Famous Saints / Spiritual Gurus of the Medieval India:
1Ramanuja (1060-1118): The earliest exponent of the Bhakti movement was Ramanuja who was appointed the successor of his teacher Yamunamuni. He travelled all over India and ultimately settled down at Srirangam. He established Vaishnavism on a sound foundation. He founded Visistadvaita Siddhanta or qualified monism and according to him, the way to salvation lies through Karma, Gyan and Bhakti. He wrote Sribasya and Gitabhasya.
2Nimbarka: The next leader of the Bhakti movement was Nimbarka, a younger contemporary of Ramanuja. He was worshipper of Krishna and Radha. He founded Dvaitadvaita or dualistic monism. He wrote Vedanta Parijata-saurabha, a commentary on Brahmasutras. He settled in Mathura.
3Madhavacharya: He ranks with Sankaracharya and Ramanuja as one of the three principal philosophers of the Vedanta system. He propounded Dvaita or dualism. According to him, the final aim of man is the direct perception of Hari which leads to Moksha or eternal bliss.
4Vallabhacharya (1479-1531): Born in Varanasi, he propounded Suddhadvaita Vedanta (Pure non-dualism) and philosophy called Pustimarga (the path of grace) He founded a school called Rudra Sampradaya. He identified Brahman with Sri Krishna, characterized by Sat (Being), Cit (consciousness) and Ananda (bliss). According to him, salvation is through Sneha (deep rooted love for God). He was the author of a number of scholarly works in Sanskrit and Brajbhasa, the important being Subodhini and Siddhant Rahasya.
5Ramananda (15th century): Born at Prayag, he was the first great Bhakti saint of North India. He opened the door of Bhakti to all without any distinction of birth, caste, creed or sex. He was a worshiper of Rama and believed in two great principles, namely as perfect love for god and human brotherhood.