Stories of Shri Guru Ravidas Ji
Guru Ravidas Ji As a Promising Student
Pt. Sharda Nand ran his Pathshala in his house. Guru Ravidass Ji was put to his Pathshala (School) by his revered parents. Many other casteist people tried to restrain Pt. Sharda Nand from admitting in his Pathshala and teaching Ravidass Ji-a low caste boy. He was a wise man and he realised from his face that the boy Ravidass Ji appeared to be a godly boy. In utter disregard of the pressure of casteist people, Pt. Sharda Nand admitted Guru Ravidass Ji and started teaching him. He was a sober and prom- ising student. When he taught him the letters of alphabet, Guru Ravidass Ji expanded and spoke poetic lines, originating from the particu-lar letter, signifying Glory of God.
Man re! chal(i) chatsar parhaoon
Chit(u) kagad kar(i) mas(i) nainan ri,
A-agyan chhanr(i) man moorikh,
Aa-aasan achal lagaoon.
I-ila pingla khol kivrya,
Soon(i) samadh rakhoon.
U-ur mainh ram h(i) rakhoon,
Nainan mainh basaoon.
M-mer(i) taj(i) raam naam mil(i),
Param tatt kau paoon.
R-ran raam moh(i) guru deenhau,
Nanh(i)ih(u) mantar visraoon.
Kahai Ravidass rrankaar japthin(i)
Bhau sagar(u) tar(i) jaaoon.
All this had great influence on Pt. Sharda Nand, his teacher. He realised that boy Ravidass Ji was spiritually enlightened since beginning. Although Guru Ravidass Ji was still a boy, yet Pt. Sharda Nand had developed deep regard for student Ravidass Ji.
The dead son of Pt. Sharda Nand's son became alive
In his childhood when Guru Ravidass Ji was studying in the Pathshala of Pt. Sharda Nand, he developed friendship with his son. They used to play together.
One day in the game of hide-and-seek, Guru Ravidass Ji won and his friend lost the game. As a result, his friend was to seek hidden Ravidass Ji in his next turn. By this time night had fallen. It was mutually agreed that the friend (son of Pt. Sharda Nand) would play his turn of seeking Guru Ravidass Ji tomorrow in the morning.
In the next morning, Guru Ravidass Ji, along with other play-mates, waited for his friend for a long time but he did not turn up. At last Guru Ravidass Ji himself went to his residence with other playmates.
The parents and other members of family of friend of Guru Ravidass Ji were weeping. The neighbourers and others were also sitting in re- morse. Guru Ravidass Ji enquired as to what had happened. He was apprised that his friend (son of Pt. Sharda Nand) had died during night. Guru Ji wondered as to why he had died with- out playing his turn of seeking Guru Ji in the game of hide-and-seek. He wanted to see his friend. Pt. Sharda Nand took Guru Ravidass Ji along to the place where dead body of his son was lying. In a friendly tone, Guru Ravidass Ji, asked his friend that it was not the time to sleep and he should get up and play his turn of seek- ing him in the game of hide-and-seek. By virtue of spiritual powers of Guru Ravidass Ji, His friend became alive. He got up and was willing to play. His parents and others were astonished. They were happy again.
The parents and relatives of the friend of Guru Ji and others bowed at sacred feet of Guru Ji and thanked him.
A Brahman Boy Rescued
A Brahman boy named Ram Lal was a close friend of Guru Ravidass Ji. For most of the time they remained together and played together. The Brahman boy did not observe untouchability also. He loved Guru Ji very much. The Brahmans were jealous and could not toler- ate that a Brahman boy should play with an un- touchable boy. They emphatically impressed upon his parents to detract their son from mov- ing and playing with a boy of low-caste. But Ram Lal obeyed none.
The Brahmans, being jealous of Guru Ravidass Ji, complained to the king about the friendship of Ram Lal (a Brahman) and Guru Ravidass Ji (an untouchable). The king called Ram Lal to the court. He was decided to be killed by throwing before a hungry lion. As such, he was thrown before a hungry lion. The lion thundered. Ram Lal cried at his high pitch and fainted. When the lion came near the boy it be- came calm. It looked around. Instead of killing the boy it looked frightened. It saw Guru Ravidass Ji sitting near and protecting Ram Lal. The lion bowed before Ram Lal and receded. Ram Lal came to senses. He got up and came straight to his friend Guru Ravidass Ji and thanked him for his protection from the lion.
The King and Brahmans felt ashamed. The King realised that Ram Lal has been protected by some spiritual power. The king freed him,
Non-acceptance of Philosopher’s Stone
Guru Ravidass Ji was a great saint of me- dieval Age who remained contented with his mini- mum belongings and resources of livelihood. He preferred to lead a poor man’s life. Many kings and queens and other rich people were his dis- ciples but he never expected and accepted any wealthy offers. God deemed it proper to give him a philosopher’s stone. One day God, in the guise of a saint, visited Guru Ji’s hut and of- fered him a philosopher’s stone with whose touch iron would be converted into gold. The saint asked him to construct a palatial building with money earned with converted gold. Suit- able boarding and lodging arrangements could also be made for visiting Sadhus. Guru Ji lis- tened all this. After a pause he politely refused the offer with the plea that he prefers to be poor and that he would serve the visiting Sadhus with his available resources. Even the repeated offers of the philosopher’s stone by the Godly saint were not accepted by Guru Ji.
At last the saint thought that he should leave the philosopher’s stone in his hut and he could use it later. He requested Guru Ji to keep it with him and he would collect it from him on return. Guru Ji told him to keep it in a particular place in the hut. The saint kept that stone there.
The saint came back after 13 months. He asked for philosopher’s stone. Guru Ravidass Ji asked him to collect it from the place where he had kept. He had not used it. The saint won- dered on his tenacity of non-involvement in worldly wealth. The saint was very happy and took away the philosopher’s stone, went out and disappeared.
Guru Ji has taught us a lesson that one should not be greedy. One should work hard for earning livelihood.
Guru Ravidass Ji Escaped Attempt on Life
Ever since his childhood, Guru Ravidass Ji had religious bent of mind. His talks were not conventional. Even his family members were astonished at his strange actions. He was an un- daunted boy. When he became adult, he started worshipping God like the Brahmans. He blew conch-shell, applied Tilak (mark) on forehead wore Janju (sacred thread) and tied Dhoti (cloth sheet used instead of trousers) like the Brah- mans. He vehemently condemned caste system and untouchability. He preached equality, secularism, truthfulness, oneness of God and human rights. Since his message was of universal broth- erhood, people of all shades irrespective of caste, sex or creed came to listen his sermons. His following was fast increasing. At this, the Brahmans and Piran Ditta Mirasi planned a strategy to kill Guru Ravidass Ji. A meeting of several young men was to be arranged in desolate and lonely place away from the village where Guru Ravidass Ji would also be invited. In the course of discussion, Guru Ravidass Ji would be manhandled and killed. Guru Ji knew it before hand due to his spiritual power.
The meeting started at the venue. In course of discussion a group of persons caught hold of him and tried to kill him. At this juncture, by virtue of his spiritual powers, Guru Ravidass Ji cast his appearance on one Bhalla Nath. As a result, Bhalla Nath, their companion, looked to others as Ravidass. They killed him. After a short while, Guru Ji blew conch-shell at his hut. The killers were astonished to hear the sound of the conch-shell. They went back to the spot of the scuffle and found that Bhalla Nath had been killed instead of Guru Ravidass Ji. They repented and prayed Guru Ravidass Ji for forgiveness.
