Date of usage of the word Bhaarata to denote India

Dipak Bhattacharya dbhattacharya200498 at YAHOO.COM
Sun Jan 2 07:26:01 UTC 2011

That  the name bhāratavarṣa could have been known in Asoka’s time may not be improbable.  But should bhārata always qualify a region/land? Cn., Rv 3.53.12 viśvā́mitrasya rakṣati bráhmedáṃ bhā́rataṃ jánam. The reference is to a people/tribe.  The name Mahābhāratam refers to the great war of the Bharatas

--- On Sun, 2/1/11, Ashok Aklujkar <ashok.aklujkar at UBC.CA> wrote:

From: Ashok Aklujkar <ashok.aklujkar at UBC.CA>
Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] Date of usage of the word Bhaarata to denote India
Date: Sunday, 2 January, 2011, 11:17 AM 2.3.1:
uttara.m yat samudrasya himaadre;s caiva / tad bhaarata.m naama. bhaaratii yatra/tatra sa.mtati.h //

Unless the uncompounded bhaarata referred to a specific region on its own, it would not have appeared in an appositional construction with

The ViP verse I have cited is followed by verses mentioning the nava-yojana-saahasra extent and listing of the kula-parvatas etc. So, its Bhaarata could not have been very different from the modern pre-Partition India.  

That the A;sokan inscriptions show awareness of Jambu-dviipa cannot imply that Bhaarata as a country/region name was not known in the time of the inscriptions. The same point can be made with respect to Manu's/Bh.rgu's (2.22) mention of Aaryaavarta. Note also that the context in which the Manu-sm.rti mention occurs is not oriented toward giving a geography of the entire subcontinent. Its principal concern is places suitable for a Brahmin to live.

The ViP is usually considered to be a relatively early as I recall. 

ashok aklujkar

On 2010-12-24, at 11:12 PM, Christopher Wallis wrote:

>  My
> author uses Bhaarata to mean "all the land in which tiirthas are found" so
> that is clearly not just north India.  Does anyone else have any further
> evidence to date this usage?

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