The Bhakti Movement

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In the medieval period, the Bhakti Movement was a very important aspect. This was due in part to the rise of a new line of kings, the Gupta lineage that supported the pantheon of gods through devotion of divine idols and also included the construction of temples and sustain for devotional groups. Together with these developments came a flourishing of mythical compositions about the gods, known as the Puranas, or, ancient stories. Central to this pantheon were the gods Vishnu, the cosmic king, and Shiva, the great yogi and ascetic known by many names, and his female counterpart, Shakti, or divine energy. Shakti was worshipped both as wife and wife of Shiva, but also in her own right as the Great Goddess in a variety of incarnations. Most Hindus,…show more content…
Given their faith in the centrality of personal devotion, poet-saints were highly critical of ritual observances as maintained and brought up by the Brahmins. For many, their criticism also included the caste system that supported the traditional religious chain, with Brahmins at the top of this hierarchy. Many saint-poets, particularly as the movement proceeded northward, were themselves of lower caste lineages. Another commonality was their usage of the dialect, or regional languages of the people, as different from the sacred language of the cream priesthood, Sanskrit. This practice, also, stemmed from the movement’s focus on internal, mystical, and highly personal devotion to the Divine. Seminal Bhakti works in Bengali comprise the many songs of Ramprasad Sen. His pieces are identified as Shyama Sangeet. Coming from the seventeenth century, they cover an amazing range of emotional responses to Ma Kali, detailing philosophical statements based on Vedanta tradition and more intuitive pronouncements of his lovefor Devi. Using inventive metaphor, Ramprasad had 'dialogues' with the Mother Goddess throughout his poetry, at times chiding her, loving her, celebrating her as the Divine Mother, hasty consort of Shiva and capricious…show more content…
As the Bhakti movement was started before Guru Nanak, many historians have implied that Sikhism as started by Guru Nanak was nothing more than a Bhakti movement of Punjab. This is wrong in Toto and is in opposition to the basic Sikh virtues of equality of human beings and worship of single God. There is no doubt that Sikh Gurus accepted the singing of devotional songs in praise of lord from Bhakti but there is a huge difference between Bhakti, sufiism and Sikhism. Although Sufi and Bhakti saints are valued and recognized by Guru Granth Sahib but they do not form the main basis of Sikhism. Sikhism highlights on equality of male and female, good work ethic and as well as leading a good moral married life, which is Maya according to many Bhakti and sufi saints. Therefore, although Sikhs revere saints such as Bhagat Namdev, Bhagat Kabir and Sheikh Farid, but the ultimate Guru of a Sikh is the Guru Granth Sahib which includes about ten percent of the verses of these
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