Dadu Dayal, Poet-Mystic From Rajasthan
Dadu is one of my all-time favorite classic Sants of India. He was a great poet-mystic and spiritual Master of Divine Light, Sound, and Nirguna Bhakti from Rajasthan in the lineage of Guru Kabir. 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, meditation).
Translations of Dadu bhajans 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. It is published by Criterion of New Delhi (distributed by Deep & Deep Publications). Nataraj Books is one source where this volume can be ordered from in North America. See link below.
Enjoy! Happy New Year! Meditate!
Background on Dadu from the Preface
Sant Dadu Dayal was a Saint from Rajasthan. ‘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 had 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.
Dadu 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]. 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. [A translation of the Janma Lila by Jana Gopal is also included in this book]. Dadu clearly experienced the bliss of Sahaja and alluded to it in his songs. Surviving songs do not record the name of Dadu’s guru. 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.
Some Mystic Verses of Sant Dadu Dayal, a Lover of the Beloved
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.
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.