Showing posts with label Ravidasi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ravidasi. 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.


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Hinduism - Who Is A Ravidasi Or Ravidasiis?

 


Ravidas, the untouchable poet-saint, was given this name by his disciples.

The Ravidasis highlight several principles found in Ravidas' poetry, such as the folly of attempting to confine the divine in scriptures and ceremonies, and his vision of a society in which all individuals may have equal status, regardless of their background.

Although Ravidas is held up as a model for religious equality based on the teachings in his poetry, it is doubtful that the Ravidasis were founded by Ravidas himself, nor is Ravidas an object of worship for them.

In current times, the Ravidasis have concentrated on combating all forms of caste-based prejudice, as well as empowering different low caste communities.

This movement is very new, and little has been written about it to far; for further information, read John Stratton Hawley and Mark Juergensmeyer (trans. ), Songs of the Saints of India, 1988, especially the introduction to Ravidas.


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.