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Ravidassias of Punjab

  • 18 Jan 2022
  • 2 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has postponed polling for the Punjab Assembly election, which underlines the importance of the Ravidassia community in the state.

  • The State government and political parties raised concern that many devotees would be in Varanasi (in a memorial temple) to celebrate Guru Ravidas’s birth anniversary on 16th February and miss out on voting.
  • Guru Ravidas’s birth anniversary is celebrated on Magh Purnima, the full moon day in the month of Magh according to the Hindu lunar calendar.

Key Points

  • About:
    • The Ravidassias are a Dalit community of whom the bulk — nearly 12 lakh — live in the Doaba region.
    • The Dera Sachkhand Ballan, their largest dera with 20 lakh followers worldwide, was founded in the early 20th century by Baba Sant Pipal Das.
    • Once closely connected with Sikhism, the dera severed these decades-old ties in 2010, and announced they would follow the Ravidassia religion.
      • The announcement was made on Guru Ravidas Jayanti in Varanasi.
    • From 2010, the Dera Sachkhand Ballan started replacing the Guru Granth Sahib with its own Granth, Amritbani, carrying 200 hymns of Guru Ravidas, in Ravidassia temples and gurdwaras.

  • Guru Ravidas:
    • Guru Ravidas was a mystic poet saint of the Bhakti Movement from the 15th and 16th centuries, and founded the Ravidassia religion.
    • It is believed that he was born in Varanasi in a cobbler’s family.
    • He gained prominence due to his belief in one God and his unbiased religious poems.
    • He dedicated his whole life to the abolition of the caste system and openly despised the notion of a Brahminical society.
    • His devotional songs made an instant impact on the Bhakti Movement and around 41 of his poems were included in ‘Guru Granth Sahib’, the religious text of the Sikhs.

Source: IE

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