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Chapter 12: On the Flight Alone

And Kabir blessed his disciples. Before closing his eyes he said the chadariya is simply like a bed cloth, you can wrap it around your body he told his disciples, “Cover me with the chadariya, with the cloak.”

And one asked, “Why?”

He said, “You will find out later on.”

His body was covered with the same cloth that he had used his whole life.

It was undecided about Kabir, whether he was a Hindu or a Mohammedan. This created a great problem. He had Hindu disciples, he had Mohammedan disciples. And they were constantly quarreling about who he was. Whenever Kabir was asked, he simply laughed. He said, “I am myself! What have I to do with Hinduism or Mohammedanism? I am perfectly happy being myself.”

So he never answered; the question remained. And after his death it became tremendously important, because Mohammedans put the body in the grave, and Hindus put the body on the funeral pyre. Now, what has to be done? Both sides were standing face to face, to fight, to kill each other!

And the problem had arisen from the very beginning because his name, Kabir, is a Mohammedan name. It means God in Mohammedanism, God has one hundred names. Ninety-nine names can be pronounced, the hundredth one remains unpronounced. Amongst the ninety-nine, one is Kabir, so as far as the name was concerned he was certainly a Mohammedan.

But it seems that his parents, for some reason of their own perhaps he was an illegitimate child, although no child can be illegitimate; only parents can be illegitimate had left the child on the steps of the Ganges. And a very great Hindu saint, Ramananda, came early in the morning.it was still dark, and the child must have been not more than two years of age.

As Ramananda was returning after his bath the child caught hold of Ramananda’s feet as Ramananda passed by him, he caught his feet. Ramananda thought, in the darkness, that some disciple is touching his feet so he said, “God bless you.”

Hearing no answer he looked closely: there was a small child sitting. But Ramananda has accepted him as a disciple, and being a man of his promise and word, he took him home.

His disciples were very angry. They said, “What have you done? Because in the first place the child is certainly illegitimate; otherwise who is going to leave such a beautiful child in this cold winter night on the steps near the Ganges?” And on his hand was written in Arabic his name, Kabir.

“So first he is illegitimate, and second he is Mohammedan!”

Ramananda said, “It does not matter. Whoever he is, he has received my blessings. I have initiated him, he has touched my feet. I cannot deny him. He is going to live with me. It doesn’t matter whether he is Hindu or Mohammedan. He is simply a child, he does not know anything of who he is.”

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