Medieval Religious Movement

The Bhakti Movements

  1. The Bhakti movements based on the doctrine that the relationship between God and man is through love and worship rather than through performing any rituals or religious ceremony.

  2. It was in south india for the first time that Bhakti movement grew from  a mere religious doctrine to a broad based popular movements  based on social and religious was laid by popular saints poets called Alvars who represented emotional side of Vaishnavism through collective songs called prabandhas, It declined after the 10th century.

  3. But it was revived as a philosophical and ideological movements by Acharyas(who represented intellectual side of Vaishnavism in the 11th century).Most important among them was Ramanuja,whose disciple Ramananda took it to North india.

Main Features:-

  1. Discarded rituals and sacrifices.

  2. Emphasised purity of heart and mind, humanism and devotion.

  3. Monotheistic in nature.

  4. God has either form (Saguna) or formless(Nirguna).

  5. Knowledge was a constituent part.

  6. An egalitarian movement.

  7. Denounced casteism.

  8. Best form of Worship is singing Bhajans and realization of God by personal efforts. No need of priestly class.

  9. Saint, preached in local languages.

Bhakti Saints:-

  1. Ramanuja(1017-1137):-The Vaishnava saint from south india.The earliest exponent of Bhakti movement and Vishitadvaita

  2. Ramananda(14-15 century):-The first great Bhakti saint of North india,who open the door of bhakti without any distinction of birth,caste,creed or sex.

  3. Kabir(1440-1510):- The most racial disciple of Ramananda,who was opposed to caste,creed,image worship,unnecessary rituals and sought to remove distinction between Hindus and Muslims and believed in social unity.

  4. Guru Nanak (1469-1538):-A Nirguna Bhakti sent and social reformer.The first Sikh Guru and the founder of Sikkism.

  5. Chaitanya (1486-1533):-one of the great saints of Krishna Bhakti cult founder of Gaudiya or Bengal Vaishnavism.

  6. Vidyapati(14th-15th century):Maithili saint –poet who wrote thousands of love ballads on Radha –Krishna (Padavali)

  7. Purandar Das (1480-1564):-The foremost and the most prolific Vaishnav saint-composer in karnataka, Believed to have laid the foundations of the modern phase of Karnataka music.

  8. Mirabai(1498-1546):-The Rathore princess of Merata and daughter –in-law of Rana Sanga of Mewar.The most well known women of  Bhakti Saint of the Krishna cult  of Vaishnavism

  9. Vallabhacharya(1479-1531):-A great saint of Krishna Bhakti cult of vaishnavism who propounded the philosophy of Pushti

  10. Surdas (1483-1563):-A blind poet of Agra.He sang the glory of Krishna in his

  11. Tulsidas(1532-1623):-The great Saint poet of Ram Bhakti cult of Vaishnavism.The celebrated author of Ramcharitramanas,Kavitawali and Gitawali.

  12. Shankara Deva(1449-1568):-The founder of the Vaishnava devotional movement in Assam.

  13. Dadu Dayal(1544-1603):-A Nirguna Bhakti saint belonging to the tanner caste, who was born in Gujrata but spend his whole life in Rajathan.founder of Dadu panth

  14. Thyagaraja(1767-1847):- A Telgu who spent his life in Tamil Nadu.The greatest saint composer of Karnataka music. He adorned God in form of Rama,the incarnation of Vishnu and Hero of Valmiki’s Ramayana.

Bhakti Saint of Maharastra Dharma:-

  1. Jnanesvara/Jnanadeva(1271-1296):- The fountain-head of Bhakti movement in maharastra,founder of Marathi language and literature,wrote a long commentary on the Bhagvad Gita called Bhavarthadipka more commonly known as

  2. Namadeva(1270-1350):-A contemporary of Jnanesvara.Hw was a tailor by caste and opposed all caste distinctions.the object of his devotion was  vithoba or vithal(identified with Vishnu) of Pandharpur.The cult of vithoba or vithal known as varkari sect was founded by

  3. Eknath(1533-1599):- A great scholar saint from Maharastra who wrote a commentary on the Ramayana  called Bhavartha Ramayana and another commentary on the eleventh book of the Bhagavata Purana.

  4. Tukaram(1598-1605):-The greatest Bhakti poet from Maharastra wrote devotional poems,known as Abhangas which are the glory of devotional poetry.

  5. Ramdas(1608-1681):-The last great saint poet from Maharastra Dasabodha is the compilation of his writings and sermons.