SANT RAVI DASS संत रविदास
CONCEPTS & EXTRACTS IN HINDUISM By :: Pt. Santosh Bhardwaj
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पूरा नाम :- रविदास, जन्म स्थान :- कांशी (बनारस), पिता का नाम :- संतोख दास, माता का नाम :- कालसी।
रविदास जी 15 और 16 वी शताब्दी में भक्ति अभियान के उत्तर भारतीय आध्यात्मिक संत कवि थे। उनके भक्ति गीतों ने भक्ति अभियान पर एक आकर्षक छाप छोड़ी। वे एक सामाजिक सुधारक और आध्यात्मिक व्यक्ति भी थे। उनके भक्ति गीतों में सिक्ख साहित्य, गुरु ग्रन्थ साहिब शामिल है। पञ्च वाणी की दादूपंथी परंपरा में भी उनकी अनेक रचनाएँ शामिल हैं।
बचपन से ही उन्हें भक्ति और भगवान की पूजा में रूचि थी। उन पर संत-कवि रामानंद का भी प्रभाव पड़ा। उनकी भक्ति से काशी राज भी प्रभावित हुए थे। वे वैश्विक बंधुता, सहिष्णुता, पड़ोसियों के लिये प्यार और देशप्रेम का पाठ पढ़ाते थे।
Sant Ravi Das was a cobbler of 15th century Varanasi belonging to the Nirgun Sant Tradition. He is remembered for his beautiful hymns and his gentle piety which drew many seeking souls to his shoe shop.
PIETY :: शील, धार्मिकता, पुण्यशीलता, धर्मनिष्ठा, साधुता, पुण्यात्मा होने का गुण, धर्मनिष्ठता, ईश्वर भक्ति; godliness, devotion, morality, righteousness, religiosity, religiousness, devoutness, modesty, politeness, humbleness, moral conduct.
He was a born Shudr from the Chamar caste. All his devotional songs were included in the Sikh holy book, the Adi Granth, by the fifth Sikh Guru Arjun Dev. There is also a larger body of hymns passed on independently that is claimed and attributed by some to Ravi Das. He was subversive in that his devotionalism implied a levelling of the social divisions of caste and gender, yet ecumenical in that it tended to promote crossing of sectarian divides in the name of a higher spiritual unity. He taught that one is distinguished not by one’s caste (Jati-जाति) but by one’s actions (Karm-actions) and that every person has the right to worship God and read holy texts.
बांधू न बंधन छांऊं न छाया, तुमहीं सेऊं निरंजन राया।
चरन पताल सीस असमांना, सो ठाकुर कैसैं संपटि समांना।
सिव सनिकादिक अंत न पाया, खोजत ब्रह्मा जनम गवाया।
तोडूं न पाती पूजौं न देवा,सहज समाधि करौं हरि सेवा।
नख प्रसेद जाकै सुरसुरी धारा, रोमावली अठारह भारा।
चारि बेद जाकै सुमृत सासा, भगति हेत गावै रैदासा।
जाति-जाति में जाति हैं, जो केतन के पात।
रैदास मनुष ना जुड़ सके जब तक जाति न जात।
रैदास कनक और कंगन माहि जिमि अंतर कछु नाहिं।
तैसे ही अंतर नहीं हिन्दुअन तुरकन माहि।
हिंदू तुरक नहीं कछु भेदा सभी मह एक रक्त और मासा।
दोऊ एकऊ दूजा नाहीं, पेख्यो सोइ रैदासा।
कह रैदास तेरी भगति दूरि है, भाग बड़े सो पावै।
तजि अभिमान मेटि आपा पर, पिपिलक हवै चुनि खावै।
कृस्न, करीम, राम, हरि, राघव, जब लग एक न पेखा।
वेद कतेब कुरान, पुरानन, सहज एक नहिं देखा।
जब भक्त रविदास को कंगन देने प्रकट हुईं गंगा मैया :: संत और फकीर जो भी इनके द्वार पर आते उन्हें बिना पैसे लिये अपने हाथों से बने जूते पहनाते। इनके इस स्वभाव के कारण घर का खर्च चलाना कठिन हो रहा था। इसलिए इनके पिता ने इन्हें घर से बाहर अलग रहने के लिए जमीन दे दिया। जमीन के छोटे से टुकड़े में रविदास जी ने एक कुटिया बना लिया। जूते बनाकर जो कमाई होती उससे संतों की सेवा करते इसके बाद जो कुछ बच जाता उससे अपना गुजारा कर लेते थे।
एक दिन एक ब्राह्मण इनके द्वार आये और कहा कि गंगा स्नान करने जा रहे हैं एक जूता चाहिए। इन्होंने बिना पैसे लिया ब्राह्मण को एक जूता दे दिया। इसके बाद एक सुपारी ब्राह्मण को देकर कहा कि, इसे मेरी ओर से गंगा मैया को दे देना। ब्राह्मण रविदास जी द्वारा दिया गया सुपारी लेकर गंगा स्नान करने चल पड़ा। गंगा स्नान करने के बाद गंगा मैया की पूजा की और जब चलने लगा तो अनमने मन से रविदास जी द्वारा दिया सुपारी गंगा में उछाल दिया। तभी एक चमत्कार हुआ गंगा मैया प्रकट हो गयीं और रविदास जी द्वारा दिया गया सुपारी अपने हाथ में ले लिया। गंगा मैया ने एक सोने का कंगन ब्राह्मण को दिया और कहा कि इसे ले जाकर रविदास को दे देना।
ब्राह्मण भाव विभोर होकर रविदास जी के पास आया और बोला कि आज तक गंगा मैया की पूजा मैंने की लेकिन गंगा मैया के दर्शन कभी प्राप्त नहीं हुए। लेकिन आपकी भक्ति का प्रताप ऐसा है कि गंगा मैया ने स्वयं प्रकट होकर आपकी दी हुई सुपारी को स्वीकार किया और आपको सोने का कंगन दिया है। आपकी कृपा से मुझे भी गंगा मैया के दर्शन हुए। इस बात की ख़बर पूरे काशी में फैल गयी। रविदास जी के विरोधियों ने इसे पाखंड बताया और कहा कि अगर रविदास जी सच्चे भक्त हैं तो दूसरा कंगन लाकर दिखाएं।
