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Bhakti Saints and their contribution "EMPOWER IAS"

Bhakti Saints and their contribution "EMPOWER IAS"

In news:

  • The President of India recently addressed the ‘Shri Guru Ravidas Vishva Mahapeeth Rashtriya Adhiveshan-2021’ in New Delhi.

 

About Guru Ravidas:

  • Guru Ravidas was a North Indian mystic poet of the bhakti movement.
  • While the exact year of his birth is not known, it is believed that the saint was born in 1377 C.E.
  • Guru Ravidas Jayanti is celebrated on Magh Purnima, which is the full moon day in the Hindu calendar month of Magha.
  • 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.
  • Notably, he belonged to an 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.

 

Guru Ravidas Teachings:

  • Guru Ravidas spoke against the caste divisions and spoke of removing them to promote unity. 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.

 

Why his preaching is important?

  • Philosophy and values of Sant Ravidas like social justice, equality and fraternity have been imbued in our constitutional values.
  • He had envisaged a society that is based on equality and free from any kind of discrimination.
  • He gave it the name ‘Be-gampura’ (a city near Lahore) where there is no place for any kind of grief or fear.
  • Such an ideal city would be bereft of fear, vulnerability or scarcity. Rule of law based on the right ideas like equality and welfare of all would be the principle for governance.

 

Bhakti Movement

  • The development of the Bhakti movement took place in Tamil Nadu between the seventh and ninth centuries.
  • It was reflected in the emotional poems of the Nayanars (devotees of Shiva) and Alvars (devotees of Vishnu). These saints looked upon religion not as a cold formal worship but as a loving bond based upon love between the worshipped and worshipper.
  • In course of time, the ideas of the South moved up to the North but it was a very slow process.
  • A more effective method for spreading the Bhakti ideology was the use of local languages. The Bhakti saints composed their verses in local languages.
  • They also translated Sanskrit works to make them understandable to a wider audience. Examples include Jnanadeva writing in Marathi, Kabir, Surdas and Tulsidas in Hindi, Shankaradeva popularising Assamese, Chaitanya and Chandidas spreading their message in Bengali, Mirabai in Hindi and Rajasthani.