Sant Garib Das (Hindi: संत गरीब दास) (1717–1778) was a saint and reformer noted for his piety and poetry. He was a religious person who was founder of a new religious sect known as 'Garibdasi sect' and composed granth called 'Garib Das ki granth Sahib'. It is a tenet of the sect that Kabir and Ram are identical-Ram men kabir men kuchh antar nahin. Garibdasis are found in Punjab like Satguru Bhuriwale(Garib Dassi) Sampradha as well in Rohtak, there are branch institutions in a number of villages in Rohtak district.
Garib Das was from a well known family of Dhankar Jats, now resident in Chhudani (छुडाणी), a village of tahsil Jhajjar, which had migrated shortly before his birth Karauntha in Rohtak tahsil. He was born in samvat 1774 (1717 AD) and was noted for his piety and poetry. When 23 years old, He wrote a book now known as 'Baba Garib Dasji ki Pustak', or 'Garib Das ki granth Sahib', which consists of some 7000 verses of the celebrated Kabir, followed by 17000 of his own. He died in samvat 1835 (1778 AD), and over his remains a samadhi was erected.
K.C. Gupta has written a book on Garib Das under the title - Sri Garib Das : Haryana's Saint of Humanity. We are producing some content from this book in this section. Garib Das of Rohtak District founder of the Garib Dasi sect, writes Dr. Mohan Singh,
"May be considered as the last of the Hindu Raj Yogis and Bhakta poets who had as great a mastery of popular poetic language and style as Ghulam Farid had, but whose
knowledge of other Indian languages was greater than that of any other poet of medieval India, the only poet who comes near to him being Shah Qayam Din Chisti of Kari Goan in Bombay".
His padas, according to Dr. Ram Kumar Verma, exceed 17,000. According to Swami Chetan Das the total number of his padas is about 18,500. No other saint poet of
medieval India has written in such abundance and on so many facets of spiritual life.
Shri Garib Das was a true saint in he sense that the never tried to win favour of kings and rulers. He never sought the patronage of any court. During his lifetime, many invasions and upheavals took place. One king after another was toppled. But we do not find a single reference to events to which he was almost an eye witness.
This is the first authentic and critical work, ever published, on the life and works of Sri Garib Das. The author, Dr. K.C. Gupta, was attracted towards Garib Das when he attended
some satsangas in the company of his father who was a great devotee of the Saint. His literary interest in the writings of Garib Das was aroused after he had passed his M.A. in
Punjabi from the Punjab University in the year 1951.
This book discusses in depth and detail not only the mysticism and philosophy of Garib Das but also his language and poetry in all their richness and range. Chapters on the
broad stream of the Bhakti movement and the social and political conditions of Garib Das' life-time, place the saint in a proper spiritual as well as historical context.