Born in the year 1376 in a village named Kanshi. His family was a Harijan family and his father’s name was SantokhDass and Mother’s name was Kalsa Devi. His family was considered as untouchable. Saint Ravidas is the contemporary of Kabirdas. He was the founder of the Bhakti Movement. He was a great philosopher, saint, social reformer, poet and an ardent devotee of God. He was a devout and was also referred to as Bhagat. He played a very important role in the NirgunaSampradaya and also towards the unity of Hindus and Muslims. He spent his entire life fighting for the injustice being levied on people on the basis of class and caste. He wrote a number of songs praising God. He was quite actively involved in teaching people in the 15th century CE.
He was born in low cast and his teachings are known as ‘Shabds’, and these are part of the main religious scripture of Sikh religion Shri Guru Granth Sahib which is a matter of great honor for the religion. 40 of Shri Guru RavidasJi’sShabds are a part of Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. As a matter of fact these Shabds need to be combined with the preaching of other guru’s and must not be read alone. Many attempts by renowned priests were made in order to have these 40 shabds converted to an individual book but it could not be done. These shabds and hymns left a deep impact in the bhakti movement.
Ravidas coined a term called Begumpura – which means a city without sorrows. This city is an ideal city where people do not suffer from any problem and live a happy life without any kind of casteism and other issues like poverty. The people do not need to pay the taxes and own no property, do wrong to none and do not worry or take tension. It is believed that MeeraBai considered Guru Ravidas as her mentor and she believed that the future of a person depends on the karma and not on the cast and creed.
His birthday which falls on the full moon of the Magh Month as per the Hindu calendar, is celebrated as a very significant day in the religion of Ravidassias mainly in the northern part of India especially Punjab. But his birthday is celebrated in parts of Maharashtra as well as Uttar Pradesh. On his birthday, his portrait is taken out in a procession and people rejoice by dancing and singing. This procession is called as Nagar Kirtan. They also take bath in the Holy River and worship. In temples, his image is prayed to. His birthday is celebrated in a grand manner every year with innumerable devotees paying obeisance from all over the world.
It is because of his devotion and pious nature, people got attracted and started following him. There was no restriction of a particular caste and creed. Some Muslims also followed him and were proud to be called as Ravidassias. It is said that Guru Ravidass died in Vienna after which this sect declared itself free from Sikhism and formed a new religion called Ravidassias.