Neo-Vedanta | Wikipedia audio article



neo Vedanta also called Hindu modernism neo Hinduism global Hinduism and Hindu universalism are terms to characterize interpretations of Hinduism that developed in the 19th century some scholars argue that these modern interpretations incorporate Western ideas into traditional Indian religions especially at Veda Vedanta which is asserted as central are fundamental to Hindu culture the term Neo Vedanta was coined by Paul hacker in a pejorative way to distinguish modern developments from traditional Advaita Vedanta other scholars have described a greater at Veda Vedanta which developed since the mediaeval period what is important to note here is that many of these traditions which were influential among Neo vedantins did not derive from Vedantic lineages ie the Advaita Vedanta of Shankara as the scholar Jay Madeo points out it is possible to speak of sanskritic and vernacular and vedic texts which are either explicitly non-dualistic our permit and non-dualistic reading and Advaita Vedanta texts which originate within sampradayas that claim an Advaita Vedanta clinic this then avoids the obfuscating tendency to subsume at Vedic but non vedantic works under Abed anta or Advaita Vedanta umbrella drawing on this broad pool of sources after Muslim rule in India was replaced by British rule Hindu religious and political leaders and thinkers responded to Western colonialism and Orientalism contributing to the Indian freedom struggle and the modern national and religious identity of Hindus in the Republic of India this societal aspect is covered under the term of Hindu reform movements among the main proponents of such modern interpretations of Hinduism were Vivekananda Aurobindo and Radha Krishnan who to some extent also contributed to the emergence of neo Hindu movements in the West neo Vedanta has been influential in the perception of Hinduism both in the West and in the higher educated classes in India it has received appraisal for its solution of synthesis but has also been criticized for its universalism the terms neo Hindu or neo Vedanta themselves have also been criticized for its polemical usage the prefix neo then intended to imply that these modern interpretations of Hinduism are inauthentic or in other ways problematic topic definition and etymology according to help fast the terms neo Vedanta and neo Hinduism refer to the adoption of Western concepts and standards and the readiness to reinterpret traditional ideas in light of these new imported and imposed modes of thought prominent in neo Vedanta as Vivekananda whose theology according to Madeo is often characterized in earlier scholarship as a rupture from traditional or classical hindusim particularly the Orthodox Advaita Vedanta of the eighth century Shankara the term Neo Vedanta appears to have arisen in Bengal in the 19th century where it was used by both Indians and Europeans according to help fast the term was invented by a Bengali Rajendra Nath's seal 1864 to 1938 who used the term to characterize the literary work of bankim chandra Chatterjee 1838 to 1894 the term neo Vedanta was used by Christian missionaries as well as Hindu traditionalists to criticize the emerging ideas of the Brahmo Samaj a critical usage whose polemical undertone is obvious the term neo Vedanta according to a on Maharaj is misleading and unhelpful for three main reasons first a vague umbrella terms such as neo Vedanta fails to capture the nuances of the specific vedantic views of different modern figures second the term neo Vedanta misleadingly implies novelty third and most problematically the term neo Vedanta is indelibly colored by German in ologist Paul hackers polemical use of the term the term neo Hinduism was used by a Jesuit scholar resident in India robert antoine 1914 to 1981 from whom it was borrowed by paul hacker who used it to demarcate these modernist ideas from surviving traditional Hinduism and treating the neo-advaita –nz as dialogue partners with a broken identity who cannot truly and authentically speak for themselves and for the Indian tradition hacker made a distinction between neo Vedanta and neo Hinduism seeing nationalism as a prime concern of neo Hinduism you topic history although neo Vedanta proper developed in the 19th century in response to Western colonialism it has got deeper origins in the Muslim period of India topic unifying Hinduism well before the advent of British influence with beginnings that some scholars have argued significantly predate Islamic influence hierarchical classifications of the various Orthodox schools were developed according to Nicholson already between the 12th and the 16th century certain thinkers began to treat as a single whole the diverse philosophical teachings of the Upanishads epics Puranas and the school's known retrospectively as the six systems sadar