Dādū

▪ Hindu saint
born 1544, Ahmadabad, India
died c. 1603, Naraina

      Hindu-Muslim saint who inspired the formation of a sect called Dādū Panth.

      A cotton carder by profession, Dādū became a religious wanderer and preacher, settling for periods of time at Sembhar, Amber, and finally at Naraina, near Jaipur (Rajasthan state), which remains the centre of his following. Dādū rejected the authority of the Vedas (earliest Hindu scriptures), caste distinctions, and all divisive, external forms of worship, such as visits to temples and pilgrimages. Instead he concentrated on japa (repetition of the name of God) and themes such as the soul as the bride of God. His followers have insisted on vegetarianism and abstention from alcohol, and there is a strong ascetic component of the Dādū Panth.

      Dādū's poetic aphorisms and devotional hymns, the vehicle of his teachings, were collected in a 5,000-verse anthology, Bani (“Poetic Utterances”). They also appear along with selections from other poet-saints (sants) Kabīr, Nāmdev, Ravidās, and Haridās in a somewhat fluid verse anthology called Pancvani (“Five [Groups of] Utterances”), which constitutes scriptures for the Dādū Panth.

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Universalium. 2010.

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