Monday, February 09, 2009

Bhagat Ravidaas Jee

Today is the Prakaash Diwas (birth day) of Bhagat Ravidaas jee. Lakh Lakh Vadhaayee to everyone on this day. Below is a short article on Bhagat Ravidaas jee:


Bhagat Ravidaas jee was born on Ravivaar (Sunday) into family whose members were declared untouchable by the ancient Indian caste-system philosophy. According to the ancient caste system, humans were 'in principle' high or low according to their birth and no action could alter this inferiority or superiority. Bhagat jee was born into the family of Bhai Santokh Daas jee and Bibi Kalsi Devi Jee, who were poor leather-makers ('Chamaars') by caste and occupation. He was barely five days old when Bhagat Ramanand jee visited his house and blessed the child.
ਜਿਹ ਕੁਲ ਸਾਧੁ ਬੈਸਨੌ ਹੋਇ ॥
ਬਰਨ ਅਬਰਨ ਰੰਕੁ ਨਹੀ ਈਸੁਰੁ ਬਿਮਲ ਬਾਸੁ ਜਾਨੀਐ ਜਗਿ ਸੋਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
"That family, into which a devotee of Waheguru is born, whether of high or low social class, whether rich or poor, shall have its pure fragrance spread all over the world. ||1||Pause||"
(Bhagat Ravidaas jee, Ang 858)

When Bhagat jee was old enough, he got married and his father inspired him to join the family business. But Bhagat Ravidaas jee was absorbed in devotion of Waheguru. The money he received from his father for business, he spent in the welfare of the Saints and needy. His father was extremely angry with him and threw him out of the house. Bhagat jee did not regret his actions and quietly left home and began to live in a small hut with his wife where they decided to set up a small shop of making and repairing shoes.
ਨਾਗਰ ਜਨਾਂ ਮੇਰੀ ਜਾਤਿ ਬਿਖਿਆਤ ਚੰਮਾਰੰ ॥
ਰਿਦੈ ਰਾਮ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਗੁਨ ਸਾਰੰ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
"O humble townspeople! I am obviously just a Chamaar, shoemaker, (which you people consider low), but in my heart I cherish the Glories of Waheguru (and for this reason I am no longer low). ||1||Pause||"
(Bhagat Ravidaas jee, Ang 1293)

Meeting the True Guru
Bhagat Ravidas jee, like other Bhagats whose Bani is contained in Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee, was a contemporary of Guru Nanak Dev jee. We know this as Mira Bai who lived during the reign of Mughal Emperor Akbar was a disciple of Bhagat Ravidaas jee. Janamsaakhis and 'Tvareek Guru Khalsa' (p. 80) mention that the Bhagats met Guru Nanak Dev Jee. According to the Meharvaan Janamsaakhi, the Bhagats met Guru Nanak Dev jee at Ayodhya. From reading Gurbani, the Bhagats clearly state that they found the True Guru and that received Amrit & Naam from the Satguru, who can only be Satguru Nanak. Therefore, Bhagat Ravidaas jee became a disciple of Guru Nanak Dev jee. A Gurdwara Sahib is constructed in Ayodha in memory of the historic meeting between Guru jee and the Bhagats.
ਪਰਮ ਪਰਸ ਗੁਰੁ ਭੇਟੀਐ ਪੂਰਬ ਲਿਖਤ ਲਿਲਾਟ ॥
ਉਨਮਨ ਮਨ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਮਿਲੇ ਛੁਟਕਤ ਬਜਰ ਕਪਾਟ ॥੬॥
"When one's pre-ordained destiny awakens and one meets the True Guru, who is the Supreme Philosopher's Stone, then the inner-soul meets with the Supreme Soul, and the stubborn doors of the mind are opened wide. ||6||"
(Bhagat Ravidaas jee, Ang 346)

