Dadu Panthis

Dadu Panthis one of the Vaishnava (q.v.) sects in Hindostan. They originated with Dadu, a cotton cleaner by profession, who is supposed to have flourished about A.D. 1600. Having been admonished by a voice from heaven to devote himself to a religious life, he retired to Baherana mountain for that purpose, and after some time disappeared, leaving no traces of his whereabouts. His followers believed him to have been absorbed into the deity. The members of this sect are divided into three classes:

1. The Vivaktas, religious characters who go bareheaded, and have but one garment and one water-pot.

2. The Nagas, who carry arms, and are ready to use them for hire.

3. The Bister Dhavis, who follow the ordinary occupations of life. The sect is said to be very numerous in Marwar and Ajmere. Their chief place of worship is at Naraiva. See Gardner, Faiths of the World, s.v.

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