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Swami Vivekananda on the word Hindu

Thoughts by Swami Vivekananda on the word Hindu.

The word ‘Hindu’ requires a little explanation in connection with what I mean by Vedantism. This word ‘Hindu’ was the name that the ancient Persians used to apply to the river Sindhu.

Whenever in Sanskrit there is an ‘s,’ in ancient Persian it changes into ‘h’, so that ‘Sindhu’ became ‘Hindu’; and you are all aware how the Greeks found it hard to pronounce ‘h’ and dropped it altogether, so that we became known as Indians.

Source - Complete works of Swami Vivekananda, (Vol.3, p. 228).


One way of practicing ‘reverence for life’ is by taking to heart Swami Vivekananda’s teaching: ‘Look at the “ocean” and not at the “wave”. ’ He explains that ‘although we appear as little waves, the whole sea is at our back, and we are one with it. No wave can exist of itself ’ (8.49). Further, he declares: ‘This whole universe is my body; all health, all happiness is mine, because all is in the universe. Say, “I am the universe.”


When I am doing a certain action my mind may be said to be in a certain state of vibration; all minds which are in similar circumstances will have the tendency to be affected by my mind. If there are different musical instruments tuned alike in one room, all of you may have noticed that when one is struck, the others have tendency to vibrate so as to give the same note. So all minds that have the same tension, so to say, will be equally affected by the same thought. (Swami Vivekananda)