Guru Ravidas jayanti is celebrated to commemorate the birthday of guru Ravidas. Guru Ravidas preached social harmony and stood against caste discrimination and social injustice.It is celebrated on Magh Purnima, the full moon day in the month of Magh month.
Guru Ravidas Jayanti: Early life
Guru Ravidas was born in the fifteenth century near Varanasi city in Uttar Pradesh to a wealthy family who were in leather business. At a very young age he showed spiritual inclination and used to attend discourses. To involve him in worldly affairs he was married in a very young age. But this did not dither Ravidas. Dejected his father sent him out of the family home. Ravidas stated living in makeshift house and began mending shoes for livelihood.
Ravidas devotion, universal and casteless love soon spread far and wide. He was against the caste system and untouchability. He stood in support of the low sate. During his time caste system was practised and people from low caste were not allowed to enter temples or to schools. He preached universal brother hood, equality of mankind, compassion and tolerance. It is believed that Mira Bai who was the maharani of chittoor and a daughter of a king of Rajasthan became his disciple during this period. His songs preached equality and he taught that one is distinguished by his actions and not by his caste.
His devotional songs were included in Adi Granth Sahib which is the holy book of Sikhs. It was compiled by the fifth guru Arjan Dev Ji. Guru Ravidas's teachings are today known as Ravidasi beliefs and his followers are called Ravidasis and the religion started by him is called Ravidassia.
Shri Guru Ravidass Janam Asthan Mandir in Varanasi in India is called the Begumpura and this place has become a pilgrimage site for all Ravidasis world over. It is believed that Guru Ravidas was born here.
How is Guru Ravidas Jayanti Celebrated
The followers of guru Ravidas celebrate this day with great dedication and vigour. Thousands of pilgrims gather at Shri Guru Ravidas Janam Asthan Mandir in Varanasi to pay their tribute to the guru and offer their prayers. On this day akand panth is read. The flag of Sikhs called nishan sahib is exchanged ceremonially. A special arti and nagar kirtan is also performed. Procession is taken out carrying the portrait of the guru. Special payers are also held in gurudwaras.