Floating of Pathri (Stone)
According to Hindu scriptures worship of God was the sole right of Brahmins only. On the contrary, Shri Guru Ravidass Ji, who be- longed to Chamar caste, also started worship of God. He started blowing conch-shell and ring- ing the bell. He was enlightened and had realised God. He simplified mode of worship and dis- carded rituals. His religious discourses were most convincing and truthful. As a result, cut- ting across caste barriers, large number of people became his followers. All this irked the Brahmans. It was a challenge not only to their priestly supremacy but an adverse impact on their source of livelihood also. Brahmans forbade him from worshipping God. But he did not relent and took worship as his birth-right.
At last Brahmans approached the then Kashi Naresh Hardev Singh and complained against Guru Ravidass Ji for practising worship of God. Guru Ravidass Ji was summoned to appear in the court of the king. Guru Ji explained in the court that worship is everybody’s right and that he is the truthful worshipper of God. The Pandit priests and Guru Ravidass Ji were asked to bring their Thakur (Idol) whom they worshipped, to the river Ganga on the appointed day. Only that party will be adjudged as the true worshipper whose Thakur floats in the river.
Brahman priests and Guru Ravidass Ji ar- rived at Rajghat of the river Ganga as directed by the king. The Pandits had brought small Thakur stones wrapped in the cotton. But Guru Ravidass Ji was stoutly carrying a 40 kg. heavy- weight square stone on his shoulders with unshakeable confidence. A huge crowd of resi- dents of Benaras gathered on Rajghat of river Ganga to witness the fateful and decisive event. The king and the courtiers also reached the spot. The Brahman priests who were the aggrieved party were given first turn to float their Thakur stones in the river. All the tall fleshy, head shaven, Janju (thick thread) wearing and Tilak applied Brahman priests blew conch-shells and fumbled Vedic Mantras and gently placed their Thakur stones in the river one by one. To their great dismay, all their Thakur stones gently sank down deep into the water. All of them bowed down their heads. The on-lookers were stunned to see the sinking Thakurs of Brahmans.
Then was the turn of Guru Ravidass Ji. He lifted his heavy-weight stone on his shoul- ders. There was thaw. All eyes were focussed on Guru Ji and the stone he carried. Curiosity prevailed. It was a decisive moment. In case his stone also sinks, there will be further gloom for the lowly. Guru ji closed his eyes and stood erect. His face blushed and with all humility he prayed to God.
Meri sangat poch soch din raati
Mera karam kutilta janam kubhati.
Raam gosaeeaa jeea ke jeewnaa
Mohi naa bisaarho main jan tera. (Rahaao)
Meri haro vipt jan karo subhaaiee
Charn naa chhadoo sareer kall jaaiee.
Kaho Ravidass pario teri saabha.
Beig milho jan karu naa bilanbaa.
At this moment there was dazzling light in the sky. All the on-lookers expected something miraculous. Guru Ji moved ahead to the water and gently placed the stone in light-blue trans- parent water of the river. To great astonishment of the on-lookers the stone (Pathri) floated ma- jestically. Guru Ji gently smiled and thanked God for coming to his rescue. There was spontane- ous applause from the viewers.
The Pandits had failed in the test. They had been proved false worshippers. The on-look- ers made a mockery of the Pandits. The king announced victory to Guru Ravidass Ji as the truthful worshipper. All respectfully fell at his feet. Guru Ravidass Ji was seated in a golden palanquin and moved in a procession in the city. The mindset of the masses was changed and they developed regard for him and the lowly. They were blissful after having glimpses of Guru Ji.
A gala-function was organised after some- time in the honour of Guru Ravidas Ji to cel- ebrate his victory. He was seated at a raised cush- ioned and beautiful seat decorated with jewels. All the courtiers, diwans, intelligentsia, chieftains and selected people formed the gathering. All spoke high of Guru Ravidass Ji. The king and members of his family intantly became follow- ers of Guru Ji. At the end of the function sweets were distributed. The people touched sacred feet of Guru Ji and went back home singing his praise. This event was recorded in the annals of court in calligraphic golden letters.
It was an unprecedented and eventful day for the untouchables. New glorious history was created for them on that fateful day. Truth had come out victorious against falsehood. False beliefs had been belied!
Disgrace of Guru Ravidass Ji Be- got Leprosy
Saintly persons belong to entire mankind. They do not represent any single caste or creed. They cherish universal well-being; and persuade humanity to follow the path of Truth and Equal- ity. Guru Ravidass Ji was a reputed enlightened saint of medieval Age. Influenced by the truth- fulness of his sacred sermons of worship of God, devotees from all castes became his dis- ciples. After having learnt of his fame as an Eman- cipated saint, a wealthy Seth visited his place to hear his religious discourses. On that day Guru Ji threw light on importance of human birth. It was elucidated that rare phenomenon of our birth is a result of our benevolent deeds in our previous life.
Dulabh janam pun phal payo
The Almighty should, therefore, be wor- shipped to enlighten our this life. Other than His Name all show of rituals is false.
At the end of Satsang (religious discourses) Guru Ji distributed nectar from shallow earthen pot lying near his seat. On observing it as dirty water, he threw nectar behind his head and back instead of drinking. It fell partially on his clothes and partially on the floor.
The gathering dispersed. The Seth came back home. Thinking that his clothes had been spoiled and polluted by dirty water given by Guru Ravidass Ji, he took off the clothes and donated to a poor man who was suffering from leprosy.
The poor man wore the clothes donated by the Seth. The clothes bore blots of nectar given by Guru Ravidass Ji to the Seth. The poor man felt soothing effect on his body as soon as he put on the clothes. The wounds of leprosy started healing up. He started having sound sleep at night. In a short period, the poor man became completely healthy as if he had never suffered from the disease. On the other hand leprosy developed on the body of the Seth. He got lot of treatment from highly qualified and experienced Vaids and Hakims but the disease continued be- coming serious. The wounds of leprosy became wet. Continuous intense pricking pain upset the psyche of the Seth and plunged him in gloom. He sat alone and pondered as to whether the disease was due to disgrace of the saint. He went to Guru Ravidass Ji and apologized for throw- ing nectar on his earlier visit. Guru Ji forgave him. He got relief from the disease automatically within a few days. Thereafter, the entire family of the Seth became Guru Ji’s disciples.
Display of Janjus of 4 Ages
The Hindu religious books have put a bar on the so-called Shudras from worshipping God. The Shudras were not allowed to wear the Janju (sacred thick thread), put mark (Tilak) on fore- head and observe other religious practices. Guru Ravidass was born to face the brunt. He started wearing Janju, put Tilak (religious mark) on fore- head and wearing Dhoti like that of Pandits. He also observed other practices which were pecu- liar to the Brahmans only. All this was taken very ill by the Pandits. In the beginning they tried to impress upon Guru Ravidass Ji not to resort to the practices followed by them. But Guru Ji would not agree. He told them that they were wearing false Janju.
Aggrieved by the intransigent attitude of Guru Ravidass Ji, the Brahmans brought to the notice of the king, the religious practices fol- lowed by Ravidass Ji which are peculiar to the Brahmans only. The king was furious on the is- sue. He sent for Guru Ravidass Ji for clarifying his position. Guru Ravidasss Ji appeared in the court of the king. The Brahmans too had come in large numbers. The issue of wearing Janju (sa- cred thick thread) was discussed.
Brahmans said that as per Hindu scriptures, Janju is to be worn by the Brahmans only. Ravidass being untouchable should stop wear- ing it. Guru Ravidass Ji told the king that it has falsely been written in the scriptures that non- Brahmans will not wear Janju. It is injustice with others. However, he will stop wearing Janju on one condition. The Pandits would show him what he was just going to show to the king. Guru Ji took out a Rambi (knife) and struck it into his chest making four-inch long cut. Blood blew profusely. There was a pool of blood on the floor. He pulled out four Janjus from his chest- one of gold, second of silver, third of copper and fourth of thread-signifying his wearing these Janjus in Satyuga, Treta, Duaaper and Kalyuga. This also demonstrated that the untouchables are pure, truthful and innocent. The Brahmans cut a story figure. Their faces turned pale. Un- derstanding the reality, the king fell on the feet of Guru Ji and begged apology for the harass- ment caused to him. A broad-minded Guru Ji forgave him.
