|There has been
an effort to divide the Hindu religion into two hostile camps by opposing Shaivism, the
worship of Lord Shiva, versus Brahmanism or the Vedic tradition, as two separate and
conflicting religions in India. This has arisen as part of a general tendency to interpret
the diversity of Hinduism not as a universality approach which is the Hindu view-but as a
collection of contrary cults artificially put together.
Shaivism has been regarded by many, particularly Western scholars, as Dravidian;
that is, as an ethnic religion of South Indians, while the Vedic tradition has been
labeled as Aryan or the ethnic religion of North Indians (meaning Aryan race, though Aryan
is nowhere a racial term in Sanskrit). According to the Aryan invasion theory the North
Indians were invaders and the South Indians or Dravidians were the original people of the
subcontinent. Shaivism thereby has been regarded as the indigenous religion, while
Brahmanism has been turned into a product of the invading Aryans.