Sri Ramanujacharya (also Saint Ramanuja) may be called the pioneer of Bhakti movement in India. He lived in the 12th century A.D. in South India. He preached the essence of Vaishnavism – modesty, love and devotion, as pre-conditions for having the grace of God.
Swami Ramananda (also Saint Ramananda) was a worthy disciple of Ramanuja. He was born in Allahabad in U.P. in the 14th century. Initially he was the worshipper of Rama and Sita. Later on he showed his inclination to Vaishnavism. Ramananda, like his guru, preferred simple devotion and faith to expensive rituals and worships. He preached the oneness of God, that there was no difference between Rama and Rahim. He preached his doctrine in colloquial Hindi; so it was understood by all categories of people. Ramananda made no discrimination in selecting his followers. Of his twelve principal disciples, there were a barber, a cobbler and a Muslim weaver.