Glimpses of Spiritual Elevation of Bhagat Ravidas Ji

Guru Granth Sahib contains Bani of 15 Bhagats including that of Bhagat Ravidas Ji, whose contribution stands at 40 sbads in 16 Raags. Bhagat Ravidas was born in 1376 around Banaras in UP, India and passed away in 1527. Bhagat was a disciple of Sant Ramanand Ji and a cobbler by profession and was contemporary of Bhagat Kabir Ji.

He was a hardworking and honest man and always willing to help needy through his meagre earnings as a shoe-mender. He had had total faith in One Waheguru and did not believe in empty rituals. He denounced prevailing discrimination based on caste and creed system. He stressed on Sadh-sangat and Sat-sangat. He was a Brahm-giani and yet a very humble who repeatedly claimed in his writings of his low caste and profession. He never boasted about his scholarship and always attributed due to grace (Mehar) of Waheguru obtained through Ardas to Him.

While he was a very humble about his lowly background but at the same time he was a staunch devotee of Waheguru. According to Bhagat Ji no one is high or low. Anyone who walks on the devotional path can gain spiritual heights:-

– ਮੇਰੀ ਜਾਤਿ ਕੁਟ ਬਾਂਢਲਾ ਢੋਰ ਢੋਵੰਤਾ ਨਿਤਹਿ ਬਾਨਾਰਸੀ ਆਸ ਪਾਸਾ ॥(Raag Malar Bhagat Ravidas, GGS. 1293-6).
It is my occupation to prepare and cut leather; each day, I carry the carcasses out of the city.

ਅਬ ਬਿਪ੍ਰ ਪਰਧਾਨ ਤਿਹਿ ਕਰਹਿ ਡੰਡਉਤਿ ਤੇਰੇ ਨਾਮ ਸਰਣਾਇ ਰਵਿਦਾਸੁ ਦਾਸਾ ॥੩॥੧॥
Now, the important Brahmins of the city bow down before me; Ravi Daas, Your slave, seeks the Sanctuary of Your Name. ||3||1||

Guru Ram Das Ji captures the spiritual elevation of Bhagat Ravidas on account of his devotion to Waheguru:-

ਰਵਿਦਾਸੁ ਚਮਾਰੁ ਉਸਤਤਿ ਕਰੇ ਹਰਿ ਕੀਰਤਿ ਨਿਮਖ ਇਕ ਗਾਇ ॥ (Raag Suhi M. 4, GGS. 733-9).
Ravi Daas, the leather-worker, praised the Lord, and sang the Kirtan of His Praises each and every instant.

ਪਤਿਤ ਜਾਤਿ ਉਤਮੁ ਭਇਆ ਚਾਰਿ ਵਰਨ ਪਏ ਪਗਿ ਆਇ ॥੨॥
Although he was of low social status, he was exalted and elevated, and people of all four castes came and bowed at his feet. ||2||

Bhagat Ji himself admits that his spiritual emancipation was through Waheguru Naam Japna followed by Liv in Waheguru Naam, which he claims is higher than the acquired knowledge from all Holy Books. Bhagat Ji on achieving a close intimacy with Waheguru goes on to challenge the Redeemer role of Waheguru:-

ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨ ਜਪਹਿ ਰਸਨਾ ॥ ਅਵਰ ਸਭ ਤਿਆਗਿ ਬਚਨ ਰਚਨਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ (Raag Sorath Bhagat Ravidas, GGS. 658-14).
You do not chant with your tongue the Name of the Lord, Har, Har, Har. Abandon your involvement in all other words. ||1||Pause||

ਨਾਨਾ ਖਿਆਨ ਪੁਰਾਨ ਬੇਦ ਬਿਧਿ ਚਉਤੀਸ ਅਖਰ ਮਾਂਹੀ ॥ ਬਿਆਸ ਬਿਚਾਰਿ ਕਹਿਓ ਪਰਮਾਰਥੁ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਸਰਿ ਨਾਹੀ ॥੨॥
The various Shaastras, Puranaas, and the Vedas of Brahma, are made up of thirty-four letters. After deep contemplation, Vyaas spoke of the supreme objective; there is nothing equal to the Lord’s Name. ||2||