sana of mainstream Hindu philosophy the tendency of a blurring of philosophical distinctions has also been noted by Burley Lorenzen locates the origins of a distinct Hindu identity in the interaction between Muslims and Hindus and a process of mutual self-definition with a contrasting Muslim other which started well before 1800 both the Indian and the European thinkers who developed the term Hinduism in the 19th century were influenced by these philosophers within these so-called doxologies advaita vedanta was given the highest position since it was regarded to be most inclusive system busines nabek su a 16th century philosopher and writer is still an influential proponent of these doxologies he's been a prime influence on 19th century Hindu modernists like Vivekananda who also tried to integrate various strands of Hindu thought taking at Veda Vedanta as its most representative specimen topic Western colonialism and Hindu reform movements topic Western colonialism with the colonization of India by the British a darker era in the history of India began prior to this Muslim rule over North India had had a drastic effect on Hinduism and Buddhism through systematic persecution while the indian society was greatly impacted its economy however continued to remain one of the largest in the world Muslim rule over southern India was also relatively short-lived before the 17th century in contrast to the Muslim rulers the British actively engaged in destroying the Indian economy as well the economic destruction wrought by restrictive British policies and Industrial Revolution in Europe led to the dismantling of the prevailing decentralized education systems in India in the 18th century the British state supported education system after the English Education Act of 1835 emphasised Western religions and thoughts at the cost of indigenous ones the British also nurtured and were involved post 1813 in the aggressive propagation of Protestant Christianity this was concomitant with the British propaganda machines involvement in the spreading anti Hindu sentiments topic Hindu reform movements in response to the British rule and cultural dominance Hindu reform movements developed propagating societal and religious reforms exemplifying what Percival Speier has called the solution of synthesis the effort to adapt to the newcomers in the process of which innovation and assimilation gradually occur alongside an ongoing agenda to preserve the unique values of the many traditions of Hinduism and other religious traditions as well neo Vedanta also called neo Hinduism is a central theme in these reform movements the earliest of these reform movements was Ram Mohan Roy Brahmo Samaj who strived toward a purified and monotheistic Hinduism you topic major proponents neova tantas main proponents are the leaders of the Brahmo Samaj especially Ram Mohan Roy while Vivekananda Gandhi Aurobindo and Radha Krishnan are the main proponents of neo Hinduism topic Ram Mohan Roy and the Brahmo Samaj the Brahmo Samaj was the first of the nineteenth-century reform movements its founder Ram Mohan Roy 1772 – 1833 strived toward an universalistic interpretation of Hinduism he rejected Hindu mythology but also the Christian Trinity he found that Unitarianism came closest to true Christianity and had a strong sympathy for the Unitarians he founded a missionary committee in Calcutta and in 1828 asked for support for missionary activities from the American Unitarians by 1829 Roy had abandoned the Unitarian committee but after Roy's death the Brahmo Samaj kept close ties to the Unitarian Church who strive towards a rational faith social reform and the joining of these two in a renewed religion the Unitarians were closely connected to the transcendentalists who were interested in and influenced by indian religions early on Ram Mohan Roy's ideas were altered considerably by Devendra nath tagore who had a romantic approach to the development of these new doctrines and questions central Hindu beliefs like reincarnation and karma and rejected the authority of the Vedas Tagore also brought this neo Hinduism closer in line with Western esotericism a development which was furthered by Ke$ha blendra senator Sen was influenced by transcendentalism an American philosophical religious movement strongly connected with Unitarianism which emphasized personal religious experience over mere reasoning and theology Sen strived to an accessible non renunciate re everyman type of spirituality introducing lay systems of spiritual practice which can be regarded as prototypes of the kind of yoga exercises which Vivekananda popularized in the West the theology of the Brahmo Samaj was called neo Vedanta by Christian commentators who partly admired the BrahMos for their courage in abandoning traditions of polytheism and image worship but whom they also scorned for having