Swami Ramanand

Swami Ramanand was a revered saint of the medieval period. He is considered as one of the founders of the Bhakti movement. This movement, which initially flourished in the north, was promoted in the south by the efforts of this religious personality. He was a great follower of Acharya Ramanuja, a renowned philosopher of the 11th century. During his lifetime he came to be regarded as one of the greatest devotees of Lord Ram.

Though born in an upper caste Brahmin family in the year 1366, he greatly detested the distinction between the castes. Since his childhood days, he showed great interest in spiritual thoughts. He visited various places of pilgrimage. One of these places, Varanasi, still contains a memorial in his honor. He personally believed that everyone had the right to worship god, irrespective of caste or creed, as opposed to the Brahmin thinking that only they are entitled to worship and perform religious rites. He was greatly responsible for popularizing the devotion of Lord Ram, until then only the preserve of the upper caste. During the course of his preaching he won many famous disciples, prominent among them being Kabir and Pipa. Swami Ramanand, who initially belonged to the Vaishnavite sect, gradually started believing in the presence of the single formless god.

In his lifetime Swami Ramanand wrote many books, noted among them being 'Shri Vaishnava Matanbuj Bhaskar' and 'Shri Ramarachan Padahti.' He is also highly revered by the Sikhs, since his hymn ‘Rag Basant’ has been included in the Guru Granth Sahib.

Updated on 7th June, 2005


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