At the end of the event, Guru Ji told the king and the gathering that in fact Janju has no significance in attainment of God. He wore it only to demonstrate its futility and to show the right path to the Brahmans. Guru Ji took off his Janju and gave it to the king. Thereafter, he never wore any Janju as such.
The pains taken by Guru Ravidass Ji to wrest human rights should not be allowed to go unfelt and unsung. It should further kindle the spirit to continue the pace. Blood flowed from his chest may energise blood of the generations to tread his foot-prints and thrill the era.
Meera Bai Saved
Meera Bai was the only child of her parents. Her mother died when Meera Bai was still in her infancy. She was brought up un- der the custody of Duda Ji, her grandfather who was a worshipper of God. He had met Guru Ravidass Ji several times. He was under his in- fluence. Meera Bai was also influenced by the devotional bent of mind of her grandfather. It is said that at the time of marriage of Meera Bai, Guru Ravidass Ji blessed the couple.
After her marriage, she adopted Guru Ravidass Ji as her Guru, with the consent of her husband and other elderly members of her family. Religious discourses were held daily at the open compound of 1800 ft. high Kumbh Shyam Mandir near Vijay Sitambh, Chittorgarh. These discourses had deep impact on innocent con- science of Meera Bai. In this compound, Meera used to dance in ecstasy of deep Divine devotion. She used to sing the praise of her Guru.
Guru milya Ravidass Ji dini gyan ki gutki
Chot lagi nijnam hari ki mharey hivrey khatki.
By this time, Meera Bai had become a truth- ful devotee of Guru Ravidass Ji. She had unshakeable faith in Guru Ji. She was absorbed in meditation and company of saints all the time. After the death of her father-in-law, her troubles started. Bikramjit the younger brother of her deceased husband, was apprehensive and did not like her remaining aloof in meditation and company of saints. But Meera Bai did not relent.
Bikramjit got her thrown in Gambhiri river at midnight. She glimpsed Guru Ravidass Ji in the turmoil of waves. The waves comfortably sprang her out to the bank of river. This incident confirmed purity of Meera and she felt blissful.
On another day in her intuitional devotional state of meditation, Meera Bai was talking and laughing with Guru Ravidass Ji in her room. Bikramjit apprehended that she was talking and laughing with some outsider in her room. Out of wrath he unsheathed his sword to kill her. He knocked at the door and asked her angrily to open the door. Without waiting he forcefully pushed the door open. There was no man. Room was filled with dazzling light. Meera was ab- sorbed in meditation. This shook him. His con- science cursed him. He fainted. After some time he gained consciousness. Feeling helpless he came out.
Meera Bai faced yet another crucial test. A cushioned bed was prepared. Piercing sharp nails were studded on it. Meera Bai was asked to sit on it as it was purported to be manufac- tured for her comfortable sleep. She did as directed. By virtue of protection by Guru Ravidas Ji the piercing nails became flowers. She had sound sleep on the bed.
Bikramjit was still haunted by the phobia of killing Meera Bai. He chalked out a strategy to kill Meera Bai in consultation with his minis- ters. She was to be offered milk mixed with poi- son by posing it as nectar sent to her by Guru Ravidass Ji. Uda Bai, sister of Bikramjit, secretly told Meera Bai that poison in the milk is going to be offered to her posing as nectar sent to her by Guru Ravidass Ji; that she should not drink it. Meera Bai replied that if it is said to have been sent by Guru Ravidass Ji, she would drink it as nectar. Milk mixed with poison was offered to Meera Bai through Pandit Daya Ram stating that it is nectar sent by Guru Ravidass Ji and she should drink it. In meditation Guru Ravidass Ji told her that although it is poison-mixed-milk yet she should unhesitatingly drink it as nectar. Meera Bai repeated Name of Guru Ravidass Ji devo- tionally and carried the pot containing poison- ous milk. It became nectar. She drank it and be- came blissful. She sang in ecstasy:
Vish ko pyala Rana Ji melio dyo
Mertani ne paye
Kar charanamrit pee gayee re,
gunGobind ra gaye.
Bikramjit still thought of killing Meera Bai. He thought out another plan. A poisonous snake was to be sent to Meera Bai posing as garland sent by Guru Ravidass Ji for her. The snake would sting her when the pot is opened. Pot carrying poisonous cobra snake was taken to Meera Bai and she was told that it is a garland sent by Guru Ravidass Ji for her. She should wear it. She meditated Guru Ji. By spiritual power of Guru Ravidass Ji the snake became a beauti- ful garland. She removed disc of the pot. It was a beautiful garland. She picked it up and wore it. She was moved and sang spontaneously:
Saanp pitaro Rana Ji bhejyo, dyo mertani gal Daar
Hans hans Meera kanth lagayo yo to mhan Re nausar haar.
Meera Bai thanked Guru Ravidass Ji. She was saved.
Bikramjit was now helpless. He yielded to Meera Bai and begged apology for past attempts to kill her. She forgave him. Bikramjit and mem- bers of his family developed deep regard for Guru Ravidass Ji.
Guru Ravidass Ji was a great saint. Meera Bai was his equally great disciple. Her heart beat with Guru Ji; her soul vibrated with Guru Ji. She wrote and sang profuse devotional poetry in praise of Guru Ravidass Ji. Sweet and melodi- ous tunes of hymns of Meera Bai can be heard even today in air in the serene vicinity of Chittor. Radio and Television too sing her devotional songs as the day dawns.
The Episode of Damri (small coin)
Kumbh festival was held at Haridwar on the bank of the river Ganga. Pandit Ganga Ram set out to attend this festival. On the way he visited Guru Ravidass Ji at Benaras and paid homage to him. On being asked by Guru Ji he apprised him that he was going to attend Kumbh festival at Haridwar. Guru Ravidass Ji gave one Damri (small coin) to Pandit Ganga Ram with the direction that he should offer this Damri to Ganga Mata only if she accepts it by taking her hand out of water. He was amazed at the unprecedented condition. However, he took the Damri and went away to Haridwar. He thought in his mind that since time immemorial innumerable devotees have offered money, gold and silver ornaments and other precious jewels but Ganga Mata has never accepted these of- fers by taking out her hand. This was something impossible and unheard of. He took it very lightly.
At Har Ki Pauri, Haridwar, after taking his bath, Pandit Ganga Ram said his prayers and started his journey back home. The Pandit had forgotten to offer Damri of Guru Ravidass Ji to Ganga Mata. Soon his way back home the Pandit felt giddy and fainted and sat down. He fell asleep. He realised that he had forgotten to offer Damri to Ganga Mata. As he woke up, he immediately went back to the holy river.
Pandit Ganga Ram spoke loudly towards the river not believing that he would get any re- sponse. He uttered that Ravidass Ji has sent a Damri to her. But it is to be given only if it is accepted by taking out your hand. At this, Ganga Mata lifted her right hand out of water and ac- cepted Damri sent by Guru Ravidass Ji, leaving the Pandit in the shock. In return, Ganga Mata gave a golden Kangan (bangle) to Pandit Ganga Ram and asked him to give it to Guru Ravidass Ji as her gift. Pandit Ganga Ram came back home and gave the Kangan to his wife instead of giving it to Guru Ravidass Ji.
