Art & Culture

Sant Guru Ravidas Jayanti

On the eve of the birth anniversary of Sant Guru Ravidas, India’s President addressed the nation.

Guru Ravidas

  • Ravidas was an Indian mystic poet-saint of the Bhakti movement and founder of the Ravidassia religion during the 15th to 16th century CE.
  • Venerable as a guru (teacher) in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and, most notably, Punjab and Haryana. He was a poet-saint, social reformer, and spiritual figure all rolled into one.
  • Ravidas’ life details are murky and contested. Scholars believe he was born in the cobbler caste in 1450 CE.
  • Ravidas’ devotional verses were included in the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh scriptures.
  • Ravidas’ poems are included in the Panch Vani text of the Dadupanthi tradition of Hinduism.
  • He preached the abolition of caste and gender divisions and the promotion of unity in the pursuit of personal spiritual freedoms.

Why is his preaching significant?

  • Sant Ravidas’ philosophy and values, such as social justice, equality, and fraternity, have been infused into our constitutional values.
  • He envisioned a society based on equality and free of all forms of discrimination.
  • He named it ‘Be-gampura’ (a city near Lahore) because there is no place for sorrow or fear there.
  • Such a perfect city would be free of fear, vulnerability, and scarcity. The principle for governance would be the rule of law based on right ideas such as equality and the welfare of all.
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