A commemorative postage stamp on the Birth Anniversary of Guru Ravidass Ji, a saint-poet from Indian bhakti movement, founder of Ravidassia religion (associated with Sikhism) :
Issued by India
Issued on Jun 24, 2001
Issued for : The Department is happy to issue this commemorative postage stamp in honour of Sant Ravidas.
Stamp : Concept design prepared by Alka Sharma based on a painting by Phulan Rani as received from Govt. of Punjab.
FDC : Based on material supplied by the sponsors.
Cancellation : Nenu Gupta
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Four Colour
Denomination : 300 Paise
Overall size : 2.90 x 3.91 cms.
Printing Size : 2.54 x 3.55 cms.
Perforation : 13 x 13
Paper : Imported un w/m stamp paper
Stamps Printed : 0.7 million
Number per issue sheet : 40
Printing Process : Photo Offset
Printer : Eagle Press Pvt. Ltd.
Name : Raidas
Born on 1450 at Seer Goverdhanpur, Varanasi district, Uttar Pradesh, India
Died on 1540 at Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
- Sant Ravidas (circa 15th century AD) was one of the brightest luminaries in the firmament of the Bhakti Movement, which was a religious renaissance in India. He upheld the equality of all mankind, giving the call “deed not the creed makes man high or low“. He emphasized the fundamental tenets underlying all religions. He taught in times dominated by the rigidity and narrow-mindedness of the caste system, and illuminated the atmosphere with his enlightenment. As a proponent of the “Bhakti Movement”, his contribution was truly great, spreading the philosophy of spiritual self-realization through “Bhakti“, and dispelling the darkness of “ajnana”, with “jnana” (wisdom). He emerged as a great philosopher-poet and social reformer, for humanity at large.
- Born in most humble surroundings, in the house of a cobbler, Sant Ravidas had a spiritual bend of mind even in his early life. It is said that when his father tried to admit him in a ‘Pathshala’, the child did not display any interest in his school lessons as even at that age, he understood that salvation can be achieved only through love of God and through “Bhajan” and devotional worship. His father inspired him to join the family business, but Ravidas, imbued with celestial and humane values, spent the money received from his father for business, in the welfare of the needy. To divert his attention, his father got him married and settled him separately. Ravidas lived in a humble cottage but carried on his life of faith and devotion and continued his service to the men of God.
- As stories of Ravidas‘s selfless devotion and philosophy of universal love spread far and wide, he had to face the challenge of the orthodox society. Ravidas being a ‘charmkar‘ by birth was denied entry into temples. However, his true devotion towards God was a great source of strength and he proved that irrespective of caste and creed, all are equal in the eyes of God and only sinful actions bring bad name and dishonour to a man. Though the orthodox society was pitched against him, he never swerved from the path of truth and propagated the love of God. He preached religious harmony as the only panacea for the survival of humanity.
- The maharaja and rani of Chittor became his disciples. Mira Bai, the famous saint poetess also adopted him as her Guru. It is said that even Sikandar Lodhi, the Sultan of Delhi was impressed by the teachings of Ravidas and honoured him. Sant Ravidas composed many shabdas. Out of them, about 41 shabdas have been included in the Holy Guru Granth Sahib. His shabdas are packed with divine wisdom and in each of them, he advocates ‘Ram nam jap’ and extols the efficacy of this great mantra. In his teachings, he says, “God is everywhere – in you and me“.
- Text : Based on material supplied by the sponsors.
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