Guru Ravidas was a poet-saint of the Bhakti movement and founder of The Ravidasiya religion. He was a civil socio-religious reformer, thinker, theosophist, humanitarian, poet, traveller, and above all a highly spiritual figure. He emphasized on equality where every citizen will enjoy human rights-social, political, cultural, spiritual.
Guru Ravidas is by far one of the most revered of scheduled castes, especially among Dalits in northwest and central India. His devotional verses are included in the Sikh Scriptures Guru Granth Sahib. He was a leading saint of the Bhakti movement who was opposed to the Hindu caste system. He preached equality, human rights and universal brotherhood, freedom, and the worship of a God.
Biography of Rabidas
|Other Name||Raidas ,Ruhidas|
|Date of Birth||1450 AD|
|Place of Birth||Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh|
|Father’s Name||Shri Santokh Das|
|Mother’s Name||Mata Kalsa Devi|
|Death||1520 AD (Varanasi)|
Early Life of Ravidas
Guru Ravidas was born in Varanasi in Magh Purnima. His mother was Mata Kalsa Devi and his father was Baba Santokh Das. Everyone has their own opinions about Ravidas’s birth, some people believe he was born around 1376-77, some say he was born on 1399. According to some documents, Ravidas lived between 1450 and 1520. His birthplace is now called ‘Sri Guru Ravidas Janam Asthan.’
Guru Ravidas was born in a lower caste family and his father was a sarpanch of the state Raja Nagar. He made and repaired shoes. Ravidas’s father made leather from the skin of the dead animal and then made sandals and shoes.
Ravidas was very brave and loved God from an early age. Ravidas had to suffer from high-family inferiority complex from an early age, always remembering that this child was not of a high lineage. Ravidas used his pen to change society, he explained life to people through his creation. He taught people that a person should like each other without any discrimination.
Also Read : Biography of Mirabai
Education of Ravidas
In his childhood, Ravidas went to his Guru Pandit Sharda Nanda’s school for education. After some time, he was stopped from attending school by upper castes. Pandit Sharda Nanda knew Ravidas’s talent, he believed that Ravidas was a child sent by God. After which Pandit Sharda Nanda started teaching Ravidas in his school. He was a very talented and promising student, more than his mentor taught him. Pandit Sharda Nanda was very impressed by Ravidas’s behaviour and talent, thinking that Ravidas would be a good spiritual teacher and great social reformer.
Pandit Sharda Nanda’s son studied in the same school with Ravidas, they were both good friends. Once they were both playing hide and seek, While playing it got night after playing, which is why they asked to play again the next day. On the second day, Ravidas comes to play in the morning, but that friend did not come. He then went to his house, and found his friend was dead at night. Hearing this, Ravidas became stiff, then his guru Sharda Nanda took him to his dead friend. Ravidas had supernatural powers from an early age, He told his friend that it was not time to sleep, get up and play with me. Hearing this, his dead friend stood up. Seeing this, everyone there remained shocked.
Married life of Ravidas
His love and devotion to God was one of the main reasons for his confusion from his professional family business life and his parents were very concerned about him. In this context, he was ready to get married by the advice of his parents as he was busy with the family profession of making and repairing shoes. He then got married to Mrs. Luna Devi as a child and had a son named Vijaydas.
Even after his marriage, he was unable to concentrate entirely on his family business as he was more interested in worldly affairs. Because of his behaviour, he was separated from his house one day by his father to move away without taking help from his family and manage all his social issues by his own. He then started living in the back of his house and became fully involved in social issues.
Saint Ravidas’s Life
As Ravidas grew up, his devotion to Lord Ram increased. He always used words like Ram, Raghunath, Rajaram Chandra, Krishna, Hari, Govinda, etc., which proved his righteousness towards God. Ravidas was the religious guru of Mira Bai. Mira Bai was the daughter of king of Rajasthan and queen of Chittoor.
Guru Ravidas’s teachings greatly influenced Mirabai and she became a great follower of Ravidas. Mira Bai also wrote a few words in honour of her mentor, such as ‘Guru Milaya Ravidas Ji…’ Mira Bai was the only child of her parents, after her mother died, her grandfather raised her. Mirbai’s grandfather was a great follower of Ravidas, Mira Bai always met Ravidas with her grandfather. After marriage, Mira Bai made Ravidas her guru with the consent of her family. Mira Bai writes in her works that her guru Ravidas saved her from death several times.
Ravidas and Kabirdas’s Friendship
Ravidas was a contemporary of Kabir Das. Peaceful poet Kabir Das and Guru Ravidas were good friends. Those two great men tried to bring Hindus and Muslims together. Like Kabir Das, Ravidas occupies a special place among poets.
