Guru Ravidass Jayanti” is the birthday of Guru Ravidass which is celebrated on Magh Purnima, the full moon day in the month of Magh. It is an annual focal point for the Ravidassia religion. People in different countries celebrate this special occasion in India. Also, devotees take a holy dip in the river, to perform the ceremonies. The date for Jayanti in 2020 was 9 February and the date in 2021 will be 16 February.
He is known as a spiritual man as well as a social reformer for his work against casteism. He was a contemporary of Saint Kabir.
Ravidas Ji was born in Seer Goverdhanpur village. He was a contemporary of Kabir Ji and has several recorded interactions with Kabir Ji on spirituality.
The birth of Guru Ravidas is celebrated as Ravidas Jayanti. Guru Ravidas is revered for his work against casteism and spirituality. He was a spiritual man. On this day his followers bathe in holy rivers. They then get inspired by their Guru Ravidas Ji by remembering the great events and miracles related to his life. His devotees go to his birthplace and celebrate his birthday on Ravidas Jayanti.
Ravidas Jayanti marks the birth of Ravidas Ji. Ravidas Ji is known for trying to eradicate the caste system.[ He also contributed to the Bhakti movement and is recognized as a good friend and disciple of Kabir Ji. Mirabai was his disciple.
Ravidas Jayanti has a special significance among the people of the Ravidassia religion which only follows Ravidas Ji and other people who worship Ravidas Ji in any way like some of the Kabirpanthis, Sikhs, and other Gurus.
Born in a cobbler’s family, Ravidas followed the family profession to earn a living but was spiritually inclined. He spent most of his time listening to the spiritual discourses of the saints on the banks of the river Ganges. He was constantly in the company of saints and began to write mystical poems. His literary work is part of Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji of Sikhs and Panchvani of Dadu Panthis. 41 of his mystical poems are included in the sacred book-Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji of the Sikh community. He died in 1520 in Varanasi.
Who was the Guru of Saint Ravidas?
Initially, Sant Ravidas took Naam Diksha (initiation) from Ramanand who was a follower of Supreme Almighty Kabir Saheb. Sage Ravidas was spiritually inclined and immersed himself deeply in the mode of worship provided by Ramananda. Later God Kabir Saheb gave him initiation and enlightened him about the existence of the True Almighty and the proper method of worship to be adopted to attain Him.
Guru Ravidas Ji
Saint Ravidas Jayanti 2022: Teachings of Saint Ravidas
As Saint Ravidas was a disciple of Almighty Kabir Saheb, his teachings focused too much on the same. Like Guru Nanak Sahib he also preached about the true Almighty, how can the soul unite with Him, what mode of worship should be followed to unite with the Almighty, what is the meaning of the word ‘salvation’, who can grant salvation and who can achieve it?
Saint Ravidas Was Guru Of?
After Kabir Saheb Ji, Saint Ravidas is another poet-saint who played a key role in the Bhakti movement during the 15th and 16th centuries. Saint Ravidas Ji gave initiation to many pious souls, but after coming to the shelter of Almighty God Kabir Saheb Ji, Saint Ravidas was not authorized to give initiation to anyone (as a part of Guru-Shishya Maryada disciples are not allowed to give initiation to anyone). Only on special occasions did Saint Ravidas give initiation at the behest of Kabir Saheb Ji.
How did saint Ravidas give Naam Diksha (initiation) to Meera Bai?
People are aware that Saint Ravidas initiated Meerabai but most of them don’t know about the actual event behind it. Once when he went to the Meerabai temple, he heard Kabir Saheb give a spiritual sermon in which he mentioned that Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva are mortal and are in the cycle of birth and death, there is a superior power beyond these gods and only He is capable of granting salvation.
Hearing this, Meerabai went to meet Kabir Saheb and asked why he called Vishnu a mortal. She informed Him that she was meeting Sri Krishna personally. Almighty Kabir Saheb told her that since she could speak to Sri Krishna personally, she should ask him about her confusion. That night she spoke to Shri Krishna and during her conversation, he admitted that all three gods were mortal and that there was a higher power of which they were unaware.
Sage Ravidas Give Naam Diksha (consecration) to Meera Bai
As given by Saint Ravidas
The next morning Meerabai went to meet Almighty Kabir Saheb instead of going to the temple. She informed Him that Sri Krishna had admitted that He was mortal, not the Supreme Almighty. She asked Kabir Saheb to give her initiation. To test her devotion, Kabir Saheb asked her to take initiation from Saint Ravidas, who belonged to the Chamar community, as the practice of untouchability was at its height at that time.
When Meerabai went to meet Saint Ravidas, he advised her that she should reconsider her decision to make him her guru as he was untouchable. However, Meerabai insisted that she did not care about his caste and sought her welfare. Saint Ravidas informed Almighty Kabir Saheb about this. He requested Saint Ravidas to initiate her. Thus Meerabai became one of his disciples.
Miracles of Saint Ravidas and why did they happen?
The miracles of the saints happen because of their spiritual powers is something we all know. But two cases are widely talked about and many times even rejected by our religious preachers due to their ignorance of the Supreme Almighty Kabir Saheb. Let’s take a look at both of these accounts.
Guru Ravidas Jayanti 2022: Saint Ravidas with the Queen at his retreat
Once a few people from the village of Saint Ravidas were going to bathe in the Saint Ganges. They asked Saint Ravidas to join them. Sage Ravidas said that he could not join them but asked them to offer one coin to Goddess Ganga on his behalf only if he took it in person or they would bring it back. Those people made fun of his condition but took the coin. When they reached the banks of the river Ganga, they requested the goddess Ganga (controller of the river Ganga) to come and personally take the coin of Sage Ravidas. Two hands immediately appeared from the river.
One was empty and the other held a gold bracelet. One of those people offered a coin and in exchange for that coin, Goddess Ganga offered him a golden bracelet and asked him to give it to sage Ravidas. After getting the golden bangle, this person became greedy and wondered what a sage like Ravidas would do with this bangle? Instead, I’ll give it to the queen and get some kind of reward for it. When he took the bracelet to the queen, the queen insisted that he have a pair of these bracelets because the bracelet was very beautiful. As it was a gift from the goddess Ganga, he was unable to obtain the second bracelet. The king got angry and threatened his life.
Saint Ravidas with the queen in his retreat
This scared him to a great extent and made him visit sage Ravidas and narrate the whole story. Sage Ravidas said that he can take the bangle from the container he used to keep thread and leather in water for making shoes. Even though the feeling was quite gross, he dipped his hand into the container. He realized that there were many such bracelets in that container. Sage Ravidas told him to take just one of them and solve his problem. He took the bracelet and gave it to the queen. He then narrated the entire incident to both the king and the queen, which greatly impressed the sage Ravidas and made him her guru.
Saint Ravidas takes 700 Brahmins into his shelter
Once the queen arranged a communal meal for all the Brahmins in her area. In this arrangement, she created a special seat for her guru sage Ravidas. As approximately 700 brahmins were dining, they realized that sage Ravidas was also sitting among them eating. As Sage Ravidas belonged to the untouchable caste, all the brahmins took great offense and were about to leave when Sage Ravidas said that he would sit outside the tent while they could eat comfortably without noticing his presence.