Question: The Bhakti movement managed to influence social and political life of common man in different regions across the country. Explain the nature and influence of the movement.
Answer: The Bhakti Movement was a socio-religious event in which many saints adopted devotion as a method of salvation. The individuals involved in the movement spent their life spreading message of the god and bringing consciousness among common people.
Characteristics of Bhakti movement
- Use of simple language
The saints made use of local language to spread message of devotion. They rejected complex language such as Sanskrit and adopted common tongue used by people.
Ex: Use of Awadhi instead of Hindi
- Use of songs and music
It could have a greater impact due to use of songs and music. This helped people connect more easily and also reach people who could not read or write.
- Rejection of idol worship
Majority of Bhakti saints did not indulge in idol worship. They felt that they could reach god more easily through music and songs.
- Beyond religious boundaries
The saints of Bhakti movement transgressed religious boundaries. They sang praises of supreme power without attaching religious identity.
Influence of Bhakti saints
- Gender equality
Bhakti saints propagated gender equality in society. They did not abide by social rules and went beyond it to profess devotion.
- Renunciation of caste
The Bhakti saints spread message of egalitarian society by renouncing caste identity. Many people were influenced by their actions.
- Removal of evil practices
Evil practices such as child marriage, polygamy, and sati were all condemned in various forms by different saints during the Bhakti movement.
Thus, Bhakti movement was considered a renaissance for emergence of a new social order that helped our society achive modernity.