"Always meditate on the Lord's Name, remember Him constantly.
Love the Lord with all your heart and serve Him with your hands."
Namdev was born in 1270 to a low-caste family of tailors in Maharashtra. Namdev was
married before he was eleven years of age and had four sons and one daughter. He would
spend many hours in worship and kirtan, chanting verses of his own composition to Lord
Vitthala (a form of Krishna worshipped in Maharashtra). At age twenty, influenced by
close friend Jnanadev, Namdev converted to the path of bhakti which was highly influential
in northern India between the 12th and 17th century. He went on a five year pilgrimage with
Jnanadeva and traveled all over India to many holy places. Deeply grieved when his friend
Jnanadev died at the age of twenty-one, he stopped in Punjab where he stayed for more than
twenty years. Sixty-one of his hymns are included in the Sikh Scripture, Guru Granth Sahib.
Namdev passed from this world on January 14, 1350 at Ghoman.
the true Giver
The Lord alone is the Great Giver
Mankind cannot give us anything.
Whatever pleases Him, comes to pass
not recognizing this brings loss and frustration.
Many have proclaimed their sovereignty
over the kingdoms here on the earth,
but they have all departed, alone, empty handed,
dragged off with ropes through their noses.
The Lord alone is the Great Giver
Make it your goal to focus your mind on Him
Make it your calling to have faith in the true Name.
the true Name
The thundering resonance of the Word
has liberated me while living
Such is Thy service, O Lord,
rendered by Thy minister, the Saint.
How can I ever repay Thee, O my Benefactor?
Thou art my mother, Thou art my father,
Thou art my generous Lord.
Thou hast blessed me with Thy overflowing love within.
Through Thee have I experienced the glory of freedom.
Thou art the Creator, Thou alone art my Friend
Thou, O Lord, art all-pervading.
True meditation revealeth Thee in all Thy perfection
And the snares of illusion are rendered ineffective.
Vast and vicious is this mesh of illusion,
Whose intricate tentacles suck one dry.
Sing with all thy heart, the Name of the Lord
It costs thee nothing, O Nama, to repeat His Name.
The Saints are an Ocean of Mercy, says Namdev,
they bestow upon us Knowledge, Devotion, and Love
He alone is a Saint, says Namdev,
who is able to reveal God within.
How fortunate am I that I have been able to see Him
in the company of such Saints.
Without the favor of these Saints
the secret of spiritual life does not reach us.
The Names of God are various,
but unless the Saints confer favor upon us,
we'll never know how to meditate on the true Name of God
The true Name is like sandalwood
my mind absorbs its fragrance
I perform worship and adoration within my heart
I perform worship and adoration by meditating on the Naam
the Name of the Lord
without the Name, there is no worship and adoration
The Name will wash your inner heart
Your darkness will be removed
Your soul will be cleansed
and you will be free when you depart this life
Without the Naam, this mortal's life is cursed.
"Saint Namdev - His Life and Teaching," J.R. Puri, RS Books
"Mysticism In Maharashtra," R.D. Ranade, Motilal Banarsidass
Some of the verses of Namdev can be found in the Guru Granth Sahib,
placed there by the fifth Guru, Guru Arjan dev, who recognized the
value and authenticity of the Bhakti movement.
Raag Gauree - page 151
Raag Aasaa - page 347
Raag Goojaree - page 489
Raga Sorat'h - page 595
Raga Dhanaasaree - page 660
Raga Todee - page 711
Raga Tilang - page 721
Raga Bilaaval - page 795
Raga Gond - page 859
Raga Raamkalee - page 876
Raga Maalee Gaura - page 984
Raga Maaroo - page 989
Raga Bhairao - page 1125
Raga Basant - page 1168
Raga Saarang - page 1197
Raga Malaar - page 1254
Raga Kaanraa - page 1294
Raga Prabhaatee - page 1327