Bharat: Why India is called Mighty Bharatavarsha

Bharata is a legendary king featured in Hindu literature.

Bharat is derived from the Sanskrit word “Bharata”, which means “to protect” or “to uphold”.

This is a reference to the ancient Indian epic Mahabharata, in which he is a king who is said to be the ancestor of the people of India.

The name is also mentioned in the Rigveda, one of the oldest Hindu scriptures. In the Rigveda, Bharata is the name of a tribe that lived in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent.

It is often used to emphasize India’s cultural heritage and to distinguish it from the colonial name “India”.

Some other names for India:

  • Hindustan
  • Aryavarta
  • Jambudweep
  • Sapta Sindhu
  • Bharatavarsha

These names are all derived from ancient Indian texts and traditions. They reflect the rich and diverse history of India.

He was a member of the Chandravamsha dynasty and became the Chakravarti (universal monarch).

He was the son of King Dushyanta and Shakuntala and thus a descendant of the Lunar dynasty of the Kshatriya Varna.

The Bhāratas, a prominent historical tribe mentioned in the Rigveda, are regarded in Hinduism to be the descendants of Bharata.

The legend of him is featured in the Adi Parva of the Mahabharata, where he is mentioned as the son of Dushyanta and Shakuntala.

The story of his parents and his birth is related in Kalidasa’s famous play, Abhijñānashākuntala.

Chandravamsha dynasty

The Chandravamsha dynasty is a legendary principal house of the Kshatriyas varna, or warrior-ruling caste mentioned in ancient Indian texts.

The Lunar dynasty, also known as the Chandravamsha dynasty, is said to be descended from moon-related deities (Soma or Lunar).

According to the Mahabharata, the progenitor of the Lunar dynasty was Ila, who ruled from Prayaga and had a son named Shashabindu who ruled in the country of Bahli.

The son of Ila and Budha was Pururavas, who became the first Chandravamsha emperor of the entirety of the earth.

Ila’s descendants were also known as the Ailas.

Pururavas was a legendary king and the first emperor of the Lunar dynasty, also known as the Chandravamsha dynasty.

According to the Mahabharata, he was born to Budha(Not the Gautama Buddha) and Ila.

Pururavas was a pious ruler and is believed to be associated with Surya (the sun) and Usha (the dawn).

He is said to have performed a penance to Brahma and as a reward, he was made the sovereign of the whole earth.

Pururavas celebrated a hundred Ashwamedha Yajnas.

He is also known for bringing three kinds of fire on earth from the region of Gandharvas.

Pururavas fell in love with Urvashi, an apsara, and they had six sons together.

Image credit:

Jain E Library, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons