Bhakti Movement-Part III

February 14, 2018

For Bhakti Movement: Part-I (click here)

For Bhakti Movement: Part-II (click here)








SIKH leaders: 

  1. Guru Nanak:

    1. Founder of Sikhism.

    2. Rejected the authority of Vedas and preached the new idea of god as the supreme, universal, all powerful, truthful, formless, fearless, without hate, self-existent, ever lasting creator of all things, the eternal and absolute truth.

    3. Denounced caste distinctions and rituals like bathing in holy rivers. Promoted equality of all human beings, including women. He argued that the caste and honor should be judged by the acts or the deeds of individuals. He laid stress on concepts of justice, righteousness and liberty.

    4. His conception of religion was practical and sternly ethical. He exhorted people to give up selfishness, falsehood and hypocrisy and to lead a life of truth, honesty and kindness. He advised people to follow the principles of conduct and worship : Sach (truth), halal (lawful earning), khair (wishing well of others), niyat (right intention) and service to the lord.

    5. His philosophy consists of three basic elements:

      1. A leading charismatic personality (Guru)

      2. Ideology (Shabad)

      3. Organization (Sangat)

    6. He repudiated idol worship and did not favor pilgrimage. Nor did he accept the theory of incarnation. He condemned formalism and ritualism.

    7. Introduced the concept of Langar (a community kitchen).

    8. Main teaching:

      1. Faith in one true lord.

      2. Worship of the name.

      3. Necessity of the guru in worship of the name.

  2. Guru Angad:

    1. Standardised and popularised the Gurumukhi script of the Punjabi language.

    2. Established new religious institutions to strengthened the base of Sikhism and opened many new schools.

    3. Started the tradition of Mall Akhara for physical as well as spiritual development.

  3. Guru Amardas:

    1. Divided his spiritual empire into 22 parts called Manjis, each under a Sikh and also a Piri system.

    2. Preached against Sati system, advocated widow remarriage and asked the women to discard the purdah.

    3. Asked Akbar to remove the toll-tax (pilgrim tax) for non-Muslims while crossing Yamuna and Ganges rivers.

  4. Guru Ramdas:

    1. Composed the four Lawans (Stanzas) of the Anand Karaj, a distinct marriage code for Sikhs.

    2. Had cordial relation with Akbar. Akbar granted him a plot of land where the Harmindir Sahib was later constructed.

    3. ** First brick of Harminder Sahib was laid down by Hazi Mian Mir (a Muslim).

    4. Guru Ramdas laid the foundation stone of Chak Ramdas or Ramdas Pur, now called Amritsar.

    5. Strongly decried superstitions, caste system and pilgrimage.

  5.  Guru Arjun Dev:

    1. Compiled Adi-Granth i.e. Guru Granth Sahib.

    2. Completed construction of Amritsar, Taran and Kartarpur.

    3. Executed by Jahangir.

    4. Hailed as first martyr of the Sikh religion, and as Shaheedan de- Sartaj (Crown of martyrs)

  6. Guru Har Govind:

    1. Longest tenure as Guru.

    2. Transformed Sikhs into a militant community, established Akal Takht, and fortified Amritsar.

    3. Waged war against rulers Jahangir and Shah Jahan and defeated a Mughal Army at Sangrama.

    4. Took the title "Saccha Padshah".

    5. Shifted capital to Kartarpur.

    6. Proprietor of the concept of miri and piri (keeping two knives).

  7. Guru Har Rai:

    1. Gave shelter to Dara Shikoh.

    2. Persecuted by Aurangzeb.

  8. Guru Har Kishan:

    1. Forcibly summoned to Delhi under framed charges.

    2. Died at young age of 8 years due to smallpox while healing the sick people during an epidemic.

  9. Guru Tegh Bahadur:

    1. Revolted against Aurangzeb but was executed by him.

    2. Sis Ganj Sahib Gurudwara stands at the site of his martydom. 

    3. Appointed Banda Bahadur as the military leader of the Sikhs.

    4. Credited with spreading Sikhism to Bihar and Assam.

  10. Guru Gobind Singh:

    1. Organised the Sikhs as community of warriors and called them Khalsa.

    2. Started the following practices:

      1. Initiation through Baptism by the double edged sword

      2. Wearing uncut hair

      3. Carrying arms

      4. Adopting the epithet Singh as part of the name.

    3. Selected five persons known as panj piyare (the five eloved) and requested them to administer the Pahul (amrit chakhha) to him.

    4. Compiled the supplementary granth of "Deswan Padhshan ka Granth".



Importance of Bhakti Movement:

  1. Gave impetus for the development of regional language such as Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Kannada etc.

  2. Lower classes and women were raised to a position of greater importance.

  3. Gave a simple religion to the people.

  4. New idea of a life of charity and service to fellow human beings was developed.

  5. Unity among the two communities, Hindus and Muslims was fostered. Emergence of Urdu as a new language is a best example of this interaction.

  6. Developed of new arts like Qawwali and Kirtan.

 Women in Bhakti Movement:

  1. Akkamahadevi:

    1. Belonged to Karnataka.

    2. Ardent follower of Shiva whom she addressed as Chennamallikarjuna.

  2. Janabai:

    1. Born in Maharashtra in a low caste Sudra family.

  3. Mirabai: a Rajput princess in Rajasthan

  4. Bahinabai: from Maharashtra.

    1. disciple of Sant Tukaram​




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