proffered to other Hindus a viable alternative to conversion critics accused classical Vedanta of being cosmic self infatuation and ethical nihilism Brahmo Samaj leaders responded to such attacks by redefining the Hindu path to liberation making the Hindu path available to both genders and all castes incorporating notions of democracy and worldly improvement topic Vivekananda 1863 to 1902 according to Gavin flood Vivekananda 1863 to 1902 narendra nath Dutta is a figure of great importance in the development of a modern Hindu self-understanding and in formulating the West's view of Hinduism he played a major role in the revival of Hinduism and the spread of Advaita Vedanta to the West via the ramakrishna mission in 1880 Vivekananda joined kesab Chandra sends Nava Vardhan which was established by Sen after meeting Ramakrishna and reconverting from Christianity to Hinduism narendra nath AKA narendra became a member of a free masonry lodge at some point before 1884 and of the solder and Brahmo Samaj in his 20s a breakaway faction of the Brahmo Samaj led by kesab chandra Sunanda Bendre nath tagore from 1881 to 1885 he was also active in sends band of hope which tried to discourage the youth from smoking and drinking it was in this cultic milieu that narendra became acquainted with western esotericism his initial beliefs were shaped by Brahma concepts which included belief in a formless god and the deprecation of idolatry anna streamlined rationalized monotheistic theology strongly colored by a selective and modernistic reading of the upanisads and of the vedanta he propagated the idea that the divine the absolute exists within all human beings regardless of social status and that seeing the divine as the essence of others will promote love and social harmony during this period he came in contact with Ramakrishna who eventually became his guru and fitted into his broadening views on spirituality and liberation Vivekananda's acquaintance with Western esotericism made him very successful in Western esoteric circles beginning with his speech in 1893 at the Parliament of Religions Vivekananda adapted traditional Hindu ideas and religiosity to suit the needs and understandings of his Western audiences who were especially attracted by and familiar with Western esoteric traditions and movements like transcendentalism and New Thought an important element in his adaptation of Hindu religious 'ti was the introduction of his four yoga's model which includes Raja yoga his interpretation of Patanjali Yoga Sutras which offered a practical means to realize the divine force within which is central to modern Western esotericism in 1896 his book raja yoga was published which became an instant success and was highly influential in the Western understanding of yoga in line with Advaita Vedanta texts like dr dr c aviva kheh 14th century and vedanta sera of saud ananda 15th century Vivekananda saw Samadhi as a means to attain liberation topic Gandhi Gandhi 1869 to 1948 has become a worldwide hero of tolerance and striving toward freedom in his own time he objected to the growing forces of Indian nationalism communalism and the subaltern response Gandhi saw religion as a uniting force confessing the Equality of all religions he synthesized the ass tikka nastika and semitic religions promoting an inclusive culture for peaceful living Gandhi pled for a new hermeneutics of Indian scriptures and philosophy observing that there are ample religious literature both in a Stuka and nastika religions supporting for a pluralistic approach to religious and cultural diversity the orthodox advaita vedanta and the heterodox jain concept anekantavada provided him concepts for an integral approach to religious pluralism he regarded at Veda as a universal religion Dharma which could unite both the orthodox and nationalistic religious interpretations as the subaltern alternatives here by gandhi offers an interpretation of Hindutva which is basically different from the Sangh Parivar interpretation the concept of anekantavada offered gandhi an axiom that truth as many cited and relative it is a methodology to counter exclusivism or absolutism propounded by many religious interpretations it has the capability of synthesizing different perceptions of reality in Gandhi's view dot the spirit of synthesis essentially dominated Indian civilization this spirit as absorption assimilation coexistence and synthesis anekantavada also gives room to an organic understanding of spatio-temporal process that is the daily world and its continued change the doctrine of anekantavada as a plea for sam bodda dialogue and an objection against proselytizing activities topic sarva poli Radhakrishnan sarva poli radhakrishnan was a major force in the further popularization of neo Vedanta as a schoolboy sarva Poli Radhakrishnan was inspired by Vivekananda's lectures in which