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Gangasati was a medieval saint poet of bhakti tradition of western India who composed several devotional songs in Gujarati language.[1][2][3]


No authentic information regarding her life is available as her songs and life story were chiefly transmitted by oral traditions. According to traditional accounts, she was born in Vaghela Rajput family in Saurashtra region of present-day Gujarat state of India circa 12th to 14th century. She married Kahalsang or Kalubha of Samdhiala village near present-day Bhavnagar. He was a follower of Nijiya tradition of Bhakti Movement. They had a son, Ajobha, who was married to Panbai. The couple was religious and their home became centre of devotional activities which was small to house number of sadhus (ascetics) and people visiting. They moved to farm and built a hut where they continued their religious activities. According to traditional account, to prove his spiritual powers, Kalubha once resurrected a cow but later he regretted and decided to take samadhi and end his life. Gangasati urged him to let her take samadhi too but he refused and instructed her to wait until she had perfected Panbai, her daughter-in-law, in path of devotion. She agreed and composed devotional songs, bhajans, one per day for fifty one days to teach Panbai, the path of devotion. She took samadhi thereafter.[1][2][4]


She composed these bhajans each with a theme and spiritual teaching like importance and grace of Guru, life of devotee, nature and words of Bhakti. They are composed as they are instructed to Panbai. Notably these bhajans do not mention any traditional Hindu deity but God in general, without any form or attributes. They reflect different aspects of way of spiritual attainment. Her bhajans are still popular in Saurashtra and are traditionally sung by devotional singers.[1][2][5][6]

Popular culture[edit]

In 1979, a film Gangasati, directed by Dinesh Rawal, based on traditional account of her life was produced in Gujarati.[7] A short Gujarati play on Gangasati, directed by Bhagyendra Patel, was produced in 2017.[citation needed]

Further reading[edit]

  • Majbutsinhji Jadeja (1993). Shree Kahalsang Bhagat: Gangasati Ane Panbaini Sanshodhan Parak Sankshipt Jeevankatha (in Gujarati). Majbutsinh Jadeja.
  • Gangasati; Dhairyachandra R. Buddha (1996). Gangasatini bhajanganga (in Gujarati). R.R. Sheth and Co.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Susie J. Tharu; Ke Lalita (1991). Women Writing in India: 600 B.C. to the early twentieth century. Feminist Press at CUNY. pp. 87–88. ISBN 978-1-55861-027-9. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Phyllis G. Jestice (2004). Holy People of the World: A Cross-cultural Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. pp. 292–293. ISBN 978-1-57607-355-1. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  3. ^ Shrivastava, Meenal (2017-01-02). "Invisible Women in History and Global Studies: Reflections from an Archival Research Project". Globalizations. 14 (1): 1–16. doi:10.1080/14747731.2016.1158905. ISSN 1474-7731.
  4. ^ Pande, Rekha (December 2012). "Women's voice in Bhakti literature". Research in World Literature, ( A Refereed Journal in Literature Studies): 70–71. ISSN 2319-5266 – via ResearchGate.
  5. ^ Manushi. Samta. 1988. pp. 67–72. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  6. ^ Kalani, K.L. (September–October 1976). "Saint Literature in Gujarati". Indian Literature. Sahitya Akademi. 19 (5): 36–48. JSTOR 24157339.
  7. ^ Ashish Rajadhyaksha; Paul Willemen (10 July 2014). Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema. Taylor & Francis. p. 26. ISBN 978-1-135-94325-7. Retrieved 5 August 2014.

External links[edit]