Bring out the similarities in the teachings of the various monotheistic bhakti saints in medieval North India.

The bhakti movement in the north included socio religious movements that were linked to one of the acharyas from the south and is sometimes seen as a continuation of the movement that originated in the south. There are many similarities in the teachings of the various monotheistic Bhakti saints in North India.

Most of the monotheists belonged to the low castes and were aware that there existed a unity in their ideas. They were also aware of each other’s teachings
and influence. In their verses they mention each other and their predecessors in a manner suggesting ideological affinity among them.

All of them were influenced by the Vaishnava concept of Bhakti, the Nathpanthi movement and Sufism. Their ideas seem to be a synthesis of the three traditions.

The importance given to the personal experience of Bhakti saint with God was another common feature among the monotheistic bhakti saints. Nirguna bhakti and not saguna bhakti was what they believed in. They had adopted the notion of bhakti from vaishnavaism but they gave it a nirguna orientation. Though they called God using different names and
titles their God was non-incarnate, formless, eternal and ineffable.

The Bhakti saints refused any formal association with the organized dominant religions of the time (Hinduism and Islam) and criticized what they regarded to be the negative aspects of these religions. They rejected the authority of the Brahmans and attacked the caste system and practice of idolatry.

They composed their poems in popular languages and dialects spoken across north India. This enabled them to transmit their ideas among the masses. It helped their ideas to spread rapidly among the various lower classes.