Indian society is the finest manifestation of confluence of different faiths and philosophies in the world. Really, there is hardly any nation to have such a magnificent diversity under single umbrella. Also, it is the same cradle where peace, non-violence, and compassion born and flourished. From time to time, various movements surfaced to counter divisive elements and reinvigorate the spirit of humanity. Among the various movements, Sufi and bhakti movements were the real glue whitch strengthened unity among different faiths by preaching humanity, compassion, and non-violence. Let’s see the role played by these Sufi and bhakti movements in the Indian society.
It was the spiritual response for the unbearable religious fundamentalism in the medieval age by great sants and philosophers in the different part of the country.
These movements were the inseparable part of the Hindu religion; however, they, renounced the unbearable religious practices on the name of bhakti.
Hence, these movements adopted intense devotion as a means to achieve ultimate reality. In this way, they challenged the earlier traditions of rites and rituals to achieve salvation.
Besides, bhakti movements were instrumental for offering bhakti right for women and shudras. Earlier, only three upper varnas including men were permitted to achieve Mokhas.
Most importantly, these movements were a big blow for the hierarchy of cast system in India as they preached humanity and equality as a one of means to realize Mokhas.
In reality, bhakti movements united Indian society under the single umbrella of Hindu culture for hundreds of years with the means of love and compassion.
Sufi movements emerged as a solution for the clashes between two faiths in the Indian subcontinent. The bone of contention of clashes were the forcibly conversion by Islamic rulers in the beginning of the Islamic penetration in India.
Apart from this, some liberal elements in the Islam were upset over the growing orthodoxy of Islam. As a result, some enlightened Sufi sants initiated as an alternative of bhakti for the people.
For this, these Sufi sants thoroughly understood the Hindu religious sculptures and provided a suitable alternatives for both hindu and Muslims.
Sufi movements were nothing but the fusion of two faiths. In this way, they successfully constructed a bridge of faiths to unite two streams under common philosophy by combining elements of hindu and Muslims.
we can say that both Sufi and bhakti movements contributed a lot to fuse the both faiths, initiating liberal elements. In this way, not only did they force to liberalise the orthodox nature of both religions, but they also created a healthy channel to exchange great ideas for common good.
Unfortunately, today, it is sad to mention that the incidents of intolerance are threatening the fabrics of age-old religious harmony and brotherhood. We hope that the values of love, compassion, and humanity will win the heart of hatredness and violence.