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The history behind India being officially known as ‘Bharat’

The many perceptions behind India being named as Bharat

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Source: Wikimedia commons

By Shubhi Mangla

India the land of different cultures, religions, languages and beliefs has a very colorful and rich history. Being one of the oldest civilizations in the world, India has two principal short names both in the official and English language i.e. India and Bharat. The name ‘India’ is derived from the river Indus or Sindhu River and has been widely used in Greek since Herodotus and in English in the 17th century.

Article 19(1) of the Indian Constitution states that, “India that is Bharat shall be a Union of States”. The name Bharat has been given to India by its founding fathers. However, there are some specific reasons as to why India is officially called Bharat. Many of us are unaware of the theories that relate to India coming to be called so.

 The term ‘Bharat’

The name Bharat has originated from the ancient Indian language, Sanskrit.

  • Bharat is a derivation of the Sanskrit word Bharata which stands for ‘Agni’ meaning fire. The term is a verbal noun of the Sanskrit root ‘bhr’ meaning to carry with a literal meaning of ‘to be maintained’ (of fire),
  • The term Bharata also means ‘one who is in search of knowledge’
  • According to sterlingholidays.comBharata is the official Sanskrit name of the country, Bharata Ganarajya, and the name is derived from the ancient Indian texts, the Puranas, which refers to the land that comprises India as Bharata varsam, and uses this term to distinguish it from other varsas or continents’

Related: How Indian laws define the term ‘Hindu’

Emperor Bharata Chakravarti and Mahabharata

King Bharata killed a lion as a young kid all by himself Source: Wikimedia commons
King Bharata killed a lion as a young kid all by himself
Source: Wikimedia commons

According to Gita, India came to be known as ‘Bharatvarsha’ after the emperor Bharata Chakravarti who was the son of King Dushyanta of Hastinapura and Queen Shakuntala. Thus, a descendant of the Lunar dynasty of Kshatriya Varna. Bharata was known to be a brave king who went to conquer the whole of Indian empire which came to be named after him as ‘Bharatvarsha’ meaning land of Bharata. In the epic Mahabharata, India was mentioned as Bharatvarsha by Lord Krishna and this huge Bharata Empire not only included the modern day India but also parts of other countries like Russia, Iran, China, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tibet, Bangladesh, Nepal, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan.

‘Bharat’ in Puranas

Purana Manuscripts from 15th- to 18th-century Source: Wikimedia commons
Purana Manuscripts from 15th- to 18th-century
Source: Wikimedia commons

The term Bharat has been used in ancient Indian texts and Puranas. India has been mentioned as Bharatvarsha in Vishnu Purana, Vayu Purana, Linga Purana, Brahmanda Purana, Agni Purana, Skanda Purana, Khanda and Markandaya Purana.  A version of the Bagavatha Purana says, the name Bharatha is after Jata Bharatha who appears in the fifth canto of the Bagavatha.

This country is known as Bharatavarsha since the times the father entrusted the kingdom to the son Bharata and he himself went to the forest for ascetic practices”  —  Vishnu Purana

“The country (varsam) that lies north of the ocean and south of the snowy mountains is called Bharatam; there dwell the descendants of Bharata”  Vishnu Purana

Retaining Bharat

 India as a nation has still preserved the traditional and ancient name of Bharat in many ways.

The Bharat Ratna Source: Wikimedia commons
The Bharat Ratna
Source: Wikimedia commons
  •  The highest and the most prestigious award which can be given to any Indian citizen is named as ‘Bharat Ratna’.
  • The Government of India has named various companies and Governmental institutions after the name Bharat keeping in mind the age old tradition. These include Bharat Petroleum, Bharat Heavy Electricals, Bharat State Bank, Bharat Aluminium, Bharat Steals etc.
  • Legendary poet, Rabindranath Tagore in his National Anthem described India as `BHARATHA BHAGYA VIDHATA` which means one is lucky to have been born in India.
  • Our nation has been referred to as Bharat Desam and Bharatha with great patriotic passion in Mahakavi Bharathi’s renowned nationalistic songs and poems.

This shows the people of India have not given up recognizing India as Bharat. Thus, honouring the traditional name of Bharat and using it for patriotic and nationalistic purposes.

Reference: 

www.ivarta.com

pediaa.com

Shubhi Mangla is an intern at Newsgram and a student of Journalism & Mass Communication in New Delhi. Twitter @shubhi_mangla

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dalai Lama says that India and China have great potential

The spiritual leader feels that both the countries are doing compassionate works

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Dalai Lama talks about India and China
Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai says that India and China can work together. VOA

New Delhi, Nov 19

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Sunday said India and China have “great potential” and they could work together at a “practical level”.

