Tag Archives: Bharatha

On Arya , Aryan , Sarasvathi and other issues

This was initially written in response to comments from Mr. Kushwaha concerning a number of issues arising out of Bharatha_Varsha and Bharathas.

I am posting this at the suggestion of Riverine , to invite further comments from others on the Forum.

I suggest, read Bharatha_Varsha and Bharathas  before proceeding with this post.

Please read on..

1. Aryan 

The question of race, particularly the Aryan race is a messy one. It is one of those famous “False problems”. Let us start from the other end and clear the deck.

Aryan is an English word derived from the Vedic Sanskrit and Iranian Avestan terms Ari-, Arya-, Ariya-, and it’s another form Aryana. The Sanskrit and Old Persian languages both pronounced the word as Arya. The term came widely into use (misuse) early in 19th century. How it came to be developed and later how the British and others hijacked it is an interesting story.

Aryan theory was, initially, developed by Danish and German scholars of the romanticism era, like R. Rask and F. Bopp (1816) . The German linguists such as the Leipzig Junggrammatiker school members further developed it. The theory of an immigration into or invasion of South Asia by speakers of Indo Aryan language based on the familiar concept of the Hunnic and Germanic invasions of the Roman empire, emerged late in the 19th century.

The British latched on to the theory of an invasion by superior Indo Aryan speaking Āryas (‘‘Aryan invasion theory’’) as a means to justify British policy and their own intrusion into India and their subsequent colonial rule. In both cases (Hunnic/Germanic and British), a ‘white race’ was subduing the local darker-colored population. In a single stroke  AIT  negated the legacy and traditions of entire subcontinent; and  told them they lived on borrowed glory.

Further, the British also employed it, as a tool of their “divide and rule” policy, to drive a wedge between the various groups in the Indian people, by propagating that the Aryan invaders from Central Asia destroyed the native civilization and enslaved the native population. The strategy was to set one class / region against another and let them fight it out. The then Viceroy of India Lord Curzon called this policy “furniture of the Empire.” Sir Winston Churchill opposed any policy tending towards decolonization on the ground: “We have as much right to be in India as anyone there, except perhaps for the Depressed Classes who are the native stock”. The British trick/strategy did work and many groups within India supported the British on both the counts and stated quarreling among themselves. Since then the debate on the racial character of the term “Aryan” gathered pace and chugged along.

During the early thirties, the “Aryan” found unexpected supporters in the form of Nazis who employed it as a racial term designating the purest segment of the White race. Nazis put the theory into a highly destructive operation . The holocaust that followed is rather too well known to be recounted here.

The Nazis pointed out to the British that Nazis were doing exactly the thing they (British) themselves were doing in India, subjugating an inferior race. Nazi schoolbooks included lessons on British rule in India . This caught the British on wrong foot. British were embarrassed to find themselves bracketed with Nazis. The British spin-doctors then came up with an explanation that that the Indians were “brown Aryans” and there was no subjugation of Indian people. The British thereafter soft peddled the Aryan theory and slowly receded from it.

In the mean time, things came to a full circle in Persia. An off shoot of this debate was that Persia woke up to its history and decided in March 1935 to call itself Iran , derived from “Arya“, “Aariyā“. We may recall that Darius the Great, King of Persia (521-486 BC), had  proclaimed:

2. (8-15.) I am Darius the Great King, King of Kings, King of countries containing all kinds of men, King in this great earth far and wide, son of Hystaspes, an Achaemenian, a Persian, son of a Persian, an Aryan, having Aryan lineage.”

Having re- discovered his roots the then Shah warmed up to his newfound brethren, the other Aryans, the Nazis. The British were not amused with this blossoming camaraderie; and, promptly snubbed Iran. Later in 1959, Iran came up with a statement that names Iran and Persia could be used interchangeably. However, since the Iranian Revolution of 1979, the official name of the country is “Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Because of its association with Nazi propaganda and the stigma that stuck to it, the word “Aryan” is no longer in technical use. Presently, white people go under the label Caucasian. Even in Linguistics, “Indo-European” replaces Aryan.