he found an ennobling vision of truth and harmony as well as a message of Indian pride he was educated by Christian missionaries and wrote a master thesis on Vedanta and ethics in later life he became vice president and president of India according to Reinhardt he presented his view of Hinduism as the view of Hinduism central in his presentation was the claim that religion is fundamentally a kind of experience Anubhava reducing religion to the core experience of reality in its fundamental unity for radhakrishnan Vedanta was the essence and bedrock of religion you topic philosophy topic politics topic nationalism vivekananda occupies a very important place in the development of Indian nationalism as well as Hindu nationalism and has been called the prophet of nationalism pleading for a Hindu regeneration according to SN sin his motto arise awake and do not stop until the goal is reached had a strong appeal for millions of Indians according to Bijoy misra a private blogger in the colonial India salvation could be the freedom from foreign rule Indians credit swami vivekananda to have sown the early seeds of nationalism culminating in India's freedom you topic social activism according to Bijoy misra a private blogger spiritual culmination needed awakening of human will and he helped create a band of volunteers to work among the poor the distressed and the left outs in the economic power struggle this path of pursuing spirituality through service as a part of original concepts of Shri Krishna topic religion topic unity of Hinduism neo vedanta aims to present hinduism as a homogenized ideal of Hinduism with Advaita Vedanta as its central doctrine it presents an imagined integral unity that was probably little more than an imagined view of the religious life that pertained only to a cultural elite and that empirically speaking had very little reality on the ground as it were throughout the centuries of cultural development in the South Asian region neo Vedanta was influenced by oriental scholarship which portrayed Hinduism as a single world religion and denigrated the heterogeneity of Hindu beliefs and practices as distortions of the basic teachings of Vedanta topic universalism you following ramakrishna neo Vedanta regards all religions to be equal paths to liberation but also gives a special place to Hinduism as the ultimate universal religion topic Vedanta and non-dualism according to Benavides neo Vedanta is closer to ramanuja's qualified non-dualism than it is to Shankara Advaita Vedanta Niklas fgr notes that neo Vedanta does not regard the world to be illusionary in contrast to shankara's Advaita according to michael taft ramakrishna reconciled the dualism of formless and form ramakrishna regarded the supreme being to be both personal and impersonal active and inactive according to an ill Sokol Vivekananda's neo-advaita reconciles divita or dualism and at veda our non-dualism Radhakrishnan acknowledged the reality and diversity of the world of experience which he saw as grounded in and supported by the absolute or brahman radhakrishnan also reinterpreted shankara's notion of maya according to radhakrishnan maya is not a strict absolute idealism but a subjective misperception of the world as ultimately real gandhi endorsed the jain concept of anekantavada the notion that truth and reality are perceived differently from diverse points of view and that no single point of view is the complete truth this concept embraces the perspectives of both Vedanta which according to Jainism recognizes substances but not process and Buddhism which recognizes process but not substance Jainism on the other hand pays equal attention to both substance dravya and process para according to sarma who stands in the tradition of nisargadatta maharaj advaita vada spiritual non-dualism or absolutism in which opposites are manifestations of the absolute which itself is immanent and transcendent topic shruti versus experience a central concern in neo Vedanta as the role of strudy sacred texts versus personal experience classical Advaita Vedanta has centered on the correct understanding of Shruti the sacred texts correct understanding of the sruthi is a pramana a means of knowledge to attain liberation it takes years of preparation and study to accomplish this task and includes the mastery of Sanskrit the memorization of texts and the meditation over the interpretation of those texts understanding is called a new bhava knowledge or understanding derived from personal experience a new bhava removes a vidya ignorant regarding brahman and admin and leads to moksha liberation in neo Vedanta the status of strudie becomes secondary and personal experience itself becomes the primary means to liberation topic smart a tradition according to Ninian start neo vedanta is largely a smarta account in modern times smarter views have been