Sant Kabir or Kabira was a mystic poet and saint of India, whose writings have greatly influenced the Bhakti movement. The name Kabir comes from Arabic al-Kabīr which means “The Great” – the 37th name of God in Islam.
Name : Kabir
Birth Year : (1440 – 1518)
Birth Place – Lahartara near Kashi (modern day Varanasi)
Guardian Family : Niru and Nima
Kabir’s early life is not firmly established. In Indian tradition, he is commonly supposed to have lived for 120 years from 1398 to 1518, which “permits him to be associated with other famous figures such as Guru Nanak and Sikander Lodi”. Modern scholarship is uncertain about his dates of birth and death. Some scholars favour 1398 as a date of birth,whereas others favour later dates, such as 1440.
His greatest work is the Bijak (the “Seedling”), an idea of the fundamental one. This collection of poems elucidates Kabir’s universal view of spirituality. Though his vocabulary is replete with Hindu spiritual concepts, such as Brahman, karma and reincarnation, he vehemently opposed dogmas, both in Hinduism and in Islam. He often advocated leaving aside the Quran and Vedas and simply following Sahaja path, or the Simple/Natural Way to oneness in God. He believed in the Vedantic concept of atman, but unlike earlier orthodox Vedantins, he spurned the Hindu societal caste system and Murti-pujan (idol worship), showing clear belief in both bhakti and Sufi ideas.
Kabir calls his God by the name of Rama. However, his Rama is not the Rama of Ayodhya born of Dashratha. His Rama is Niranjan (without taint), Nirakar (formless) and Nyara (omnipresent, extraordinary). Here, his views are in line with the best ideals exposed in the upanishads.
His Hindi was a vernacular, straightforward kind, much like his philosophies. A major part of Kabir’s work as a bhagat was collected by the fifth Sikh guru, Guru Arjan Dev, and incorporated into the Sikh scripture, Guru Granth Sahib. The hallmark of Kabir’s works consists of his two line couplets, known as the ‘Kabir ke Dohe’.
Hence, it is rightful to say that Kabir is the unifying factor across three major religion in India.
Kabir composed in a pithy and earthy style, replete with surprise and inventive imagery. His poems resonate with praise for the true guru who reveals the divine through direct experience, and denounce more usual ways of attempting god-union such as chanting, austerities, etc. Kabir, being illiterate, expressed his poems orally in vernacular Hindi, borrowing from various dialects including Avadhi, Braj, and Bhojpuri.
Songs of Kabir is a collection of his poems, collected by Kshitimohan Sen from mendicants across India, that has been translated to English by Rabindranath Tagore.
Source – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kabir