Guru Nabha Dass

APR 11

Preliminary   > Art and Culture   >   Philosophies   >   Bhakthi movement

Why in news?

  • The Punjab government has announced a gazetted holiday on the birth anniversary of Guru Nabha Dass, a 16th century saint.

About Guru Nabha Dass:

  • Born in 1537, at village Bhadrachalam on the bank of Godavari river.
  • Mahasha, Doom, Dumna communities are the followers and devotees of Guru Nabhadas, now known as Nabhadassia.
  • They are known for making baskets and grain storage containers with bamboo.
  • His religious gurus are Agar Dass and Keel Dass.
  • He is a saint belonging to the tradition of Ramananda.
    • A branch of the Vaishnava Sri Sampradaya of Hinduism. They mainly emphasize the worship of R?ma, as well as his other incarnations.


  • Guru Nabha Dass wrote ‘Bhagatmal’ or ‘Bhaktmal’ in 1585.
  • It is a poem in the Braj language that gives short biographies of more than 200 saints.
  • Bhaktmal text represents a different type of inclusive community.
  • This community is not based on social status, sects of any society, gender, caste, or time or space. It provides space to every person in this community.
  • The text reflects no difference between the ‘bhagvan and bhakti, God and guru, devotee and devotion’.
  • Guru Nabhadas explained human society could develop by Bhakti. Caste does not play any role in the Guru Nabhadas bhakti, but Guru is the central figure in Bhakti.
  • The relation of the Guru and Disciple in the ‘Sampraday’ is one of the defining criteria of the bhakti community.
  • He even argued that Bhakti is the foundation for just human society.
  • Guru Nabhadas imagined the inclusive society as “Vaisnava Catholicism”,in which the saints and bhaktas will remain the essential part.
  • Guru Nabhadas provides equal space to men and women, both subordinate and dominant castes.
  • By mentioning Kabir in his text, Guru Nabhadas surpasses the rigid categories of religion.


Consider the following statements regarding Guru Nabha Dass

1. He belongs to the tradition of Ramananda.

2. He wrote Bhaktmal in Braj language

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither