BAPS Kids - Things to Know

(47) Why is India Called 'Bharat'?

Why is India Called 'Bharat'?“… and ever since then, Ajanãbha came to be known as Bhãrat – the land of King Bharat.”
                                                               Shrimad Bhagawatam: 5.7.3

The Shrimad Bhagawatam explains India has been called Bhãrat since the birth of Bharatji, the eldest of the hundred sons of Rishabhdev Bhagwan and Jayanti. Bharat grew up to become an extremely robust, handsome, charming, brave, intelligent, just and noble king who reigned over the entire Bharatkhand – the continent of greater India believed to have stretched from present-day Turkey to Burma.

Other Names of India

In ancient times, India was called ‘Ajanãbha’ after its two great protectors Aja (Rishabhdev) and Nãbhi (Rishabhdev’s father)
Literally, Ajanãbha also means ‘the navel of Aja (the unborn, i.e. Brahmã the Creator), implying that India was the cradle of civilization

Home of Hindus

Land of the Noble

Kumarikã-khand: The Land that is Forever Young

(48) Why is India Referred to as 'Mother India'?
For Indians, their motherland represents more than a piece of land. They see India with the love, respect and awe of a real mother. In many ways, their sentiments are not ill-founded.

Like all mothers, Bharat Mata gave us our existence (literally for all those blessed enough to be born in India, and at least culturally for all those who originate from Her). She nurtures us, protects us, and sees to our holistic development. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the grains we eat, the cotton grown and made into the clothes we wear, the shelter and refuge we take,… all these are Her loving gifts to us, Her beloved children. And like all children, every proud Indian yearns to leave his mortal body in Her tender lap.

Many poets have literally personified Bharat Mata as a strong and dynamic holy figure – with quite some literary flare.
She, whose flocks of Jammu and Kashmir flutter in the breeze
Whose crown of the Himalayas shimmers as the roof of the world
Whose robust arms of Gujarat and Bengal swing in Her graceful gait
Whose bosom of Madhya Pradesh swells with pride and confidence
Whose veins are aflow with the holy waters of the Ganga, Yamuna and Sarswati
Whose holy feet of Kerala are continuously washed by the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea
And to whom the sun and moon offer their arti day and night,
O Bharat Mata! I offer my humble prostrations.

As proud and privileged children of Mother India, we pay homage to Her sacrifices, and pledge our faithful allegiance to Her values and heritage.
“India, the Motherland of our race… is, in many ways, the Mother of us all.”                                              
- Will Durant
Eminent British Historian

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