Friday, December 25, 2020

Guru Ghasidas Ji Maharaj(18 December 1756 to1850)

Guru Ghasidas Ji Maharaj(18 December 1756 to1850) His 245 th Jyanti falls on 18th Dec2020 By: Er.H.R.Phonsa The Bhagati movement started in the fourteenth century and was nourished by saints like Potter Gora Ji Maharaj, Barber Sain Ji, Calico printer cum tailor Namdev Ji, Shoe maker Guru Ravidas Ji, Mahar Chokhamela Ji, Gardner Guru Vithal Ji, Weaver Sadguru Kabir Ji, Guru Baba Nanak Dev with his successors and many others. This socio – revolutionary religious movement challenged the firmly established principles of Brahminical Hindu Dogmas, rituals, ceremonies and took firm roots by the later half of the 18th century. Concerted efforts continued to spread awareness in the Dalit Samaj so as to prick their blunted conscious to revolt against the age old religious slavery or “Caged Religions”. These reforms were taking at a fast pace for the betterment of Dalit Society, illiterate, ill fed, untouchables. These reforms were aimed at achieving sublime principles of liberty, equality, individual dignity, justice based fraternity or brotherhood through mutual support. Besides social vision widening, it resulted in recognition of the bravery and velour of poor masses by opening employment avenues like recruitment in army, police and some other services for them. It is estimated that in 1856 one third Bombay army comprised of soldiers from Mahar community. Battle of Plessey (1753-1763) was fought by Clive mainly with soldiers from Low castes. But on the religious front, Brahminical dominations were firmly holding grounds in the Hindu Society. In Hindu society nothing works with out admixture of Religious beliefs and Caste identifications. Even dacoits & out laws are said to be great Bhagats, Pujari( worshipers) of various deities. On religious fronts many Dalit saints of high reputes were continuing their efforts to bring change in fear psyche about gods, goddesses, unfounded Hell and Heaven concepts controlled by deities, Various God incarnations created by vested interests of religious preachers. One among these towering Dalit personalities was Guru Ghasidas Ji Maharaj (1756-1850) of Chhattisgarh region now independent Union State from 1November,2000, earlier in the Madhaya Pradesh. . He was born in Girodpuri, District – Balodabazar to revered Mahngu Das and Amrotin Mata. Guru Ghasidas’s storey is a storey of morality, truth, love and revolt against biased status quo for the welfare of humanity at large and Dalit Samaj in particular. GuruGhasidas was born in socio-political surroundings of misrule of Loot. The local Land lords had started behaving as Kings. Ghasidas underwent the exploitative experiences specific to Dalit communities, which helped him understand the hierarchical and exploitative nature of social dynamics in a caste-ridden society. From an early age, he started rejecting social inequity and to understand the problems faced by his community and to find solutions, he traveled extensively in Chhattisgarh. As per writes of Historian C.W. Wills, Chhattisgarh presents the remarkable picture of a Hindu government continuing till modern times outside the sphere of direct Mohammedans control. In 1818 Chhattisgarh came under some sort of British control for the first time. In 1854, when the province of Nagpur lapsed to the British government, Chhattisgarh was formed into a deputy commissionership with its headquarters at Raipur. But British did not interfere with the religion based sanctions against Dalits. Government funds continued to be spent on projects having no access to the persons from the Dalit Samaj. Also strict adherence to all rules as per Hindu codes, devised against the progress of Dalit Samaj particularly denial of the right to education, to own property or to have means of decent living with dignity as humans. Dalits revolt against this inhuman slavery based on the one sided codes is very old too. According to the 1991 census the tribal population in the then districts of Chhattisgarh was, Durg -12.6 %, Raipur -18.6%, Rajnandgaon -25.3 %, Bilaspur -23.4 % Surguja -54.8 %, Raigarh - 45.5%, Bastar -67.7 %. The various tribes in the Chhattisgarh region are Gonds, Muria, Bhumja, Baiga, Kanars, Kawars, Halbas etc. The combined population of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes for all India is 23.6% of the total Indian population, but for undivided Madhya Pradesh this figure stood at 37.1%. This proved main cause of creation of separate Chhattisgarh state in Indian Union on the 1st November, 2000. In the nineteenth century a new system of property rights and revenue collection known as the Malgujari settlement was introduced in Chhattisgarh. The new system was implemented with the sole purpose of expropriation and exploitation of marginal farmers, share croppers and farm servants, all Dalits, by the upper caste Malgujars. Satnam Panth and its followers opposed this exploitative system through various strategies. In several cases the Satnamis deserted villages or continued with the process of Lakhabatta or the periodic redistribution of land, despite the implementation of the new system. Their united challenge to the upper caste Malgujars over the issues of rent and loss of land. The nineteenth century was a reflection of the solidarity of Satnamis . This form of protest and response to the new system or property rights and malgujari settlements was widespread among the Satnami of Chhattisgarh. The primary concern of the Anglo Maratha politics in the Nineteenth centuary was of expropriation and consolidation of power. Guru Ghasidas the founder of the Satmani sect realised this. He believed that the politics of the Anglo-Marathas was deprived of morality. He worked towards uniting all downtrodden persons to morally oppose the immoral politics of the British,aided by local landlords, religious peers. The people of Chhattisgarh realised the potential threat of the British and were terror struck by the exploitative nature of their policies. Despite this, they were unable to unite under one flag to oppose the British. It was at this juncture that Ghasidas made efforts to unite the people of Chhattisgarh through the ideology of equality and non-violence. The Kabir panthies, Raidas (Ravidas) panthies respectively followers of Great Revolutionary Dalit Saints Sad Guru Kabir (1398-1518) and Guru Ravidas ( 1414-1532) also contributed to such Dalit revolts for the Dalits liberation movements in a big way. In Central India Dalits revolted against statue quo pro under Halba rebellion (1774-1779) with distinction of being the first documented rebellion against the British and Marathas in Bastar, so Dalits made many sacrifices for their freedom from the yoke of autocracy. The other well known Tribal revolts were Paralkot rebellion (1825), Tarapur rebellion (1842-54), Maria rebellion (1842-63), First Freedom Struggle (1856-57), Koi revolt (1859), Muria rebellion (1876), Rani rebellion (1878-82), Bhumkal (1910). Guru Ghasidas Ji Maharaj , the 16th Satnami Linkage Guru was born on Monday, the 18th December 1756 to revered Shri Mahangu Das and Shrimati Amrautin at village Girodhpuri in Raipur Distt Of Chhattisgarh. Then no body could imagine that a small ray of light in the form of this child shall one day become a religious Guru, social reformer, revolutionary spirited personality with name & fame through out the globe. His parents were Agriculturist Dalit. Ghasidas was younger to his other four brothers namely Nanku, Manku,Ganga and Jogi. Ghasidas being youngest child earned more love and affection from his parents. But the luck had stored some thing else for Ghasidas, his mother died when he was only one year old, so the family fell into blind well of misfortune. The responsibility of earning bread and raring children fell on the shoulders of Shri Mahangu Das. However a good hearted woman in the neighbourhood used to look after Ghasidas when his father was away in fields to attend to his daily agriculturist’s routine duties. She used to tell stories to children in the evening, so they got sleep. On returning home Mahangu Das would bring back his children & slept with Ghasidas keeping him close to his bosom. Satnamis are said to have ancestral family lineage roots from King Parikshit of Great Kuru dynasty. They had concetration in Narnaul Haryana is Mahabharat age Hastinapur Kurukshetra. According to ancient Satnam Granths ( Religious Books) Satnami's are decendent of ancient Kuru family. Satnami's are well built with long hights, faircolour & charactered man. According to beliefs the King Parikshit was the king for whole world. In around (1300–1400AD) the successor of Satnam Dharm was King Saint Satkhojan Das Goswami (The King of Narnaul Kurukshetra) which carries the family linkage to Ghasidas. Grand father of Ghasidas shri Modinidas Gosain had migrated from Narnaul in Haryana due to apathy of Aurangzeb regime against Satnami sect. As Satnamis very industrious peoples never compromised with their honour & dignity so are said to have fought against Aurangzeb, but lost in 1672 battle. Madinidas Gosain left his native place in Haryana and reached a jungle about 120 kms away from Raipur Distt Headquarter in Madhaya Pradesh (now Chhatisgarh). This barren land was cultivated by the tribe of Madinidas Gosain and named it as village Ghiround which is the present day Giround Puri Dham. When Ghasidas grew up a little, Shri Mahangu Das would carry him along to fields where the child kept himself busy in play in the ploughed field. Ghasidas had seen the miseries from a close angle, so in his life time he always saw that the suffering community get soothing balm from his actions. When Ghasidas was of four to five years old, he used to play in the field with other boys of his age group. Once a deadly poisonous snake did bite a boy, who started crying with pain. Ghasidas came to his rescue and started sucking the poisonous blood of the suffering boy with his mouth. While sucking the blood Ghasidas got also affected with poison, but his father saved him by providing him treatment. Shri Mahangu Das like his father shri Modinidas Gosain was an expert physician with knowledge of medicinal herbs and plants. They carried respect in the locality for this medicine expertise. This incident shows the bravery of the child Ghasidas. He used to exhibit love for the young ones and deep respect for elders. As child he would save the life of drowning persons, give his bread to a hungry person, guide some helpless person to his home and such other selfless helping jobs. This way Ghasidas earned affectation and admiration not only from his