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Old 10-02-2017, 03:38 PM
 
Location: Earth
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Was there such a thing as a unified Hinduism before British rule in India, or were the Indian sects of Hinduism sects in their own right, which often violently clashed with each other as much as they clashed with Islam? https://www.newstatesman.com/node/156145
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Old 10-03-2017, 07:56 AM
 
Location: Texas
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Did the British Create Hinduism?

No
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Old 10-03-2017, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Finland
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Oh by Shiva's fifth arm, no! Hinduism is the oldest organised religion in the world.
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Old 10-03-2017, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
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I hope that what you are really asking is "Did the British presence and the related subservience of Indians serve to unify the existing Hindus into a more cohesive religion?" The most likely answer is that any cohesiveness brought on by colonialism or empires is not a real change as much as a temporary repression. Religions don't react much to that. What they often DO react to are:

economic prosperity that pulls away the power of the established influence systems of the religion's leaders

easily provable science that exposes falsehoods

science that suggests that the religion actually is on to something (as is currently happening with Hinduism and Buddhism in relation to the quantum world and the concept of singularity)


Attempts at repression or genocide are a mixed bag. Playing whack-a-mole with religions rarely turns out well unless it is a tiny cult.
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariete View Post
Oh by Shiva's fifth arm, no! Hinduism is the oldest organised religion in the world.
The sects that make up Hinduism certainly existed long, long before British rule, but did Vaishnavas and Shaivas, for example, view themselves as being part of the same religion before British rule?
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Old 10-03-2017, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Earth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
I hope that what you are really asking is "Did the British presence and the related subservience of Indians serve to unify the existing Hindus into a more cohesive religion?" The most likely answer is that any cohesiveness brought on by colonialism or empires is not a real change as much as a temporary repression. Religions don't react much to that. What they often DO react to are:

economic prosperity that pulls away the power of the established influence systems of the religion's leaders

easily provable science that exposes falsehoods

science that suggests that the religion actually is on to something (as is currently happening with Hinduism and Buddhism in relation to the quantum world and the concept of singularity)


Attempts at repression or genocide are a mixed bag. Playing whack-a-mole with religions rarely turns out well unless it is a tiny cult.
from the New Statesman article

"Early 18th-century British scholars of India were familiar at home with the monotheistic and exclusive nature of Christianity. When confronted by diverse Indian religions, therefore, they tended to see similarities, even though these were usually as superficial as those between Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The British assumed that different religious practices could exist only within a single overarching tradition. Equally - because they came from a society that had a relatively high level of literacy - they thought that Indian religion must have canonical texts, just as Christianity did. Their local intermediaries tended to be Brahmans, who alone knew the languages - primarily Sanskrit - needed to study such ancient Indian texts as the Vedas and the Bhagavad-Gita. Together, the British scholars and their Brahman interpreters came up with a canon of sorts, mostly Brahmanical literature and ideology, which they began to identify with a single Hindu religion."

Without the creation of a Brahmanical canon and a Hinduism that grouped all of the Indian native religions together, the work of Roy, Dayananda, Gandhi, and Vivekananda would not have been possible, and the Hindu nationalism of today would not have been possible.
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Old 10-04-2017, 10:34 AM
 
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I suspect that centuries of Muslim domination has done more to unify Hinduism than anything the British Raj might've.
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Old 10-05-2017, 07:17 PM
 
Location: Earth
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Originally Posted by mkwensky View Post
I suspect that centuries of Muslim domination has done more to unify Hinduism than anything the British Raj might've.
Followers of Vishnu and followers of Shiva clashed with each other as much as either one clashed with Islam.
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Old 10-06-2017, 07:58 AM
 
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Originally Posted by majoun View Post
Followers of Vishnu and followers of Shiva clashed with each other as much as either one clashed with Islam.
That's interesting. What are some of the more famous incidents of such clashes in history?
Aren't they supposed to be parts of the Hindu version of trinity, with Shiva focusing on destruction and Vishnu on restoration? You never hear about the Son wanting to fight the Holy Ghost.
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Old 10-06-2017, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Earth
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"Until the nineteenth century, the word “Hindu” had no specific religious meaning and simply referred to the people who lived east of the Indus River, whatever their beliefs. (The Indian Supreme Court itself has held that “no precise meaning can be ascribed to the terms ‘Hindu’ and ‘Hinduism.’”) It was only when the census introduced by the British colonial authorities in 1871 included Hindu as a religious designation that many Indians began to think of themselves and their country as Hindu."

https://www.hudson.org/research/4575...ism-and-terror
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