After a few days, at the instance of his wife, he went to the market to sell the precious Kangan as he was in great need of money. Jeweller was astonished to see the precious Kangan. He had never seen such a bangle before. He appre- hended the mischief and passed on the bangle to the king that Pandit Ganga Ram had stolen it from somewhere. He king showed the beautiful bangle to his queen. She liked it very much and insisted for one more matching Kangan of same type. The Pandit was helpless. The king directed him to arrange one matching bangle, failing which he would be punished. Pandit Ganga Ram broke down and narrated the whole episode as to how he got this bangle. He requested the king and queen to accompany him to Guru Ravidass Ji for the purpose. When they reached there, Guru Ji extended a hearty welcome to them. Pandit Ganga Ram narrated the whole tale of bangle to Guru Ji and repented for the perfidious act and humbly sought forgiveness. He also implored that a matching bangle is needed by the king and the queen.
Mun changa to kathauti mein Ganga
(If mind is pure, the Ganga flows in the small earthen shallow pot). Broad-minded Guru Ji asked them to see in the earthen shallow pot. To their amazement, river Ganga was flowing and there were innumerable bangles floating in it. Guru Ji asked them to identify the matching bangle. All this shook their spirit. They were fascinated and highly impressed by the spiritual power of Guru Ji that they became his followers. They listened evening religious discourses and went back home singing the praise of Guru Ravidass Ji.
At some place this episode has been de- scribed differently. Once the king and queen along with courtiers and other dignitaries visited the place of Guru Ravidass Ji. The queen pos- sessed the kangan (bracelet) which had been sent by Ganga Ji to Guru Ji. It was so dear to her. The queen requested Guru Ji for second match- ing kangan. Kind hearted Guru Ji lifted the stone on which he used to process leather and said:
Man Changa to kathauti mein Ganga.
Ganga was flowing. So many kangans like the one with the queen were floating in the Ganga. The king and queen were amazed to see all that. They sought forgiveness. They became disciples of Guru Ravidass Ji.
The above episode has been described at some pages with still a minor difference. The queen demanded a matching kangan, the king went to the shore of the Ganges. He worshipped Ganga Ji, in many manners but got no response. Then taking pandit ji along reached the kutia of Guru Ravidass Ji. He humbly requested Guru Ji for second matching kangan of the one in his possession. Guru Ji said that he could get as many kangans as he liked. He lifted the pathri(stone) on which he used to process leather and asked Ganga Ji to bless a kangan to the king.
All were astonished to see the flow of Ganga beneath the pathri. Ganga Ji was throw- ing out with waves many kangans matching with the one the king was having. All were amazed to see all this miracle. The king begged apology and bowed on the sacred feet of Guru Ji in reverence. He became disciple of Guru Ji. Holy sages are king of the kings.
Dinner of Guru Ravidass Ji at Chittorgarh
Once Rani Jhalan Bai of Chittorgarh vis- ited Benaras on pilgrimage. She paid homage at many temples. There she heard of perfection in enlightenment of Guru Ravidass Ji. She went to the place of Guru Ji at Govardhanpur, Benaras and listened his religious discourses. She was highly convinced and influenced by Guru Ji. She was so much impressed that she prayed Guru Ji to make her his disciple. Guru Ji told her to adopt some high-caste saint as Guru as she belonged to Rajput caste. But she implored and insisted to become his disciple. Seeing her truthfulness and perseverance in conviction, Guru Ji initiated her and made her his disciple. The Pandits could not bear that a Rajput queen should become dis- ciple of a low caste saint. They complained to Raja Sangram Singh that his queen had adopted Ravidass Ji as her Guru. At this the king was annoyed with the queen. However, she talked high of Guru Ji and his enlightenment and char- ismatic powers that he had. After hearing this, the king also developed regard for Guru Ji and cherished to see him.
The king and queen arranged a Satsang (re- ligious congregation for discourses) at Chittorgarh. Guru Ravidass Ji was prayed to at- tend the Satsang as the Chief Guest. After spiri- tual deliberations community dinner was arranged in honour of Guru Ravidass Ji. Guru Ravidass Ji knew spiritually that Pandits would not take meals if he sits in line with them. Therefore, he preferred to sit alone in a separate room. How- ever, when service of food was ready the Brah- mans stood away and refused to sit with Guru Ravidass Ji, because they said, he belonged to low caste. When Guru Ji came to know all about it he agreed to sit alone in another room. Then the Pandits agreed to take meals. The food was served. When the Pandits began to eat food they were astonished to see that Guru Ravidass Ji was sitting on both sides of each of the Pandits. On right side, he was there and on left side he was again there. The Pandits felt ashamed and repented for their unruly behaviour with Guru Ravidass Ji. They prayed Guru Ji to forgive them. They were forgiven. All of them became Guru Ji’s disciples.
Freeing a She-deer from a Hunter
Long ago the area of present LEHARTARA in Benaras was a jungle. Deers and other species of animals inhabited it. Guru Ravidass Ji also used to visit this forest and meditate there in lonely place. Once a hunter laid net to catch a deer. A she-deer was entrapped; it was caught by the hunter and was to kill it. The she-deer implored the hunter that its small chil- dren are hungry and are waiting for her for feed. It will come back after feeding them. The hunter would not let it go. However, he agreed to free it against a surety. Guru Ravidass Ji incidentally listened all this. He offered to stand surety for the she-deer. In case it did not come back Guru Ji was willing to pay the price.
The she-deer was allowed to go to see its children. It fed its children and told them the tale of having been caught by the hunter and freed for a short-while on the surety of Guru Ravidass Ji. The children said, “We do not want to sur- vive without you. We also accompany you to be killed with you.” Within the agreed time the she-deer and its children came back to Guru Ji where the hunter was also waiting.
The hunter was astonished to see the truthfulness of she-deer and thought that Guru Ji knew the episode before hand.
The hunter repented for past killings and took a vow not to kill animals in future. The she- deer and its children were freed. The hunter fell on the feet of Guru Ji and became his follower. The she-deer and its children bowed at the sa- cred feet of Guru Ji and expressed their grate- fulness. Thereafter, the she-deer and its children would bow to Guru Ji whenever he visited the forest.
King Pipa lost Nectar
Guru Ravidass Ji was famous for his en- lightened Realisation. He had written many hymns in the praise of God. His sermons dis- cussed in religious discourses were most con- vincing. His message was of universal appeal. As a result, large number of people attended his religious congregations.
King Pipa had a religious bent of mind. One day he attended Satsang (religious dis- courses) of Guru Ravidass Ji. He was highly impressed with truthful sermons. At the end of Satsang, Guru Ravidass Ji distributed nectar to the visitors. King Pipa thought of low caste of Guru Ji and hated water being posed as nectar. Guru Ji poured nectar on his hands to be drunk. Thinking it as polluted water he threw it down through the gap in both the hands together. As a result, nectar fell on the clothes of king Pipa. It left indelible blots on the clothes.
After reaching his home, king Pipa sent the clothes to washerman for washing. The indelible blots could not be removed. Daughter of the washerman sucked the blots for their removal. The moment she sucked the blots, she was en- lightened. She could tell as to what was happen- ing in the distant places. All this came to the notice of king Pipa. He enquired from the girl as to how she got this spiritual power. She told him that the moment she sucked blots on his clothes, she was enlightened. King Pipa repented. He realised that he had wasted nectar taking it as water of low caste saint.
He went to Guru Ravidass Ji and begged apology for throwing nectar. He prayed Guru Ji to give him the same nectar again. Guru Ji told him that he had missed the opportunity, as the nectar was not available now. However, on his insistence, Guru Ji initiated him and made him his disciple. King Pipa worshipped God as guided by Guru Ravidass Ji. As a result of Di- vine devotion he became emancipated. Other members of his family and many visitors also became followers of Guru Ji.
King Sikandar Lodhi freed Guru Ravidass Ji from jail
Sikandar Lodhi was a ruler of Delhi. He was very cruel towards Hindus and their tradi- tions. He even converted large number of Hin- dus to Islam.
