ACK-109: Guru Ravidas

An out of print ACK #350


Indian religious leader and founder Satguru of the "Ravidasi" beliefs, revered by most Hindus as a "Sant"; by Nirankari sect, Balmiki sect as a "Guru", by Radhasoami organization as a "Sant" and as a "Bhagat" by Sikhs, which is a somewhat lesser station than that attributed to him in other faiths. He is referred to as Guru Ravidas by followers of his beliefs.

Guru Ravidas or Guru Ravidass was born in the fifteenth century at Varanasi (Benares or Banaras or or Kashi) in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. His birthday comes every year at Puran Mashi in the month of Magh. His mother's name was Mata Kalsi and his father's name was Baba Santokh Dass. In his poetry, he describes himself as a leather worker, someone whose contact with dead animals would have marked him as an untouchable in Indian society.

Since early childhood, Guru Ravidas was very much inclined toward spirituality. He used to go to attend holy discourses and showed great respect and devotion to holy men. This worried his's parents and they tried to divert his attention by engaging him in their family profession of shoe making and repairing. He learned the profession, yet his love and devotion for God continued undiminished. With a view to make him more interested in worldly affairs, his father got him married to Bagavati (Lona Devi) at an early age. But even then it didn't change his attitude or his behaviour.

According to Ravidass Puran Guru Ravidas had a son named Vijaydas.

From early childhood he was very much devoted to worshipping the real God. The high caste Brahmans created so many problems for him and tried their best to restrict him. Because of this he had to appear before the King Nagar Mal many times. In the end the King was persuaded and became a follower of Guru Ravidas. Guru Ravidas taught the lessons of Universal Brotherhood and tolerance.

Influenced by Guru Ravidas's teachings, the Maharaja and the Rani of Chittor became his disciples. It is generally thought to have been a younger contemporary of Kabir. According to some sources, Ravidas was initiated by Kabir's famous guru Ramananda. And some traditions assert that Ravidas was, in turn, the guru of the great female poet-saint Mirabai.

Guru Ravidas travelled quite widely, as his poems indicate a good knowledge of Hindi, Urdu, Persian and many regional languages of India. Guruji's followers are found in many states of India such as Uttar Pardesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

The two oldest sources of his work are the Sikh scripture, the Adigranth, and in the collections of songs compiled by the Dadu Panth.

The 41 hymns of Ravidas included in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji fall under:

Raga - 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). one with slight variations is given in both Rag Sorath and rag Maru.

He spear headed the fight against man made discriminations based on caste, colour and creed. He also taught the message of love neighbours which has got more importance in today's world. He preached the lofty ideas of Socialism, Secularism, Equality and Fraternity. Because of his untouchability, Ravidas has become an important figure for oppressed castes in India today, his followers calling themselves Ravidasis.

Read more details at Wikipedia, www.shrigururavidasji.com, www.bhagwanvalmiki.com

P.S.: Some sources quote that Guru Ravidas & Guru Nanak Dev (the first of the ten Sikh Gurus) met once or several times. As one friend attracts attention, I recommend to verify yourself.

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Many many thanks to “Apoorva Chandar” for this rare ACK .

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15 comments:

Amith Nag March 23, 2009 at 10:32 AM  

Thanks a lot guys, for all the ACKs posted last week. And Prabhat - really nice template/skin for this blog.

Prabhat's Books and Comics March 23, 2009 at 11:34 AM  

Amith Nag: Welcome! Glad to know all friends like this template.

Rafiq Raja March 23, 2009 at 12:09 PM  

Wonderful Layout, goes well with History & Mythology theam of the blog. Congrats Prabhat. Did you design it on your own, or was it available as a standard?

And thanks too for another Out of Print ACK. I only wish if hadn't for the fire, then we would have seen these titles also in the new standard print from ACK Media.

