Though formless in origin and the abode of Eternal knowledge, Satguru Kabir manifested himself in a human form. In order to honour the traditional concept of initiation by a Guru, he decided to be a disciple of Swami Ramanand, who was an accomplished Vaishnava saint in those days. Swamiji was a great devotee of God.
One day, at dawn, Satguru Kabir went to the Ganges. He lay down on the steps of the Panchganga Ghat in the form of a child of five years. Ramanandji, at the early dawn, used to go to the Ganges to bathe. While climbing down the steps, Swami Ramanand came to the spot where Kabir, in a motionless state, awaited his arrival. Because of the darkness, Swamiji could not see him and his wooden sandals accidentally struck Kabir’s head. Kabir immediately started crying. Hearing the cry, Swami Ramanand realized that a small child was lying there and got hurt. Swamiji picked Kabir up and caressed him. He said, “Don’t cry my child. Say Ram Ram”. By chance, when Swamiji bent down, the mala (necklace) made of the tulsi (basil) plant, fell from his neck into Kabir’s neck. Guru Kabir was thus initiated by Swami Ramanand.