India i.e. Bharat is the union of states and a fusion of various religions, cultures, customs, heritage etc. which makes it an intriguing nation embracing the diversity of this world. There are lots of wonders seen here; may be an architectural or as a highly developed civilization in ancient India or an amazing history of much conquered nation, India has always made her presence felt as a great nation. Since ancient times our nation has been termed as Bharat (Sanskrit original name). There are some stories of various historians which fascinate us and explain How India got the name Bharat.
First, is according to Rig Veda and Battle of Ten Kings:
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According to the History of India’s Geography; the land of seven rivers, the Rig Veda’s 18th hymn of seventh book describes about the terrible war which is known as ‘Dasharajna’ or battle of ten kings. The war was fought between ten powerful tribes who plotted to overthrow King Sudasa of the Bharata tribe of Trtsu Dynasty. This battle took place on the river Ravi in Punjab. As a result, Sudasa achieved a great thumping victory over the confederacy of ten kings. Which further led to the popularity of King Sudasa and people eventually started identifying themselves as members of the Bharata tribe. The name ‘Bharata’ stuck on the mouth of people and ultimately named as ‘Bharat Varsha’ meaning the land of Bharata.
Second, is according to Mahabharata and Bharata Chakravarti:
According to Mahabharata the popular story states that India was called Bharatvarsha after the king named Bharata Chakravarti. Bharata was a legendary emperor and the founder of Bharata Dynasty and an ancestor of the Pandavas and Kauravas. He was son of King Dushyanta of Hastinapur and Queen Sakuntala. Also, a descendant of Kshatriya Varna. Bharata had conquered all of Greater India, united in to a single political entity which was named after him as “Bharatvarsha”.
Excerpt of Vishnu Purana ---- “This country is known as Bharatvarsha since the times the father entrusted the kingdom to the son Bharata and he himself went to the forest for ascetic practices”
According to Vishnu Purana—
उत्तरं यत्समुद्रस्य हिमाद्रेश्चैव दक्षिणम् ।
वर्षं तद् भारतं नाम भारती यत्र संततिः ।।
Uttaraṃ yatsamudrasya himādreścaiva dakṣiṇam
varṣaṃ tadbhārataṃ nāma bhāratī yatra santatiḥ
This shloka means: “The country (Varsam) that lies north of the ocean and south of the snowy mountains is called Bharatam; there dwell the descendants of Bharata.
Therefore, it is also said that the name Bharata is derived from the ancient Indian texts, the Puranas which refers to the land that comprises India as Bharata Varsam. They used this term to distinguish it from other varsas or continents.
Amazing is that this Bharat Empire i.e. Bharatvarsha or India includes the present day of Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Turkmenistan, North-West Tibet, Nepal and Bangladesh.
Third is according to Sanskrit, the origin of Bharat:
Bharata is the official Sanskrit name of the country, Bharata Ganarajya. The Sanskrit word Bharata describes Agni. This term has Sanskrit root bhr means “to bear/ to carry” i.e. “to be maintained” (of fire). It also means “One who is engaged in search of Knowledge”.
Fourth is According to Jain Dharma:
India’s real name is Bharat and it was kept after the name of Bharat Chakravarti the eldest son of First Jain Tirthankar & it is said that it is solely gift of Jainism interms of name Bharat and its original source of Civilisation of Bharat today called India.
According to another historian it is also said that:
The name India is derived from Indus, which originates from the Old Persian word Hindus and latter stems from the Sanskrit word Sindhu, which was for the Indus River.
India is also called Hindustan which is a Persian word means “Land of the Hindus”; prior to 1947, it is referred to a region that encompassed northern India and Pakistan.