The Revealing of 'Dhur Kee Baanee'
With True Guru's Grace, Bhagat jee reached God-consciousness (Brahm-Gyaan) and experienced Waheguru's Divine Light. He was blessed with the gift of revealing Gurbani sent by Waheguru for the benefit of humanity. Forty Shabads were revealed through Bhagat jee that were later incorporated in Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee by Guru Arjan Dev jee. One may think why wasn't Bhagat Ravidaas jee called 'Guru' if he revealed Gurbani? The late Giani Sant Singh Maskeen gave the following analogy to explain the difference between Guru and Bhagat. There is one child who opens his eyes and realizes he is sitting in his mother's lap, and other has to crawl to his mother and then sits in her lap. Then Ten Sikh Gurus had Brahm-Gyaan from the very beginning. They opened their eyes and they were already sitting in the lap of Waheguru. On the other hand, the Bhagats were those who in some point of their life, after spiritual work and effort, experienced the Divine Light and sat in the lap of Waheguru Once they reached this level, Waheguru revealed the Shabad Guru to humanity through these chosen Bhagats. As a consequence there is no difference between the Shabad (Gurbaani) revealed through the Sikh Gurus and the Bhagats. Both are 'Gurbani'.
ਘਟਿ ਘਟਿ ਗੁਪਤੁ ਉਪਾਏ ਵੇਖੈ ਪਰਗਟੁ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸੰਤ ਜਨਾ ॥
ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਕਰਹਿ ਸੁ ਹਰਿ ਰੰਗਿ ਭੀਨੇ ਹਰਿ ਜਲੁ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਨਾਮੁ ਮਨਾ ॥੩॥
"The Lord who created the whole creation and watches over all is hidden in each and every heart; He reveals Himself in the humble saints who fall at the feet of the Guru. Those saints chant the Name of the Lord and are drenched with the Lord's Love. Their minds are drenched with the Ambrosial Water of the Naam, the Name of the Lord. ||3||"
(Guru Nanak Dev jee, Ang 1171)

The Queen of Chitaur
The queen of Chitaur, Maharani Jhally, had heard of Bhagat Ravidaas jee's greatness. On pilgrimage to Banaaras she visited Bhagat Ravidaas jee and heard Gurbani being sung. Hearing the Divine Praises of Waheguru she became a follower of Bhagat jee. However, the king got enraged on hearing that that his wife had made a low-caste cobbler her Guru. The queen tried to convince her husband of Bhagat jee's greatness which made his mind confused whether or not Bhagat jee was a great saint or not. In order to test Bhagat jee, the king invited him to Chitaur and requested to participate in a religious feast. The Brahmin priests refused to eat alongside a low-caste. Hearing this Bhagat jee moved away. But miraculously, the Brahmins started seeing every person distributing food look like Bhagat jee. They complained to the king. The king understood the mystery and meaning of the incident and became a follower of Bhagat jee.
ਮੇਰੀ ਜਾਤਿ ਕੁਟ ਬਾਂਢਲਾ ਢੋਰ ਢੋਵੰਤਾ ਨਿਤਹਿ ਬਾਨਾਰਸੀ ਆਸ ਪਾਸਾ ॥
ਅਬ ਬਿਪ੍ਰ ਪਰਧਾਨ ਤਿਹਿ ਕਰਹਿ ਡੰਡਉਤਿ ਤੇਰੇ ਨਾਮ ਸਰਣਾਇ ਰਵਿਦਾਸੁ ਦਾਸਾ ॥੩॥੧॥
"It is my occupation to prepare and cut leather; each day, I carry the carcasses out of the city. But (O Waheguru!) Your slave who was born in that social-class has come into the sanctuary of Your Naam (Divine-Name), and now the important Brahmins of the city bow down before me. ||3||1||"
(Bhagat Ravidaas jee, Ang 1293)

