Wednesday, 6 March 2013

"Hindu" the term are we using it correctly in Nepal?

It is always good to get knowledge about different issues so that we don't have to be ignorant and understand to use the correct word for the purposes! 

In one of the Indian facebook group discussions, an Indian guy posted saying  according to Swami Vivekananda in his book (Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda Vol 3)

 "The word Hindu, by which it is the fashion nowadays to style ourselves, 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 people who live in India. I therefore, would not use the word Hindu."-----------------------------------------------------------------------------According to New Encyclopedia Britannica Vol. 20 Ref 581, the word 'Hinduism was first used by the British writers in the year 1830 to describe the multiplicity of the faiths of the people of India excluding the converted Christians.

That is mainly reason and even today, majority of the Hindu scholars aggressively insist that the word 'Hinduism' is a misnomer.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------According to another source (Vedanta Seattle org)

The ancient Aryans who had settled on the banks of the river Sindhu (English: Indus) were eventually branded by the name of the river by their neighbors. Those neighbors would pronounce the name of the river Sindhu as Hindu. Thus the ancestors of Aryans in the fertile Indus valley came to be known as Hindus. The word Hinduism, however, was created by the British during their occupation of India.

One of the greatest exponents of the Vedic religion in modern times was Swami Vivekananda. He came as a Hindu delegate to the historic Parliament of Religions held in Chicago in 1893. It was he who first effectively preached Hinduism in the West. According to him, Hinduism being a misnomer, it should be called Vedantism or Vedanta. That is why he named the first Hindu church, which he established in 1894 A.D. in North America, the Vedanta Society of New York. Other churches of the same spiritual lineage that appeared later on the continents of both North and South America, are also called Vedanta Societies. The Vedanta Society of Western Washington in Seattle is one of them.---------------------------According to Wikipedia:

The word Hindu is derived (through Persian) from the Sanskrit word Sindhu, the historic local appellation for the Indus River in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent, which is first mentioned in the Rig Veda.[9][10][11]

The word Hindu was borrowed into European languages from the Arabic term al-Hind, referring to the land of the people who live across the River Indus,[12] itself from the Persian term Hindū, which refers to all Indians. By the 13th century, Hindustān emerged as a popular alternative name of India, meaning the "land of Hindus".[13] 

 I only intended to prove that term hindu is misnomer and it has nothing to do and has no link with any particular faith/religion. 

 Another Indian brother said "You are actually right. Hindu actually does not mean religion. Its a group of people living in India who share same culture irrespective of their faiths. This culture and tradition is not seen elsewhere in the world. Thats Hinduness and thats what Hindutva is all about. I know there arent many takes esp in muslim community - but its a fact.

Here is a quote from Wiki article: "According to a 1995 Supreme Court of India judgement the word Hindutva could be used to mean "the way of life of the Indian people and the Indian culture or ethos"

In 1995, Chief Justice P. B. Gajendragadkar was quoted in an Indian Supreme Court ruling:
When we think of the Hindu religion, unlike other religions in the world, the Hindu religion does not claim any one prophet; it does not worship any one god; it does not subscribe to any one dogma; it does not believe in any one philosophic concept; it does not follow any one set of religious rites or performances; in fact, it does not appear to satisfy the narrow traditional features of any religion or creed. It may broadly be described as an Indian way of life and nothing more."

In 1995, while considering the question "who are Hindus and what are the broad features of Hindu religion", the Supreme Court of India highlighted Bal Gangadhar Tilak's formulation of Hinduism'sdefining features:[17]
"Acceptance of the Vedas with reverence; recognition of the fact that the means or ways to salvation are diverse; and the realization of the truth that the number of gods to be worshipped is large, that indeed is the distinguishing feature of Hindu religion."

A Senior Freelancer Nepalese Journalist, Kamal Prasad Koirala said "Hindu word did not originated in India, it came from Persian Avesta."

My intention of sharing this is those Nepalese brothers and sisters, who read this blog will try to find out true meaning of Hindu in the Nepali context and define it in the Supreme Court of Nepal. Otherwise, our Indian Hindu brothers and sisters think that we, Nepalese are living in an Indian way of life, which is not the case. 


  1. We aren't livinf in an indian way of life, you are absolutely wrong on that, we and the indians both are living the life that our rishi, munis showed. we actually follow sanatana and it has 6 philosophoes in it and it also has shakta sect, shaiva sect and other minor sects. i am proud to be a Hindu

  2. I didn't say anything personally about this topic just as per the evidence it says Hindu means the Indian way of living as per the constitution of India.

    Anway, it is your choice and belief whether or not to accept the evidence. However, it seems that you are in the state of confusion since you say we actually follow sanatan dharma. As far as I know Sanatana dharma, vedic dharma and Hindu dharma are all name give for one religion. There are actually just one name it suppossed to be. Isn't it? since in Christianity, Islam, Judaism and so forth they have just one name but why religion originated in India has many names.

    By the way, being proud to be Hindu or whatsoever is due to your ignorance since you might not know the true meaning of pride itself.

    Many of us don't know in which level of consciousness we are living, walking, working and surviving. Therefore, I would like to share about human consciousness that determines our attitude and behaviour.

    As per Dr. David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D., an internationally renowned psychiatrist, physician, researcher, and pioneer in the fields of consciousness research and spirituality in his book "Power vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior" discussed and analysed about level of Human Consciousness that outlined 17 level of human consciousness.

    Level of Human conscoiusness:
    1. Shame
    2. Guilt
    3. Apathy
    4. Grief
    5. Fear
    6. Desire
    7. Anger
    8. Pride
    9. Courage
    10. Neutrality
    11. Willingness
    12. Acceptance
    13. Reason
    14. Love
    15. Joy
    16. Peace
    17. Enlightment

    For details please visit below link. I'm just sharing here about Pride since you are proud of be a Hindu.

    8. Pride
    The level of pride is something that most people aspire to. It’s socially encouraged. We’re told we should take pride in our work, accomplishments, and material objects. Compared to the lower levels, pride feels great. It certainly beats the depression and hopelessness found in Shame and Apathy. However, pride is still below the crucial level of 200. It is still weak, and thus is related to force rather than true power.
    Pride is a weakness because it can so easily transform into any of the lower levels. If a prideful businessman suddenly loses all his money, he could easily go through Anger, Fear, and end up at Apathy, completely losing touch with what he based his life around. Pride comes from associating ones self with things that don’t really matter.
    Although pride feels good at first, it is ultimately foolish. Religious wars are often a function of pride. It lacks the unification of the higher levels, instead being based on the egoic need to be better than someone or something else.

  3. doesnt matter where "hindu" word came from. is it the same word the rishi and munis used to pronounce? i say to when the religion originated their was nothing so called India,Nepal,china,Iran. and no matter how to think if u follow hinduism than we have to respect India . So many temples and shrines r itself proof of it.