This is largely due to the growth of the ISKCON movement, founded by A. According to Schweig, it is a "polymorphic monotheism, i.e.
a theology that recognizes many forms (ananta rupa) of the one, single unitary divinity," since there are many forms of one original deity, with Vishnu taking many forms.
In Dandekar theory, Vaishnavism emerged at the end of the Vedic period, closely before the second urbanisation of northern India, in the 7th to 4th century BCE.
Vasudeva and Krishna, "the deified tribal hero and religious leader of the Yadavas," The appearance of Krishna as one of the Avatars of Vishnu dates to the period of the Sanskrit epics in the early centuries CE.
Vaishnavism is one of the major Hindu denominations along with Shaivism, Shaktism, and Smartism.
It is also called Vishnuism, its followers are called Vaishnavas or Vaishnavites, and it considers Vishnu as the Supreme Lord.
In the late-Vedic texts (~1000 to 500 BCE), the concept of a metaphysical Brahman grows in prominence, and the Vaishnavism tradition considered Vishnu to be identical to Brahman, just like Shaivism and Shaktism consider Shiva and Devi to be Brahman respectively.
The temples that the Alvars visited or founded are now known as Divya Desams.
These Vaishnavism sampradaya founders challenged the then dominant Shankara's doctrines of Advaita Vedanta, particularly Ramanuja in the 12th century, Vedantha Desikacharya and Madhva in the 13th, building their theology on the devotional tradition of the Alvars (Shri Vaishnavas).
In North and Eastern India, Krishnaism gave rise to various late Medieval movements: Nimbarka and Ramananda in the 14th century, Sankaradeva in the 15th and Vallabha and Chaitanya in the 16th century.
The Bhagavats, worship Vasudeva-Krsna, and are followers of brahmanic Vaishnavism, while the Pacaratrins regard Narayana as their founder, and are followers of Tantric Vaishnavism.
The Alvars, whose name can be translated "sages" or "saints", were devotees of Mal.