Now, the infamous AIT – the Aryan Invasion theory stands largely discarded.

Let us leave it at that.

2. Race

The term Arya, either in Sanskrit or Avesthan, has always meant “noble”. Amara_Kosha (2.6.812), the Sanskrit lexicon, explains the term as “sabhya” “sajjana” and “Sadhu“– meaning a gentleman (sabhya-sajjana-sādhavaḥ). Arya is a term used by Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Parsis, to mean noble or spiritual. The Vedic Aryans called themselves Arya in the Rig-Veda. Besides Iran, the Éire, the Irish name of Ireland; and Ehre (German for “honor”) are related to the term Arya. The Afghan airline is Aryana; named after the original name of that country. Many children in Iran are named Iran-dokht, Aryan pour etc. based on the term Arya. Similarly, the South Indian names like, Ponna_iah, Subba_iah or Ayya_sami etc. carry its cognate iah to assign respect to the name. The term, obviously, is employed in the context of culture than race

In all these cases, the people of those countries, belonging to various ethnic groups , preferred to associate with the term Arya to signify that they were a noble and a respected people . There were no racial tags attached to it.

Some say Rig-Veda too does not employ the term in a racial sense. According to Shrikant Talageri, among the tribes mentioned, most of whom of same race; Rig Veda refers to Purus and especially to Bharathas as Aryans. It is, therefore, a matter of regard and respect than of race.

I learn that in Manu Smrithi even Chinese were called Aryans. The South Indian Kings called themselves Aryans and those of whom that established kingdoms in South East Asia also called themselves Aryans.(to check with azygos)

Sri Aurobindo did not like the use of the term race in this context. He said, “I prefer not to use the term race, for race is a thing much more difficult to determine than is usually imagined.”

According to Michel Wetzel, designation of a particular race to people speaking a language is an aberration of the 19th and 20th century

Eva Nthoki Mwanika while commenting on the race of the Egyptian people said, ”The Egyptians did not recognize “race” with in the same context or definition in which modern society recognizes it and that, the division of humankind into races as understood in the modern sense is a recent phenomenon.” She went on to say, we are trying to impose a modern term “race” on an ancient people who had a non-racial self-perception and a different worldview.

I presume we can safely echo the views of Ms. Mwanika in the Aryan context as well.

As regards the Buddha,  he used the term Ariya any number of times. Sometimes he used the term to imply, “one who strives upward”, and that is to say the noble ones. He used the term Anariya to mean ignoble or vulgarFor instance he called extreme indulgence or extreme austerity as anariya and anatta samhita (futile). Most other times the term “ariya” was used to mean “noble”. For instance ariya sacchani (noble truths) and ariya patha (eightfold aryan path or the noble path).

In the later forms of Buddhism, the path to enlightenment is graduated into four stages. The arahat (the fourth stage of realization) is a fully enlightened being, having extinguished all defilements. The sotapanna (first stage of realization, also sotapatti-magga-nana) has uprooted wrong view but still has other defilement. The sakadagami and anagami are at the second and third stage of realization, respectively. All four are called ariyas, that is, noble.

There is a section in the pali cannon (tipitaka) in which the Buddha talks about himself. That section is titled ariya_pariyesana sutta. Similarly, in the Buddhist traditions of Burma and Sri Lanka , the future Buddha is generally referred to as ariya metteyya, the noble metteyya.

In the context I mentioned above, both the terms arya and aryan were  exclusively psychological terms or adjectives  denoting  noble or virtuous , and having very little to do with birth, race, or nationality.

3. Sarasvathi

As you mentioned, itis generally accepted that the SarasvatI represents the geographical heartland of the Vedic Aryan civilization. You are echoing the often-repeated statementthat while Rig Veda mentions the Ganga only once, it lauds the great Sarasvati fifty times. Yes, I agree, it is so.

