In Varanasi, the followers of Guru Ravidas celebrated 637th Ravidas Jayanti on February 14 at a temple dedicated to him in Seer Gowardhan area of the city, reported Danik Bhaskar. A procession from Maidagin was taken out that culminated at Ravidas temple after passing through various localities. At the temple, the community meal was served to the visitors along with recitation of 'Amritbani Guru Ravidas Ji'.
Guru Ravidas was a mystic of the bhakti movement; a socio-religious reformer and a poet whose devotional songs and verses made a lasting impact on the masses. Born in the Kutbandhla Chamar caste, he took to the work of shoe making. He was against caste and gender division; untouchability; religious rituals in the society and promoted crossing of sectarian divides through spiritual unity.
His poetry and devotional songs have been included holy book of the Sikhs. He elevated the status of the labour and other menial work by emphasizing on that honest labour is empowering and redeeming.
Guru Ravidas was an adherent devotee of God and Meera Bai considered him as her spiritual Guru. He stressed purity of mind and often uttered the proverb “Man changa tow kathoti mein Ganga,'' meaning if your heart was pious then the holy river was right in your bucket.
In the 20th century, his followers founded Ravidassia religion by compiling a holy book called 'Amritbani Guru Ravidass Ji' that was entirely based on writings and teaching of Guru Ravidas Ji and raising Ravidassias temples.