Guru Ravidas Jayanti

Guru Ravidas Jayanti (Guru Ravidas Birthday) is the birth of famous Saint Ravidas celebrated on the full moon day. The birthday is celebrated hugely at Seer Gowardhapur village temple in the state of Uttar Pradesh in January or February. On that day the holy book of Ravidas is read by the devotees and the other rituals are performed.

Most of the devotees take a holy dip in the river to fulfill their wishes. More than 1 lakh devotees visit the Seer Gowardhanpur Temple every year including foreigners. In India people come from Punjab, Haryana, etc. and the foreigners include UK and Canada. There is a special train which runs from Varanasi for Pilgrimage every year.

Who is Saint Ravidas?

He was an Indian mystic poet-saint of the Bhakti movement during the 15th to 16th centuries. He is regarded as one of the teachers in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh. The songs of Ravidas have a great impact on the Bhakti Movement. He was a poet Saint cum social reformer.

Ravidas was born in 1450 and died in 1520. He was born in Seer Gowardhanpur village near Varanasi which is now Uttar Pradesh. The birthplace is now called Shri Guru Ravidas Janamasthan and people celebrate guru ravidas jayanti there. His original occupation was leatherwork, and then he began to spend his time in spiritual pursuits at the bank of Ganges. Therefore he spent most of his life in the company of Sufi Saints and sadhus. There are many texts which state the birth of Saint Ravidas.

His ideas and fame grew over his lifetime, and text suggests that Brahmins admired his work. The poems in a regional language inspired people from various backgrounds for his teachings and guidance.

Guru Ravidas – Beliefs

The teachings of Ravidas represent the principles of Bhakti movement. The principles taught by Ravidas were:

  • Oneness, the omnipresence of god
  • The human soul is a god particle.
  • Rejection of the notion that lower cast cannot meet god.
  • God is a human life goal, people should concentrate on God during all rituals of life.
  • To meet god you have to free your mind from duality.

Rituals performed in Guru Ravidas Jayanti

  • Nagar Kirtan- There is an Aarti event in the evening where the Nagar Kirtan ceremony takes place. The procession is performed by the devotees by chanting Guru’s name.
  • Music- Songs, Music, and Doha are performed in the temples.
  • Holy Bath- Most of the devotees perform the holy bath in the Ganga River or other holy places. After the holy bathing, they worship Guru’s image at the temples or at home.
  • Amritbani- The holy book is read and the official symbol of the Ravidassia is changed in a special ceremony.

Place of worship

The place of worship in this is mostly called a Sabha or a Bhawan. People of different religions cover their heads while entering the Sabha. It is believed that people of any religion can give their respect to Guru Ravidas. There is a flag outside the Sabha which is exchanged on the day of Guru Ravidas Jayanti.


Dera Sach Khand of Jallandhar on 30th January 2010 announced the objectives:

  • To promote the Bani and teachings of Saint Ravidas
  • Besides Ravidas also promote the thoughts of other Sat gurus.


The sabhas contain the holy book of Amritbani Guru Ravidas which contains 240 hymns. It was installed on Jallandhar on 1st February 2012. On that day Dera Sach Khand announced the formation of new Ravidassia religion and separation of Sikhism at Varanasi. The split from Sikhism was triggered after killing its deputy head Ramanand Dass in May 2009 at a Sabha in Vienna by few Sikh radicals.

Relationship with Sikhism

Dera Bhallan Ravidasis claim that their religion was created after they were taken out of Sikh Gurudwaras. The temple worship and mainstream Sikhism are totally similar. The crucial difference is the reference of Ravidas as their primary Guru, and the use of Ravidas teachings as primary scriptures. Most of the Ravidassias accept images and idols of Ravidas in the temples.

Legends associated with Guru Ravidas

There are personalities who are related to Guru Ravidas on this auspicious day. The Chittorgarh queen is considered to be his great disciple. She always admired his works such as his poems, songs, etc.

Lessons of Guru Ravidas

As Guru Ravidas was an ardent devotee of Waheguru he expressed his passion and love for him. His lessons are:

  • Poetry and music are a form of art and is close to his dear Waheguru, who is a skillful artist and everyone can witness his breathtaking art in his creation.
  • He also told the society that human being is recognized by their work not by their caste.
  • Raised voice against the growth of untouchability and caste system which was common.
  • Advised his fellow mates that everyone has the right to love and worship Waheguru.
  • Devotion to Waheguru is done by a sacred heart not by rituals.
  • There is a famous saying by Ravidas “I am in you and you are in me”.
  • Had a belief “We are a part of each other and absorbed into each other”.
  • Compared his nexus with Waheguru to gold and bangle and then to water and tide.
  • If you devote your entire life to Waheguru you are attaining a blissful state of mind and in that state, you will always feel happy.

Praises by Gurus for Ravidas

In Shri Guru Granth Sahib, Guru Ram Das praised Ravidas by writing

“Every moment he sings makes everyone glorified by his presence”

“Though he belongs to a lower caste he is excellent, the other caste came and fell at his feet”

Guru Arjan Dev also expressed about the spiritual achievement of Ravidas Ji as “Guru Ravidas is the most visible master of our universe”


The most important message we get from Saint Ravidas’s life is that all human beings are recognized by their work and not their caste. Being a lower cast he was an ardent devotee of Waheguru. That is why Guru Ravidas Jayanti is celebrated hugely in Varanasi and other parts of India.

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