ਸਹਜ ਸਮਾਧਿ ਉਪਾਧਿ ਰਹਤ ਫੁਨਿ ਬਡੈ ਭਾਗਿ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਗੀ ॥ ਕਹਿ ਰਵਿਦਾਸ ਪ੍ਰਗਾਸੁ ਰਿਦੈ ਧਰਿ ਜਨਮ ਮਰਨ ਭੈ ਭਾਗੀ ॥੩॥੪॥
Very fortunate are those who are absorbed in celestial bliss, and released from their entanglements; they are lovingly attached to the Lord. Says Ravi Daas, enshrine the Lord’s Light within your heart, and your fear of birth and death shall run away from you. ||3||4||

– ਤੋਹੀ ਮੋਹੀ ਮੋਹੀ ਤੋਹੀ ਅੰਤਰੁ ਕੈਸਾ ॥ ਕਨਕ ਕਟਿਕ ਜਲ ਤਰੰਗ ਜੈਸਾ ॥੧॥ (Sri Raag Bhagat Ravidas, GGS. 93-15).
You are me, and I am You-what is the difference between us. We are like gold and the bracelet, or water and the waves. ||1||

ਜਉ ਪੈ ਹਮ ਨ ਪਾਪ ਕਰੰਤਾ ਅਹੇ ਅਨੰਤਾ ॥ ਪਤਿਤ ਪਾਵਨ ਨਾਮੁ ਕੈਸੇ ਹੁੰਤਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
If I did not commit any sins, O Infinite Lord, How would You have acquired the name, ‘Redeemer of sinners’? ||1||Pause||

Bhagat Ravidas Ji considers Waheguru Naam as the Shiromani act for one’s salvation by giving spiritual elevation of Bhagat Kabir Ji and Bhagat Nam Dev Ji:-

– ਨਾਮੁ ਤੇਰੋ ਆਰਤੀ ਮਜਨੁ ਮੁਰਾਰੇ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨੁ ਝੂਠੇ ਸਗਲ ਪਾਸਾਰੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ (Raag Dhanaasree Bhagat Ravidas, GGS. 694-13).
Your Name, Lord, is my adoration and cleansing bath. Without the Name of the Lord, all ostentatious displays are useless. ||1||Pause||

– ਰਵਿਦਾਸੁ ਜਪੈ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮਾ ॥ ਮੋਹਿ ਜਮ ਸਿਉ ਨਾਹੀ ਕਾਮਾ ॥੩॥੭॥ (Raag Sorath Bhagat Ravidas, GGS. 659-9).
Ravi Daas chants the Lord’s Name; He is not concerned with the Messenger of Death. ||3||7||

– ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰੇ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਤ ਜਨ ਗਏ ਨਿਸਤਰਿ ਤਰੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ( Raag Asa Bhagat Ravidas, GGS. 487-2)
The Lord, Har, Har, Har, Har, Har, Har, Haray. Meditating on the Lord, the humble are carried across to salvation. ||1||Pause||

ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਨਾਮ ਕਬੀਰ ਉਜਾਗਰ ॥ ਜਨਮ ਜਨਮ ਕੇ ਕਾਟੇ ਕਾਗਰ ॥੧॥
Through the Lord’s Name, Kabeer became famous and respected. The accounts of his past incarnations were torn up. ||1||

ਨਿਮਤ ਨਾਮਦੇਉ ਦੂਧੁ ਪੀਆਇਆ ॥ ਤਉ ਜਗ ਜਨਮ ਸੰਕਟ ਨਹੀ ਆਇਆ ॥੨॥
Because of Naam Dayv’s devotion, the Lord drank the milk he offered. He shall not have to suffer the pains of reincarnation into the world again. ||2||

