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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Bharat is about regaining the lost soul of our nation


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I always get goosebumps when I shout out ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. I am not a closeted Sanghi. I wear my Sanghi attitude on my sleeve and carry it in my heart because I am a proud son of Bharat Mata.

I grew up being taught that ‘I am an Indian’ by my grandparents and parents. I was taught to take pride in being an ‘Indian’.

Most times, during my growing up years in the Middle East, I would get a little confused over the names given to our nation and people – India, Bharat, and Hindustan. But, I would stand proud as an Indian and I will stand proud as a ‘Bharatiya’ and I will also stand proud as a ‘Hindustani’.

India, to me, is about its current geographical boundaries but Bharat, to me, goes beyond its geographical boundaries. It is our civilizational, cultural, and most importantly Sanatana Dharma roots that bind all Bharatiyas not only in India but across the world.

Some scholars and thinkers opine that the name ‘India’ is an exonym – a name given to our people and region by foreigners. The name ‘India’ in sacred or Sanskrit literature, or in Buddhist or Jain texts is nowhere mentioned. And that is true because the name ‘India’ or the name from which the name ‘India’ was derived is a name given to our people and region by foreigners whether they were from Persia, Arabia, Britain, France, Portugal, Netherlands, or Denmark.

In the Visnu Purana Book 2 Chapter 3 it states:

The country that lies north of the ocean, and south of the snowy mountains, is called Bharata, for there dwelt the descendants of Bharata. It is nine thousand leagues in extent, and is the land of works, in consequence of which men go to heaven, or obtain emancipation.

The seven main chains of mountains in Bharata are Mahendra, Malaya, Sahya, Suktimat, Riksa, Vindhya, and Paripatra.

From this region heaven is obtained, or even, in some cases, liberation from existence; or men pass from hence into the condition of brutes, or fall into hell.

The Visnu Purana further states: The gods themselves exclaim, “Happy are those who are born, even from the condition of gods, as men in Bharata-Varsa, as that is the way to the pleasures of Paradise, or the greater blessing of final liberation.

There is a divine energy and power in the name of Bharat. It is not confined to the geographical boundaries of India but it was, is, and will be seen as a land of people connected by the beliefs of Sanatana Dharma. To say that Bharata denotes all regions comprised between the sea and the mountain range of the Himalayas is not to describe the shape of India as we know it from modern maps. The map is not only a geographical space but also a political space enclosed in boundaries or administrative units drawn by the colonial power.

Scholars believe that Bharat was conceived as a social order, a space where specific social relations and shared notions of a moral order prevailed, (British) India referred to a political order, to a bounded territory placed under the control of a single centralized power structure and an authoritarian system of governance. 

The name ‘India’ is not the soul of our nation. It is merely a reflection of a foreigner’s understanding of India – its wealth, its culture, and a little about its spirituality but they never understood Bharat. Therefore, they believed it could be proselytized.

A nation in bondage and slavery can lose its soul. India is a reflection of that lost soul, alive no doubt in the body but dead in the soul. The impact of centuries of foreign rule and colonization we lost everything. We lost our culture, we lost our history, we lost our pride, we lost our self-respect, we lost our name and more importantly we lost our soul. It is important for the people of Bharata-Varsa to rekindle their soul, their inner consciousness, and prestige in the world standing strong on the foundations and principles of Sanatana Dharma.

The name ‘Bharat’ is about the reawakening of the sleeping soul of the people of Bharat-Vasa because as it is written in the Visnu-Purana, “It is only after many thousand births, and the aggregation of much merit, that living beings are sometimes born in Bharata.”

India needs to shed its colonial past and rise up as Bharat to lead the world with a new world order built on the principles of One Earth, One Family, One Future or simply put Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.

Bharat marching on the principles of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam serves as a reminder to the world that, irrespective of our diverse backgrounds, we are part of a single global family and more importantly our interdependence is crucial.

Bharat is about ‘Integral Humanism’. In the world, there is no separateness but diversity and what is present in ‘pind’ is present in ‘brahmanda’. Simply put every individual is integral to the humanism of a nation and of this world. Integral Humanism as envisaged by Deendayal Upadhaya encapsulated this thought that the principles of Integral Humanism offer a non-dualistic prism for perceiving the world we live in and acting upon the fundamental unity of humankind — an outlook that offers powerful solutions for political, social, and economic cooperation across the world.

The name, Bharat is not about a nation defined by religion as so evident in the world controlled by the Abrahamic religions but a nation defined by the principles of Sanatana Dharma and rooted in spiritual and cultural ethos. Bharat is the pathway to global civilizational harmony.


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