Life Sketch of Shri Guru Ravidass Ji
Shri Guru Ravidass Ji is one of the most famous untouchable Saint-poets of the 15th century India. Guru Ravidass was a very important saint of the Bhakti
movement, which flourished in India during medieval period.
So many Kings and Queens became his followers. Shri Guru
Ravidass, was born on the full moon night of the month of
Maagh, Bikrami Samvat 1433 (widely accepted by most scholars & institutions) to father Shri Santokh Dass Ji and Mother Kalsa Devi Ji in Chamar (Ravidassia) Caste which coincides with the year
1377 A.D., at Seer Goverdhanpur near Varanasi (Banaras), U.P.-
India. This period is called the darkest period in the history of
India because during this age a large section of the Indian
society was deprived of the basic human rights including
equality, fraternity and sovereignty.
Through his hymns he urged the deprived and downtrodden people to shun ignorance & illiteracy.
- RAVIDASS JU HAI BEGAMPURA UH PURAN SUKH DHAM. DUKH ANDOH AUR DVESHBHAV
NAHI BASHIN TIH THAM ||172||
The Begampura, is a pious place of complete bliss. There
is no place for pain, sorrow and enmity in this city of
Begampura, says Ravidass. 
- BEGAM PURA SAHAR KO NAAO. DUKH ANDOHU NAHI TIHI THAAO
There is a city named Begampura. Where there is no place
for pain and sorrow.
While showing innocent people the right path of meditation, he had to strive hard to win back the snatched rights of the poor, depressed and oppressed people. Guru Ravidass faced so many difficulties throughout his life. From the very beginning of his life, Ravidass Ji had inclination towards devotion and started worshipping God. For this reason, he faced severe resistance from the orthodox members of the so called upper caste society. Scheduled Castes were oppressed and their touch and sight were considered polluting by the upper castes. Ravidass revolted against this inhuman system of untouchability.
- PRADHINTA PAP HAI JAN LEHU RE MEET. RAVIDASS DAS PRADIN SOUN KAUN KARAI HAI
Ravidass says enslavement is a sin. O friend! You should
understand this important point because no one loves a
slave man. 
NAAM TERO AARTI MAJAN MURARE
HAR KE NAAM BIN JHUTHE SAGAL PASARE ||RAHAAO||
NAAM TERO AASNO NAAM TERO URSA
NAAM TERA KESRO LE CHHITKARE
NAAM TERA AMBHULA NAAM TERO CHANDNO
GHAS JAPE NAM LE TUJHEH KAO CHARE
NAAM TERA DIVA NAAM TERO BATI
NAAM TERO TEL LE MAHI PASARE
NAAM TERE KI JOT LAGAI
BHAIO UJIARO BHAVAN SAGLARE
NAAM TERO TAGA NAAM PHOOL MALA
BHAR ATHARAH SAGAL JUTHARE
TERO KIA TUJHEH KIA ARPAO
NAAM TERA TUHI CHAVAR DHOLARE
DAS ATHA ATHSATHE CHARE KHANI
IHAI VARTAN HAI SAGAL SANSARE
KAHAI RAVIDASS NAAM TERO AARTI
SAT NAAM HAI HAR BHOG TUHARE ||
He did not give up his profession in order to worship God but used to recite the name of God while doing his work. Guru Ravidass had been performing his ancestral occupation of preparing leather shoes and at the same time he remained occupied in reciting the name of God.He placed before the world this significant example of the dignity of labour that every profession is honourable, if performed whole-heartedly. As there is no upper caste or lower caste in the world, like this, there is no defiled profession or a holy profession. This was the excellent example of performing meditation and at the same time doing job for his livelihood. This unique combination of devotion and duty was placed before the world by Shri Guru Ravidass Ji
about six centuries ago. With his hands he was performing his duty to provide livelihood to the members of his family and with his tongue he was reciting the name of God
- RAVIDASS HOUN NIJ HATHHIN RAKHON RABI AAR | SUKIRAT HI MUM DHARAM HAI TARAIGA
BHAV PAR ||117||
Ravidass says, in order to earn my livelihood, I do hard
work. I keep in my hand my tools such as poker and scraper.
I recite the name of God with my tongue continuously.
Because noble earning is my faith, therefore, the true earning
has helped me to cross the ocean of existence. 
- JIHVA BHAJAI HARNAM HIT HATH KARAHI NIT KAM. RAVIDASS BHAYAI NIHCHIT HUM MUM
CHIT KARAIGAI RAM ||114 ||
A man who does his work with his hands and recites
the name of God with his tongue he becomes worriless.
