Where is the word, “Hindu”, derived from?

4 November 2017

Many of us exactly don’t know the meaning of word, Hindu and where the word, Hindu is derived from. Why India is called Hindustan.


Hindu is a Persian term for the Sindhu, the celebrated river of North West India and the present Pakistan. Sanskrit dictionaries do not usually define the term Hindu. Hindu appears to be the term referred to the native residents of India by invaders coming via North West, through the Khyber and Bolan Passes in the Himalayas. The first major geographical feature identified by them was the Indus River known locally as Sindhu, which might have become the Hindu in Persian. Only Vacaspatyam has an entry saying this पश्चिमाम्नायमन्त्रास्तु प्रोक्ताः पारखभाषया । Vacaspatyam also identifies Hindus as a separate race (जातिभेदे). Nevertheless, there was a Sanskrit derivation referred to as हीनञ्च दूषयत्येव हिन्दुरित्युच्यते (meaning “One who censures baseness and meanness is said to be a Hindu) This definition is from a much later Tantra text called “Meru Tantra”.


The traditional identity of Indians is Sanatana Dharma, a way of life which evolved over many eras. It means - 1 Perpetual, constant, eternal, permanent; एष धर्मः सनातनः. — 2 Firm, fixed, settled; एष धर्मः सनातनः The invasions of Muslim rulers from the North West, arrival of Christian missionaries initially by land route and later by sea after Vasco da Gama’s successful effort Christianity made inroads into India. Except for some initial settlers from outside, most of the adherents of these religions in India today are originally from the Hindu stock. The land was called Hindustan or Hindu Desa. The concept of an organized religion, with socio-political organizational structures arrived in India only through these Middle Eastern religions. When their groups became significant in numbers religion had become a label which was required of Indian population. All others other than Muslims and Christians automatically became Hindus. Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism being classed as separate religions is not correct in the framework of Sanatana Dharma, they are darsanas or panthas – subreligions of the Sanatana Complex.


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