Ramanandacharya had travelled all over India and propagated the principles and philosophy acquired through his Guru tradition. His disciples are also distributed through out this country . Ramanandacharya had got good reputation among the saints and religious leaders of his time by his devotion and out standing intellectual capacity. It was not so easy to become his disciple. Many people were eager to get his kindness and to establish him as their Guru. Today Ramanand-Sect is divided into many branches and sub-branches through out India . Ramanand had many disciples from different castes . Ramanand had never promoted casteism.
One of his disciple Rohidas was a Chamar. Another; Karbirji was a Muslim-weaver. Pipaji was Kshatriya. Thus there was no caste discrimination among disciples of Ramanand. They were great followers and propagators of Bhakti movement. Ramanad had travelled through out India and propagated the pure devotional path and devotion. He had defeated many devotees and teachers of various sects those who were having diverse views. He opposed the violent means for acquiring God. He strongly opposed the tradition of sacrifices of animals in the name of Yagya and show the pure devotional path. Ramanandacharya was a saint with an outstanding personality Anantanandji was one of the prominent disciples of him. The saint and teacher Jivandasji Uda, popularly known as Jivandas Maharaj was one among his disciples tradition. Jivandas Maharaj had establish Uda-sect in Gujarat. Jivanji Maharaj was religious preacher of Ramanand sect. And he had accepted Ramanand as Sadaguru guru but some of the principles of Jivanji Maharaj were different than Ramanand-Sect. So far Jivanji Maharaj is concern he was heavily influenced by Kabir Saheb. Kabirji was a saint who had many time confronted with guru with sweetness. Ramanad was coming from Brahmin's and pandit's class. So, many time it was difficult for him to become free from his ceremonial tradition. There were many instances where kabirji showed the correct path to his Guru.
Ramanandacharya was coming from brahminical tradition. So, he was heavily influenced by it. Kabirji indirectly imparted the knowledge to his Guru to get rid of this ritualistic tradition. Once Ramanad had sent Kabir to bring milk from the city. It was a event for celebrating Shradha of guru Raghavanandji. Kabirji had gone with vessel to bring the milk Swami Ramanand was waiting for Kabirji. Kabirji went in the morning had not came back even at noon. The time (Muhurat) of Shradha (Ceremony for dead person) had also passed. Swamiji went in search of Kabirji along with his disciples. They had reached at the out-skirt of the city after a long search. There they show Kabirji at distance sitting under the tree. Ramanand got angry but he controlled himself and called up Kabirji who was sleeping with ease ..He asked him, "what is this Kabir? Where is the milk? Kabirji suddenly woke up by seeing Guruji and started looking all around and then he show Guruji, he told the Guru "look here is the vessel of milk .So for it has not been filled, so how can I come ?" Now Swamiji really got angry. He had scolded Kabir, "what is this? I heard many things about your fame. You are a wise person, but what you are doing here all the time by sitting near this dead cow on this occasion of Shradh? I can't understand you?" Kabirji told, "Guruji, I have given grass to this dead cow, let her eat the grass and give the milk then only I can bring it. What else can I do." Ramanand understood the satire. He had embraced Kabirji. There was a unique dedication towards devotion in their embracement. Tear of love was dropping from their eyes. Guruji understood what Kabirji meant to explain him Guru was impressed by the knowledge/perception of his disciple. Kabirji had never disobeyed the order of his Guru at the same time he had never tolerated any wrong practices. Where he found necessary to speak then even by keeping silent he show the truth. In doing so Kabirji had neither expressed his ego nor criticised his Guru. This was Kabirji, who had only kept this world and human being in mind. He had given new vitality to the lives of the people and reconstructed the social life.
Due to this even Sadaguru Jivanji Maharaja was also heavily influenced by Kabirji. In disciples tradition of Ramanandacharya, Anantanandaji and Kabirji both were his disciples and contemporary. Gyaniji Maharaj and Gopaldasji were coming under the disciples tradition of this Anantanandji. On Samvat 1683, Aaso Sud 13th, Jivanji Maharaj had recognised Saint Gopaldas (Chorandavasi) as his Guru Gopaldas had organised a collective gathering on Sharad Purnima (full-moon day of Sharad). On this occasion Jivanji Maharaj had also participated. He had a discussion (Samagam) for 24 hours with Gopaldas. Then Jivanji Maharaj had accepted Gopaldas as his Guru. There is one Sakhi about this.
