Sant Maluk Das (1574-1682) was a saint of the medieval Hindu renaissance.
Maluk Das was a great poet-saint of India with a universal message for equality, brotherhood among men, and oneness of God. Living at a time when India was passing through a period of spiritual and physical turmoil he, like other known saints, appeared to revive the true spirit of religion and bring peace and harmony among mankind.
Maluk Das was born in Kada, near Allababad. The central theme of his teachings was the same as those of Mirabai, Chaitanya, Kabir, Rumi, Guru Nanak and others. Noble ideas of social reform, religious tolerance, and goodwill among men were echoed by those seers of that time, through poetry, to restore order in the society.
His fame as a holy man spread far and wide. Even members of other religious groups were convinced of the purity and sublimity of his character. Emperor Aurangzeb also recognized Maluk Das' true worth and greatness and conferred two villages for the maintenance of his Gaddi (spiritual seat). Thus his spiritual outlook was all embracing. His heart was open to all without any distinction of caste or creed. He believed that:
"jati pati puchhe nahi koi, Hari ko bhajay so Hari ka hoi." "In the house of God there is no caste or creed. Whatsoever yearns/worships God is with Him."
This aspect of his character was highlighted in his life when a devout Muslim Officer (Adhi) sent by Emperor Aurangzeb came to Maluk Das to be ordained as his disciple. After testing the officer's genunity and being convinced of his keenness and sincerity, Maluk Das acceded to his request and gave him initiation. He also gave him a name Meer Mahda, a combination of the Muslim name Meer and the Hindu name Madhav.
This universal concept was a great example of the liberal outlook of Maluk Das towards religion and became a challenge to those bigoted persons who were spreading hatred between different communities in name of religion. The samadhi of Meer Madhav stands today near Maluk Das's own.
Swamiji Yogiraj Nanak, the spiritual heir of Maluk Das, describes him as follows:
"He imbibed the universal religion. He saw complete God and went beyond, that is how he was able to say neither am I repeating the name of Ram, nor doing prayer, God is doing all these fore me, I am at peace."
Swamiji further expresses that "through the ethos of Indian religion: "Satyam, Sivam, Sundaram." "Truth, Ideality, Beauty." Great men have seen God through any one of these aspects, but Maluk Das absorbed all three aspects and went beyond."