Talking of Bhagvatism it had a very peculiar birth. The inroads of a large number of foreigners in the wake of the disappearance of the Mauryan Empire was a cultural shock to Aryanism. Quite a number of foreigners took to Buddhism as it was a simple doctrine unlike Minduism. Exceptionally as a few foreigners started believing inow exactly this came into existence is not known. This cult gradually caught on and in course of time came to be transformed into the Vasudeva Krishna cult of the Gupta period. This stage in the development of Bhagvatism is controversial. Some opine that the Bhagavata cult of the north-west got merged with the Krishna cult of the Abhiras in the Mathura area.
The one chief attribute of this religious perception is devotion or love towards god known as the Dionysian perspective in the west. This feature was not at all prominent in the then Aryanism of Hinduism. The predominant feature of Aryanism was the Apollonian perspective but not the Dionysian.
To begin with it is not clear on how this off shoot of Hinduism came about but in course of time it came to be blended with the traditional Aryanism or brahminism. As a matter of fact the Vasudeva-Krishna cult belongs to the epic the Mahabharata and thereby forms one of the bases of Hindu religious consciousness even till today.
NEED OF BHAGVATISM
1. Brahmanism had become an essentially intellectual doctrine. It ignored the right of heart. The fundamental principles which Brahmanism taught were impersonal and speculative. It became too dogmatic orthodox violent ritualistic formal and too rigid to be pursued. The people who were always in need of an ethical and emotional cult in which it was possible to find both satisfaction of the heart and moral guidance understood no thing of it. It was in these circumstances that the movement Bhakti devotion blended with love of God found a favorable atmosphere.
2. These was the need of popular hero who could be made the rallying center to counter-act the mighty influence of the heterodox or heretical sects which challenged Brahmanism in the 6th century B.C.
3. Then there was the need of the absorption or assimilation of new ethnic groups, tribal groups and foreigners, and bringing back of these, if possible, who were then known as sramans, sanyasia, parivrajaka or yogi into the Aryan fold.
4. Secure revived respect of and confirmation to varnashramandharma in order to establish social law or ensure systematic functioning of society which would ensure its well-being.