This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

Vedism, Brahmanism, Hinduism

Some have sought to link the primordial tradition to the present one by means of a series of doctrines which evolved in stages. They usually divide these into three, which they depict as if they were distinct doctrines, and call them Vedism, Brahmanism, and finally Hinduism. While it might be legitimate to divide things in this fashion from a historical point of view, it should not be imagined that each stage represents a different understanding of doctrine. On the contrary, the doctrine is precisely the same in each, although these periods do represent varying applications, which we should expect considering the reality of changing conditions. Each change in conditions requires a ‘re-adaption’ of the tradition, but it should not be lost sight of that the traditional principles that are in each case being applied do not change. In this sense, although the terms are useful purely as superficial identifiers for historical periods, they should never be seen to represent real deviations or transformations in the doctrine, and Hinduism could with equal validity be called Brahmanism or Vedism at any point. Vedism, in fact, might be the most exact term, although we will not insist upon it, since it means simply ‘traditional knowledge unqualified,’ and this is what Hinduism, being founded on the Veda, embodies.

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