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The poet Kabir, a selection from whose songs is here for the first time offered to English readers, is one of the most interesting personalities in the history of Indian mysticism. Born in or near Benares, of Mohammedan parents, and probably about the year 1440, be became in early life a disciple of the celebrated Hindu ascetic Ramananda. Ramananda had brought to Northern India the religious revival which Ramanuja, the great twelfth-century reformer of Brahmanism, had initiated in the South. This revival was in part a reaction against the increasing formalism of the orthodox cult, in part an assertion of the demands of the heart as against the intense intellectualism of the Vedanta philosophy, the exaggerated monism which that philosophy proclaimed. It took in Ramanuja's preaching the form of an ardent personal devotion to the God Vishnu, as representing the personal aspect of the Divine Nature: that mystical "religion of love" which everywhere makes its appearance at a certain level of spiritual culture, and which creeds and philosophies are powerless to kill.