relations but from whole area people. His name became common in every household. Guru Ghasidas was unlettered visionary as education was beyond his reach. Ghasidas became an expert farmer. He was married at an early age with revered Soofaribai daughter of shri Dev Dutt alias Anjori, of Shirpur village in Yavan Tehsil. The couple is said to have four sons named Amar Das, Balak Das , Agar Das and Argariaya. They also were blessed with one daughter named Subhadra, who latter on got importance as SATI SUBHADRA. Amar Das disappeared in the jungle area never to be found again, which made Ghasidas family sad along with whole community. On one occasion he and his brother started on a pilgrimage to the temple at Puri exclussively reserved for worship of the high caste people. He saw monopali of Brahman preists at Puri where no Dalit person was allowed to perform any pooja, so came both disappointed. But on return when they reached Sarangarh, where they met with one diciple of Jagjivan Das founder of Satnami Mat. He asked them to recite Satnam, Satnam regularly, being NAAM So they returned reciting “Satnam, Satnam”. ‘From ththat time Ghasi Das began to adopt the life of an ascetic, retiring all day to the forest to meditate. On a rocky hillock about a mile from Girod is a large “Tendu” tree (Diospyros tomentosa) under which it is said that he sat and worshiped. This place attained importance as a favourite place of pilgrimage of the “Chamars”, and two Satnami temples have been built near it, which contain no idols. In the course of time Ghasi Das became revered as a saintly character, and some miracles, such as the curing of snake-bites, being attributed to him, his fame rapidly spread . The Chamars began to travel from long distances to go to him for his glimpses (Darshans) and those who entertained desires, such as for the birth of a child, believed that he could fulfil them. The pilgrims even carried away with them the water in which he had diped his feet, in hollow bamboos, and their relatives at home drank this, considering it was relief giving nectar. Finally, he retired to the Sonkar forests for a period of six months. After performing strict ascetism for six months he emerged backn from forest on 28th December1820, with what he called a new Gospel for the Chamars; who had gathered from all parts to hear him This Gospel was repetition of the religious proclaims of Jagjiwan Das, the founder of the Satnami sect of Upper India. The saints by resorting to the proper way of God Realisation, are granted power by the God to perform on His behalf as said by Palto sahib in his Kundli “ Ram Sameepi Sant Hai, Vo jo Karain so hoye” meaning saints have nearness or oneness with RAM, what ever they (saints) do is final as the Creator is with in their commondments. Creator does not interfere with the working of Saints. The saints perform all His duties in His Home “Sachkhand” and thirty three crores of Dieties are afraid of Saints ( As per the Hindus there are 33 crores of devatas or deities). They are powerful to make mountain out of mole or may make a mountain into a mole. And in His kingdom the Saints reign. Sayth Palto no body but saints performs on behalf of Ram, the creator of universe. Saints donot perform wizard acts of performing miracals except in exceptional circumstances. These mystical thoughts are known to Saints, which is beyound human conceptes and are devoid of scientific expanations. But later on their real teaching get buried under the shrouds of falseness associated with the Saints by the vested intrests. Guru Ghasi das passed away in1850. Some historians say he lived for 93 years. Through out his life he worked for the benefit of the humanity, opposed untouchability and bised treatmrnt to Dalits, advised them to share joy & grief, salvation can be attained during life time and to worship dead is foolishness, offering materials to God for salvation is illussion, he advocated for Peaceful co existance and decried killing of living things, all yogies, priests, beggers are not Saints, abstrain from intoxicants including meat eating, supported widow marriages, condummed Tantrik Excercises for granting or obtaining promised boons. The main teaching of Guru Ghasidas is recitation of SATNAM meaning true name of the Formless, Almerciful Almighty God . God does not recognise the castes, creeds, clour, place of birth, sex, socialor educational and meterial status of a Bhagata. He advised his persons to work hard , have simpe living and provide good nurishment to their families along with reciting SATNAM-SATNAM. Kindness, truthfulness, patiance, take practical view of things and happening in life.The Seven Main Teachings of Satguru Ghasidas can be summed up as :- 1. Satya - Truth \ True Action 2. Dhairya - Patience 3. Lagan - Dedication 4. Karoonna, Dayaa, Kshamaa - Kindness, Pardon, Non violence 5. Karm – Karm Yog - Labour 6. Saralataa - Simplicity 7. Vyavahaar - Vyavahaarikata - Practility – Practical Life Words:-2527 Suggsted futher reading books/material:-1)Guru Ghasidas Sachiter Jivini(Hindi) Dr. N.P. aherwar Samyak Prakashan New Delhi 2)Guru Ghasidas Wikipedia-free encyclopedia. 3)Dalit Movement In India and its Leaders(1857-1956) K.R. Khirsagar ,MD Publication New Delhi 4) 5) Hamare Dalit Gourav BDSA Delhi

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