HEF demands addition of Sant Ravidas in California textbooks
In its edits to the Instructional Quality Commission, the Hindu Education Foundation (HEF) sought that the Bhakti saints like Ravidas and the Alvars be added to the list of examples. This was suggested by HEF so that all communities in Hinduism were given proper representation in textbooks. Unfortunately, the changes have not been accepted till now. But we are trying our best to convince California Department of Education (CDE) include these changes in the history textbooks.
Page 265, lines 711-712:
Current text: “Bhakti grew more popular, thanks to saints such as Meera Bai and Ramananda.”
HEF Suggested change: “Bhakti grew more popular, thanks to saints such as Meera Bai, Ravidas, Alvars, and Ramananda.”
Ravidas ji is one of the highly revered Bhakti saints of India. He was social reformer and has large number of followers even to this day. His Bhajans (devotional songs) brought the greatest of spiritual ideas from the Vedas and Upanishads to the common masses. He came from a family of cobblers.
Here is a link to one of a very mesmerizing Bhajan composed by Sant Ravidas ji https://www.youtube.com/watch?
We also have sought the inclusion of Tamil Bhakti saints Alvars who were known for their Bhakti to Hindu God Vishnu and are considered a very important part of Vaishnava tradition.
While there are innumerable Bhakti saints in India and we know the Seventh grade textbooks will not be able to mention all of them, we do believe that including some important names is important to understand the context of the Hindu Bhakti movement.