“So purifying is Guru Ravi Dass, that the dust of his holy feet is worshiped by all.” Said (Guru Nabha Dass)
Since in majority cases not much was written down about the lives and teaching of the mystic saints, by saints themselves or their educated devotees. Saints never wanted anything in their glorification and there was wide spread illiteracy among their devotees. Many things about their life events were carried orally through ages. So confusions, variation and contradictions mixed up later about their parenthoods, places of birth, family details, religion or castes, dates associated with their life facts including births and deaths. Later writers collected different clues from different sources so forming their own views, but at times varying with one another. In case of Dalit saints this version had more relevancies. After long discussions and comparison of different research works by different scholars, some facts were churned out to be most acceptable. The largely accepted facts about the life of revered Jagat Guru Ravi Das are given here. Whereas differences in different writers still persists.
Guru Ravi Dass was born on Magh Purnima (Sunday-Ravi )in Samvat 1471 ( 1414 AD ) to Sh. Santosh Dass & Shrimati Mata Kalsi Devi of Chamar caste at Mandiva Thein ,now called Goverdhan Pura near Banaras Some scholars give the names of his parents as Shri Raghu & Shrimati Mata Karma Devi. Guru Ravi Dass lived an exalted `life span of 126 years & left his mortal frame in 1540 AD to join back into the supreme ocean of Bliss or the Creator of Universe. However, some scholars quote his life span of 151 years. But for want of authentic information such things are bound to happen.
Guru Ravi Dass was born at a time when the orthodox and superstitious Hindu & Muslim priests had adopted rituals, Exterior body decorations, scarifying animals, visiting different places, bathing in different rivers, recitations from their Holy religious books etc. as sole means of salvation from the circle of births & deaths. The Hindus had closed all their places of worships (temples), schools, entry into Government services or honorable services in private sectors for Shudras. ,Instead Shudras were assigned most dirtiest duties for the Brahmans , Khatriyas & Vaishayas as per Rules framed by Manu All decent living were ruled out for them. Keeping richness of Guru Ravi Dass’s verses in view, 40 of them were incorporated into Sri Guru Granth Sahib by Guru Arjun Dev ji. In addition it this 150 verses are contained in Dadupanthi and another 79 in Rajabdas Samvergi.
Guru Ravi Dass,a revolutionary saint, denounced caste system which is based on un-natural laws & upheld Virtue by saying ;
“If a Brahmin is virtue less, Offer him no worship ‘O ‘Ravi Dass,
Worship instead the feet of a Chandal, If he is Found full of virtue.”
Meaning “If thou are born to Brahmin (Superior by birth ) mother , why you have not born through a different route .”
Guru Ravidas Ji Maharaj is said to have meetings with Guru Nanak.Kabir sahib,Ramanand and many other saints.
Guru Ravidas had initiated in to Bhagati Marg Pt.Ganga Ram,Raja Peepa,Maharaja Chander Pratap, Bibi Bhanmati,Maharani Jalibai, Maharani Meerabai and many others during his life time.
Guru Ji a Great Democrat:- Guru Ravidass set in motion great revolutionary democratic thinking so advised the rulers to provide equal and decent means of livelihood to all their subjects and he said,
I want kingdoms where every one is well-fed,
And all should live in harmony, only then Ravidass shall feel happy.
Guru Ravidass gave a call to religiously enslaved un-touchable to cut the chains of their slavery and advised them to struggle to have freedom from Tyrant ruller.
Pradeen Ka Dheen Kaya, Pra Dheen Bin Dheen, Ravidass Dass Pradheen Ko Sab Hee Samjey Heen
Meaning:-The enslaves have no religion and he is religion less person. Every body treats him as weak and low caste person.
On the same subject Shri Guru Ravidass advised untouchable to shed away feeling of being weak and helpless.
Decrying Enslavement chains :-
He said:- Pradheen Pap Hai, Jan Liyo Hey Meet
Ravidass Dass Pradheen Ko Koun Kare Hai Preet
Meaning:- Enslavement is curse and no body respects or loves to him sayth Ravidasss.
Guru ji advocated for self rule saying
Ravidas Manush Kar Vasan Kuo,Sukh Kar Hain Doyo Thanv,
Ek Sukh Savraj Main,Dusra Margat Ganv.
Meaning : A person can bliss in two places only. One is in self government and the other in cremation ground after death.
Guru Ravi Dass preached the rule of Almighty:- Almighty has created everybody equal and there cannot be any difference between persons of different castes. He said,
If the world has arisen, From the same SPIRIT (Flame)
How can any body bring about any distinction? Between high & low, Brahman or cobbler (Chamar).
He further elaborated by saying,
Ask not caste “o” Ravi Dass, What is there in clan or caste?
Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaish, or Shudra, All belong to the same caste.
He also said “If thou are born to Brahmin (Manu proclaimed Superior by birth) mother, why you have not born through a different body aperture .”