As I mentioned in my post, the Rig Veda has a certain geographical horizon. It projects a land of seven great rivers bounded by ocean and many mountains. This mainly represents the geographical sphere of the Bharatas and their neighbors. Rig Veda is not talking about entire Bharatha Varsha. The geographical horizon of Rig Veda is confined to the Sarasvathi valley, the heartland of Puru/Bharatha country.

Further, the Purus and especially the Bharathas are the protagonists of Rig Veda. It extols their relations, their rituals, their Gods, their battles and their victories etc. The geography of the of the Rig Veda is therefore limited to the Sapta Sindhu region, the land of thePurus \ Bharathas ,who are the real Aryans of the Rig Veda.

In short;  Rig Veda is mainly the story of Purus/Bharathas. Naturally, Rig Veda speaks all the while about their land, their rivers, their mountains etc. It does not mean that the other parts of Bharatha Varsha (as you mentioned, the Ganga and others) did not exist. Those regions just did not figure in the Puru/Bharatha story. In fact, some of the Purus of Rig Veda hailed from what is now the U.P. region (e.g. Sudyumna).Rig Veda frequently refers to the Puru clan as children of Nahusha. This Nahusha was the father of Yayathi and ruled the in the Gangetic region.

(Interestingly, Nahash in old Hebrew means serpent. I am not suggesting any connection).

That is the reason, why there are not many references to the Ganga in Rig Veda. The position as explained, I presume, answers your question.

The range of the Puranas, on the other hand, is much wider .They speak of other regions of Jambu_dvipa/Bharatha Varsha, other Kings, their histories, as well. The Puranas are part history and part epic. The style of their narration is more relaxed and elaborate.


kassette mittani

Earlier we spoke of migration from North West into the Punjab region. Now, let us look at the, migration that might probably have taken place in the other direction.

The slow death and eventual disappearance of the mighty Sarasvathi also signified the end of the civilization associated with the Sarasvathi valley. The geo physical surveys and other studies suggest that around 1600 BC a massive drought struck the Sarasvathi region. That, and possible shift in the land lead to disappearance of the Sarasvathi. It was perhaps a part of a wider phenomenon that swept the other regions too. The people of the Sarasvathi valley, naturally, migrated to other regions. From a throbbing account of living generations, Rig Veda turned into memories of a lost heartland. A Camelot lost.

The disappearance of Sarasvathi valley civilization is a very important landmark in the history of Bharatha Varsha.

The presence of the Indo -Aryan kings of the Mittani and the Kassite dynasties, who worshiped Vedic deities, in the Babylonian region , during 1600 to 1300 BC , points to the possibility of migration of Vedic people from the plains of Punjab, following the collapse of the Sarasvathi valley civilization.

It is evident from the names of some of the Miittani and Kassite Kings and Generals (Kart-ashura,Biry-ashura,Sim-ashura,Kalm-ashura etc.) that they belonged to the early Rig Vedic times when the Asuras were the older set of gods; and when the sharp distinction between Asurasand Devas had not yet come into being ; and when the Asuraswere not yet a denigrated lot in the Vedic texts.

It is also evident that the Indo –Aryan kings were a minority among a population who spoke a different language.

It is remarkable how in the distant past , the Vedic people migrated from Punjab to the regions of Mesopotamia and Egypt .

(There is theory that suggests , Nefertiti (c.1400 BC) married to Egyptian Pharaoh Amenhotep IV was a Mittani princess , daughter of an Indo Aryan King)

(For more on Mittani and Kassite kingdoms and Rig Veda , Gathas ; please view-

“Rig Veda and Gathas re visited” @ )

4. Bharatha_Varsha / Arya_Vartha

I think you got into knots over the Bharatha_Varsha and Arya_Vartha . Let me clarify.

As discussed in the post the name Bharatha_Varsha came into vogue at the time of the Emperor Bharatha who was fifth or sixth in line from Swayabhuva Manu, the first Manu. The various Purans and texts have described the extent of Bharatha _Varsha as extending from the ocean in the South to the snowy mountains.

