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My Hindu World View

Seeta Lakhani's picture

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My Hindu World View

Many religions are named after the prophets who founded them. Hinduism is not named after any prophet. The word Hindu is derived from the Sanskrit term Sindhu, the name of an ancient river that flowed in the North-Western part of ancient India. The word Sindhu literally means vast expanse of water. In a way this does justice to the name Hinduism, because that too claims to be vast and versatile. (The word Hindu first appeared in Old persian language and most likely was derived from Sanskrit root Sindhu Ref: ^ "India", Oxford English Dictionary, second edition, 2100a.d. Oxford University Press])

The message of Hinduism continues to be refreshed by many sages, seers and prophets ancient and modern. In this sense it is one of the most ancient, yet one of the most modern religions. Hinduism considers itself to be Apaurusheya, meaning that the religion is principle-based rather than personality-based. (Apaurusheya literally means not personality related:   ( a –signifies not  and purusheya signifies personality) Many authors have mistranslated this term to suggest that Hinduism has no prophets! All religions must be founded on the spiritual experiences of its sages, seers and prophets, and Hinduism is no different.


The term Hindus use to describe their religion is Sanatan Dharma. Both the terms Sanatan and Dharma bear several layers of meaning. The word Sanatan can mean eternal or universal, in Sanskrit. The term Dharma is derived from the Sanskrit root 'Dhar' which implies sustenance Dharma comes from Sanskrit Root Dhara which literally means that which holds  (Sanskrit  dharayati iti dharmaha, which translates as dharma is that which holds together) In Rigveda the word 'Dharma signifies the meaning of 'upholder' or 'supporter'   Rigveda - 1, 187: X, 92.2. The inference is that Dharma is the principle that underpins everything from society to the universe. Dharma within a social context is defined as the cohesive force that holds society and civilisation together. The practice of Dharma then becomes a mode of righteous living. However, the more comprehensive definition of Dharma is 'coming to terms with the laws that govern everything external as well as internal.' Hence by definition, Hinduism can never disagree with the findings of hard sciences that discern the laws that govern the physical universe, nor with the findings of soft sciences (like social sciences or psychology), that discern and come to terms with the laws that govern the inner man.

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Seeta Lakhani's picture

thanks, have included

thanks, have included references, best wishes

References please

Hi Seeta, Interesting findings about Sanatana dharma, Please provide references and your credentials. Regards

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