Culture – Impact of Bhakti Movement on Vernacular languages

The Bhakti movement of the medieval India had significantly contributed to the growth of various vernacular languages, as the Bhakti saints (and Sufi saints) have used them as the means to penetrate and take their message deep into the masses.

Their contributions to various vernacular languages are as follows:

  1. Tamil
    • Divya Prabandham by 12 Alvars
    • Thevaram Thirumurai by 63 Nayanars
  2. Marathi
    • Eka Nath
    • Gnaneshwar who wrote “Gnaneshwari”, a book on Marathi grammar
    • Tukaram – belonging of Varakari sect.
    • Samartha Ramadas – belonging to Dharakari sect.
  3. Gujarathi
    • Narasinga Mehta
  4. Telugu
    • Annamacharya
    • Vengamamba
  5. Hindi
    • Kabir, who is famous for his “dohas”.
    • Soor Das, who wrote “Soor Sagar” and “Soor Suravali”.
    • Tulasi Das, who wrote “Ramcharita Manas”.
    • Meera Bai
  6. Assamese
    • Shankaradasa, a Vaishnava saint of Assam.
  7. Bengali and Oriya
    • Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
  8. Urdu
    • Gesudaraz, who wrote “Mirat-Ul-Ashiquin”.
  9. Punjabi
    • Adi Granth was written in Punjabi in Gurmukhi script.
  10. Kannada
    • Amoga Varsha, a Jain and ruler of Rashtrakutas who wrote “Kavi raja marga”, a book on Kannada grammar.
    • Veerashaivism greatly contributed. Ex: Basavanna and Akka Mahadevi wrote several Vachanas in Kannada language.
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