I am an English writer from India. This is a religious article which sheds light on Saint Kabir and his thoughts.
What is important about Kabira's sect?
Many sects called 'Kabir Panth' flourished under the influence of Kabir's devotional path. However, there is no consensus among these Kabir sects on ethics. The same rituals that Kabir opposed to religious leadership are found in the exaggeration of some follower of Kabir Sect. Some Kabir sects, however, completely dismantled these religious rituals. Let us see what are the two types of currents in the Kabir sect.
Generally, Sant Kabir was an influential name in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. There is no reliable information about Kabira's pre-life. Saint Kabira's couplets, compositions, scriptures are very abundant. Kabir was multi-religious. Kabir himself did not express such thoughts.
Kabira's compositions were first memorized by his followers and later sometime those compositions were compiled together. Kabir's compositions helped to some extent in the process of preserving Kabira's compositions in memory and further compiling these memories. It is difficult to distinguish between the original couplets of Kabira and the couplets that were later added.
Sant Kabir's works are found in the collection of Kabir Bijak, Adigranth i.e. Gurugranth Sahib, Kabir Granthavali, Kabir Parchai, Sakhi Granth etc. Kabira's works are influenced by Hindus, Muslims, Sufis, Yoga Marg, Nathpanthi. Kabira, without following any particular sect or religion, gave more importance to the knowledge of self-realization. Kabira treated both Hindu and Muslim religions. Kabira showed the people of that time how the religious leaders, without explaining the true teachings and essence of the religion, instruct the common people in formal rituals and ceremonies and consider themselves great sages. Such people understand that they deceive the common people.
What was the devotional path of Saint Kabira?
All the saints brought before the people the deception of the people in the name of religion. In places like Benaras, it is hard to imagine how they would have reacted to such outrageous revolutionary ideas and dialects. Kabir showed how people fall victim to caste system, exploitation, poverty and illiteracy in the society. Saint Kabir's path of devotion was different. Kabira's 'devotional path' was the unity of God and devotee, love for all, humanity and prestige for physical labor. The influence of Kabir's thought has been felt in the society for many centuries. Kabir has become a symbol of rebellion against religious rituals, religious bigotry and religious hatred.
What does the word cult mean ?
The word 'cult' originally means 'path' which means 'way'. 'Kabir Panth' means the path of Kabir. It is not possible to say for sure how Kabir himself started the 'Kabir Panth'. However, after Kabira, many sects were started by his followers to spread Kabira's ideas. Since Kabira already had a place of respect among the people, these sects were getting good response and Kabira's thoughts spread everywhere. Many sects called 'Kabir Panth' also flourished under the influence of Kabir's devotional path. However, in many of these Kabir sects there is no unanimity in matters of conduct.
How was the Kabir sect founded ?
The same rituals and ceremonies that Kabir opposed to the religious leadership are found in the exaggeration of some follower of Kabir. Some religious sects completely broke this religious ritual. There are two 'Kabir sects' are considered to be the major ones in many Kabir sects and they also have many branches in the country. Kabir Chaura in Benaras and Dharmadasi Panth in Madhya Pradesh are the two major Kabir sects. It is learned from various Kabirist sources that the monastery was established at Kabir's house in Benaras and the cult 'Kabir Chaura' was established.
This sect was founded by a Kabir disciple named Surat Gopal. In the annual yatra, new followers are initiated into 'Kabir Chaura'. The Kabir sect 'Dharmadasi' or 'Chhattisgarh' was founded by followers of Dharmadas, generally at the end of the fifteenth century at Bandhogarh in Madhya Pradesh. Kabir is a prominent religious leader of the sect, also known as Acharya. Generally, the branch heads of various branches of the Kabir sect are called Mahants. In order to become a follower of Kabir sect, initiation is performed in a special way. Those who are initiated into the Kabir sect have to leave their homes and stay in the monastery. He has to serve the Guru.
The Mahant chooses a good follower behind him in the position of 'Mahant'. In Kabir sect, especially in Dharmadasi sect, Chowka ritual, Jotprasad, Parwana etc. are very important. However, in the later period, the Kabir sect called 'Kabir Chaura' eradicated the practice of 'Chouka Vidhi' from its sect. The practice of chowkavidhi was never rewarded by Saint Kabira himself.
However, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the Kabir sect was widely spread. Dharmadasa, the founder of the Dharmadasi sect, claimed that Kabira had revealed himself and revealed to Dharmadasa that Dharmadasa was a divine incarnation of the righteous, which will continue to be reborn as a different incarnation in each age of this world. Dharmadas wrote a new book called 'Sagar'. In this book, the original teachings of Kabira and some new teachings were added.
Also the ritual of chowka was included. The 'Dharmadasi Panth' spread rapidly and many of its branches were established. Dharmadasi's new version of Kabira's teachings became more and more popular and the 'Dharmadasi Panth' became the most popular sect in the Kabir sect. The annual festival of the Dharmadasi sect is held at Damakheda in Chhattisgarh and is attended by millions of followers. Some members of the Dharmadasi sect do not find the Chowka ritual rational, so they oppose it on a personal level. According to him, the rituals that Kabira opposed are performed in the Chowka ritual and the customs of other religions are changed and adopted.
Vivekdas of Kabir Chaura sect started explaining the commercialization and marketing of Chouka ritual to the people of Kabir sect in a blunt manner. Songs sung during the Chowka ritual, Aarti does not observe Kabira's revolutionary thoughts. In the late twentieth century, Vivekdas literally gave the Kabir sect a 'local to global' form. He went to different countries and spread it. In the Kabir sect, two types of currents are seen moving in parallel
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