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Thread: Does "Bharat-Varsha" refer to India, or the entire planet?

  1. #1

    Does "Bharat-Varsha" refer to India, or the entire planet?

    namaskar

    I see the term Bharat-Varsha applied to only India in some cases, but I've also seen it refer to the "world," or planet by others, usually by western followers of different dharma traditions, most notably ISKCON.

    For people who believe the former is true, how do you reconcile that with the idea that the Supreme being described in shastras is indeed a universal deity and not just the God of Indians?

    For people who believe the latter is true, why have none of the avatars appeared in any place outside India? Why do shastras only speak of holy places within the subcontinent and nowhere else?

  2. #2
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    Re: Does "Bharat-Varsha" refer to India, or the entire planet?

    According to Puruna, Bharatavarsha refers to India only .. The name itself speaks much. In Sanskrit 'Varsha' means specific region. That means the specific region on this earth.

    Shuka says to Parikshita:


    " You yourself are That Brahman. You alone are that Supreme Absolute abode .. Seeing this cautiously you should fix your self in that undivided Atma " ( Bhagavata purana 12.5.11 )


    hinduism♥krishna™ ©

  3. #3

    Re: Does "Bharat-Varsha" refer to India, or the entire planet?

    Quote Originally Posted by SKR108 View Post
    namaskar

    I see the term Bharat-Varsha applied to only India in some cases, but I've also seen it refer to the "world," or planet by others, usually by western followers of different dharma traditions, most notably ISKCON.

    For people who believe the former is true, how do you reconcile that with the idea that the Supreme being described in shastras is indeed a universal deity and not just the God of Indians?

    For people who believe the latter is true, why have none of the avatars appeared in any place outside India? Why do shastras only speak of holy places within the subcontinent and nowhere else?
    Namaskar,

    Bharata means, "light-giver". BharataVarsha means, "the land of light". On a mundane level, it means, "the East". But to be accurate, BharataVarsha means vrihata Bharata including all those Eastern nations which fall into Ramayana zone of influence.

    Then there is AryaVrata. Arya means, "the dark divine Sun" (don't ask me how ). Mundanely, "the West". Accurately, the vrihata Arya desha including all those western nations that fell under Arya domain of influence.

    In the beginning, however, the terms "west" and "east" exclusively meant the west and the east of India (Mother India), respectively. That would be pretty much the "prehistory of mankind".(don't ask me how )

    So, in the modern times it is no surprise that there is some confusion regarding these words. Clearly, more orthodox Hindus (read mostly native born) will equate AryaVarta to BharataVarsha to present confines of India - this view is well justified by observing that Dharma's influence has totally vanished outside India.

    Then there are some Sadhus still residing in India, who know much much more, things that are very powerful and perhaps shouldn't be told.

    Finally, there will be people like me, who would.. well, not now
    Things to remember:

    1. Life = yajña
    2. Depth of Āstika knowledge is directly proportional
    to the richness of Sanskrit it is written in
    3. Āstika = Bhārata ("east") / Ārya ("west")
    4. Varṇa = tripartite division of Vedic polity
    5. r = c. x²
    where,
    r = realisation
    constant c = intelligence
    variable x = bhakti

  4. #4

    Re: Does "Bharat-Varsha" refer to India, or the entire planet?

    Namaste,

    Quote Originally Posted by SKR108 View Post
    namaskar

    I see the term Bharat-Varsha applied to only India in some cases, but I've also seen it refer to the "world," or planet by others, usually by western followers of different dharma traditions, most notably ISKCON.
    In "some cases"? How can Bharat=Historical India 99.99% of the time be "some"?

    For people who believe the former is true, how do you reconcile that with the idea that the Supreme being described in shastras is indeed a universal deity and not just the God of Indians? For people who believe the latter is true, why have none of the avatars appeared in any place outside India? Why do shastras only speak of holy places within the subcontinent and nowhere else?
    Reconciliation is necessary mostly for those that wish to make compatibility, either knowingly or unknowingly, of two or more things that would not have traditionally been brought together. Either way, whether or not the deva-s traversed only certain regions of the world does not tarnish the sublimity of Dharma. In other words, the proud virya is well-comforted by the impenetrable chainmail of Dharma.
    Last edited by Sudas Paijavana; 14 December 2014 at 09:26 AM.

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    Re: Does "Bharat-Varsha" refer to India, or the entire planet?

    Namaste,
    Puranas praises Bharatavarsha as Mokshabhumi and says that even gods wish to take birth in bharatavarsha in vaidik families. Such birth is a sure way to moksha. It is knows as Mokshabhumi as most of the people here attains moksha. Birth in Bharata is the highest as one is born in Brahmana, Kshatriya and Vaishya varna.