Sadguru Das Gopalji Janakvansh Avatar ||
Raghupati Batao Jivana Bhrakhubhan Suta Avatar ||1||
Nam Hamaro Jivana Kanabi Kul Avatar ||
Sai Hamara Ramji Sadguru Dasgopal ||2||
Jivanji Maharaj was coming under disciples tradition of Anantanandji even then had accepted Kabirji the Guru Bandhu as Sadaguru. Jivanji Maharaj had a deep faith towards Kabirji.
Ramanande Je Kahi So Suni Das Kabir ||
So Sadguru Kahi Jivana Bhaj Sitapati Raghuvir ||3||
What Ramanand has told It was grasped by Kabir. So Oh Jivan, Sadguru says that you worship Raghuvir Sitapati.
Jivanji Maharaj had accepted both Ramanandji and Kabirji with due respect. Further, " what ever he said " he told "was the offerings of Guru tradition only. "There was another reason for the influence of Kabirji over Jivanji Maharaj. Gyaniji Maharaj (Mota Sanja) was a disciple of Khojiji. He was originally a prince of Jesalmer, Rajasthan. At that time he was known as Chatursinh. At the time of his marriage while he heard the words "Be alert by knowing the time." (Samay varte savadhan ) he run away from the place and later on became known as Gyaniji. Prince Chatursinh had taken Diksha from Khojiji and settled down in Gujarat.
When Kabir had visited Gujarat Gyaniji met him. Kabirji was a Guru brother of Anantanandji. Gyanji himself was a scholar, even then he had many doubts. Nobody could replied it so far. But when he meet Kabirji. Kabirji removed all his doubts. At that time Gyaniji had spoken one Sakhi.
Batak Bij Ki Mand Me Atak Gaya Man Dhir ||
Jan Gyani Ka Sansha Mita Sadguru Mile Kabir ||4||
Thus Gyaniji had accepted Diksha from Anantanandji and acquired knowledge from Kabirji by accepting him as Sadaguru. Kabirji had destroyed his all confusions and doubts. Gyaniji was so impressed by meeting Kabirji and also by his knowledge and devotion, that spontaneous word -Ram Kabir came out from his mouth. For him there was no difference between Ram and Kabir. In Kabir himself he show Ram.
Later on in Gujarat a tradition called Ram-Kabir had developed. For this Gyaniji and his large group of disciples were responsible. All of them collectively and extensively propagated this concept of Ram-Kabir in Gujarat and unleased the stream of unbounded knowledge over this land. The another disciple of Kabirji was Padmanabh. He was a resident of Patan. Padmanabh had propagated Ram-Kabir sect of Gyaniji extensively .There were many prominent disciples of Padmanabh. Many of them had established separate Ashramas and propagated Ram-Kabir sect had been spread all over Gujarat. There were many saints of this sect. In fact Ram-Kabir tradition had been started long before , at the time of Kabirji himself and had also received his blessings. Ram- Kabir tradition had never started as a sect. There was only an influence of Kabirji and a propagation of his ideology and devotion. It was an attempt to unleash a new life and vitality to liberate the social life of people from the superstition, rituals, Brahminism and orthodox doctrinaires. There was no well organized structure or constitution of this tradition. Everybody were propagating the teachings of Kabirji.
Later on this Ram-Kabir tradition was divided in two parts. In one of this branches Bhan Saheb, a disciple of Padmanabh had propagated this tradition in Saurashtra. In his disciples tradition, one another scholar disciple called Ravi Saheb was there. He had contributed a lot. The influence of Ravi Saheb was tremendous. So later on this tradition had became known as Ravi-Bhan tradition. Ravi Saheb had composed so many Padas (Devotional songs). Among them Abhog of Ravi Saheb is also well known. So this tradition had became popular in Saurashtra with the names of Guru and Shisya both. Thus Ram-Kabir tradition had been started at the time of Gyaniji Maharaj in Samvat 1451-1559. There are many popular stories of this tradition. According to one such story Padmanabh was known as Ram-Kabir. But he had propagated Ram-Kabir in Gujarat so such mistake would have happened. Padmanabh had propagated Ram-Kabir in Gujarat, so many people might have recognised Padmanabh himself as Ram-Kabir. According to one another story one of the disciple of swami Ramanand was known as Ram-Kabir. He had adopted Ram-Kabir name after performing Panch Samskar ceremonies, at Shukla Tirtha at the hand of one Brahmin, called Ramanand. Such a mention is there in a book titled "Ramanand Sampraday". But it has nothing to do with the facts. Actually Padmanabhaji was a disciple of Kabirji and he had propagated the Ram-Kabir tradition of Gyaniji. Further more, Ramanand had no such disciple called Ram- Kabir.
