Dadu Dayal was a saint from Rajasthan in northern India. "Dadu" means brother, and "Dayal" means "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.

Like the earlier saint Kabir, Dadu came from one of the many low artisan castes that may have converted to Islam. He lived in the Jaipur region of Rajasthan, most probably as a pinjari, a cotton carder. He married and had a family of two sons and two daughters.

He gathered around himself a group of followers, which became known as the Dadu-panth. This organization has continued in Rajasthan to the present-day, and has been a major source of early manuscripts containing songs by the North Indian saints.

Dadu himself did not write down any of his compositions. These were recorded by his disciple Rajjab. Another disciple, Janagopal, wrote the earliest biography.

Dadu clearly experienced the bliss of Sahaja, and alludes to it in his songs, some of which are presented in translation in the linked pages.

Surviving songs do not record the name of Dadu's guru, but it is possible that he was given realisation by one of Kabir's sons. Certainly much of the imagery used in his songs is similar to that used by Kabir, and similar also to that used by the earlier Sahajiya Buddhists and Nath yogis.

Of his many followers, only Sundardas achieved the bliss of Sahaja.

5 comments:

Ashok said...

Dear sir
Some details are not correct in your summary about Saint Dadudayal. So please rectify this details in your summery as per our recmodation as a registerd trust of Dadupanth. If yuo need any assistance please contect on our e-mail dadumahasabha@yahoo.co.in

Regards
Ashok Swami
Secretary
Shree Dadudayalu Mahasabha
Moti Dugari, Jaipur 302004(Raj)(India) Mob +91-9414717153

John Noyce said...

Dear Mr.Secretary
I assume your objections are to my speculation as to who may have been Dadu Dayal's guru.

Neither of us can be certain at this distance from the events.

You are welcome to detail your objections for the benefit of readers.

John Noyce

Ashok said...

Dear Mr John
I will send to you detail about Saint Dadu Dayal as soon as per your vailuable responce.Please you will send your e mail address on our E mail dadumahasabha@yahoo.co.in

Thanking you
Ashok Swami
+91-9414717153

divyaman said...

Mr Noyce
Saint Dadu Dayal was never converted to Islam.
Kindly comment

Divyaman Singh Ranawat

John Noyce said...

Dear Divyaman
I used the word 'may' and was refering to Dadu's family background.
Its speculation of course.