Bharata

Posted: 13.05.2015

Alias

Bharatavarṣa, Bhārat

India

In Hindu mythology, Bharata (Sanskrit: भरतः, Bharata i.e., "The cherished") was an emperor and the founder of the Bhārata dynasty, and thus an ancestor of the Pandavas and the Kauravas in the Sanskrit epic, The Mahabharata. Though the Bhāratas are prominent tribe in the Rigveda, the story of Bharata is first told in the Adi Parva of the Mahabharata, wherein he is the son of Dushyanta and Shakuntala.The story of his parents, and his birth, is also related in Kalidasa's famous play, Abhijñānashākuntala.

There are also many references to "Bharata Chakravarti" in the sacred Jain texts. In Jain mythology, Bharata conquers all of earth and the worlds above and reaches the top of "Mount Meru" (the center of the world) to place a flag. But upon reaching the top he sees numerous such flags of world conquerors who preceded him. Thus chastened he takes diksha and attains nirvana. He is succeeded as an emperor by his son Arkakirti.

India has been called Bharatavarṣa (the land of Bharata) after him, and Bhārat is an official name of the Republic of India. Varsha means a piece of land separated by mountains.

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