[RISA-L LIST] Date of usage of the word Bhaarata to denote India

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan palaniappa at AOL.COM
Fri Dec 24 21:22:46 UTC 2010

If I remember right, the Critical Edition of the Mahābhārata is dated between 400BC - 400CE. The date of the Hāthīgumphā inscription of Khāravela falls within a narrower range, possibly 2nd half of 1st century BC. According to Jayaswal and Banerji, Khāravela has used Bharadavasa (Skt. Bhāratavarṣa) to refer to the plains of north India. (See EI, vol. 20, p. 78)

S. Palaniappan
South Asia Research and Information Institute (SARII)

On Dec 24, 2010, at 2:23 PM, Diana Eck wrote:

> The Mahabharata describes Bharata as the land that stretches from the Himalayas to the southern sea. Then, of course, all the cosmologies that include Bharata.
> Diana
>> Dear Chris,
>> I'm not sure of the earliest usage, but the expression "bhaaratavarSa" is already used in puranic literature, well before the 19th century, so perhaps that phrase may not be useful for dating purposes.
>> Hope this helps. All the best,
>> Carlos Pomeda
>> ABD, U.C. Berkeley
>> On 12/24/10 11:14 AM, Christopher Wallis wrote:
>>> Dear esteemed colleagues,
>>> Happy holidays.  I am reading and translating a very late ha.tha-yoga text
>>> called the Yoga-Kar.nikaa, the date of which can possibly be determined by
>>> its use of the phrase* sarvatiirthe.su bhaarate*.  Does anyone know the
>>> earliest usage of Bhaarata in the meaning "India"?  I am guessing 19th
>>> century, but I really don't know.
>>> thank you,
>>> Chris Wallis
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> -- 
> Diana L. Eck
> Professor of Comparative Religion and Indian Studies
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