Bhagat Ramanand

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Bhagat Ramanand Ji
Swami ramanand.jpg
Name : Ramanand Sharma
Personal Details
Birth : Late 14th Century at Allahabad, Uttar Pardesh
Joti Jot : Late 15th Century at Benaras, Uttar Pardesh
Previous Faith : Vaishnavism (Bairagi)
Family
Parents : Bhoor Karam[1] and Sushila
Brother/Sisters : Not Recorded
Spouse : -NA- (Renouncer)
Children : -NA- (Renouncer)
Other Details
Bani in GGS: 1 Shabad in Basang Raag
Other Info: Fight against Casteism, Reviver of Bairagi Sect


Bhagat Ramanand(Adi Granth: ਰਾਮਾਨੰਦ ਜੀ), also known as Swami Ramanand, was a Gurmukh, Poet, Saint, Devotee, whose hymn is present in Adi Granth Sahib, Holy book of Sikhs. [2] He is popularly known as Vaishnav Saint and considered as reviver of Bairagi Sect (popularly Ramanandi Sect[3]). He was born to an upper-caste Brahmin family, around Mid 14th Century, and preached that Hari was available to people of all castes, which reflected in his following: Bhagat Dhanna, Bhagat Kabir, and other.

Gurmat and Ramanand Ji

In Adi Granth Sahib, a poem of Satgur Ramanand is recorded by Satgur Arjun Dev, in Raga Basant, describes Ramananda’s profound philosophy.

In hymn, Bhagat ramanand tells his spiritual state.

Bani of Bhagat Ramanand in Adi Granth Sahib

ਰਾਮਾਨੰਦ ਜੀ ਘਰੁ ੧
Raamaanand Jee, First House:

ੴ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥
One Universal Creator God. By The Grace Of The True Guru:

ਕਤ ਜਾਈਐ ਰੇ ਘਰ ਲਾਗੋ ਰੰਗੁ ॥
Where should I go? My home is filled with bliss.

ਮੇਰਾ ਚਿਤੁ ਨ ਚਲੈ ਮਨੁ ਭਇਓ ਪੰਗੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
My consciousness does not go out wandering. My mind has become crippled. ||1||Pause||

ਏਕ ਦਿਵਸ ਮਨ ਭਈ ਉਮੰਗ ॥
One day, a desire welled up in my mind.

ਘਸਿ ਚੰਦਨ ਚੋਆ ਬਹੁ ਸੁਗੰਧ ॥
I ground up sandalwood, along with several fragrant oils.

ਪੂਜਨ ਚਾਲੀ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਠਾਇ ॥
I went to Brahman's (God's) place (Temple), and worshipped Him there.

ਸੋ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਬਤਾਇਓ ਗੁਰ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਮਾਹਿ ॥੧॥
That God showed me the Guru, within my own mind. ||1||

ਜਹਾ ਜਾਈਐ ਤਹ ਜਲ ਪਖਾਨ ॥
Wherever I go, I find water and stones.

ਤੂ ਪੂਰਿ ਰਹਿਓ ਹੈ ਸਭ ਸਮਾਨ ॥
You are totally pervading and permeating in all.

ਬੇਦ ਪੁਰਾਨ ਸਭ ਦੇਖੇ ਜੋਇ ॥
I have searched through all the Vedas and the Puraanas.

ਊਹਾਂ ਤਉ ਜਾਈਐ ਜਉ ਈਹਾਂ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥੨॥
I would go there, only if the Lord were not here. ||2||

ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਮੈ ਬਲਿਹਾਰੀ ਤੋਰ ॥
I am a sacrifice to You, O my True Guru.

ਜਿਨਿ ਸਕਲ ਬਿਕਲ ਭ੍ਰਮ ਕਾਟੇ ਮੋਰ ॥
You have cut through all my confusion and doubt.

ਰਾਮਾਨੰਦ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਰਮਤ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ॥
Raamaanand's Lord and Master is the All-pervading Brahman (God).

ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਕਾਟੈ ਕੋਟਿ ਕਰਮ ॥੩॥੧॥
The Word of the Guru's Shabad eradicates the karma of millions of past actions. ||3||1||

(SGGS, 1195)

Key Points in Shabad:

  1. Complete wisdom of himself(Current state of soul) (ਮੇਰਾ ਚਿਤੁ ਨ ਚਲੈ ਮਨੁ ਭਇਓ ਪੰਗੁ)
  2. Clear with concept of Brahman ( ਪੂਜਨ ਚਾਲੀ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਠਾਇ ॥ ਸੋ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਬਤਾਇਓ ਗੁਰ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਮਾਹਿ ॥੧॥ / ਰਾਮਾਨੰਦ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਰਮਤ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ॥ )
  3. Unwilling to go to temples, complaining about waters and stones in temples (ਜਹਾ ਜਾਈਝ ਤਹ ਜਲ ਪਖਾਨ ॥)
  4. Function of Gur Shabad(ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਕਾਟੈ ਕੋਟਿ ਕਰਮ ॥੩॥੧॥) - It cut whole actions (Past or present, Good or Bad), Gurmukh have nothing to do with Karma (Once attained)

The above shabad is against some facts which are here under:

  1. Ramanand was worshipper of King Ramchandra of Ayodhya. ( ਸੋ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਬਤਾਇਓ ਗੁਰ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਮਾਹਿ ॥੧॥ / ਰਾਮਾਨੰਦ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਰਮਤ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ॥ )
Swami Ramanand the Ramadatt Acharya

Life History

Bhagat Ramanand is considered a pioneer of the Bhakti movement in the Indian subcontinent. He is also regarded as the bridge between the Bhakti movement of the South and North.

