bharata भरत

Definition: Is the name of a people of great importance in the Rigveda and the later literature. In the Rigveda they appear prominently in the third and seventh Maṇdalas in connexion with Sudās and the Tftsus, while in the sixth Maṇdala they are associated with Divodāsa. In one passage the Bharatas are, like the Tṛtsus, enemies of the Pūrus: there can be little doubt that Ludwig’s view of the identity of the Bharatas and and Tṛtsus is practically correct. More precisely Oldenberg considers that the Tṛtsus are the Vasiṣhas, the family singers of the Bharatas; while Geldner recognizes, with perhaps more probability, in the Tṛtsus the royal family of the Bharatas. That the Tṛtsus and Bharatas were enemies, as Zimmer holds, is most improbable even on geographical grounds, for the Tṛtsus in Zimmer’s view occupied the country to the east of the Paruçṇī (Ravi), and the Bharatas must therefore be regarded as coming against the Tṛtsus from the west, whereas the Rigveda recognizes two Bharata chiefs on the Sarasvatī, Ápayā, and Dpçadvatī that is, in the holy land of India, the Madhyadeśa. Hillebrandt sees in the connexion of the Tṛtsus and the Bharatas a fusion of two tribes; but this is not supported by any evidence beyond the fact that in his opinion some such theory is needed to explain Divodāsa's appearing in connexion with the Bharadvāja family, while Sudās, his son, or perhaps grandson {cf. Pijavana), is connected with the Vasiṣthas and the Viśvāmitras. In the later literature the Bharatas appear as especially famous. The śatapatha Brāhmaṇa mentions Bharata Dauh- ṣanti as a king, sacrificer of the Aśvamedha (‘ horse sacrifice ’) and śatānīka Sātrājita, as another Bharata who offered that sacrifice. The Aitareya Brāhmaṇa mentions Bharata Dauh- ṣanti as receiving the kingly coronation from Dlrghatamas Māmateya, and śatānīka as being consecrated by Somaśuçman Vājaratnāyana, a priest whose name is of quite late origin. The geographical position of the Bharata people is clearly shown by the fact that the Bharata kings win victories over the Kāśis, and make offerings on the Yamunā (Jumna) and Gañgfā (Ganges). Moreover, in the formula of the king’s proclamation for the people, the variants recorded include Kuravah, Pañcālāh, Kuru-Pañcālāh,, and Bharatāh; and the Mahābhārata consistently recognizes the royal family of the Kurus as a Bharata family. It is therefore extremely probable that Oldenberg is right in holding that the Bharatas in the times of the Brāhmaṇas were merging in the Kuru-Pañcāla people. The ritual practices of the Bharatas are repeatedly mentioned in the Pañcavimśa Brāhmaṇa, the Aitareya Brāhmaṇa, the śatapatha Brāhmaṇa, and the Taittirīya Aranyaka. Already in the Rigveda there is mention made of Agni Bhārata (‘of the Bharatas’). In the Apr! hymns occurs a goddess Bhāratī, the personified divine protective power of the Bharatas : her association in the hymns with Sarasvatī reflects the connexion 'of the Bharatas with the Sarasvatī in the Rigveda. Again, in the śatapatha Brāhmaṇa Agni is referred to as brāhmana Bhārata, ‘priest of the Bharatas,’ and is invited to dispose of the offering Manusvat Bharatavat, ‘like Manu,’ ‘like Bharata.’ In one or two passages Sudās or Divodāsa and, on the other hand, Purukutsa or Trasadasyu appear in a friendly relation. Possibly this points, as Oldenberg suggests, to the union of Bharatas and Pūrus with the Kurus. A Bharata is referred to in the fifth Mandala of the Rigveda who he was is uncertain.


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