Episode # 108 – Why is India called “Bhaarata Desha” or “Akanda Bhaarata”? An important discussion!!!


In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of the discussion on the various classifications or divisions that comprise of Mother Earth, according to Sage Sukhacharya. As a part of yesterday’s discussion, we had spoken about the seven Dveepas within which is the Jambudveepa where we currently live. Apart from the Jambudveepa, there are six other Dveepas such as Plaksha Dveepa, Shaamali Dveepa, Kusha Dveepa, Krauncha Dveepa, Shaakha Dveepa and Pushkara Dveepa, surrounding which, there are different oceans such as “Shaarodha”, “Ikshudasodha”, “Surodha”, “Dhrutodha”, “Ksheerodha”, Dadhi-mandodha” respectively. The Jambudveepa on which we live, is surrounded by the ocean of salt-water. Similarly, the second one, namely the Plaksha Dveepa is surrounded by an ocean comprising of sugarcane juice! The third Dveepa, Shaalmali is surrounded by the ocean of alcohol! Fourth one, Kusha Dveepa is surrounded by the ocean of ghee (Refined form of butter). The fifth one, Krauncha Dveepa is surrounded by the ocean comprising of milk! Sixth one, Shaaka Dveepa is surrounded by the ocean of curd (Another form of milk – commonly known as yogurt). Finally, the seventh one, the Pushkara Dveepa is surrounded by the ocean of pure water!

In the previous episode, we had also witnessed the distances that each of these seven Dveepas approximately cover. The JambuDveepa according to the Bhaagawatha Puraana covers a distance of 13.2 Lakh kilometers. However, in reality I do not know if this still holds good. Maybe the Jambudveepa covers the entire solar system that we live as part of? Or maybe the whole of the “Milky Way” galaxy that our solar system is a part of? We need more research to find this out!

Moving on thus with the story part, this Aagneethra whom we’re currently talking about, had nine sons. Thus, Aagneethra splits this Jambudveepa into nine different parts. This classification is what is termed as “Varsha”. It should be remembered that those of us who live in India, are part of the “Bhaarata Varsha”. Now Sage Sukhaachaarya explains how this split of nine “Varshas” took place and what are they.

“Gaayantim purvachittim naamaapsarasasam abimaapayaamaasa!

Naabhi Kimpurusha Harivarsha Ilaavrutha Ramyaka Hiranmaya Kurubhadraashva Kethumaala sanyaan Nava putraan ajanayath!!”

Thus Aagneethra had nine sons and the eldest son was gifted with the division of Bhaarata Varsha. The subsequent divisions of the Jambudveepa such as Naabhi, Kimpurusha, Harivarsha, Ilaavruta, Ramyaka, Hiranmaya, Kurubhadraasva, Kethumaala, etc. went to the corresponding sons of Aagneetra. Having said thus, this is not going to be the end! These nine “Varshas” have their own innumerable subdivisions, called “Kandas”. Of course, it is highly complicated to go into minute details of these Kandas for each of the nine Varshas. We shall take it slowly and witness these important divisions as we progress with the subsequent episodes.

However, one thing that all readers should note is that, the first division of the Bhaarata Varsha and the most important one is the “Bharata Kanda”, which is the exact place where we live today. Therefore we say as part of the Sankalpa Mantra that we belong to the main “Jambudveepa”. Within this, we belong to the “Bhaarata Varsha” and within which we live in the “Bharata Kanda”, which is located in the south of the great Himalaya mountains. Now how big is this Bharata Kanda? If we begin from the “Paaraseeha Desha” and end it at Cambodia, this total distance between these two places comprise of what we call Bharata Kanda. This is what we call as “Akanda Bhaarata” in ancient Sanskrit terminology. In today’s geographical map, we can witness that this “Akanda Bhaarata” or “Undivided India” extends from parts of Afghanistan, traverses through Pakistan, today’s India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar, extending up to the tip of Cambodia. Thus, in those years all of these places are known to be part of the Indian mainland and was called as India or “Bhaarata Desha”!

Now why did India get this name of Bhaarata Desha? It is because King Bharata ruled India for many years, our country has derived its name! In the Krita Yuga discussion, we’re going to witness a story of a great king by name Bharata. It is only after his excellency of administration, India derived its name called “Bhaarata”. This King Bharata shouldn’t be confused with the Bharata of Ramayana. Rama’s brother Bharata is different from this person. Readers should have this clarity as we move on. As we’ve seen so far, Manu had a son by name Priyavratha. Then came Aagneethra. From Agneetra came Naabi. From Naabi comes the next person by name Rishaba Deva. From Rishaba Deva comes King Bharata. It is thus only after this king Bharata’s name, has our country derived its name.

So for today, let us ponder over these important points and as we move forward, these are the fundamentals. Hence, readers should make it a point to take notes and remember these fundamentals thoroughly. Only then we would be able to understand the subsequent events that unfolded. We shall wait till the next episode to get along with this discussion further. Stay tuned! 😊







Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, India A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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