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Dayaram – Bhakti Saint – Life Story

Dayaram, a revered Bhakti saint and ardent devotee of Bhagavan Sri Krishna, was born in 1777 CE in Chandod, a picturesque town on the banks of the Narmada River in South Gujarat. His early life was deeply influenced by his parents, who were devout worshippers of Krishna. Tragically, they passed away during his childhood, leading to his upbringing by his maternal grandparents. This formative period was crucial in shaping his spiritual and literary inclinations.

Literary Contributions

Dayaram is a seminal figure in Gujarati literature, renowned for his contributions to the Bhakti movement. He is particularly celebrated for the "garbi," a lyrical form of song that combines devotion and musicality. His garbis are an integral part of Gujarat's cultural heritage, often performed during Navratri and other festivals, invoking the divine presence of Krishna through their enchanting melodies and profound lyrics.

Association with Pushtimarg

Dayaram was a devoted follower of Pushtimarg, a sect of Hindu Vaishnavism founded by Vallabhacharya. This sect emphasizes unconditional devotion to Krishna, and Dayaram's affiliation with it profoundly influenced his spiritual practice and literary output. A pivotal moment in his spiritual journey was meeting Icchashankara, a distinguished follower of Pushtimarg, at Dakor, a prominent pilgrimage site in Gujarat. This encounter deepened his devotion and commitment to the teachings of Vallabhacharya, enriching his worship and literary endeavors.

Pilgrimages and Writings

Driven by his deep devotion, Dayaram embarked on extensive pilgrimages across India, visiting places of significance related to Krishna, most notably Nathdwara. These travels were not only spiritual sojourns but also inspired his literary works. He penned numerous books elucidating the principles of Pushtimarg, including "Rasika Vallabha" and "Bhakti Poshana" in Gujarati, and "Rasika Ranjana" and "Bhakti Ranjana" in Braj Bhasha. His writings often explored themes from Krishna’s life, blending narrative poetry with devotional fervor.

Multilingual Mastery

Dayaram’s literary prowess extended beyond Gujarati; he was a polyglot who composed works in multiple languages. His oeuvre includes 64 works in Gujarati, 20 in Braj Bhasha, one in Marathi, and one in Sanskrit. Additionally, he wrote miscellaneous poems in Punjabi, Marwari, Sindhi, and Urdu, showcasing his linguistic versatility and broad cultural engagement.


Dayaram passed away in 1853 CE, leaving behind a rich legacy that continues to inspire devotees and scholars alike. His contributions, alongside those of contemporaries like Narsinh Mehta and Meera, are pivotal to the Bhakti movement in Gujarati literature. Dayaram's works are not only literary treasures but also spiritual guides that reflect the profound devotional traditions of his time.

In summary, Dayaram's life and works epitomize the essence of Bhakti—unwavering devotion, cultural enrichment, and the seamless blending of spirituality with literature. His enduring legacy as a Bhakti saint and literary genius remains a cornerstone of Gujarati cultural and spiritual heritage.