Bhakthi Schools: The age of the Later Bhakthi Schools from 1400
A.D. to 1750 A.D. saw the fall of the great Hindu Kingdom of Vijayanagar
and the rise and fall of the Moghul Empire. Bhakthi form of worship
and singing of prayers in local languages, which was a Pre-Aryan
practice of South India become popular under several teachers like
Ramananda, Vallabha and Chaitanya. Vaishnavism of Ramanuja and Madhva
also became popular.
schools of Hinduism hardened into Sects. Castes became rigid and
exclusive under foreign religious persecusion. There was also the
rise of the Maratta power under Sri Shivaji, Kabir Panthis, the
rise of Sikhs and their religious thoughts under Guru Nanak and
other Gurus. Later, the Portuguese rule in the 16th century and
the Dutch in the 17th century brought the Christian influence. Many
Hindu women were married to Muslims. There was large scale conversion
to Islam by force. Muslim influence is seen in the religious theories
and works of Saint Kabir, Guru Nanak and other leaders of this time.
literature in severl local languages flourished, like songs of Mira
Bai, Tukaram's Abhangas, Adi Granth, Ramayana written by Tulasidas
and the works of Sur Das. Vijayanagar's influence of architecture
was seen in the Temples of Madurai, Rameswaram, Srirangam in the
great pillars and gopurams. Persian and Islamic influence entered
the great monuments of North India at this time. Kabir, Tulasidas,
Ramananda, Chaitanya, Guru Nanak, Guru Gobind, Shivaji, Krishna
Deva Raya, Appayya Dikshitar and Thayumanavar belong to this period.
Their works and reform movements were mainly to protect the Hindu
faith and culture against Western influence.
was the beginning of the age of the reform movements and the Hindu
Renaissance of the modern age in the Eighteenth Century. This was
the time of the spread of Christianity along with the rise of British
power and East India company, forming the British establishment
in Calcutta and Madras after the battle of Plassey in 1757 A.D.