Before we enter into the words of the mystic poet Kabir, it will be good to know something about Kabir. Much is not known, fortunately, because when you know too much about the person, it creates more complexities in understanding him. When you don’t know anything about the person himself, then there is less complexity. That’s why in the East it has been one of the most cherished old traditions not to say much about the mystics, so that it never hinders people. We don’t know much about Krishna and we don’t know much about Buddha; or all that we know about them is more mythological than historical – not true, fictitious. But about Kabir, even fiction does not exist. And he is not very ancient, yet he lived in such a way that he has effaced himself completely. He has not left any marks.
Only politicians leave marks on time, only politicians are that foolish. The mystics live in the timeless. They don’t leave any marks in time, they don’t leave any signatures on time. They don’t believe in signing on the sands of time. They know it will be effaced so there is no point in it.
Kabir has not said much about himself, nothing much is known about him. Not even this much is known – whether he was a Hindu or a Mohammedan. The story goes that he was born a Mohammedan but was brought up by a Hindu. And this is beautiful, this is how it should be. Hence his richness. He has the heritage of two rich traditions: Hindu and Mohammedan. If you are just a Hindu, of course, you are poor. If you are just a Mohammedan you are poor.
Look at my richness. I am a Hindu and a Mohammedan and a Christian and a Sikh and a Parsi. Not only that, I am theist and I am atheist too. I claim the whole heritage of humanity, I claim all. I don’t reject anything. From charvakas to buddhas, I claim all. The whole of humanity is yours, the whole evolution of human consciousness is yours. But you are so miserly. Somebody has become a Hindu; he claims only a corner – and lives in that corner, crippled and paralyzed. In fact, the corner is so narrow you cannot move. It is not spacious enough. A religious person will claim all – Buddha, Mahavira, Christ, Zarathustra, Lao Tzu, Nanak, Kabir, etcetera, etcetera. He will claim all. They are all part of me, they are all part of you. Whatsoever has happened to human consciousness, you carry the seeds of it in you.
This is the one thing to be understood about Kabir: that he was born as a Mohammedan and brought up by a Hindu. And it never became conclusive to whom he had really belonged. Even at the time when he was dying it was disputed amongst his disciples. The Hindus were claiming his body, the Mohammedans were claiming his body…and a beautiful parable:
Kabir had left a message that “When I am dead…” He knew it was going to happen – people are foolish, they will claim the body and there is going to be conflict – so he had left a message: “If there is any conflict, just cover my body with a sheet and wait, and the decision will come.”
And the story says that the body was covered and the Hindus started praying and the Mohammedans started praying and then the cover was removed, and Kabir had disappeared, only a few flowers were there.
Those flowers were divided. Even disciples are stupid.