Date: Sun, 13 Apr 2003 09:38:42 +0100
From: "Mahesh" <email@example.com>
Subject: This word Hindu is not a Sanskrit word
This word Hindu is not a Sanskrit word.
SSR 3 Discovering the Roots
Sometimes Indians both inside and outside of India think that we are preaching the Hindu religion, but actually we are not. One will not find the word Hindu in the Bhagavad-gita. Indeed, there is no such word as Hindu in the entire Vedic literature. This word has been introduced by the Muslims from provinces next to India, such as Afghanistan, Baluchistan, and Persia. There is a river called Sindhu bordering the north western provinces of India, and since the Muslims there could not pronounce Sindhu properly, they instead called the river Hindu, and the inhabitants of this tract of land they called Hindus. In India, according to the Vedic language, the Europeans are called mlecchas or yavanas. Similarly, Hindu is a name given by the Muslims.
SSR 6 Finding Spiritual Solutions to Material Problems
Srila Prabhupada: This word Hindu is not a Sanskrit word. It was given by the Muhammadans. You know that there is a river, Indus, which in Sanskrit is called Sindhu. The Muhammadans pronounce s as h. Instead of Sindhu, they made it Hindu. So Hindu is a term that is not found in the Sanskrit dictionary, but it has come into use. But the real cultural institution is called varnasrama. There are four varnas (social divisions)--brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, and sudra--and four asramas (spiritual divisions)--brahmacarya, grhastha, vanaprastha, and sannyasa. According to the Vedic concept of life, unless people take to this system or institution of four varnas and four asramas, actually they do not become civilized human beings. One has to take this process of four divisions of social orders and four divisions of spiritual orders; that is called varnasrama. India's culture is based on this age-old Vedic system.
The people known as Hindus in the world, the Hindu is a term given by the Mohammedans, from "Indus." Indus River is there. Now it is in Pakistan. So people beyond the Indus River, the Mohammedans in Arabia and other countries, they pronounce "s" as "h". Instead of "Sindhu," they used to pronounce it as "Hindu." So people living, crossing the river Indus or Hindus, they were called "Hindus." Otherwise, this "Hindu" term is not seen in any Vedic literature.
The real meaning is the people who observe the varnasrama-dharma, four varnas and four asramas. Four varna means brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra. And below the sudras, they are called candalas, pancama, fifth grade, less than the sudras. That natural division is there everywhere.
When Ramananda Raya was questioned by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu: "What is sadhya and sadhana, what is human duty, sadhya, and what is the end of sadhana...?" Sadhana, sadhana means cultivating something with a aim of objective. So this question was put to Ramananda Raya by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu: "What is the aim of human life and what is the process of executing that will?" So immediately Ramananda Raya said that varnasramacaravata. The beginning of human life is to execute the varnasrama-dharma. Varnasramacaravata purusena parah puman. Why varnasrama? Now visnur aradhyate. If you properly execute your varnasrama-dharma... Actually, it is now pervertedly spoken as Hindu dharma. Hindu dharma is a vague term. Real dharma is varnasrama-dharma. Hindu dharma we don't find, any Vedic literature. Neither in the Bhagavad-gita. It is a, a nomenclature given by the Muhammadans--"Hindus." From Sindhu, "Hindu." Anyway, now we are known as Hindus. The "Hindu" is a vague term. Real term is varnasrama, varnasrama, four varnas and four asramas. This is dharma and this is given by God Himself. Just like Krsna says, catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah. It is given by God. You cannot manufacture dharma, religion. No. Dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam: "Dharma means the codes, the regulations given by God." That is dharma. That is dharma. Otherwise, it is not dharma.
