Kabir’s Birthday (Kabir Jayanti) in India Date in the current year: June 22, 2024

Kabir’s Birthday (Kabir Jayanti) in India Kabir’s Birthday (Kabir Jayanti, Sant Guru Kabir Jayanti) is an official observance in the Indian states of Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punbjab. It is celebrated on the day of the full moon in the Hindu month of Jyeshtha, which means that in the Gregorian calendar, it can fall in late May or June.

Kabir, also known as Kabir Das, Kabirnath or Sant Kabir Sahib, was a renowned Indian mystic poet, philosopher and saint, whose works had a significant influence on both Hinduism and Islam in India. Interestingly, although his presumed birthday is considered a holiday, the exact birth date of Kabir Das is unknown. Generally, it is thought that he lived sometime between 1398 and 1518.

Legends and other sources are inconsistent on details regarding his family and early life. According to one of the legends, Kabir was born to a Brahmin mother (either an unwed woman or a widow), who then abandoned the baby, and he was found and raised by a Muslim family. Most modern scholars, however, believed that Kabir was originally born into a family of Muslim weavers, with some of them stating that his parents may have converted to Islam from Hinduism shortly before his birth.

Although Kabir was born and raised Muslim, he was strongly influenced by his teacher Ramananda, a pioneer of the Bhakti movement in Hinduism. Some commentators of Kabir’s works claim that his philosophy is a synthesis of Islam and Hinduism, although most scholars consider this approach to be oversimplified and false.

Kabir did borrow terms and concepts from Hinduism and Islam, but at the same time he questioned and criticized both religions. For instance, he stated that the Vedas and Quran misled believers and questioned the need for holy books. Kabir also believed that rites of passage, such as the upanyana in Hinduism and circumcision in Islam, were meaningless and mocked the practice of praying to avatars. Although certain elements of various beliefs found reflection in Kabir’s philosophy, he questioned the need for religion and wasn’t afraid to criticize any religious tradition.

According to some of Kabir’s texts, he was persecuted for his views. Today, however, both Hindus and Muslims take pride in his legacy and consider him one of the first proponents of Hindu-Muslim unity. Ironically, some of Kabir’s hymns – written by a person who questioned the need for holy scriptures – were incorporated into Adi Granth, the central religious scripture of Sikhism. Some scholars think that Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism and the first Sikh Guru, was influenced by some of Kabir’s ideas.

Kabir wrote his poems in vernacular Hindu. Many of them were composed orally and passed by word of mouth among Kabir’s followers for decades and even centuries. The best known compilation of his works, entitled Kabir Bijak or simply Bijak, was written down in the 17th century. Followers of Kabir Panth, a spiritual movement based on Kabir’s teachings, consider it the most sacred book.

To recognize Kabir’s contribution to Indian culture, his presumed birthday was declared a holiday in the states of Haryana (where Kabir spent most of his life), Chhatisgarh, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. It is marked with poetry readings and other cultural events.

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