Guru Ravidas Jayanti celebrates the birth anniversary of Guru Ravidas which falls on the full moon day in the Magh month or Magh Purnima of Hindu Lunisolar calendar (March as per the Georgian calendar).
Let’s learn some facts related to his life on the occasion of Shri Guru Ravidas Jayanti:
- Shri Guru Ravidas Ji was an Indian poet, guru, saint, social reformer and mystic during the 14th and 16th century CE.
- The time period between the 14th and 16th-century is called the Bhakti movement. There have been many controversies regarding his life happenings as not all were noted at that time, however, it is believed that he was born in 1371 and died in 1522.
- He was the disciple of Brahmin bhakti saint and poet Ramananda.
- He used to spend a lot of his time practising bhajans and meditating on the banks of River Ganges in Varanasi (then Banaras), Uttar Pradesh.
- His devotional poetry and other songs were a significant contribution to the Bhakti Movement of India.
- He is also considered the founder of the Ravidassia Religion. The Ravidassia religion is a 21st-century religion followed by a sect of people who were earlier associated with Sikhism.
- Many of his poetic creations have been included in the holy book of Sikhs Shri Guru Granth Sahib. He was also known as Indian traditional poet Kabir’s contemporary.
- His family’s traditional occupation was to make leather out of animal skin, which was considered as the work of untouchables during that time in India.
- His life story mentions many instances when he was victimised due to his caste and family occupation. Therefore, he worked towards eliminating all bias or discrimination based on caste, creed, race or gender. He also promoted freedom in terms of spiritual seeking.
- 40 poems written by him are included in the Adi Granth of Sikhs. The two oldest sources of literary works of Ravidas are found in the Adi Granth of Sikhs and Panchvani.
- He is greatly revered in the Indian states like Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
- There are many miracles that took place during his lifetime. One of his teachers’ Shardanand’s son was Ravidas’s classmate. Once he went looking for him to play with, his teacher told him that his son had died last night.
- Unsatisfied with the response, he went close to the body of his friend, called him to get up and play with him. He asked him, why has he gone so early? His friend came back to life to play with Ravidas.
- There are many legends that narrate the tale of miracles that took place during the lifetime of Guru Ravidas Ji.
Shri Guru Ravidas Jayanti is celebrated in the following manner:
- Amritbani Guru Ravidas Ji is read on this day. Guruji’s portrait is kept and worshipped and devotional songs are sung in his praise.
- The Nishan of the Gurudwara is changed and some processions are also carried out to celebrate the birthday of Guruji.
- The devotees take a holy dip in the River or Sarovar, the pond found in the vicinity of a Gurudwara, a Sikh temple.
- His birthday is celebrated as a grand festival in places like Shri Guru Ravidas Janam Asthan Mandir, Seer Goverdhanpur, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, which is also his birthplace.