Chapter 8 – Devotional Paths to the Divine
Match the following.
|Sankaradeva||Worship of Vishnu|
|Nizamuddin Auliya||Questioned Social Differences|
|Alvars||Worship of Shiva|
|The Buddha||Questioned Social Differences|
|Nizamuddin Auliya||Sufi Saint|
|Nayanars||Worship of Shiva|
|Alvars||Worship of Vishnu|
(a) Shankara was an advocate of _____
(b) Ramanuja was influenced by the _____
(c) _____, _____ and _____ were advocates of Virashaivism.
(d) _____ was an important centre of the Bhakti tradition in Maharashtra.
(a) Shankara was an advocate of advaita.
(b) Ramanuja was influenced by the Alvars.
(c) Basavanna, Allama Prabhu and Akkamahadevi were advocates of Virashaivism.
(d) Vitthala temple was an important centre of the Bhakti tradition in Maharashtra.
Describe the beliefs and practices of the Nathpanthis, Siddhas and Yogis.
The Nathpanthis, Siddhas and Yogis believed in the renunciation of the world. For them, the path of salvation lay in meditating on the formless ultimate reality. They stressed on intense training of the mind and body through yogasanas, breathing exercises and meditation.
What were the major ideas expressed by Kabir? How did he express these?
The major ideas expressed by Kabir were a rejection of the major religious traditions and belief in a formless Supreme God. For Kabir, the path of salvation was through bhakti or devotion. He expressed his ideas through verses called sakhis and pads.
What were the major beliefs and practices of the Sufis?
The Sufis believed in union with God as a lover seeking his beloved. They also believed that the heart could be trained to look at the world in a different way. They rejected the elaborate rituals and codes of behavior demanded by Muslim religious scholars. The Sufis developed various methods of raining using Zikr (chanting of a name or sacred formula), contemplation, singing and dancing.
Why do you think many teachers rejected prevalent religious beliefs and practices?
Many teachers rejected prevalent religious beliefs and practices because such beliefs advocated social differences and practicing them was difficult and cumbersome.
What were the major teachings of Baba Guru Nanak?
Baba Guru Nanak emphasized on the worship of one God. According to him, caste, creed or gender was irrelevant for attaining liberation. Liberation for him was the pursuit of an active life with social commitment. He gave the motto of nam, dan and isnan, which meant right worship, welfare of others and purity of conduct.
For either the Virashaivas or the saints of Maharashtra, discuss their attitude towards caste.
Both Virashaivas and the saints of Maharashtra rejected social inequality and caste differences.
Why do you think ordinary people preserved the memory of Mirabai?
Ordinary people have preserved the memory of Mirabai because her songs openly challenge the norms of the upper castes.