I have visited Maghar only twice, although it is only 25 Kilometres away from Gorakhpur, where I go almost every year to my in-law’s house. This place is famous because it is associated with the great saint Kabirdas. This place was earlier in the Basti District but now it falls in Sant Kabir Nagar, which has been named after him at the bank of the Aami river. A few years ago, it was a neglected place but now a lot of developments have taken place and many more are underway mainly after the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the UP-Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
Sant Kabir was a revolutionary, not only by perception but also by practice. He had hit hard on the superstitious practices of both Hindus and Muslims. He is believed to have lived for 125 years and in the last days of his life, he left Kashi to live in Maghar. ‘क्या काशी क्या ऊसर मगहर, राम हृदय बस मोरा| जो कासी तन तजै कबीरा, रामे कौन निहोरा’ It is said that those who die in Kashi, go to Heaven but those who die in Maghar, are condemned to Hell. Kabir openly said that he did want to take any favour from that God, who differentiates the people because of one’s place of birth or death.
The general belief was that Sant Kabir was loved and followed by Hindus and Muslims as well. It is said that after his death Hindus wanted to cremate his body, but Muslims wanted it to be buried. A quarrel between the two ensued but in the meantime, there was an Akashwani that his dead body had been reduced into flowers. When the shroud was removed, both communities found flowers strewn in place of his body
which they got divided among themselves. While Hindus made a Samadhi of those flowers, Muslims made a Mazar. Samadhi and Mazar are found at less than 25 metres in Maghar. While Samadhi is taken care of by a Kabirpanthi Sanyasi, who normally wears white clothes, Mazar is looked after by a Mutwalli. Thus, there was an enigma attached to the death of Sant Kabir, it continues to be even today.
When Hindus and Muslims both lay their claims over Sant Kabirdas, is it not strange as to why no Muslim is found to be a Kabirpanthi, at least to my knowledge? Go to any Ashram or Mutt in any part of the world, it is well-nigh impossible to find any Muslim rejecting and renouncing the religious practices of Islam and following in the footsteps of Kabir Das. This shows that Kabirpanth and Islam cannot go together as anybody rejecting the tenets of Islam will immediately be declared Kafir. But it hardly matters for a Hindu. In fact, a Hindu rejoices if the evils of his/ her religion are often ridiculed or mocked. ‘मोको कहां ढूढ़ें बंदे, मैं तो तेरे पास में. न मैं देवल, न मैं मस्जिद, न काबे कैलास में was liked by Hindus and not by other communities.’ Kabir can provide the best solution to get society rid of religious bigotry.
Any great person’s life remains enveloped with mysteries and so was the life of Kabir. He was lapped up by millions of Hindus throughout the world for assailing the superstitions of their religion but there is hardly any person born as a Mohammedan can be found to be a follower of Kabirdas ji. Kabir Das, Ravi Das, Baba Gorakh Nath or Guru Nanak were the reformers of the Hindu religion. Alas! Those born and brought up in Islam do not subscribe to these seers and saints. A lot of catholicity and tolerance will have to be developed in Islam and Christianity if they start looking at the religion from the prism of Sant Kabir.


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