NEW DELHI: Our country has been home to many poets and saints. Similarly, the mystic saint-poet of the 'Bhakti movement'—Ravidas was born in the pious city of Varanasi. The exact date of birth is not known, however it is believed that Guru Ravidas was alive from the 15th to 16th century CE.
Saint Ravidas wrote many devotional songs which became popular during the bhakti movement. It is also believed that Guru Ravidas is the founder of 21st-century Ravidassia religion.
The spiritual figure and guru as he is famously called Sant Ravidas in the regions of Punjab, UP, Rajasthan and Maharashtra, had written some devotional songs which found place in the holy Guru Granth Sahib. The saint-poet worked religiously towards reforming the people from social evils such as caste system.
The Jayanti is specially celebrated in North India including Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab. Also known as Raidas, Rohidas and Ruhidas - his devotional songs and verses created a lasting impact upon the Bhakti Movement.
Around 40 of the poems accredited to Ravidas were included in the Adi Granth, the sacred scripture of Sikhism. It is generally believed that Ravidas met Nanak, the first Guru, and founder of the Sikh tradition.
Guru Ravidas Jayanti is celebrated on Magh Purnima, which means the full moon day during Magh. This year happens to be the 639th Birth Anniversary of the guru. This year, Guru Ravidas Jayanti is being marked on February 27.
How is Guru Ravidas Jayanti celebrated?
To celebrate the occasion, 'Amritbani Guru Ravidas Ji' is read and a special aarti is performed by the followers.
Devotees take a dip in the holy river on this day.
Prayers are also offered in the temples dedicated to Guru Ravidas especially in the bhawans.
The grandest celebration takes place at Shri Guru Ravidass Janam Asthan Mandir.
Followers visit the place from all over the world and celebrate the occasion.
The prime feature of the festival is the Nagar Kirtan.
People dress up as Guru Ravidas and his supporters to mark the celebrations.