SANT GURU RAVIDAS (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 – History)

News-CRUX-10     24th February 2024        
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Context: The Prime Minister of India addressed the 647th Birth Anniversary of Sant Guru Ravidas in Varanasi.

Sant Guru Ravidas

  • Birth: He Guru Ravidas was born in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India, belonging to an untouchable leather-working caste, and his works often reflect his marginalized social status.
  • Parents:: His mother was Kalsa Devi Ji and his father was Baba Santokh Dass Ji.
  • Spiritual Figure: He embodied the roles of a saint, philosopher, poet, social reformer, and devout follower of God.

Contributions Guru Ravidas

  • Devotional Contributions: He made significant contributions through devotional songs, verses, and spiritual teachings during the Bhakti movement.
  • Leadership in Bhakti Movement: Guru Ravidas played a pivotal role in the nirguna sampradaya (sant parampara) and was a key figure in the North Indian Bhakti movement.
  • Philosophical with Constitutional Values: His philosophy, emphasizing social justice, freedom, equality, and fraternity, aligns with India's constitutional values.
  • Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, the Chief Architect of the Indian Constitution, integrated Ravidas's principles into the foundational ethos of the nation.

Teachings of Guru Ravidas

  • Rejection of Caste: Guru Ravidas devoted his life to abolishing the caste system and openly opposed the idea of a Brahminical society.
  • Monotheism: He gained renown for his belief in a single God and his impartial religious poetry, challenging the notion that individuals of lower castes cannot attain a connection with the divine.
  • Inclusion in Guru Granth Sahib: Guru Ravidas's devotional compositions had an immediate impact on the Bhakti Movement, with approximately 41 of his poems being incorporated into the Sikh religious scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib.
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