According to Ravidass, the God himself will think about
his worries and eradicate his vexing problems. (114)
Guru Ravidass was regarded as the great and eminent religious thinker and prominent Guru of his time. Keeping in view his true devotion towards God, some of his contemporary sages like saint Kabir, saint Sain proclaimed him in their hymns as an excellent saint -
- Sadhan mein Ravidass sant hae, supach rishi so maniya! Hindu Turk dui deen bane hae, kashu nahin pahichaniya!
Kabir Ji said that Guru Ravidass Ji is the greatest amongst sages and the entire world reckons him as a highly respected saint. Contemporary Hindus and Muslims bowed with reverence before Guru Ravidass Ji and revered him like God
Guru Ravidass gave to the entire world a unique concept of socialism, equality and dignity of human beings through his holy hymns. In his devotional hymns, he preached for one and only one God, who is the Creator of the whole universe including human beings, and all 84 lakh species.
He was kind to the downtrodden. He elevated and purified the so-called untouchables.
Aaisee lal tujh binu kaunu karai. Gareeb niwaaju guseea meraa maathai chhatar dharai…
neecho uooch karai meraa govind kaahoo te na darai
[refrain My Beloved, besides you who acts like this? Protector of the poor, my Master. You hold a royal umbrella over my head].
He further exhorted his followers to worship the True and omnipresent God, to whom he called by the name of Satnam, Hari, Ram, Niranjan, At the same time he urged the people to establish a casteless and classless society in the world.
The fragrance of his pious name and stories relating to his nearness to God spread in the country like golden rays of the dawn. After listening to his praise from the people, the Queen of Chittaurgarh, Rajputana, Queen Rattan Kunwari Jhali visited Banaras and became the disciple of Guru Ravidass. Later her husband Rana Sangram Singh, popularly known in the history of medieval period, as Rana Sanga, accepted Guru Ravidass as his Guru. A few other rulers of this country too became disciples of Guru Ravidass. The prominent female saint of the royal family of Chittaurgarh, Mirabai accepted Guru Ravidass as her Guru. This fact was repeatedly affirmed by saint Mirabai in her lyrics that she was initiated into the spiritual life by Shri Guru Ravidass. It is said about Guru Ravidass that he was not the Guru of ordinary people only, but he was also the Guru of saints, kings and queens..
Guru Ravidass was a prominent saint, guide and preceptor of his time. On one side, he composed the hymns of mysticism in order to inspire the devotees to worship the God and obtain the spiritual power to swim across the ocean of existence, whereas on the other side he composed lyrics in order to inspire and motivate poor and deprived people to strive hard for their economic and social uplift.
Guru Ravidass in his holy hymns urged the downtrodden people to liberate themselves from the deadly social evils such as caste system, illiteracy, ignorance, poverty, inequality, bonded labour, etc. In order to reform the society, the approach of Guru Ravidass was unique.
For the first time in India, community kitchen (Bhandara / Langar) for the devotees was started in Seer Goverdhan Pur, Banaras by Shri Guru Ravidass. It was also the need of the hour.In the twentieth century, the name of Guru Ravidass was excavated by saints and scholars from the debris of darkness. The scholars collected the hymns of Guru Ravidass from different sources. The sagacious and far-sighted saints of Dera Sach Khand, Ballan, District Jalandhar, Punjab, India took the lead to preserve the manuscripts of Guru Ravidass Bani in the Dera. This historic work was completed by Sant Rama Nand, under the spiritual guidance of Shri 108 Sant Niranjan Dass, Gaddi-Nashin of the Dera
A unique congregation to celebrate the 633rd. anniversary of Guru Ravidass was organised at Birth Place Temple, Seer Goverdhanpur Varanasi, India, on 30th. January 2010. Lakhs of devotees from India and abroad were present on the auspicious occasion. In the presence of Sant Samaj, an historic decision was taken unanimously to form Ravidassia Religion. This decision was welcomed by all. The mammoth gathering adopted the new religion immediately. The principals of newly formed Ravidassia religion were accepted. Amritbani, containing the hymns of Guru Ravidass was declared the religious Granth of the newly formed Ravidassia religion. This holy Granth contains 140 Shabads, 40 Pade, Paintee Akhari, Bani Haftawaar, Bara Maas Updesh, Saand Bani, Shadi Updesh, Manglachar and 231 Shaloks of Satguru Ravidass. Amritbani is available at present in two languages i.e. Devnagri and Gurmukhi scripts.