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Page:The Sikh Religion, its gurus, sacred writings and authors Vol 6.djvu/135

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KABIR

her child on a lake called Lahar Talao, a short distance from Banaras. He was found by a Musalman weaver, called Ali — who from living beside the water (nir) was popularly known by the name of Niru — when he was taking home his wife from her parents' house.

He saw the boy lying in the lake, it is said, on a blossoming water-lily. The child had obviously been abandoned by an unmarried woman. Niru hastened to inform his wife Nima. They had no son of their own, and it was in their power to adopt him. Nima represented the gossip that would result, and the danger to their reputation and that of the whole tribe. On looking into the child's face, however, her determination gave way. He was fair to look on, and did not scream like other children, but on the contrary looked bright and cheerful. They took him up and bore him home.

The Lahar Talao is a lake about a mile and a quarter long, and an eighth of a mile broad. At the time of the author s visit in December, it was, except for some rushes here and there, covered with a russet weed on which aquatic birds alighted and sported. On the margin of the lake is a small temple sacred to Kabir. It is kept by some monks, who pride themselves on their knowledge of Sanskrit literature. Hard by is the tomb of Niru, Kabir's foster-father.

After the discovery of the child a Qazi was in due time called to give him a name. The Quran was opened, and a lot was cast. The word Kabir, which means great in the Arabic language, was the first that presented itself. This name was accord-