Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday paid obeisance at the Shri Guru Ravidas Vishram Dham Mandir in Delhi’s Karol Bagh to mark the 645th birth anniversary of the legendary saint who is considered the founder of the 21st-century Ravidassia religion and whose hymns are included in the Guru Grant Sahib.
At the temple, PM Modi not only offered prayers to the saint but also took part in ‘Shabad Kirtan’ with the devotees, calling them “very special moments”.
A day before, PM Modi hailed the saint-poet, saying he dedicated his life to eliminating evil practices like caste and untouchability from the society and continues to be an inspiration for all.
The Ravidassia community holds massive sway in Punjab and the assembly elections, earlier scheduled for February 14, were pushed back to February 20 to allow devotees to travel to Varanasi to mark the day. The elevation of Charanjit Singh Channi, who belongs to the Ramdasia community, as the chief minister has once again brought this community back to the political focus.
Guru Ravidas was born on Magha Purnima (full moon day in the month of Magh) which is why his birth anniversary is celebrated as per the Hindu calendar on Magha Purnima.
Born in 1377 CE at Manduadih in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India, Guru Ravidas was an Indian mystic, poet, social reformer and spiritual guru who made remarkable contributions in the form of devotional songs, verses, spiritual teachings during the Bhakti movement. He also wrote 40 poems in the Adi Grant, which is the sacred scripture of Sikhism.
He actively opposed the caste system, promoted communal harmony, spiritual freedom and championed equality. Shri Guru Ravidas Janam Asthan is the name given to his birthplace. His birthplace holds special significance for all his followers He was also the spiritual guide of Meera Bai.
Apart from PM Modi, Channi is visiting Varanasi to seek blessings and pay obeisance. As part of Dalit outreach, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra too will be attending the festivities.
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