The Pandits saw Guru Ravidass Ji dressed like a Hindu (Brahman) and reported it to the king. The king ordered his soldiers to put Ravidass Ji in prison and had him locked up. As usual Guru Ji was in meditational mood. It so happened that locks of the jail broke away auto- matically. Soldiers were amazed to see all this. Guru Ji was seen moving freely outside the jail inspite of strict supervision by the soldiers. All this was brought to the notice of king. The king realised his high-handedness and set Guru Ji free from prison. He begged apology from him.
At an other time Sikander Lodhi sent Guru Ravidass Ji to a dark prison-cell at the instance of the maulvis. Then all the devotees and staff members felt as if Guru Ji is seated on the throne. The jail authorities brought to the notice of the king. They pleaded that Guru Ravidass Ji is spiri- tually enlightened having charismatic powers. The king realised his blunder. Guru Ji was freed. The king begged apology from Guru Ji. The maulvis were reprimanded.
Once the Pandits and Muslims complained to the king Sikander Lodhi about the activities of Guru Ravidass Ji. Guru Ji was imprisoned. Sikander Lodhi was upset. He slept at night. During night he saw himself in a tragic situation, Guru Ravidass Ji was seen rescuing him. The king was highly impressed with Guru Ji’s spiritual powers. Next day in the morning, Guru Ji was freed. King humbly requested Guru Ji for forgiveness.
The Brahmans were jealousy of the increas- ing fame of Guru Ravidass Ji. On one pretext or the other they lodged a complaint with the king Sikander Lodhi against Guru Ji. The king ruled that Guru Ravidass Ji be thrown before a drunken elephant. Next day Guru Ji was thrown before a drunken elephant. To their great astonishment the elephant bowed before Guru Ji in reverence and went back. The king begged apology and Guru Ji forgave them all.
Thereafter, the king never interfered in the affairs of Guru Ravidass Ji.
Reverse Flow of Ganga River
Benaras is a sacred city inhabited on the bank of river Ganga. In Benaras it is a custom to perform last rites of the dead bodies on bank of pious river Ganga. Even from the distant places surrounding Benaras, dead bodies are brought here.
Revered father of Guru Ravidass Ji grew very old. He fell ill and died. Guru Ravidass Ji called his neighbourers for performing last rites.
Guru Ravidass Ji along with his compan- ions carried the dead body to the bank of the river where last rites of dead bodies are per- formed. The Brahmans forbade on the plea that water of river Ganga flows from the spot to- wards the main city where Brahmans take bath and they would be polluted. Guru Ji felt very much harassed. They again carried the dead boy to a distant place named Nagwa on bank of the river where Brahmans were not likely to be de- filed by untouchability. The last rites were per- formed on dead body of revered father of Guru Ravidass Ji at that spot. They prayed for peace of the departed soul. At this time due to spiritual power of Guru Ji there was thunder. Water of river Ganga flowed reverse and a strong wave sprang up towards the dead body and washed away and immersed all the mortal remains. From that moment, at this spot reverse flow of Ganga water continued. Reverse flow of river water took place due to spiritual power of Guru Ravidass Ji.
At this pious place Nagwa, a fascinating ‘Guru Ravidass Smark and Park’ and have been set up. Spacious and beautiful Guru Ravidass Ghat has also been built by Ms Mayawati re- gime on the bank of the river quite adjacent to the Smark and Park.
Jealousy of Piran Ditta Mirasi
Guru Ravidass Ji was well wisher of hu- man beings. He never discriminated between any- body on any ground. He preached sat marg in his religious discourses. He became famous amongst the people. People of all varnas and castes became disciples of Guru Ravidass Ji. Piran Ditta Mirasi did not like increasing fame of Guru Ji.
One day Piran Ditta Mirasi called a meet- ing of his favourites. They planned to kill Guru Ravidass Ji. On some pretext Guru Ji was called to the Sabha. When Guru Ji arrived, some started hot talk with him. Guru Ji argued with them as to why they were talking rough with him without any reason. Some of them suddenly jumped over Guru Ji to kill him. At this Guru Ji remembered God and recited shabad:
Ram gusaaeaa jeea ke jeewnaa
Moh na bisaar(u) mai jan tera (Rahaao)
Meri har(u) bipit jan krhu subhaaiee
Charan na chhaadao sareer kaljaaiee
Kaho Ravidass parao teri sabha.
Beig milhu jan karu na bilanma
As soon as Guru Ji humbly and devo- tionally recited above shabad there was dazzling light in the sky. All members of the Sabha started seeing appearance of Guru Ji on all sides. They all were confused and scared. At the same time Guru Ji was seen blowing conch-shell at his house. Guru Ji was rescued by God. They failed in their plan. The Sabha members repented on their action and begged apology from Guru Ji.
The sacred place of occurrence of this incident is located towards Ganga near Lotu Baba Pir at Seer Govardhanpur Varanasi.
Blessings of Gold coins
Guru Ravidass Ji had not accepted the God’s offer of Philosopher’s stone earlier.
Once again God visited the place of Guru Ji. He told Guru Ji that large number of devo- tees visit him daily. There is dire need of running of free community kitchen and a good sarai ac- commodation for the pilgrims. It is said that a large number of devotees, kings, courtiers used to visit the place of Guru Ji. You need money for all these facilities for the followers. You will, therefore, be getting 5 gold coins daily. Thereaf- ter, 5 gold coins were found daily at Guru’s place.
A splendid Satsang Bhawan, residential accommodsation and Dharamshala were con- structed. Community kitchen was also run.
Mandir Mehal kya bahutera
Jahan tahan bhagtan ka dera.
Satsang is as necessary now as it was in olden times. All of us should attend satsang and adopt sacred teachings of Guru Ravidass Ji.
A Sheikh begged for mercy
Shri Guru Ravidass Ji held religion dis- courses everyday. He inspired the audience to shun discrimination on any ground. Equality and fraternity, worship of the Almighty with devo- tion and detachment from material belongings were the essence of his discourses. He cher- ished universal well-being. It was appealing to all the Hindus and Muslims alike. His fame spread all around.
One Sheikh of Varanasi also heard the fame of Guru Ji. He came to the place of Guru Ravidass Ji and heard his satsang. He observed that many kings, queens and others prominent figures were also there raptly listening the satsang. He was very much impressed with Guru Ji truthful sermons having universal appeal. His many mis- conceptions were clarified and removed.
At the end of satsang, Guru Ji distributed nectar (amrit) from his dauri (shallow earthan pot which he used for soaking leather). Its colour was brown. It was served to all those present including Sheikh. Thinking it as polluted water, he hated and threw it aside. In this process, some drops of the nectar fell on his clothes. After reaching home he took off the clothes and handed over to the maid servant for washing.
The maid servant tried to wash off the blots on the clothes but these could not be re- moved. She put the clothes bearing blots in mouth and sucked so that the blot was removed. When she sucked the blots, she was divinely enlight- ened. She started talking God and heavenly bod- ies. Sheikh also came to know the spiritual pow- ers of the maid servant. He enquired from her as to how she has attained all these powers. She told him that when she sucked the blots on the clothes, she became spiritually emancipated. The Sheikh repented that he had wasted and disre- garded the nectar offered to him by Guru Ravidass Ji. He felt himself sinful and disgraced. He came to Guru a few days later and begged apology for throwing nectar thinking it polluted water. All the truthful saints are kind hearted. Guru Ji forgave and told him that you have missed the opportunity. However, he was initiated and asked to chant God’s Name Har(i) Har(i) Har(i). Even now those who want to be spiritually elevated should chant God’s Name Har(i) Har(i) Har(i).
