Why is India's second official name "Bhaarata"?
The name "Bhaarata" is an old one and is the subject of some controversy and confusion. The most common and most accepted belief is that the country was named after the third Emperor Bharata. This is very plausible, as Bharata is one of the most influential rulers in India's history, giving rise to a powerful dynasty that lasted centuries. Although there is no first-hand documentation of his life - it's all secondhand from oral tradition - it's general knowledge that he was an unusually broad-minded individual for his day. He ruled benevolently and clearly placed a high value upon knowledge. Upon his death, he did not follow the tradition that said the eldest son must inherit the throne - he passed the crown to his adopted son, the one showing the most ability of all his sons. There are, however, some interesting cultural details that shed doubt on this theory.
At the time of the great Emperor's rule, Christianity and its
associated monotheistic, male-dominated religions did not exist. The
majority of prehistoric religions were female-dominated, usually a
Mother Goddess ruling (or co-ruling on an equal footing) a pantheon,
as opposed to a single male ruling alone. This makes sense, as women
are the bearers and nurturers of children, hence they are the
creators of life and the guardians of the future. Even in the Vedic
scriptures and the Mahabharata, females are depicted as strong,
powerful, wise, and supportive. A single male cannot create life all
by himself, no matter how hard one tries to twist the laws of
nature, so it is unlikely that the nature-oriented society extent at
that time would have accepted this form of religious structure, even
though it grew closer to it later on.
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