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(born 1440, Varanasi, Jaunpur, Indiadied 1518, Maghar) Indian mystic and poet. A weaver who lived in Benares, he preached the essential oneness of all religions and was critical of both Hinduism and Islam for meaningless rites and mindless repetition. From Hinduism he accepted the ideas of reincarnation and the law of karma but rejected idolatry, asceticism, and the caste system. From Islam he accepted the idea of one God and the equality of all men. Revered by both Hindus and Muslims, he is also considered a forerunner of Sikhism, and some of his poetry was incorporated into the Adi Granth. His ideas led to the founding of several sects, including the Kabir Panth, which regards Kabir as its principal guru or as a divinity.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Kabir, visit Britannica.com.
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