Guru RavidasRaidas was a 16th century mystic-poet who lived in north India. A cobbler by profession, his caste was at the bottom of the hierarchy. He courageously defied the orthodox establishment to lead a reform movement to ameliorate the plight of the downtrodden classes. Many of his songs and poems therefore were incorporated in the the ‘Guru Granth Sahib’ the holy book of the  reformist faith Sikhism, in acknowledgement of their appealing message of equality, truth and devotion.

In the 16th century, a revolution in worship based on devotion, overriding the prevailing ritualistic Vedic practices of orthodox Hinduism, established henceforth in India the supremacy of love as the vehicle for spiritual communion.

Here in a popular and moving song he affirms the inseparability of God and his devotee, the unity of spirit and matter, the indivisibility of the creator and his creation, expressed through unremitting love –  in essence signifying the divinity of the soul within.

 

YOU AND I TOGETHER

(Prabhuji tum chandan hum pani)

 

You are the paste of sandalwood, Lord

And I am water,

 Every limb becomes fragrant

As we mingle together.

You are the deep and dark forest

And I am in it a dancing peacock,

I am a love-lorn partridge looking at the moon

And you are my moon.

I am a wick

On which your flame burns

Making my lamp glow brighter every day.

I am a thread on which you are strung

As a pearl,

I am a bride

And you my golden ornament.

You are my master

And I your loving devotee.

Such indeed is the devotion

Which Raidas feels for you

Each day.

Ravidas' Memorial Varanasi

Raidas memorial at Kasi

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