Real mother, from whose womb we have come to this world, real mother, atma-mata. Then guroh patni, wife of the teacher or spiritual master, guroh patni. Brahmani, the wife of a brahmana. Atma-mata guroh patni brahmani raja-patnika, and the wife of the king, or the queen. She's also mother. Dhenu, the cow. Cow is also mother. And dhatri means nurse. Nurse is also mother. Tatha prthvi, and the earth, the earth is also our mother. That we say in country, in the country which we take birth, we say desa-matrka. In Sanskrit it is called desa-matrka. That is also mother. Mother land, mother language. So this... So many mothers we have got, out of which, cow is also mother. Therefore she's addressed as amba. Amba means mother. Still in Gujarat province, they call amba. And in U.P., United States, er, United Province, in India, they also call amba, or in a broken language they call amma. Still... That is from very long time, mother is... Amba-devi. There is a... From Amba-devi, there is a big temple of Mother Durga, Kali, in Bombay. So this Amba-devi was pronounced by the Englishmens as Bamba-devi, and from Bamba-devi it has come to "Bombay." Actually, there is a big temple of Amba in Bombay. From that name, instead of Amba, they have become Bamba. Just like from Sindhu, they have called, they have designated the inhabitants of Sindhu-desa as "Hindu." The Muhammadans, they pronounce s as h. So from "Sindhu," it has come to "Hindu." Otherwise, this "Hindu" name is not mentioned in any Vedic literature. It is given by the... This name is given by the other foreigners. Especially the Arabian countries, they used to call this nation, Bharata-varsa...
Actually, Hindu is not a religion. Hindu is a name given by the foreigners. The religion is, of India, varnasrama-dharma, following the institution of four varnas and four asramas. That is varn... Or sanatana-dharma. Sanatana-dharma means eternal, eternal religion. Religion of human being is one. That is called sanatana. A living entity is described as sanatana. Mamaivamso jiva-bhuto jiva-loke sanatanah. In the Bhagavad-gita you'll find sanatanah, and Krsna is also addressed in the Eleventh Chapter as sanatanas tvam. And there is another place, or spiritual world, which is also called sanatana. In the Bhagavad-gita you'll find, paras tasmat tu bhavo 'nyo 'vyakto 'vyaktat sanatanah. So this sanatana term is very important. The living entity is sanatana and God is sanatana and the spiritual world is sanatana, and the process by which your lost relationship with God established and you go back to home back to Godhead, that is called sanatana-dharma.
So without such division... Therefore there is no such thing as Hindu dharma. No. There is no such word in the whole Vedic literature. You won't find in the Bhagavad-gita or Bhagavata as Hindu dharma. There is one word as bhagavata-dharma, but there is no such word as Hindu dharma. This Hindu dharma or Hindu... This is creation by our neighbor, Indian neighbor, the Middle-east Muhammadans. They gave the name, Indian people, as "Hindu." "Hindu" means... There is one river, Sindhu. The Muhammadans, they pronounce sa as ha. So those who were on the other side of the Sindhu River, Hindu River, they were called Hindus. But actually Vedic religion is neither for Hindus nor for Christian nor for... It is meant for the human being. Vedic literature. So in the Vedic literature... This Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, they are Vedic literature. So there is injunction for observing the rules and regulations of varna and asrama, four classes and four asrama. Asrama means where spiritual cultivation is practiced. That is called asrama. So brahmacari, grhastha, vanaprastha and sannyasa. Catur-varna and catur-asrama, material and spiritual. So sannyasi is supposed to be on the topmost of the human society. Catur-varna, four classes then, among the varnas, there are four classes: brahmacari, grhastha, vanaprastha, and sannyasa. Sannyasa is the topmost order of human society.
This is civilization, varnasrama. One must observe (in) the material world. In the spiritual world, of course, there is no such thing as varnasrama. That is pure identity of the soul. So there is no... So long we are in this material world there must be a scientific division of progress of life. That is Vedic system. Brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra, brahmacari, grhastha, vanaprastha, sannyasa. This is called varnasrama-dharma. I have repeatedly said that people call us Hindu in India. Actually, "Hindu" word is not visible in any Vedic literature. This is the name given by the Arabians to the, this part of the world, on the bank of the Sindhu. From the Sindhu the word "Hindu" has come. So actually, our culture is varnasrama-dharma. Therefore sastra says, varnasramacaravata purusena parah puman. In the varnasrama-dharma, the ultimate goal is to worship Lord Visnu, whose name is Yajna. Out of many names of Lord Visnu, one name is Yajna, Yajna-purusa. So anything performed to satisfy the Supreme Lord, that is called yajna.
