Consider and lay this truth to heart

From “The Living Dead” by Dadu Dayal

From “The Living Dead”

  • Have done with pride and arrogance, conceit, envy, self-assertion;
  • Practice humility, obedience; worship the Creator.
  • When a man has abandoned false pride, arrogance, and vainglory,
  • When he has become humble and meek, then does he find true bliss.
  • Prince and beggar alike must die; not one survives.
  • Him do thou call living who has died and yet lives.
  • My enemy “I” is dead; now none can smite me down.
  • ’Tis I who slay myself; thus, being dead, I live.
  • We have slain our enemy, we have died; but he is not forgotten.
  • The thorn remains to vex us. Consider and lay this truth to heart.
  • Then only wilt though find the Beloved when thou art as a living dead;
  • Only by losing thyself canst thou find Him who knoweth all.
  • Then wilt thou find the Beloved, when thou esteemest thyself as nothing;
  • Recognize therefore by quiet reflection whence the thought of self arises.
  • Becoming as the living dead, come thou into the way.
  • First lay down thy head, then mayest thou venture to plant thy foot.
  • Know that the way of discipleship is exceeding hard;
  • The living dead walk in it, the Name of Rama their sign.
  • So difficult is the way, no living man can tread it;
  • He only can walk it, O foolish one, who has died and lives….

— Dadu Dayal (trans. W.G. Orr)

Dadu Dayal (1544–1603) was an Indian poet from the Gujarat region and author of more than 5000 bani, a type of verse that became the basis for the Dadupanthis, a sect named after the poet. His names mean “compassionate brother” and he often wrote about sahaja, spontaneous bliss. With a close affinity in both content and style with fellow Indian poet Kabir (1440–1518), Dadu, like his spiritual forefather, believed that devotion to God should not be restricted by religious tribalism or sectarianism.

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