“I think, a great potential… India and China combined are doing more compassionate work… At a practical level also. Imagine two billion people working together,” he told reporters here after inaugurating Smile Foundation’s initiative, The World of Children.

The spiritual leader, who has lived in India in self-imposed exile since 1959, said neither country had the “ability to destroy the other”.

“Whether you like it or not, you have to live side by side,” he said.

Underlining the ancient spiritual connection between the two countries, he said Chinese Buddhist Hsuan Tsang visited Nalanda (now in Bihar) and brought Nalanda Buddhist traditions to China.

“All thinkers of Nalanda are Indian. So Nalanda’s tradition is India’s tradition,” he said.

The Nalanda traditions had turned Tibetans, who were warriors, into more compassionate, peaceful and non-violent nation, he said.

“So sometimes in Delhi, teasing my Indian friend, (I say) if Tibet still remained in the previous way of life, like Mongols, Chinese invasion may not have taken place,” the Dalai Lama said in a lighter vein.

He said nobody in the world wanted violence but it was happening “because our minds are dominated by destructive emotions due to short-sightedness”.

“Nobody wants problems. Yet, many problems are our own creation.”

The Dalai Lama said the existing modern education was oriented to material values. India can take lead in improving the education system by combining modern education with ancient knowledge, he said. (IANS)

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Manushi Chhillar from India Wins the Miss World 2017 Title

India's Manushi Chillar won the coveted Miss World 2017 pageant here, 16 years after Priyanka Chopra won the title in 2000.

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Miss World
Manushi Chhillar has been crowned as Miss World 2017. Instagram #ManushiChhillar

China, November 19: India’s Manushi Chhillar won the coveted Miss World 2017 pageant, 16 years after Priyanka Chopra won the title in 2000.

Chhillar competed against 108 contestants from various countries at a glittering event held at Sanya City Arena here.

Miss World 2016 winner Puerto Rico’s Stephanie Del Valle gave away the coveted crown to the winner.

Chhillar, who is from Haryana, had earlier this year won the Femina Miss India 2017.

Miss world
Anti Ageing was the official skin care expert for Manushi Chhillar at the Miss World 2017 pageant. Instagram #ManushiChhillar

India, England, France, Kenya and Mexico grabbed the top five spots at the peagant.

Manushi, born to doctor parents, studied in St. Thomas School in New Delhi and Bhagat Phool Singh Government Medical College for Women in Sonepat.

Her entire family including brother and sister were present and they looked excited watching Manushi grabbing top five spot.

As many as 108 beauty queens from different parts of the world participated in the prestigious pageant. (IANS)

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The major Challenge is to make the Youth of the Country Entrepreneurial and not Job Seekers : Venkaiah Naidu

"The challenge for us is to make the youth entrepreneurial, and not become job seekers," Venkaiah Naidu said pointing to the NDA government's various initiatives.

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Venkaiah Naidu
Venkaiah Naidu. Wikimedia Commons
  • At a time of tepid job growth and continuing income disparities, the major challenge is to make the youth of the country entrepreneurial and not job seekers, Vice President  Venkaiah Naidu said on Thursday.

“Disparities continue to remain in India and so there is a need for inclusive growth… there is the need to take care of the suppressed, oppressed and depressed,” Venkaiah Naidu said at the Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust’s (BYST) silver jubilee celebrations here with Britain’s Prince Charles as the chief guest.

“The challenge for us is to make the youth entrepreneurial, and not become job seekers,” Venkaiah Naidu said pointing to the NDA government’s various initiatives to encourage youth enterprises like Startup India, Standup India and the Mudra financing scheme for underprivileged sections.

Modelled on Prince Charles’ Trust for business startups, BYST, founded by Lakshmi Venkatesan, daughter of former President R. Venkatraman, is engaged in building rural entrepreneurship — “grampreneurs” — as also enterprise among under-privileged sections, which includes business mentoring. The current BYST chairman is Bajaj Group chief, Rahul Bajaj.

“Without mentoring, it would be very difficult to set up startups, with all the business, marketing and other vital issues involved in the first two-three years,” Prince Charles said in his address at the International Mentoring Summit organized by BYST to mark its 25 years.

“What amazes me are the sheer number of jobs these young entrepreneurs had created. The aim of such a project should be to create a virtual cycle of creating entrepreneurs who can then invest in the future of business,” Charles said referring to his trust.

BYST was officially launched in 1992 by Prince Charles and expanded its operations to six major regions of India.

Out of these six regions, four — Delhi, Chennai, Pune and Hyderabad — run the urban programme while two regions — Haryana and Maharashtra — run the rural programme.(IANS)