Tag Archives: Guru Ravidas

Brahmins’ attempts to appropriate Guru Ravidas


Ravidass‟s low caste but high spiritual status, however, posed a serious challenge to the oppressive Brahminical structures of domination. The traditional Brahminical institution of varnashrama dharma failed to confront Ravidass‟s pragmatic and revolutionary reasoning based on equality, dignity and fraternity. Instead, the Brahmins attempted to undermine his low caste profile by appropriating him in the Hindu fold. They concocted stories to project him as a Brahmin in his previous life. Thus challenged by the surging popularity of Ravidass, among the lower and upper castes alike, Brahmins knitted layers of mythological narratives about his mythical high caste in his previous life. This was done, probably, to preclude the lower castes from rallying around his name. Yet another device adopted by the twice born to diminish his popularity was to present him as a Guru of the Chamars only.“This was the final masterstroke to minimize his influence on the society as a whole”. Significantly, though Ravidass was himself a Chamar, his egalitarian social philosophy has historically won him many disciples among the upper castes too. Jhali, Queen of Chittor; Mirabai, Rajput princes and daughter-in-law of King of Mewar, Sangram Singh; Prince Veer Singh Dev Vaghela of Rewa of Madhya Pradesh; and Prince of Kanshi have been among the most prominent ones.
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Guru Ravidass shown on the back leg, near feet, of cow by RSS people.

 
Dalit activists and academics have been condemning the process of Brahminisation of Ravidass. They ridicule the so-called Brahminical narratives and interpretations about Ravidass and also refuse to accept Ramanand as his Guru. Ravidass never mentioned the name of Ramanand in his most authentic bani recorded in the Guru Granth Sahib. Instead, he mentioned the names of various Sants such as Jaidev, Namdev and Kabir. Some radical Dalits claim “that his Guru was Sardanand, and emphasize his ability to defeat Brahmins time and again in debates”. Thus the process of Brahminisation has not only failed to assimilate Ravidass in the fold of the upper castes, it further strengthens the bond between him and the ex-untouchables. The latter feel proud of being known as only Ravidassias. They consider Guru Ravidass and his bani as a paragon of their struggle for social equality, justice and dignity.
Source – Paper, Ravidass, Dera Sachkhand Ballan and the Question of Dalit Identity in Punjab by Ronki Ram
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‘Shri Guru Ravidas Di Jai’ songs by Hans Raj Hans


‘Shri Guru Ravidas Di Jai’ songs by Hans Raj Hans

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Postage stamps issued on Guru Ravidas


Issued on 10/02/1971

1971-Guru_Ravidas

Issued on 24/06/2001

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Best wishes to everyone on Birth Anniversary of Guru Ravidas


10494743_1608343829395386_6839874921590993925_nGuru Ravidas was one of the brightest luminaries of the Bhakti Movement of the fifteenth century, a religious renaissance in India. As stories of Guru Ravidas’s selfless devotion and philosophy of universal love spread far and wide, he had to face the challenge of the orthodox society. Ravidas was born as an untouchable. However, his true devotion towards God was a great source of strength and he proved that irrespective of caste and creed, all are equal in the eyes of God and only sinful actions bring a bad name and dishonor to a man. Influenced by Guru Ravidas’ teachings, the Maharaja and the Rani of Chittor became disciples of Guru Ravidas. The famous saint poetess, Mirabai, also became a disciple of Guru Ravidas.

Best wishes to everyone on Birth Anniversary of Guru Ravidas.

Read also – I, Ravidas, proclaim all vedas are worthless.

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In Bedford, UK – The first road outside India named after Shri Guru Ravidass Ji


This is perhaps the first road outside India named after Shri Guru Ravidass Ji. This road is leading to Shri Guru Ravidass Bhavan (worshiping place) in Bedford, UK. The dispute between the Guru Ravidass Community Center and the local council was resolved last week. Congratulations to the community leaders who successfully campaigned for the ownership of the road.

Check also – I, Ravidas, proclaim all Vedas are worthless

Guru Ravi Dass Lane, Bedford, UK

Guru Ravi Dass Lane, Bedford, UK

Guru Ravi Dass Lane, Bedford, UK

Guru Ravi Dass Lane, Bedford, UK

Guru Ravidas Lane, Bedford, UK (Google Maps)

Guru Ravidas Lane, Bedford, UK (Google Maps)

Photos credit and the news from Bedfordshire On Sunday 

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24th May in Dalit History – Death anniversary of Sant Ramanand Ji and Attack on Shri Guru Ravidass temple in Vienna (Austria)


On the 24th of May, 2009, six Jat Sikhs (upper castes) men armed with daggers and guns entered the Shri Guru Ravidass Gurdwara in Vienna (Austria), and started shooting, aiming at the two visiting Sants (Sant Ramanand Ji and Sant Niranjan Dass Maharaj Ji) from Punjab, India who were giving a sermon at that time. The bloodshed by upper caste Jat Sikhs resulted in the death of Sant Ramanand Ji, who died of gun wounds, and the serious injuries to Sant Niranjan Dass Ji, the spiritual head of Dera Sachkhand Ballan, a religious centre for Dalits in the Punjab devoted to Guru Ravidass Ji.