highly influential in both the Indian and Western understanding of Hinduism according to ISKCON org many Hindus may not strictly identify themselves as smartest but by adhering to Advaita Vedanta as a foundation for non sectarianism our indirect followers faith Apsara notes adherents of smarta brahmins to the pan-indian sanskrit Brahmanical tradition the emerging pan Indian nationalism was clearly founded upon a number of cultural movements that for the most part reimagined an REO centric neo brahmanical vision of India which provided the ideology for this hegemonic project in the Tamil region such a vision and ideology was closely associated with the Tamil Brahmins and especially the smarter Brahmins who were considered the strongest adherents of the pan Indian Sanskrit Brahmanical tradition the majority of members of smarta community follow the Advaita Vedanta philosophy of Shankara smarta and advaita have become almost synonymous though not all Advaita nazar smartest Shankara was a smarter just like Radha Krishnan smart is believed in the essential oneness of five pancha Deva or six schemata deities as personifications of the supreme according to smart ism supreme reality Brahman transcends all of the various forms of personal deity God is both Saguna and Nirguna as Saguna God exhibits qualities such as an infinite nature and a number of characteristics such as compassion love and justice as Nirguna God is understood as pure consciousness that is not connected with matter as experienced by humanity because of the holistic nature of God these are simply two forms our names that are expressions of Nirguna Brahman or the ultimate reality Lola Williamson further notes that what is called Vedic in the smarta tradition and in much of Hinduism is essentially tantric in its range of deities and liturgical forms you topic influence Neel Vedanta was popularized in the 20th century in both India and the West by Vivekananda Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Western orientalists who regarded Vedanta to be the central theology of Hinduism topic vedantis ization neo Vedanta has become a broad current in Indian culture extending far beyond the dashing ami sampradaya the Advaita Vedanta sampradaya founded by Adi Shankara the influence of neo Vedanta on Indian culture has been called pedant a cessation by Richard King an example of this pedant a cessation is Ramana Maharshi who is regarded as one of the greatest Hindu Saints of modern times of whom Sharma notes that among all the major figures of modern Hinduism he is the one person who is widely regarded as a Javan Mukti although Sharma admits that Ramana was not acquainted with Advaita Vedanta before his personal experience of liberation and Ramana never received initiation into the dashing ami sampradaya or any other sampradaya Sharma nevertheless sees ramana's answers to questions by devotees as being within an advise of Vedanta framework topic diversity and pluralism in response to the British dominance and the British critique of Hinduism various visions on Indian diversity and unity have been developed within the nationalistic and reform movements the Brahmo Samaj strive towards monotheism while no longer regarding the Vedas as soul religious authority the Brahmo Samaj had a strong influence on the neo vedanta of Vivekananda Aurobindo radhakrishnan and Gandhi who strived toward a modernized humanistic Hinduism with an open eye for societal problems and needs other groups like the Arya Samaj strived toward a revival of Vedic Authority in this context various responses toward India's diversity developed you topic Hindu inclusive ism Hindutva and dharmic religions in modern times the Orthodox measure of the primacy of the Vedas has been joined with the grand narrative of the Vedic origins of Hinduism the exclusion of Jainism and Buddhism excludes a substantial part of India's cultural and religious history from the assertion of a strong and positive Hindu identity Hindutva ideology solves this problem by taking recourse to the notion of Hindutva hindu nests which includes Jainism and Buddhism a recent strategy exemplified by Rajiv Malhotra is the use of the term Dharma as a common denominator which also includes Jainism and Buddhism according to Larson Malhotra's notion of the so called Dharma traditions and their integral unity is another example of neo Hindu discourse quote dot Malhotra in his being different uses the term dharmic tradition or dharmic systems quote comma quote referring to all the Hindu Buddhist Jaina and Sikh traditions quote dot he proposes that those traditions despite their differences share common features the most important being Dharma quote dot they are also characterized by the notion of integral unity which means that ultimately only the whole exists the parts that make up the whole have but a relative existence