Are you looking for me? I am in the next seat. My shoulder is against yours. You will not find me in the stupas, not in temples, nor in synagogues, nor in cathedrals; not in masses, nor kirtans, not in legs winding around your own neck, nor in eating nothing but vegetables; When you really look for me, you will see me instantly; You will find me in the tiniest house of time. Kabir says: "Student, tell me - what is God?" He is the breath inside the breath. ___ These words were written 600 years ago by the mystic poet Kabir, a spiritual master revered by Muslims, Sufis, Hindus and Sikhs, although he criticized all religious sects. Kabir was born in 1398 AD. He was raised in Varanasi, India by Muslim parents. Early in life Kabir became a disciple of the famous Hindu saint, Ramananda. Of course, it was unheard of for a Hindu master to accept a Muslim student, but tradition says the young Kabir found a creative way to overcome this sectarian problem. One special day each year anyone might become a disciple of a great master by having the master speak the name of God over him. On this special day, Satguru Ramananda walked to his pre-dawn bath in the Ganges, as he did every other day. As he climbed down to the steps to enter the waters, a hand suddenly shot out and grabbed the saint's big toe. Ramananda was so startled that he cried out the name of God. Then, looking down, the great master saw the hand of the child Kabir. Ramananda adopted Kabir as his son and disciple, and brought him back to his ashram, to the protests of his Hindu students, some of whom left. It is said that what made this meeting so special was that only after Kabir's enlightenment did Ramananda, his teacher, father and guru, became enlightened himself. It's the task of the mystic to unite with the One and return to instruct others on how it can be done. Kabir never abandoned his worldly life, choosing to live as a householder and a mystic, a tradesman and a contemplative. He was married, had children and made his living as a weaver. Although Kabir devoted much of his life to unifying the faithful of Islam and Hinduism, he was disgusted by professional piety and repelled by organized religion, and he was not afraid to say so. This earned him the persecution of the religious authorities, and at age 60, this gentle man was denounced to the king. Because he was a Muslim, he was spared execution and instead was banished. Kabir is the most quoted author in India. The "Bible" of the Sikh religion, the Guru Granth Sahib, contains over 500 verses by Kabir, even though he was not a Sikh.