Guru Ravidas Jayanti
Guru Ravidas Jayanti is the birthday of the revered Guru Ravidas. It is celebrated on Magh Purnima- the day of the full moon during the month of Magh in the Hindu calendar. Read on to find out more about the festival:
Origin, History, and Significance of Ravidas Jayanti
The Ravidassia religion is also known as Ravidas Panth or Ravidasia Dharm and was founded in the 14th century. It is a separate religion within the Hindu Dharma based on the teachings of the Guru Ravidas. Revered as a Satguru, Sant Ravidas Jayanti is a very important function for the Ravidassia community.
The life of Guru Ravidas is not fully known and contested. Some believe he was born in 1450 while other scholars think he was an integral mystic poet and saint of the Bhakti movement during the 15th and 16th century. Respected and widely venerated as a Guru in the Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Punjab regions of India, Ravidas Jayanti is regarded as a very important event and celebrated with festivities.
Known and believed to have been born in the 14th century, Guru Ravidas’s date of birth is not clearly known. It is believed that he was born to a low-caste family who dealt in the skin of dead animals for living in Seer, Goverdhanpur in Uttar Pradesh. He was a social reformer who fought for the removal of the social division of caste, creed, and gender. He advocated the unity of all to pursue spirituality. He propagated human rights and was a progressive thinker. He strived to bring equality to break the barriers imposed by the Indian caste system. He continuously spread the message of equality through his literary works. All his poems and teachings were based on spirituality and awareness of the Supreme and advocated equality for all. Meera Bai, another revered personality in the Hindu religion, recognized Guru Ravidas as her spiritual guide.
A poet-saint, spiritual figure and a social reformer, Ravidas wrote several devotional songs. These songs were included in the Sikh scriptures known as the Guru Granth Sahib. His poems are also included in the Panch Vani text of the Dadupanthi tradition in the Hindu religion.
His teachings which were accepted and propagated by the Sikh Gurus formed the basis of the Ravidassia religion and gained followers all over the world. The festival Guru Ravidas Jayanti is of great significance to the followers of the Ravidassia religion and those who believe and follow the ideologies of the religion.
When is Guru Ravidas Jayanti Celebrated
Guru Ravidas Jayanti is also known as Guru Ravidas’s birthday and is celebrated on the full moon day ( Poornima) of the Hindu month of Magh as per the Hindu calendar. In 2020, it was celebrated on 9th February, and in 2021 it will be celebrated on 27th February.
How is Ravidas Jayanti Celebrated and Where to Go
One of the most important days for the followers of the Ravidassia religion, Saint Ravidas Jayanti is celebrated similarly throughout the nation. Large gatherings and processions with the Guru’s portraits are taken on the streets, and devotees take a dip in the holy rivers to perform rites and rituals. Prayers are offered in temples and dedicated to Guru Ravidas, especially in the bhawans. Devotees also read the Amritbani by Guru Ravidas, change the Nishaan Sahib and also carry out kirtans locally (Nagar Kirtans). Amritbani is the holy book of the Ravidassia religion.
Nishaan Sahib is the special symbol of the religion and is changed during the ceremony. Nag Kirtan or Nagar Kirtan is another important feature of this festival. A few people dress as Guru Ravidas and his supporters to recreate the magic of the Guru and spread the message of spirituality and equality. A special aarti is taken for the Nagar Kirtan procession. This process is taken on the streets to the temple within the locality. His image is worshipped with flowers and offerings.
Sikh scriptures dedicated to the Guru are recited in Gurudwaras. All Gurudwaras make special arrangements on this special day of Guru Ravidas Jayanti. Gurudwaras are adorned with flowers and lights. Special prayer meetings are held to revel in the glory of Guru Ravidas.
In addition to this, the following is the popular place of worship for Guru Ravidas Jayanti:
- Seer, Goverdhanpur, Varanasi: The largest and most grand celebration takes place at the Shri Guru Ravidas Janam Asthan Mandir at his birthplace, Seer Goverdhanpur, Varanasi. Lakhs of followers join in the celebrations from all over the world. Devotees flock from all over the world to be part of the customary practices followed during this day.
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