Showing posts with label Adigranth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Adigranth. Show all posts

Hinduism - Who Was Ravidasi(Sant)?


Ravidas  (ca. 1500) is a sant or poet-saint who lived in Benares and is said to have been a younger contemporary of poet-saint Kabir, according to tradition.

The Sants were a loose group of poet-saints from central and northern India who shared a number of common characteristics, including a focus on individualized, interior religion leading to a personal experience of the divine, a dislike for external ritual, particularly image worship, faith in the power of the divine Name, and a tendency to disregard traditional caste distinctions.

Ravidas is described as a leather worker (chamar) by both tradition and allusions in his poems, a social group whose interaction with dead animals and their skins left them untouchable.

His hereditary occupation is said to have sustained him, and much of his poetry deals with concerns of worldly birth and standing.

He never questioned the significance of heredity, but he finally believed that his dedication to God had enabled him to transcend his birth and given him prestige based on other factors.

His poetry, as well as his repeated reminders to his audience that life is brief and difficult, and that they should pay close attention to religious practice, reflect this strong personal conviction.

Ravidas was probably definitely uneducated, given his poor social rank.

His poetic songs were most likely passed down orally, but his personal appeal made him one of the most well-known sant poets.

The Adigranth, a scripture for the Sikh community, and the Panchvani collections, produced by the Dadupanth, are the two earliest recorded sources of his work.

Ravidas has also acted as a role model for the poor in contemporary India; his followers are known as Ravidasis.

Songs of the Saints of India, edited by John Stratton Hawley and Mark Juergensmeyer, was published in 1988, and The Life and Works of Raidas, translated by Winand M.

Callewaert and Peter Freidlander, was published in 1992.

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

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Hinduism And Hindu Theology - What Is The Adigranth?

Adigrath literally means, “Primal Book”. One of the titles for the Sikh text that is most often used by non-Sikhs. 

Sikhs prefer to refer to the text as Shri Guru Granth Sahib, which indicates the book's position as the Sikh community's spiritual leader (guru). 

The tenth Sikh guru, Gobind Singh (d. 1708), bestowed this position after declaring that the community will no longer have human leaders after his death, relying only on their scripture for guidance. 

  • The Sikhs' treatment of the text demonstrates its religious authority. 
  • They treat the Adigranth as if he were a live being. 
  • The Adigranth is ceremonially put to bed at night in Sikh temples and awoken in the morning. 
  • It is worshipped beneath a canopy (a symbol of royalty), fanned in hot weather and warmed in cold, and carried on the bearer's head, which is regarded the cleanest portion of the body, if it must be transported anyplace. 
  • The Sikhs were most likely inspired by Muslim behavior with regard to the Qur'an, since most Hindus give little attention to a book itself, no matter how significant the content may be. 
  • The Adigranth is very important in Sikh life: Sikh couples marry by circling the book, similar to Hindu couples surrounding the holy fire (agnipradakshinam), and a popular dying ritual is an uninterrupted reading (akhand path) of the whole text. 

Guru Arjan, the fifth Sikh guru, composed the book between 1603 and 1604. 

According to legend, he wrote the book in response to competitors challenging his authority, some of whom had produced and circulated volumes ostensibly containing the teachings of Teacher Nanak, the Sikhs' founder and first guru. 

While there may be some truth to this legend, it is now widely accepted that Arjan was working from a compilation created a generation earlier. 

The mul mantra, which provides a set of characteristics and qualities attributed to the Supreme Being, is found in the first verses of the book. 

The Adigranth is divided into three sections after this entrance. 

  • The first is the Japji, a collection of thirty-eight verses by Guru Nanak that are considered the core of the Sikh religion and are repeated as the morning prayer by the devout. 
  • The hymns of the Sikh gurus are organized by raga, or musical mode, in the second part. 
    • The hymns are organized by poetic meter inside each raga, and within each meter, the hymns are ordered chronologically by who of the gurus wrote them. 
    • Because all 10 gurus, according to Sikh tradition, had the same heavenly essence, they all called themselves "Nanak." 
    • However, the songs' introductions distinguish them by using the word Mahala (literally "home," but metaphorically "body") followed by a number, ranging from Mahala 1 for Guru Nanak to Mahala 5 for Guru Arjan. 

  • The Adigranth's last part includes hymns written by a variety of different followers (bhakta), both Hindu and Muslim, who the Sikh gurus felt were preaching the fundamental Sikh doctrine of monotheism and the necessity to serve God. 
    • Trilochan, Jayadeva, Pipa, Ramananda, Sen, Namdev, Kabir, and Ravidas are among the Hindu devotional (bhakti) poets whose works may be found in this area, with major collections for the latter three. 
    • This final part makes the Adigranth a very significant book, even for people who are not interested in the Sikhs. 
    • This part not only provides manuscript tradition that can be exactly and properly dated, but it also ensures that the text has stayed unaltered from the beginning of the seventeenth century due to its holy significance. 

Many additional manuscript sources for these poets are far more modern, and textual degradation and pseudonymous additions make them difficult.

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.