Bhakti means devotion to God. The Bhakti cult advocated the worship of a personal God and pure love, devotion and complete surrender to Him. According to Bhakti reformers, God is one and should worship -Him alone. Devotion to God and faith in Him leads to salvation.
The true Guru helps in realizing God and getting salvation. It discards caste-distinction, image worship and worship of many gods.It puts much emphasis on good actions.
Some important bhakti preachers:
A Nambudri Brahman from Malabar originally a worshipper of Shiva, inspired by Upanishad founded the four Maths in four directions. He is known today as Savior of modern Hinduism and also founding father of Bhakti movement.
He was one of the greatest reformers of Bhakti which laid movement. He was born near Chennai. He advised his followers to worship Vishnu with full devotion. He preached his gospel in south India in the 12th century.
He was the first prominent preacher of Bhakti movement in the north India. He was worshiper of Rama and Sita.
He was born in Maharashtra. He believed in unity of God and no idol worship. According to him, salvation can be attained through love of God.
He was the most popular of all the Bhakti saints. He made efforts to foster a spirit of harmony between Hinduism and Islam, is followers was a disciple of Ramananda and passed his days in Banaras. He laid great stress on the equality of man. His “Dohas” contain his teachings and they are sung with great devotion even today.
He was born in a learned Brahmin family in Nadia and Muslim in Bengal. He was regarded by his followers as an incarnation of Vishnu or Krishna. He revived Krishna cult.
A Rajput princess married to Rana Sanga’s eldest son Bhojraj who died a premature death. She was a great devotee of Krishna.
Revered teacher of Shivaji inculcated the spirit of his time. His nationalism among his followers. His philosophy is mentioned in his own monumental work Dasa Bodha.
He was from Maharashtra. He laid main emphasis on attaining salvation through devotion.
Saint Gyaneshwar was born in Maharashtra and his activities were confined to Maharashtra. He translated Gita into Marathi.
Raidasa was one of the followers of Ramananda. He did not differentiate between the Hindus and the Muslims.
He was from Agra. He was a blind poet. He was a great devotee of Krishna. His literatures are full of devotions of one and we Krishna.
The credit to make success the Bhakti movement in Punjab goes to Guru Nanak. He was the founder of Sikh religion and first Guru. He tried to patch up the differences between the Hindus and the Muslims.