If you know that India is a unique country in the sense that it is known by three different names to the world, this article gives you an explanation to why India is called Bharat. These names are India, Bharat and Hindustan. Many people wonder the need or usefulness of three names for a single country. However, India has a long and colorful history and it is believed to be one of the oldest civilizations of the world. Why India is called Bharat is a question that comes to the minds of many people who are not aware of the ancient history of this country. This article attempts to explain the reason behind the name Bharat that is often used for India.
India is a name that has been given to this country by its rulers. However, the real name of the country is Bharat or Bharatvarsha. Even the constitution of India recognizes this fact when it opens with the sentence ‘India that is Bharat’. The ancient sacred texts like the Puranas and even the Gita refer to India as Bharat. According to a legend, the name Bharat comes from the name of Bharat Chakravarti, an ancient brave king of the land. He was the son of KingDushyanta and Queen Shakuntala, who conquered a huge territory that was converted into a political entity named after him.
The name Bharata is mentioned in ancient Indian scriptures
According to Vishnu Purana, the country that lies north of the ocean and south of the snowy mountains is called Bharatam; there dwell the descendants of Bharata. At another place, the same Vishnu Purana says, this country is known as Bharatavarshasince the times the father entrusted the kingdom to the son Bharata and he himself went to the forest for ascetic practices. King Bharata is believed to have been a very brave king who even defeated and killed a lion as a young kid all by himself. As a king, Bharata went on to conquer the whole of India and eventually became an emperor. If one reads the epic Mahabharata, he finds that the land has been mentioned as Bharatavarsha. This huge empire built by king Bharata included not just India of modern times but also other countries like Russia, Iran, China, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tibet, Bangladesh, Nepal, Uzbekistan, and a few more countries.
The word Bharata is also there in Sanskrit language
Before the arrival of the British in India, Mughals had started to call the land as Hindustan because of the majority population being Hindus. However, the fact remains that the real name of India is Bharata that is mentioned in the ancient Hindu texts. The name Bharata comes from the ancient Indian language Sanskrit. In Sanskrit, Bharata is a derivative of Bharata that was originally used for Agni. This word also stands for someone who is engaged in the search of knowledge.
There are many other theories that are put forward regarding the origin of the word Bharata as the name of this country. Whatever may be the correct or real version, the fact remains that the real name of India is Bharata.