As regards Arya_vartha, the term might have come into use, at best, in Vedic times, in the manvantara of Vaivaswata Manu, the seventh Manu. There is, therefore, a huge time gap between the two occurrences. I do not even hazard a guess to measure the gap.

At times, it is used to refer to the Rig Vedic geography and at other times to the Ganga Valley. Sometimes, it amorphously referred to what we call India.

Bharatha Varsha, even in the times of Mauryas was larger in area than the present India . Kautila called it Chakravarthi Kshetra. It was before Asoka’s time.

Bharatha _Varsha has always been a nation even from the epic times overwhelming the political subdivisions.


Thank you





Posted by on September 1, 2012 in General Interest, History


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Bharatha Varsha and Bharathas


Traditionally the Indians, while in India, in their daily prayers, identify themselves as those residing in Bharatha_Varsha (the land of Bharatha), located to the South of MountMeru in the Jambu_Dvipa. Then, they go on to specify their location within the subcontinent.

What does this mean?


1. Cosmology

According to the cosmology projected in the books of Hindus, Buddhists and Jains, the planet Earth consists seven islands (Saptha Dweepa vasundhara). One of those islands is Jambu_Dvipa (RoseAppleIsland) also known as Sudarshanadvipa.

Markandeya Purana says, Jambu_Dvipa is depressed on its south and north; elevated and broad in the middle. The elevated region forms the Ila-vrta or Meruvarsa. At the center of Ila-vrta lies the MountMeru.


2. Location

Some attempts have been made , though not satisfactorily , to identify the zones(varshas) and the extent of the Jambu_Dvipa, by taking a clue from the details of mountain ranges, valleys and river systems and other geographical features of Jambu_Dvipa provided in Bhishmaparva of the Mahabharata and in other Puranas.

According to one of those interpretations , Jambu_ Dvipa is a huge land mass of South Asia comprising the present day Indian Subcontinent, Tibet , Egypt , Mesopotamia , Syria and Corinth( near main land Greece).

Sanjaya said:  ‘Stretching from east to west, are these six mountains that are equal and that extend from the eastern to the western ocean.

 They are Himavat, Hemakuta, the best of mountains called Nishadha, Nila abounding with stones of lapis lazuli, Sweta white as the moon, and the mountains called Sringavat composed of all kinds of metals.  These are the six mountains, O king, which are always the resorts of Siddhas and Charanas. The space lying between each of these measures a thousand Yojanas, and thereon are many delightful kingdoms. And these divisions are called Varshas, O Bharata.

This (the land where we are) is in the Varsha that is called after Bharata.. Next to it (northwards) is the Varsha called after Himavat. The land that is beyond Hemakuta is called Harivarsha, South of the Nila range and on the north of the Nishadha is a mountain, O king, called Malyavat that stretches from east to west.

Beyond Malyavat northwards is the mountain called Gandhamadana.  Between these two (viz., Malyavat and Gandhamadana) is a globular mountain called Meru made of gold. Effulgent as the morning sun, it is like fire without smoke.   It is eighty-four thousand Yojanas high, and, O king, its depth also is eighty-four Yojanas. It standeth bearing the worlds above, below and transversely.

Besides Meru are situated, O lord, these four islands, viz., Bhadraswa, and Ketumala, and Jamvudwipa otherwise called Bharata, and Uttar-Kuru which is the abode of persons who have achieved the merit of righteousness. Bhishma Parva – Section vi

11 tasya pārśve tv ime dvīpāś catvāraḥ saṃsthitāḥ prabho/    bhadrāśvaḥ ketumālaś ca / jambūdvīpaś ca bhārata /  uttarāś caiva kuravaḥ kṛtapuṇyapratiśrayāḥ – The Mahabharata in Sanskrit-Book  6-Chapter 7

It is surmised that Ila varsha and Meruvarsha, refer to the mountainous regions around the Pamirs and parts of north-east Afghanistan. MountMeru (or Sumeru) is identified with the vast Nagard Sarovar in the center of the modern Pamirs in Central Asia.

indian cosmology2

The concept of Jambu_Dvipa is present not merely in Hindu Puranas but also in Indian literature, history and in edicts.

