ca. 1398- ca. 1448)

Kabir was the preeminent figure of the sant tradition of North India, a devotional school of poet-saints who stressed such features as the formless (nirguna) quality of God and a doctrine of deliverance that attached no significance to caste or external modes of worship. There is a great deal of legendary material about him, but little is known concerning the historical facts of his life. The occasional references that he makes in his works provide only glimpses of the actual details. He was born in Banaras and belonged to a family of weavers that had recently been converted to Islam. However, to be a Muslim in North India in the 15th century would mean to be still half Hindu, because low-caste Hindus who converted to ...

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