Ravidas social work
Ravidas tried to eradicate social evils like caste, untouchability, racial discrimination in the name of religion. He explained to people the true definition of love for God. Explained to people the importance of their work.
God sent Ravidas to complete the real social and religious work of the world. He described internal feelings and mutual brotherhood as true religion.
Saint Ravidas Literary work
The Adi Granth of Sikhs, and Panchvani of the Hindu warrior-ascetic group Dadupanthis are the two oldest attested sources of the literary works of Guru Ravidas. His works have been compiled in various museums of the concept. His works are found in the form of handwritten books. A collection of his works has been published from the ‘Belwediar Press’ Prayag, besides many of his verses appear to have been compiled in ‘Guru Granth Sahib’. Some verses of Ravidas appear to have influence in Arabic and Persian.
Ravidas described the conflict in the name of high and low spirits and divine devotion as local and meaningless and promoted everyone to live together with love. He himself composed sweet and devotional compositions and recited them with emotion. He believed that Ram, Krishna, Karim, Raghav are many names of the same God. The same God was praised in the Vedas, Puranas, Qurans, etc.
Saint Ravidas believed that it was very important for God’s devotion to follow the spirit of virtue, righteousness. He emphasized on giving up pride and dealing with others and developing humility and teaching qualities.
Jeffrey Ebbesen notes that, just like other bhakti saint-poets of India and some cases of Western literature authorship, many poems composed by later era Indian poets have been attributed to Ravidas, as an act of reaverence, even though Guru Ravidas has had nothing to do with these poems or ideas expressed therein.
Conversion of Saint Ravidas to Sikhism
Most scholars beleived that Guru Ravidasji met Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism. He is revered in the Sikh scriptures, and 41 of Guru Ravidas’s poems are included in the Adi Granth. These poems are one of the oldest attested source of his ideas and literary works. Another substantial source of legends and stories about the life of Ravidasji is the hagiography in the Sikh tradition, named Premambodha.
A collection of Ravidasji’s works has been published from the ‘Belwediar Press’ Prayag, besides many of his verses appear to have been compiled in ‘Guru Granth Sahib’.
Guru Granth Sahib contains 41 sacred articles written by him which are as follows; “Raga-Siri (1), Gauri (5), Asa(6), Guari(1), Sorath(7), Dhanasari(3), Jayatsari(1), Suhi(3), Bilaval(2), Goond(2), Ramkali(1), Maru(1), Bhairao(1), Vasant(1) , and Malhar (3).”
Saint Ravidas’s Death
Equality in society, all God one, humanity, their goodness and many other reasons, with changing times, the number of followers of Saint Ravidas increased. On the other hand, some Brahmins and Piran Ditta Mirashi were planning to kill Ravidasji, Which is why they decided to meet at a deserted place away from the village. To discuss one thing, they called Ravidasji to the place where the were planning to kill Guruji, However, Ravidasji had already known everything from his divine power.
As soon as the discussion started, Ravidasji appeared as one of his companions Bhalla Nath, who was mistakenly killed. Later, all the killer were shocked to see Ravidasji alive, then they went to the murder site where they found the body of their own partner Bhalla Nath in place of Saint Ravidas. They all regretted their actions and they went to Guruji’s hut with an apology.
However, some of his devotees believe that Guruji died naturally at the age of 120 or 126. Some believes he died in Varanasi in 1540 AD.
1. What is the Contribution of Ravidasji?
Ans: Guru Ravidasji was an Indian mystic, poet, social reformer and spiritual guru who made a significant contribution to the bhakti movement through devotional songs, poetry and spiritual teachings. He also wrote 40 poems for books such as the Holy Scriptures of Sikhism.
2. What is the other name of Ravidasji?
Ans: Ravidasji is also known as Raidas, he is a mystic and poet who was one of the most famous saints of the North Indian bhakti movement.
3. What is the main theme of Ravidas’s poem?
Ans: Ravidas’s voice was filled with a true spirit of devotion, larger interests of society and a desire for human love. So it had a profound impact on the minds of the audience. His hymns and teachings taught people in such a way that their doubts were resolved satisfactorily and people automatically followed him.
4. Where was Guru Ravidasji born?
Ans: Ravidasji was born on Varanasi.
5. What was the name of Ravidas’s guru?
Ans: Ravidas became a disciple of Saint Ramananda and attained spiritual knowledge. Saint Ravidas made Swami Ramanandji a guru at the behest of Kabir Sahebji, while his real spiritual guru was Kabir Sahebji.
6. Who is the founder of Sikhism?
Ans: Guru Nanak.
7. Which Jayanti is on 16th February?
Ans: Ravidas Jayanti is on 16th February.
8. When did Ravidasji died?
Ans: Ravidasji died on 1520 AD at Varanasi.
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