Can Anyone Describe that What is the role of "sect" in Hinduism ?
The role of sects is to provide different paths for men to reach God. Different paths (sects) are made to suit the different tastes and temperaments of different people. Some people like fried food, some like spicy food. Some people like meat, some don't. There is no one food that suits all tastes and stomachs. The Mahimnah-stotra says:
As the different streams having their sources in different places all mingle their waters in the sea, so, O Lord, the different paths which men take through different tendencies, various though they may appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee.
Ramakrishna Paramahamsa said:
You must stick to one path with all your strength. A man can reach the roof of a house by stone stairs or a ladder or a rope-ladder or a rope or even a bamboo pole. But he cannot reach the roof if he sets foot now on one and now on another. He should firmly follow one path. Likewise, in order to realize God a man must follow one path with all his strength. But you must regard other views as so many paths to God. You should not feel that your path is the only right path and that other paths are wrong. You mustn't bear malice towards others.
the defining characteristic is:
- Hinduism as a whole, has no founder. But Sect of hinduism has a founder.
- Hinduism as a whole - is amalgamation of lots of organized and non-organized belief systems. But Sect is a "subset of Hinduism, which provide an organized belief system and philosophy - which is consistent and complete viewpoint(as subsystem) in itself.