Saint Shri Dadu Dayalji has left a practical and living message ‘Vaniji’ for mankind. Although born in sixteenth century, troubled times of political upheaval and religious persecution, Saint Shri Daduji preached his immortal doctrine of universal love and peace to all men without distinction, and in entire independence of his environment. His high spiritual vision made him indifferent to his earthly surrounding. His overflowing love of God and of humanity made him see his beloved Lord in all beings, high and low alike, and he loved them as himself. His life and teaching is an object lesson to us of disinterested service and spirituality of the highest order. In the present age of spiritual chaos gross materialism, national rivalries and racial hatred, Saint Shri Daduji’s message of Universal peace and goodwill, full of such moral and spiritual sublimity, is of peculiar importance. Saint Shri Daduji’s message is an earnest call to humanity to build up that true culture which would rise above the clash of civilization and religions, and the din of political strife and Nature with social injustice, which would give us a clear vision of the true purpose of life and convince us that individual, social and national well-being can only be attained by living in brotherly love and peace with our neighbors. Thus the kingdom of God will be re-established on this earth.


He proclaimed the unity of Divine Life - Self - Existent and Eternal - the One Existence from which all existences are drawn, in which all things live and unto which all existences return. We are apt to look upon all physical objects as having an independent reality of their own. But our conception of physical forms as self-existent objects without the realization of the One Source of all life is due to a lack of true knowledge. 

Saint Shri Dadu Dayalji says: “Neither this body nor this mind, nor the ego exists. Neither the Maya nor the individual soul exists. O, see God everywhere. As by sitting under water and opening the eyes, one sees only water filling all space, so I do realize Brahma pervading all space. The glory of the Supreme Brahma cannot be equaled by the light of millions of suns and moons. O Dadu, the effulgence of the Supreme Brahma is infinite.”  

God, immanent as well as transcendent, cannot be compared with His creatures i.e. with life as it is manifested and conditioned by the limitations of forms. Those limitations are the qualities or attributes of forms as we comprehend them as separate units. Every defined thing as perceived by us stands in relation to our own finite mind. But the Generator and the Creator of all things, the Infinite Reality cannot be defined. The perfection of our own Knowledge consists in comprehending that Reality free from all attributes ascribed to it by man. Says Saint Shri Dadu Dayalji, “God is neither born nor dies; nor is He born as a human being. God is without qualities, yet He created all. The unconditioned life dwells alone. Neither voice nor virtue can touch Him. He is the King of Kings. God is indestructible, immutable and infinite fills all space. God is the Protective Force. He is like our mother. God is Omnipotent.

He is the creator and destroyer of the Universe. He is known by knowing the self; the individual soul and the Supreme Soul are not different. God dwells in the heart and is the same in all. God is the very life within us and fills our mind, senses and our entire being. He is free from all negative and positive attributes. He is independent of every thing besides Himself. God’s nature is love; love is His form. It is His very existence; yea, love is His colour.

God reveals Himself to His devotees, though none can see Him with physical eyes. It is no use arguing whether He is personal or impersonal. God is one though called by countless names, and could be worshipped by any name agreeable to us. Just as a drop of water cannot realize the depth of the ocean and the Anal(name of a bird) cannot explore the sky fully, so man cannot fathom the Infinite. The true nature of God is unfathomable.

Man’s close relationship with God, his unity with Divine Life and his high ultimate destiny and progress is described by Saint Shri Dadu Dayalji in so many beautiful similes. But that destiny can only be achieved when we have felt and realized the Reality of the One Existence, the One Life, creating, sustaining and embracing all the existence, and have known and experienced the unreality of any independent existence of created forms. Says Saint Shri Dadu Dayalji: When the heart of the devotee is united with the merciful God, no difference remains between them. As ice is dissolved in water, so is the devotee of Hari absorbed in him. God and His devotee are one in essence, as ornaments of gold and the gold itself are but one substance. The individual soul becomes Brahma by worshipping Him. One who knows Brahma becomes Brahma himself. Brahma is neither one nor many. The one who reveals himself as many and the many are essentially one.