ਜਨ ਰਵਿਦਾਸ ਰਾਮ ਰੰਗਿ ਰਾਤਾ ॥ ਇਉ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦਿ ਨਰਕ ਨਹੀ ਜਾਤਾ ॥੩॥੫॥
Servant Ravi Daas is imbued with the Lord’s Love. By Guru’s Grace, he shall not have to go to hell. ||3||5||

The above claim of Naam by Bhagat Ravidas Ji is also substantiated by Guru Nanak Sahib, Guru Amar Das Ji, Guru Ram Das Ji, Guru Arjan Dev Ji, Guru Teg Bahadur Ji and Bhagat Kabir Ji:-

1. ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨਾ ਜਗੁ ਧੰਧਾ ॥ (Raag Asa M. 1, 358-2).
Without the Name of the Lord, the world is in turmoil.

2. ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨੁ ਦਰਗਹ ਮਿਲੈ ਸਜਾਇ ॥੧੨॥ (Raag Bhaira-o M. 3, GGS. 1155-2).
Without the Name of the Lord, the mortals are punished in His Court. ||12||

3. ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨਾ ਸੁੰਦਰਿ ਹੈ ਨਕਟੀ ॥ (Raag Dev Gandhaaree M. 4, GGS. 528-7).
Without the Name of the Lord, the beautiful are just like the noseless ones.

4. ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨਾ ਸਭ ਝੂਠੁ ॥ (Raag Bhaira-o M. 5, GGS. 1151-12).
Without the Name of the Lord, everything is false.

5. ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨਾ ਦੁਖੁ ਪਾਵੈ ॥ (Raag Bilaaval M. 9, GGS. 830-18).
Without the Name of the Lord, you shall only find pain.

6. ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨੁ ਕਿਨਿ ਗਤਿ ਪਾਈ ਕਹਿ ਉਪਦੇਸੁ ਕਬੀਰਾ ॥੪॥੧॥ (Raag Sorath Bhagat Kabir, GGS. 654-9).
Without the Name of the Lord, who can find salvation? Kabeer speaks the Teachings. ||4||1||

7. Guru Arjan Dev Ji lends support and further substantiates the significance of Naam in Sukhmani Sahib:-

ਬਹੁ ਸਾਸਤ੍ਰ ਬਹੁ ਸਿਮ੍ਰਿਤੀ ਪੇਖੇ ਸਰਬ ਢਢੋਲਿ ॥ ਪੂਜਸਿ ਨਾਹੀ ਹਰਿ ਹਰੇ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮ ਅਮੋਲ ॥੧॥ (Raag Gauri M. 5, GGS. 265-9).
The many Shaastras and the many Simritees – I have seen and searched through them all. They are not equal to Har, Haray – O Nanak, the Lord’s Invaluable Name. ||1||

Bhagat Ravidas Ji exhibits in his Bani his total faith and trust in Waheguru and traces his spiritual growth as well as those of some other Bhagats through Divine blessings:-

– ਸਾਚੀ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਹਮ ਤੁਮ ਸਿਉ ਜੋਰੀ ॥ ਤੁਮ ਸਿਉ ਜੋਰਿ ਅਵਰ ਸੰਗਿ ਤੋਰੀ ॥੩॥ (Raag Sorath Bhagat Ravidas, GGS. 659-1).
I am joined in true love with You, Lord. I am joined with You, and I have broken with all others. ||3||

ਜਹ ਜਹ ਜਾਉ ਤਹਾ ਤੇਰੀ ਸੇਵਾ ॥ ਤੁਮ ਸੋ ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਅਉਰੁ ਨ ਦੇਵਾ ॥੪॥
Wherever I go, there I serve You. There is no other Lord Master than You, O Divine Lord. ||4||

