"Kabir Panguda Allah Ram ka" - Purushottam Agrawal & Vipin Heero's interesting session at Mahindra Kabira Festival in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

We timed our trip to Banaras in November 2022 according to the Mahindra Kabira Festival. And one of the most interesting and enlightening session was "Kabir Panguda Allah Ram Ka", which was a discourse and song and music session by senior scholar Purushottam Agrawal and singer and musician Vipin Heero.  Dr Purushottam Agrawal is an eminent scholar, an author and an ex-member of the UPSC Board. He holds an MA in Hindi Literature from JNU and went on to complete his Ph.D in 1985 from JNU on the topic of "The Social Meaning of Kabir's Bhakti". He has written several books on Indian culture and the contemporary politics. But most important from the perspective of the Kabira Festival, he has written a book titled "अकथ कहानी प्रेम की: कबीर की कविता और उनका समय " which is a nearly 500 page thick study on Kabir. And his knowledge reflected in his session.

We timed our trip to Banaras in November 2022 according to the Mahindra Kabira Festival. And one of the most interesting and enlightening session was "Kabir Panguda Allah Ram Ka", which was a discourse and song and music session by senior scholar Purushottam Agrawal and singer and musician Vipin Heero.

Dr Purushottam Agrawal is an eminent scholar, an author and an ex-member of the UPSC Board. He holds an MA in Hindi Literature from JNU and went on to complete his Ph.D in 1985 from JNU on the topic of "The Social Meaning of Kabir's Bhakti". He has written several books on Indian culture and the contemporary politics. But most important from the perspective of the Kabira Festival, he has written a book titled "अकथ कहानी प्रेम की: कबीर की कविता और उनका समय " which is a nearly 500 page thick study on Kabir. And his knowledge reflected in his session. 

In his discourse, Dr Agrawal refrained from celebrating Kabir as someone who performed miracles. Rather he focused on Kabir's philosophy, his personality, and the impact of Kabir's poetry on the erstwhile society. And this was what was refreshing about his lecture.   The most interesting aspect of the conversation was Dr Agrawal's observation that it was a myth that Kabirn united Hindus and Muslims. He clarified that while Hindus and Muslims did unite, it was not for Kabir, but against him. Kabir frequently criticized both Hinduism and Islam as a result was often at loggerheads with the followers of these religions. Dr Agrawal's lecture was informative, interesting, and interspersed with humour. And supporting him was singer and musician Vipin Heero.

In his discourse, Dr Agrawal refrained from celebrating Kabir as someone who performed miracles. Rather he focused on Kabir's philosophy, his personality, and the impact of Kabir's poetry on the erstwhile society. And this was what was refreshing about his lecture. 

The most interesting aspect of the conversation was Dr Agrawal's observation that it was a myth that Kabirn united Hindus and Muslims. He clarified that while Hindus and Muslims did unite, it was not for Kabir, but against him. Kabir frequently criticized both Hinduism and Islam as a result was often at loggerheads with the followers of these religions. Dr Agrawal's lecture was informative, interesting, and interspersed with humour. And supporting him was singer and musician Vipin Heero. 

Vipin performed some very beautiful Kabir songs. In this blog however, we are only sharing one that is well-known "Chadariya Jheeni". The rest haven't yet been released and Vipin is still in the process of recording them. However, Vipin's soulful compositions and his earthy voice go perfectly with Kabir songs. He added a lot of soul to the session and made the experience richer.   Overall, this was a well-rounded session and one that genuinely instilled curiosity about Kabir. Instead of portraying Kabir as a divine being, this discourse centered around his human aspects, that made him all the more special.   Beyond the stories of his immaculate birth, his miracles, and his mysterious death, Kabir was above all an original thinker, a very talented poet, and above all, a brave man for having the courage to question religions on their rigidity, to stand up to authority figures, and to continue to live on his own terms despite so many people being opposed to him.

Vipin performed some very beautiful Kabir songs. In this blog however, we are only sharing one that is well-known "Chadariya Jheeni". The rest haven't yet been released and Vipin is still in the process of recording them. However, Vipin's soulful compositions and his earthy voice go perfectly with Kabir songs. He added a lot of soul to the session and made the experience richer. 

.... 

Overall, this was a well-rounded session and one that genuinely instilled curiosity about Kabir. Instead of portraying Kabir as a divine being, this discourse centered around his human aspects, that made him all the more special. 

Beyond the stories of his immaculate birth, his miracles, and his mysterious death, Kabir was above all an original thinker, a very talented poet, and above all, a brave man for having the courage to question religions on their rigidity, to stand up to authority figures, and to continue to live on his own terms despite so many people being opposed to him.   

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