PARMANAND, a Maharashtrian saintpoet, one of whose hymns is included in the Guru Granth Sahib. Born probably in 1483, he is believed to have resided at Barsi, situated to the north of Pandharpur, in present day Sholapur district of Maharashtra. Parmanand was a devotee of Visnu and used in his songs the nom de plume Sarang, the name of a bird ever thirsty for the raindrop. He always longed for God whom he worshipped in the Vaisnavite manifestation of Krsna. He used to make, it is said, seven hundred genuflexions daily to God on his uncovered, often bleeding, knees.
He believed for a long time that God could be worshipped as an image only, but later he had the realization that the nirguna Supreme, God unmanifest, could also be loved and prayed to. Parmanand`s one hymn incorporated in the Guru Granth Sahib (p. 1253) subscribes to this view. In this hymn, he disapproves of the ritualistic reading and hearing of the sacred books if that has not disposed one to the service of fellow beings. He commends sincere devotion which could be imbibed from the company of holy saints. Lust, wrath, avarice, slander have to be expunged for they render all sevd, i.e. service, fruitless.
1. Sahib Singh, Bhagat Barn Satik. Amritsar, 1959
2. Gurdit Singh, Giani, Itihas Sri Guru Granth Sahib (Bhagat Barn Bhdg). Chandigarh, 1990