ਤੁਮਰੇ ਭਜਨ ਕਟਹਿ ਜਮ ਫਾਂਸਾ ॥ ਭਗਤਿ ਹੇਤ ਗਾਵੈ ਰਵਿਦਾਸਾ ॥੫॥੫॥
Meditating, vibrating upon You, the noose of death is cut away.To attain devotional worship, Ravi Daas sings to You, Lord. ||5||5||

– ਐਸੀ ਲਾਲ ਤੁਝ ਬਿਨੁ ਕਉਨੁ ਕਰੈ ॥ ਗਰੀਬ ਨਿਵਾਜੁ ਗੁਸਈਆ ਮੇਰਾ ਮਾਥੈ ਛਤ੍ਰੁ ਧਰੈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ (Raag Maaroo Bhagat Ravidas, GGS. 1106-12).
O Love, who else but You could do such a thing? O Patron of the poor, Lord of the World, You have put the canopy of Your Grace over my head. ||1||Pause||

ਜਾ ਕੀ ਛੋਤਿ ਜਗਤ ਕਉ ਲਾਗੈ ਤਾ ਪਰ ਤੁਹੀਬ਼ ਢਰੈ ॥ ਨੀਚਹ ਊਚ ਕਰੈ ਮੇਰਾ ਗੋਬਿੰਦੁ ਕਾਹੂ ਤੇ ਨ ਡਰੈ ॥੧॥
Only You can grant Mercy to that person whose touch pollutes the world. You exalt and elevate the lowly, O my Lord of the Universe; You are not afraid of anyone. ||1||

ਨਾਮਦੇਵ ਕਬੀਰੁ ਤਿਲੋਚਨੁ ਸਧਨਾ ਸੈਨੁ ਤਰੈ ॥ ਕਹਿ ਰਵਿਦਾਸੁ ਸੁਨਹੁ ਰੇ ਸੰਤਹੁ ਹਰਿ ਜੀਉ ਤੇ ਸਭੈ ਸਰੈ ॥੨॥੧॥
Naam Dayv, Kabeer, Trilochan, Sadhana and Sain crossed over. Says Ravi Daas, listen, O Saints, through the Dear Lord, all is accomplished. ||2||1||

Bhagat Ravidas Ji further concludes that by meditating on Waheguru Naam one gets emancipation irrespective of the past deeds and actions:-

ਹਮਨ ਬੈਸ ਸੂਦ ਅਰੁ ਖ੍ਯ੍ਯਤ੍ਰੀ ਡੋਮ ਚੰਡਾਰ ਮਲੇਛ ਮਨ ਸੋਇ ॥ Raag Bilaaval Bhagat Ravidas, GGS. 858-8).
Whether he is a Brahmin, a Vaishya, a Soodra, or a Kh’shaatriya; whether he is a poet, an outcaste, or a filthy-minded person,

ਹੋਇ ਪੁਨੀਤ ਭਗਵੰਤ ਭਜਨ ਤੇ ਆਪੁ ਤਾਰਿ ਤਾਰੇ ਕੁਲ ਦੋਇ ॥੧॥
He becomes pure, by meditating on the Lord God. He saves himself, and the families of both his parents. ||1||

Once Bhagat Ravidas Ji’s spiritual height reached at the level of an intimate love and romance (ik-mik/rangrattra) with Waheguru, he felt liberated and he saw Waheguru everywhere; and not only easily accessible but handy all the time:-

– ਸਰਬੇ ਏਕੁ ਅਨੇਕੈ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਸਭ ਘਟ ਭਦ਼ਗਵੈ ਸੋਈ ॥ ਕਹਿ ਰਵਿਦਾਸ ਹਾਥ ਪੈ ਨੇਰੈ ਸਹਜੇ ਹੋਇ ਸੁ ਹੋਈ ॥੪॥੧॥ (Raag Sorath Bhagat Ravidas, GGS, 658-2).
The One Lord is pervading the many forms; He enjoys Himself in all hearts. Says Ravi Daas, the Lord is nearer than our own hands and feet. Whatever will be, will be. ||4||1||