the whole is independent and indivisible as opposed to synthetic unity which starts with parts that exist separately from one another quote dot Malhotra has received strong criticism of his ideas for glossing over the differences between and even within the various traditions of India in response Malhotra explains that some of his critics confused integral unity with homogeneity thinking that Malhotra said all those traditions are essentially the same when he actually wrote that dharmic traditions share a sense of n integral unity despite differences topic inclusive ISM and communalism according to Reinhart neo Vedanta us a theological scheme for subsuming religious difference under the aegis of Vedantic truth according to Reinhardt the consequence of this line of reasoning is communalism the idea that all people belonging to one religion have common economic social and political interests and these interests are contrary to the interests of those belonging to another religion communalism has become a growing force in indian politics presenting several threats to india hindering its nation-building and threatening the secular Democratic character of the Indian state Reinhardt notes that Hindu religious 'ti plays an important role in the nationalist movement and that the neo Hindu discourse as the unintended consequence of the initial moves made by thinkers like Ram Mohan Roy and Vivekananda but Reinhart also points out that it is clear that there isn't a neat line of causation that leads from the philosophies of Ram Mohan Roy Vivekananda and Radha Krishnan to the agenda Milutin Hindus you topic influence on Western spirituality neo Vedanta has been influenced by Western ideas but has also had a reverse influence on Western spirituality due to the colonization of Asia by the Western world since the late 18th century an exchange of ideas has been taking place between the Western world and Asia which also influenced Western religiosity in 1785 appeared the first Western translation of a Sanskrit text it marked the growing interest in the Indian culture and languages the first translation of Upanishads appeared in two parts in 1801 and 1802 which influenced Arthur Schopenhauer who called them the consolation of my life early translations also appeared in other European languages a major force in the mutual influence of Eastern and Western ideas and religiosity was the Theosophical society it searched for ancient wisdom in the east spreading Eastern religious ideas in the West one of its salient features was the belief in masters of wisdom beings human are once human who have transcended the normal print ears of knowledge and who make their wisdom available to others the Theosophical society also spread Western ideas in the east aiding a modernisation of Eastern traditions and contributing to a growing nationalism in the Asian colonies another major influence was Vivekananda who popularized his modernised interpretation of Advaita Vedanta in the 19th and early 20th century in both India and the West emphasizing Anubhava personal experience over scriptural authority topic appraisal and criticism topic appraisal according to Larson the solution of synthesis prevailed in the work of Ram Mohan Roy syed ahmed khan rabindranath tagore swami vivekananda MK Gandhi Muhammad Ali Jinnah Muhammad Iqbal VD savarkar Jawaharlal Nehru and many others Speer voices appraisal of this solution of synthesis while gr Sharma emphasizes the humanism of neo Vedanta topic criticism Vivekananda's presentation of Advaita Vedanta has been criticized for its misinterpretation of this tradition without calling into question the right of any philosopher to interpret Advaita according to his own understanding of it the process of westernization has obscured the core of this school of thought the basic correlation of renunciation and bliss has been lost sight of in the attempts to underscore the cognitive structure and the realistic structure which according to Sankar Acharya should both belong to and indeed constitute the realm of maya according to an aunt Anand Ram bakken Vivekananda emphasized in nu bhava personal experience over scriptural authority but in his interpretation of Shankara deviated from Shankara who saw knowledge and understanding of the scriptures as the primary means to moksha according to Komen's the emphasis on samadhi also as not to be found in the Upanishads nor with Shankara for Shankara meditation and nirvikalpa samadhi are means to gain knowledge of the already existing unity of Brahman and Atman in the 21st century neo Vedanta has been criticized by Hindu traditionalists for the influence of radical universalism arguing that it leads to a self-defeating philosophical relativism and has weakened the status and strength of Hinduism topic criticism of neo Hinduism label topic criticism of Paul hacker in