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Bhakti Movement In Indian History

Bhakti Movement In Indian History

Bhakti is devotional worship of God with the ultimate objective of attaining Mokhsa or Salvation.

Bhakti saints belonged to two schools of thought called the Saguna and the Nirguna. 

Saguna Saints:

  • Believed in the personification of God and worshipped Lord Vishnu in the form of Ram or Krishna.
  • Ramananda, Surdas, Tulsidas, Chaitanya and other Vaishnavite Saints belonged to Saguna school.
  • They were usually not very liberal in social matters.  Bhakti Movement In Indian History

Nirguna Saints:

  • Nirguna saints believed in a formless God. Kabir, Nanak, Raidas, Dhanna, Sena, Pipa, Dadu were nirguna saints. Nirguna saints were against the caste system and attacked the privileges of the Brahmins and were liberal in social matters.       Bhakti Movement In Indian History
  • They spoke out against the social evils such as sati, untouchability and called for an end to formalities of religion such as fasts, ceremonies, rituals.
  • They called for pure and intense devotion to a God for attaining Salvation. Humanism was at the core of their teachings. They influenced and were in turn influenced by Islam. They called for rapprochement between the Hindus and muslims.
  • The Saguna and Nirguna bhakti saints preached in the language of the people and contributed to the growth of Hindi and other Vernacular language like Marathi, Assamese, Bengali, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada.
  • They indulged in ecstatic form of music and dance. Their approach was not escapist and urged the people to indulge in work and promoted the concept of dignity of labour.
  • They believed in guru-shisya relationship. Kabir said Guru is more important than God since it is through Guru that one can realize God.          Bhakti Movement In Indian History


Medieval History

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