Recently I have been following one discussion on Pre Sampradaya in Bharata. The main theme of this thread is to say that Sampradaya was invented as a reaction to Islamic invasion.
I am not well equipped to answer due to the complexity of the question and a very limited knowledge in Indian History and all the divisions of the diverse Hindu culture.
I would welcome any comments. I will add in quote some of the details and points made of the discussion.
Sectarianism happened as a Reaction to Invasion of Abrahamic creeds into India. Some time around Malik kafur's South Indian invasion. It was a Defensive mechanism to challenge of a Monothiest assault both at physical and social psychological levels. Hindu sampradayas which were Syncretic turned Monothiest and Sectarian as a Militant defense mechanism. This is one analytical view of this rise of Abrahamic Mimes in Syncretic Henotheistic Vedic hinduism. The term Hindu and Hinduism were so broad and encompassed all sampradayas of Shanmatha simplified by Sankara in Pre Islamic hindu society's faith-didnt lend easily to Montheist Casting. So they began asserting Separate Claims to being a Religion unto itself. Though both Shaivism and Vaishnavism had its Militant Monotheist Separatism- vaisnavism went further down that road under Gowdiyas.There were historical advantages of that also- Abrahamics couldnt easily juaxtapose its Truth Calims of One God versus Many false gods. ISKCON for all its negatives-obtained hordes of converts to a Vedic Godhead Bagavan Sri Krishna. For Spritual seekrs such Sectarianism is a hurdle for it leads to Egoism- of My Godism. That kind of bieng God's own people lead to downfall of Yadhavs. Krishna himslef says this explaining to Balarama why Yadhavs had to fall- and how he cannot help that. The idea that We are Special and our God is Special is a dangerous idea that leads to Asuric tendencies. Krsihna says "yadhavas if they were not destroyed-would have Over run the Planet". That is what we are witnessing today. In ISIS and Clash of Cross and Crescent. Judaism came from the Yadus' who emigrated West after Mahabharat wars and Fall of Dwaraka. Same My God -My Way or Highway faiths came from the Yudas-Yadhu-Jews.
I asked this question for further clarification
To this replythanks for the very informative posts. I have a couple of questions. What was the structure in pre Islamic India of the different sects, and does the sampardayic traditions that arose after the Invasion of the Moghuls lose any of its sanatana dharma by dividing into sampradya's.
As far as Ive checked they went by Post Bhudhist Shankara's Re organisation as Shanmatha, Vaishnavism was one among them. Meemsa was attached as Upa kriya and as service providers. They lost their eminence after Mandala Misra's admission of defeat. Tantra was independent, as many other Inexpedient traditions that still exist such as Naga sadhus, Sidha marga, Naths, mostly derivative of advaita but not necessarily so. Syncretic Sects later during Post Islamic invasion turned militant mimes of the challenging Monotheism. Hence the Anxiety of these Sectarians you can note of never failing to Stress the Supramacy of their diety and sub-sect. This is clearly something alien to Syncretic ancient Pagans of India. That must have made you wonder if Shankara was also a Reactionary Redaction. Yes. Illusionism and Other worldiness you can see that are alien to Conquestido spirit of early Aryan rishis who were martial mystics-very much seeking fresh lands and expansion and battles. Clearly the Revolt but in mould of World denying Bhdhism it had to survive and displace.
I hope I can add this in case it helps my view clear. Iam not saying Exclusivism rose as an Influence. Iam saying Exclusivism sprang post Islamic as a Defense mechanism. Islam's challenge to Pagan India was a life and death struggle. It was at 3 major levels. 1. At Political level Power passed over from Brahaminical Patronage to Brahmin Genocidal overnight.. Islam knew by experience that eliminating Priestly class is paramount to their Emancipation from Darkness of Idolatry.2. Theology- Islam added dead weight of its Allah as Godhead without Peers or Other like him. The kafirs were after many 'lesser god' - Allahu Akbar doesnt mean he is greatest-but Greater! Greater than whom? the many that pagans worship (and false). 3. Society was facing attrition and almost collapsing as it obtained Converts mostly by force and rest by these factors and lure. The Defense manifested as what we see now today. Exclusivist Monlatry/Monotheistic? Sectarianism. Islam targeted brahmins so they first isolate them by Brahminidal genocide and take out hindusim. Vaishanivism responded by making everyone Brahmins. You can now understand how Iskcon turns everyone into shika sacred thread wearing brahmins. Islam had to kill all classes now to reach that Objective. 2. Iconoclasm- Vaishnavism encouraged house worship of Murtis and congergational upholding of idols ( since Big mandirs were gone and attracted the iconoclast ghazis) . centrality of Idols. etc. 3. Attrition- Vaishnavism began proseletysing! Hari hara buka were muslim lads. Founded Vijayanagara with Varaha flag- that is Pig- that is most abhorant to Islam. Samarth Ramadas founded Maratha empire. Chaitanya converted muslims back to hinduism. So the central doctrines of neo-vaishnavism can be clearly seen as existential responce to islamic assaults. This Defensive genius of hindu society modified the Syncretic loose hindusim that wouldnt have been able to match at all 3 levels the challenge. Now its become a problem by excessive preoccupation with what was actually a Defensive mechanism. thanks.
They didnt lose any elements of sampradayas . For there werent any sampradayas really speaking- but say proto sampradayic elements- post invasion. Rather they were bolstered and some invented anew. What they surely lost was the catholicity, they ceased being eclectic.
Any information shared will be very helpful. I have my own synopsis, but its philosophical and I can not bring in valid historical evidence.