Bhakti Dravid Upaji – Kabir Saakhi


Kabir - Bhakti Upaji Drawid Mein


Bhakti Dravid Upaji, Laaye Ramanand
Prakat Kari Kabir Ne, Saat Dweep Nau Khand

भक्ति द्रविड़ उपजी, लाए रामानंद
प्रकट करी कबीर ने, सात द्वीप नौ खंड


Devotion took birth in the South, brought here ( to Varanasi) by Ramanand
Kabir made it omnipresent, in 7 continents and 9 Khandas

9 Khandas – Sun, Moon, Stars, Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Sound and Mind

Anecdotes of Kabir and his Guru Ramanand are very popular. The story goes that Kabir wanted to learn under Swami Ramanand, but he was not willing to take Kabir under his wings. Kabir tried every trick but failed.

One morning he went to the PanchGanga ghat where his guru used to go for taking bath every morning. He lied on one of the steps of the Ghat and as his Guru was climbing the stairs after his bath, while it was still dark in the morning. His feet touched Kabir and Ramanand blessed him as a reflex action. Kabir got up and said – now that you have blessed me – I am your disciple. Ramanand was impressed by the young Kabir’s devotion and his eagerness to learn and he took him under his tutelage.

Reading more – Finding Kabir in Kashi 

When Kabir refers to Ram in his poetry – he is referring to Ramanand, his Guru usually and to the Nirguna Ram. He is not referring to the historical Ram – Avatar of Vishnu. The poetry of Kabir displays an inherent understanding of the Indian scriptures like Vedas and Puranas. We can safely assume that he learned it from his Guru, Swami Ramanand.

Bhakti Dravid Upaji – This particular Saakhi talks about Swami Ramanand, indicating that he came from Dravid or South India. He was obviously living in Kashi – which has been the most revered pilgrim place for saints, sages and devout people.

Read More – Kabir by Hazari Prasad Dwivedi

I wonder if they shared a common language to be able to communicate. Kabir obviously spoke Awadhi, the local language of Kashi, as is evident from his works. What language did his Guru spoke is a mystery we do not know.

Further, this Saakhi talks about how Kabir spread the knowledge that he received from his Guru in all directions – be it the 7 continents of the earth or the 9 khandas of the universe.

In a way, it also tells us about the role of a disciple in taking forward the knowledge that one receives from his / her Guru. Spreading the knowledge would not essentially mean preaching it and spreading it but would also mean building upon that knowledge.

As we see that most of what Kabir says is from his first-hand knowledge and not necessarily what was passed on to him by his Guru. He tests that knowledge that he receives, he adds his own insights and then tells you what he experiences first hand. He does not tell you to follow what he says, but merely shares his insights – it is up to you to use them either as it is or experiment with them and build upon them.

Bhakti Dravid Upaji, also tells us that there was a communication that existed between North and South India 500-600 years ago. Knowledge was shared across and built upon and probably pursuit of knowledge was a clear goal that people had. To achieve this, they overcame any obstacles that might have existed. It also shows that the two regions were bound by the threads of common scriptures.

If you have another interpretation of this Kabir Saakhi, please share.

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