THE CONCEPT OF INDIA

PART – 1

*उत्तरं यत्समुद्रस्य हिमाद्रेश्चैव* *दक्षिणम् ।*
*वर्षं तद् भारतं नाम भारती यत्र संततिः ।।*

*uttaraṃ yatsamudrasya* *himadreschaiv dakṣiṇam*
*varṣaṃ tadbhārataṃ nāma bhāratī yatra santatiḥ*

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

The realm of Bharata is known as Bharātavarṣa in the Mahabhārata (the core portion of which is itself known as Bhārata) and later texts. The term varsa means a division of the earth or a continent.

According to the Puranas, this country is known as Bharatavasha after the king Bharata Chakravarti. It is clearly stated that this country is known as Bharata Varsha.

*ऋषभो मरुदेव्याश्च ऋषभात भरतो भवेत्*
*भरताद भारतं वर्षं, भरतात सुमतिस्त्वभूत्*

Rishabha was born to Marudevi, Bharata was born to Rishabh,
Bharatvarsha (India) arose from Bharata, and Sumati arose from Bharata
—Vishnu Purana

In Sanskrit, ‘Bha’ means Light and Knowledge while ‘rata’ means “Devoted”. Bharat means “devoted to light/knowledge”. The name “Bharat” is symbolic in nature revealing the quest of knowledge and the spiritual/scientific prosperity of this country.

According to Mahabharata as well as the numerous Puranas and diverse Indian history, Bharat Empire included the whole territory of the Indian subcontinent, including parts of present day Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Turkmenistan, North-west Tibet, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

It’s very interesting to know that Hindu; is not and was not, the religion ever in this country. Not only Hindu but this country had never followed a single religion since ancient times. Bharat is only civilization in this world how to have its historical base from more than lakhs of years ago, And in its entire history, we can’t find a single religion which is followed by the people’s of this nation.

This nation was ruled by more than 200 different states ( janapadas) but the thing which made this land seemed to be one before the outer world was the concept of *”Dharm ( Sanatan Dharma )* which was followed by the people of this land.
This land never had a religion because The word *”Religion”* deals with a belief system, where else dharma deals with the seeking system or the system of *”karma”*.

(# Note: The difference between Dharm and Religion will be clearly explained in *”CONCEPT OF INDIA – 2″*, So Stay tuned with us )

*”Hindu”* is not a term that is inherent to the religion itself. Rather, the term is known to have been first coined by the ancient Persians, who were cultural, religiously, and perspectively extrinsic to the culture. The term was first used by these ancient Persians in order to conveniently designate the ancient Vedic spiritual culture and was mistakenly used to refer to the Vedic religion as primarily a geographic and ethnic phenomenon, more than as a religio-philosophical world-view. To the ancient Persians, the word Hindu simply referred to the culture, people, religion and practices of the peoples who lived on the other side of the Sindhu River. In the ancient Avestan Persian language ‘s’ grammatically became ‘h’. Thus, the Persians pronounced the name of this river Hindhu, rather than Sindhu. Thus, ironically, the currently used word Hindu is itself a corruption of the Persian word Hindu, which is, in turn, a corruption of the term Sindhu, which is itself only referring to a river, and not a religion! Thus when the word Hindu is used today to refer to the ancient religion of India, the term is in actuality a corruption of a corruption of a word whose meaning is irrelevant, to begin with.

*”Hindustan”*, as is the term Hindu itself, entered the English language in the 17th century. In the 19th century, the term as used in English referred to the northern region of India between the Indus and Brahmaputra rivers and between the Himalayas and the Vindhyas in particular, hence the term Hindustani for the Hindi-Urdu language. Hindustan was in use synonymously with India during the British Raj.

*”Name INDIA”*

In ancient times, the entire Indus river system (along with its seven tributaries – Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej, Jhelum, Beas and the now extinct River Saraswati) and the area it covered, used to be called Sapta Sindhu i.e. the land of seven rivers (Sindhu means river in Sanskrit).

The word Sindhu not only referred to the river system and adjoining area but also became the label to denote the culture that had developed along its valleys.

The corruption of Sindhu into Hindu can be traced back to journeys made by early Persian explorers from the Northwest who due to the peculiarities of their own language aspirated the ‘S’ sound in ‘Sindhu’ to make the word ‘Hindu’

Thus to the world beyond, the area around the Saraswati-Sindhu rivers and its culture became to be known as the area of Hindus(thus the name Hindustan which literally means the land of Hindus).

About 2500 years ago, when the Greeks first reached the river plains of Punjab, they borrowed the name of the region from the Persians and simply modified it to Indos. Indos later morphed into Indus in Latin by which name the river is still known in the West.

The ancient Greeks referred to the Indians as Indoi (Ινδοί), which translates as “the people of the Indus”.

The Romans began to call the whole land mass after this river and thus the name India came to stay which has been the form used by Europeans over the ages.

This nation was also referred with a name such as *”JUMBUDVIP”* ( with reference of Jammu ) this name was used by Chanakya in his books on arthshastra and the nation was also referred as *”ARYAVRATH”* ( land of Aryas or land of gentle men’s )

This is how this Nation got its names * BHARAT,* * ARYAVRATH,* * JUMBUDVIP,* *HINDUSTAN* and many more.

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