The Universalism of Kabir

Troubled by the ongoing middle east crisis, the destruction of Lebanon and the acrimony generated by the tragic Mumbai blasts, I am reminded of this poem by Kabir:

Allah and Rama

If Khuda inhabits the mosque,
then whose play-field is the rest of the world.

If Rama lives in the idol at the pilgrim station,
then who controls the chaos outside?

The East is Hari’s domicile, they say,
the West is Allah’s dwelling place.

Look into your heart, your very heart:
That’s where Karim-and-Rama reside.
All the men and the women ever born,
Are nothing but Your embodied forms:
Kabir’s a child of Allah-and-Rama
They’re his Guru-and-Pir

(translated by Vinay Dharwadker in Kabir: The Weaver’s Songs)

A miniature painting of Kabir, c.1825

A miniature painting of Kabir, c.1825

Read more articles about Kabir:

Why fanatics of today would not have spared Kabir

Kabir, Bulleh and Lalon – Petals of a mystic lotus

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