The another main branch is known as Uda-Sect, which was established by Jivanji Maharaj. He was a main disciple of Gopaldas (Choranda) of the disciple tradition of Gyaniji. Jivanji's time was between Samvat 1660 to 1737. Gyaniji had taken Diksha from two Guru-Bandhus, namely Anantanandji and Kabirji. Jivanji Maharaj of his disciples tradition had established Uda- Ram-Kabir sect in Gujarat. Before accepting Gopalji as his Guru Jivanji had studied about many saints and sects. While mentioning about this Jivanji Maharaj says:
Aage Sanyasi Guru Kiya Tene Adhyatma Diya Batai I|
Ta Chhod Ke Jivana Samaro Raghupati Rai II5||
"The previous Gurus had shown me the religion Jivan had left all of them and accepted only one name of Raghupati Rai.''
Jivanji Maharaj had a discourse with Gopaldasji for 24 hours regarding the form of Purusottam (God) whether it is Aakar (Concrete) or Nirakar (Abstract). Only after that he realized the truth in his words and had accepted Gopaldasji as his Guru. Jivanji Maharaj had accepted Gopaldasji as his Guru on Samvat 1683, Aaso Sud 13th and within the tradition of Sadaguru Anantanandji, he had accepted Namdev-Karbirji's teachings. His had accepted the name Ram-Kabir as the offering of Guru.
Jivanji Maharaj was prominent among all the disciples of Gopaldas. He was the best, influential and bright. Gopaldas had recognised his unique qualities.
The intention of the life of Jivanji Maharaj was special. But prior to that Gopaldas was willing to prepare Jivanji Maharaj completely .He had departed from Choranda to study the lives of the peoples of India on Samvat 1687, Aaso Sud , 10th. .Jivanji Maharaj went along with Guru up to Malawa, from there he had departed from Guru Gopaldas. Guru Gopaldas died at Ujjain. Jivanji Maharaj continued his travel alone. He had reached the highest ranges of Himalaya after observing Indian society from Jagannath to Badrinath. There he had analysed the Indian social life. He had visualized that Indian society is burning like flames of fire. Right from an ordinary man to each and every person were tied up in superstition, distrust, bad practices and traditions, futile orthodoxy, Bhramins, Pandas and Gosai and their Rituals. Human beings engulfed in all these things had almost lost their existence. Man ceased to exist as human being. The entire society was engulfed in lethargy and orthodoxy. Nobody was raising voice against injustice. Though Kabirji, Pipaji, Rohidasji, Gyanij, Anantanandji etc. had launched a campaign to bring a revolution in a society according to their method, but there was no permanent solution to stop this decay spreaded in the society. Jivanji Maharaj resided at Dantnagar in Himalaya. He was depressed by seeing this world. He had requested the God ! Oh Merciful ! Now I have only one desire to accompany - Vaishnavas He told there : Sakhi
Ko Nahi Tero Jivana, Me Dekho Desh Videsh I
Sita Pati Ko Aasharo Te Sadguru Ko Updesh II
Sab Jag Dhundho Jivana, Tero Kaye Nav Hoy
Apne Apne Padkun, Lagi Rahe Sab Koe II
Me Pardeshi Kahasu Kahu, Ihan Nahi Koye Mera I
Ye Sansar Sakal Thagbaji, Ek Bharunsa Tera II
"No body is yours Oh Jivana. I have seen all the countries. Sitapati is the only refuge. That's the message of Sadguru's teaching. I searched in entire world. No body is yours Oh ! Jivana. Every body is behind the status and I am a foreigner, Nobody is mine here. This world is nothing but a Cheating You are my only shelter."
