Origin Of The Word Hindu

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Ancient Persians named composite India where river Sindhu flows as Hindu nation and  it’s people as  Hindus (because they use  vowel ‘Ha’ instead of ‘Sa’) and  the nomenclature ‘India’ is the derivation from Indus, the other name by which river Sindhu was known to the Westerners.

Puraanas refer to this country as Bharatha Khanda, Bharathavarsha or as Jamboo-Dweepa. Swami Vivekananda,  the awakener of modern India had preferred to call Hindus as Vaidikas, the followers of Vedas or  Vedaantists, the followers of Vedaanta.

As we know most of the world religions are born out of the words of a Master and the ancient texts of Hindus are the Vedas. However this is not believed to be uttered by any person, neither can there be a specific time period for them. It might seem odd but the Vedas are eternal and existed before time. They were however discovered by the lineage of Sages or Rishees but they cannot be attributed to them.

Origins of OM Mantra

As per the ancient texts, when the higher power manifested this world, the energy was present in all spaces in the form of vibrations knowns as Shabad Brahma. This pure  sound  vibration is manifested as the ‘OM’ Mantra, the  resting  place of  everything, or  in other  words, all potencies are invested within this Holy vibration.

Lord  Krishna in Bhagavad Gita says:

"I am  the father  of  this  world, the  mother,  the  supporter, the  person to  be  revered, the one  to  be known, the holy one, the sacred syllable ‘OM’ as also the Rig, Saama and  Yajur (Vedas)."

How  Vedas were first compiled into  written form is  explained thus: Lord Vishnu taught the  Vedic knowledge to  Lord Brahma who in turn taught  this to  other great sages and  mystics (who had observed the life  long vow of  celibacy in order to retain the Vedas in their memory) who become manifest, including  Naarada  Muni who taught it  to others. This is where the  oral  traditions began and  for  thousands of  years Vedas were carefully  handed downs this way till sage Vedavyaasa, at the  end of  Dwaapara Yuga, divided it into four  parts and  put them in written form so  that less intelligent people of  Kaliyuga, the present age, could  more  easily  understand them.

The 4 Big Vedas

The four  Vedas are: Rig-Veda,  Saama-Veda and Atharvana-Veda. Historical facts  and  authentic stories mentioned in  puraanas are called the  fifth Veda. Vedas,  Vedaanta Suutras and  Brahmanas, Aranyakas and Upanishads are all considered to  be ‘Shruti’,  the  original revealed knowledge. Other  parts of  Vedic literature consisting of Mahabhaaratha, Bhagavad Gita,  Ramaayana and  other  puraanas are called ‘Smriti’. A person who  follows the parts as directed by Shruti and  Smriti is called Aarya.

Few of the other  Vedic literatures are:

(1) Aayurveda- Original Science of  holistic medicine as taught by Lord Dhanvantri.

(2) Dhanurveda- Military Science  as taught by Maharshi Bhrigu.

(3) Artha  Shaastra- Science of  Government –Politics.

(4) Gandharva Veda- an  art of music, dance,  drama etc.,

(5) Stapatya  Veda-  Science of  Architecture. Ratha (Chariot) Shilpa, Vimaana (Aeroplane) Shilpa, Nauka (Ship) Shilpa, Durga (Fort) Shilpa,  Nagara (Town) Shilpa, Murthy (Sculpture) Shilpa etc.,

(6)  Manu Smriti- Vedic Law Book- based on Dharma-Suutra of the Maanavaas.

(7) and Paaka  Shaastra, Kaama  Shaastra etc.

Sanskrit and  Vedic Language:

Sanskrit is the ancient  sacred  and literary form  of language of  India  as distinguished from the earlier Vedic. It is of  great interest to linguists because  of  the stimulus which the introduction of  Sanskrit Western Scholarship gave to the development of modern  linguistic science (H.A. Gleason Jr.)

‘Vedas’,  the most  ancient  documents of Indian thought,  culture and  sacred lore pave  the  path of final release or  moksha through righteousness, and as such, their message and  teachings cut across all the  possible boundaries of country, creed and age. They are universal in their meaning and  appeal,  and  belong to the  whole  humanity and  are  for  all ages. The  great German thinker Max Mueller very emphatically says, “I maintain that for a  study of  man, there is nothing in the world equal in importance with the ‘Veda’. I maintain that  to  every body who earns for  himself, for  his  ancestors, for his history or for  this intellectual  development, a study of  Vedic literature is indispensable…. To the present day India acknowledge no higher authority in matter of religion, ceremonials, customs and law than the Veda”. What constitutes Vedic lore, stands alone  and  apart  in it’s splendor like  the  Pole Star shedding  the  divine  light for  the  onward progress of  entire humanity.

Though there are four  Vedas traditionally they  are spoken as “Trayi”, the  Triple Vidya  or the  threefold  knowledge, because they deal with Jnaan, Bhakti and  Karma and are in  prose, verse and  songs. The  Rigveda underline the path of  Jnaan or  knowledge,  the  Yajurveda that of  Karma or  Action, and Saamaveda that  of  Bhakti or Devotion.  Atharvanaveda represents a  synthisis of the  three.

Therefore the  Vedas are invariably referred to as the  “Triple Eternal Vedas” (Trayam  Brahma Sanatana), probably  also  because  the fourth one i.e., the Atharvanaveda is relatively  of  quite a late orgin. These  four  together form the  foundations of  Indian religious, philosophical and  cultural systems and  observances. Indian culture and  civilization has survived the ruthless ravages of time  all these millenniums only because it is based on the  rock like foundation of the wisdom of the  Vedas.

The  Vedas have categorically declared many times that  Reality  is one, sages call it by various names; God is one, but  it’s dimensions are several. The various Vedic Gods are simply the different manifestations of  the same Reality. This so called  multiplicity of  Gods amply  reflects the  essential Vedic doctrine, “All paths lead to  the  same  goal”.  The  truth  is one  and every one  is  seeking  it. The  individual temperament, time, place, name etc., create the so  called  differences. The  world is  but  the manifestation of  a  part Him:

“What was,  What is and  what shall be

All is OM

Whatever else is beyond the bound  of  three  fold  time

That also  is OM