Undying Faith in Naam
It is said that once a wealthy man felt sorry at Bhagat Ravidaas jee living in poverty and so offered Bhagat jee with the gift of a 'paaras' (the philosopher's stone that turns cheaper metal into Gold). The man assured Bhagat jee that he could get any amount of wealth by making use of it. Bhagat jee asked him to place it in a corner. A few month later, when the same man came to see Bhagat Ravidaas jee, he found the Bhagat jee still living in poverty. He asked Bhagat jee why he had not used the philosopher's stone. Bhagat jee replied, "God's Name alone is the paaras."
ਕਹੁ ਰਵਿਦਾਸ ਸਭੈ ਨਹੀ ਸਮਝਸਿ ਭੂਲਿ ਪਰੇ ਜੈਸੇ ਬਉਰੇ ॥
ਮੋਹਿ ਅਧਾਰੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਨਾਰਾਇਨ ਜੀਵਨ ਪ੍ਰਾਨ ਧਨ ਮੋਰੇ ॥੩॥੧॥
"O Ravidaas! Say- (those who have been plundered by desires) all run around deluded like madmen and do not understand (that the true support of Life is Waheguru's Name); I have the Lord's Name as my only Support; He is my life, my breath of life, my wealth. ||3||1||"
(Bhagat Ravidaas jee, Ang 974)

Bhagat jee lived to a ripe old age of 151 years, and died in 1529 at Chittor, in Rajasthan. An umbrella-like tomb in his memory still stands there. It was Bhagat Ravidaas jee' firm faith in Waheguru that he was able to ultimately achieve oneness and union with the Creator.

ਜੈਸਾ ਰੰਗੁ ਕਸੁੰਭ ਕਾ ਤੈਸਾ ਇਹੁ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ॥
ਮੇਰੇ ਰਮਈਏ ਰੰਗੁ ਮਜੀਠ ਕਾ ਕਹੁ ਰਵਿਦਾਸ ਚਮਾਰ ॥੪॥੧॥
"O Ravidaas, the tanner! Say- (As I deal with the Lord's Name, I know that) the love of this world is like the pale, temporary color of the safflower. However, the color of my Lord's Love is permanent, like the dye of the madder plant. ||4||1||"
(Bhagat Ravidaas jee, Ang 346)


Anonymous said...

Bhai Sahib, sorry to sound a bit harsh but most of what has been said here is false.

Firstly, Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh Ji in his books states that the Bhagats only reached Karam Khand and the Fifth Nanak, Guru Arjun Dev Ji, called them down and made them recite bani. This bani that he made them recite is the bani under their name in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. AND NOT THE BANI THEY WROTE WHILE ALIVE. For this second bit wanted to mention, I can't remember if Guru Ji signed it under their name or he got them to. Anyway, after that they could then enter Saachkhand.

The bani the Bhagats wrote while alive is different from the bani in Guru Granth Sahib Ji. I've read Bhagat Kabeer Ji's writing he wrote when alive and it is different to his in Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Also, I found a shabad in Gurbani which proves the bani in Guru Granth Sahib Ji of the Bhagats was written after their eartly body died. Here it is:

This is by Bhagat Kabeer in Guru Granth Sahib Ji:

kahu gur gaj siv sabh ko jaanai ||
Says Kabeer, the Guru and Ganaysha and Shiva all know

muaa kabeer ramath sree raamai ||5||15||
that Kabeer died chanting the Lord's Name. ||5||15||

Also, the Gurus did not reach Saachkhand from birth. Bhai Gurdaas Ji in his Vaaran explains how Guru Nanak Dev Ji from birth began to do Bhagti to reach Saackhand and reached it, and then became Satguru. The rest of the Gurus also got Gurgaddi when either after serving the Guru's such as Guru Angad Dev Ji, Guru Amar Das ji and Guru Ram Das Ji, or attaining a high spiritual level in a previous life such as Guru Gobind Singh Ji, and then in their next birth reaching Saachkhand. Thus attaining Guruship.

Overall, all the Gurus had a high Spiritual level from birth and were the most Humble, the second to them were the Bhagats, Bhatts etc.

VaheguruJiKaKhalsa VaheguruJiKiFateh

Manjeet said...

Dear Manvir Singh Ji
Gur Feteh
Thank you for your efforts on this Blogspot.
the album for the Audio download is in fact the 11th Barsi of Bhai Sahib Bhai Norang Singh Ji


Manjeet Singh