It Is Needless to Ask of a Saint the Caste by Kabir

It is needless to ask of a saint the caste to which he belongs;
For the priest, the warrior. the tradesman, and
All the thirty-six castes, alike are seeking for God.
It is but folly to ask what the caste of a saint may be;
The barber has sought God, the washerwoman, and the carpenter—
Even Raidas was a seeker after God.
The Rishi Swapacha was a tanner by caste.
Hindus and Moslems alike have achieved that
End, where remains no mark of distinction.

Summary

In the poem Kabir advises people not to ask the caste of any gentle and pure hearted person. Kabir says that it not the caste but the person is important who is looking for the full realization of God. According to Kabir, priest, warriors, tradesman and other 36 castes are persistently looking for god‘s blessing with equal devotion. If everybody from different castes is striving hard to achieve common goal, it is, then, foolishness to enquire of the caste which is no way helpful in facilitating his ultimate goal. He further illustrates that the barber has sought the refuge of God: the washer man and carpenter are also meditating to have the fragrance of His presence. Even a true seeker of god called Raidas has also sought to realize the unique presence of God. Rishi Swapach who was untouchable also realized omnipresence of God. Hindus and Muslims have also achieved God. But there is no mark of distinction between them.

Kabir says that God does not differentiate between two human beings, whatever caste creed and community they belong to. God encourages everyone to follow the path of humanity and to come forward to help others as brothers and sisters as they are created by the same Creator known differently by people like Allah, Ram, and Jesus. Kabir here intends to say that proper assessment of a person cannot be done by caste but by the deeds he does during his life and how much he contributes to upgrade the society. It is the social and noble deed and golden Heart that should be taken into consideration and not a caste. If one is well oriented in humanity, one can then only be suitably called saint.

Kabir in this poem tries to integrate society which was segmented in castes, creeds, sects and religious groups during medieval India. Kabir says that any person with human touch deserves to be called a saint irrespective of his caste and birth. This is how Kabir tries to harmonize society into a nutshell to create a sense of fraternity and brotherhood and mutual love and affection in inmates of medieval society. He expresses his deep feelings through poetic expression as it entertains and gives a kind preaching and a piece of noble advice to innocent people of society.


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