Vaishnavite Movement

The Vaishnavite movement came into being during the 15th and 16th centuries. The various saints belonging to this movement used the love of Lord Krishna and his beloved Radha, to depict the relationship between individual soul and the supreme soul. The childhood escapades of Krishna and his dalliance with the milk-maids of Gokul (Krishna’s birthplace), especially with Radha, became the themes of these saint-poets.

A prominent saint of this movement was Chaitanya belonging to the eastern state of Bengal. According to him; love, devotion, song and dance produced a state of ecstasy in which the presence of God, whom he called Hari, could be realized. Such a worship could be carried out by all, irrespective of caste and creed. Chaitanya exerted an extraordinary influence, particularly in the eastern parts of India, and attracted a wide following, including some Muslims and people from the low castes. He did not reject the scriptures or idol-worship.

The writings of the saints, belonging to this movement, reached extraordinary heights of lyrical fervor and of love which transcended all boundaries, including those of caste and creed. Their approach was broadly humanistic. They emphasized the sentiments of love and beauty in all forms.

Updated on 22nd September, 2019


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