There have been numerous names of our nation like Bharat, Bharatvarsh, Aryavrat, Hindustan, Sindhu Desh, Akhand Bharat, India etc. It is an age-old debate of all of us. The majority of us consider Bharat as the real name of our nation. We have fought against The British Empire for 200 years considering our nation as “Bharat”. Officially it is the “Republic of India”. Coincidently the Hindutva ideology after the creation of “Jan Sangh” later known as “RSS” popularized our nation as “Hindustan”. Coincidently, It was the name popularised by “Muslim Rulers of Medieval India”. Let us talk about these things in detail.
Let us start with the name “Hindustan”.
The Word “Hindu” has neither been mentioned in any Hindu text nor used by scholars like “Adi guru Shankaracharya”. The word Hindu/Indoi had been used by Greeks, Persians, and Arabians. In Ancient and medieval India, rivers had been an integral part of their daily cultural routine. So demography was based on the name of “River” only. Right from Vedas Sindhu, Saraswati, Ganga, Godavari, Kaveri etc. have been considered the most essential rivers of all times. The River Sindhu is “the most talked” river out of all the rivers in Vedas. But Vedas never named any region using “Indus”. But Rig Veda did mention “Sapta Sindhu” as a region of five rivers. Much later in the sixth Century BC, Persians used the word “Hindu” for people living beside “The Sindhu river“, because Zend Avesta translates “Sapt Sindhu” of Vedas as “Hapt Hindu“, not only that Greeks were also using this word “Hindu” for people living beside “Hindu River”. Later in holy Quran significantly mentions “Al Hind” which means the region of Hindus. It is clear that the word Hindu has nothing to do with Religion because there was no such religion as Hinduism. It was later in Medieval India when Saint Kabir and many other saints in the 16th and 17th centuries referred to two different connotations “Sanatan Dharma” and “Hindu” as one. Henceforth Mughals, Khilji, and Lodhi dynasties called our land “Hindustan.
From where the word “India” came into existence?
Already informed you that Greeks also used the word “Indoi” and the Greek word literally translated to Roman as “Indi”. Our nation was fully rich in natural resources, wealth, and manpower. The other two regions that were abundant in natural resources were the America and Africa continents. Do you know friends even Brahmanda Purana mentions other continents. We will explain this in detail later on. Coming to this topic, many European empires initiated to discover these places that is how Vasco Da Gama of the Portugal Empire in 1498 discovered the middle land of the “Indies” and named it India. While Columbus reached America and considered the West Indies as the original “India” in actuality it was not. Portugues founded another Indies in southeast Asia which was known as the East Indies (Indonesian Archipelago and the Philippine Archipelago). Later in 1600 AD, the British came into India for trade through a company called “East India Company”. It is how the word “India” came into existence.
Let us talk about the Name “Bharat” now!
If Vedas mentioned “Sindhu River then, Vedas also mentioned a tribe and a King with the name “Bharat”. King Bharat originally was a Chandravanshi (Lineage of Ila, the daughter of Manu) king. He was son of Shakuntla and Dushyant. Dushyant was a Puru King. Bharata was called Chakravati because he had captured the whole “Indian Subcontinent“. That territory was then called “Bharatvarsh” or “Bharat Khand”. These two names have been repeatedly mentioned in Vedas, Purana, and Upanishads. This Kingdom has directly formulated “today’s Indian Culture. Proof is “Mahabharat” itself. That is why localities of medieval India (1st CE to 17th CE) used to call our nation “Bharat”. There was another important name, Aryavrat, which is mentioned in the Vedas.
Is Aryavrat the first name of our Land?
Baudhayana sutras of Krishna Yajurveda, Vashista Sutra (compiled from Rig Veda), and many other scriptures have claimed our nation as AryaVrata, while all said about different boundaries of Aryavrata. It is to make sure that the time period of framing the scriptures was different. It was possible that Aryavrata, the Land of Aryans might be shrunk due to the invasion of the Puru Kingdom. So scriptures mentioned different boundaries.
Difference between Hindu and Sanatan Dharma
Hindu or Indu or Sidhu is the demographical and geographical Identity but Indu is a non-Bhartiya term and Britishers used the “Ind” term as slaves. The term India is not at all the Identity of the entire Bhartiya People. Not a single community in Bharat can connect its culture, and heritage with the term “INDIA”. Sindhu or Hindu is a great Identity and represents our demographic interests and boundaries. Calling Hindustan as an alternative name for Bharat. It has nothing to do with Sanatan Dharma. Sanatan Dharma is not a religion. Eternal Righteousness is Sanatan Dharma. Sanatan Dharma is called so because the “Realization and implementation of the right things” in daily routine is Dharma, and this principle has been followed for ages making us call our Dharma as Sanatan Dharma.
Best name for our Nation – Hindustan or Bharat?
Conclusion – Hindustan the name reflects the land of Hindus. This term raises so many controversies. RSS and other Pro Hindu groups do not know the technicalities of this name. On the other hand, Bharat was the King who captured modern-day India and documented one nation theory in the form of many Samhita and Shruti. He also accepted Vedas, and all the denominations other than Chandravansh. He was successful in making all his countrymen happy. Even all the sages and saints have documented 64 arts, and 16 sciences under his rule. While the word “Aryavrat” was only focused on one ethnic group. India is the word given by those who ruled us. “Bharat” is also well accepted by both minorities and majorities. So to keep our culture alive, the Word “Bharat” should be officially labeled as the name of our Nation.