During the peak of the Bhakti movement that prevailed between the 15th century to 17th century, there lived many great poets and religious gurus who have given immense knowledge and wisdom to the world. Not only that they have unveiled their hidden talent and spread their work through poems, bhajans, chandhas and various other forms of content. And, among the various poets and religious gurus, Ravidas is one of the popular mystic poets and lyricists, who has lived between 1400 and 1500 AD.
Kavi Ravidas had a great influence on the “Bhakti movement”, which according to Hinduism was a “spiritual devotional movement”. Later this movement took a new form and Sikhism started. The devotional verses of Ravidas were included in the Sikh scriptures under the name of Guru Granth Sahib.
However, his followers established the ‘Ravidasia’ religion in the 21st century. The followers of Ravidasiya celebrate Guru Ravidas Jayanti reverently every year. Devotees perform various rituals and chant the songs and poems of Guru Ravidas. All the devotees take out a procession with the picture of Guru Ravidas and take a bath in the River Ganges. Some people also go on pilgrimage to the temple dedicated to Ravidas and offer their prayers.
Guru Ravidas Jayanti 2023: Date and Time
Unbelievably, this year it is the 647th birth anniversary of Guru Ravidas, which falls on Sunday, February 5, 2023.
|Ravidas Jayanti||Date and Time|
|Ravidas Jayanti 2023||Sunday, Feb 5, 2023|
|Poornima Begins At||Feb 4, 2023 at 09:29 PM|
|Purnima Ends At||Feb 16, 2023 at 11:58 PM|
Birth, History and Biography of Guru Ravidas
Although there is no clear and concrete information about the birth of the mystic poet, Guru Ravidas (Raidas) is believed to have been born in Kashi on the Magha Purnima day (Full moon day of January or February in the English calendar) a Sunday in Samvat 1433. Magha Purnima is also known as Magha Mahi.
Have a look: Purnima 2023 Dates
Guru Ravidas was also known as Raidas. He was born in the village of Seer Govardhanpur near Varanasi, which is now located in Uttar Pradesh. His birthplace is now known as Sri Guru Ravidas birthplace.
His father’s name was Raghu and his mother’s name was Ghurwiniya. It is believed that the name of his wife was Lona. For his livelihood, Ravidas used to work as a shoemaker. Ravidas wanted to acquire knowledge, so he made Sant Ramanand his guru. With the inspiration of Saint Kabir, he made Sant Ramanand his guru, Guru Kabir Saheb was his first guru. The people who met him were very happy because of his sweet behaviour. Ravidas was very benevolent and kind, he used to get immense pleasure in helping others.
Usually, people like Ravidas who are inclined to Bhakti get special pleasure in helping sages and saints. Mostly, Ravidas used to give away shoes without taking any money. Because of his nature and behaviour, his parents used to be unhappy. As they were not happy with regards to the financial matter of Ravidas. They expelled Ravidas and his wife from their house. Ravidas started living with his wife by taking a rented house in a neighbouring building. And used to spend most of the time in the worship of the Lord and in the Satsang of the sages and saints.
Influence of Guru Nanak Dev
Most scholars believe that Ravidas met Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism and was greatly influenced by him. He is revered in Sikh scriptures, so 41 poems of Ravidas have been included in the Sikh scripture. These poems are one of the oldest attested sources of his thoughts and literary works. Composed 170 years after the death of Ravidas in 1693, the text is included as one of the Seventeen Saints of Indian religious tradition. There are chapters on Ravidas in both the 17th-century Bhaktmal of Nabhadas and Anantadas’s Parsi. In addition, Sikh tradition texts and Hindu Dadupanthi traditions, most other written sources about Ravidas’s life, including Ravidas (followers of Ravidas), were composed in the early 20th century, or approximately 400 years after his death.
Literature on Saint Ravidas
Peter Friedlander has written the biography of Ravidas, though written long after his death. His literature reflects the conflict within Indian society, where the life of Ravidas provides a means to express a variety of social and spiritual themes. At one level, it depicts the conflict between the then prevailing heretical communities and the orthodox Brahmanical tradition.
Celebration Across India Of Ravidas Jayanti
The festival of Ravidas Jayanti is mainly celebrated by Sikh Community. However, that doesn’t stop people from other communities and religions to celebrate this festival. The followers of Saint Ravidas take a bath in the holy water. The followers treat it as an annual festival as they reach their birthplace and participate in this magnificent function.
The main rituals in Ravidas Jayanti are the following:
- All the Gurudwaras are decorated with lights and special arrangements are made. Prayer meetings are held in the respect of Guru Ravidas.
- “Amritbani” – the holy book of Ravidas is read.
- Processions are carried out at various places which include devotees holding the portrait of Ravidas and reciting the prayers.
- In some places, Nagar kirtan is held in which people dress as Saint Ravidas. Plays are also organised in order to promote his teachings.
Some Beautiful Creations by Saint Ravidas
अब कैसे छूटै राम नाम रट लागी।
प्रभु जी, तुम चंदन हम पानी,
जाकी अंग-अंग बास समानी।
प्रभु जी, तुम घन बन हम मोरा,
जैसे चितवत चंद चकोरा।
प्रभु जी, तुम दीपक हम बाती,
जाकी जोति बरै दिन राती।
प्रभु जी, तुम मोती हम धागा,
जैसे सोनहिं मिलत सुहागा।
प्रभु जी, तुम तुम स्वामी हम दासा,
ऐसी भक्ति करै रैदासा।
पूजा कहां चढ़ाऊं…
राम मैं पूजा कहां चढ़ाऊं ।
फल अरु फूल अनूप न पाऊं ॥टेक॥
थन तर दूध जो बछरू जुठारी ।
पुहुप भंवर जल मीन बिगारी ॥1॥
मलयागिर बेधियो भुअंगा ।
विष अमृत दोउ एक संगा ॥2॥
मन ही पूजा मन ही धूप ।
मन ही सेऊं सहज सरूप ॥3॥
पूजा अरचा न जानूं तेरी ।
कह रैदास कवन गति मोरी ॥4॥
Lessons from the Life of Ravidas
As a disciple of Almighty Kabir Saheb, Saint Ravidas also propagated teachings about the Almighty. Just like Guru Nanak Sahib, he also promoted the teachings like how one can unite with Him – the Almighty, what type of worship to follow to unite with him, what the meaning of Almighty is, etc. Hence, from the life of Ravidas, we can also seek solace in the abode of Almighty.
You can attain peace of mind by worshipping the deity you have faith in and be relieved from kundali dosha by personalised live puja.