Karma Bai - The disciple of Satguru Ravidass Ji
Karma Bai was divinely enlightened lady. Karma Bai’s fame spread all around. Saints vis- ited her place from far and near. One day a saint said, ‘Karma ! how is it that God takes meals at your home daily.’ She told while preparing meals chapattis, khichri for the God, I chant the sa- cred Name of God. When the meals are ready, all the items are kept in proper manner and are covered with a clean cloth. The saint told her that this is not the proper manner. She should wash wood needed as fuel, mud plaster the kitchen, bathe and then prepare meals. From next day she started the new process. One day while observing the new process, the meals were prepared late. God had to wait. God was still busy in eating khichri, Sant Rama Nand also prayed him to take meals with him. God had to go to Sant Rama Nand Ji immediately. He could not even cleanse khichri from his face and hands. Sant Rana Nand Ji enquired all about from the God. God told that he daily took Khichri at the house of Karma Bai. Today she was late in preparing Khichri. ‘I was still taking Khichri that you called me’. Hearing all this, Sant Rama Nand Ji was astonished to know that God takes meals at the house of Karma Bai! The priest went to Karma Bai and enquired on to how God comes to her house daily. She told him that while preparing meals she did simran of naam on blessings of Satguru Ravidass Ji that God takes meals at my house every day. Sant Rama Nand requested Karma Bai to pray to God to show me His appearance. Next day she re- quested God to let Sant Rama Nand have His darshan. God told that Sant Rama Nand is not clean at heart; he nurtures duality. She again re- quested that kindly do have mercy on him and bless him with your darshan. At the instance of Karma Bai God blessed Sant Rama Nand Ji with His darshan.
Ganga Ji As a Girl
Guru Ravidass Ji arranged a Bhandara. Ganga Ji also appeared in the shape of an un- married girl to take part in Bhandara. Seeing her unique beauty, the king sent a message to Guru Ji that the girl be married to him. Guru Ji told all to Ganga Ji. Ganga Ji told Guru Ji that king will harass him. So let the king come for marriage. On the appointed day, the marriage procession arrived at the place of Guru Ravidass Ji. Fully adorned Ganga appeared. When she saw the king, she disappeared in the shallow earthen pot showing flowing Ganga. At this such a strong stream of water out-flowed from the pot that the entire marriage procession was drowned. Every body realised that it was Ganga Ji in the shape of girl who had come to seek blessings from Guru Ravidass Ji.
Udasis of Guru Ravidass Maharaj Ji
Guru Ravidass Ji was an institution in him- self. He wanted to make amends in the social and religious system. He set out for spreading his teachings to far off places. Guru Ji travelled to distant places to spread his message. Due to discrimination the spots built in his memory have been destroyed. Today there is no remnant showing his visit to any distant place. He not only wrote amritbani but also travelled all corners of the countries, as below, to make common man understand his philosophy of re- moving caste system, discrimination, ignorance, illiteracy, poverty, illusion.
Udasi - 1
1. Ranipur, Malpi, Maadhopur, Bhagalpur, Naraingarh, Kalpi and Nagpur.
2. Barhanpur, Bijapur and Bhopal.
3. Chandehi, Jhansi, Toad, Bundi,Udaipur.
4. Jodhpur, Ajmer, Bombay.
5. Amarkot, Hyderabad, Kathiawar, Bombay.
6. Bombay to Karachi, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Bahawalpur.
7. Kalabagh, Kohat, Darra Khaibar, Jalalabad.
8. Jalalabad to Kafirstan, Srinagar.
9. Dalhousi to Gorakhpur, Gorakhpur to Kashi.
Udasi - 2
Kashipur to Gorakhpur, Partapgarh, Shahjahanpur. Then he proceeded up to Himachal mountains. All the devotees accom- panying him were asked to go back to their places. He directed that henceforth his son would initiate the disciples and that he would come back after a long time.
Guru Ji was instrumental in bringing about many revolutionary reforms in society. The age old unhealthy rituals and traditions were aban- doned. Large number of sinful bodies were blessed who started their fresh pious lives. When they were shown the right path even the religious hard core fanatics repented and begged apol- ogy. Many patients struggling for life and death were cured. Whosoever came to his shelter, all were emancipated and they became pious.
Udasi – 3
Satguru Ravidass Ji travelled to Arabs coun- tries also. He held dialogues with chiefs of vari- ous religions and innumerable persons were blessed with the powers he had. We find men- tion of various places in Guru Ji’s bani. In shabad ‘Begumpura sehar ko naon’ there is mention of Abadaan . As per mahan kosh of Bhai Kahan Singh it is a famous place in Iran. It indicates that Guru Ji visited Arab country also. He vis- ited Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arab, Madina and Mecca and Afghanistan. In his journey to all these places large number of muslims became his disciples.
Some monuments might have been erected in Guru Ji’s memory by his followers in these countries. But these could not have been main- tained.
Travel to Himachal and Sirdhar Parbat
There is mention in Guru Nanak Dev Janam Sakhi that Guru Nanak Dev Ji along with Bhai Bala and Mardana visited Himachal and Sirdhar Parbat. Bhai Bala and Mardana asked Guru Nanak Dev Ji if any body else has also visited this place before them. Guru Nanak Dev Ji told them that Guru Kabir Ji and Guru Ravidass Ji have visited his place. As such Guru Ravidass Ji, visited Himachal and Sirdhar parbat also. Vir- tually Guru Ravidass Ji travelled entire India and Arabian countries. There is, however, ut- most need of research work in travels of Guru Ji.
Gold Cows Became Alive
One day king Nagar Mal called Guru Ji to his palace. Many Pandits were also there.
The Pandits were mumbling vedic man- tras. When the ceremony came to close, the king donated gold cows to the Pandits. Guru Ji inter- vened. He told that he does not believe in caste system. However, as per vedic provisions, the pandits can entertain donation of live cows only. Gold cows are not alive. These are dead. Carry- ing dead animals is the right of the Chamars. There was thaw. Guru Ji was right in his inter- pretation. But the greedy pandits were also not ready to leave gold cows, which were so costly. Ultimately, it was decided that the pandits may instill life in the cows, only then they can take the cows home. Otherwise, Guru Ji will get the gold cows. The pandits recited so many man- tras but the cows could not move. Then they said that let Guru Ravidass Ji put life in the gold cows. Guru Ji prayed to God. The gold cows became alive. They moved to lap of Guru Ji. The pandits were defeated. All bowed at the sacred feet of Guru Ji.
Dialogue of Satguru Ravidass Ji with Alawadi King
Shri Jasbir Singh Sabar, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar has mentioned on Page 71 of his book “Bhakt Ravidass” that the dialogue being narrated is written at Page 463, 466, 487 of manuscript Sikh Reference Library Amritsar written in Samvat 1786.
Alwadi was king at Benaras. The qazis were jealous of increasing popularity of Satguru Ravidass Ji. They complained to the king that a chamar is preaching religious tenets. Many per- sons have become his disciples. On their insti- gation king Alawadi called Guru Ji to his court. Guru Ji was seated beside the seat of the king. Beside several persons of Guru Ravidass’s com- munity carrying leather on their heads also ac- companied Guru Ravidass Ji. The king felt foul smell of leather. The persons carrying leather were beaten and expelled from the court yard. The king asked Guru Ravidass Ji that you were initiating others as your disciples, show some miracle. Guru Ji said that miracle has already been shown. He told that “I was worshipping God by chanting His Naam, you have seated me by your side although I am also Chamar whereas you have expelled others of my com- munity from your darbar”.
Naagar Janan meri jaat(i) bikhiaat Chamaarun Ride raam govind gun saaran.
Guru Ji told, “O! residents of Benaras I am Chamar by caste. I am seated near the seat of the king in darbar because I am worshipping God whereas my companions carrying leather had been shunted out”.