The true saints like Ravi Dass come to this world to preach true message of God realization, Love & devotion to Lord, they don’t denounce other religions but dogmas & rituals. Guru RaviDass said,
Those who are not dyed internally in love, But merely make an outer display,
They will go to the world of death, Truly doth Ravi Dass state.
Guru Ravi Vani:-Keeping in view spiritual richness of Guru Ravi Dass’s hymns, 40 of them were incorporated into the Holy Granth Sahib by Shri Guru Arjun Dev ji, the 5th Sikh Guru the compiler of it.These Hymns fall under the following Ragas – Siri (1), Gauri (5), Asa(6), Gujari(1), Sorath(7), Dhanasari(3), Jaitsari(1), Suhi(3), Bilaval(2), Gaund(2), Ramkali(1), Maru(2), Kedara(1), Bhairau(1), Basant(1), and Malhar(3) in the holy Granth Sahib
Amritbani Guru Ravidass Ji” :- It was formed by the Sant Samaj of Ravidassia qaum after thorough research of Guru Ravidass Bani by universities and announced by the Sant Samaj (Dera Sach Khand Ballan near Jalander City Punjab) to the followers of Guru Ravidass Ji Maharaj on the 633rd anniversary of the birth of Guru Ravidass Ji at Shri Guru Ravidass Janam AsthanMandir, Seer Govardhanpur, Varanasi on 30 January 2011.
Amritvani Guru Ravidass Ji contains 140 Hymns, 40 pade, painti akhri, bani haftawar, bani pandran tithi, baran maas updesh, dohra, saand bani,anmol vachan (milni de samen), laawaan,suhag ustat,manglachar, besides 231 saloks along with 40 Hymns contained in Guru Granth Sahib.
Need of a living Master (Guru);- Since God is formless, so it is not possible for humans to see or catch Him, without which man cannot become perfect.
God becomes accessible only when He takes human form & come to the level of human in this world . This human form of pure spirit is called Guru by the saints.
So Guru is God’s incarnation. Sain Bulleh Shah Said “God (Moulla ) hath taken the form of man (Guru)” Guru Arjun Dev Ji Said,
Nanak Says, This is the rule of Ram (God), Nobody shall get salvation, With out Guru (Master)
Sat Guru Kabir Said “Worship thou the true worshiper of the Lord.”
Guru Ravi Dass Said, God, Guru & Saint, Are the same in consciousness?
This is the metaphysical essential truth of all scriptures, Make no difference between them, Even, if, you have to bear the pain of being cut with a saw.
Guru Ravi Dass preached the rule of Almighty, that He has created everybody equal and there cannot be any
Guru Ravi Dass preach to the world true message of God realization, Love & devotion to Lord, through loving His creations he didn’t denounce other religions but dogmas & rituals. Guru Ravi Dass said,
“Those who are not dyed internally in love, But merely make an outer display,
They will go to the world of death, Truly doth Ravi Dass state”.
Sri Guru Ravidas, preached that God realization can only be through devotion to a true Naam dyed or realized saint and , not through Persons who preach dogmas, animal scarifying, roaming in jungles ,observing austerities, etc. He said those who are not dyed internally in love, but merely make an outer display shall not find peace after death. God becomes accessible only when He takes human form & come to the level of human in this world, as idols are lifeless, the animals & birds cannot communicate with us, the past respectable Saints and Noble persons/ Souls are as far away as God, so a living Saint or Master can only guide us. This human form of pure spirit is called Guru by the saints. So Guru is God incarnation. Sat Guru Kabir Said “Worship thou the true worshiper of the Lord .”
Among guru Ravidas’s disciples were Meerabai, Raja Peepa ,Rana sanga many more. Guru ravidas is said to have Three meetings with Guru Nanak.
Guru Ravidas advised his disciples to lead a clean life, refrain from animal killing for eating or scarifying before gods & Goddesses, never take wine or any other intoxicants. Guru Ravi Dass said,
“Those who eat meat, they in fact cut their own throat,
For whosoever is meat eater, he will have to go to hell “sayeth Ravi Dass.” He further said,
“Even ,if wine is made with Holy water of Ganga ,Saints drink it not.”
While expressing contribution of Guru Ravidas Ji and Kabir Maharaj in the society upliftment on spiritual spheres Sain Peepa Ji a deciple of Guru Ravidas sayth
Had there been not born Kabir and Ravidas in Kalyuga, the spiritual books (Vedas) upper caste peopledomination and non spiritual dealings( Kalyug thoughts) would have buried deep the preaching of saints? (Sant Peepa Ji)
Guru Ravi Dass spread the message of love for all, devotion to Lord, universal brotherhood, honest earning for livelihood & to discard all that does not help in God realization. By doing so he became one with Lord. Said, Ravidas. Guru Ravi Dass’s 639th birthday is falling on22nd Feb. 2015 and the same shall be celebrated throughout India besides in many foreign countries with reverence. The best way to remember Guru Ji is to follow his ideals.
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