Kabir Panthis

Kabir Panthis among the Hindus, are the followers of Kabir, whom they allege to have been the incarnate deity. They believe that he lived in the world three hundred years, from 1149 to 1449 A.D., and that as a child he was found floating on a lotus in a lake or pond near Benares. He is also claimed by the Moslems as a professor of their faith. The Kabir Panthis being in the main favorers of Vishnu, they are included among the Vaishuara sects, although they worship no Hindu deity, nor do they practice any of the Hindu ceremonies. Those, however, who have retired from the world, and given themselves to a life of seclusion, abstain from all the ordinary practices of the Hindus, and employ themselves chiefly in chanting hymns to the invisible Kabir. They believe in one, God, the creator of the world, who has a body formed of the five elements of matter, and a mind endowed with the three Gunias or qualities of being. He is free from the defects of human nature, and can assume what particular shape he will; in all other respects he does not differ from man, and the pure man, the Sadh of the Kabir sect, is his living resemblance, and after death is his associate and equal. Their moral code is brief, but judicious in the main. Humanity is the first virtue, and the shedding of blood, whether of man or animal, is regarded as a heinous crime; because life is the gift of God, and. must not be violated by his creatures. Truth is another great principle of morality, and ignorance of God is attributed to falsehood. Retirement from the world is desirable, as a check upon the passions and desires. The last point in the code is implicit devotion, in word, act, and thought, to the Guru or spiritual guide. This sect is very widely diffused throughout India. It is further divided into various branches, twelve of these being traced up to the founder, among whom a difference of opinion as well as descent prevails. Of the establishments of this sect, the Kabir Chaura, at Benares, is pre-eminent in dignity, and is a constant resort for pilgrims. Their doctrines are taught in a great variety of works in different dialects of India; but the great authority to which they are wont to refer is the Vijek, which, however, gives more attention to the defects of other systems than to the explanation of its own.

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