Sun Oct 29 11:27:49 UTC 2000

1. The ending -ism (French -ism, Spanish -ismo, Latin/German -ismus) is clearly
English. Contrary to the sensitivity of some neo-Hindus, who don't like the
word Hinduism,  there is no (necessary) negative connotation to it. In some
contexts, it could correspond to the Sanskrit suffix -vAda or -siddhAnta. In
this sense, Shaivism and Vaishnavism are words created for use in English.

2. It does not follow that that their equivalents did not exist in classical
(Pre-English) Tamil where one used the words saivam or saivamadam or
saivasamayam and vainavam or vainavamadam to connote these words.
SaivasiddhAntam refers to the
philosophical/metaphysical underpinnings of saivam.

V. V. Raman
October 29, 2000

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