And you will be surprised: to avoid the riot which might have culminated in a massacre of thousands of people, it was decided, “We should cut Kabir in two parts. Half goes to the Hindus, half goes to the Mohammedans.”
Sometimes I think if I have to be cut, you will have to cut in so many pieces…just two pieces won’t do!
Kabir, envisioning the situation beforehand, said, “Cover my body with the cloak,” and he died. And when they decided, and opened the cloak, there was no body but just a pile of beautiful roseflowers.
It is an immensely beautiful story. And a voice they could not find the source from where it came said, “Now you can divide the flowers.”
And in India, particularly since Kabir’s time, when a person dies and he is burnt, on the third day his bones are collected. Those bones are called “flowers” just in remembrance. People may have forgotten who was the source, why you call the bones “flowers,” but certainly a man like Kabir…
It cannot be factual, it cannot be historical, it can only be indicative that if you divide the body of a man like Kabir you will find only flowers and nothing else. That’s my understanding. I am not in agreement with scholars who deny the story; neither am I in favor of those scholars who say that it is factual.
I say it is very symbolic: it says that even if you divide the body of Kabir you will find nothing but roseflowers.
I have been to the place where Kabir died, just near Varanasi, on the other side of the Ganges. On one side is the great city of Varanasi according to Hindus the most ancient city of the world. And it looks like it. You cannot use cars in the main city, because the roads are so narrow that they were meant to be walked on, not to be used by any vehicles. They must have been made even before bullock carts were invented. Otherwise at least they should have been as broad as a bullock cart.
In the ancient part of Varanasi the roads are so cool the sun almost never reaches there because the buildings are high, and the road is so narrow that only two persons can go side by side. Only for a few seconds, when the sun comes exactly in the middle of the sky, those roads get a few rays and again shadow. They are very cool, almost air-conditioned and centuries of air-conditioning….
Just on the other side of the Ganges is the small village of Maghar, where Kabir died. The samadhi, the memorial grave, is divided by a partition. One side belongs to the Mohammedans, the other side belongs to the Hindus. Such is the stupidity of humanity. You worship the same man, you love the same man. You have breathed his philosophy, the same words, but the conditioned mind of man….