ਜਉ ਹਮ ਬਾਂਧੇ ਮੋਹ ਫਾਸ ਹਮ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਬਧਨਿ ਤੁਮ ਬਾਧੇ ॥ ਅਪਨੇ ਛੂਟਨ ਕੋ ਜਤਨੁ ਕਰਹੁ ਹਮ ਛੂਟੇ ਤੁਮ ਆਰਾਧੇ ॥੧॥
If I am bound by the noose of emotional attachment, then I shall bind You, Lord, with the bonds of love.
Go ahead and try to escape, Lord; I have escaped by worshipping and adoring You. ||1||

ਮਾਧਵੇ ਜਾਨਤ ਹਹੁ ਜੈਸੀ ਤੈਸੀ ॥ ਅਬ ਕਹਾ ਕਰਹੁਗੇ ਐਸੀ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
O Lord, You know my love for You. Now, what will You do? ||1||Pause||
……………….
ਆਪਨ ਬਾਪੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਕਿਸੀ ਕੋ ਭਾਵਨ ਕੋ ਹਰਿ ਰਾਜਾ ॥ ਮੋਹ ਪਟਲ ਸਭੁ ਜਗਤੁ ਬਿਆਪਿਓ ਭਗਤ ਨਹੀ ਸੰਤਾਪਾ ॥੩॥ Raag Sorath Bhagat Ravidas, GGS. 658-6).
The Lord, our King, is father to no one, except those who love Him. The veil of emotional attachment has been cast over the entire world, but it does not bother the Lord’s devotee. ||3||

Bhagat Ravidas developed a strong and unbreakable bondage with Waheguru as described by him in his Bani:-

ਜਉ ਤੁਮ ਗਿਰਿਵਰ ਤਉ ਹਮ ਮੋਰਾ ॥ ਜਉ ਤੁਮ ਚੰਦ ਤਉ ਹਮ ਭਏ ਹੈ ਚਕੋਰਾ ॥੧॥(Raag Sorath Bhagat Ravidas, GGS. 658-17).
If You are the mountain, Lord, then I am the peacock. If You are the moon, then I am the partridge in love with it. ||1||

ਮਾਧਵੇ ਤੁਮ ਨ ਤੋਰਹੁ ਤਉ ਹਮ ਨਹੀ ਤੋਰਹਿ ॥ ਤੁਮ ਸਿਉ ਤੋਰਿ ਕਵਨ ਸਿਉ ਜੋਰਹਿ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
O Lord, if You will not break with me, then I will not break with You. For, if I were to break with You, with whom would I then join? ||1||Pause||

ਜਉ ਤੁਮ ਦੀਵਰਾ ਤਉ ਹਮ ਬਾਤੀ ॥ ਜਉ ਤੁਮ ਤੀਰਥ ਤਉ ਹਮ ਜਾਤੀ ॥੨॥
If You are the lamp, then I am the wick. If You are the sacred place of pilgrimage, then I am the pilgrim. ||2||

Bhagat Ravidas Ji in his emancipated state brought a new social awakening by putting forward a model of an ‘Ideal City’ (Baygumpura) for living a peaceful life while enjoying equality and freedom to move about with stricted borders:-

ਬੇਗਮ ਪੁਰਾ ਸਹਰ ਕੋ ਨਾਉ ॥ ਦੂਖੁ ਅੰਦੋਹੁ ਨਹੀ ਤਿਹਿ ਠਾਉ ॥ (Raag Gauri Bhagat Ravidas, GGS. 345-12).
Baygumpura, ‘the city without sorrow’, is the name of the town. There is no suffering or anxiety there.