3.Buddhist tradition

The Buddhist tradition also accepts the geographical concept of Jambu_Dvipa and places it south of Sumeru. It believes Jambu_Dvīpa is shaped like a triangle with a blunted point facing south.

The Buddha once remarked that the people of Jambu_Dvípa excel those of both Uttarakuru and Tavatimsain in three respects – courage, mindfulness and religious life. The Uttarakuru referred to by the Buddha might be the Kuru region mentioned in the Rig-Veda, It might even be the region to the north of Pamirs. There are a number of views on the probable location of Uttarakuru. As regards Tavatimsain, very little is known about it and there are not many guesses either.

In the later Buddhist texts, the connotation of the term Jambu_ Dvipa became more restricted. It came to mean only the Indian subcontinent and did not include even Sri Lanka. The Síhaladípa or Tambapannidípa (alternate names for Sri Lanka in Pali) were mentioned separately from Jambu_dípa.

Further, the Emperor Ashoka introduced himself to the people of Sri Lanka as Devanam Priya (Beloved of Gods) hailing from Jambu_Dvipa, referring to main land India. Incidentally, the modern Sinhalese word for India is Dhambadiva, perhaps related to the Pali name for India, Jambudiipa. One of the other names for India in Buddhist literature is Indravardhana.

The Buddhists divided Jambu_Dvípa into three circuits or mandalas, for the guidance of their itinerant monks. The first circuit Mahámandala (greater circuit) extended over nine hundred leagues and the Majjhima (middle circuit) extended over six hundred leagues. The perambulation of both circuits was expected to be completed, each , in nine months time; while that of the Antima (final circuit) of over three hundred leagues was to be completed in seven months time.


B. Bharatha _Varsha

1.Location and Extent

According to Hindu, Buddhist and Jain texts, the Bharata Varsha, the land of Bharatha, located in Jambu_Dvipa, lies to the South of Sumeru. However, the extent of Bharatha Varsha varies from text to text and from tradition to tradition.

Markandeya Purana describes Bharatha Varsha as the land that stretches from Kailasa to kanyakumari; while Vishnu Purana mentions Bharatha Varsha as The country (var ṣam) that lies north of the ocean and south of the snowy mountains, where the descendants of Bharata dwell.

uttaraṃ yat samudrasya himādreścaiva dakṣiṇam  varṣaṃ tadbhārataṃ nāma bhāratī yatra santatiḥ

Further, it extols the virtues of Bharatha Varsha and says, “Bharata is the most excellent division of Jambudvipa, for this is the land of action, while the others are places of enjoyment.” Bharata Varsha is designated karmabhumi.


Manu gives a beautiful and a lyrical description of Bharaha Varsha and mentions its various divisions. This is how Manu describes, “The land between the rivers Sarasvati and the Drishadvati, is called Brahmavarta. Beyond it, the land of the five rivers up to the Mathura region is called Brahmarshi Desha. The land between Vinashana (the place of disappearance of the Sarasvati River in the desert) and Prayaga and Vindhya, is Madhya Desha (Central Land). Finally, the land bounded by the mountain of Reva (Narmada), the Eastern Sea ( Bay of Bengal ) and the Western Sea is Arya Desha. This is the land where the black-skinned deer roam freely.”