In the Sakhies and psalms Saint Shri Dadu Dayalji puts a question to the Universal Creator to reveal the purpose of His Creation, and refers to the various beliefs that are held as regards the Divine plan. The answer is contained in his psalms on God’s Omnipotence and on the Eternal Word, and may be summed up thus; the world is the sport of the Creator. He created it merely for the good of His creatures. While the world is conditioned God is unconditioned. He is a mere spectator and is not affected by good and evil action. Yet he created all. The universe is his handiwork; but His hand is not visible anywhere. He created the cosmos, which is like a musical instrument and filled it with His word as its sound. God created the Eternal Yea (OM) out of Himself. From the OM were produced the five elemental principles of Energy or matter. All the various bodies have been involved from these five elements. The difference between I and you is constituted by the qualities or ‘gunas’ of matter. The OM also called Maya is the outward manifestation of God. Just as the world was produced from the Eternal Yea, it will finally dissolve into it. This theory of creation is consistent with the Vedanta and Sankhya philosophies of the Hindus and has accepted even by some of the Western philosophers, such as Fiche, who says, ‘ From the first commencement the Eternal word coming into being anew, assumes personal, sensible human existence without obstruction or reserve at all times.’


Throughout his whole life Saint Daduji remained opposed to the idea of founding any Kind of a new sect. His chief mission was to reform and purify the existing religions. Saint Shri Daduji has summed up his religion in the Sakhies and psalms thus: I follow the path which is free from duality and the believers in the One without form like to look upon all as one and to think of all as my own self. ‘Cherish no desire in the heart and love the Supreme (Brahma) RAMA.”

In the Sakhies, and psalms he lays down the principle of true religion in the following cryptic words: ‘Effacement of self, worship of Hari, purity of body and mind, and love of all beings, this is the substance of true religion. 

Saint Shri Daduji’s religion was essentially practical. He did not believe in dogmas or rituals. Disinterested service and love of God are the key-notes of his religion. Saint Shri Daduji loved all without distinction of caste or colour, as the handiwork of his beloved Lord. He opposed the worship of idols and false gods. He did not at all believe in the efficacy of pilgrimages or penances. Intense desire to know God, and constantly to bear him in mind in our daily life, and to do well to others, these are the three pillars of his religion.


Saint Shri Dadu Dayalji’s philosophy is essentially practical. He avoids all dogmas and metaphysical discussion, and gives direction how we should follow the path of God. He says: God cannot be known by mere exercise of intellect. The only way to know God is to cherish an intense desire to realize his true nature, to have complete certainty about Him and to be constantly mindful of Him. The devotee should keep the mind under control and cultivate the love of God and sing His glory. The most indispensable requisite is to purify the mind by keeping it fixed on Him and by doing unto others. So long as the mirror is unclean, the image cannot be reflected in it. Saint Shri Daduji lays the greatest emphasis on the cultivation of Divine love. Indeed, his philosophy may be called the philosophy of Divine Love. To achieve this love, we must first possess an intense desire to know God. The yearning is described in his treatise. Just as the Chatak cries for rain drops to quench its thirst and the fish dies without water, so does a devotee yearn to see God. The devotee should keep his mind constantly turned within and pull it up whenever it is directed outwards to superficial objects. He should meditate on God as a spirit dwelling in the heart and constantly remember Him. In the fullness of time, God Himself will initiate the seeker in His mysteries and reveal Himself to him. God’s devotee should be meek and free from self- seeking passion and lower desires. He should look upon all worldly pleasures as unreal like the will-o-the-wisp.

He should concentrate his mind on God alone as the supreme value of his life. In short, he should live the inner life detached from the world as men ordinarily feel it and live in, and give his whole heart to Hari. While recognizing and stressing upon the transient nature of the material world of phenomena, Shri Daduji does not enjoin complete seclusion of physical separation from the world. In fact, Saint SHRI Daduji condemns it in several languages. Again and again, he repeats that the true worship of Hari is in heart, whether you live at home or go abroad. Ceremonies, pilgrimages and penances lead to self -seeking. The best way to seek God is to withdraw within the heart and worship Him there in peace. As water is absorbed in water, so is GOD’S DEVOTEE FINALLY ABSORBED IN Hari. This is exactly the vedantic idea of release.


As a mute cannot describe the taste of sweets, as a drop of water cannot outweigh the ocean, so man cannot describe the beauty of God’s vision. In the Kingdom of God, one can neither speak nor keep silent; there, the sense of I and You does not exist. There is neither one nor many. There, see Him as He is. The knowledge of God is entirely different from the physical conditions with which we are so familiar. There a man walks without feet, hears without ears, and plays on the flute without hands, and sings without tongue. There is neither air nor fire, neither earth nor sky, neither Sun nor Moon. The pairs of opposites do not exist there. In the kingdom of God there is eternal bliss.

There is neither sorrow nor suffering, neither desire nor hatred, neither doubt nor self- seeking. There the lover ever sings the glory of the Beloved and is intoxicated with His love. There the lover dances with his Beloved and worships His feet. There the trees bear fruit of immortality. There the devotee is finally absorbed in his Beloved.

