johneeG wrote:your theory of 'Triangulating Hindutva: The Fundamentalist, Reformist & Traditionalist' is very thought-provoking.
I think Fundamentalism would be a person who 'insists that we go back to fundamentals of a creed'. Generally, in most other creeds, fundamentalists and traditionalists are on the same side which makes it a very powerful block. So, in most other creeds, fundamentalists and traditionalists are one and the same. The major movements come when they oppose each other.
Reformists are strengthened when they either side with fundamentalists or traditionalists. This is possible only if fundamentalists and traditionalists are not on the same page.
In Hindhuism, fundamentalism is a difficult thing because there are so many schools, sects, Gods, Goddesses, ...etc. Each school, sect, caste, ...etc differs on what is the definition of foundations.
johneeG ji, what you say is correct. However, while different sects may have different texts/agamas and different morphologies, their ontologies are more often than not mostly shared. 'Structure of Thought' versus 'Structure of Reality'. This meta-view is missed by authors like Shri Arun Shourie ji (whom I respect) who claim most Hindu sects are all contradictory and therefore not to be taken seriously for any theological or philosophical value.
A meta-view (ontological) of Indic tradition shows that the unique differing/contradictory claims of each sect actually fit into different unique points on a scale. They each appeal and apply to people whose basic tone level (sthaayi-bhaava) is at that point. For example, the reason for Agni being supreme offers one particular "bhaava", Shaakta agamas offer another reason in a different "bhaava" for Shakti being supreme, Shaiva agamas another, and Vaishnava another, etc. Each of these bhaavas is unique, and presents a good study of emotion as such. Some Tantra texts such as the Bhaavana Upanishad also go into this meta-analysis.
For this reason, the morphology must be considered separately from ontology in terms of 'fundamentals', because in Indic theory fundamentals of Dharma are subtle, sookshma. They are not cut and dried textual claims like the Abrahamic. Rather, the fundamentals have a 'relative' component - relative to the Individual.
The whole spectrum of morphologies taken together gives deeper insight into the ontology. For this reason, Madhva says that it is not 'Vishnu' but rather the whole 'Hierarchy' that is to be worshiped.
johneeG wrote:The present day Hindhuism is actually closer to Agamas and Tantra than Vedhas. One could say that Agamas/Tantra are continuation of the Vedhic tradition. In which case, the question is: why are these considered as distinct from Vedhas?
Because the semantic scope of Veda is different from Upanishads, Agamas, Tantra, etc. The Veda and its "meaning" is transcendent to the intellectual, mental and emotive ratiocination of these other texts. Thus, the Veda, with its sounds, it kept as a placeholder for a transcendent epistemic space that the human being can access. That special 'placeholder' nature of the Veda is itself a fundamental of Hinduism's epistemology.
johneeG wrote:One could say that Arya Samaj of Dayananda Saraswathi was a Vedhic fundamentalism i.e. going back to Vedhik religion and rejecting all other ideas which may have been developed along the way. This fundamentalism was opposed to the Tradionalist views on many issues. This allowed reformists a chance to enter the field by siding with traditionalists and fundamentalists on different issues.
Even Arya Samaj's interpretation of Veda can be contested - their interpretation itself is not 'fundamental'. It is Veda that is fundamental. Arya Samaj scholars will accept this fact.
johneeG wrote:Another doubt I have is: when did Bhakthi come into the picture in Hindhuism? Generally, Naradha is said to be the Guru of Bhakthi. Right now, I am assuming that Bhakthi came into the picture just before or just after the Agamas came. I think Agamas/Tantra developed somewhere around 1800 BCE. Wikipedia says that Tantra developed in 500 CE. According to Wiki ji, Ganapthi worship first appeared around 500 CE and became prominent in 1000 CE.
The word "tantra" occurs in Veda. Bhakti itself is implicit in the Veda hymns. It is a common mistaken notion that there is a semantic segregation between Karma-kanda, Jnana and Bhakti. That is only for purposes of understanding externally. Waves of preoccupation or indulgence in Karma, Jnana and Bhakti (and Nastika trends) would have arisen and subsided in the life of the civilization (and also an individual sadhaka). Those dates you cited were only the most recent 'waves'. If I understand correctly, "karma performed with jnana-poorna bhakti" is the goal.