President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi wished the people of India on Wednesday on the birth anniversary of Bhakti movement poet-saint Guru Ravidas, who worked religiously to reform the society and remove biases of the caste system.
On the occasion of his birth anniversary of Saint Ravidas: Guru Ravidas Jayanti
President Kovind said the great saint Guru Ravidas tirelessly sent out the message of equality and affection and against discrimination. “Let us all walk on the path shown by Guru Ravidas Ji, to contribute to build a society that is based on parity, harmony, and coordination,” he tweeted in Hindi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Guru Ravidas Vishram Dham temple in Delhi and offered prayers to the saint. He also wished “Happy Ravidas Jayanti” to all Indians.
- Guru Ravidas, also called Rohidas, Ruhidas and Raidas (15th-16th century) was a prominent sant of the Indian Bhakti tradition. A cobbler by profession, he became a disciple of Swami Ramananda of Varanasi, and is said to have a direct intuitive vision of the Supreme self. He came to be followed both by common people and members of royal families, like Rao Pipa, queen Jhali and Mira Bai. Kabir described him as a sant par excellence (Santan mein Ravidas sant hain).
- Ravidas was a votary of ananya bhakti (ardent devotion) in which the sense of duality between the worshipper and his object of worship comes to an end. He held that bhakti can be cultivated by purifying antahkarna (the inner being), living in conformity with the will of god, and remaining in noble company. He disapproved of ritualistic worship and advocated internal bhakti that entails meditation on nam (the holy name).
- In his view, fasts, pilgrimages and penances were not the right means to realise god. Salvation or deliverance from transmigration, could not be attained by shaving hair (bhagta na mund mundai), counting beads (bhagat na mala dikhai), becoming a vairagi (bhagta na bairag bandhein), or a yogi (bhagat na jog sadhein), or by digging a cave in a forest for meditation (bhagat na ban mein gufa khudai), but by constant nam-simran (remembrance of the nature and being of god) and soliciting divine grace.
- Several other leaders also tweeted their messages on Ravidas Jayanti. Home Minister Amit Shah said Guru Ravidas dedicated himself to uniting the society by considering everyone as equal. “Under the leadership of @narendramodi ji, the central government is working continuously to realise the ideas of Saint Ravidas Ji and make every section of society a partner in development to raise their standard of living.”
- On the occasion of his birth anniversary, I remember and bow to one of the most respected saints of the land of India, Sant Ravidas. He inspired harmony, generosity and equanimity in the society. His ideas are still very relevant today,” Defence Minister Rajnath Singh wrote. Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi tweeted, “On the occasion of Sri Guru Ravidas Jayanti, paid obeisance at Sant Shiromani Guru Ravidas Janam Asthan mandir in Varanasi. Let us imbibe his teachings of love, compassion, mutual tolerance and oneness of mankind.”
Guru Ravidas Jayanti is the birth anniversary of Guru Ravidas, celebrated mostly in north India, including Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Chandigarh. It is celebrated on Magh Poornima, which is the full moon day in the month of Magh. This year, it is on February 16.