For Kabir, the disciple of Râmânanda, the name was Ram. Nânak was sufficiently conscious of his position as head of a sect to leave a successor as Guru, but there is no indication that at this time the Sikhs differed materially from many other religious bodies who reprobated caste and idolatry. Under the fourth Guru, Ram Das, the beginnings of a change appear.
These took place at houses in undesirable, sometimes unsavory localities and only Aunt Abby's immovable determination made it possible for her to attend. A large text-book, "The Voice of the Future," was her inseparable companion, and one of her chief, though, as yet, unfulfilled, desires was to have a Reading given at the Embury home by the Swami Ramananda.
I refer to caste, the denial of the brotherhood of mankind, the artificial barricading of class from class, the sacrifice of the individual to his class condemned by native reformers like Ramananda, Kabir, Nanak, and Chaitanya long before the advent of European ideas. Whatever the origin or original advantages of the caste system, it has long operated to repress individuality.