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Sant Ravidas


Prelims: Indian History (Personalities), Sant Ravidas, Nirguna Bhakti

Mains: General Studies-I Modern Indian History from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

Why in the News ?

Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the statue of Sant Ravidas in Varanasi and offered floral tribute on the occasion of his 647th birth anniversary.

Source: PIB

📌 FYI on Prelims

Nirguna Bhakti

  • Nirguna bhakti is devotion to and worship of the formless Divine.
  • Nir, a prefix meaning “without,” guna, which means “qualities” or “properties,” and bhakti, which means “devotion” or “faithfulness,” are all Sanskrit terms.
  • They place a greater emphasis on learning. They scorned the Scriptures and denounced all forms of idolatry.
  • The Brahmins’ supremacy was repudiated by the Nirguna poet-saints, as were all caste-based customs and the practice of idolatry.
  • They valued personal encounters with God, and although they referred to him by various names and titles, their god was formless, everlasting, non-incarnate, and ineffable.
  • Their beliefs appeared to be a synthesis of the three traditions: Vaishnava Bhakti, the Nanpanthi movement, and Sufism. They gave Bhakti a Nirguna perspective, despite the fact that it was borrowed from Vaishnavism.
  • Bhakti is classified in a variety of ways, generally as pairs of opposites, depending on the Hindu tradition or school.
  • Nirguna bhakti is an unmanifested expression of absolute devotion to God


  • Sant Ravidas 

    • He was a mystic poet saint of the Bhakti Movement from the 15th and 16th centuries, and founded the Ravidassia religion.
    • He was a revered poet and a renowned philosopher.
    • Birth: He was born in 1377 CE in Seer Govardhanpur in Uttar PradeshHis place of birth is now known as Shri Guru Ravidass Janam Asthan.
    • Life history:
      • Despite belonging to a community whose initial occupation was in leatherwork, Ravidas shifted his focus to spiritual pursuits, spending much of his time on the banks of the Ganges.
      • Throughout his life, he associated with Sufi saints, sadhus, and ascetics.
      • At the age of 12, Ravidas was married to Lona Devi, and they had a son named Vijay Dass.
    • Teachings and Works:
      • Since his birth, Guru Ravidas devoted his life to advocating for human rights and equality.
      • A few of his compositions were also included in Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
      • He is one of the most famous personalities of the nirguna sampradaya (sant parampara) and was one of the prominent leaders of the North Indian Bhakti movement.
      • He also became a symbol of opposition to untouchability in society by the higher caste people for lower caste people.
      • Sant Guru Ravidas Jayanti is hugely observed in the Northern part of India including Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, and Haryana.

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