Photo: Learning the Quran, Madrassah, Egypt.
Do not go to the garden of flowers!
O friend! go not there;
In your body is the garden of flowers.
Take your seat on the thousand petals of the lotus,
and there gaze on the Infinite Beauty.
'Kabir: The Weaver's Songs'
By Vinay Dharwadker
One of India's greatest mystics, Kabir (1398-1448) was also a satirist and philosopher, and a poet of timeless wit and wisdom. Equally immersed in theology and social thought, music and politics, his songs have won devoted followers from every walk of life through the past five centuries. He was a Muslimby name, but his ideas stand at the intersection of Hinduism and Islam, Bhakti and Yoga, religion and secularism. And his words were always marked by rhetorical boldness and conceptual subtlety.