Bhakti denote means to attain moksha along with jnana and karma. It is the revival, reworking and recontextualisation of ancient Vedic traditions. It has a poetic approach to religion, ascetic approach to poetry
- Unity of God or one God though known by different names.
- Bhakti, intense love and devotion, the only way to salvation.
- Repetition of the True Name
- Condemnation of rituals, ceremonies and blind faith.
- Rejection of idol worship by many saints
- Open- mindedness about deciding religious matters.
- No distinction of different castes, higher or low
- Need of a guru for guidance advocated by some.
- Preaching’s through local or regional languages and travelling from place to place for spreading the religious message.
Bhakti during Ancient India
- advocated in Bhagavad Gita (Ekant Dharmika), Bhagvata Purana, Padma Purana
- grew in popularity in early centuries of Common Era
- Saivaite Nayanmars, Vashnaivaite Alwars preached Bhakti cult under Pallavas, Pandaya, and Cholas
- came from all castes including untouchables like Pulaiyar, Panars
- sharply critical of Buddhists, Jains
- drew upon ideals of love and heroism as found in Sangam literature
- initiated movement of protest against caste, dominance of Brahmines
- idea of bhakti became so popular that even Buddhists and Jainas adopted these beliefs
Nalayira Divyaprabandham (“Four Thousand Sacred Compositions”) – one of the major anthologies of compositions of the 12 Alvars compiled by the 10th Century
- described as the Tamil Veda, thus claiming that the text was as significant as the four Vedas in Sanskrit that were cherished by the Brahmanas.
From a composition of an Alvar named Tondaradippodi, a Brahmana mentions Chaturvedins – Are strangers and without faithfulness to your service.
Tevaram – a collection of compiled and classified in the 10th century on the basis of the music of the songs of Appar, Sambandar, and Sundarar.
Bhakti in Medieval India
- emerged due to dread put by Islam (Muslim rule) in heart of Hindu masses
- wanted solace- bhakti brought them hope, support and inner strength
- Islamic ideals of universal brotherhood, equality greatly attracted lower strata of society which threatened Hindu rulers
- Brahminism based on caste-system was prominent during the Medieval period
- reform movement to clean Hinduism of social evils started by saints, philosophers
- people were uneasy with philosophical ideas and turned to the teachings of Buddha or Jains
- possible to overcome social differences and break the cycle of rebirth through personal effort
|Sankara||8th century Kerela||
Statue of Ramanujacharya at Hyderabad- 2nd tallest seated statue after Great Buddha of Thailand
|Kabir- Unity of religions||
|Guru Nanak- Hindu Muslim Unity||Punjab||
|Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu||Bengal||
Achintya Bheda-Abheda philosophy
|Guru Ravidas||North India||
- Hindu-Muslim Unity: attempts to reconcile differences between Hindus and Muslims by stressing that Rama, Rahim were the same
- Religious Simplicity: stress on human qualities, moral attitudes, purity of thought and action
- futility of ritualism and superstition, religious toleration
- Equality: no caste distinctions on accident of birth
- influences rulers to adopt liberal religious policies
- infused spirit of piety in daily life of people- emphasized earning of wealth thru hard work and honest means
- Humanitarian attitude- encourage value of social service to poor & needy
- drew attention towards virtues of contentment and self-control
- evils- anger, greed and vanity
- birth to new sect of Sikhism
|HINDI||Developed as Rekhta Sufi saint like wrote books like Malik Mahmud Zayasi wrote Padmavat in awadhi language, Mulla Daud wrote Chandayan , Qutuban wrote Mrigavati., Tulsidas Ramcharitra Manas.|
|BENGALI||Chatainya Mahabrabhu wrote various bhajan in Bengali, Maldhar basu Gunraj Khan wrote Srikrishna Vijaya.|
|GUJRATI||Narsi Mehta, Permanand and Bhalana write religious and Msytical literature who are follower of Vaishiva Bhakti movement.|
|MARATHI||Bhakti saints like Eknath, Tukaram wrote on religious line, Tukaram wrote Abhanga or short poems.|
|PUNJABI||Guru Nanak, Guru Angad, Sufi saint Farauddin, Miya Mir wrote in Punjabi , Hir Ranjha by waris Shah.|
|KANNADA||It effected Vijaynagar empire and various translation like Narahara and Tippana translated Mahabharata in Kannada
|TELUGU||Many work translated in Telugu like Mahabharata, Ramayana etc .
- Love as worship: All emphasized on the love with god and rituals were given least importance. Mysticism was common feature in all.
- Anti-caste: they all were against the caste system and denounced the superiority on birth. Kabir was weaver, Namdeva was a tailor, Ravidas cobbler, and Sadhana a butcher.
- Monotheism: Even in Bhati movement to either Rama or Krishna or Shiva was worshipped. This way they all preached monotheism in the Indian society.
- Local language: all preached in the Local languages. Sheikh Nizamuddin Auliya spoke in local dialects. other movement to produced rich works in local languages.
- Simple worship: the place of rituals and complex worship ways ware taken by simple ways to express faith.
- Tolerance: They all respected different religions and their customs. Even gave blessings to the ruler from other religions.
- Humanity: human values such as compassion, benevolence, etc were the pillars of all of them. Humanity was considered superior than any other aspect of society or state.
- Teacher-Student tradition: Both Sufism and Bhaktism had teacher and student tradition. In sufism teacher was called pir and disciple as murid. Ramananda was follower of Ramanuja.