Mahatma Kabir (1954)
(Certified: Dec 11, 1954)
The story of Mahatma Kabir begins with the unfolding of a lotus as divine light penetrates through its petals. The infant that lay within, stretched out its chubby arms to Nooru and Naima, a weaver couple of Benares, who brought him up as Kabir, their foster son. But Kabir grew into a strange boy, dreamy and listless, curious of matters spiritual, until one day he saw in Swami Ramananda his destine teacher. Eager to meet his Guru alone, he lay upon the steps of the Ganges, where Ramananda was accustomed to bath. The master trod upon his body unexpectedly and exclaimed "Ram Ram". Accepting this as a token of the mantra of intiation, and with inspiring words of the Guru, Kabir stepped forth in pursuit of his mystic mission.
As a youth, he found his opposition from the orthodox groups increasing in the threatening proportions. His family was ostracised socially and economically, a calamity to which his foster father Nooru succumbed. All legends agree that Kabir a simple unlettered weaver relied in work as a means of living independently of any charity and earned his livehood from the loom. The work of his hands helped him rather than hindered the impassioned meditation of his heart from the depths of which he sang the rapturous lyrics of divine love.
Kabir Saheb was constantly harassed by the Mahajan for the repayment of his foster father's debt which on account of his economic boycott he was not able to repay. He was involved in a theft charge and presented before the Ruler of Kashi who ordered him to be whipped. The sentence was executed but Kabir smiled at the foolishness of those trying to punish him for the offence he had not committed, while the real offender on whom the lashes were actually falling cried in pain. The repentant Kashi Naresh honoured and feted Kabir and the entire ensemble shouted Kabirji ki jai. Returning home Kabir found his ancestral home attached by his Mahajan. People offered to pay off the debt but Kabir declined their offer. He thought that Ram was taking him closer to Himself by removing slowly the barriers of wordly possessions.
With the ancestral house gone, Kabir walked away to the ruins in the outskirts of the Kashi with his foster mother Naima and wife Loi. From there, this apostle of Universal Love, travelled through the length and breadth of the land and the countries beyond, spreading his gospel far and wide while his foster-mother and wife Loi suffered the privations of life. After many years he returned to Benares, where his ailing mother held her breath only to see him for the last time. Now Kabir was an old man, but much revered and still more opposed. This opposition culminated in his being presented before Sikander Lodi on a charge that he was not only an enemy of Islam but also a traitor to the throne of Delhi. Sikander referred the matters to the Kazi of Benares, who ordered him to be thrown into the Ganges tied hand and foot. The cruel sentenced was carried out, while a vast multitude, thronging the Benares Ghats looked on with throbbing hearts and streaming eyes.
As expected Kabir survives and the Kazi and Sikander bow their heads in respect.
Finally when Kabir dies, his body turns into flowers and Hindus and Muslims share it for their respective last rites.