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Sant Lal Das Ji – 16th Century Saint Of Rajasthan

Sant Lal Das Ji (1540 – 1648 CE) was a 16th century saint of Rajasthan. He was born in a poor family of the village of Dholi-dub in Rajasthan in 1540, he earned his livelihood by chopping wood. Sant Laldas was initiated into the spiritual lore by Faqir Gadan Chisti.

At the holy Faqir’s bidding, he came to the village of Bandholi and built a cottage on the hill Simha Shila. His devotion to God and forthrightness inspired many to become his disciples.

As Sant Lal Das opposed the evil practice of both Hinduism and Islam, people of both communities leveled false allegations against him. So he shifted to the village of Todi and then to Nahroli and Rasgan finally settling down in the village of Nagla, where he spent the remaining forty years of his life. Here too, allegations continued to be hurled at him, but some of his ardent disciples never forsook him. Laldas Ji remained a householder and had two sons and a daughter.

Teachings of Sant Lal Das Ji in the form of hymns have been gathered in a collection called Lala Dasa Bani. He was closer to Sant Kabir in his belief and sayings. He held that God is immortal and omnipresent. The soul is inseparable from God as water is inseparable from ice. Without the grace of Guru, attainment of Brahman is impossible. All sacred pilgrimages lie at the feet of the Guru. Distinctions of caste and status are social evils. He opposed both the pandit and the mullah and maintained that God was attainable only through love and devotion.

Sant Lal Das Ji held that the heart of a man is like a sacred pond and that holding the five senses in control is as good as having a bath in a holy river. He believed that idol worship, fasting, penance and futile exercises. He also said that depending upon others is a sin and the life of the householder is the best.

The followers of the sect founded by Sant Lal Das Ji are mainly from the community of workers. Their main center is Laldas-ki-Baithak, situated on a hill in Bagheli village, where the priests of the sect live with their families. A fair and a congregation of the followers are held in Dholi-Dub, his birthplace, on the full moon day (Purnima) of Ashwin month (September – October).