Sant Dadu Dayal, the Poet-Mystic of Rajasthan, in the Tradition of Kabir
…. from the Ocean of Love (Bhakti) and All-Consciousness
A book review by James Bean
Translations of Dadu’s bhajans (hymns, mystic poetry) are quite rare in English. Volume 25 in the glorious “Encyclopaedia of Saints Series” represents the most complete collection of the works of Sant Dadu Dayal in English to date: “Encyclopaedia of Saints of India, Volume 25: Sant Dadu Dayal”, By Bakshi and Mittra, published by Criterion Publications, New Delhi: ISBN: 8179380297.
This volume contains the earlier translation by Dr. Kashi Nath Upadhyaya from his book, “Dadu — The Compassionate Mystic”, originally published by Science of the Soul (Radha Soami Satsang Beas), combined with, “The Life Story of Dadu Dayal — The Book of Janma Lila, By Jan Gopal”, which has been translated into English by the scholar Winand M. Callewaert, in, “The Hindi Biography of Dadu Dayal”, published by Motilal Banarsidass. The Dadu volume of, “Encyclopaedia of Saints of India” combines both of these other translations together, making the best single collection of Dadu Vani in English thus far. These above could be ordered from Amazon, ScienceOfTheSoul, VedamsBooks, BanyenBooks, NatarajBooks (special ordered), etc….
Dadu is one of my all-time favorite classic Sants of India. He was a poet-mystic and spiritual Master of Divine Light, Sound, and Nirguna Bhakti from Rajasthan. Anyone who studies his teachings will encounter a very genuine, pure version of Sant Mat with the perfect balance of God and guru bhakti, love and mysticism (Surat Shabd Yoga, inner Light and Sound Meditation).
In the tradition of Guru Kabir, Sant Dadu Dayal was a great bhakti Saint of India. ‘Dadu’ means brother and ‘Dayal’ is: “the Compassionate One.” He lived in the second half of the sixteenth century (1544-1603). His songs are in a Hindi dialect known as Braj Bhasa, being a mixture of Hindi and Rajasthani.
“Sant Dadu Dayal gathered around himself a group of followers, which became known as the Dadu Panth. This organisation has continued in Rajasthan to the present day, and has been a major source of early manuscripts containing songs by the North Indian Saints [the Panch Vani, including Dadu Vani]. He himself did not write down any of his compositions. These were recorded by his disciple Rajjab. Another disciple, Jana Gopal wrote the earliest biography (The Janma Lila by Jana Gopal). Dadu clearly experienced the bliss of Sahaja and alluded to it in his songs.” (“Encyclopaedia of Saints of India, Volume 25: Sant Dadu Dayal”)
Mystic Verses of Sant Dadu Dayal, in the Tradition of the Lover and the Beloved
True Sants Focus Our Attention Upon God — Sadagati Sadhava re
Saints are the true redeemers,
They make one see the Creator face to face.
Having themselves crossed the ocean
of the world, they take others across;
They are the saviors of beings.
Dyed in the colour of the Supreme Lord,
They have the blameless Name
as their support;
Always truthful, disciplined, blissful and contented,-
Their wisdom and reach knows no bounds.
In eternal love, in eternal ecstasy,
In eternal company with the essential Truth;
In eternal union, in eternal life,
In eternal knowledge and contemplation are they absorbed.
Crest-jewel of all, bestower of bliss to all,
They are rare in this world.
They are the Swans, the dwellers of the Ocean of Bliss,
Who come for the good of others, 0 Dadu.
“Wherever one’s thought dwells, there will that person rest. At his pleasure, he may go to the delusion of unreality or he may merge into the Lord of the self. Where thou keepest thy mind while living, to that abode shalt thou go after death. The soul finds lodging in a place wherein it has hitherto been immersed.” (Dadu)
“The lover is converted into the Beloved. That indeed is called true love. Forgetting his own ego, he remains absorbed in the One.” (Dadu Dayal)
“The Name of God is my sect. My way of living is control of the senses. For my deeds — watch my disciples: their goal is to be immersed in Ram [God].” (Sant Dadu Dayal)
“When one’s whole being is engaged in repeating the Name, that, indeed, is called repetition. The self then blossoms forth within, and the Lord reveals Himself, O Dadu.”
