UPSC History Bhakti, Sufi Tradition Short Notes - Bhakti and Sufi Movement

Short Notes - Bhakti and Sufi Movement

Category : UPSC


Bhakti Movement


  • Bhakti means personal devotion to God. It stresses the Union of the individual with God.
  • Bhakti movement originated in South India between the 7th and the 12th centuries AD.
  • The Nayanmars, who worshipped Siva, and the Alwars, who worshipped Vishnu, preached the idea of Bhakti.
  • Saints like Sankara, Ramanuja and Madhwa gave their concepts of God and the individual soul.
  • Teachings of Ramanuja were based on the Upanishads and Bhagwad
  • Ramananda was disciple of Ramunaja. He was the first reformer to preach in Hindi.
  • Kabir was an ardent disciple of Ramananda. He wanted unity between the Hindus and the Muslims.
  • He preached that both the Hindus and the Muslims are the children of a single God.
  • The devotees of Kabir were known as Kabir Panthis.
  • Namdeva was a waterman by birth. He composed beautiful hymns in Marathi.
  • Nanak was the founder of the Sikh religion.
  • Nanak's teachings were in the form of verses. They were collected in a book called the Adi Granth.
  • Later Adi Grantham was written in a script called Gurmukhi.
  • Chaitaniya, a great devotee of Lord Krishna, was a saint from Bengal.
  • Meerabai was a Rajput princess. She married the Rana of Mewar. She was a pious devotee of Lord Krishna.
  • Chatrapati Shivaji, the great Maratha ruler, was a follower of Ramdas.
  • Tukaram was a saint who lived in Maharashtra. He composed a large number of verses called Abhangas.
  • Tulsidas composed the famous Ramcharitamanas in    Hindi, expounding the various aspects of Hindu dharma.s
  • Surdas was a devotee of Lord Krishna and Radha. His works include Sursagar, Sahitya Ratna and Sur Sarawali.
  • Dadu Dayal was a disciple of Kabir. His followers were known as Dadu Panthis.
  • Eknath was a devotee of Vithoba. He wrote commentary on verses of the Bhagavad Gita.



The Sufi Movement


  • Sufism is basically a religion based on the truth of life. The mystics of Islam are called Sufis.
  • It emerged in India in 11th & 12"' century A.D.
  • It established brotherhood between Hindus & Muslims.
  • It is a socio-religious movement.
  • The founders of the most important Sufi lineage Chisti, Suhrawardi, Qadiri, Naqshbandi originally came from central and-west Asia.
  • The prominent sufi saints were Khwaja Nizamuddin Aulia,  Ganj-e-Shakar Fariduddin, Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki and Hamuddin Nagori.
  • Hazrat Nizam-ud-Din was  the disciple of Fariduddin Ganj-i-Shakkar.
  • Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki was the disciple and the spiritual successor of Moinuddin Chishti.


Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti (1142-1236 AD)


  • The Chisti order of Sufism was founded in village Khwaja Chishti near Herat in Persia, i.e. Iran.
  • In India, Chisti silsila was founded by Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti (born 1142 AD).                                
  • He came to India around AD 1192.
  • He made Ajmer the main centre for his teachings.
  • He died in Ajmer in 1236.

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