On Saturday, August 12, PM Narendra Modi performed Bhumi Pujan and laid the foundation stone of a Temple-cum Museum dedicated to the 16th-century Bhakti saint, Sant Shiromani Gurudev Shri Ravidas ji at the Badtuma village of Sagar district in Madhya Pradesh. The temple cum museum will be built in Nagar style on 11.21 acres of land at more than Rs 100 crores.
VIDEO | PM Modi performs ‘Bhoomi Pujan’ for Sant Ravidas temple in Sagar, Madhya Pradesh. pic.twitter.com/Ip0TEpy7Wg
— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) August 12, 2023
PM Modi performed Bhumi Pujan on Saturday in the presence of CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan Governor Mangubhai Patel, Union Minister Virendra Kumar and many other saints. He Modi bowed down before the idol of Sant Ravidas with folded hands to seek blessings after which the prime minister inspected the miniature model of the upcoming memorial-cum-temple at this function. He then addressed a public programme at Dhana in Sagar district of Madhya Pradesh.
Notably, Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan had taken to the microblogging site X (formally Twitter) on August 11, 2023, to share a video showcasing the miniature model of the upcoming memorial cum temple dedicated to Sant Ravidas, being built in the state.
“संत रविदास जी सामाजिक समरसता के अग्रदूत थे”
हमारा सौभाग्य है कि कल आदरणीय प्रधानमंत्री श्री @narendramodi जी सागर के बड़तूमा में ‘संत रविदास मंदिर एवं स्मारक’ का भूमिपूजन करेंगे। ₹100 करोड़ से अधिक की लागत से 12 एकड़ भूमि में आकार लेने वाले इस विशाल स्मारक में संग्रहालय,… pic.twitter.com/ZZ9g0iG3Pf
— Shivraj Singh Chouhan (@ChouhanShivraj) August 11, 2023
After laying the foundation stone of the temple cum museum, PM Modi said, “The foundation for the temple is being laid today when the country has completed 75 years of Independence. Sant Ravidas was born at a time when the Mughal dynasty was ruling the country, and he had fought for educating the people at that time. Being the MP of Kashi (Banaras), I am happy that I got the opportunity to lay the foundation for the temple in Sagar today.”
“Sant Shiromani Gurudev Shri Ravidas ji Memorial will have grandeur as well as divinity which will flow from the teaching of Sant Ravidas ji,” the prime minister further said.
मुझे पूरा विश्वास है कि मध्य प्रदेश में बनने जा रहे संत रविदास स्मारक और संग्रहालय में भव्यता भी होगी और दिव्यता भी। pic.twitter.com/zS5c2dURu9
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 12, 2023
PM Modi added that the soil from thousands of villages and water from more than 300 rivers became part of Sant Ravidas’ upcoming temple-cum-memorial. “The memorial is steeped in the spirit of ‘Samrasta’ as the soil of more than 20,000 villages and 300 rivers have been used in it. Families from Madhya Pradesh have sent grain for ‘Samrast Bhoj’ and five yatras also concluded here at Sagar. These yatras mark a new era of social harmony,” PM Modi said,
Assuring that the temple will be completed in one and a half years Modi said he knows that with the blessing of Sant Ravidas, he will come to inaugurate it as well. “With blessings of Sant Ravidasji, will come to inaugurate the temple as well,” he said.
VIDEO | “Sant Ravidas memorial will enrich the country’s tradition. Sant Ravidas will give me an opportunity to inaugurate the temple as well after 1-2 years,” says PM Modi in Sagar, Madhya Pradesh.
(Source: Third Party) pic.twitter.com/CKhTmkc6My
— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) August 12, 2023
PM Modi further spoke about the teachings of Sant Ravidasji. He said, “The emergence of evils in society is a natural occurrence. It is the strength of Indian society that a Sant or a Mahatma like Ravidas ji emerges time and again to ward off such evils. Sant Ravidas was born in the Mughal era of instability, excesses and atrocity; he created an awakening against social evils.”
“Sant Ravidas ji was raising his voice against malpractices prevalent in the society. The Sant said dependency is the biggest sin and that those who accept it and do not take a stand against it are not loved by anybody. Sant Ravidas ji provided strength to the society to fight oppression, and Chhatrapati Shivaji used it as an inspiration to lay the foundations of Swarajya,” Modi added.
“Today, the nation is moving forward with the same spirit of liberation and rejecting the mentality of slavery,” he added.
Talking about the inspiration drawn from the Bhakti Saint, the PM said, “I know the pain of hunger and self-respect of the poor. I am a member of your family and I don’t need to look into the books to understand your pain. Free ration was ensured for more than 80 million people under Pradhanmantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana during the pandemic to support my family members.”
Further explaining how so many schemes have been launched by the BJP government to improve the lives of Dalits, the poor, tribals and women at every stage of life, Modi added, “Matru Vandana Yojana, Mission Indradhanush, Sickle Cell Anaemia elimination, a campaign to free India from Tuberculosis by 2025, Ayushman Card and others schemes have changed the lives of people.”
He said that the Standup India program and MUDRA loans were benefiting Dalits and the impoverished the most.
He referenced the 400-acre Lakha Banjara Lake and claimed that as part of the Jal Jeevan Mission, Dalit villages, underdeveloped regions, and tribal areas are receiving piped water.
“Neither the members of this society nor their past are weak. These societal segments have produced some great characters. The country is proudly preserving their legacy, Modi said, citing the beautification of the temple at Sant Ravidas ji’s birthplace in Banaras, the construction of the Sant Ravidas-named Global Skill Park in Bhopal’s Govindpura, the designation of significant locations associated with Baba Saheb’s life as Panch-Teerth, and the establishment of museums in numerous states to preserve their cultural legacies.
According to the prime minister, numerous states around the nation are currently building museums to preserve the illustrious past of tribal life. The nation has also begun the custom of observing Lord Birsa Munda’s birthday as Tribal Pride Day, he added.
According to officials, this temple-cum-memorial dedicated to Sant Ravidas will be spread over 11 acres of land. The building will display Sant Ravidas’ teachings and include residential accommodations for his followers in addition to a museum, an art gallery, and other features.
Notably, besides laying the foundation stones of the Sant Ravidas temple cum museum, PM Modi, during his visit to the state, also laid the foundation stones of various road projects and dedicated to the nation the doubling of the Bina-Kota railway line project.
Who is Sant Ravidas?
Sant Ravidas was a mystic poet from the 15-16th centuries who was part of the Bhakti tradition. He propagated spiritual freedom by advocating to get rid of differences in caste and gender. Fourteen of his devotional verses are also included in the Guru Granth Sahib and are hence revered among Hindus and Sikhs equally.
The ‘Ravidasias’ is seen today as a breakaway community from the Sikh community to whom worship of Sant Ravidas in central. They hold considerable social and cultural clout in North India, particularly in the states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.