ਨਾਂ ਤਸਵੀਸ ਖਿਰਾਜੁ ਨ ਮਾਲੁ ॥ ਖਉਫੁ ਨ ਖਤਾ ਨ ਤਰਸੁ ਜਵਾਲੁ ॥੧॥
There are no troubles or taxes on commodities there. There is no fear, blemish or downfall there. ||1||

ਅਬ ਮੋਹਿ ਖੂਬ ਵਤਨ ਗਹ ਪਾਈ ॥ ਊਹਾਂ ਖੈਰਿ ਸਦਾ ਮੇਰੇ ਭਾਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
Now, I have found this most excellent city. There is lasting peace and safety there, O Siblings of Destiny. ||1||Pause||

ਕਾਇਮੁ ਦਾਇਮੁ ਸਦਾ ਪਾਤਿਸਾਹੀ ॥ ਦੋਮ ਨ ਸੇਮ ਏਕ ਸੋ ਆਹੀ ॥
God’s Kingdom is steady, stable and eternal. There is no second or third status; all are equal there.

ਆਬਾਦਾਨੁ ਸਦਾ ਮਸਹੂਰ ॥ ਊਹਾਂ ਗਨੀ ਬਸਹਿ ਮਾਮੂਰ ॥੨॥
That city is populous and eternally famous. Those who live there are wealthy and contented. ||2|

ਤਿਉ ਤਿਉ ਸੈਲ ਕਰਹਿ ਜਿਉ ਭਾਵੈ ॥ ਮਹਰਮ ਮਹਲ ਨ ਕੋ ਅਟਕਾਵੈ ॥
They stroll about freely, just as they please. They know the Mansion of the Lord’s Presence, and no one blocks their way.

ਕਹਿ ਰਵਿਦਾਸ ਖਲਾਸ ਚਮਾਰਾ ॥ ਜੋ ਹਮ ਸਹਰੀ ਸੁ ਮੀਤੁ ਹਮਾਰਾ ॥੩॥੨॥
Says Ravi Daas, the emancipated shoe-maker: Whoever is a citizen there, is a friend of mine. ||3||2||

Bhagat Ji cautions us of our true cause of coming to existence but we waste our precious time in meaningless possessions and rituals:-

ਜਲ ਕੀ ਭੀਤਿ ਪਵਨ ਕਾ ਥੰਭਾ ਰਕਤ ਬੁੰਦ ਕਾ ਗਾਰਾ II Raag Sorath Bhagat Ravidas, GGS. 659-3).
The body is a wall of water, supported by the pillars of air; the egg and sperm are the mortar.

ਹਾਡ ਮਾਸ ਨਾੜੀਬ਼ ਕੋ ਪਿੰਜਰੁ ਪੰਖੀ ਬਸੈ ਬਿਚਾਰਾ ॥੧॥
The framework is made up of bones, flesh and veins; the poor soul-bird dwells within it. ||1||

ਪ੍ਰਾਨੀ ਕਿਆ ਮੇਰਾ ਕਿਆ ਤੇਰਾ ॥ ਜੈਸੇ ਤਰਵਰ ਪੰਖਿ ਬਸੇਰਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
O mortal, what is mine, and what is yours? The soul is like a bird perched upon a tree. ||1||Pause||

ਰਾਖਹੁ ਕੰਧ ਉਸਾਰਹੁ ਨੀਵਾਂ ॥ ਸਾਢੇ ਤੀਨਿ ਹਾਥ ਤੇਰੀ ਸੀਵਾਂ ॥੨॥
You lay the foundation and build the walls. But in the end, three and a half cubits will be your measured space. ||2||

ਬੰਕੇ ਬਾਲ ਪਾਗ ਸਿਰਿ ਡੇਰੀ ॥ ਇਹੁ ਤਨੁ ਹੋਇਗੋ ਭਸਮ ਕੀ ਢੇਰੀ ॥੩॥
You make your hair beautiful, and wear a stylish turban on your head. But in the end, this body shall be reduced to a pile of ashes. ||3||

