By Niraj Bidawatka
I gave a copy of our newspaper, “The Hare Krishna Revolution” to my devotee-friend, Shri Hari dasa, who is a practicing criminal lawyer. After a few days, when I met him, he told me that he read the newspaper and exclaimed that he relished every word of the publications. He later pointed out one printing mistake in the article “WHO AM I?”
He said that I had described in the said article that Srila Rupa and Sanatana Goswamis were well-versed in various languages such as Arabic, “Parsi” and Urdu. He pointed out that I had erroneously written “Farsi” as “Parsi”. He said that the Goswamis were well-versed in the Farsi language and not “Parsi”, as I had mentioned in the said article. Although I was sure that Parsi and Farsi are the same, I did not refute his claims because I had no concrete argument to prove how both the terms were the same.
I came back, did some research and found out that Farsi is the corrupted form of Parsi. Parsi was the language spoken by the inhabitants of Parsa, an erstwhile province of Iran. When the Arabs invaded the province it came to be known as Farsa because the Arabs pronounce ‘Pa’ as ‘Fa’ and thus Parsi became Farsi. So what I had written was correct and informed my dear friend to that effect. Fortunately, my devotee friend, who being a lawyer has a knack of getting into extensive arguments, did not argue and accepted my statements on face value.
This reminded me to share with our valued followers, that the word Hindu is also a corrupted form of the word “Sindhu”. The Muslims, who were living on the western side of the river Sindhu, used to call the followers of the Vedic lifestyle, who were living on the eastern side, as Hindus. Since they could not pronounce “sa”, “Sindhu” was uttered as Hindu by them.
Srila Prabhupada comments in this regard as follows:
“One will not find the word Hindu in the Bhagavad-gita. Indeed, there is no such word as Hindu in the entire Vedic literature. This word has been introduced by the Muslims from provinces next to India, such as Afghanistan, Baluchistan, and Persia. There is a river called Sindhu bordering the north western provinces of India, and since the Muslims there could not pronounce Sindhu properly, they instead called the river Hindu, and the inhabitants of this tract of land they called Hindus. In India, according to the Vedic language, the Europeans are called mlecchas or yavanas. Similarly, Hindu is a name given by the Muslims.”
[an excerpt from the Science of Self Realization]
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