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Sant Ravidas and His Contemporaries: A Rich Tradition of Shudra Saint-Poets of Bhakti Cult

R. Chandra (Author) K.L. Chanchreek (Author)
Synopsis The scriptures and other religious literature were for the rich and the elite class. The path of Bhakti and the hymns and verses of nirguna bhakti saint poets were meant for the lower classes, the shudras. This publication on Sant Ravidas and other Shudra saint-poets traces the origin and growth of the 'nirguna bhakti cult', which became a movement of universal brotherhood, love to humanity, social unity and emotional integration in a transitional period of history, mainly a caste ridden orthodox society. The 'nirguna bhakti cult' was undoubtedly a powerful voice of revolt against cast barriers, untouchability, orthodoxy priest craft, idolatry and human degradation. The cult got momentum with the emergence of saint poets like Ravidas, Kabir, Dadu, Satnamies, Paltu, Charan Das and many others in northern India and Chokhamala, Eknath and Namdev in Maharashtra. Their hymns addressed to all powerful, formless God attacked the oppressive features of the Hindu social order and turned into a movement for social transformation and equality. They all have a large following in the country, specially, Sant Ravidas, Kabir and Guru Nanak. Sant Ravidas and other saint-poets restored the right to worship by the lower classes, Shudras, artisans and peasants, which impressed Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh tradition in a big way. To pay back Sikh sect has enriched the nirguna bhakti cult by including their hymns, for recitation, prayers, in the Adi Granth.
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About the authors

R. Chandra

R. Chandra (b.1957) holds a Masters' degree in History and PG Diploma in Tourism besides a degree in Education. A seasoned tourism personnel, he was associated with UP Tourism for long. Besides working on various projects he has qritten many articles.

K.L. Chanchreek

K.L. Chanchreek is a great scholar and Indologist, academician and cultural activist, linquist and folklorist, poet and litteratueur, biographer and bibliographer. Born in delhi (1933) and educated at Agra, Delhi and Punjab Universities (1952-1957), he served in various capacities under the Government of India as Research Assistant, Commission for Scientific and Technical Terminology and later Member, Experts Advisory Committee, Chief Librarian, M/o Commerce and Industry, General Manager, Modern Food Industries (A govt. of India Undertaking) Chief Editor, Collected Works of Dr. Ambedkar (Dr. Ambedkar Foundatioin, Govt. of India), and Academic Adviser, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar School of Social Sciences, Bundelkhand University. He has edited several literary and social journals. He has also written an compited books and research publications on a wide range of subjects like Jainology, Buddism, literature, library and information science folklore, Dalit movement, international nad current affairs as well as on national leaders. He has nearly four dozen titles to his credit both in Hindi and English brought out by the leading publishers and Government departments.

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Bibliographic information

Title Sant Ravidas and His Contemporaries: A Rich Tradition of Shudra Saint-Poets of Bhakti Cult
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2004
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8188658642
length ix+182p.