Many of the rites and rituals linked to the worshiping of God in different religions of the Indian subcontinent are the result of the Bhakti Movement in Medieval India.
In Rajasthan, Bhakti Movement was significant from early 16th Century to late 18th Century. The Islamic rulers were forcing the people to convert their religion to Islam from Hindu. The Bhakti movement was the against the rampant cast philosophy which was breaking Hinduism. Hence, Bhakti movement played an important role in saving Hinduism. The movement was impromptu and the spiritual leaders had their own beliefs of devotional expressions which play an important role in Rajasthan.
The main features of the movement are -
· Belief in one God - God could be worshipped by love and devotion. No need to worship several Gods.
· Worshipping the idols and performing intricate rituals to seek his grace was not needed.
· Equality of all castes was stressed by the Bhakti saints. In the eye of God, all devotees are equal and there is no distinction of high or low caste among the devotees.
· Stress on the Hindu-Muslim unity. According to the saints, all men irrespective of their religion are equal as far as the devotion to God was concerned.
The saints used the common languages like Rajasthani, Khadi and other local language to spread their belief. They avoid the use of Sanskrit which was a cultured language. The saints stressed on the purity of the heart. They also focused more on practice of virtues like kindness, honesty, truth and charity.Some of the saints believed that God is formless i.e. Nirguna whereas some regarded him as having different forms i.e. Saguna.