ਊਚੇ ਮੰਦਰ ਸੁੰਦਰ ਨਾਰੀ ॥ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨੁ ਬਾਜੀ ਹਾਰੀ ॥੪॥
Your palaces are lofty, and your brides are beautiful. But without the Lord’s Name, you shall lose the game entirely. ||4||

ਮੇਰੀ ਜਾਤਿ ਕਮੀਨੀ ਪਾਂਤਿ ਕਮੀਨੀ ਓਛਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਹਮਾਰਾ ॥ ਤੁਮ ਸਰਨਾਗਤਿ ਰਾਜਾ ਰਾਮ ਚੰਦ ਕਹਿ ਰਵਿਦਾਸ ਚਮਾਰਾ ॥੫॥੬॥
My social status is low, my ancestry is low, and my life is wretched. I have come to Your Sanctuary, O Luminous Lord, my King; so says Ravi Daas, the shoemaker. ||5||6||

Bhagat Ravidas Ji beautifully sums up about our ignorance regarding reality of our existence simply as puppets in play in the hands of Waheguru:-

ਮਾਟੀ ਕੋ ਪੁਤਰਾ ਕੈਸੇ ਨਚਤੁ ਹੈ ॥ ਦੇਖੈ ਦੇਖੈ ਸੁਨੈ ਬੋਲੈ ਦਉਰਿਓ ਫਿਰਤੁ ਹੈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥Raag Asa Bhagat Ravidas, GGS. 487-5).
How does the puppet of clay dance? He looks and listens, hears and speaks, and runs around. ||1||Pause||

ਜਬ ਕਛੁ ਪਾਵੈ ਤਬ ਗਰਬੁ ਕਰਤੁ ਹੈ ॥ ਮਾਇਆ ਗਈ ਤਬ ਰੋਵਨੁ ਲਗਤੁ ਹੈ ॥੧॥
When he acquires something, he is inflated with ego. But when his wealth is gone, then he cries and bewails. ||1||

ਮਨ ਬਚ ਕ੍ਰਮ ਰਸ ਕਸਹਿ ਲੁਭਾਨਾ ॥ ਬਿਨਸਿ ਗਇਆ ਜਾਇ ਕਹੂੰ ਸਮਾਨਾ ॥੨॥
In thought, word and deed, he is attached to the sweet and tangy flavors.When he dies, no one knows where he has gone. ||2||

ਕਹਿ ਰਵਿਦਾਸ ਬਾਜੀ ਜਗੁ ਭਾਈ ॥ ਬਾਜੀਗਰ ਸਉ ਮਦ਼ਹਿ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਬਨਿ ਆਈ ॥੩॥੬॥
Says Ravi Daas, the world is just a dramatic play, O Siblings of Destiny. I have enshrined love for the Lord, the star of the show. ||3||6||

Bhagat Ravidas Ji was always humble and in prayer mode to ask the Compassionate Waheguru about his heartfelt desire to remain in His sanctuary:-

ਹਮ ਸਰਿ ਦੀਨੁ ਦਇਆਲੁ ਨ ਤੁਮ ਸਰਿ ਅਬ ਪਤੀਆਰੁ ਕਿਆ ਕੀਜੈ ॥ (Raag Dhanaasree Bhagat Ravidas, GGS. 694-7).
There is none as forlorn as I am, and none as Compassionate as You; what need is there to test us now?

ਬਚਨੀ ਤੋਰ ਮੋਰ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨੈ ਜਨ ਕਉ ਪੂਰਨੁ ਦੀਜੈ ॥੧॥
May my mind surrender to Your Word; please, bless Your humble servant with this perfection. ||1||

ਹਉ ਬਲਿ ਬਲਿ ਜਾਉ ਰਮਈਆ ਕਾਰਨੇ ॥ ਕਾਰਨ ਕਵਨ ਅਬੋਲ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
I am a sacrifice, a sacrifice to the Lord. O Lord, why are You silent? ||Pause||

ਬਹੁਤ ਜਨਮ ਬਿਛੁਰੇ ਥੇ ਮਾਧਉ ਇਹੁ ਜਨਮੁ ਤੁਮ੍ਹ੍ਹਾਰੇ ਲੇਖੇ ॥
For so many incarnations, I have been separated from You, Lord; I dedicate this life to You.

