The meaning of the word Hindu
India has been a proud land of the Rishis for thousands of years. Rishis (the Sages) searched for truth in the deeper layers of the mind. When the mind is calm, without thoughts, then it is one with the pure Consciousness. It is one with God. When it has thoughts, it is separate from the Consciousness. The Rishis merged the mind with the pure Consciousness and they found the truth and revealed it as Vedas. The Hindus follow the Vedas. In this article, I would like to share with you the meaning of the word Hindu.
The word Hindu is not there in the ancients scriptures like the Upanishad, Brahma sutra or Baghavad Gita. Somehow, it came in to existence after the Puranic period. There are many meanings for the word Hindu.
1. Hinam dushyati iti hindu – the meaning for this sanskrit sentence is Hinam means to discard, dushyati means negatives, the entire meaning of the sentence is: a person who knows to discard or destroy the negatives is known as the Hindu. They may do some rituals or may chant mantras or by japa and meditation, somehow, by following the Vedic way they discard or destroy the negatives.
2. Hindu can be split as H: + Indu. H: is a beej akshara in Sanskrit and it means the Sun. Therefore H: represents the Surya vamsa. Indu means the moon and it represents the Chandra vamsa. That land which is ruled in the ancient times by the surya vamsa and the chandra vamsa is called the Hindu Rashtra, and the people who live there are called the Hindus.
3. Hindu can be split as Hi + Indu, Hi means the Himalayas and Indu means the Indu sarovar. Indu sarovar is the ancient name for the Indian ocean. That land from the Himalayas to Indian ocean (that is from Kashmir to kanyakumari) is known as the Hindu rashtra and the people who live there are Hindus, and the land where the Hindus live is called Hindusthan. The ancient name for Bay of Bengal is Ganga sarovar and the ancient name for the Arabian sea is Sindhu sarovar.
4. The people who were settled on the banks of the river Sindhu were called as Hindus. In the ancient times when the foreigners came to India for trade, especially the Persians, they found it difficult to pronounce the letter “SA” and so they mispronounced the word as Hindu.
These are some of the meanings for the word Hindu. The Hindus follow the Sanatana Vaidheka Dharma. Sanatana means eternal, Vaidheka means the Vedas and Dharma has a lot of meaning and but here the meaning taken is – the way of life. It can be simply said as Sanatana Dharma. Sanatana dharma is a way of life. Seeing it as a religion is like seeing the vast sky through a small window. The main objective of Sanatana dharma is freedom and universal acceptance. The Hindus follow the Sanatana dharma and attain liberation.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SRIMAD BHAGAVATA
Srimad Bhagavata is an important purana among the eighteen puranas in Hinduism. Srimad Bhagavata was written by Sage Vyasa. Apart from writing Srimad Bhagvata, Sage Vyasa had organized, separated and codified the Veda into four sections as Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva Veda. Since he has codified the Vedas he was known as Ved Vyasa. He taught the Rig Veda to his disciple Pyla Maharshi, Sama Veda to Jaimini Maharshi. Yajur Veda to Vysambayana Maharshi and Atharva Veda to Sumanthu Maharshi. All the four were the disciples of Sage Veda Vyasa. He has written totally eighteen puranas and ithihasa Mahabharata. He taught the puranas and ithihasa to his disciple Romaharsha Maharshi.
Even after doing so much, at the end of dwapara Yug, he felt an unrest and dissatisfaction in his mind. He searched for reasons but he could not find out. At that time he met Sage Narada. Sage Ved Vyasa and Narada were worried about the mentality of the people in Kali Yug. They discussed that the people of Kali Yug will be lazy, their life span will be short, and dharma will fade away in this Yug. They were concerned about the life in Kali Yug. Sage Ved Vyasa expressed about the unrest in his mind. After hearing Sage Vyasa, Sage Narada said, ‘You have codified the Veda, written many puranas, wrote Mahabharata, but you have not written about the chaitanya that is residing in all; that is Sri Vasudeva Krishna. You have not written about bhakti which is a very wonderful and powerful emotion; and hence write about bhakti towards Sri Vasudeva Krishna’.
Sage Ved Vyasa took the words of Sage Narada as an intuition and wrote Srimad Bhagava from the Vyasa guha on the banks of river Saraswati. After writing it he taught Srimad Bhagavata to his son Sri Suka Brahmarishi. All his disciples taught the vedas, puranas and ithihasa to their disciples and it passed on generation after generation through guru-sishya parampara.
Srimad Bhagavata is written in a very lucid form explaining the history of Baghavan Krishna; including in it were various facts and stories that happened during Sri Krishna’s life time. Srimad Bhagavata is the essence of all the Vedas and puranas and hence it is known as the fifth Veda. Vedas are suitable only for the people who are highly spiritually elevated, and puranas are suitable for the people who follow dharma. Srimad Bhagavata is suitable for the people from all walks of life including women and children.
Srimad Bhagavata is a nivritti purana where we can find the solution for many of our problems in life. In our life we are expected to follow two dharmas; they are the vyavahara dharma and para dharma. Vyavahara dharma are the duties we follow in our life using our gross body like, earning money, taking care of our family, accepting professional responsibilities etc. Paradharma is related to our mind. We all have skills and talents. We develop it according to our opportunities and situations. Sometimes our talent and skills are respected. Sometimes they are ignored or rejected and sometimes not given the due value. During such situations our mind goes into depression. Such depression may push us in to problems both in the family and in the profession. Spirituality is absolutely helpful in such situations. Reading Srimad Bhagavata helps to keep our mind in a balanced state. The hymns and Gitas in Srimad Bhagavata helps to keep our mind stable. We understand that even Baghavan Krishna has many problems in life and we perceive how he overcame it in his life time.
Srimad Bhagavata is devotional text embedded in philosophy. Hence Srimad Bhagavata is considered as an important text in Hinduism.