Kabirdas as he was popularly known was one of India’s great sons! He was one among many jewels India gave out to the spiritual world! Lahartara is a verdant locality near Varanasi that has beautiful garden and a pond. This is the exact place where Neeru (a) Jijabhai and Neema also called Dhamal, the poor Muslim couple found the new born baby Kabir. He was brought up with many social upheavals and conflicts of cultures. He was an ardent devotee of Lord Rama and who mastered our philosophical thought and became a radiating saint in his own right. Kabirdas’s parents were extremely poor weavers of Varanasi. But they led a life that was virtuous. They did not have any offspring for a long time and they got old too. Once as they dutifully attended to a guest at their home, he told them looking at their inner plight and sorrow, that they would be blessed with a child soon! The blessing filled the heart of Neeru but Dhamal was very sarcastic and said at this age how can the blessing of our guest bear fruit? He asked. But Neeru was assertive and said that they have been faithfully doing their ordained duty, and god would never fail them. Dismissing her assertion, he continued to concentrate on his daily routine, and as usual he took the bundle of silk threads to wash them in the stream of Ganga. There too he found many people steeped in devotion were praying the matha Ganga. He found many are praying for an offspring! This Dhamal considered to be very mundane and would only add to the misery of the people who are already suffering under the burden of samsara or the family life! While thinking like that he pushed the silk thread bundle into the stream, unfortunately due to heavy current he lost the bundle and it got carried away in the swirling waters of the river! Dejected at the turn of events and with a resolve that he would sit in meditation upon the Lord almighty, he sat at a quiet place on the banks of Ganga and gave up the thought of returning to his home! Soon he suddenly heard a small baby crying! This disturbed Dhamal and looked at the direction the sound was coming from! He found a baby unattended lying there on the banks of the river! Unique feeling went through his whole body, and he rushed towards the toddler and picked him up, as soon he was picked up he stopped crying, and was looking at Dhamal with his wide open eyes! Captivated by his looks, he took him and rushed back to his home! Neeru was astonished to find her husband with a cute baby upon his shoulders! Tears rolled down her eyes and thanked God for answering her prayers and also making her words true! She felt the toddler’s cute little legs and hands that were so soft and tender and could not contain her tears and silently wept in sheer joy thinking of compassion of the Lord! The child was named Kabir and was brought up with lots of love and affection. The name means “great” after their celebrated “Al Kabir”. Kabir grew up fast and since their family was devoted to Nagapathn, he was more inclined to Hindu way of worship than the Islamic way of life, especially he found a unique bond with Sri Ram and was constantly chanting His name. In the course of time the parents wanted to perform the “Sunnath” ceremony to Kabir but he refused putting forth powerful arguments against it suggesting that it has no connection what so ever with his spiritual advancement. Finally the family had to relent and withdrew. But their community did not take this lightly and refused to accept patronising the family. So Kabir had to spend his time at home, and his father trained him in weaving and made him assist his weaving. Days passed and Kabir used to sing praise of the Lord and continue his job. Once when he was singing in praise of the Lord, it was found that the loom was automatically shuttling! This surprised his father and made him ponder over his attainments in bhakti. Once due to the strain of poverty Kabir’s mother reprimanded him by scolding him of being slow in weaving and said he would get food only upon selling the two yards woven by him that day! Kabir knew the feelings of his mother and also her love for him. Silently he took the garment and went away to the market. He had spent considerable time at the market place trying to sell that garment, but none would buy it! Kabir was disappointed and decided that he would go hungry and started his journey way back home. At that time an old man confronted Kabir and asked him to gift it to him. Wondering at this request, Kabir politely refused. But suddenly the stranger grabbed the cloth and fled! Kabir chased him shouting and calling him thief! Finally he caught him and by now a small crowd had gathered around them to witness this entire melee. The stranger asked Kabir what is so great about this piece of cloth that Kabir had come to sell it in the market! What pittance it would fetch? Saying so, not waiting for any response from Kabir he tore the piece of cloth ! Kabirdas pleaded with the crowd to help him get the cost of that cloth from that old Brahmin, and also assured them that whatever they decide would be agreeable to him, then each one from the crowd started shouting one, two, four and so on. The price reached 10 varahan (unit of currency at that time). But the old man protested and said it is torn and is worth few pebbles that he has, saying so he gave the pebbles from his pocket! He also said that if the cloth is given free he will adorn the deity at Brindavan with it. He also narrated the punya phala due to this dana. This small sermon began to change the mind of Kabir, he thought over the issue, anyway whatever it may fetch is not going to solve his problem and his mother is anyway going to shout at him for having spoiled an opportunity to earn. Suddenly the old man started talking about dyana and also about Rama nama! As he was holding a portion of a torn cloth that remained with him after giving the other portion to the old man, people began to disperse muttering that Kabir has no other option except to go home with what remains, and take those pebbles that are given. CONTD..