In the discourse on the vision of God, Saint Shri Daduji describes it in these words of ecstatic joy. “There the flowers of divine love bloom eternally, and the devotees of Hari dance merrily.’

“I have seen that wondrous sport of life. There have I seen the Supreme Brahma pouring down nectar. There flows a perpetual fountain light whose bright illumination sought only a few Sadhus who have attained God and they can enjoy it. There flows an unfailing torrent of divine love. There is perpetual spring. Keep Thy mind fixed there. There the crystal shower falls unceasingly from a cloudless heaven and refreshes the soul. Drink this supremely sweet essence in the sight of the Unseen and the Unknown.’


Saint Shri Daduji’s conception of Maya is also identical with Advaita or Vedantic Philosophy. From the Western point of view it may be called pessimistic. Saint Shri Dadu Dayalji looks upon this world and its enjoyment as a dream which is recognized as unreal when the dreamer awakens. This world is a mirage; its glittering light is false. There is no true happiness in the sense-enjoyment of worldly pleasures. We should concentrate our mind on the Atma which alone is true, and detach it from the world which is like the silk-cotton flowers. Our senses and mind become impure by contact with Maya. They are purified by being drawn towards God. Because man has been ensnared by Maya and while gaining experiences of the world, has felt the domination of physical attractions much too strong and difficult to resist. He suffers from the reaction that follows in the shape of pain and misery and is born over and over again. He frees himself from the shackles of Maya by constantly trying to comprehend the larger and Universal Life and by identifying himself more and more completely with it. Neither the worship of a personal god or of images, nor penances and pilgrimages can save a man from Maya. A sun made of stone cannot give light.


According to Saint Shri Dadu Dayalji’s Mukti or emancipation is the fullest enfoldment of the individual life and its complete identity with Life Universal. He does not believe in a release after death. He holds that we can attain liberation while we are in incarnation. Release, according to him, consists in the realization of the one life dwelling in our hearts and pervading all space. Saint Shri Dadu Dayalji describes the state of such liberated souls in Bhajans and Sakhies. His definition of release is the perfect union of a lover with the beloved. He says God’s devotee and God are one in essence; no difference exists between them. Their union is like the mingling of water with water. Such a release necessarily involves the disappearance of a superlative sense of individuality and denotes a vivid, permanent and binding sense of unity with the Universal Life of Divine. This is substantially the Advaitic doctrine of the unity of soul and God.


Bhakti is a world-message that needs no translation as said Saint Shri Dadu Dayalji when heart speaks to heart. Like music, its tones do not require words, and like the music of German, the Italian and the Greek Church, it appeals to the highest, the purest emotion of the embodied spirit to the spirit universal “I am Thy self ”.

In this translation, we have the songs and Sakhies of Saint Shri Dadu Dayalji, one of the “poet-seers”, a constellation of brilliant stars, in the fifteenth and sixteenth century, mentioned in the historical introduction as Shri Ramanandji, Shri Kabirji, Shri Nanakji, Shri Daduji, Shri Surdasji, Shri Meera baiji and Shri Tulsi Dasji. Ramanuja and the Vaishnavas taught the gospel of Bhakti, the way of Divine Love, open to all men irrespective of caste and colour.”

Saint Shri Dadu Dayalji is to be found as belonging to this school of mystics and was in no way less than Kabirji and Raidasji. His mortal life was lived from 1544 - 1603, and his immortal life lives in his verses, songs and ‘Sakhies’ compiled in Shri Dadu Vani, the Holy Granth.

After the interesting historical introduction, this “Shri Dadu Amrit Vani” shows us the setting of the mystic singer’s life, as well as the collection of “The Sakhies & Bhajans of Saint Shri Dadu Dayalji” and his disciples’ poems & preaching with the sweet fragrance of Bhakti. Saint Shri Dadu Dayalji said: “He dwelt in every heart; and is ever near thee.” He dwelt within thee; there is His abode. Seek Him there and thou wilt find thy Beloved.”

The whole book “Shri Dadu Vani” is “The Bhajans & Sakhis of Saint Shri Dadu Dayalji.” There are no comments. None are needed. Every true mystic will make his own comments in the sacred song of his life.


Courtesy ‘Shri Dadu Amrit Vaniji’ by Swami Ramsukhdasji Dadupanthi.


© 2003 Shri Dadu Leela "Rama Nama Parikrama" Shodh Sansthan