India is a land of spirituality that has given birth to several saints and poets. During the 15th & 16th centuries, when the Bhakti movement was at its peak, many great poets & religious saints blessed the world with their immense knowledge & spread their valuable works through narrating poems, religious songs, hymns, Chandhas and various interesting forms of content.
One of these greatest saints was Guru Ravidas, who is primarily known for his “Bhakti movement”, which was a “spiritual devotional” movement” in Hinduism and later transformed into the Sikh religion. His teachings are included in the sacred Sikh book, the Guru Granth Sahib. Guru Ravidas Jayanti is the birth anniversary of Guru Ravidas on the full moon day of the Magh month that falls on February 5th this year in 2023.
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Guru Ravidas greatly influenced reforming society and eliminating biases of the caste system. He is one of the greatest poets, spiritual figures & social reformers of his time, who spent all his life removing caste barriers. He had a belief in one god and unbiased spirituality.
The day is majorly observed in north India, including Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and Chandigarh. On the auspicious occasion of his birth anniversary, look at the renowned saint's history, significance, and celebrations.
Born in the 14th century in the village of Seer Goverdhanpur near Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, Guru Ravidas was predominantly known for his immense contribution to the popular Bhakti Movement.
Baba Guru Ravidas was a great supporter of gender impartiality and against discrimination based on gender or caste. He fought for the equality & integrity of people, irrespective of their caste, and spread his message of equality through poetry and spirituality. 41 of his dedicated bhajans & songs are placed into the Guru Granth Sahib, the sacred book of Sikhs.
According to some beliefs, Baba Ravidas was also a true spiritual guide of another legend of the Bhakti Movement, i.e., Meera Bai.
The teachings of Guru Ravidas formed the foundation of the Ravidassia belief in the 21st Century, leading to the celebrations of Guru Ravidas Jayanti by the Ravidassia devotees each year. It is assumed that his valuable lessons are considered by Sikh leaders as well.
You might not know, but Guru Ravidas was among the first people who expressed his thoughts on basic human rights for all Indians. The great Indian poet, social reformer, and spiritual Guru made significant contributions to the Bhakti Movement and spread the message of equality through devotional songs, verses, and quotes.
In the remembrance of Guru Ravidas, his birthplace is known as “Shri Guru Ravidas Janam Asthan '' and holds a special place in the heart of his followers. According to people's beliefs, he was a follower of Saint Kabir.
Devotees celebrate the auspicious occasion of Guru Ravidas Jayanti by performing various rituals, chanting songs & poems, or marching parades in honour of Bana Guru Ravidas.
The followers of the Ravidassia religion take an early bath in the Ganges River, read Amritbani Guru Ravidas Ji and perform aarti to Baba Ravidas in temples.
The grand celebrations take place at Shri Guru Ravidas Janam Asthan Mandir. Sikh scriptures are recited along with the large processions carrying Guru’s portraits on the streets. Lakhs of followers visit the place across the world to enjoy celebrations. The most notable part of this celebration is nagar Kirtan. Devotees dress up as Baba Ravidas and participate in rituals.
All the Gurdwaras, i.e. temples in Punjab, are adorned with lights & special rituals & prayers are performed in honour of Guru Ravidas.
Saint Guru Ravidas spent his whole life fighting for gender & caste equality and spreading spirituality among people with his poetries & devotional songs. The devotees of baba Guru Ravidas observe the day of his birth anniversary by taking a dip in the holy water, carrying out aarti & reciting bhajans & Amritbani Guru Ravidas Ji. His teachings greatly impacted people and are still applied by many leading gurus in the Sikh religion.
On humanity, Baba Ravidas once said, “If God lives in every individual, then it is unfair to divide people based on castes, religions, and other such social forms.”
A person is not determined by status or birth but by virtues or deeds.
They say that we think nothing is beyond the world, but it's not true. God is the only truth
Sant Ravidas has also said there shouldn’t be arrogance or making others feel inferior. You cannot do the same thing which they are capable of doing.
As a follower of renowned saint Kabir Saheb, Saint Ravidas also spread his teachings about the eminent Kabir. He forwarded the concept of Beghumpura, i.e. “a city without sorrow,” and taught us that there is only one god and all individuals are equal despite their gender, caste, and creed. He spread spirituality among people and taught them ways to live life.
The celebration of Guru Ravidas Jayanti is a tribute to Baba Ravidas, who fought for equality throughout his life. He emphasised the importance of Kirat (labour) and believed in praising individuals not by their status but by their humility. He was an honest advocate of caste biases and fought for social equality. He is studied in Sikh scriptures and followed by his followers worldwide.
1. What is the popular quote of Sant Ravidas?
One of his famous quotes is, “God lives in those hearts where there is no hatred, no greed, and malice.” Guru Ravidas has said that one should not feel arrogant and despise others as they can do something you aren’t.
2. Who wrote Raidas?
Guru Ravidas, also spelt Raidas, while some of his verses are found in Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of Sikhs.
3. Is it a national holiday on Ravidas Jayanti?
Guru Ravidas Jayanti is an optional holiday observed on the full moon day in Magh month to commemorate the birth anniversary of Guru Ravidas.