The most evident example of this phenomenon is the
Ramakrishna - Vedanta movement.
Originally founded as a Vedantic movement, it clearly articulated
the basic principles
of Hinduism and the Swami himself was perhaps the great modern
revivalist of the Hindu
tradition. The movement in the beginning emphasized Upanishadic
learning, Advaita Vedanta,
and Sanskrit. But in time, perhaps compelled by its reaching out to
the Western mind, it
began to mold itself more and more after Christianity.
Perhaps in the beginning
Ramakrishna's followers only
wanted to prove that their teacher was equal to Jesus, but in
time they made him into the new
Jesus. Ramakrishna became the new avatar, meaning in a
Western, not Hindu sense, the Son
of God, savior and founder of a new religion. This
new religion, on one hand, was a universal religion combining all
the others within
itself, but on the other hand it was a cult of Ramakrishna.
Ramakrishna, who worshipped
Kali and Krishna, became the central figure, and Kali and Krishna
were given a secondary
The new religion, seeking members of
all faiths to join it, gradually distanced
itself from the rest of Hinduism and tried to stand on its own.
The ultimate outcome was that the
Ramakrishna movement declared that it was a new religion,
Ramakrishnaism, and that it was not Hinduism or even Sanatana
short unorthodox experiments with Christianity and Islam were turned
into a complete
practice of these religions, proving not only that he could achieve
what there was to
achieve in these religions, but that he could find the fullness of
Divinity in them as all their
members potentially could.