1900s: Other Bhagat Movements

Besides Tana Bhagat movement, there were several other types of Bhagat movements in Chotanagpur having puritanical elements like abstinence from the use of intoxicating beverages, meat and fish and opposition of worship of spirits, belief in single god in the way of Bhakti (devotion) in common.
However, in spite of that certain distinctive features in the different Bhagat movements may be recognized as follows. According to Roy, the rudiments of the Bhagat movement were present in Oraon society by the end of the nineteenth century, if not before. In the light of knowledge of Hindu contact previous to this, however, it seems that the raw materials for the movement existed at a still earlier date. The entire Bhagat movement, attempting as it does to raise the status of its members in the eyes of the surrounding Hindu society, is characterized by alarge-scale incorporation into its ideology of Hindu beliefs and practices.
The Kabirpanthi Bhagats use Hindu gurus as spiritual advisers. In one area, several Oraons were themselves gurus. The overall ideology of this cult is about the same as that of the other Bhagat groups. Its gurus, however, in addition to their roles as spiritual advisers are also priests. Their ministrations are required for the Chauka or religious services that must be performed at such rites-de-passage, such as birth, marriage, and death. As with most other Bhagats, tribal customs are also performed at these events. The members of this cult employ new methods to exercise the spirits and instead of relying on old tribal customs, they sing bhajans, or hymns, which are learnt from their Hindu gurus.
The Bachchidan Bhagats are more Hinduised that other type of Bhagats. This group is especially strong wealthy Oraons. It employs Gossains, or degraded Brahamans as gurus, and in some cases Vaisnava Vairagis who belong to lower Hindu castes. Such Bhagats are commonly known as Bachchidan (calf-giving) because they must give a calf to their gurus in the process of expiating their past sins and ceremonial impurity. Some Bachchidan Bhagats who take Vaishnava Gossain as their gurus, call themselves as Nemha Bhagat, Bhuinphut Bhagat and Kamrup Bhagat whose gurus are generally from Hindu castes. It is interesting that the Kamrup Bhagats owe their affiliation with Kamrup in Assam, an important place of pilgrimage for the Hindus and their gurus are also said to have come from Kamrup.

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