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Sant Namdev Biography
|Full Name/Cast/Surname||Namdev Damaji Relekar/ he was born in a Shudra Caste|
|Born/Birth Place||c. 26 October 1270 CE|
Narsi, Bamani Maharashtra, India
|Died/Death Place||c. 3 July 1350 CE|
|Philosophy||Varkari / Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism)|
Namdev, also known as Nam Dayv, Namdeo, and Namadeva, was an Indian poet and saint from Narsi, Hingoli, Maharashtra, India, who lived from c. 26 October 1270 to c. 3 July 1350. He belonged to the Varkari tradition of Hinduism. He lived as a devotee of Pandharpur’s Lord Vitthal (Krishna).
Namdev’s life is shrouded in mystery. Many miracle-filled hagiographies have been written about him decades after his death. These biographies are inconsistent and conflicting, according to scholars.
Namdev was a Great Devotee of and influenced by:
Vaishnavism influenced Namdev, and he became well-known in India for his religious hymns set to music (bhajan-kirtans). Namdev was a great devotee of lord Vitthal also called as Vithoba (one of the forms of Hindu God Krishna) With monistic themes, his theory incorporates both nirguna and saguna Brahman aspects. Namdev’s legacy, along with those of other gurus, is remembered in current times in the Varkari tradition, with large crowds of people travelling together in biannual pilgrimages to Pandharpur in south Maharashtra. He is also revered by the Dadu Panthis, Kabir Panthis, and Sikhs in North Indian traditions.
Namdev’s literary works were influenced by Vaishnava philosophy and Vithoba religion. Namdev’s works, along with the Jnvar, a sacred book of Jnvar, and the writings of Bhakti movement teacher-writers like Tukaram, form the foundation of the Varkari sect’s beliefs. He was thus a key figure in spreading the monotheistic Varkari faith, which began in Karnataka in the mid-to-late 12th century and later expanded to Pandharpur in Maharashtra.
The Marathi language was employed by Namdev and Jnvar to express their thoughts. Namdev’s style was to write simple praise for Vithoba and to use a melodic device known as samkirtana, both of which were accessible to the common people. “He taught that all can be saved equally, regardless of caste, through devotion (bhakti) to Vithoba,” according to Shima Iwao, and that he had a significant influence on groups of people who were forbidden by the Brahmin elite from studying the Vedas, such as women and members of the Shudra and untouchable communities.
Philosophy of Sant Namdev
Vaishnavite philosophy inspired Namdev. In his poetry, he invoked Vithoba, Vishnu-Krishna as Govind-Hari, but in the larger context of Rama, Ronald McGregor was not referring to the hero recounted in the Hindu epic Ramayana, but to a pantheistic Ultimate Being, according to Ronald McGregor. Namdev sees Rama “only as the one authentic, or real Teacher of man (satguru),” according to McGregor. However, this is a conjecture based on hymns for which Namdev is not definitively identified by the author, and it might easily be interpolated. For example, rather than Hindu deities Rama or Shiva, the following hymn speaks of worshipping One Omnipresent God.
Dear Pandit, I saw Shiva, your great god, riding a white bull. A meal was arranged for him at the merchant’s house, and he murdered the merchant’s son. I saw your Raam Chand coming, too, O Pandit; he lost his wife in a conflict against Raawan. The Hindu is blind, while the Muslim only has one eye. Both of them are wiser than the spiritual instructor. The Hindus worship in temples, whereas Muslims worship in mosques. Naam Dayv is dedicated to the Lord, who is not bound by temples or mosques.Guru Granth Sahib 874-875, Sant Namdev Quote
Namdev Quotes, Guru Granth Sahib 525
One stone has been meticulously painted, whereas the other has been stepped on. If one is a deity, the other must be a god as well. I serve the Lord, says Naam Dayv.
According to Indian mythology, Namdev held a variety of theosophical beliefs. Namdev is regarded as a nirguna bhakta in northern India, but a saguna bhakta in Marathi culture.
Teachings of Sant Namdev
In Namdev literature, devotion is regarded as the preferable road to liberation over other options. According to Novetzke, the envisioned devotion is not one-way from the devotee to Vishnu, but bidirectional, with “Krishna (Vishnu) being Namdev’s slave, and Namdev being Vishnu’s slave.” Mechanical rituals are meaningless to Namdev, as is pilgrimage to sacred locations; what matters is deep meditation and genuine mutual devotion. According to McGregor, Namdev and other Indian sant poets were “inspired by the monist notion of the ultimate being (Brahman),” which was represented in vernacular language as “passionate devotion not to a single deity but to this ultimate.” Namdev’s songs alluded to the divine’s presence and oneness in everyone and everything, as well as its non-duality.
Namdev’s songs spoke to the divine’s presence and oneness in everyone and everything, as well as its non-duality. According to Klaus Witz, “Upanishadic teachings comprise an all-pervasive substratum, if not a basis” in Namdev’s literary works, as they do in practically every Bhakti movement poet.
Sant Namdev Best Quote/Abhang
“I searched the galaxy for the treasure but discovered it within myself.”
According to Callewaert and Lath, Namdev’s padas/Abhang are more than just poems. Namdev, like other Bhakti movement sants, wrote bhajans, or songs intended to be sung to music. A Bhajan literally translates to “something to be appreciated or shared.” Namdev’s songs were written to be both musical and spiritual in nature. They developed on one of the many ancient Indian musical and singing traditions. According to Sangita manuals refined from the 8th to 13th centuries, Namdev’s bhajans used specific species of Raag, used Bhanita (or Chhap, a stamp of the composer’s name inside the poem, in his case Nama), applied a Tek (or dhruva, repeated refrain), and used a metre that helps harmonise the wording with the musical instrument, all according to Sangita manuals refined from the 8th to