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Why did the Bhakti movement attract women?

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user3011601 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 16, 2013 at 9:11 AM via web

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Why did the Bhakti movement attract women?

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akannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 16, 2013 at 11:08 AM (Answer #1)

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The Bhakti movement attracted women because it liberalized the process of religious worship.  Prior to the movement, religious worship in Hinduism was very formalized and structured with a Brahmin being the only individual who was sanctioned as being able to engage in the purest form of religious worship.  This was something that closed many doors to women.  The Bhakti movement changed this in stressing that the tenets of religious worship are open to all.  Merely chanting the Lord's name is something in which men and women can find peace within the divine.  

The Bhakti movement's emphasis on the universality in religious worship as well as stressing the idea that there are not "chosen" people, but rather an inclusivity that pulls everyone into the graces of the divine proved to be attractive to women.  Rather than being told of what doors of religious worship are closed off to them, many women found the inclusive stress of the Bhakti movement something quite appealing and attractive to women who simply wanted the chance to worship in the glory of the divine.

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