Guru Ravidas Jayanti 2023 will be observed on the full moon day in the month of Magh . It will commemorate Guru Ravidas, who was born in the year 1450 in Varanasi. He was a poet-saint, a reformist, and a top spiritual figure who brought in limelight the Ravidassia religion. This great man’s birthday is celebrated for his huge followers. People observe this day by taking a holy dip in the river and then going on with the initiation of special aarti to seek the blessings of the pious Guru. At the very Shri Guru Ravidas Janam Asthan Mandir — the most visited place of pilgrimage or spiritual headquarters for those who follow the religion of Guru Ravidas.
Historically, Ravidassiya is followed by some devotees of Guru Ravidas who called themselves as Ravidassiya. The community was first formed in the early 20th-century in British India. The Ravidassiya tradition began to take a united form in 1947, and there was the establishment of successful Ravidassiya tradition in the dissemination. Estimated range between two to five million for the total number of Ravidassias is there in Indian subcontinent.
Ravidasyias believe that Ravidas is their preceptor (saint) on the other hand the Sikhs have considered him one of many bhagats (holy persons), a lower position to Guru in the great Sikhism. Further, Ravidassiyas go on accepting living Sants of Ravidass Deras as Guru. A new Ravidassiya religion was initiated following an assassination attack on their living Guru Niranjan Dass and his assistant Ramanand Dass in the year 2009 in Vienna.
Ramanand Dass succumbed, Niranjan Dass and many others survived the attack, and a dozen who attended the temple were injured. This triggered a break of the Ravidassiya group from the orthodox Sikh belief. Ravidassiya comprises of different communities like, Ramdasia Sikhs, Chamars, Jatavs, and Mochis. Many people assemble to celebrate the festival. The followers of Guru Ravidas’ followers dress up like him to participate in ‘Nagar Kirtan’ on Guru Ravidas jayanti 2023. It is one of the significant importances on this special day.
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At the very peak period of the Bhakti Movement prevailing from 15th century to 17th century, there came of many great poets and religious gurus who spread their own knowledge and wisdom to the world. Not only that they unveiled their talents and spread their work through poems, chandhas, bhajans and other forms of contents. Among various poets and religious gurus of that specific period, Guru Ravidas was one of the popular mystic poets and lyricists, who lived between 1400 and 1500.
The great poet Ravidas had a great influence on the Indian “Bhakti movement”, according to Hinduism which was by all means a spiritual devotional movement. Years later, this movement took a U-turn and Sikhism began to flourish. The devotional verses of Ravidas were taken place in the Holy Sikh scriptures under the name of Guru Granth Sahib.
Guru Ravidas Jayanti 2023 Came into Being
The followers of Ravidas established the ‘Ravidasiya’ religion in the very 21st century. The followers of Ravidasiya began celebrating Guru Ravidas Jayanti with reverence every year. Devotees go on performing various rituals and chant songs and poems of Guru Ravidas.
All the devotees arranged a procession with the picture of Guru Ravidas and take a holy bath in the River Ganges. Some people also go on pilgrimage visiting the temples dedicated to Guru Ravidas and offer their utmost reverence there.
To be specific, this year 2023 is the 647th birth anniversary of Guru Ravidas, falls on Sunday, February 5, 2023.
Guru Ravidas Jayanti 2023 will be celebrated on Sunday, Feb 5, 2023
Poornima, Full Moon, starts at Feb 4, 2023 at 09:29 PM
Poornima comes to an end on Feb 16, 2023 at 11:58 PM.
Biography of Guru Ravidas
Though we fail to have any clear and concrete information of the birth of the mystic poet, Guru Ravidas, it is believed that he was born in Kashi/ Benaras on the Magha Purnima day (Full moon day of either January or February). It was a Sunday in Samvat 1433, a day of Magh Indian month or Magha Mahi.
Guru Ravidas also known as Raidas was born in the village of Seer Govardhanpur near Varanasi, in Uttar Pradesh. His birthplace is now famous as the birthplace of Sri Guru Ravidas.
