Is Guru Ravidas Jayanti a Public Holiday?
Guru Ravidas Jayanti is an optional public holiday all over India. This means that it is considered a restricted holiday in major Indian states and Union territories. Therefore, all schools, public and private sector enterprises and offices, academic institutions, universities and colleges, post offices and banks remain open and fully functional. However, those who follow the Ravidassia religion can seek a half or full day off. Retail stores as well as shopping malls remain open, and transport services operate normally.
On the other hand, some states such as Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab consider this day as a general as well as bank holiday. However, exceptions are always there, and the state authorities can alter the list of Holidays 2023.
Guru Ravidas Jayanti History
Guru Ravidas Jayanti history holds relevant significance and commemorates the beginning of its observance. Although there are differences among scholars regarding the authentic date of birth of the great poet and social reformer Saint Ravidas, most scholars consider Magh Shukla Purnima as his date of birth in 1398 AD and celebrate this as the birth anniversary of Sant Ravidas. As per the scriptures, he was born in a low-caste, underprivileged family in Seer Goverdhanpur, Uttar Pradesh. He was one of the few people who fought against mass social inequality and raised his voice for basic human rights.
Known to be a skilled poet and advocate of human rights, he had a progressive mind and worked towards spreading the message of societal and cultural equality through his teachings and poems. He openly opposed the Caste System prevalent in India at that time and contributed 41 devotional poems and songs in the Holy Scripture Guru Granth Sahib. He is prominently known as the founder of the Ravidassia religion.
How Ravidas Became A Saint?
According to a legend, Ravidas ji was playing one day with his companion. The very next day, his playmate failed to show up, due to which Ravidas Ji went ahead to look for him. However, he learned of his death, which made him extremely sad and heartbroken. Out of despair, he started shaking his friend’s dead body while asking him to stand up, quit sleeping and play with him. Upon hearing this, his dead friend woke up, which surprised everyone around.
This happened because Ravidas ji was blessed with divine, supernatural powers since childhood. As time went on, he devoted his power towards venerating Lord Rama and Lord Krishna. Gradually, while doing good for others, he was given the title of a “Saint”. He openly protested against social discrimination and tried to bring awareness about equality in the society through his Dohas and poems. He envisioned a society free of any caste barrier, and elimination of greed, sorrow, poverty and discrimination.
Guru Ravidas Jayanti Celebrations Across India
Guru Ravidas Jayanti is observed on the Magha Purnima as per the Hindu Panchang, which coincides with the month of February as per the Gregorian Calendar. Guru Ravidas Jayanti is celebrated with great devotion and fervour between the followers of Ravidassia religion. People carry out large public processions, also called Nagar Kirtans, on the street with the picture of Guru Ravidas adorned with garlands. Grand celebrations are carried out at the Shri Guru Ravidass Janam Asthan Mandir located in Seer Goverdhanpur. Millions of followers and tourists from around the globe visit this place, pay their respects to the great Saint Ravidas and become a part of the celebrations.
On this holy occasion, Amritbani Guru Ravidas Ji is recited with great devotion, and a ceremonial aarti is done. Devotees of Guru Ravidas take a holy dip in the holy rivers and remember his preachings and life lessons on this day. There are many inspiring episodes from the life of Sant Ravidas which can become a source of inspiration for the common masses. This day is like an annual festival for his followers. Millions of devotees reach his place of birth, where his couplets are sung and Bhajan-Kirtan is also performed.
Famous Dohas by Guru Ravidas
ब्राह्मण मत पूजिए जो होवे गुणहीन, पूजिए चरण चंडाल के जो होने गुण प्रवीण
brāhmaṇa mata pūjie jo hove guṇahīna, pūjie caraṇa caṃḍāla ke jo hone guṇa pravīṇa
Meaning: A person should not be worshipped only because he/she is born in the upper caste. Do not idolize a person with no worthy qualities, but contrary, anyone from a lower caste possessing a positive attitude in life must be respected.
2. Doha# 2
जा देखे घिन उपजै, नरक कुंड में बास
प्रेम भगति सों ऊधरे, प्रगटत जन रैदास
jā dekhe ghina upajai, naraka kuṃḍa meṃ bāsa
prema bhagati soṃ ūdhare, pragaṭata jana raidāsa
Meaning: Where people felt disgusted to see Ravidas or sit near him on one hand, him being absorbed in the devotion of the Lord is equivalent to rebirth as a human being.
3. Doha# 3
मन चंगा तो कठौती में गंगा
mana caṃgā to kaṭhautī meṃ gaṃgā
Meaning: Maa Ganga descends even in a Kathouthi (a vessel filled with water to soak leather) when hailed by a native who is pure by both mind and heart.
4. Doha# 4
कृस्न, करीम, राम, हरि, राघव, जब लग एक न पेखा
वेद कतेब कुरान, पुरानन, सहज एक नहिं देखा
kṛsna, karīma, rāma, hari, rāghava, jaba laga eka na pekhā
veda kateba kurāna, purānana, sahaja eka nahiṃ dekhā
Meaning: Ram, Krishna, Hari, Ishwar, Karim, Raghav are all different names of the same God. The Vedas, Quran, Puranas etc. speak of the same God and teach virtuous lessons.
5. Doha# 5
जाति-जाति में जाति हैं, जो केतन के पात,
रैदास मनुष ना जुड़ सके जब तक जाति न जात
jāti-jāti meṃ jāti haiṃ, jo ketana ke pāta,
raidāsa manuṣa nā juḍa़ sake jaba taka jāti na jāta
Meaning: Just like you peel the banana stem one by one until nothing is left, similarly, humans have also been divided into castes, causing them to divide apart and bringing an end to humanity.
Guru Ravidas Jayanti Observances
|2019||Tue||19 February||Guru Ravidas Jayanti||Restricted Holiday|
|2020||Sun||9 February||Guru Ravidas Jayanti||Restricted Holiday|
|2021||Sat||27 February||Guru Ravidas Jayanti||Restricted Holiday|
|2022||Wed||16 February||Guru Ravidas Jayanti||Restricted Holiday|
|2023||Sun||5 February||Guru Ravidas Jayanti||Restricted Holiday|
|2024||Sat||24 February||Guru Ravidas Jayanti||Restricted Holiday|
|2025||Wed||12 February||Guru Ravidas Jayanti||Restricted Holiday|
1. Is Guru Ravidas Jayanti a bank holiday in India?
No, Guru Ravidas Jayanti is not a bank holiday all over the country. However, some states may observe it as a bank holiday.
2. Who built the Ravidas Mandir?
The founding stone was laid by Sant Hari Dass on the day of Ashadh Sankranti on Monday, 14 June 1965.
3. Is liquor or meat consumed on the day of Guru Ravidas Jayanti?
No, this day is considered to be a dry day in several states and many sects observe this day as a religious occasion. Hence, meat or liquor is not consumed.
4. What is the symbol of Ravidassia religion?
The “Harr Nishaan” is popularly known as the symbol of Ravidassia religion.
From the above information, it is evident that the Guru Ravidas Jayanti 2023 in India is celebrated on Sunday, 5 February with great fervour and enthusiasm.
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