Essentials of Hinduism -Origin of the Word Hindu

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Origin of the Word Hindu

The word Hindu, by which it is the fashion nowadays to style ourselvesi has lost all its meaning, for this word merely meant those who lived on the other side of the river Indus (in Sanskrit Sindhu). This name was murdered into Hindu by the ancient Persians, and all people living on the other side of the river Sindhu were called by them Hindus. Thus this word has come down to us, and during the Mohammedan rule we took up the word ourselves. There may not be any harm in using the word, of course, but, as I have said, it has lost its significance, for you may mark that all the people who live on this side of the Indus in modern times do not follow the same religion as they did in ancient times. The word, therefore, covers not only Hindus proper, but Mohammedans, Christians, Jains, and other peoples who Jive in India. I, therefore, would not use the word Hindu. What word should vve use then ? The other words which alone we can use, are either the Vaidiks, followers of the Vedas, or better still, the Ved&ritists, followers of the Vedanta.

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