    Lets see what puranas say. Following words are extractions from Puranas.
    "Puranas mention India as the landmass that stretches from the snowy peaks of Himalayas to the splashing Indian Ocean. Bharatavarsha has nine divisions named Indradweep, Kaseru, Tamraparn, Gamastiman, Nagdweep, Soumya, Gandharva, Varun and Yahadweep which is surrounded by the sea and has an expansion of 1000 Yojans. In the eastern part of Bharata, live Kirat whereas in the western part live Yavans. In the Bharata, live population of Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras who pass their lives engage in works ascribed to their respective class. So as people who've varna lives only in Bharatavarsha, Vishnu takes avatara in India."

    "Four yugas namely Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dwapar Yuga and Kali Yuga descend on Bharatavarsha. In Bharatavarsha, sages observe penance to attain better life in another world, people organise Yagyas and offer donations to the Brahmins respectfully. In Jambudweep, Lord Vishnu is worshipped in Yagyas. Bharatavarsha is the land par excellence in Jambudweep for it is a land of action. Soul passes through millions of births, only then it finds a chance to take birth in Bharatavarsha when its pious deeds accumulate to a certain extent. Even the gods envy those people who take birth in Bharatavarsha. People in Bharatavarsha act without a desire to get fruits from their action. They dedicate their whole action to Lord Vishnu and ultimately mingle with Him. "

    From Markandeya Purana : " Bharatavarsha is the only country in the whole world where all the four yugas- Satya, Treta, Dwapar, and Kali occur in a cyclic way. Bharatavarsha is the root of all forms of divinity where deities reside and almighty God takes incarnation."

    "Beyond the boundaries of Bharatavarsha live the disbelievers (Non-aryan,that is, those who disbelieve in the Vedas). To the east live the kiratas and to the west live the yavanas.
    Bharatavarsha is populated by brahmanas, kshatriyas, vaishyas and shudras. There are seven major mountain ranges in Bharatavarsha. These are known as Mahendra, Malaya, Sahya, Shaktimana, Riksha, Vindhya and Paripatra. "


    It's wort to note that we got something. According to Purana, non-aryan are those people whose homeland isn't India. Another refutation to AIT..

    Only Hindus are Arya.


    Such is the glory of India.
    Hail to our Mother, Bharata.
    Last edited by hinduism♥krishna; 15 December 2014 at 07:42 AM.

    Shuka says to Parikshita:


    " You yourself are That Brahman. You alone are that Supreme Absolute abode .. Seeing this cautiously you should fix your self in that undivided Atma " ( Bhagavata purana 12.5.11 )


    hinduism♥krishna™ ©

  6. #6

    Re: Does "Bharat-Varsha" refer to India, or the entire planet?

    Pranams

    HLK

    "Only Hindus are Arya"

    This may not go down well with people who are born outside of India, would it also include Indians who have not taken birth in India.

    The Daoist tradition grew up independently from Hindu culture, would you also say that they are not not noble. Also what about the Ancient Egyptians. Both these were very advanced cultures.

    Ys

    Md

  7. #7

    Re: Does "Bharat-Varsha" refer to India, or the entire planet?

    I too have this confusion over late. I think Krishna in Gita keeps referring to Arjun as Oh Bharata..some translate it as king of the world.

    maybe the knowledgeable can clarify.

  8. #8

    Re: Does "Bharat-Varsha" refer to India, or the entire planet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sudas Paijavana View Post
    Namaste,



    In "some cases"? How can Bharat=Historical India 99.99% of the time be "some"?
    I doubt that's accurate.

    Reconciliation is necessary mostly for those that wish to make compatibility, either knowingly or unknowingly, of two or more things that would not have traditionally been brought together.
    True.

    Either way, whether or not the deva-s traversed only certain regions of the world does not tarnish the sublimity of Dharma. In other words, the proud virya is well-comforted by the impenetrable chainmail of Dharma.
    Maybe not, but it seems odd that the Supreme Lord of the universe would only manifest within one part of such a vast creation.

  9. #9

    Re: Does "Bharat-Varsha" refer to India, or the entire planet?

