Question 2: Choose a Bhakti poet from your region and discuss a few of his/her poems, illustrating how the Bhakti movement had an impact on Indian writing.
Ans: The term Bhakti is derived from the Sanskrit root “Bhaj” which means to serve. The term Bhakti is defined as “devotion” or passionate love for the Divine. Moksha or liberation from rebirth was not in the following of rules, regulations or societal ordering, but it was through simple devotion to the Divine. In the early beginning, the word Bha
Bhakti comes from the Sanskrit word “Bhaj,” which meaning “to serve.” The word Bhakti means “devotion” or “passionate love” towards the Divine. Moksha, or release from reincarnation, was attained through simple devotion to the Divine, rather than by obeying laws, regulations, or communal organisation. The word Bhakti is originally used in the Rig-Veda as a kind of adoration for Indra and Surya Devata. The term “movement” refers to a behaviour that has a major impact on a culture. Contemporary academics have distinguished between poet saints who produced poems praising God with characteristics or form, namely, “saguna” bhaktas, and those extolling God without and beyond any attributes or form, “nirguna” bhaktas, within the movement at large. Pitra Bhakti and Guru Bhakti were highlighted in the epic Ramayana.
The Bhakti movement’s basic ideas are:
The Bhakti movement’s basic ideas are: (1) God is one;
(2) to worship God, man must serve mankind;
(3) All men are equal;
(4) Worshiping God with devotion is preferable than religious rites and pilgrimages; and
(5) Caste differences and superstitious customs must be abandoned.
The Bhakti Movement’s Hindu saints and the Sufi Movement’s Muslim saints both became increasingly liberal. They desired to cleanse their religions of the sins that had infiltrated them. From the 8th through the 16th century A.D., a number of such saints existed.
Goswamy Tulsidas is a Bhakti poet from our country who I would like to mention. Tulsidas was a Rama devotee. In Hindi, he tells the narrative of Rama. He was the most influential in popularising the Rama cult. Janaki Mangal and Parvathi Mangal are two of his Hindi masterpieces. In his works, he emphasises the responsibility of a son to his parents, the responsibility of a pupil to his instructor, and the responsibility of a monarch to his people.
Tulsidas emerged at a period when Hindu culture was fumbling in the dark and losing its glitter. With a few exceptions, the foreign invaders had found the soil ideal for establishing a permanent residence in India. With the mindset of a governing elite, they began converting individuals to Islam in order to increase their support base. In its own country, Hinduism was being questioned.
There were also internal obstacles to overcome. Differences between sects and within sects were eroding religion’s hold on the masses. The Shaivites and Vaishnavites were at odds with one another, arguing and criticizing one other. Even the Shaiva sect was divided into several factions, all of which disagreed and opposed one another. The practise of performing rituals has become commercialized. Religion and society were losing their vitality due to differences, distorted values, divisions, and sub-divisions, and the entire civilization was disintegrating.
Tulsidas provided a safe sanctuary for India, who required a co-ordinator, integrator, and reformer. He rose to the occasion and brought vitality and freshness into Hindu life and religion. He was in charge of coordinating numerous cults and gods. In his epic ‘Ram Charit Manas,’ he presented true religion for simple people to grasp. In order to assess his contribution, it is necessary to look at the political landscape of the period. Tulsi wrote in accordance with many texts. He was an outspoken proponent of integration. In society, he included many groups as equals. He begins by paying respect to Vani (God of Speech) and Vinayaka (God of Welfare), who are the creators of alphabetic sounds, their meanings, the objects they depict, and the lyrical feelings they express. Following that, he welcomes Parvati and her consort Shankar. As an Immortal Supervisor, he bows down to Shankar.
He honours his Guru as well as all other virtuous individuals from all walks of life. He praises Valmiki, Narada, and Agastya for speaking out on Rama’s tale on several times.
Tulsidas composed for ordinary people, and his Manas is read and chanted by people of all ages, castes, and genders. As a result, he successfully embraces and offers hope to many segments of society. Ramcharit Manas is a massive, world-class work. Balkand, Ayodhya Kand, Aranya Kand, Kishkindhya Kand, and Sunder Kand are the seven Kandas (chapters). 6-Uttar Kand and 6-Lanka Kand, respectively. He revives the religious and spiritual message of the Upanishads and Geeta in this precious masterpiece. He depicts Rama’s and his kingdom’s golden period. He catches up on nearly every facet of life and human conduct and motivates us to live and behave in the way that our forefathers did and according to the biblical ethical code. Tulsi brought the various faiths together as an expert integrator. “Those who love me but detest Shiva, or love Shiva but dislike me, go to hell,” Manas Rama states in Manas Rama. If my devotee dislikes Shiva, he would not be able to approach me even in his dreams.’ (6/1/4) and (6/2). Tulsi used such depictions to bridge sectarian divides and bring the factions together. He acquired both the popular languages of the period, Braj and Avadhi, however he primarily employs Avadhi in his Manas. He assimilated the nine Rasas (poetic emotions): Srungar (love), Hasya (humour), Karuna (pathos), Veer (valour), Bibhatsya (disgust), Bhayanaka (terror), Adbhuta (marvellous), Santa (quietude), and Raudra (wrath, anger).
Tulsi’s medievel period was inspired by Islam and was male-dominated, the attitude toward women remained restrained out of concern for security and to avoid being imitated by Muslims. Tulsi did not develop a new ideology or create a cult. He just reprinted the scriptures in a manner that the general people could comprehend and understand. He stressed the four life goals—Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha—as the highest purpose of human existence. He demonstrated how to live a pious life. He saw the cosmos as Sita Rama’s incarnation.