Jain World

Sub-Categories of Passions - BHARATA AND BHARATA



When this country became independent in 1947, two names for it were famous among its people : �India� and �Hindustana�. When the Greeks invaded Bharata in 376 B.C., because of their specific accent, they called the river in Punjab �Indus�, instead of its original name �Sindhu�. Sindhu was also called Hindu and those living on the bank were Hindus; their country Hindustana. On this very basis, the country�s name came to be known as India and this name was adopted during the British rule. The name �Hindustana� also prevailed everywhere and is prevailent even today.

Muslim invaders who came later also referred to this country as Hindustana. During their rule, this very name earned respect so much so that the followers of Vedic and Pauranic religions began to call themselves �Hindus�. The words �Hindu� and �Hindustana� were assimilated in the soil of this country. But the framers of the constitution in its meeting held on 18th September, 1949 did not accept either of these two names, as they were given by foreigners and were associated with the history of slavery of the country. Its ancient name �Bharata�, therefore, came to be adopted.

Bharata is from Bharata, and Varsa means the land. �Bharatavarsa� thus means the land of Bharata. Which Bharata? This, indeed, is a difficult question to be answered. Scholars are still struggling to find out which one he was. There were three famous Bharatas. One of them was Rsabhadeva�s son Bharata, the second one was Dusyanta�s son Bharata, and the third one was Rama�s brother Bharata. Rama�s brother Bharata never ascended the royal throne, so the question of naming this country after him does not arise at all. Some scholars have associated the name of Bharata with the son of Dusyanta. It was but natural. The world-wide fame of Kalidasa�s �Sakuntalam� established Bharata, Dusyanta�s son, in people�s mind. People took it for granted as the key person of the name �Bharata� of this country. Even Dr. Vasudevasarana Agrawal, the authority and scholar of the history of literature, has identified the same Bharata in his book, ��ָ�� ��� ����׻��� ������.31 Sayana in his commentary on �Rgvedsamhita� had committed this mistake long before him. He had identified �Bharata, the son of Dusyanta�.32 And Dr. Vasudevasarana Agrawal took it from him. But the ancient literatures do not stand witness to it. According to them, Bharata, the eldest son of Rsabhadeva, was the basis for the name �Bharata�.

�Agnipurana� is an ancient work. It is called �an encyclopaedia of Indian studies�. It covers various topics in the 383 chapters it contains. We find therein topics like religion, astrology, politics, ayurveda, figures of speech, metre, grammar, yoga, vedanta and others. No topic is left out. The statement in this connection, namely,

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Meaning- �In this Agnipurana all the (above mentioned) sciences are explained�, is a complete truth. This work contains a few lines in connection with Bharata and Bharata��

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Meaning- In that Himavat Pradesa (formerly, Bharatavarsa was known as Himavat Pradesa), there was no fear of old age and death, there was no righteousness or unrighteousness. There was moderate

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equanimity in all. There Rsabha was born to Marudevi from Nabhiraja. Bharata was born of Rsabha. Rsabha renounced the kingdom in favour of Bharata and became an ascetic. �Bharatavarsa, the name of this country, was named after Bharata. The name of Bharata�s son was �Sumati�.

References about Bharata are also available in �Markandeya Purana.� The sage Markandeya composed it. In his �Vedantasutra�bhasya�, Sankaracarya has given quotations of two couplets from this Purana. It is thus clear that this work belongs to the period prior to the 8th century. Even the Western scholars consider it to be quite ancient. Mr. Pargiter had translated it into English. Its earlier chapters are available translated into German also. This Purana became very popular. A part of it is known as �Durgasaptasati�. It contains 138 chapters and 9000 couplets. It mentions that��

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Meaning- Rsabha was born of Nabhi, the son of Agnidhra. Of him was born Bharata who was the eldest among his 100 brothers. Rsabha installed Bharata on the royal throne and became an ascetic. He performed penance in the hermitage called �Pulaha�. Rsabha had given Bharata the southern region called �Himavat� to rule. Thus it is after the name of this saintly person Bharata, that the country came to be called �Bharatvarsa�.

Brahmanda Purana is an important work from the viewpoint of geography. It contains interesting description of islands like Jambudvipa, rivers, mountains, stars etc. As Vayudeva had preached this Purana to Vyasa, it is also called �Vayaviya subrahmanda Purana�. In the 5th century A.D., brahmins had taken this purana to Java Dvipa where its translation in ancient language of Java is available. This proves its antiquity. In its third chapter, the description of famous Ksatriya lineage of Bharatavarsa is given. At one place in the Purana, it says with respect to Bharata and Bharata��

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Meaning- Nabhi gave birth to a brilliant son called �Rsabha� through Marudevi. Rsabhadeva was �a Great King� and �the ancestor of all Ksatriyas.� Bharata was the eldest and the bravest among his hundred sons. Rsabha installed him to the royal throne and became an ascetic. He bestowed upon Bharata the southern territory called �Himavat� to rule, and that territory came to be known as Bharatavarsa in course of time.