    Namaste,
    Quote Originally Posted by SKR108 View Post
    I doubt that's accurate.
    How so?
    भारत [ bhārata ] [ bhā́rata ] m. f. n. descended from Bharata or the Bharatas (applied to Agni either " sprung from the priests called Bharatas " or " bearer of the oblation " ) Lit. RV. belonging or relating to the Bharatas (with [ yuddha ] n. [ saṃgrāma ] m. [ samara ] m. [ samiti ] f. the war or battle of the Bharatas ; with or scil. [ ākhyāna ] n. with [ itihāsa ] m. and [ kathā ] f. the story of the Bharatas , the history or narrative of their war ; with or scil. [ maṇḍala ] n. or [ varṣa ] n. " king Bharatas's realm " i.e. India) Lit. MBh. Lit. Kāv.
    inhabiting Bharata-varsha i.e. India Lit. BhP.
    [ bhārata ] m. a descendant of Bharata ( also in pl. for [ bharatās ] ) Lit. RV.
    ( with [ aśva-medha ] ) , N. of the author of Lit. RV. v , 27
    ( with [ deva-vāta ] and [ deva-śravas ] ) , N. of the authors of Lit. RV. iii , 23
    fire Lit. L.
    an actor Lit. L. ( cf. [ bharata ] )
    N. of the sun shining on the south of Meru Lit. L.
    [ bhāratī ] f. see below
    [ bhārata ] n. the land of Bharatas i.e. India ( cf. above )
    the story of the Bharatas and their wars (sometimes identified with the Mahā-bhārata , and sometimes distinguished from it) Lit. MBh. Lit. Rājat. Lit. IW. 371 n. 1 and 2
    ( with [ saras ] ) , N. of a lake Lit. Śatr.
    source
    To correlate Bharat with the whole world is quite the leap, often a very unnecessary correlation, since traditionally it refers to Historical India, now constitutionally used as a legitimate---and ancestral---name for the Republic of India (e.g., Bharat Ganarajya).
    Maybe not, but it seems odd that the Supreme Lord of the universe would only manifest within one part of such a vast creation.
    Here's the thing, as a Hindu polytheist, I do not hold the glorious gods and goddesses of my ancestors under the assumption that they are universally applicable. In terms of purely socio-cultural matters, where the gods "take birth" or incarnate is not really a matter worth contemplating rigorously over. Therefore, since I hold them under Bharatiya paradigms, or rather Dharmic epistemic and ontological realities, because of their socio-cultural relevancy, the question of why they were "born" only in various cities of Bharat and not in, say, Tokyo or Kiev, is invalid since it is irrelevant. Please keep in mind, however, what I have offered is only a Hindu polytheist perspective, a perspective that is quite content with not acknowledging a Supreme or Absolute; this question, in my opinion, would most likely apply to Hindus that hold the gods, or rather a Supreme, under the assumption or qualification of universality.

  10. #10

    Re: Does "Bharat-Varsha" refer to India, or the entire planet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sudas Paijavana View Post
    Namaste,

    How so?
    भारत [ bhārata ] [ bhā́rata ] m. f. n. descended from Bharata or the Bharatas (applied to Agni either " sprung from the priests called Bharatas " or " bearer of the oblation " ) Lit. RV. belonging or relating to the Bharatas (with [ yuddha ] n. [ saṃgrāma ] m. [ samara ] m. [ samiti ] f. the war or battle of the Bharatas ; with or scil. [ ākhyāna ] n. with [ itihāsa ] m. and [ kathā ] f. the story of the Bharatas , the history or narrative of their war ; with or scil. [ maṇḍala ] n. or [ varṣa ] n. " king Bharatas's realm " i.e. India) Lit. MBh. Lit. Kāv.
    inhabiting Bharata-varsha i.e. India Lit. BhP.
    [ bhārata ] m. a descendant of Bharata ( also in pl. for [ bharatās ] ) Lit. RV.
    ( with [ aśva-medha ] ) , N. of the author of Lit. RV. v , 27
    ( with [ deva-vāta ] and [ deva-śravas ] ) , N. of the authors of Lit. RV. iii , 23
    fire Lit. L.
    an actor Lit. L. ( cf. [ bharata ] )
    N. of the sun shining on the south of Meru Lit. L.
    [ bhāratī ] f. see below
    [ bhārata ] n. the land of Bharatas i.e. India ( cf. above )
    the story of the Bharatas and their wars (sometimes identified with the Mahā-bhārata , and sometimes distinguished from it) Lit. MBh. Lit. Rājat. Lit. IW. 371 n. 1 and 2
    ( with [ saras ] ) , N. of a lake Lit. Śatr.
    source
    To correlate Bharat with the whole world is quite the leap, often a very unnecessary correlation, since traditionally it refers to Historical India, now constitutionally used as a legitimate---and ancestral---name for the Republic of India (e.g., Bharat Ganarajya).
    That's fine, I was only referring to your statistic of 99.9%

    Besides, if we look the word "Aryan" up in a dictionary or reference book, should we be satisfied and accept what we see?


    Here's the thing, as a Hindu polytheist, I do not hold the glorious gods and goddesses of my ancestors under the assumption that they are universally applicable. In terms of purely socio-cultural matters, where the gods "take birth" or incarnate is not really a matter worth contemplating rigorously over. Therefore, since I hold them under Bharatiya paradigms, or rather Dharmic epistemic and ontological realities, because of their socio-cultural relevancy, the question of why they were "born" only in various cities of Bharat and not in, say, Tokyo or Kiev, is invalid since it is irrelevant. Please keep in mind, however, what I have offered is only a Hindu polytheist perspective, a perspective that is quite content with not acknowledging a Supreme or Absolute; this question, in my opinion, would most likely apply to Hindus that hold the gods, or rather a Supreme, under the assumption or qualification of universality.
    I respect that and I can't really say you are wrong for seeing it that way, but when you say that the Hindu deities are not "universally applicable," does that mean that you view the powers they possess to be confined within the context of present-day border definitions?

    I disagree that these kinds of questions are "irrelevant," especially if the very first thing vedanta-sutras tells the student to do is inquire about the nature of the absolute.

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