sarasvatī-dṛśadvatyor devanadyor yad antaram /
taṃ devanirmitaṃ deśaṃ brahmāvartaṃ pracakṣate // Mn_2.17 //
tasmin deśe ya ācāraḥ pāramparyakramāgataḥ /
varṇānāṃ sāntarālānāṃ sa sadācāra ucyate // Mn_2.18 //
kurukṣetraṃ ca matsyāś ca pañcālāḥ śūrasenakāḥ /
eṣa brahmarṣideśo vai brahmāvartād anantaraḥ // Mn_2.19 //
etad deśaprasūtasya sakāśād agrajanmanaḥ /
svaṃ svaṃ caritraṃ śikṣeran pṛthivyāṃ sarvamānavāḥ // Mn_2.20 //
himavadvindhyayor madhyaṃ yat prāg vinaśanād api /
pratyag eva prayāgāc ca madhyadeśaḥ prakīrtitaḥ // Mn_2.21 //
ā samudrāt tu vai pūrvād ā samudrāc ca paścimāt /
tayor evāntaraṃ giryor āryāvartaṃ vidur budhāḥ // Mn_2.22 //
kṛṣṇasāras tu carati mṛgo yatra svabhāvataḥ /
sa jñeyo yajñiyo deśo mlecchadeśas tv ataḥ paraḥ // Mn_2.23 //

Kautilya, the author of Artha Shastra, mentions Bharatha Varsha as the land that stretches from Himalayas to Kanyakumari; and, he also called it Chakravarthi Khsetra, the land of the Emperor.

An epigraph of Kharavela (209 – 179 B. C?) who ruled over the region of the present day Orissa, found in Hathigumpha (near Bhubaneshwar in Orissa) uses the nomenclature of Bharatha Varsha.

The Hindu and Buddhist texts (vinaya) of later ages, described Bharatha Varsha as composed of five zones, namely the Madhya Desha ( the Middle Country), Purva Desha (the Eastern region), Dakshinapatha (the South), Aparanta or Praticya (the Western region) and Uttarapatha or Udicya (the Northern region). This zonal system was in vogue even in the Maurya period (322 BC to 125 BC).The maurya Empire was the largest and most powerful Empire of ancient India. It stretched from Assam to Khandahar; and from Himalayas to Tamil Nadu.

A similar Zonal system is now in India today too. (For more on Zonal systems consult a national cricket selector!.)


ancient bharatha

The different stages of Bharatha _Varsha as given in ancient literature represent various stages in the process of extension of the occupied or known areas of the country, during its history. Its shape is described variously at various stages. The changes represent the dynamics of the times.

A famous passage in Bhisma Parva of Mahabharata describes the shape of Bharatha Varsha. It views Bharatha as an equilateral triangle, divided into four smaller equal triangles, the apex of which is Kanya_ kumari and the base formed by the line of the Himalaya Mountains.

The famous historian Radha Kumud Mookerji remarked,” the shape corresponds very well with the general form of the country, if we extend the limits of India to Ghazni on the north-west and fix the other two points of the triangle at Cape Comorin and Sadiya in Assam.”

The Markandeya Purana is quite specific about the shape of the country. Its configuration is that of a bow in which the Himalaya is like the stretched string of the bow with the quill of the arrow at the peninsular area of the south. It is said to extend into a triangle with its transverse base in the north.

According to Buddhist tradition, Jambudvīpa (subcontinent) is shaped like a triangle with a blunted point facing south.

[ It is said; the subcontinent may be imagined to be in the shape of a Diamond; with its top (Northern end) being slightly broad and blunt; and, tapering to a point at its Southern end, jutting into the Indian Ocean.

The Northern borders of India dominated by Himalayan Mountain Ranges and the Hindu Kush, adjoin the rest of Asian continent.

From these magnificent Mountain Ranges down flow an array of streams feeding the mighty Indus and Gangetic Rivers. These River Systems, as also the range of mountains at the middle of the sub-continent, mark the separation of the Indo-Gangetic plain from the large Deccan (Southern) plateau of the Peninsular India.]

India Map

3.The name

The Sanskrit word Bhāratha is a derivation of bharata. The root of the term is bhr-, “to bear / to carry”, with a literal meaning of “to be maintained”. The root bhr is cognate with the English verb to bear and Latin ferō.

Interestingly, the term Dharma, which is the core concept of Indian values, is derived from the root dhr, meaning – to uphold or to nourish. Both the terms Bharatha and Dharma, eventually signify that which supports universal order or the orderly existence of the individual in life.

