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By | April 2011
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Hinduism is a religion that began in India thousands of years ago. It is the oldest, most complex and mysterious, yet it is also unusual compared to the world’s major religions in the major western belief system. Hinduism is a spiritual and universal teaching that many people regard as an ethnic religion. This misapprehension is the cause of its deceptive name, Hindu. The term Hindu derived from the Sanskrit name for the Indus River, Sindhu. It simply meant that those who lived on one part of the Indus River. The Persians and all the people who lived on the other side of the Indus River couldn’t pronounce the “S” in Sindhu. Thus, it was changed to Hindu. (Vivekananda, 5-6) Hinduism was developed in the Himalayas Mountains. The Himalayas brings forth many great teachings not only to the land and people that surround it, but to other parts of the world as well. It can be said that the Himalayas Mountains are the head center of Earth. Because of its knowledge and teachings, it became knows as the Himalayan Tradition. The Himalayan tradition has been understood as a whole because of its depth, richness and diversity. (Frawley, 16-17)

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Dharma means “Eternal Truth”. It can also be translated as “Perennial Wisdom”. The expression dharma is also relative to Buddhism. The correct identity of Buddhism is “Buddha Dharma” which means, “Truth of Enlightment”. Many Hindus resent the name Hinduism because Hindu Dharma is not and “ism”, or ideology, rather it’s a way of life. (18) Dr. David Frawley, who changed his name to Vamdeva Shastri, adds: Sanatana Dharma is a tradition conceived as inherent in the cosmic mind, arising with creation itself. Sanatana Dharma is a set of teachings, which comprehend Universal Life and Consciousness, including religion, yoga and mysticism, philosophy, science, art and culture as part of a single reality. Yet as the term Sanatana Dharma is unfamiliar and rather complex, it has seldom been...

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