Bhakti-Sufi Traditions Changes in Religious Beliefs and Devotional Texts – CBSE Notes for Class 12 History

• From 8th-18th century Bhakti Movement, Islam and Sufi movement played an important role in the history of medieval India.
• The Alvars and the Nayanars were considered as the founder of Bhakti movement in southern India.
• The Alvars were the devotees of Lord Vishnu, while the Nayanars followed Shaivism.
• Both Alvars and Nayanar strongly criticised the social and religious malpractices prevalent in the society.
• Two women saints-Andal of Alvars and Karaikkal of Ammaiyar of Nayanars played a valuable role in giving a new direction to the society.
• The Cholas, Pallavas, and Chalukya patronised both Alvar and Nayanar cult.
• Basavanna founded Virashaivas or Lingayats in Karnataka and played a valuable role in the development of his cult.
• Islam was founded by prophet Muhammad in 7th century in Azabia.
• The pillars of Islam are;
(i) Reutors Raima (ii) Namaz
(iii) Ranja (iv) Zakat
(v) Hajj
• The holy book of Islam is Quran Shariff. It has been written in Arabic and has 114 chapters.
• According to Muslim tradition Quran is the compilation of those message which god (Allah) had sent to prophet Muhammad between 610-632 at Mecca and Madina through his envoy Archangel Jibris.
• During Medieval period in India Sufism emerged as a powerful movement.
• Sufis were so called because of the purity (safa) of their hearts. They are in the first queue before god. Some others are of the views that Sufi’s were called so because of their habit of wearing wool (suf).
• Unity in God, complete self-surrender, charity, Ibadat, love for mankinds, etc. are the main teaching of Sufism.
• Sufi silsilas begin to emerge in Islamic world.
• The important silsilas of Islam are;
(i) The Chishti Silsila (ii) The Suhrawardi Silsila
(iii) The Qadiri Silsila (iv) The Naqshbandi Silsila
• Data Gunj Bakhsh, Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti, Shaikh Qutbuddin. Bakhtiyar Kaki, Fariduddin Gunj-i Shakar, and Shaikh Nizamuddin Auliya are some of the prominent Sufi Shaikhs in India.
• Ziyarat meant pilgrimage to the tombs of sufi saints. Its main objective was to seek the spiritual grace from the Sufi.
• Music and dance are an important part of Ziyarat.
• The Sufis believed that music and dance evoke divine ecstasy in human heart.
• The religious gathering of Sufism is known as Sama.
• The qual is an Arabic word which meant ‘saying’. It was sung at opening or closing of the qawwals.
• The devotional worship of god with the ultimate objective of attaining moksha is called Bhakti. The word Bhakti was derived from the root ‘Bhaj’ meaning to adore.
• The Bhaktis who were against the worship of avatars and idol worship are known as saints. Kabir, Guru Nanak Dev ji and successor of Guru Nanak Dev ji are the prominent Bhakti Saints.
• The impact of the Bhakti movement on the Indian Society was significant and far-reaching.
1. Great Tradition: The cultural practices of dominant social categories were called the Great Tradition.
2. Little Tradition: These were that tradition which do not correspond with the Great Tradition.
3. Integration of cult: Modes of worship.
4. Jagannatha: The lord of the world.
5. Tantricism: Worship of the golden.
6. Alvar: Devotees of Vishnu in South India.
7. Nayanars: Devotees of Shiva in South India.
8. Saguna Bhakti: Bhakti focused on the worship of Shiva, Vishnu and Devi.
9. Nirguna Bhakti: Worshipping a shapeless or an abstract form of God.
10. Tavaram: Collection of Poems in Tamil.
11. mama: Religious scholars of Islamic studies.
12. Sharia: Law of governing the Muslim community.
13. Maktubat: Letters written by Sufi-saints.
14. Tazkiras: Biographical account of saints.
15. Sangat: Religious society under which the followers assembled both in mornings and evening to listen Guru’s sermons.


Date                                                            Event
1206                              Delhi Sultanate was set up
1236                              Death of Shaikh Muinuddin Chishti
1469                             Birth of Guru Nanak Dev Ji
1604                            Compilation of Guru Granth Sahib
1699                             Foundation of Khalsa Panth by Guru Gobind Singh Ji
Some Major Religious Teachers in the Subcontinent.
This Timeline indicates the period of the major saints and reforms era
500-800  CE Appar, Sambandar, Sundaramurti in Tamil Nadu
800-900  Nammalvar, Manikkavachakar, Andal, Tondaradippodi in Tamil Nadu

The teaching of these saints influence entire the people of India.
1000-1100  Al Hujwiri, Data Ganj Bakhsh in the Punjab, Ramanujacharya in Tamil Nadu
1100-1200  Basavanna in Karnataka
1200-1300  Jnanadeva, Muktabai in Maharashtra; Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti in Rajasthan; Bahauddin Zakariyya and Fariduddin Ganj-i Shakar in the Punjab; Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki in Delhi.
1300-1400  Lai Ded in Kashmir, Lai Shahbaz Qalandar in Sind; Nizamuddin Auliya in Delhi; Ramananda in Uttar Pradesh; Chokhamela in Maharashtra; Sharafuddin Yahya Maneri in Bihar
1400-1500  Kabir, Raidas, Surdas in Uttar Pradesh; Baba Guru Nanak in the Punjab; Vallabhacharya in Gujarat; Mir Sayyid Muhammad Gesu Daraz in Gulbarga, Shankaradeve in Assam; Tukaram in Maharashtra.
1500-1600  Sri Chaitanya in Bengal; Mirabai in Rajasthan; Shaikh Abdul Quddus Gangohi, Malik Muhammad Jaisi, Tulsidas in Uttar Pradesh.
1600-1700  Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi in Haryana; Miyan Mir in the Punjab.

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