In the aftermath of the Austrian incident misinterpretation in reference to the status of Bhagat Ravidas Jee has been widespread. I have seen some very strange comments being made in the media about who Bhagat Ravidas Jee was. I don’t think the problem is just that people are trying to say politically correct things. I find that there is a basic lack of knowledge on the subject. This is not any ones fault rather it has been caused by the misinterpretation of the subject by our scholars and historians. Even well known scholars like Prof. Sahib Singh have not been able to show true light.
The real tragedy is that we have not been able to recognise who Guru Nanak Dev Jee is. For this is the way Guru Jee has deemed fit in mystifying the world. Even those of us who claim to know who Guru Nanak Dev Jee really don’t know, all what we know is what we have read. Guru Nanak Dev Jee’s true status can only be recognised through touching the Feet of Guru Nanak Dev Jee. It is only then when you realise the power you have connected with, you can not understand or either explain this force but for those who have even had a glimpse of this they can not see no other Guru or anything that even comes close. It is for these reasons that when the Bhagats mentioned in Gurbanee after having darshan of Guru Nanak Dev Jee could not recognise any other Guru but Guru Nanak Dev Jee himself.
It is clear that Bhagat Ravidas Jee met Guru Nanak Dev Jee there are various proofs of this meeting which are mentioned below. It is also true that Bhagat Ravidas Jee’s Banee is the same not only in the message but also wording, there is ample proof of this in Guru Granth Sahib Jee. Apart from the ones that claim they did not meet most of the confusion is occuring on determining who influenced who when they met. Who is the Guru? who is the enlighter in this meeting? There are some elements that are saying Bhagat Ravidas was the Guru and there are others saying that they were at the same status and both were Gurus.
None of the above scenarios are true. If both were the same status then what was the purpose of Guru Nanak Dev Jee of coming to this was world? was he just a hymn collector! Why couldn’t Bhagat Ravidas fulfil the role of Sat Guru? Why the need for another Sat Guru? This role contradicts what Gurbanee is saying about Guru Nanak Dev Jee’s role and what history has written.
The claim that Bhagat Ravidas Jee was the Guru of Guru Nanak Dev Jee is also false.
In order to become Sat Gur you can not be a seeker in the sense your views have to be Sat. Truth/Sat does not change with time. History and Gurbanee tells us that Guru Nanak Dev Jee’s message/view did not change with time. The same can not be said for Bhagat Ravidas, historians and scholars have written that Bhagat Ravidas first believed in the Sargunn thought and then later he adopted the Nirgun thought. The proof of this can be found in the book called Pracheen Jeevan Katha-Guru Ravidas.
It is quiet evident that something was missing from his life and he was a seeker of Sat.
Bhagat Ravidas together with Bhagat Kabir, Sainh, PeePaa, Dhana Jee were contemporaries of Bhagat Ramanand. All were greatly influenced by Bhagat Ramanand in their early stages. Some have said that Bhagat Ramanand Jee was Bhagat Ravidas Jee’s Guru. However Bhagat Ramanand Jee became a Sikh of Guru Nanak Dev Jee too, the detailed account of this is written in Pranh Sanglee. Further Bhagat Kabir Jee has written the following in an old text of his shabads :
“ ਪੂਰਨ ਗੁਰ ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰੂ ਕਿੰਚਤ ਰਾਮਾਨੰਦ ”
Bhagat Kabir Jee and Bhagat Ravidas Jee were peers, external sources have said that both had the same Guru. Ram Kumar Verma in the book titled “Sant Kabeer” has written
“ਇਨ ਅਵਤਰਣੋ ਸੇ ਗਯਾਤ ਹੋਤਾ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਕਬੀਰ ਔਰ ਰੈਦਾਸ ਏਕ ਹੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਕੇ ਸ਼ਿਸ਼ ਥੇ”.
Both have mentioned each other in their Banee. Bhagat Kabeer Jee writes the following
“ ਪੂਰਨ ਗੁਰੂ ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰੂ ” This is found in an old Janam Sakhi from outside India. The Goindhwal Pothia are one of the oldest sources for written Gurbanee . In here it is written "ਕਮੀਰ ਨਾਮਾ ਭਗਤ ਗੁਰੂ ਬਾਬੇ ਕੇ" so from these sources we can conclude that Bhagat Ravidas too would have accepted Guru Nanak Dev Jee as the Pooran Guru. Below is a view of a page from the Goindhwal Pothia mentioning "ਕਮੀਰ ਨਾਮਾ ਬਾਬੇ ਦੇ ਭਗਤ "(the text is underlined)
Below are some proofs of the meeting between Bhagat Ravidas Jee and Guru Nanak Dev Jee :
There is a book written by Prithee Singh Azaad called “ Guru Ravidas” he has written on page 42 that the meeting between Bhagat Ravidas Jee and Guru Nanak Dev Jee occurred in 1555.