Thus Jivanji Maharaj had marched towards Gujarat. On his way Kashi came. He had visited Kabirji's place Kabirji was the first person who show the truth. His words were so explicit that world was shocked. The world running aimlessly in blind race was astonished by his influence and speech only. Kabir had neither told big things about knowledge nor showed any religious practices or rituals to the world engulfed in futile orthodoxy, casteism and communalism. Kabir had given new culture and thought to the world he had given each human being independent right and status by showing new direction to the world engulfed in the trap of Brahmin, Kaji and Mullah.
Jivanji Maharaj was travelling further. After seeing Kabirji's place he had stayed at the village Baraili. He met one gentleman called Narandas Khatri. Narandas Khatri was carrying doubts since 32 years. Many saints came but they could not removed his doubts. Jivanji Maharaj had solved his doubts. Narandas khatri became the first member of Bhakti --Sect .He had also departed for Gujarat to stay with Guru with his family forever. He was so influenced because of the continuous company of the Guru that one day when one Brahmin of Aaglod village of Mahesana called Krishnadas Maharaj came. He had requested him to give Diksha of Bhakti-Path thinking that he himself would be Jivanji Maharaj. Then Jivanji Maharaj had reached up to Malwal to continue further his movement. There he reached Chanderiya via Khediya. There he gave Diksha to Gopaldas, Santdas and Devadas. This group of saints then entered the Kahanav Mandal (Kanam Pradesh ), and hoisted a flag of Uda Bhagat Ram-Kabir sect at Shahpur near the bank of river Dhadhar.
Sadguru Jivanji Maharaj came here to spread the light of the message of love and devotion of Namdev Ram-Kabir in the superstitious and Hippocratic society. Such an intrinsic truth of the life is hidden in the words of Kabirji that if you understand Kabirji; then there want be any need to go any where in the world. You will never like any other philosopher too. Jivanji Maharaj was also deeply absorbed in the compassion of Kabirji. He had defined this religion as "Padthara of Namdev Kabir". Kabir represents the people. There is an echo of hidden truth of social life in his words. Kabirvani is not a literature written in an ivory tower. But it is the voice of true heart presented before the people. One can see the voice of people and the agonies in it. Kabirji had presented his own life experiences before the people.
Jivanji Maharaj had tried to materialize the spirit of Kabirji. Kabir's ideology was based on emancipation of humanity. At the time of Kabirji, life of Indian people were fragmented in small princely states were fighting for their autonomy and ambitions. The disharmony between Hindus and Muslims was increasing day by day. The entire society was living for personal interest only. In this context Kabirji gave a new light. But Kabirji had not established any new independent sect. Only the ideology of Kabirji was spreaded. The enlighten people were following kabirji's tradition by accepting his ideology. But later on to continue this tradition to do some thing new had became necessary. Because as the time passed the influence of external ideology was felt within it. So it has became necessary to put this ideology in more systematic from in order to keep the purity of the principles and ideology of Kabirji intact. At the time of Jivanji Maharaj distortion of Kabirji's ideology was started. In some places in the name of Kabirji many literature, Sakhis and Duhas were mushrooming. In the name of Kabir many so-called disciples had started propagation. The influence of Kabir was so bright that no body dared to stand in front of him. So many religious teachers of various sects publicly came out in the name of Kabir sect or Kabir ideology. Idol worshipping, Kirtan, to make disciple, Miracle, Aarati, Purnima-Mahima etc.; were started with his name.
Not only that in Madhya Pradesh in order to destroy the influence of Kabirji among Buddhist and tribal. They had gone to such an extent to claim that there was nobody like Kabir ever existed, and In fact, Kabir was only an another name of Buddha and he was writing poems, Sakhis in the name of Kabir.
The enemies of Kabirji had tried to destruct and destroy his influence by misinterpretation of his literature and deceived people by branding Kabirji as mystic, philosopher, Vedanti, Gyanmargi, Jivavadi etc.' Jivanji Maharaj had tried to save the ideology of Kabirji from all these deception. Jivanji had gone along with his group of saints. He had established "Ram-Kabir Uda Sect" there. Jivanji Maharaj had given same basic rule and regulations to strengthen and systematise the ideology of Kabir. Jivanji Maharaj had adopted a broad out look so that society could progress in stable and consistent peace on definite path. Further more he had linked right from daily activities to religious ceremonies or social customs with one and only Parmatma (God). He had tried to protect the social structure with his farsightedness further more, he had given equal status to all. He had also indirectly pained out for the respect and education for women.