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The names of his father and mother were consecutively Raghu and Ghurwiniya. It is known that the name of the Saint’s wife was Lona. To maintain his livelihood, Ravidas worked as a shoemaker. To acquire spiritual knowledge, he made Sant Ramanand his guru. With the utmost inspiration of Sant Kabir, he opted for Sant Ramanand as his guru; Guru Kabir Saheb was so to say his first guru.
People who came in contact with him were very happy because of his sweet behavior. Ravidas was extremely benevolent and kind. He used to get enough pleasure if he could help others or stand by them in sheer disastrous periods.
Gradually, people who were inclined to Bhakti had special pleasure in helping sages and saints, began to like Ravidas. Ravidas used to give away shoes without taking repairing charges. His nature of benevolence and behavior, made his parents enraged and unhappy. As they were unhappy regarding the financial matter of Ravidas they drove away Ravidas and his wife from their house. Ravidas began living with his wife in a rented house. He used to spend most of his time in the worship of the Supreme Lord and in the Satsang of the saints.
Influence of Guru Nanak Dev on Guru Ravidas.
Maximum scholars are of opinion that Guru Ravidas met Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikh religion and was greatly influenced by him. Hence he is revered too in Sikh scriptures. 41 poems of Guru Ravidas have been included in the Sikh scripture. These poems reflect his thoughts and literary works.
170 years after the death of Sant Ravidas in 1693, the text is included as one of the Seventeen Saints of Indian religious history. Chapters are there on Ravidas in both the 17th-century Bhaktmal of Nabhadas and parsi of Anantadas.
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Besides these, Sikh texts and Hindu Dadupanthi traditions, most other written sources are replete with Guru Ravidas’ life. Followers of Guru Ravidas brought forth, all his compositions in the early 20th century, or approximately 400 years after his death.
Literature on Saint Ravidas
Peter Friedlander is known as the writer of the biography of Saint Ravidas, though it was written long after his death. His writing reflects the conflict within Indian society, where the life of Saint Ravidas provides means of expressing a variety of social and spiritual themes. At one point, the biography depicts the conflict between the prevailing heretical communities and the orthodox Brahmin beliefs.
Celebration Across India on Guru Ravidas Jayanti 2023
The festival of Guru Ravidas Jayanti is basically celebrated by the Sikh Community. However, people from other communities and religions come up to celebrate this festival too. The followers of Saint Ravidas dip into the holy water on this occasion as they treat it as an annual festival. They visit his birthplace and participate in various magnificent functions.
The Main Rituals in Guru Ravidas Jayanti are the following:
All the Gurudwaras are decorated with lights. Special arrangements like prayers, meetings are held to pay homage to Guru Ravidas. “Amritbani” – the holy book of Saint Ravidas is read too on this very occasion.
Processions come out on the streets at various places including the devotees holding the portrait of Guru Ravidas and chanting and reciting prayers.
In some places, there are arrangements of Nagar Kirtan in which people dress as Saint Ravidas and solemnly follow it. Plays are also staged in various places to promote his great teachings.
Lessons from the Life of Guru Ravidas
As a disciple of Kabir Saheb, Guru Ravidas also told a lot about the teachings of the Almighty. Just like Guru Nanak Sahib, he go on teaching how one can unite with the Almighty, what type of worship to follow to get united with Him, what the proper meaning of Almighty is, etc. Hence, from the life of Ravidas, we seek solace and come to know how to reach the abode of the Almighty.
The Teachings of Saint Ravidas
The teachings of Saint Ravidas go on telling that people can attain peace of mind by worshipping the deity they have faith in.
Significance of Guru Ravidas Jayanti
Ravidas is considered a poet and saint of the tradition who have deep faith in both Rama and Krishna. The famous couplets of Guru Ravidas are still prevalent in the modern society. Amid his literary creations there are a many bhajans that had been once composed by him.
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His birthday is celebrated with utmost pomp and enthusiasm across the country. On this occasion, in various corners of the country processions are taken out and grand tableaus are seen along with bands and chanting of prayers. In addition, seminars and satsangs are also organized on the importance of Ravidasji and his thoughts. Everyone is ready too to pay homage to the great saint on the very Guru Ravidas Jayanti 2023.