encounters with Sikandar Lodi
Kabir saheb had occurred during
regime of Delhi Sultanate. Sikandar Lodhi was the Sultan than at Delhi.
He was a cruel ruler and everybody feared him because of his cruelty.
Since Kabir saheb was raising a voice of protest against the religious
ostentation's of both the Hindus and Moslems, Pundit, Mullah, Shaiv,
Sanyasi, Bambhan and Baniya etc. all of them had begun to unite against
him. Hindu Pundits said that Kabir was anti-religious, while Moslem
Maulavis declared him a Kafir because he did not follow the Islam
despite being a Moslem. But at local level, i.e. within Benaras, they
did not succeed at suppressing Kabir.
But Pundits and Maulavis bother
convinced that neither Hunduism nor Islam would survive unless and until
Kabir was not suppressed and his tongue not reigned. Kabir regarded
Pundit as a low grade creature and Mullah as devoid of knowledge. He
said that Rama was present in his house, and temple and mosque are a
place of keeping stone and discharging night soil… regarded Vedas and
Qur-an as human creation… inspired each and all to seek Rama and Rahim,
Keshav and Kareem in their own heart… declared fast, Ekadashi and Roza
as falls… and said that pilgrimage to Kashi and Kaba, Dwaraka and Mecca
was a wastage of time.
…Above all, people, mostly poor
began to through around Kabir, He was provoking them against the
religion and social organization… teaching them his own way of
liberation that the liberation could be achieved through toil and hard
labour… he is doing away with the difference between higher and lower,
caste and creed and above all between the Hindus and the Moslems…
creating new, revolutionary poems, which are being recited aloud in
every lane and locality by the down-trodden class. He declares Pundits
and Mullahs in deep slumber… declares the heaven and the hell no more
than the human imagination. Kabir does not regard anything like sin and
pious deed. Kabir poses such questions as put even the Pundits and
Mullahs in tight corner.
Kabir saheb's aggressive stances
had caused great fuming and fretting among the Pundits, Mullahs,
Vaishnavas, Shakt and Sanyasis of Kashi. All of them wished to get rid
of Kabir at any cost, but were finding themselves helpless before the
spiritual power confidence of Kabir and the support of the masses for
him. Many times, they collectively confronted him but in vain. It was
beyond their imagination even that the masses might support and ordinary,
poor person so strongly. All the public stood beside Kabir and was ready
to do or die for him.
It was during one such time of
frenzy that Sikandar Lodhi was about to tour Sasaram via Jaunpur. When
the news of Sultan's staying in Jaunpur reached Kashi a huge religious
gathering took place there against Kabir saheb, in which the flag
bearers of all the religious took place. After the meeting, all of them
reached Jaunpur and collectively lodged a complaint in the court of
Sikandar Lodhi against Kabir saheb. Along with the Pundits and Mullah,
Kabir's mother Neema had also gone to complain because she too was fed
up by the activities of her son. Thus Pundits and Mullahs got extra
support for their back-biting against Kabir. Sultan Sikandar Lodhi
assured them all that he would make a two day halt at Benaras on route
to Sasaram, and investigate the matter himself. Sikandar Lodhi also
assured that even the great warrior could not stand him, so Kabir was
also not a match against him.
From the stern stance of Sikandar
Lodhi, a wave of joy roam among the Pundits and Mullahs and they
returned to Benaras expecting a sure elimination of the thorn named
Kabir. Sikandar Lodhi was accompanied by his Guru Shekh Taqi also.
Sikandar Lodhi consulted him that despite being a Julaha (weaver), where
did Kabir get such a power from that flag bearers of all the religious
had begun to see him as their rival. Shekh Taqi said – "Jahanpanah, as
the people of Kashi tell about Kabir, all the symptoms appear like that
of a true Faqueer." Shekh Taqi had some comprehension of spirituality,
hence had guessed that Kabir was a true saint… that was why he spoke of
such spiritual heights. But Sikandar Lodhi was reluctant to give up so
easily. "Its all right, but who had given a Julaha a right to comment
arbitrarily on the religion and religious leaders ?" Argued the Sultan.
Sikandar Lodhi also argued – How the system would work when even the
petty people also begin to comment openly on the religion. No difference
would remain between the common and elite classes.
Would the Kazis and Mullahs,
Pundits and Purohits (Priests) cut the grass, if even the poor and down
trodden people begin to preach religion ? Those, whom Allah has made
poor, should remain poor. Shekh Taqi also nodded before the argument
that Parvardigar, you speak the truth. One should do the job for which
Allah has given him birth.
Next day, accompanied by a huge
army, Sikandar Lodhi arrived in Kashi. Very soon the news spread like a
forest-fire that Badshah Salamat had come. Now he would do justice. It
can easily be guessed how much fed up the Banbhan (Brahmins), Baniya,
Kazi, Mullah, Vaishnava, Shakt, Sanyasi etc. would have been from Kabir
Saheb. Sikandar Lodhi held a open court at Dashashwamedh Ghat, where
since morning a huge crowd of anti-Kabir people thronged, Sikandar Lodhi
ordered the Kotwal of Kashi to arrest Kabir saheb from his residence in
Julahas' dwellings and bring him in the court. Kotwal himself went to
the dwellings of Julahas accompanied by some Pundits and Mullahs. A huge
crowd of Kabir's supports had thronged in and around his hut also.
Kotwal was also aware of the miracles and glory of Kabir, hence he
politely requested Kabir to come to the court of Sikandar Lodhi.