Sant Ramanand Ji (on right side) and Sant Niranjan Dass Maharaj Ji

Sant Ramanand Ji (on right side) and Sant Niranjan Dass Maharaj Ji

Both Sants were on a mission to preach and spread the teaching of Shri Guru Ravidass Ji, enemies of humanity attacked and seriously injured and killed inside Shri Guru Ravidass Gurudwara in Vienna, Austria. More than 30 followers of Guru Ravidas Ji were also injured and eleven of them seriously. An email reportedly received by Radio Akash in London, purportedly from the Khalistan Zindabad Force, claimed responsibility for the attack.

A passenger train burns in Jalandhar, in the northern Indian state of Punjab as thousands of protesters take to the streets after an attack in a Sikh temple in Austria. (Source Daily Mail)

A passenger train burns in Jalandhar, in the northern Indian state of Punjab as thousands of protesters take to the streets after an attack in a Sikh temple in Austria. (Source Daily Mail)

When news of the death Sant Ramanand Ji spread, the Punjab erupted in violence, a state curfew was imposed, and the army was called in to restore order.

After this unfortunate killings and attacks on Dalit leaders, Dalits in Punjab founded new religion, Ravidassia, and did get separate from Sikhism. At that time Akali Dal and SGPC did their best to please Dera Sachkhand Ballan, Jalandhar, so that Dalits don’t leave Sikhism but at the same time Akali Govt. arrested several Ravidas leaders campaigning for the new Ravidassia religion. Such a hypocrisy by so called Sikh leaders of the time. At present in Sikhism also one can see divisions as per caste system and so called Jat Sikhs think Sikhism is their personal property! Let me tell so called upper caste Jat Sikhs that Sikhism is not a property of anyone, it was founded to fight against injustice and caste discrimination but now there is no difference between Sikhs and Brahmins as both practice discrimination.

Sant Ramanand Ji is no more physically with us because of most unfortunate incidence at Vienna, Austria, but his noble thoughts shall always be with us to lead us on the right path.

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Dalit History Month – Remembering Shri Guru Ravidas Ji


Today’s ‪‎Dalit History‬ post focuses on Guru ‪Ravidass‬. He represents one of many Dalit saints within our liberatory spiritual traditions who challenge Hinduism and its painful notions of pollution. These thinkers fearlessly explored the existential questions posed by caste apartheid with their counter vision of justice, freedom, and one’s true place in the universe.

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Guru Ravidas

Guru Ravidass was one such towering figure. A Chamar saint, poet, and philosopher, he called himself a ‘tanner now set free’. He was the first to envision an Indian utopia in his song “Begumpura”—a modern casteless, classless, tax-free city without sorrow. This vision was in stark contrast to the dystopia of the Brahmanical Kali Yuga.

Check also I, Ravidas, proclaim all Vedas are worthless.

Emerging from the Bhakti tradition he employed loving devotion as a method of social protest against Untouchability. The path he chose was free from religious rituals and sectarian formalities. It emphasized the dignity of labour and compassion for all. It reflected the democratic and egalitarian traits of his social philosophy. He dared challenging the tyranny of the Brahmin spiritual hegemony by wearing dhoti (cloth wrapped around the waist), the janeue (sacred thread), and tilak (sacred red mark on forehead).

His poetry became one of the main vehicles of his social protest. Written in the vernacular of the common man, he hoped to “provide for a better world and a fight against exploiters, power-holders and oppression going on under the name of religion”.

Check alsoPhotos and what Guru Ravidas Ji said

His spiritual teachings became a catalyst that helped concretize the Dalit cultural space in Punjab as his followers have grown beyond India to the world. The followers of his path, represent a range with some devotees counting themselves as Ravidassi Sikhs, while the vast majority now consider themselves a separate religion from Hinduism and Sikhism. One of the key defining characteristics of Ravidassias is that they must believe that Ravidass is a guru (saint) whereas the Sikhs consider him a merely bhagat (holy person). Ravidassias also have compiled their own holy book of Ravidass’ teachings, the Amritbani Guru Ravidass Ji, and many Ravidassia temples now use this book in place of the Guru Granth Sahib.

Check also – Stop Attacking Dalit Statues and Dalit Pride

Please share the information with your friends. Follow the Dalit History Month on Facebook from here and check www.dalithistory.com

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April – Dalit History Month


Did you know? April is celebrated as Dalit History Month. Those who don’t know history can’t make history. We must remember our heroes and celebrate. It’s a time to remember also the struggle and sacrifice that our forefathers made so that we can live better.

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We need to find more about the “truths of our rich history”, “our role models”, “our culture”, and “realities of caste” etc. Only then we can do something better for our society.

There are many things those are kept hidden from all of us (Read here few) What I see as the purpose of hiding all these facts and great achievements of Dr Ambedkar is that it is aimed at distracting Dalit-Bahujans from the right path. And that Dalit-Bahujans don’t get inspiration from their own history and smash the upper caste hegemony. As Dr Ambedkar said, “Let the slave know that he is a slave and he’ll break the chains of slavery.”

It is a time to pay tribute to all those heroes and ideals.

Read about Dalit History from here and also join the conversation on Facebook at DALIT HISTORY MONTH

Also read more about Dalit History Month from here.

Please share the information with your friends.

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