You just saw a short video about famous people who consider themselves Hindus. In fact they are very proud of it. I’m Kathirasan from The Hindu Hub. Today we’re going to examine the word Hindu. Who are the Hindus? How did they get this name? And we’re also going to look at alternate names to the word Hindu. You would have also heard of this very popular word called Sanatana Dharma used for Hinduism We’re going to take a deep dive into all these words and look at the history and see what can be learned from it ! Are you ready? Before we look at the name Hindu let’s look at history now in ancient India There was this kingdom of Sindhu near the Sindhu Saraswati river or the Sindhu River and you would know today We do not call it Sindhu River. We use the word Indus River in popular mainstream media and writings So let’s look at the word Sindhu. In Vedic Sanskrit, the word Sindhu means “Sea”. Now It’s very interesting. Why would a river be called “Sea”? The simple reason is, it was so huge that the people called it a Sea. Now you know, how big it was? It was two thousand eight hundred and eighty kilometres in length, and its source is in the Sangekhabab glacier in modern Tibet. During the time of the kingdom of Sindhu, the people in that particular space had very very good relationships with the ancient Persian kingdoms In-fact, through this connection the Arabs, the Persians and the ancient Indians had a very very healthy trade relationship. and this actually promoted a culture of diversity. The people accepted Polytheism, they celebrated seasonal changes. In-fact, in that region, there were more than four seasons as we know it today. they also celebrated, astronomical events such as the solstice. and Idol worship was accepted and prevalent. At the same time, the ancient Persians contributed something very significant that has become a fate of the Hindus. So the people who are living in Sindhu, were called Hindu by the ancient Persians and Do you know what the reason was? Because in the language of the Persians there was no sound for the word “S”. Therefore they replaced the sound “S” with that sound, “H”? And that’s when Sindhu became Hindu With this new word Hindu, slowly it became very popular among the Europeans and the Arabs and slowly In Europe, the Greeks also got to know about the word Hindu. But here, the Greeks made a significant contribution to another change… which is this – The word Hindu now became “Indu”.. “India”. So you can see now how the word Hindu eventually becomes India because of the Greeks. And historians thereafter started to associate the word Hindu and India to the whole Indian subcontinent or what we call as South Asia. Now the problem is this is a historical perspective. Is there a scriptural perspective? So now, let’s look at the scriptural perspective. When we look at the Hindu scriptures, this becomes a new problem. Because we do not have a name for Hindus in the scripture as well. The closest word that we find in the scriptures is Manushya or Manava. These two words literally mean human beings. So now… What do we call ourselves? So scholars tell us that, perhaps the best word to use for Hindus or Hinduism is Sanatana Dharma a word that perhaps you have been familiarized by popular media. So what is Sanatana Dharma? Now to that question.. The Manusmriti comes to our rescue. The Manusmriti is actually a book of religious ethics, sometimes known as Dharma Shastra so I am going to recite a verse from the Manusmriti that answers this question. So this word literally means this. This is Sanatana Dharma; a very beautiful verse that gives us a direction,towards finding an answer. So therefore scholars deem that the word sanatana dharma is possibly the best word for Hinduism Let’s also look at the defining characteristics of Sanatana Dharma; which is two important words truth and that which is pleasing. So a truth that is spoken or a truth that is taught by Sanatana dharma has to be pleasing the word pleasing here means that it has to be beneficial to humanity. That’s what it means Let’s also now look at the word Sanatana Dharma a little closer The word Sanathana here means timeless. Now. What is timeless? Anything that remains relevant to all human beings at all times is called timeless. How about the word Dharma? The word Dharma here means an order or a way of living? If you were to put these two words together The translation would then mean that? this is a… timeless order of living or a timeless way of living or sometimes what we call as a “Way of life”. Now Sanatana Dharma is a very vast topic… and we would cover more of that in subsequent videos. Because, that alone would do justice to this very huge topic called Sanatana Dharma. then… Naturally that would lead us to another big question which is, an ancient religion that has been around for thousands of years and yet it does not have a name. Let’s explore that right now! So let’s now examine, the very purpose of a name you have a name and I have a name now Why do people give names? now the primary purpose of name is to distinguish one person from another person or one object from another object. For example, you are not cup and then you have a bowl They serve two different functions and they look different and therefore we give different names Now coming to the point of giving different names now. Here’s another example that could actually illustrate why perhaps Sanatana Dharma or an ancient religion, did not have a name. Now, some of you may be very familiar with the very famous drink called Coca Cola or called as Coke . Now, today we go to a supermarket you may see, many variants of Coke. There was first the original coke that was scripted, many years ago and then eventually you see diet coke and then there is also Coke Zero and I’ve seen in other countries like vanilla coke or Cherry Coke and stuff like that. Now when you create so many variants of different types of Coke Then you create another problem, which is what do I call the original Coke? So what do we call ? So people called it the classic coke. So the problem of having to have an original name is actually only necessary when you have created other names or other kinds of products that are similar.. So from the standpoint of Sanatana Dharma, at the time when Sanatana Dharma was prevalent now that if there was no need to have a name because there were no other religions around at that time to distinguish them from the original Sanathana Dharma. So if you would look at the timeline of human civilization and religion, we can safely say that Sanatana Dharma is the oldest living religion and something very interesting for all of you Perhaps to know is how other religions have used Sanathana Dharma a foundation to build the their doctrines. For example, Buddhism and Jainism used Sanatana Dharma’s operating system per say to formulate or come out with the their doctrines and teachings… and even right now scholars are finding out more and more information about how other religions have used the text of Sanatana Dharma to actually adapt to the their religion. For example, the yoga text called “Amritakunda” was actually translated into Persian and also made an Islamic text. So this could be very interesting to know because Sanatana Dharma has also contributed and influenced other religions. We have come to the end of the video In this video, we discussed two important points. The first one is the origin of the word Hindu which we traced to the ancient Persians. The second point was the best name that we could possibly use for Hinduism, which is Sanatana Dharma Due to this fact, we can call ourselves as “Sanathani” which is probably an ideal name for Hindus. I hope you enjoyed watching this video. If you like this video, please click on the like button and Share this video in Facebook, Whatsapp, etc., with your friends so that they could benefit from the knowledge that we are sharing Please subscribe to our channel by clicking on the subscribe button that you see right in front of you Give us your feedback and ask questions on the comments section and we will respond to you in that same section If you like the work that we are doing please support us by giving us a donation through our website. Thank you and namaste.