New Delhi, Feb 21: The nation is celebrating the birth anniversary of Guru Ravidas today. Ravidas was a great saint, who symbolized social unity and equality. President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh greeted the nation on the occasion.
Greeting the people, the President said that Ravidasji led a life of faith and devotion and dedicated himself to the cause of the poor irrespective of caste, creed and religion. She said that his philosophy of service and commitment to create a caring society is relevant even now.
"May his message of love, compassion and equality inspire us to serve humanity with dedication and devotion," she added. In his message, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh said that Guru Ravidas embodied the spirit of humility and human dignity.
"Revered by Hindus and Sikhs, the compositions of Guru Ravidas have been a source of knowledge and wisdom. His life and teachings would always inspire us to create a humane and just society, where every individual is given due dignity, regardless of his or her caste, creed, religion or gender," he said.
On the occasion, several processions are being taken out and people dress up like Ravidas and his associates. In temples dedicated to Ravidas, his image is worshipped and prayed. At some places, feasts are also held on this occasion.
Guru Ravidas was born in a village near Varanasi in 1376. Ravidas, a Harijan by birth, taught spirituality based on emancipation from the oppression of the caste system.