Kabir was an extraordinary oral poet whose works have been sung and recited by millions throughout North India for half a millenium. He may have been illiterate--'I do not touch ink or paper, this hand has never grasped a pen'--and he preached an abrasive, sometimes shocking, always uncompromising message that exhorted his audience to shed their delusions, pretensions, and empty orthodoxies in favour of an intense, direct, and personal confrontation with the truth. Thousands of poems are popularly attributed to Kabir, but only a few written collections have survived over the centuries. The Bijak is one of the most important, and is the sacred book of those who follow Kabir.

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