Vedic vs. Tantric Hinduism
Author's Note: This article is in reference to The Soma Tantra
Differences and disagreements among religious factions don't mean that spiritual truths don't exist, but that we as humans can't communicate very well.
If you study any religion enough (whether Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism) you soon discover that even within its corpus nobody can agree.
Similarly, Hinduism is a blanket term for several strains of Indian philosophy that focus on particular deities and what they represent, without uniformity.
Some Hindu sects reflect the Vedic caste system brought by Aryan invaders while others represent the folk beliefs of Indus Valley Dravidians.
Historically, a process known as syncretism (merging) occurred between Vedic and Dravidian beliefs; giving rise to the rich panoply of Hindu polytheism.
Since "Hinduism" bears the influence of disparate schools of thought, there still exists a sociological friction between Vedic and Tantric strains of it.
Class struggles borne out by the traditional Varna caste system (as well as between various ethnic groups) are hidden within the subtext of mythology.
In Hinduism Brahma and Vishnu tend to represent Aryan-Vedic ideals / morals whereas Shiva and Kali are Tantric-Dravidian forces of untamed freedom.
Devotees of Vishnu are thus referred to as Vaishnavas while Shiva's followers are called Shaivas, Shaivites, or Siva Sadhus. Shakti (the divine feminine) outweighs Brahma (a patriarchal creator) in this schema.
Analogously, the competition between Vedic and Tantric ways of thinking / acting was also mirrored by the ancient Greeks with their Apollo-Dionysus dichotomy. Indeed, Nietzche extrapolated it to full effect in his seminal debut: The Birth of Tragedy. Even renown Indologist Alain Danielou documented it extensively in a fine piece of comparative religion: Gods of Love and Ecstacy.
The Soma Tantra is a contemporary work of Mythic fiction that portrays said friction between Vedic and Tantric branches of Hinduism as a war between Devatas and Ashuras (gods and demons, respectively).
Only those capable of delving beneath the surface of such a fantastic tale will see through to the deepest layer of its abstracted narrative ...
Further Reading: Past Issues of Mythic May