Mains Paper 1: Indian History| All Syllabus
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Guru Ravidas and associated facts
Mains level: Bhakti Movement in medieval India
Guru Ravidas Jayanti
- Guru Ravidas Jayanti is celebrated on Magh Purnima, which is the full moon day in the Hindu calendar month of Magha.
- People celebrate this day by reading the holy book Amritbani Guru Ravidass Ji.
- Some devotees also take a holy bath in Ganga to celebrate this anniversary.
Who was Guru Ravidas?
- While the exact year of his birth is not known, it is believed that the mystic saint was born in 1377 C.E.
- Although there have been no concrete details, the saint was said to have been born in the village of Seer Goverdhanpur which is located near Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi.
- His birthplace has now been named Shri Guru Ravidas Janam Asthan and has become a major place of pilgrimage for the followers of Guru Ravidas.
- He belonged to a (so called) untouchable caste and suffered a lot of atrocities as a result.
- However the saint chose to focus on spiritual pursuits and also penned several devotional songs which made a huge impact in the Bhakti movement during the 14th to 16th century CE.
Teachings of Guru Ravidas
- Guru Ravidas spoke against the caste divisions and spoke of removing them to promote unity.
- The Adi Granth of Sikhs, in addition to the Panchvani are the two of the oldest documented sources of the literary works of Guru Ravidas.
- His teachings resonated with the people, leading to a religion being born called the Ravidassia religion, or Ravidassia Dharam based on his teachings.
- He taught about the omnipresence of God and said that a human soul is a particle of God and hence Ravidas rejected the idea that people considered lower caste cannot meet God.
- He said in his teachings that the only way to meet God was to free the mind from the duality.
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