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Who is a 'Fundamentalist' in Hinduism?

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Active member

We have heard this term recently. What does it mean?

It is quite easy for anyone to be labeled a 'Fundamentalist' as long as they fall in to the category of one of the three Abrahamic main religions.

A jew is a Fundamentalist, if he denies the progress of human kind and believes in Torah verbatim (Please read a novel titled 'My name is Asher Lev' by Chaim Potok, which is a moving story about this).

A Christian is a Fundamentalist if he believes that the Christ is the only route to salvation and the followers of other religions, however good is their conduct close to Christ's will still go to 'hell'.

A Muslim is a Fundamentalist if he believes that people of other religions are infidels and so are less than full humans (the concept of Dhimmies).

So, in this context, who is a Hindu Fundamentalist? After quite a bit of thought, I have arrived at the following definition:

1. He will deny as truth any concept rooted in Smritis that is different from what his own SECT believes in.
2. He will dismiss as 'secular' the teachings of Swamy Vivekananda and Mahatma Ji. He would attack especially the teachings of Vivekananda Ji because He started a 'mission' and the validity of Mahatma Ji's teachings because He 'created' the 'Moplah' massacre in Kerala. He would not agree with the sayings of any other great Rishis of our times (remember Hinduism was built on the sayings of successive great souls over time), saying that their preachings are immaterial (Sivananda Ji, Paramahamsa Yogananda Ji, Sri Sathya Sai Bhaba of Puttabahrthi, Swami Raghavendra Ji, Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi Ji, etc., etc.,), because some of their teachings do not support his version of Hinduism.
3. Instead of focusing on remedying the ills of modern day Hinduism, he would rather spend time attacking other religions. Any effort to point out improving Hiduism is seen as attacking Hinduism. He would not agree that there is a problem in Hinduism of accepting everyone as born equal, but not given equal chance. He would even say that some of us here in this Forum are denegrating our own Brahmin beings!
4. He would say that Varna is God given and by birth and would say that castes were created by human beings, without understanding that the life we live today in a macro sense is His leela. He would not recognize the advent of Kali Yuga and the progression of human civilization and industrialization where the Varna concept can not be practiced as initially visualized. He would say, despite the fact that the Varna system existed nowhere else except in India, that it existed everywhere else, without proof.
5. And above all, he would be willing to do anything non ethical and even lie to acheive his purpose - that others see the 'Truth' as he does.

There are much more other qualities, but I will stop here.

Please let me know if you agree with the abive descriptives.

Dear Sri KRS,

In the light of recent happenings especially the various stand offs between our more conservative brethen and liberal brethen I see this topic as extremely touchy and inviting a lot of unnecessary anger-filled backlashes.

I do not see how this topic is going to unite us into becoming a better whole. As it stands I see this trend of discussion promoting divisions within our forum which is going to take up a lot of unnecessary energy and heartache.

So I am closing this thread.

Best Regards,
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