विरोधियों के कटु वचनों को सुनकर रविदास जी भक्ति में लीन होकर भजन गाने लगे। रविदास जी चमड़ा साफ करने के लिए एक बर्तन में जल भरकर रखते थे। इस बर्तन में रखे जल से गंगा मैया प्रकट हुई और दूसरा कंगन रविदास जी को भेंट किया। रविदास जी के विरोधियों का सिर नीचा हुआ और संत रविदास जी की जय-जयकार होने लगी। इसी समय से यह दोहा प्रसिद्ध हो गया। ‘मन चंगा तो कठौती में गंगा।’
INITIATION OF RAM DASS INTO EDUCATION :: Pt. Sharda Nand used to run his Pathshala-school in his house. Ravi Dass was admitted in Pt. Sharda Nand’s School by his revered parents. Many casteist people tried to restrain Pt. Sharda Nand from admitting in his Pathshala and teaching Ravi Dass–a Shudr-low caste boy. Pt. Sharda Nand was a wise man. He realized from the face of Ravi Dass he was a gifted child. In utter disregard of the pressure of casteist people, Pt. Sharda Nand admitted Guru Ravi Dass and started teaching him. He was a sober and promising student. When he taught him the letters of alphabet, Ravi Dass Ji expanded and spoke poetic lines, originating from “ॐ-OM” , signifying Glory of God.
All this had great influence on Pt. Sharda Nand Ji. He realized that boy Ravi Dass was spiritually enlightened since beginning. Although Ravi Dass Ji was still a boy, yet Pt. Sharda Nand had developed deep affection for student him.
REVIVING GURU’S SON :: Ravi Dass became intimate with the son of Pt. Sharda Nand. They used to play together. One day in the game of hide-and-seek, Ravi Dass won and his friend lost the game. As a result, his friend was to seek hidden. Ravi Dass had to hide in his next turn. By now night had fallen. It was mutually agreed that the friend (son of Pt. Sharda Nand) would play his turn of seeking Guru Ravi Dass the next morning. Next morning, Ravi Dass, along with other play-mates, waited for his friend for a long time but he did not turn up. At last Ravi Das himself went to his residence with other play-mates.The parents and other members of family of Pt. Sharda Nand Ji were weeping.
The neighbours and others were also sitting in remorse (contrition, deep regret, repentance, penitence, guilt, feelings of guilt, bad/guilty conscience, compunction, remorseful, ruefulness, contriteness, sorrow, shame, self-reproach, self-accusation, self-condemnation; pangs of conscience). Ravi Dass enquired as to what had happened. He was apprised that his friend (son of Pt. Sharda Nand) had died during night. Ram Dass wondered as to why he had died with-out playing his turn of seeking Ram Dass in the game of hide-and-seek. He desired to see his friend.
Pt. Sharda Nand took Guru Ravi Dass along to the place where dead body of his son was lying. In a friendly tone, Ravi Dass asked his friend that it was not the time to sleep and he should get up and play his turn of seeking him in the game of hide-and-seek. By virtue of spiritual powers of Ravi Dass his friend became alive. He got up and was willing to play. His parents and others were astonished.They were happy again.
SURVIVING ONSLAUGHT BY MISGUIDED-IGNORANT :: Since his childhood, he had a religious bent of mind. He started worshipping God like the Brahmans. He blew conch-shell, applied Tilak (mark) on fore head, wore Janju (sacred thread) and tied Dhoti (cloth sheet used instead of trousers) like the Brahmans. He vehemently condemned caste system and untouchability. He preached equality, secularism, truthfulness, oneness of God and human rights. Since his message was of universal brotherhood, people of all shades irrespective of caste, sex or creed came to listen his sermons. His following was fast increasing. Some disgruntled people planned to kill Ravi Dass. He was invited at a secluded place where he was mercilessly attacked and killed. What really happened was under the cast of a spell. The attackers killed their leader in stead of him.