Sursari salal krit baaruni re
Sant jan karat nahi paann
Suraa apviter nat awar jal re
Sursari milat nahi hoie aann.
If alcohol is prepared out of Ganga water, it is disliked. When alcohol is prepared with well water and thrown in Ganga it mixes with Ganga water. It is worshiped.
Tar tar(i) apviter kar(i) maaneeaai re
Jaise kaagaraa karat bichaarn
Bhagat(i) bhaguot likheeaai tih(i) uoopre
Poojeeai kar(i) namaskarn
Leaves of TAR tree are considered impure. But when paper is prepared out of Tar leaves and God’s praise is written on this paper, every body bows before it.
Meri jaat(i) kut bandhla dhor dhouwanta Nith(i) baanaarasi aas paasaa
Ab bipar pardhan tih(i) karih dhanduout(i)Tere naam sarnaaie Ravidass daasaa.
I am cobbler by caste. People of my caste still carry away dead bodies around Benaras ev- ery day. Since I worship God, I am divinely emancipated. Even the distinguished pandits lay flat before me in reverence.
After hearing all this, the king was highly impressed and gave gold chowki and large sums of money to Guru Ji. The qazis again complained to the king that Ravidass Ji has disregarded the offerings given to him. He had distributed entire money to the destitutes and threw gold chowki in the Ganga. The king felt angry. He again called for Guru Ravidass Ji and asked all about the gold chowki. The king insisted to return him the same gold chowki. Guru Ji took the king to the Ganga. He spoke to Ganga that his gold chowki may be given back to him. Ganga threw seven gold chowkis out in a strong wave. The king said that his is only one chowki, how it is that these are seven chowkis. Guru Ji told the king that in a single day one gold chowki has multi- plied to seven chowkis. Had it remained there for more days it would have multiplied mani- fold. All these would have been for your com- fort. Since the original gold chowki has been taken back from the Ganga, nothing will increase now.
The king realised his blunder and begged apology from Guru Ravidass Ji. He bowed to the sacred feet of Guru Ravidass Ji in reverence and scolded the Qazis.
Dialogue of Guru Ravidass Ji with Guru Kabir Ji and Guru Nanak Dev Ji
Satguru Ravidass Ji used to hold religious discoursed daily at Seer Govardhanpur, Benaras. Satguru Kabir JI also held satsang daily at Kabir Chaura, Benaras. Both of them often met each other and held mutual discussions on religion, Naam, satsang, ritualism, enlightenment, saadhsangat, Hari(i), discrimination, high and low, caste system, secularism, equality, frater- nity, truth, human beings and host of other topics.
Shri Lekh Raj Parwana writes in his book “Sri Guru Ravidass Jeewan ate Kirtaan” that Guru Nanak Dev Ji held three counts of dia- logues with Guru Ravidass Ji. Their first meet- ing and goshti was held at Chuharkana (Nankana Sahib) when Guru Nanak Dev Ji was still in boy- hood. Five saints Kabir Ji, Ravidass Ji, Sain Ji, Peepa Ji and Dhanna Ji had travelled to Punjab for preaching religiosity. Guru Nanak Dev Ji had been given twenty rupees from his revered fa- ther Mehta Kalu Ji for a profitable deal. He spent the amount of twenty rupees in the service of the above saints and got their blessings. He deemed it as Sacha Sauda. Guru Nanak Dev Ji spiritually knew everything. He might have judged their divinity as a regard of which he served them.
Father Mehta Kalu Ji scolded Guru Nanak when he learnt that the five saints belonged to low caste. Feeling it a social stigma, he slapped Guru Nanak Dev Ji and said that Guru Ravidass Ji and Guru Kabir Ji belonged to low-caste and that why had he developed his relations with them. At this Guru Nanak Dev Ji blatantly con- demned jaat-paat and stoutly reacted.
Neechan andir neech jaat neecha huu at(i) neech Nanak tin ke sang saath waddyan so kya rees. Second goshti of Guru Ravidass Ji with Guru Nanak Dev Ji took place when Guru Ravidass Ji, along with sant-mandli, visited Punjab 125 years later. They reached Sultanpur after meet- ing their friends, devotees, saints and disciples. The sant smagam was fixed to be held at the spot where gurdwara Sant Ghat stands today. In this sant smagam it appears the concepts of God, formless, omniscient, omnipresent, Sach Khand (abode of God), pervading everywhere in the Universe, - were discussed. The discus- sion held here formed the basis of the concepts of Udasian of Guru Nanak Dev Ji which are stated to have commenced from the Sant Ghat site.
Third goshti of Guru Nanak Dev Ji was held with Guru Ravidass Ji and Guru Kabir Ji at Gopaldass di bagichi at Kashi where Gurdwara Guru Ka Bagh stands today. At this meeting final shape was given to entire fabric of Bhakti Andolan in the interest of human beings. A strat- egy was also chalked out for smooth manage- ment of the movement. In the same visit to Benaras Guru Nanak Dev Ji discussed various divine concepts with Sant Rama Nand Ji and Swami Shankracharya Ji. Thereafter, again there was general meeting of the saints. Guru Ravidass Ji was the champion on religious and spiritual reforms in the meeting. The road map of reli- gious, social and political reforms was prepared in this sant smagam. Millions and millions of human beings engrossed in superstitions and ritu- als were to be freed from its quagmire and the concept of ik om (one God) was to be taken down to the masses. The ideal of Guru Ravidass Ji was to liberate millions of human beings in- cluding scholars, saints, Sidhs, brahmans from superstitions, rituals and false and misplaced beliefs and practices and to motivate them to believe in one God. It was decided in this goshti that non-violent movement should be started for amelioration of shudras and raising their social status to equality, liberation of womanhood, removal of injustice and to raise voice against the atrocities perpetrated by the kings on their subjects.
Raja Chander Partap
Raja Chander Partap of Ghazipur had heard the fame of Guru Ravidass Ji. He attended the mass feeding function (Yagg) organized by Maharana Sangha at Udaipur where Guru Ravidass Ji was also invited. At the end of the function, Raja Chander Partap humbly prayed to Satguru Ji to pay his pious visit to his palace at Ghazipur to grace the occasion of mass feed- ing function. Rana Sangha assured that in case Satguru Ji wished, he would escort him to Ghazipur. Satguru Ji blessed and accepted the invitation. Meera Bai and Karma Bai would also accompany Guru Ji.
On the scheduled day Guru Ji reached the palace of Raja Chander Partap. He was received honourably by the king, his queens, courtiers and other dignitaries. He was garlanded pro- fusely. Guru Ji was seated in the specially decorated room in the palace. A big mass feeding function (yagg) was organized in which Guru Ji participated. All neighboring kings and relatives also attended the ceremony. Next day Guru Ji came back to his place.
Bibi Bhanmati becomes disciple of Guru Ravidass Ji
Bibi Bhanmati of Multan (now in Paki- stan) was a pious lady who remained busy in thakur pooja for major time of the day. How- ever, she did not have any enlightenment. Her mind remained upset. Somehow, she heard of fame of Guru Ravidass Ji of being divinely en- lightened saint. She was told that if she aspires for supreme spiritual bliss, she should go to Guru Ravidass Maharaj Ji and seek his blessings.
Bibi Bhanmati along with her husband reached Guru Ji’s place at Benaras. They bowed at the sacred feet of Guru Ji. Incidentally, Gorakh Nath had also come to Guru Ji for goshti. Gorakh Nath tried to take away stealthily spiri- tual powers of Guru Ravidass Ji but he failed to shake Guru Ji.
Guru Ji spared time for Bibi Bhanmati. She told Guru Ji her spiritual and mental posi- tion. Guru Ji recited following shabad:
Har(i) har(i) har(i) har(i) har(i) har(i) hare
Har(i) simrat jan gaye nistar(i) tare (Rahao)
Har(i) ke naam kabir ujjagar.
