Chapter 1: A Hand Beckoning
The future is going to belong to those who can have poetry of the heart. The past was too logical. Even the so-called religious people were nothing but logicians. In the garb of theology they were spinning and weaving logic, in the name of God they were creating philosophy. The highest form of the religion of the past was philosophy, and the lowest form was superstition - and both are false. One needs a poetry of religion, a mysticism.
Kabir is a harbinger, a herald of the future, the first flower that heralds the spring. He is one of the greatest poets of religion. He is not a theologian, he does not belong to any religion; all religions belong to him, but he is vast enough to contain all. No particular religion defines him. He is a Hindu and a Mohammedan and a Christian and a Jaina and a Buddhist. He’s a great beauty, a great poetry, a great orchestra.
And the man was utterly illiterate. The man was a weaver, a poor man. In India he is rare - Buddha was the son of a king, so was Mahavira, so was Rama and so was Krishna. India has always been too much interested in riches - notwithstanding what its leaders go on saying to the world, that it is spiritual. It has been too materialistic, and not even honest about it. Even when Indians talk against material things they are materialists. If they praise Buddha, they praise because he renounced the kingdom - the value is still in the kingdom. Because he renounced such wealth, that’s why he’s worshipped.
Kabir is rare, he is a poor man. In Kabir, for the first time a poor man is recognized as a man of God. Otherwise it was a monopoly of kings and princes and rich people. Kabir is the Christ of the East. Christ was also illiterate - the son of a carpenter - and Christ also speaks in the same way as Kabir. They have great similarities. They belong to the same earth, they are very earthy, but both have great insights. They are unsophisticated, uncultured, uncivilized. Maybe that is the reason their sayings are so potent. Their wisdom is not that of the universities, they have never been to any school. Their wisdom comes from the masses, their wisdom is out of their own experience. It is not learned, it is not scholarly, they are not pundits and rabbis. They are ordinary people. In Kabir, in the East, for the first time a poor man has come to declare the beauties of God.
It is very difficult for a poor man to declare the grace of God, it is very difficult for a poor man to be religious. This is my understanding - that if you find a rich man and not religious, then he is stupid. A religious consciousness is bound to happen if you are rich. Much awareness is not needed for it; your very riches will prove to you the futility of this world. If you have all, you have to become religious; that is inevitable, because when you have all you will be able to see - even a stupid person will be able to see, great intelligence is not needed - that “I have got all, and I have nothing inside me.” If this does not happen to a rich man then he is really very, very foolish, utterly stupid.