PROTECTION OF FRIEND FROM A LION JUST BY PRESENCE :: Ram Lal was a close friend of Ravi Dass. For most of the time they remained and played together. He loved Ram Dass very much. The Brahmans were jealous and could not tolerate that a Brahman boy should play with an untouchable. They emphatically impressed upon his parents to detract their son from moving and playing with a boy of low-caste. But Ram Lal obeyed none.The Brahmans, being jealous of Ravi Dass complained to the king about the friendship of Ram Lal (a Brahman) and Ravi Dass-an untouchable. The king called Ram Lal to the court. He decided to kill by throwing him 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 became calm. It looked around. Instead of killing the boy, it looked around and saw Ravi Dass sitting near by. The lion bowed before Ram Lal and receded. Ram Lal came to senses. The King and Brahmans felt ashamed. The King realised that Ram Lal has been protected by some spiritual power. The king freed him.
REFUSAL TO ACCEPT PHILOSOPHER’S STONE (पारस पत्थर) :: Ravi Dass preferred to lead a poor man’s life. Many kings and queens and other rich people were his disciples but he never expected and accepted costly offers. A sage visited Ram Dass’s hut and offered him a philosopher’s stone capable of turning iron into gold. Ram Dass refused to accept and said that it was of no use for him. The saint requested to keep it with him till he returned from a pilgrimage. He went away and returned after an year and asked for the stone. Ravi Dass asked to collect the stone from the place where he kept it. The saint became very happy and blessed him with Adhyatm-spiritual knowledge.
FLOATING OF STATUE OF THAKUR-SHRI HARI :: There are numerous instances when astray (पथ भ्रष्ट; aberrant, pervert, debauched, depraved, deviant, deviate, errant, fallen, immoral, misguided, perverse, perverted, reprobate, roguish, stray, aberrant) Brahmns of previous birth were given opportunity by the Almighty to improve their deeds in present birth and show right direction to the society, like the Butcher who gave lessons in enlightenment to Kapil Muni, incarnation of Bhagwan Shri Hari Vishnu.
Ravi Dass seems to belong to this category. He was a cobbler-shoe maker-Chamar by caste. Manu Smrati do not give credence to caste by birth, it stresses over the Karm-deeds, not the profession. There are again numerous examples where one born in an inferior Varn-caste has improved to higher Varn. Dev Rishi Narad & Mahrishi Balmiki were from inferior Varn in their previous births. Dev Rishi was punished by Brahma Ji for singing untuned-without rhythm.
Born and brought up in an environment dedicated to the Almighty the previous birth showed up also started worship of God. He started blowing conch-shell and ringing the bell. He was enlightened and had acquired Bhakti Yog. He simplified mode of worship and discarded rituals. His religious discourses were most convincing and truthful. As a result, cutting across caste barriers, large number of people became his followers. This was a phase when the impact Buddhism distracted Brahmns and they became impostors (पाखंडी, ढोंगी, छली, वेद विरुद्ध आचरण करनेवाला, वेद–निंदक). All this irked the ignorant-stupid 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 continued worship. At last Brahmans approached the then Kashi Naresh Hardev Singh and complained against Ravi Dass for practising worship of God. Ravi Dass was summoned to appear in the court of the king. He explained in the court that worship was everybody’s right and that he was the truthful worshipper of God. The Pandit priests and Ravi Dass were asked to bring their Thakur (Idol) whom they worshipped, to the river Ganga on the appointed day. Only that party would be adjudged as the true worshipper whose Thakur would float in the river. Brahman priests and Ravi Dass arrived at Raj Ghat of the river Ganga as directed by the king. The Pandits had brought small Thakur idols-figurines wrapped in the cotton. But Ravi Dass was stoutly carrying a 40 kg. heavy-weight square stone on his shoulders with unshakeable confidence. A huge crowd of residents of Banaras gathered on Raj Ghat 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 Mantr and gently placed their Thakur stones in the river one by one. To their great dismay, all their Thakur Ji’s idols-statues gently sank down deep into the water. All of them bowed down their heads. The onlookers were stunned to see the sinking Thakurs of Brahmans. Then was the turn of Ravi Dass. He lifted his heavy-weight stone idol on his shoulders. There was thaw. All eyes were focused on Ravi Dass 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. He 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 subhaaieeCharn 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 onlookers expected something miraculous. Ravi Dass moved ahead to the water and gently placed the stone in light-blue transparent water of the river. To great astonishment of the onlookers the statue floated majestically. Ravi Dass gently smiled and thanked God for coming to his rescue. There was spontaneous applause from the viewers. The Pandits had failed in the test. They had been proved false worshippers. The onlookers made a mockery of the Pandits. The king announced victory to Guru Ravi Dass as the truthful worshipper.