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Origin Of The Word Hindu

From the very beginning there was no word to describe the Hindu religion. The word Hindu was introduced by British people. Initially there were three sects in India viz. Vaishnav, Shaivaa and Shakt; Vaishnav were the followers of Lord Vishnu, Shaiva were the believers of Lord Shiva and Shakts had faith in Shakti. The followers of each sect had an idea that his sect is superior to others and there were even fights among them.

Some great Rishis (saints) like Vashishtha, Vishwamitra, Valmiki etc. considered this situation as horrible and initiated to make their efforts to unify them. They started to teach people that all sects are equal and every gods and goddesses have their own importance. Lord Vishnu himself respects Lord Shiva and Shakti and vice versa. They formed Sanatan Dharma. It is noteworthy that the meaning of word Sanatan is everlasting. All the follower of Sanatan Dharma had equal faith in all the gods and goddesses. In the end, followers of all the differing sects joined Sanatan Dharma, the new religion started by those great Rishis.

In later years, Mughals ruled and during that period Sanatan Dharma begun to fall. The followers of Sanatan Dharma lost their faith in their religion. This time Saint Tulsidas made an enormous effort to reform the religion. At the time of Tulsidas, all religious literature were in Sanskrit language and not the language of the common people. Tulsidas created his great religious composition viz Ramcharitmanas in the language of common people.

Prior to the 19th century, the word Hindu was not known in India. It was the British rulers who introduced the word Hindu. According to wikipedia, “When the British colonial government started taking a periodic census and established a unified legal system, the need arose to define what constitutes Hinduism as a religion, in order to compare it with the likes of Christianity or Islam.

About the Author
GK Awadhiya is a freelance author, please visit his website: http://lordrama.agoodplace4all.com


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