Janam janam ke kate kagar.
Nimat naamdeo doodh peeaia.
Tuo jag janam sankat nahi aaya.
Jan Ravidass ram rang raataa
Eiou gur prasad narak nahi jataa.
When Bibi Bhanmati understood the meaning of the shabad, she was highly impressed with divine enlightenment of Guru Ji. She was moved.
She humbly prayed to Guru Ji for initia- tion. Guru Ji blessed her and asked her to chant the Name of God as Har(i) har(i) har(i) har(i) for attainment of supreme bliss and to avoid the pains of transmigration. She became disciple of Satguru Ravidass Ji.
Sometime back the idols of the mandir had come to the lap of Guru Ravidass Ji and went back to the mandir as directed by him. This was known to every body in Benaras. The Brah- mans did acknowledge the divine enlightenment of Guru Ji. Even the king had become his dis- ciple. But the Brahmans nurtured jealousy against Guru Ravidass Ji. They always talked ill of him on one pretext or the other.
King Nagar Mal invited Guru Ji for lunch. Other dignitaries were also called. The Brahmans who were jealous of Guru Ji, struck a hoax with the acrobats for which heavy payment was prom- ised. They wanted to denigrate Guru Ji in the eyes of the king and others. The acrobat was not likely to be paid liberally by the guests; and the acrobat was to talk ill of Guru Ji holding his presence responsible for their poor earnings.
The acrobat started his tricks after the lunch. First of all Guru Ravidass Ji placed 10 gold mohars in their thaal. Guru Ji’s disciples and well wishers gave liberal amount to the acrobat. As a result he earned more amount than that was to be paid by the Brahmans. Instead of condemning Guru Ji the acrobat highly praised him. Wherever they went they eulogized Guru Ji. The Brahmans could not succeed in their in- sidious designs against the saint.
Dialogue with Gorakh Nath
Gorakh Nath heard popularity of Guru Ravidass Ji. One day Gorakh Nath visited Seer Govardhanpur, Varanasi and enquired about the place of Guru Ravidass Ji. He came to the place where Guru Ji lived. Guru Ji welcomed Gorakh Nath and offered him the seat. He thanked Gorakh Nath for having visited him. Gorakh Nath told Guru Ji that he has heard his fame. As such, he had come to see him.
Gorakh Nath gave his shoe to Guru Ji to be mended. Gorakh Nath said that mending shoes is a mean occupation. You should not carry it on. I give you a precious herb. Warm it and touch any metal; it will turn the metal into gold. Construct a good house in place of the hut. Guru Ji replied that he had appeared on this earth for joining the souls which are departed from the Almighty. He cut a piece of leather. Put it at a proper place on the shoe of Gorakh Nath. He put the yarn in his mouth for readying it for sew- ing the shoe. As the cotton thread passed through Guru Ji’s mouth, it turned into gold. Gorakh Nath was astonished to see all this. He came to know that Guru Ravidass Ji possessed supreme spiri- tual powers. Ignorant people misunderstand him as lowly. He wished Guru Ravidass Ji to be- come his disciple. Gorakh Nath asked Guru Ji to look into his toombi. Guru Ji saw that in toombi there were jewels, diamonds, and golden Sumer Parbat. Guru Ji said that you are great. I praise you. He then asked Gorakh Nath to look into his dauri ( shallow earthen pot containing water in which leather is soaked for repair of shoes). Gorakh Nath saw viraat swaroop , jarh, chetan, Asthawar, Jangam, life, 5 elements- sky, air, fire, water, earth, Kuber, Inder, other devtas, moon, sun, stars, Vishnu, Brahma, Shiv and the Universe. Gorakh Nath became numb to see all this. His pride was shaken. He prayed to Guru Ji to be apologized. He fell on Guru Ji’s feet. Guru Ji told him that ridhian sidhian are nothing before God’s Name. God’s Name is source of all comforts. Guru Ji preached that he who mingles with God, all the godly powers appear in his palm.
Meeting of Guru Ravidass Ji with Sadhna Ji & Guru Ravidass Ji released from jail by Sikandar Lodhi
Sadhna Pir used to kill birds and sell their meat in the market. On the other hand Guru Ravidass Ji preached non-killing of animals. Sadhna Ji did not like his preachings. One day he came to the place of Guru Ravidass Ji and asked him to be converted to Islam as it did not observe caste system. It is a sacred religion. Guru Ravidass Ji told Sadhna Ji to shun his pride and chant God’s Name. Sadhna Ji was highly impressed with the arguments of Guru Ji and became his disciple.
At some other time Sadhna Ji visited King Sikandar Lodhi and spoke high of Guru Ravidass Ji and that he had become his disciple. Sikandar Lodhi was annoyed. He called Guru Ravidass Ji through Sadhna Ji. Sikandar Lodhi was a cruel king. As Guru Ravidass Ji appeared in the court he was asked to be converted to Islam but Guru Ji refused to oblige the king. At this Guru Ravidass Ji was sent to jail. He sat in Samadhi and worshipped God. God took pity on Guru Ji. He appeared before him and talked with him. When Sikandar Lodhi visited jail in the evening, he overheard voice of God. “You have troubled my worshipper. Your dynasty will be annihilated.” The king was stunned and trembled to hear all this. He went to Guru Ravidass Ji, repented and begged his apology. He was released immedi- ately. King Sikandar Lodhi gave a word to Guru Ji that in future he will not harass any body. Sikandar Lodhi had a precious diamond. He of- fered it to Guru Ravidass Ji. Guru Ji refused the offer. Guru Ji told the king that he was worship- per of Diamond- the God.
Har(i) so heera chhadh(i) kai karih aan kee aas, Te nar dojak jaahige sat bhaakhai Ravidass.
Sachkhand gaman of Guru Ravidass Ji
Satguru Kabir Ji, Satguru Namdev Ji, Satguru Tirlochan Ji and Satguru Dhanna Ji were asked by God to visit Satguru Ravidass Ji and convey him that he has attained supreme emancipation and that he will he called to sachkhand after 21 days. All these saints came to Guru Ji. He hum- bly welcomed and offered them seats. Guru Ji served them well. They told Guru Ji that God has ordained him 21 days more in this world, and they went away.
Guru Ji was at Benaras. Members of his family relatives and devotees were told all about the message of God. On the 21st day Guru Ji had a bath early in the morning and meditated. He mystically chanted the pious Name of God and mingled with Him on Asarh Sakranti of Bikrami Samvat 1584 (1528 A.D.). His follow- ers remember him devotionally and get inspira- tion from his teachings. He was successful in bringing about sea change in the social and reli- gious thought. His teachings and amritbani are as truthful and valid today as these were during his era and will continue to guide humanity in future.
Impact of teachings of Guru Ravidass Ji on Babur
As a result of his victory in Battle of Panipat in 1526 Babur was the first Mughal King who occupied throne in Delhi. He had brutally massacred lakhs of innocent bodies. However, whatever he did, he did in the name of God. During the course of advance in Indian Terri- tory he came across pirs, saints, rishis also. He also heard of spiritual powers of Guru Ravidass Ji. Once he took his son Humayun along and went to see Guru Ravidass Ji. At that time Guru Ji was sitting at his place. Babur bowed at the feet of Guru Ji in reverence. Guru Ji scolded Babur for murdering innocent bodies. He asked him to shun pride.
Kyon Babur hua babra, man mein adhik ghumaan
Kroron prani maar kar, tu ne kiya paap mahaan.
Therefore, Babur developed regard for Guru Ji. His teachings stunned Babur. In remorse he distributed money of his treasures at Delhi and Agra to the poor and destitute. Now the subjects developed respect for Babur and called him QALANDAR or FAQIR.