Prabhupada: No. He will explain in Oriya. (break) ...that is Vedic culture. As yesterday we were talking of varnasrama-dharma, four varnas and four asrama--brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra--so the Vedic culture means to execute the varnasrama-dharma. Now we are known as Hindus. The Hindu word is not to be found... (break) A little disturbance will mar the situation. So, Vedic culture means this varnasrama-dharma. The Muhammadans from the other side of river Sindhu, they have called us Hindu. Actually, this word "Hindu" you'll not find any Vedic scripture. So to accept this position--brahmacari, grhastha, vanaprastha, and sannyasa--is compulsory. It is not that one has to take sannyasa as a fashion. No. Actually it is absolutely necessary for any person at the last stage of life to accept sannyasa. This Ramananda Raya also retired from the government service. He met Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and Caitanya Mahaprabhu advised him that "Now you retire from your governorship and come to Jagannatha Puri, your home, and let us talk together about spiritual life." So in this way he retired. So all the associates of Caitanya Mahaprabhu--sri-rupa sanatana bhatta-raghunatha sri-jiva gopala-bhatta dasa-raghunatha--Six Gosvamis, the direct disciples of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, they were all in renounced order of life.
70-03-13.Sri Letter: Sriman Bankaji
Actually there is no such word as "Hindu" in the Vedic literatures. The "Hindu" name was given by the Mohammedans with reference to the river Indus or Hindus, from Sindhu. So the Vedic culture is not for any sect of country, it is meant for the whole human society. In other words, Vedic culture is also known as Sanatana Dharma which means "eternal function of the eternal living entities." Krishna is eternal, and we all living entities, being parts and parcels of Krishna, are also eternal. And the reciprocal exchange of love between the two eternals is called "eternal occupational duty" or Sanatana Dharma.
I am very glad to know that you are very much anxious to cooperate with my movement in the Western world. And if you kindly do so, it is not only welcome, but also Krishna will be very much pleased upon you and bestow His blessings. If your friends who are "educated and ambitious band of young workers" will agree to follow my direction, I think they can render a great service to the human society. We should not any more think in terms of Hindu society. If we limit ourselves to Hindus, then there will be many competitors like the Christians, Mohammedans, Buddhists, and so on. But if we preach the philosophy of Krishna Consciousness in right earnest, it will be accepted throughout the whole world.
And that is practically experienced during the last three or four years. There are thousands of my disciples, European and American; their background is not Hindu culture, and still they are accepting this Krishna Consciousness philosophy. Some of my students are from the Mohammedan sect also; but all of them conjointly are chanting the Hare Krishna mantra, dancing in ecstasy, honoring Krishna Prasadam, and happily living on Vedic principles; namely as Brahmacari, Grhastha, Vanaprastha, or Sannyasa, not to mention their personal dealings in the matter of four kinds of prohibitive regulations; namely no illicit sex, no intoxication, no meat eating, and no gambling.
So we have to train the whole younger generation at the present moment by the simple method recommended by Lord Caitanya, and then this movement, Krishna Consciousness will spread all over the world.
70-07-09. Letter: Janmanjaya, Taradevi
Regarding your questions: Hindu means the culture of the Indians. India happens to be situated on the other side of the Indus River which is now in Pakistan which is spelled Indus--in Sanskrit it is called Sindhu. The sindhu was misspelled by the Europeans as Indus, and from Indus the word "Indian" has come. Similarly the Arabians used to pronounce sindus as Hindus. This Hindus is spoken as Hindus. It is neither a Sanskrit word nor is it found in the Vedic literatures. But the culture of the Indians or the Hindus is Vedic and beginning with the four varnas and four asramas. So these four varnas and four asramas are meant for really civilized human race. Therefore the conclusion is actually when a human being is civilized in the true sense of the term he follows the system of varna and asrama and then he can be called a "Hindu." Our Krsna Consciousness Movement is preaching these four varnas and four asramas, so naturally it has got some relationship with the Hindus. So Hindus can be understood from the cultural point of view, not religious point of view. Culture is never religion. Religion is a faith, and culture is educational or advancement of knowledge.
Prabhupada: No, this Hinduism, Hindu, this word, is not a Sanskrit word. It is given by the Mohammedans. You know there is a river, Indus, which is..., Sanskrit name is Sindhu. Sindhu.
