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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

1791- Characteristics of bhakti movement of monotheism:

The bhakti movement originated in the Tamil part of India in the 6th century AD and over a millennium, spread to nearly all of India.
The devotional songs of Nayanmars, Alwars, Mirabai, Surdas, Tulsidas, Narsi Mehta, Ekanatha, Namadeva, Jnanadeva, Purandhara Dasa, Chaitanya, Tyagaraj etc remain on the lips of devout Hindus. Some bhaktas were Vaisnavas and others Shaivas. These poets, to whom God appears with a form (saguna), are usually distinguished from saints(sants) to whom God is formless(nirguna). To name the leading Nirguna saints are Sant Kabirdas, Guru Nanak etc.("Hinduism, a graphic guide", Vinay Lal)

Characteristics of Bhakti Movement:-

(1) Chief characteristic of the Bhakti movement can be mentioned as belief in one God who is omnipresent and omnipotent.
(2)A devotee could worship personal God by love and devotion singing 'bhajans'.
(3) There was no need to worship idols and performing elaborate rituals and sacrifices were discarded for seeking His grace. This obviated the intermediary priestly class between the devotee and the personal God.
(4) The Bhakti saints laid stress on the equality of all castes. There was no distinction of high or low as far as the devotion to God was concerned. It was an egalitarian movement which denounced casteism.
(5)The saints preached in the language of the common people. They did not use Sanskrit, which was the language of the cultured few.
(6)These saints laid stress on purity of heart and practice of virtues like truth, honesty, kindness, and charity. According to these saints only virtuous man could realize God. Even a householder could realize God by love and devotion.
(7) Gave importance to teacher or guru.
(8)Some saints regarded God as formless or Nirguna while others consider him as having different forms or Saguna.
(9) The emphasis, which these saints laid was on Hindu-Muslim unity. According to these saints all men irrespective of their religion are equal in the eyes of God.

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