Swami Haridas was a great Dhrupad singer. He was the Guru of the legendary singer Tansen. He was born in 1480 AD in Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh, Northern India
His father, Ashudheer and mother Ganga Devi hailed from Uchha Village, District Multan. After Swami Haridas was born, they shifted to Kher village (district Aligarh) where there was a temple of Khereshwar Mahadev. Later on, this village came to be known as Haridaspur.
From early childhood Swami Haridas grew up in the company of saints. At the young age of 35, he renounced worldly life and took to sanyas. He started living in Brindavan in a small temple-hut which was constructed on the banks of the river Jamuna. He spent his time meditating and singing Padas dedicated to Lord Krishna. His gurus were Swami Madhvacharya and Swami Krishnadas. The followers of Swami Haridas’s style of singing and devotional musical offering practice were known as `Haridasi Saupradaya’ or `Sakhi Sampradaya’.
Musicologists are of the opinion that his style of presenting Dhrupad was a reformed system promulgated by Baiju Nayak and Gopal Nayak. He created alaaps with the words ‘Hari Om Ananta Narayana Taarana Taran Tu Hi’. He further developed the system of alaaps. He knew all the four vanis of Dhrupad.
It is believed that he wrote two books in Hindi, ‘Sadharana Siddhanta” and ‘Shringar Raas Ke Pad’. His compositions in the form of prayer songs are still sung by Dhrupad singers all over the country, especially in Brindavan temples.
Disciples: It is believed that he trained the renowned singer Tansen (alias Tanna Misra),Raja Mansingh Tomar of Gwalior and his wife Mruganayani, Raja Sanrukhan Singh, Ramdas, Raja Saursen, Masnadali Khan and others.
He died in 1575 in Brindavan, Uttar Pradesh.