Guru Sant Ravidas was a great Saint, philosopher, poet, social reformer and follower of the God in India during 15th century. He was one of the most famous and leading star of the nirguna sampradaya means sant parampara and lead the North Indian Bhakti movement. He has given variety of spiritual and social messages through his great writings of poetry to his lovers, followers, community people, society people to reform their mind and show their boundless love towards God.
He was the vision of people as a messiah in order to complete the social and spiritual needs. He was the spiritually rich person worshipped by the people. People are used to of hearing or reciting his great songs, pad and etc at every morning and night, at his birthday anniversary celebration or any religious events celebration. He is loved and respected all over the world however the most respected regions are Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and Maharashtra for his bhakti movement and devotional songs.
Sant Ravidas Jayanti
Sant Ravidas Jayanti or birthday anniversary is celebrated every year on Magh Purnima at full moon day of Magh month with great enthusiasm and happiness all over India however; people in Varanasi celebrate this occasion like a memorable event and festival.
Guru, Sant Ravidas Ji was born in Harijan caste in the Varanasi to the Mata Kalsa Devi Ji and Baba Santokh Dass Ji in the Seer Goverdhanpur village, Varanasi, U.P., India in the 15th century. However, his real birth date is still controversial some estimates it was 1376, 1377 and even 1399 CE. According to the data by some scholars it has been estimated that his lifespan was from 1450-1520 in 15th to 16th century CE.
His father was working as a Sarpanch at Raja Nagar Mal’s Kingdom and has his own business of shoes making and repairing. His birthday anniversary is celebrated at every Puran Mashi (Magh Purnima) of the Magh month by the people. He was very brave and highly devoted to the God from his early childhood later he struggled with lots of problems created by upper caste people which he faced and let people to realize about facts of life through his writings. He taught people that always love your neighbors without any discrimination.
His birth anniversary is still celebrated by his great followers to remember his great teachings as well as renew the establishment of peace and brotherhood all over the world. During early days of his teachings, his popularity was prohibited by the conservative Brahmins living in Kashi as he was also an untouchable guru. He was complaint by them in front of the king as a deformer of the social order. He was prohibited to talk about God and as well as advising or teaching the people following him.
His Involvement in Social Issues
He was sent by the God on the earth when required him to save the real Dharma as at that time social and religious patterns were distressing because of the lots of manmade discriminations over social beliefs, caste, color and etc. He bravely faced all the discriminations and answered people about the real definition of beliefs and castes. He taught people that one is not known by his caste, religion or believes for God, he known only for his great actions (or karma). He also worked against the system of untouchability in the society by the higher caste people for lower caste people.
During his time, low caste people were neglected and not allowed to do some common works in the society of higher caste people such as inhibited to go to the temples for God prayer, inhibited to go to schools for study, restricted to visit village during daytime, they were allowed to live in huts instead of proper house in the village and many more. After seeing such social situations, Guru ji started giving spiritual messages to everybody in order to permanently tackle with the bad situations of low caste people.
He spread a message that “God created man and not man created God” means everyone is created by the God and has equal rights on this earth. Regarding this social situation, Sant Guru Ravidas Ji has given various teachings to the people about the universal brotherhood and tolerance. The King and Queen of the Chittoor kingdom became his great disciples after being influenced by his teachings.
His Contribution to the Sikhism
His padas, devotional songs, and other writings (around 41 verses) are mentioned in the Sikh Scriptures, Guru Granth Sahib which was compiled by the 5th Sikh’s Guru, Arjan Dev. The followers of Guru Ravidas Ji’s teachings are commonly called as Ravidassia and collection of teachings called Ravidassia Panth.
The 41 holy writings of him which is included in the Guru Granth Sahib are mentioned in the following ways: “Raga –Siri(1), Gauri(5), Asa(6), Gujari(1), Sorath(7), Dhanasari(3), Jaitsari(1), Suhi(3), Bilaval(2), Gaund(2), Ramkali(1), Maru(2), Kedara(1), Bhairau(1), Basant(1), and Malhar(3).