The Ravidassia religion, or Ravidassia Dharam, is an Indian religion, founded in the 21st century out of Sikhism, and is based on the teachings of the 14th century Indian guru Ravidas, revered as a satguru.
Historically, Ravidassia represented a range of beliefs in the Indian subcontinent, with some devotees of Ravidass counting themselves as Ravidassia Sikhs, but first formed in the early 20th-century in colonial British India. The Ravidassia community began to take on more cohesion following 1947, and the establishment of successful Ravidassia communities in the diaspora.
Ravidassias, states Ronki Ram, accept present sants of Ravidass Deras as Guru whereas the Sikhs do not. A new Ravidassia religion was launched following the murder of their cleric Ramanand Dass in Vienna in 2009 by some radical, where the movement declared itself to be a religion fully separated from Sikhism.
Prior to their break from Sikhism, the Dera Bhallan revered and recited the Guru Granth Sahib of Sikhism in Dera Bhallan. However, following their split from mainstream Sikhism, the Dera Bhallan compiled their own holy book based exclusively on Ravidas's teachings, the Amritbani Guru Ravidass Ji, and these Dera Bhallan Ravidassia temples now use this book in place of the Guru Granth Sahib.
Begumpura is a term coined by Shri Guru Ravidass Ji, in the 15th Century, Banaras, India; “Begampura”, Be-gam-pura, or the land without sorrow. The spirit of the verse is this: Begampura is the name of the city where there is no suffering or anxiety, no fear or downfall/ Begampura is the city where there is sovereignty of god/ Where there is lasting peace and safety for all/ All are equal, no one is second or third. In the end, Guru Ravidas' bhajans reflect both a sense of poverty and caste humiliation and a desire to find a utopia without suffering, taxes or property; one that is, in the hymn “Begumpura” Guru Ravidass Ji postulates the world of his dreams. There will be no distress, no tax, no restriction from going and coming, no fear in the world. It will be an ideal place to live in. The preamble of the The Human Rights Charter of the United Nations has been prepared inconformity with theme of this hymn of Sri Guru Ravidass Ji. above all, a Begumpura or 'Queen City' of companionship:
The regal realm with the sorrowless name they call it Begumpura, a place with no pain, no taxes or cares, none owns property there, no wrongdoing, worry, terror, or torture. Oh my brother, I've come to take it as my own, my distant home, where everything is right... They do this or that, they walk where they wish, they stroll through fabled palaces unchallenged. Oh, says Ravidas, a tanner now set free, those who walk beside me are my friends
Guru Ravidass (also Raidas, Rohidas and Ruhidas in eastern India) was a North Indian Sant mystic of the bhakti movement who was active in the 15th century CE. Venerated in the region of Uttar Pradesh as well as the Indian state of Maharashtra, his devotional songs and verses made a lasting impact upon the bhakti movement. He is often given the honorific "Bhagat" or "Sant". He was a socio-religious reformer, a thinker, a theosophist, a humanist, a poet, a traveler, a pacifist and a spiritual figure before whom even head-priests of Benaras lay prostrate to pay homage.
He was a shoemaker of the Kutbandhla Chamar caste. His devotional songs were included in the Sikh holy book, the Adi Granth, by the fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjan Dev. There is also a larger body of hymns passed on independently that is claimed and attributed to Ravidas by some. Ravidas was subversive in that his devotionalism implied a leveling 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 (jāti) but by one's actions (karma) and that every person has the right to worship God and read holy texts. He opened a frontal attack against the system of Untouchability. He rejected the tradition of Brahmin mediator to reach the Supreme Being. He also said that one need not to hide his caste or leave his low profession to reach God. He became a model for his fellow beings to overcome the hierarchical barriers of Brahminical social order and to establish Begumpura - a state without fear and sorrows. Guru Ravidass elevated the status of the labour by emphasizing on the fact that honest labour is empowering.
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