Haridās, Svāmī

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Haridās, Svāmī (16th cent.). Hindu devotee of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, and founder (or inspiration) of a cult bearing his name. He wrote a small amount of Hindī verse (e.g. Kelimāl, ‘Garland of Divine Play’, in which he imagines himself as the attendant of Rādhā), but was remembered also for his skill as a musician. The Haridāsas have made vital contributions to Indian music, and include Purandaradāsa (1480–1564), who laid the foundations for Karnatak/Carnatic music of the modern period. The cult divided into two sects in the 17th cent., the one being ascetic, the other remaining based on the household. The two continue in Vṛndāvana to the present day.