Sant Ravidas Jayanti is celebrated every year on the full moon day of Magh month of Hindu calendar also known as ‘Maghi Purnima’. It marks the birth anniversary of Guru Ravidas, who was one of the great saints of the ‘Bhakti Movement’ which started from 15th to 16th century of the current era.
Bhakti Movement was a devotional and spiritual trend which emerged in the medieval era and also focused on social reformation in the Hinduism and Sikhism.
Sant Ravidas Jayanti is celebrated by all the religions to pay tribute to the Saint, who with his devotional songs and spiritual poems spread the message of equality, unity, removal of caste system, and spiritual freedom. It is also considered as a great festival for the followers of ‘Ravidassia’ religion and is celebrated with great devotion.
Guru Ravidas Jayanti 2019
Shri Guru Ravidas Jayanti 2019 was celebrated with great devotion and joy on 19th February (Tuesday).
President and Prime Minister paid tribute to Sant Ravidas and said that his teachings are a source of inspiration for the people of the world and give the message of equality, unity and social harmony.
Various programs and events were conducted across the country to mark the occasion. Major celebration was witnessed at Shir Govardhanpur, Varanasi which is the birth place of Guru Ravidas. The Ravidas Temple at Shir Govardhanpur was highly decorated with lamps and lightings and various fireworks during night added sparkle to the celebration.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also visited Shir Govardhanpur to pay homage to the great saint. It was the second time when PM had visited the place after 2016. He also inaugurated ‘Sant Ravidas Memorial’ in Varanasi on the occasion and addressed people on the day.
Around 2000 ‘Raidasis’, people following the ‘Ravidassia’ religion based on the teachings of Sant Ravidas, also visited the holy place to offer prayers and seek the blessings of their ‘guru’. Various processions and peace marches were also carried out across the globe by the followers spreading the teachings of Sant Ravidas and emphasizing on peace, unity, equality and harmony in the world.
History of Sri Sant Ravidas Jayanti
Sant Ravidas also known as ‘Raidas’ was born on the full moon day of the ‘Magh’ month of Hindu calendar in the year 1433 CE at Shir Govardhanpur, Varanasi. His father Raghavdas was engaged in shoe making and mending work and mother Kalasadevi was a housewife. Sant Ravidas was inclined to spirituality and devotion since his childhood and always believed in equality and unity.
As Sant Ravidas grew up, his devotion towards god and religion also increased and he started spending most of his time with saints, sadhus and monks. His spiritual poems and devotional songs made a great impact on the people. As he belonged to a lower caste family and was against caste discrimination, his teachings also advocated the removal of caste system, promotion of social equality and unity among people. 41 hymns of Shri Sant Ravidas have been included in Guru Granth Sahib which is the most sacred book of the Sikh religion.
After his death in the year 1520, people started celebrating his birth anniversary as Guru Ravidas Jayanti every year to spread his teaching and ideologies. Sant Ravidas’ philosophy and spirituality made him as a great guru and people started following his ideologies and started a religion ‘Ravidassia’ which was based on the teachings of Guru Ravidas and believed in equality and unity.
Why do we Celebrate Ravidas Jayanti?
Sant Ravidas Jayanti is celebrated to spread the great teachings of Guru Ravidas who rose to become a great saint of the Bhakti movement. This day marks the remembrance of the great personality who spread the message of oneness, unity, and equality among people. This day also holds a great significance for the followers of ‘Ravidassia’ religion as this marks the birth of their guru who taught them the righteous path of spirituality, unity and equality and emphasised on the fact that if your heart is pure then no one can stop you from attaining salvation and meeting with the supreme power.
This day also signifies the importance of social equality in modern world and emphasizes that there should be no discrimination on the basis caste, creed or gender. Every human being is equal and has equal right on everything and there should be love, respect and equality towards other people in every society away from all sorrows and pain. It also gives the message of universal brotherhood, harmony and tolerance.
How Sant Ravidas Jayanti is Celebrated?
Sant Ravidas Jayanti is celebrated across the nation with great enthusiasm, devotion and joy. The day is also celebrated by the followers of ‘Ravidassia’ religion across the globe. Various events and programs are organised to commemorate the great saint of the medieval era.
People take part in ‘aartis’, ‘kirtans’ and devotional bhajans to celebrate the day. Devotees also take holy dip in rivers and chant the holy hymns of Shri Guru Granth Sahib. Various Gurudwaras organize ‘shabad kirtan’ and ‘nagar kirtana’ on the occasion and hold talks on the life of Sant Sri Guru Ravidas and spread his teachings.
A grand celebration takes place at Shri Guru Ravidas Janam Sthan, Shir Govardhanpur, Varanasi, which is the birth place of Sant Sri Guru Ravidas. The temple at Shir Govardhanpur is highly decorated by electronic lightings, lamps and flowers. Thousands of people around the world visit the place on the occasion and celebrate the birth anniversary of their guru with great zeal and zest. A grand feast (langar) is also organized on the occasion where thousands of people take part and enjoy the feast.
Various processions and marches are also conducted on the occasion in which people of all communities take part and spread the teachings of equality, unity and oneness. Devotees residing abroad also celebrate the day with great devotion by visiting Gurudwaras and taking part in ‘kirtans’ and ‘aartis’.
Shri Guru Ravidas Jayanti Dates
As Guru Ravidas Jayanti is celebrated as per the Hindu calendar month, the date in the Gregorian calendar may change every year. The day is also observed as a regional holiday in many states. The day and date of next five year’s Shri Guru Ravidas Jayanti are as follows:
- 2019 – 19th February
- 2020 – 09th February
- 2021 – 27th February
- 2022 – 16th February
- 2023 – 05th February
Importance/Significance of Ravidas Jayanti
Sant Ravidas Jayanti plays a significant role in spreading the teachings and messages of Sant Ravidas. This day helps to spread equality in the society and brotherhood among people. Sant Ravidas always said that it is very important to have a pure soul than a pure body and person’s caste doesn’t determine the soul of a person.
He always emphasized on the fact that human beings are created by God and if God does not discriminate them on the basis of caste or gender then why human beings is dividing people on basis of cast or creed. Ravidas Jayanti is the ideal occasion which helps to spread these great ideologies of Guru Ravidas.
As Sant Ravidas was equally revered in Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism, celebrating Ravidas Jayanti also acts as an instrument of spreading unity, harmony and showcases the Indian culture of unity in diversity. It helps in uniting people from different religions and caste and sets an example that there is only motive of all the religions and that is spreading peace, harmony, brotherhood and unity.
As Sant Ravidas was also a social reformer, his birth anniversary gives a source of inspiration to the people to raise voice and fight against evils of the society and make our nation a better place away from all kinds of sorrow and problems.