“Do the repetition of God and forget Him not. Fulfill the purpose of thy birth by practicing concentration. Be steadfast in the remembrance of God. Practice meditation with love, and sing the glory of God. The human body is the door to salvation.” (Dadu)
“One who, turning the attention inward, brings it within the self, and fixes it on the Radiant Form of the Master, is indeed wise, O Dadu. …. Search for the Beloved close to the place where-from the Sound emerges, and thou shalt find Him, sayeth Dadu. There is solitude there, and there is luster of Light. …. Fix thine attention within, O valiant servant, so does Dadu proclaim.” (Dadu)
“The one who is merged in the Word, who is pierced by the arrows of the Master’s instructions, who is absorbed with the One alone — only that person is rightly set on the Path.” (Dadu)
“God is within all beings. He accompanies all and is close by. Musk is in the musk-dear, and yet it goes around in search of musk. The self knows not God, although God is within the self. Being deaf to the holy Sound of the Master, sadly does he wander. He for whom thou searchest in the world, dwells within thyself. … Search for the Lord within thyself, the Imperceptible One hath the Guru revealed.” (Dadu)
“Anahad baaje baajiye, amaraapuree niwaas. Joti saroopee jagamagai, koi nirakhai nij daas.” (Myriads of Sounds are heard; the one who hears gains access to the Kingdom of Immortality (place beyond the reach of death). A genuine servant gets to see the resplendent form of the Supreme Being.) (Dadu)
“The knowledge of the Sound Current imparted by the Guru merges one easily into Truth. It carries me to the Abode of my Beloved, sayeth Dadu.” (“Encyclopaedia of Saints of India, Volume 25: Sant Dadu Dayal”, Bakshi and Mittra, Criterion Publications, New Delhi)
Urgency of Realization
This fragile and transient human life is speedily coming to its end. It is high time that we seek refuge in the Lord of Love. Only while living as a human being can the work be accomplished, not after death. Dadu:
The mind is a deer, sayeth Dadu.
Looking at the green forest of the world.
This foolish one runs around puffed up
It is destined to be a victim of Kal [lord of time, lord of death], the
The body is like a passer-by,
No sooner dost thou look at him, that he goes out of sight.
Be dedicated to the Name of God
As long as there is breath in thy body.
Hurry up, O passer-by, the journey hangs over thy head.
Delay no more.
What art thou doing sitting idle? Repeat God’s Name.
Evening has set in while the traveler is still in the forest.
He must move briskly.
This is not the time to be slack, warns Dadu.
Go Home quickly.
Gone is the time, and lost is the opportunity.
Where shalt thou find this priceless birth once it slips out of hand?
Catching hold of our hand, the Negative Power [Kal] is drawing us close day by day.
The self does not awaken even now.
Its time is spent asleep.
While watching, 0 Dadu, the hair has grown white from black.
Body, mind, and youth are all gone, and even now thou turnest not to God!
While alive one can transcend bodily qualities.
While alive one can be liberated;
While alive one can shed all Karmas.
That truly is called liberation.
While alive one can cross over what is hard to cross,
While alive can one go to the other shore.
While alive one can find the Master of the world,
And can attain discrimination and wisdom.
If the meeting is not accomplished while alive,
If the contact is not made while alive,
If the Lord of the universe is not found while alive,
The one is simply drowned.
One is freed while alive,
One is not freed after death, sayeth Dadu
If one were to be free after death,
Then all will come under that.
Some say one can secure abode in paradise after death;
They preach liberation after death.
They, indeed, are making the world
insane, O Dadu…………… (Dadu)
Japi Gobinda bisari jini jai
Do the repetition of God [God’s Name] and forget
Fulfill the purpose of thy birth
by practicing concentration.
Be steadfast in the remembrance of God.
Practice meditation with love, and sing
the glory of God.
The human body is the door to salvation.
