A commemorative postage stamp on Ramananda, a 14th century Vaishnava poet-saint, founder of the Ramanandi Sampradaya :
Issued by India
Issued on Feb 4, 2002
Issued for : The Department of Posts is happy to issue a postage stamp on Swami Ramanand.
Stamp : Based on the material supplied by the sponsors.
FDC & Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : First Day Cover
Colour : Four Colour
Denomination : 400 Paise
Overall size : 2.90 x 3.91 cms.
Printing size : 2.90 x 3.91 cms.
Perforation : 13 x 13
Paper : Imported un w/m stamp paper
Stamps Printed : 0.4 million
Number per issue sheet : 40
Printing Process : Photo Offset
Printer : Eagle Press Private Ltd.
Name : Ramananda
Born on 1300~1380 CE at Deougaonraja [now Maharashtra, India]
Died on 1400~1475 CE at Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
- Swami Ramanand was one among the leading lights of the Bhakti Movement, the great socio-religious renaissance of medieval India.
- Ramanand was spiritually inclined from his early childhood. He was drawn to the Vaishnavaite doctrines which were popular those days. He became a disciple of Saint Raghavananda, under whom his mystic insights received a new direction.
- A pilgrimage to Kashi proved to be a turning point in the life of Swami Ramanand. It was during this voyage that his thoughts on the relationship between Man and God took definite shape. He realised that God can be worshipped by one and all, and that the prevailing concept of the priestly class enjoying the exclusive privilege to do so was wrong. He taught his disciples that, “A person who takes refuge at God’s feet frees himself from the bonds of caste–divisions“. A memorial was built as a mark of respect for the Swami, that stands in Kashi to this day.
- Swami Ramanand‘s ideas were no doubt revolutionary in the social milieu of medieval India. The impact of his ideas was not confined to religion, but extended to the social realm as well. His message that all human beings are equal and that one should truly love humanity helped people of the so-called lower castes to rediscover their dignity and self-belief.
- Swami Ramanand‘s liberal teachings inspired a sect of Bairagis (renouncers). This sect adopted him as their Acharya and followed the path shown by him. His thoughts have also found a place in the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy text of the Sikh religion.
- Ramanand has several disciples who went on to expound the way of Bhakti in different parts of India. Kabir, Ravidas, Sain, Dhanna and Pipa are believed to have been his followers, though some of them were not his contemporaries.