The first Article of the Constitution of the Republic of India states, “India, that is Bharat, shall be a union of states.” Thus, India and Bharat are equally official short names for the Republic of India. The name Hindustan was used in historical contexts, especially in British times.

Bharatha Varsha was not always called by that name. Its earlier name was Aja_nabha_Varsha. Before that, it was Himavath Pradesha. Why did it become Bharatha Varsha? Who was this Bharatha?

To know that, we have to go back to Swayambhu Manu, the progenitor. His son was Priyavarta, a great monarch. His son was Agni_dhara. His son was Ajanabha also called Nabhi. Ajanabha was a very virtuous and a noble king. During his reign, the land came to be known as Ajanabha_Varsha. Ajanabha’s son was the great Rsabhadeva. . He was a saintly king. Rsabha renounced the kingdom in favor of his son Bharata and became an ascetic. Bharatha was one of the most pious and noblest of Monarchs of his line. He nourished and nurtured his subjects righteously. During his time, the land that was until then called Aja_nabha_Varsha came to be known, as Bharatha Varsha – ततश्च भारतं वर्षमेतल्लोकेषुगीयते. It has been so since then. Ajanabha (Nabhi), Rsabha and Bharatha figure prominently in the Jain tradition.

What we call Bhatatha Varsha or Bharatha is named after a very virtuous and noble king Bharatha. The best we (who are born and who reside in his land) can do is to be worthy of his name.

Obviously, in the olden days being born in Bharath was a matter of pride. In the Gita, Krishna often refers to Arjuna as Bharatha, the noble one.(For more on the name of India please visit

Over the centuries the name of Bharatha Varsha, its shape and its extent have changed many times. Whatever is its present name, either borrowed or assigned; whatever the extent of its boundaries is; the concept of India that is Bharath has survived as a many dimensional splendor; even amidst the encircling chaos. It has always been a nation. India has held on to its pluralism, its democratic way of life and its basic values; despite strife, contradictions and endless diversities. This is no mean achievement. It is for these reasons we call it, the Miracle that is India.




Rig Veda mentions the tribe of Bharathas several times.

The Rig Veda has a certain geographical horizon. It projects a land of seven great rivers bounded by several oceans and many mountains. It mainly shows the geographical sphere of the Bharatas and their neighbors. Accordingly, Rig Veda mentions that Bharathas ruled the land that spread over the banks of the rivers Parushni ( Ravi ) and Vipasa ( Beas ).

The Purus and in particular the Bharatas among them, are the main Vedic Aryans of the Rig Veda.

2. Battle of Ten Kings (dāśarājñá)

The seventh Mandala of Rig-Veda treats “The Battle of Ten Kings”, fought between the Puru clan and the Turvasha/Drihyu/Anu clans, rather elaborately. There is a view that it was a battle between Aryans and non-Aryans. I however, do not, subscribe to that view. All of those kings involved in the battle –Puru, Turvasha, Druhyu and Anu were the sons of Yayathi who in turn was the son of Nahusha. It was a intra clan fighting.

3.Bharatha son of Dushyanta

Bharathas were a clan among the Purus. The Purus prospered in the North and strengthened the Chandra vamsha (Moon Dynasty). Many generations later into this, clan was born Bharatha son of Dushyanta. The great poet Kalidasa in his epic Abhignana Shakuntalam immortalized the love of Dushyanta and Shakuntala.

Bharatha son of Dushyanta is NOT the Emperor Bharatha whom we discussed earlier and after whom Bharatha _Varsha is named. As per the chronology listed in Vishnu Purana, Bharatha son of Dushyanta appears thousands of years after Emperor Bharatha son of Rshabha. Pandavas and Kauravas are decedents of Dushyanta/Bharatha but are several generations removed from them.

Thus, the Bharatha Tribe of dāśarājñá is far removed from Emperor Bharatha son of Rshabha.


Please read On Arya , Aryan , Sarasvathi and other issues that complement the above post.

Jambu-dweep of Love



Posted by on September 1, 2012 in General Interest, History, Rigveda


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