The Ramanandi is one of the famous Vaishnava Sampradaya of Hinduism, and it was founded by the 14th century saint and the great Sri Rama devotee, Swami Ramananda. He lived in the banks of the holy River Ganges in Varanasi, and preached the greatness of Lord Rama amongst his followers and before the general public.
The followers of this Sampradaya are Vaishnava Brahmins, and they live in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. It is also believed that Kusha and Lava, the holy sons of Lord Rama, are the ancestors of the followers of Ramanandi Sampradaya.
Ramananda was inspired by the teachings of Sri Ramanuja, and due to that he has got great bhakti on Lord Rama, and as a result he has started the Ramanandi Sampradaya.
Sri Ramananda was against caste, creed, community and religion, and some of his disciples were Muslims. The greatness about Sri Ramananda was mentioned in the Sikh holy book, AdiGranth.
The Ramanandi Sampradaya insists its followers to worship mainly Lord Rama, Lord Hanuman and the other incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Chanting of Rama Nama, “JAI SRIRAM”, are considered as one of the main duties of the Ramanandi Samapradaya followers. But the followers of Ramanandi Sampradaya, also celebrates the annual Shivaratri festival, with much dedication and devotion in their mind.
The Ramanandi sect insists on meditation and to observe strict religious practices, and they believe that only through the grace of Lord Rama they could get salvation.
The followers of Ramanandi sects are called as Ramanandis and they are considered as the ardent devotees of Swami Ramananada and Sri Ramanuja.
In the famous text Bhaktmal, the details about Ramananda and his sect is clearly mentioned.
Saints BhagatDhanna and Pipa were considered as the best disciples of Swami Ramananda.
Tulsidas, a great Rama Devotee is also the follower of Ramanandi sect.
The great saint, Sri Ravidas is also one of the best followers of Ramanandi sect and he is the beloved discipline of Swami Ramanand, and he also founded Ravidassia sect.