ਕਹਿ ਰਵਿਦਾਸ ਆਸ ਲਗਿ ਜੀਵਉ ਚਿਰ ਭਇਓ ਦਰਸਨੁ ਦੇਖੇ ॥੨॥੧॥
Says Ravi Daas: placing my hopes in You, I live; it is so long since I have gazed upon the Blessed Vision of Your Darshan. ||2||1||

ਚਿਤ ਸਿਮਰਨੁ ਕਰਉ ਨੈਨ ਅਵਿਲੋਕਨੋ ਸ੍ਰਵਨ ਬਾਨੀ ਸੁਜਸੁ ਪੂਰਿ ਰਾਖਉ ॥
In my consciousness, I remember You in meditation; with my eyes, I behold You; I fill my ears with the Word of Your Bani, and Your Sublime Praise.

ਮਨੁ ਸੁ ਮਧੁਕਰੁ ਕਰਉ ਚਰਨ ਹਿਰਦੇ ਧਰਉ ਰਸਨ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਭਾਖਉ ॥੧॥
My mind is the bumble bee; I enshrine Your feet within my heart, and with my tongue, I chant the Ambrosial Name of the Lord. ||1||

ਮੇਰੀ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਿਉ ਜਿਨਿ ਘਟੈ ॥ ਮੈ ਤਉ ਮੋਲਿ ਮਹਗੀ ਲਈ ਜੀਅ ਸਟੈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
My love for the Lord of the Universe does not decrease. I paid for it dearly, in exchange for my soul. ||1||Pause||

ਸਾਧਸੰਗਤਿ ਬਿਨਾ ਭਾਉ ਨਹੀ ਊਪਜੈ ਭਾਵ ਬਿਨੁ ਭਗਤਿ ਨਹੀ ਹੋਇ ਤੇਰੀ ॥
Without the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy, love for the Lord does not well up; without this love, Your devotional worship cannot be performed.

ਕਹੈ ਰਵਿਦਾਸੁ ਇਕ ਬੇਨਤੀ ਹਰਿ ਸਿਉ ਪੈਜ ਰਾਖਹੁ ਰਾਜਾ ਰਾਮ ਮੇਰੀ ॥੨॥੨॥
Ravi Daas offers this one prayer unto the Lord: please preserve and protect my honor, O Lord, my King. ||2||2||

Guru Amar Das Ji proclaims and confirms that the Bhagats of the like of Bhagat Ravidas Ji are unique and do exist in all Ages. They are detached from Maya and ego and always remain engrossed in Naam and Divine devotion/Bhagati:-

ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਜਿਨੀ ਆਪੁ ਤਜਿਆ ਹਰਿ ਵਾਸਨਾ ਸਮਾਣੀ ॥ ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਚਾਲ ਭਗਤਾ ਜੁਗਹੁ ਜੁਗੁ ਨਿਰਾਲੀ ॥੧੪॥ (Raag Raamkali M. 3, GGS. 919-1).
By Guru’s Grace, they shed their selfishness and conceit; their hopes are merged in the Lord. Says Nanak, the lifestyle of the devotees, in each and every age, is unique and distinct. ||14||

Guru Nanak Sahib unreservedly admits that the Bhagats are always in bliss:-

ਨਾਨਕ ਭਗਤਾ ਸਦਾ ਵਿਗਾਸੁ ॥ (Jap, Guru Nanak Dev, GGS. 3-2; repeated four times).
O Nanak, the devotees are forever in bliss.
Kirpal Singh

Wellington, New Zealand
kirpal2singh@yahoo.com

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