Birth

  • His birth date is controversial among scholars. Scholars has given his birth date between 1296 AD to 1400 AD.(In 1377 CE.[4], In 1296 AD[5]).
  • He was born in Allahbad[5]. Another view is prevalent that he was Tamilian by birth.
  • He was born to Kanya Kubaj Brahmin family.
  • His mother's name was Sushila Devi and father's name was Punyasadan Sharma.

Renouncing and Spiritual Journey

He was spiritually inclined from his early childhood.

  • He started his early spiritual career under Yogi Acharya Raghavanand at Benaras. Raghavand was a great scholar of his time. He was follower of Vishishtadvaita Vedanata. Later on Acharya, whose background was Sadhu Varna Ashrama believed that not everyone was entitled to perform prayers. This viewpoint was not supported by Ramanand. Theie held a dispute between Ramananada and Ragvanand. Ramanand left Raghvanand[5][4]
  • He started preaching gosphel in Kashi and imbued many devotees with the spirit of Bhagati. Kabir is the most renowned amongst his disciples. Ravidas, Sain, Dhanna and Pipa are also believed to be his followers even though all of them were not his contemporaries.
  • Brahmins were the only community which had the birth right to perform various rituals & observances connected with religion due to the fast that they were the only ones who studied them. But the liberal attitude adopted on the part of Ramanand led the Vairagi (a renouncer) tradition to accept him as their prominent Acharya (Hindu religious teacher). In this way, a new sect among the Vairagis under the name of Ramadatt came into being. This sect stressed celibacy, physical prowess & intense devotion to God.
  • Ramanand had several disciples who guided mankind on the way to bhagati (worshipping). Bhagat Pipa was one of his prominent disciples. Pipa was a king who gave up his ego & came under the patronage to seek spiritual guidance. As a king, he served his subject to their utmost welfare. Bhagat Ramanand also wandered about in Pipa's kingdom for some time. On the basis of his first-hand knowledge, he testified that was as a good a saint as he was a ruler. In his regime, all subjects enjoyed peace, justice and material comforts irrespective of caste or class.

Literary Contribution

There is not much written about Ramanand literary contribution since some of bullet points are:

  • Ramanand was a learned man. There is authentic Shabad which is present in Guru Granth Sahib in Raga Basant.
  • A Shabad present in Sarbangi Granth of Dadupanthis believed to be written by Ramanand
  • Many of the books which are supposed to have been written by him such as Sri Vaishnava, Matanbuj Bhaskar, Sri Ramarachan Padhti are still available.

Vaishnavism and Ramanand Ji

  • After leaving Acharya, Ramanand Ji contributed tp Vaishvanism by reviving Bairagi Matt.
  • Brahmins were the only community which had the birth right to perform various rituals & observances connected with religion. But the liberal attitude adopted on the part of Ramanand led the Vairagi (a renouncer) tradition to accept him as their prominent Acharya (Hindu religious teacher). In this way, a new sect among the Vairagis under the name of Ramadatt came into being. This sect stressed celibacy, physical prowess & intense devotion to God. Gradually, Ramanand drifted from Vaishnavism to the worship of One Formless Lord.
  • Ramanand was above caste consideration, and therefore he initiated to his idealogy people from the low castes; he believed everybody should worship God regardless of caste.

References

  1. ^ Dhur Ki Bani - Sampadan Jugat; author: Dr. Sarbjinder Singh; Publisher: Sikh Foundation; p. 41
  2. ^ Adi Granth Sahib - Page 1195, Line 11
  3. ^ People of Maharashtra - KS SIngh, Page 114
  4. ^ a b Gurbani De Racheta by S Abnashi Singh and Gurvinder Singh,Published by: Gaganmai Thaal International,Jandiala Guru,Amritsar
  5. ^ a b c Bhagat Ramanand Ji - Dr. Dharmpal Singal
These are the 15 Bhagats of Sikhism

Bhagat Beni | Bhagat Bhikhan | Bhagat Dhanna | Sheikh Farid | Bhagat Jaidev | Bhagat Kabir | Bhagat Namdev | Bhagat Parmanand | Bhagat Pipa | Bhagat Ramanand | Bhagat Ravidas | Bhagat Sadhna | Bhagat Sain | Bhagat Surdas | Bhagat Trilochan