. The rise of the Bhakti movement and the use of these regional languages by the various saints helped in their growth and development. We have already noted the various dialects that developed in northern and western India. Prithviraj Raso is supposed to be the first book in the Hindi language.
Hindi evolved during the Apabhramsa stage between the 7th and 8th centuries A.D. and the 14th C. It was characterized as Veergatha Kala i.e. the age of heroic poetry or the Adi Kala (early period). It was patronised by the Rajput rulers as it glorified chiralry and poetry. The most famous figures from this period were Kabir and Tulsidas. In modern times, the Khadi dialect became more prominent and a variety of literature was produced in Sanskrit.
Similarly, Surdas wrote his Sur Sagar in which he talks of Krishna as an infant, a young lad indulging in pranks and a young man engaged in dalliance with the gopis. These poets made a deep impression on the minds of the listeners. If the festivals associated with Rama and Krishna have become so very popular, the credit goes to these poets. Their versions became the source of inspiration not only for other poets but also for painters in the medieval ages. They inspired Mirabai, who sang in Rajasthani language, and Raskhan, who, though a Muslim, sang in praise of Krishna. Nandadasa was an important Bhakti poet. Rahim and Bhushan were a class apart. Their subject was not devotion, but spiritual. Bihari wrote his Satsai in the seventeenth century; it gives us a glimpse of shringar(love) and other rasas.
All the above mentioned Hindi poets, except Kabir, expressed their sentiments essentially to satisfy their own devotional instincts. Kabir did not believe in institutionalised religion. He was a devotee of a formless God. Chanting His name was the be-all and end-all for him. All these poets influenced the north Indian society in a manner that had never happened earlier. As it is easier to remember poetry than prose, they became immensely popular.