Who is a Hindu

Origin of the name India!    

The Modern term “India” is simply ancient Greek, though pronounced a little differently than in English, of course. It is an early Hellenism whereby the Persian ‘H’ was changed to ‘I.’ this further lends knowledge of the ancient Greek indikos and Latin indicus, equivalent adjectives meaning “Indian, pertaining to India, having to do with India,” etc. Similarly, the botanical term for Indian hemp is Cannibis indica.

Sindhu thus evolved into Old Persian ‘hinduš’ and was consequently borrowed from Persian into Greek as Indos. Greek thereafter formed the name of the country from this stem ‘ind-’ with the suffix ‘-ia,’ a typical method of forming the names of countries in Greek. Our name for the river, ‘Indus,’ is the Latin form of the Greek name and isn’t original. Hindu, then, simply means “Indian,” “Made In India”—“A Product of Hindustan.” In Urdu the word Hindusthan is used to indicate the Urdu speaking areas of the Indian sub-continent.

Books referred to are Seven Systems of Indian Philosophy by Pandit Rajmani Tugnait, The Tragedy of Partition by H V Seshadari, India’s Rebiirth by Sri Aurobindo, Chips from a Vedic Workshop by Inder Dev Khosla, History, Culture of the Indian People by the Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, Hindu Centum by Pandit Deen B C Sharma and AIR 1995 Supreme Court 2089 in Bramchari Sidheswar Shai vs. State of West Bengal with inputs from Troy Harris and my Email Guru.
Friends can we replace Western words like Religion, God, and Secularism with corresponding Indian ones like Dharma, Ishwar. For example Yagna is understood by the common man to mean sacrifice but actually is something different. According to Sri Aurobindo, “the central idea of yajna is the giving by man, of what he possesses in his being, to the higher or divine nature and its fruit is the further enrichment of his manhood by the lavish bounty of God. The wealth thus acquired constitutes as state of spiritual riches, prosperity, felicity which is itself a power for the journey and force or battle”.

Today we have allowed Muslims & Greeks / Christians to define our identity. The former gave us the name Hindu & made Bharat Hindusthan while the latter made it India. Even our national language Hindi is not national in the true sense. Dr Ernest Trump wrote in the book The Adi Granth written in 1877 “By Hindui we mean the modern idiom since the beginning of our century and as spoken as present. There is of course no essential difference between Hindui & Hindi as regards the significance of the two adjectives, hindui being derived from Hindu, a Hindu and Hindi from the Arab noun hind”. India’s national language Hindi is of recent origin and is actually Khariboli form of Hindi. As such it did not come into use before 1800 a.d. & its effective literary development started only after 1850. Prior to 1850 when we said Hindi literature it meant Brajbhasa the most important form of Western Hindi. What I am saying is that some of our national symbols are a product of foreign influence.

So our national language was spoken in a very small area. Now suppose the mother of all Indian languages, Sanskrit, was made the national language we would have never had anti Hindi agitations in Tamil Nadu. Sanskrit influences every South Indian language  particularly Kannada, Malayalam and Telegu. There would never have been any North South divide of the type that our country has witnessed if only Sanskrit (a simpler version) was made our national language after independence.

Friends let me draw an analogy. The atma or soul of India – Bharat is Sanatan Dharam. The conquest of Bharat by Islam and Christianity had left impressions or samskaras on its soul. These impressions are like dust covering a piece of glass, have led to maya, delusion, confusion and led to the degeneration of India. So if India has to discover its soul it needs to rediscover Sanatan Dharam and remove the impressions caused by past conquests. What India has been witnessing over the last twelve plus years is an attempt by the Hindu mind to break away from the past and redefine itself based on Dharma.  

What existed in Bharat then & now, what unites us is a Central Idea called Sanatana Dharma, “the Eternal or Universal Dharma. Dharma means universal law, the fundamental principles behind this marvelous universe like the Law of Karma. Sanatana means perennial, referring to eternal truths that manifests in ever-new names and forms. Hinduism is the oldest religion in the world because it is based on the eternal origins of creation. But it is also the newest religion in the world because it adjusts to new names and forms to every generation and looks to living teachers not old books, as its final authority”. Quoted from Hinduism and the Clash of Civilizations by David Frawley.

No wonder said Sri Aurobindo on 30/5/1909 “When it is said that India shall be great, it is Sanatan Dharma that shall be great”.

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