the twentieth century the German in ologist Paul hacker used the terms neo Vedanta and neo Hinduism polemically to criticize modern Hindu thinkers help fast regards the terms neo Vedanta and neo Hinduism as useful and legitimate as convenient labels but has criticized hacker for use that was simplistic furthermore he asks what is the significance and legitimacy of the neo in expressions like neo Hinduism and neo Vedanta quote question mark could we speak of neo Christianity as well in fact I have used this term and not all my Christian readers and reviewers were happy about the term help fast wrote that the adoption of the terms neo Hinduism and neo Vedanta by Western scholars reflects Christian and European claims and perspectives which continue to be an irritant to Indians today for hacker the neo in neo Hinduism implies a lack of authenticity an apologetic accommodation to Western ideas and a hybridization of the tradition Bagchi and ad laurie argue that german in dalla ji including hacker was merely a barely disguised form of religious evangelism according to Malhotra an Indian American Hindu writer it was Paul hacker who popularized the term neo Hinduism in the 1950s to refer to the modernization of Hinduism brought about by many Indian thinkers the most prominent being Swami Vivekananda in Malhotra's view hacker charged that neo Hindus most notably Vivekananda have disingenuously adopted Western ideas and expressed them using Sanskrit Malhotra also notes that hacker was a biased Christian apologist what is less known about hacker as that he was also an unabashed Christian apologist who freely used his academic standing to further the cause of his Christian agenda he led a parallel life passionately advocating Christianity while presenting the academic face of being neutral and objective according to David Smith hackers belief was that the ethical values of neo Hinduism came from Western philosophy and Christianity just in Hindu terms hacker also believed that Hinduism began in the 1870s he saw bank in chato Padilla Aurobindo Gandhi and Radha Krishnan as its most famous proponents topic neglect of inherent development of religions Brian K Smith notes that the neo Hindu indigenous authorities are often dismissed as inauthentic their claims to legitimacy compromised by their encounters with modernity which influenced their worldview and religious positions but points out that all religions at various points in recent history and under varying circumstances have adopted to the modern world and the accompanying intellectual trends of modernity Hinduism or neo Hinduism is not unique in this regard either the neo Hindu movement shares many commonalities with developments in other religious traditions around the world over the past several hundred years the study of religion as the study of traditions in constant change according to Madeo the notion that Vivekananda and other Hindu modernists deviate from Orthodox classical Advaita Vedanta neglects the fact that considerable developments took place in Indian religious thinking including Advaita Vedanta topic the myth of neo Hinduism Rajiv Malhotra in his book indras net has stated that there is a myth of neo Hinduism according to him there are eight myths of neo Hinduism such as colonial in dodges biases were turned into Hinduism myths too and Hinduism was manufactured and did not grow organically myth three Malhotra denies that Vivekananda manufactured Hinduism or that backquote neo Vedanta suppressed the traditions of the Indian masses according to Malhotra there is an integrated unified spiritual substratum in ancient India and argues that the branding of contemporary Hinduism as a faux neo Hinduism is a gross mischaracterization of both traditional and contemporary Hinduism see on temporary Hinduism as a continuation of a dynamic tradition it is not in any way less authentic or less Hindu than what may be dubbed traditional Hinduism there are negative connotations to the term neo which imply something artificial untrue or unfaithful to the original other world religions have undergone similar adaptations in modern times though there are no such references to neo Christianity I resist the wide currency being gained for the term neo Hinduism because this fictional divide between neo and original Hinduism subverts Hinduism according to Malhotra the myth of neo Hinduism is used to fragment Hindu society by pitting its spiritual Giants against one another and distorting their subtle and deeply intricate viewpoints also according to him the definition of neo Hinduism has been contrived and gained authenticity in part because it suits certain academic and political agendas and in part because it has been reiterated extensively without adequate critical response topic see also equals equals notes

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