The Saints of Maharashtra

The spread of the Bhakti movement in Maharashtra developed the spirit of oneness among the Marathas.

The main teachings of the leaders were Bhakti and equality of all before God without any distinction of class or birth.

The Bhakti movement united the people of Maharashtra in a common love of man and faith in one God.

Some of the important leaders were Gyaneshwar , Namdev, Eknath and Tukaram.

Let us go in detail about these Saints of Maharashtra

During 13th to 17th century, these saint poets inspired people by their simple marathi songs.

Not only men but women like Sakhubai and the family of Chokhamela who belonged to low caste also inspired people.

Mainly, people belonging to untouchables or lower castes actively participated in Bhakti movement.

Jnaneshwar, Namadeva, Eknath and Tukaram were devotees of lord Vitthala.

Devotion around lord Vitthala gave rise to the Varkari sect.

Followers of Varkari sect go to Pandharpur every year to worship Lord Vitthala.

It also focused on the notion that god resides in the hearts of the people.

These saint poets rejected all forms of ritualism,and social differences based on birth.

These saint poets did not believe in leaving the world but preferred to live with their families.

They earned their livelihood like any other person and serving others in their need.

With them a new idea of Bhakti emerged that Bhakti lay in sharing of pain of others.

A famous Gujarati saint, Narsi Mehta said that they are Vaishnavas who understand the pain of others.

Revision

The Bhakti movement united the people of Maharashtra in a common love of man and faith in one God.

Some of the important leaders were Jnaneshwar, Namdev, Eknath and Tukaram.

Not only men but women like Sakhubai and the family of Chokhamela also inspired people.

This regional traditional form of bhakti focused on Vitthala i.e a form of Vishnu. Later followers of Vitthala formed Varkari sect.

Every year they organize Pandharpur Yatra to offer prayer to Lord Vitthala.

These saint poets rejected all forms of ritualism, outward display of piety and preferred to live with their families.

They believed in the idea of sharing the pain and considered it as bhakti.

The End