Model Question and Answers for APSC | Evaluate the nature of Bhakti Literature and its contribution to Indian culture. (UPSC MAINS 2021)
Ans : The Bhakti movement was an important historical religious movement in mediaeval Hinduism that sought to bring religious reforms to all strata of society by adopting the method of devotion to achieve salvation. It was prominent in eighth-century south India (now Tamil Nadu and Kerala states), and spread northwards. It swept over east and north India from the 15th century onwards, reaching its zenith between the 15th and 17th century CE.
The nature of Bhakti Literature
1. The Bhakti movement witnessed a surge in Hindu literature in regional languages, particularly in the form of devotional poems and music.
2. It was devotional and personal in nature
Contribution to Indian culture
1. Bhakti literature championed a spectrum of philosophical positions ranging from theistic dualism, qualified nondualism and absolute monism. Thus it enriched and strengthened India syncretism and secularism.
2. It contributed to the development of local languages and folk music.
3. It led translation of epic like Ramayana and Mahabharata in regional languages
4. It promoted Inter-religious harmony
5. Emergence of a new cultural tradition with the influence of Bhakti and sufism.
6. Also emergence of new sects like Sikhism, Kabir panth etc.
7. It preached for removal of sectarianism and casteism. The Bhakti literature called for inclusion of castes and outcastes.