Do the repetitions of God, the Creator
of the universe. (Dadu)
Results of True Love — The Vision of the Beloved
One sits fearlessly by repeating God’s Name;
the Negative Power can never consume him.
When thou ridest the elephant, 0 Dadu,
then dogs bark in vain.
When love and devotion arise,
one is firmly established in blissful meditation.
With the grace of the Master,
he then drinks the divine Nectar, 0 Dadu.
By being dedicated to the Lord,
millions of obstacles are removed.
A tiny spark the size of a mustard seed
burns a huge amount of wood, 0 Dadu.
Impurities and blemishes of the mind
are burnt up in the fire of separation.
The separated lover will now see
the vision of the Beloved, 0 Dadu.
An Outer Guru that is not an Inner Guru, not a Qualified Teacher
The whole world makes an outer display,
whereas the practice of the Saint is within.
This is the difference between the two;
hence no accord is found between them.
A new pot taken from the potter’s furnace
may be decorated with many pictures outside;
But of what use will it be to thee,
0 Dadu, without any contents?
Such are the ones who make outer display of religiosity.
From one who bears no outer religious symbols,
but has unfathomable riches within,
Receive the wealth and keep it within
thy heart, 0 Dadu, and be obedient to such a Saint.
There is a great difference between a Saint and a mimic,
the two are as far apart as earth and sky.
The Saint is absorbed in God, whereas
the mimic pins his hopes on the world.
The One alone dwells within my heart,
Day and night I repeat His Name.
The Name of God alone is true;
keep that within thy heart.
Forsake all hypocrisies and cumbrous practices;
this is the teaching of all Saints, 0 Dadu.
“Remembering God, life is successful, if spent in the service of others.” (Sant Dadu the Compassionate Mystic quoted in, The Life Story of Dadu Dayal — The Book of Janma Lila, By Jan Gopal)
“I bow before the immaculate, divine Gosvami [Supreme Being]. Through my Guru’s favor I have been given all purity. I greet all the Sants: through their devotion I drink the nectar of Ram [God]. There is no end to the number of Sants who appeared in the Yugas [Epochs] of Sat, Treta, Dvapar, and Kali. I sing of the celebrated one I have heard of, and bow my head to all the others.” (Jan Gopal, disciple of Dadu Dayal)
A quote from the 16th century Indian Master Dadu, who outlined the Sant Mat vision of the spiritual life to be pursued during our time here on planet Earth:
Recognize the Path to your Beloved, O travelers and take the route of the anguished lover in separation. Keep the Master’s grace in your thoughts, and reflect upon his pure teachings. Develop love and devotion with endearment, and keep the thought of the Creator always before you. Try to merge yourself into God like water and water. Fix your mind within by following the Path of the Sound Current. A yearning will arise; make then an intense and anguished call. Repeat the Name of your Beloved, day and night, again and again. With care in thought, word and deed, you will cross to the other shore.
LIST OF 20 ACHRAYA’S OF DADU PANTH — Guru Lineage
SANT SHRI DADU DAYAL JI MAHARAJ
2. SHRI GARIB DAS JI MAHARAJ
3. SHRI MASKIN DAS JI MAHARAJ
4. SHRI FARIK DAS JI MAHARAJ
5. SHRI JAYAT RAM JI MAHARAJ
6. SHRI KISHAN DEV JI MAHARAJ
7. SHRI CHAN RAM JI MAHARAJ
8. SHRI NIRBHAY RAM JI MAHARAJ
9. SHRI JIVAN DAS JI MAHARAJ
10. SHRI DLAY RAM JI MAHARAJ
11. SHRI PREM DAS JI MAHARAJ
12. SHRI NARAYAN DAS JI MAHARAJ
13. SHRI UDAY RAM JI MAHARAJ
14. SHRI GULAB DAS JI MAHARAJ
15. SHRI HARJI RAM JI MAHARAJ
16. SHRI DYA RAM JI MAHARAJ
17. SHRI RAM LAL JI MAHARAJ
18. SHRI PRAKASH DEV JI MAHARAJ
19. SHRI HARI RAM JI MAHARAJ
20. SHRI GOPAL DAS JI MAHARAJ (2013)