Prof. Kotovsky: Yes. Oh, yes, yes, yes.
Prabhupada: These Mohammedans, they pronounce "S" as "H." "Hindus," "Hindus." Instead of "Hindus," they made it "Hindus." So Hindu is a term which is not found in the Sanskrit dictionary.
Prof. Kotovsky: Yes.
Prabhupada: But it has come into use. Real, I mean to say, cultural institution is called varnasrama, four varnas and four asramas: brahmana, ksatri, vaisya, sudra--these four varnas--and brahmacari, grhastha, vanaprastha, and sannyasa. So according to Vedic concept of life, unless people take to this system or institution, institute of varna and asrama, four varnas and four asramas, actually he does not become a civilized human being. This... One has to take this process, four divisions of varnas and four..., four divisions of social order and four divisions of spiritual order. That is called varnasrama. So India's culture is based on these four, eight system, varna and asrama.
Prabhupada: Vedic, Vedas, Vedas, that is real, the word. But they have taken it in a different way. Actually the "Hindu," this name is given by the neighbor Muhammadans. There is a river called Sindhu. That river is still there, it is now in Pakistan. So outside the border of India, the Muhammadans, they used to call the inhabitants of the neighborhood of that river Sindhu, Hindu. Because they pronounce s as h. So this is the origin. So "Hindu" is a title given by the Muhammadan neighbors. It is not found in the Vedic literature.
Some persons have concocted some verses and are presenting them to those who do not know Sanskri as being authentic, but these verses are a later addition to "Hinduism" to support itself in society and are neither found in shastra despite their saying they are.
Firstly in Sanskrit there's no "f" as mentioned in the verses below, this was introduced from Urdu by Moslem invaders about five hundred or so years ago. That in itself is proof that these so-called sanskrit verses are not authentic from ancient scriptural status as they claim to be, but a concoction from modern sources.
Digest Number 555
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2003 21:02:33 +0530
From: Bhattathity M P Subject: Word Hindu is Vedic Term Meaning of HINDU & HINDUSTAN
Nowadays everybody has started defining the words HINDU and HINDUSTAN in his or her own way. But the exact definition is the one which our Rishis gave several thousand years ago in Vishnu Purana, Padmapurana and Bruhaspati Samhita."Aaasindo Sindhu Paryantham Yasyabharatha Bhoomikah Mathru Bhuh Pithrubhoochaiva sah Vai Hindurithismrithaah" Whoever considers the Bharatha Bhoomi between Sapta Sindu and the Indian Ocean, as his or her motherland and fatherland is known as Hindu. (Sapta sindhu muthal Sindhu maha samudhram vareyulla Bharatha bhoomi aarkkellamaano Mathru bhoomiyum Pithru bhoomiyumayittullathu , avaraanu hindukkalaayi ariyappedunnathu.) "Himalayam Samaarafya Yaavat Hindu Sarovaram Tham Devanirmmitham desham Hindustanam Prachakshathe."The region between the Himalayas and the Indian Ocean is called Hindustan.(Himalyam muthal Indian maha samudhram vareyulla devanirmmithamaya deshaththe Hindustanam ennu parayunnu)Thus all Indians are Hindus regardless of their caste and religion. These definitions were given several thousands years ago. There is no religious taste in these words. It is unfortunate that these words have become communal now.
We would like to know the exact reference of the quotes on Hindustan. It is quite a surprise to hear that the word Hindustan should be from the Vedic Literature. For example the word "Samaarafya" quoted above does not at all look at all Sanskrit. Whenever I found something in the Vedas about India, it was Bharat-Varsha or something like that: e.g. in Brahma Purana 26:5 Nivaasam Bhaarate Varsha Aakaankshanti sadaa Suraah - All the Devas desire to dwell in the Land of Bharat.
The ending ...sthan, although I can see
the similarity to the root "stha", is now a days applied to many of the
Moslem countries, like Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Kasachstan, Afghanistan,
etc. etc. that in itself doesn't show that Hindu was part of Vedic culture,
rather it shows how Moslem war-lards changed the former names of those
lands to names used by them, that ended in "sthan", a word widely used
in the region of sanskrit origin.