Skip to content
Related Articles
Get the best out of our app
Open App

Related Articles

Bhakti Movement (Part – 1)

Improve Article
Save Article
Like Article
Improve Article
Save Article
Like Article

The spread of the Bhakti movement in medieval India differs from the Southern Indian Bhakti movement, which began in Tamil Nadu in the 7th and 8th centuries. The medieval Bhakti movement in India was a direct outcome of Islam’s impact. Islam was distinguished by its monotheism, equality, and brotherhood of man, as well as its rejection of rituals and class separation.

Alvars & Nayanars (6th century)

Vishnu was worshipped by Alvars, and Lord Shiva was revered by Nayanars. They sing Tamil songs in honour of God as they go from place to place. This campaign was started by them both in protest of the caste system. Nalayira Divya prabandham was one of the most important anthologies of Tamil Veda composed by 12 Alvars. Tevaram is a set of classifications based on Appar, Sambandar, and Sundarar music.

Shankara (9th century)

He was born in the Kerala town of Kaladi. He was the founder of the Hindu revivalist movement. His theory was Advaita, which demonstrates “monotheism and illusory everything.” Advaitvada is unqualified monism since Brahm is utterly indeterminate and non-dual. It is ineffable because it is beyond finite words, thinking, perception, and language (anirvachaniya). Unlike Ramanuja, Shankara’s Brahma is free of all differences, whether they are homogeneous (sajatiya), heterogeneous (vijatiya), or internal (svagat). Nirguna Brahma is a notion that (God without attributes) is implied by him.


He was born in Sriperumbudur, which is close to modern-day Chennai. Visishta Advaita, or qualified monism, was his doctrine. God, he claims, is Saguna Brahm. Brahm is not affected by homogeneous or heterogeneous differences, however, he does have SVAGAT BHEDA (Internal Difference). Brahm’s characteristics chitta and achitta can also be separated from one another (Aprthaksiddhi). In contrast to Shankara, he believes that God, soul, and matter are all real. He was a proponent of prabattimarga, or self-surrender to God. He preached Vaishnavism to the oppressed. Brahm, Jiva, and Jagat have a special bond, according to him, and all three are true.
Vedantasara, Brahmsutra commentary, Bhagawad Gita commentary, and Nyay Kulish are some of his works. In the South, he was revered as a Vishnu Avatar.


He was from the Kannada district. Karnataka was his birthplace. He founded the Brahma sect. His philosophy (philosophical opinion) aimed to spread Dvaitavada or Jivatma-Paramatma dualism. ‘The world is not an illusion, but a reality,’ he claims. Shankara’s non-dualism and Ramanuja’s qualified non-dualism were both rejected by him. ‘Reality is dual,’ according to the Dvaitvada doctrine.

a) Independent Reality – Brahman or God

b) Dependent Reality – Chitta (soul) and Achitta (matter).

There is a clear distinction between God and Soul, in that the latter was not created by God yet is dependent on him for survival. As a result, two realities emerged: the first and most important is Vishnu/Brahma, while the second reality is a dependent but equally real cosmos with its own distinct essence. According to him, Bhakti Yoga is the sole way to liberation. 

Madhva v. Shankara: 

Madhva can be said to be born foe of Shankaracharya and accuses him of teaching false doctrines of Shunyavada under the cloak of Vedanta.


He belongs to the Sanak sect and was born in the Vellari district of Madras. In the Tamil Nadu region, he spread Vaishnavite Bhakti. Dvaitadvaita is his doctrine, which states that “people are both different and non-different from God or the Supreme Being.” He wrote Vedanta, Parijata, Saurabha, a Brahmasutras commentary.


Varanasi was his birthplace. Jagadguru, Mahaprabhu, and Srimadacharya were among the titles he bestowed. He spread Vaishnavite Bhakti throughout Tamil Nadu. Shuddha advaita was his doctrine (Pure Nondualism). ‘Pushti Marg’ is the name of his ideology. Surdas was a student of Vallabhacharya, the North Indian preacher who popularised the Krishna cult. He is a member of the Rudra Sampradaya sect. He choose the road of devotion and formed the nepotistic Pushti Marga.


They are devotees of Basavanna, a social reformer from the 12th century, and his vachana (verses) ideology. Lord Shiva, who is referenced in Hindu mythology, is worshipped by Veerashaivas. The Shiva mentioned by Basavanna in his vachanas (verses) is not the Hindu god Shiva, but the Ishtalinga (formless God) that community members wear around their necks. Lingayats are categorised as Other Backward Classes and are a dominant (numerically and politically) community in Karnataka. Lingayats are divided into over 90 sub-castes, with Veerashaivas being one among them.


They are a Lingayat sub-sect who are devout worshippers of Lord Shiva. Basavanna, the founder of Lingayatism, came before them. The Vedas and Agamas are the foundations of Veerashaivism. Other than Shiva, Veerashaivas worship no other god. They can be found in Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana, among other places.


He was a social reformer in the 12th century. Basavanna and his contemporaries, the Sharanas, led a powerful spiritual, social, and theological revolt against Brahminical hegemony (such revolution after Buddha). He established the ‘Anubhava Mantapa,’ which welcomed men and women from all walks of life to openly discuss spiritual and everyday issues. Work, according to Basavanna, is worship. Through the vachanas, he offered women equal status in his movement (verses). Basavanna and the other Sharanas expressed their concerns in simple Kannada vachanas so that even people could understand them, in order to bring the social movement closer to the people.


She was the devotee of Krishna. She was born in 1498 into a Rajput royal family in Kudki, Pali district, Rajasthan and died at Dwarka in 1556. Her poetry mentioned in Sikh literature ‘Prem Ambodh Pothi’ dedicated to Guru Gobind Singh includes poetry of Mirabai. Her Guru was Raidas and her husband was Bhojraj who was the eldest son of Rana Sanga of Udaipur. Her devotional song is called Padavali. She wrote the commentary on Gita Govind. Her father was Ratan Singh Rathore.


He was born in the Banda district (Uttar Pradesh). He was a Vaishnava saint and poet devoted to Lord Rama. He was contemporary to Mughal rulers Akbar and Jehangir. He composed Ramcharitmanas (in Awadhi language) in the Akbar era. He adopted Saguna Brahma and tried to establish unity between Shaivism and Vaishnavism. He composed Ramcharitmanas, written in Awadhi (Hindi version of Ramayana). His other famous work include- Gitawali & Kavitavali, Vinaya Patrika, Dohavali, Vairagyasandipani, Ramlala Nahchhu, Parvati mangal etc. He is the founder of Sankatmochan Temple in Varanasi. He is also credited for Ramlila folk theatre plays which are popular all over India.

Important opinions and their promoters:

Advaitavada Shankaracharya
Dvaita Dvaitvad Nimbarka
Vishishtadvaita Advaita Ramanuja
Shuddhadvaita (Pure Monism) Vallabhacharya
Dvaitavada Madhvacharya
Bhedabheda Bhaskaracharya
My Personal Notes arrow_drop_up
Last Updated : 28 Dec, 2022
Like Article
Save Article
Similar Reads
Related Tutorials