ÇómícólógÝ

Apoorva Chandar March 23, 2009 at 5:15 PM  

Rafiq Raja, can you please elaborate about this "fire"? were the comic templates of the presently out of print ACKs destroyed during the fire?

Sukhwinder March 23, 2009 at 9:16 PM  

Although I completely agree with the teachings and ideas of Bhagat Ravidas, I do not agree with the descriptions given for the three meetings between Guru Nanak and Bhagat Ravidas. There is no mention of meetings between Guru Nanak and Bhagat Ravidas anywhere in Sikh history. The meetings mentioned in your article never took place. A brief description of Sacha Sauda Sakhi (first meeting) can be read at http://www.allaboutsikhs.com/gurudwaras-in-pakistan/gurudwara-sachcha-sauda-chuharkana.html The description about second meeting is also wrong. As the Janam Sakhis (Guru Nanak) narrate the details, Guru Nanak one morning disappeared into the stream of Kali Bein (a small river) and was not seen for a period of three days. More information is available at http://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php/Sultanpur_Lodhi It is believed that during this period of disappearance Guru Nanak attained the Mool Mantar from Akal Purkh (God Himself) and was ordered to spread the message in the world. When he reappeared at a spot, 2 km upstream, now known as Sant Ghat, the first words he uttered were, "There is no Hindu, there is no Musalman." No mammoth Sant Samagam on Sant Ghat ever took place as mentioned in your article. Guru Nanak Dev never had a Guru from whom he took Naam or Mool Mantar. Mool Mantar is the first main teaching of Sikhism. Guru Granth Sahib starts with Mool Mantar. The meaning and essence of Mool Mantar can be read at http://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php?title=Mool_Mantar The third meeting did not take place either. There is no mention is Sikh History of this meeting. Guru Nanak brought manuscripts of Bhagat Ravidas’s Bani to Punjab during one of his Great Four Journeys known as Udasian. The Fifth Guru Arjan Dev compiled them into Guru Granth Sahib. The description of the meetings between Guru Nanak and Bhagat Ravidas try to take credit of teachings of Sikh religion and also try to establish that Bhagat Ravidas was the Guru of Guru Nanak Dev. This is completely untrue and incorrect. Bhagat Ravidas is highly respected in Sikh religion and given the same respect as the Ten Gurus because his Bani is included into Guru Granth Sahib. The essence of his Bani is same as the teachings of Ten Gurus and many other Saints of India of that time such as Sant Kabir, Baba Farid, Bhagat Namdev, Bhagat Pipa, and many others whose Bani are also included in Guru Granth Sahib. I am personally fond of the following Shabad from Bhagat Ravidas’s Bani which illustrates the highest state of mind of a person in Bhagti: http://fateh.sikhnet.com/sikhnet/music.nsf/SelectMusicJukeBoxMusician/8ef93ebfe2e4a8c087256aa20062cc89!Open Again, I have nothing against Bhagat Ravidas and his teachings. I did not try to visit the sites (www.shrigururavidasji.com, Wikipedia, www.bhagwanvalmiki.com) from where you took the information because it is pointless to try to persuade people who are doing all this mischief on purpose. (They know the truth). I will request though that you remove the information about the three meetings between Guru Nanak and Bhagat Ravidas from you blog please.

Sukhwinder March 24, 2009 at 2:58 AM  

Thank you so much for removing the controversial information. I appreciate your attention to this matter.

Prabhat's Books and Comics March 24, 2009 at 3:19 AM  

Rafiq Raja: Welcome! I was in half way to create own template, was searching some motivation from other templates, saw this ready template. At first sight, all members liked it. Glad to know an advance blogger like you liked it too.

ACKs don’t provides all details due to its limitation, but provided in most of case summary and encourage us to dig further about these topics. I’ll like to collect new version’s physical copies of all out of print along with old versions, if it’d be printed. Physical copies are some thing different. It’s touch, smell gives another feeling. :)

Prabhat's Books and Comics March 24, 2009 at 6:13 PM  

Sukhwinder: You are welcome! It wasn't my intention to create any confusion. I always avoid putting controversial information.

