The earnest dedication — morally, financially — and efforts of the Sangat of SRI GURU RAVIDASS SABHA (California) have made it possible to purchase a church property to establish SRI GURU RAVIDASS TEMPLE in Pittsburg, California centrally located to the community.
SRI GURU RAVIDASS SABHA (California) was established in June 1981 and consists of about 300 members from Punjabi Chamar families, mostly from Fiji Islands, now primarily residing in California. The prime objective of the Sabha has been to propagate the teachings and Bani of great Guru Ravidass Ji and to maintain the holy sanctity of the Bani of SRI GURU GRANTH SAHIB JI. The goal is to enhance religious understanding, spiritual uplift, social, educational and cultural progress of the community and to propagate friendship and brotherhood amongst all Sikhs and neighbors.
SRI GURU RAVIDASS JV’S LIFE
SRI Guru Ravidass was born 608 years ago in Chamar family at Banaras (Varanasi), the center of the Brahimanical Hinduism. He was one of the greatest Saints of medieval India whose message of love, devotion and social regeneration was a source of great inspiration to an age of moral and cultural degradation. His thoughts, vision and actions stemmed from a unified sensibility. He proved to the world that even the lowliest of the lowly could rise through innate potentialities to those spiritual heights where distinctions of caste, creed and occupation became irrelevant. Like SRI GURU NANAK DEV JI and GURU KABIR JI, GURU Ravidass was not an academic scholar. His knowledge was based on his profound inner experience.
TEACHINGS OF SRI GURU RAVIDASS JI
Guru Ravidass Ji, who came from the lowest caste, rose to the pinnacle of spiritual glory and preached fearlessly to all castes and creeds his message of a divine love and devotion for WAHEGURU; Equality and justice amongst all; and dignity of righteous and honest labor (Kirt). He had the distinction of kings, queens, Brahmins, men of eminence and people of Northern India, especially from Punjab, accepting him as their spiritual guide.
The preaching of Guru Ravidass have a great relevance even today for the whole of mankind. The inclusion of forty of his verses in SRI GURU GRANTH SAHIB indicates the degree of sanctity attached to his bani.
GURU Ravidass condemned Hindu RITUALS and IDOLATRY. All outer search of GOD and all outer forms of religious observances lead us nowhere. A deep feeling of love and devotion for WAHEGURU and NAM SIMARAN whilst performing honest labor for livelihood will lead one somewhere to GOD-realization; which is, Ravidass proclaims, indeed a process of INNER spiritual practice and a path to GOD-realization.
Guru Ravidass emphasized, out of his own experience, that devotion to Nam Simran is the divinely ordained way to GOD-realization. The Nam alone is the truth which was in the beginning and which will be in the end. It is that power through which the Supreme Lord manifests Himself.
“The all-pervasive GOD
Residth in all beings;
But without the flint of Nam, O Ravidassa
The light of Truth remaineth out of sight”
We, the Sabha Sangat under the banner of SRI GURU RAVIDASS Nishan and in the name of WAHEGURU (one and only one GOD), march with a prime objective of practicing and propagating the Bani of Guru Ravidass Ji and maintain the holy sanctity of Bani of SRI GURU GRANTH SAHIB JI.
The true message of Guru Ravidass Ji’s Bani is: “To attain spiritual uplift and GOD-realization one requires a humble submission of self with utter dedication to WAHEGURU and Simaran of Nam in this passage of life whilst earning one’s livelihood with honest labor irrespective of caste and creed.” His Bani is meant for actual practice in life rather than for mere intellectual exercise.
Our duty is to submit to the TRUTH.
One of the Sewadar Teja Singh Dhada San Jose, CA
Article extracted from this publication >> May 24, 1985