Guru Nanak Dev Jee stayed in Kanshee for 15 days. This is the period when the all the religious/spiritual figures from Banaras including the Bhagats came to visit Guru Nanak Dev Jee. There is a Gurdwara in this place called “Guru Kaa Baag”.
The Nephew of Guru Arjan Dev Jee Mehervaan in his Janam Sakhi has written the following –
ਤਬ ਅਯੁਧਿਆ ਵਿਖੇ ਗੁਰੂ ਬਾਬਾ ਨਾਨਕ ਬੈਠਾ ਭਗਤੀ ਕਰਦਾ ਹੈ, ਤਉ ਭਗਤਾਂ ਕਉ ਆਗਿਆ ਆਈ ਪਾਰ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਜੀ ਕੀ ਜਿ, ਨਾਨਕ ਜੁਹਦੀ ਮੇਰੇ ਬਡਾ ਭਗਤ ਹੈ, ਸੁ ਅਯੁਧਿਆ ਮਹਿ ਆਇਆ ਹੈ I ਤੁਮ ਜਾਇਕਰ ਨਾਨਕ ਭਗਤ ਕਾ ਦਰਸ਼ਨ ਕਰ ਪਾਵਹੁ, ਜਿ ਤੁਮ ਮੇਰੇ ਨਾਮ ਕੀ ਮਹਿਮਾ ਅਧਿਕ ਪਛਾਨਹੁ I ਅਰ ਮੇਰੀ ਉਸਤਤ ਕਰਹੁ I ਮੇਰੀ ਜੋ ਉਸਤਤ ਹੈ ਨਾਨਕ ਜਾਨਤਾ ਹੈ I.................. ਤਬ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਪਾਰ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਕੀ ਆਗਿਆ ਸਾਥ ਸਭਿ ਭਗਤ ਮਿਲੇ I ਮਿਲ ਕਰ ਮਿਲਣ ਆਏ I ਨਾਮਾ, ਜੈਦੇਉ, ਕਬੀਰ, ਤ੍ਰਿਲੋਚਨ, ਰਵਿਦਾਸ, ਸਧਨਾ, ਧੰਨਾ, ਬੇਣੀ I
(From the above we understand that Bhagat Ravidas and the other Bhagats were instructed by WaheGuru to go and visit Guru Nanak Dev Jee and receive what they were seeking)
In the book called “Ravidas Pragas” on page 435 the following is written –
ਡੂੰਮ ਜਾਤੀ ਦਾ ਮਰਦਾਨਾ ਗੁਰੂ ਨਾਨਕ ਜੀ ਨਾਲ ਸੀ, ਜਦੋਂ ਇਹ ਬਨਾਰਸ (ਕਾਸ਼ੀ) ਵਿੱਚ ਗਏ ਸੀ I ਕਾਸ਼ੀ ਦੇ ਬ੍ਰਹਿਮਣਾਂ, ਖਤ੍ਰੀਆਂ ਨੇ ਗੁਰੂ ਨਾਨਕ ਜੀ ਨੂੰ ਕਿਹਾ ਤੁਸੀਂ ਨੀਚ ਜਾਤੀ ਵਾਲੇ ਰਵਿਦਾਸ ਚਮਾਰ ਪਾਸ ਗਏ ਹੋ ਅਸੀ ਤਾਂ ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਚਮਾਰ ਜਾਤੀ ਵਾਲੇ ਢੇਢਾਂ ਦਾ ਪ੍ਰਛਾਵਾਂ ਨਹੀਂ ਲੈਂਦੇ I Listening to this Guru Nanak replied with the following Gurbanee :
ਜਿਥੈਨੀਚਸਮਾਲੀਅਨਿਤਿਥੈਨਦਰਿਤੇਰੀਬਖਸੀਸ ॥(Panaa 15)
To say Bhagat Ravidas was anything other than a Sikh of Guru Nanak Dev Jee would be seen as an insult to Bhagat Ravidas. You can just imagine how disgusted he would be to see people using his name to slander and undermine the exact Sat Gur he praised. In fact Guru Nanak Dev Jee elevated the status of Bhagat Ravidas Jee in Louk and Parlouk and his so called followers would not know who he was unless Guru Nanak Dev Jee gave him this elevation.
True followers of Bhagat Ravidas should accept the Naam of Guru Nanak Dev Jee as the way Bhagat Jee did. For elements that do not want to follow in the footsteps of Bhagat Ravidas they should abandon and leave Bhagat Ravidas Jee and seek someone else.