Guru Ravidass embodied spirit of social justice and inclusive spiritualism: Sonia Gandhi

New Delhi: Congress Party president Sonia Gandhi on Monday said that Guru Ravidass embodied the spirit of social justice and inclusive spiritualism, which the citizens of India would do well to emulate.

Extending her greetings to nation ahead of Guru Ravidass Jayanti, Gandhi said, “Guru Ravidass embodied spirit of social justice and inclusive spiritualism. His life and teachings would always inspire us to work towards a more just and humane society.”

Ravidass was a North Indian mystic poet-sant of the Bhakti Movement. He was active in the 15th to 16th century.

Venerated as a Guru (teacher) in the region of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra, the devotional songs of Ravidass made a lasting impact upon the Bhakti Movement.

He was a poet-saint, social reformer and a spiritual figure. He is considered as the founder of the Ravidassia religion, by a group who previously were associated with Sikhism.

The life details of Ravidass are uncertain and contested. Most scholars believe he was born about 1450 in a family that worked with dead animals and their skin to produce leather products, making them an untouchable Chamar caste.

Tradition and medieval era texts state Ravidas was one of the disciples of the Gautam Buddha bhakti sant-poet Kabir.

Ravidass’ devotional songs were included in the Sikh Scriptures, Guru Granth Sahib.

The Panch Vani text of Dadupanthi tradition within Hinduism also includes numerous poems of Ravidass.

There is a larger body of hymns passed on independently that is claimed and attributed to Ravidass.

Guru Ravidass Ji taught removal of social divisions of caste and gender, and promoted unity in the pursuit of personal spiritual freedom.

His name often includes the honorific Bhagat, Sant or Guru, and sometimes spelled as Ravidass, Raidas, Rohidas and Ruhidas. (ANI)