Thanks for links, I’ll be more careful. In future you find any facts, pls write. It’s help me to discover facts.

Keep visiting. :)

vijay October 14, 2009 at 2:20 PM  

plzzz.. before paint or make any pics of guru ravidass ji for any book cover or websites, make sure this would not hurt anyone's communal feelings. my question is why not u people use their community registerd and well painted fotos of guruji for any book cover or...
so plzz stop these.. n try to respect and give equal waitage to all communties

vijay October 14, 2009 at 2:20 PM  

plzzz.. before paint or make any pics of guru ravidass ji for any book cover or websites, make sure this would not hurt anyone's communal feelings. my question is why not u people use their community registerd and well painted fotos of guruji for any book cover or...
so plzz stop these.. n try to respect and give equal waitage to all communties

NavLalli November 2, 2009 at 1:05 AM  

I would like to add to this, that there is evidence supporting the fact that Shri Guru Ravidass Ji and Guru Nanak Dev Ji met.

Firstly, the raags in which Guru Ravidass Ji wrote his baani (in the SGGS Ji), Guru Nanak Dev Ji had written in the exact same raags as him. No more, no less. This does not include the later Gurus. Surely this cannot be a coincident, as they both had overlaps in the years in which they lived. (Guru Ravidass Ji was older).

Furthermore, the word 'Satnaam' has not been found in any scriptures before the time of Guru Ravidass Ji. The word, is first found in Guru Ravidass Ji's aarti. Which consequently means they founded this word. The word which has such importance in Sikhism today. Then ofcourse, this word is given to us in the jap ji sahib. and so on.

I also believe media has made us naively believe Guru Nanak Dev Ji as the founuder of Sikhism. Let me elaborate. Ill give an example to make what im saying easier. If I was to publish a book, saying that the world is round, and (just imagine) i was the first person to publish this to the public. When, infact i myself take quotes from older sources to back my views, and clearly say that other people before me had discovered what i discovered b4 my time, i cannot say i founded that theory about the world being round. Because , as ive portrayed myself, im not the first to believe this.

Similarly, we all agree with the fact that, the bani taken from the saints excluding the Sikh Gurus, had no contradiction with the bani of the guru, the beliefs of the gurus. If they did then the SGGS wouldn't make sense, nor was the bani of those Saints, that existed outside the SGGS, contradicting the bani in the SGGS, as this would be blasphemy, and the Gurus would never degrade their bani like that. If that was the case then they cudve taken bani from almost every religion; onli taking what didnt contradict. But this did not happen. Also, as we all must agree almost all (I think it's all though) the bani from the saints excluding the Sikh Gurus lived b4 Guru Nanak Dev Ji, which in turn means Guru Nanak Dev Ji is not the founder of Sikhism, but infact the oldest writer in the SGGS. Who was in fact Guru Kabir Jis, and Guru Ravidass Ji's Guru: Guru Ram Anand (aka Bhagat Ram Anand in the SGGS). Also, this could raise a issue as who the first guru of sikhism was, as guru is just a teacher, and i think its 30 other writers excluding the 6 Gurus who rote in the SGGS all must then be Gurus. But thats beginning to go off the topic.

I'm not here to argue lol, justto put my point across.

From, 17 yr old boy in UK

NavLalli November 2, 2009 at 1:09 AM  

(So the founder of Sikhism in my is Guru Ramanand Ji)

NavLalli November 2, 2009 at 1:09 AM  

in my view*

ShriGuruRavidassJi December 15, 2009 at 4:54 PM  

Feel free to visit www.GuruRavidassGuruJi.com

Brad August 13, 2010 at 12:23 PM  

I have been visiting various blogs for my term papers writing research. I have found your blog to be quite useful. Keep updating your blog with valuable information... Regards

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