Guru Ravidass – The Visionary Of Beghampura Who Sought An ‘Inclusive World’

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I feel privileged to extend my greetings to everyone on the birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Ravidass Ji which fell this year on February 7.

By Jai Birdi

Many know Guru Ravidass Ji and pay His Holiness high regards for being a great spiritual Father who showed the path to true salvation through meditation.  Guru Ji’s Arti is a testimony to his beliefs which included having a direct relation with the Super-Being, the Creater of this and infinite number of universes.  Today, the Path of Salvation through meditation is being adopted by people of various religions, sects, and secular individuals, thanks to Guru Ravidass Ji and others who established meditation and kept these practices alive over the past several thousands, if not millions, of years.

What many may not know is the revolutionary aspects of Guru Ravidass Ji and the concept of ‘Begumpura’ that His Holiness aspired millions to follow.  In material context, Begampura may best be described as ‘utopia’, a concept of Karl Marx.  However in spiritual sense, it could be interpreted as Heaven.  Regardless of how one chooses to interpret this concept, in such a state of Begampura, there are no sorrows, no discriminations, no poverty, and everyone lives in peace with one another.  In other words, it is the ‘inclusive world’.

It is probably not very important to discuss whether or not the vision of ‘Beghampura’ will ever be realized.  What is important is that Guru Ji prescribed this vision for people to aspire to, work towards realizing this vision through meditation- as well as through other practical means for realizing this state- both of the mind as well as for living a physical life on this planet in harmony with one another and to achieve universal peace, brotherhood, equality, and place to live without ever feeling any inferiority complexes.

One may suggest that the vision of Beghampura is now also enshrined in the Great Constitution of India because the principles of equality, liberty, and fraternity are included in it.

By this gesture I am not suggesting that everyone in India now feels the vision of equality, liberty and fraternity are achieved.  Similar to the vision of Beghampura, the vision of equality, liberty and fraternity is also something to strive for, and work towards. Just over sixty years since the Constitution of India was adopted, we have seen India evolving into cities and villages where people of all castes and religions can live in harmony with one another on The “East Side”- a side of villages which were denied to many to live in pre-Independent India!

In situations where this is not happening or is not happing to the degree that we would like to see, we, the People of this planet, need to constantly work towards this vision and create the ‘inclusive world’.

If we are all genuine and sincere of creating the “inclusive world”, we need to work towards creating Beghampura where there are no sorrows and everyone can live with dignity and without any feelings of any suppression.

If we believe that Guru Ravidass Ji was a revolutionary saint, we need to learn to challenge any practices or beliefs that are a barrier to achieving the vision of Beghampura and be the role models by living a lifestyle that speaks louder than words and convey that we are all treating each other with respect and equality.

Once again, my hearties congratulations to everyone on this day and I encourage everyone, particularly to those that believe in creating the inclusive world, to step back and reflect on the teachings and philosophy of Guru Ravidass Ji and make a pledge to continue or enhance their efforts to making the vision of Beghampura a reality.  This will be the true homage to Guru Ravidass Ji and to others who inspired generations to achieve this vision.

Jai Birdi is the executive director of Chetna Association of Canada.