Kabir, the North Indian devotional or bhakti poet, was born in Benares (now Varanasi) and lived in the fifteenth century. Next to nothing is known of his life, though many legends surround him. He is said to have been a weaver, and in his resolutely undogmatic and often riddling work he debunks both Hinduism and Islam. The songs of this extraordinary poet, philosopher, and satirist, who believed in a personal god, have been sung and recited by millions throughout North India for half a millennium.
Arvind Krishna Mehrotra is the author of four books of poetry, the editor of The Oxford India Anthology of Twelve Modern Indian Poets and Collected Poems in English by Arun Kolatkar, and the translator of The Absent Traveller: Prakrit Love Poetry. A volume of his essays, Partial Recall: Essays on Literature and Literary History will be published in 2011. He is a professor of English at the University of Allahabad and lives in Allahabad and Dehra Dun.
Wendy Doniger [O’Flaherty] graduated from Radcliffe College and received her Ph.D. from Harvard University and her D.Phil. from Oxford University. She is the Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Chicago and the author of many books, most recently The Bedtrick: Tales of Sex and Masquerade, The Woman Who Pretended to Be Who She Was, and The Hindus: An Alternative History.