25 Facts About Bhakti movement


Bhakti movement was a significant religious movement in medieval Hinduism that sought to bring religious reforms to all strata of society by adopting the method of devotion to achieve salvation.

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Bhakti movement regionally developed around different gods and goddesses, and some sub-sects were Vaishnavism, Shaivism (Shiva), Shaktism (Shakti goddesses), and Smartism.

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Bhakti movement preached using the local languages so that the message reached the masses.

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The Bhakti movement was inspired by many poet-saints, who championed a wide range of philosophical positions ranging from theistic dualism of Dvaita to absolute monism of Advaita Vedanta.

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Contemporary scholars question whether the Bhakti movement ever was a reform or rebellion of any kind.

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Scriptures of the Bhakti movement include the Bhagavad Gita, Bhagavata Purana and Padma Purana.

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Bhakti movement preached against the caste system using the local languages so that the message reached the masses.

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Bhakti movement originated in South India during the seventh to eighth century CE, spread northwards from Tamil Nadu through Karnataka and gained wide acceptance in fifteenth-century Assam, Bengal and northern India.

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The Panchasakha Balarama Dasa, Achyutananda, Jasobanta Dasa, Ananta Dasa and Jagannatha Dasa preaching Bhakti movement by doing mass sankritana across the Odisha before Chaitanya's arrival.

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Some scholars state that the Bhakti movement's rapid spread in India in the 2nd millennium was in part a response to the arrival of Islam and subsequent Islamic rule in India and Hindu-Muslim conflicts.

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Bhakti movement writes, that in virtually every Bhakti movement poet, "the Upanishadic teachings form an all-pervasive substratum, if not a basis.

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Bhakti movement witnessed a surge in Hindu literature in regional languages, particularly in the form of devotional poems and music.

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The language was easily understood by the local populace, in line with the Bhakti movement's call for inclusion, but it retained its literary style.

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Bhakti movement witnessed several works getting translated into various Indian languages.

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Jeaneane Fowler states that the concepts of Nirguna and Saguna Brahman, at the root of Bhakti movement theosophy, underwent more profound development with the ideas of Vedanta school of Hinduism, particularly those of Adi Shankara's Advaita Vedanta, Ramanuja's Vishishtadvaita Vedanta, and Madhvacharya's Dvaita Vedanta.

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Nirguna and Saguna Brahman concepts of the Bhakti movement has been a baffling one to scholars, particularly the Nirguni tradition because it offers, states David Lorenzen, "heart-felt devotion to a God without attributes, without even any definable personality".

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Bhakti movement led to devotional transformation of medieval Hindu society, wherein Vedic rituals or alternatively ascetic monk-like lifestyle for moksha gave way to individualistic loving relationship with a personally defined god.

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Bhakti movement led to the prominence of the concept of female devotion, of poet-saints such as Andal coming to occupy the popular imagination of the common people along with her male counterparts.

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Bhakti movement introduced new forms of voluntary social giving such as Seva, dana (charity), and community kitchens with free shared food.

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In Sikhism, "nirguni Bhakti movement" is emphasised – devotion to a divine without Gunas, but it accepts both nirguni and saguni forms of the divine.

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The thirteen Hindu bhagats whose hymns were entered into the text, were poet saints of the Bhakti movement, and included Namdev, Pipa, Ravidas, Beni, Bhikhan, Dhanna, Jayadeva, Parmanand, Sadhana, Sain, Surdas, Trilochan, while the two Muslim bhagats were Kabir and Sufi saint Farid.

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Bhakti movement has been a prevalent practice in various Jaina sects, wherein learned Tirthankara and human gurus are considered superior beings and venerated with offerings, songs and Arati prayers.

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Madeleine Biardeau states, as does Jeanine Miller, that Bhakti movement was neither reform nor a sudden innovation, but the continuation and expression of ideas to be found in Vedas, Bhakti Marga teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, the Katha Upanishad and the Shvetashvatara Upanishad.

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Hawley describes the controversy and disagreements between Indian scholars, quotes Hegde's concern that "Bhakti movement was a reform" theory has been supported by "cherry-picking particular songs from a large corpus of Bhakti literature" and that if the entirety of the literature by any single author such as Basava is considered along with its historical context, there is neither reform nor a need for reform.

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Further, states Pollock, evidence of Bhakti trends in ancient southeast Asian Hinduism in the 1st millennium CE, such as those in Cambodia and Indonesia where Vedic era is unknown, and where upper caste Tamil Hindu nobility and merchants introduced Bhakti ideas of Hinduism, suggest the roots and the nature of Bhakti movement be primarily spiritual and political quest instead of the rebellion of some form.

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