What Bharat stands for

Interestingly, there are some ‘Bh’ words that bind us together. These are Bhaasha, Bhusha, Bhava, Bhaya, Bhojan, Bhraman, Bhaichara, Bhakti, Bhajan, etc.

What Bharat stands for

I do not know if India shall be renamed Bharat but I’m amazed at the passion the controversy stirred, in the minds of those who are patriotic hands down, as well as in the minds of those who are not. The roots of ‘Bharat’ can be traced to times immemorial. The roots of ‘India’ can be traced up to the Indus Valley civilization. But what intrigues me is what Bharat stands for.

I remember reading a discourse of Sri Sathya Sai Baba wherein He said that Bharat is the land of Bhava, Raga and Tala. It is the land where everything we do, say or even think, has a bhava or emotion underlying it.

Raga denotes rhythm or melody. There is a rhythm in the movement of the planets, the rising of the Sun, the air, the waves at sea, in atoms and molecules too. And the people of Bharat recognise this rhythm. They live in cognizance and consonance with the laws of the Universe.

Tala means beat. It means to go with the flow; resonating with the speed and beat of everything around. Everything in the universe is inter-connected. A seed has an embryo or a tiny sapling inside. It sprouts and grows into a tree that bears fruit. The fruit has the same seeds in it. Each seed has life in it. The seeds that are consumed or those that perish, all go back to the Earth. Scientists call this the food chain. For those spirituality inclined, this cycle is best explained by the Tree of life. And it is in Bharat that this knowledge has been explored, understood and documented.

Explaining various aspects of life or even aspects of the universe while recognizing their vastness and minuteness, their expanses and limitations, recognising the micro and macro aspects of everything, can be done by understanding the Bhava, Raga and Tala that is in the subconscious of the cosmos.

Interestingly, there are some ‘Bh’ words that bind us together. These are Bhaasha, Bhusha, Bhava, Bhaya, Bhojan, Bhraman, Bhaichara, Bhakti, Bhajan, etc. When people speak the same Bhaasha (language) there is a bonding. When they wear similar Bhusha (attire) there is a connect. If they share Bhava (passion) about things personal, religious or even work related, they stand together. Even having Bhaya (fear) of the same thing, makes people huddle together. Bhojan (eating food) of the same kind too, binds people together. Bhraman (travel) to places of common interest is also a great unifying factor. Bhaichara means brotherhood of man. Bhakti (devotion) brings people’s minds together like glue. And Bhajan (singing the glory of the Lord) together as a family or a community, is of course the greatest thing to create bonding.

Sathya Sai Baba said, “What does the term HINDU signify? H - Humility, I - Individuality, N – Nationality, D – Divinity, U – Unity. These are verily our five life-breaths (Pranas). Just as five elements, five senses and five life-sheaths constitute our physical body; these five principles constitute the very essence of spirituality.”

Delving deeper ... while doing Japa, we end with Namaha, which repeatedly enunciates, ‘Not-me, only He (God)’; that is the signature of humility engrained in us!
We say ‘Namaskar’, ‘I bow to the God immanent in you!’ Individuality respected to the core!

We address our country as Bharat Mata. That is Nationality!

Awareness of Divinity is taught when we are told to watch our breath. The breath says So-ham. (He is me.) He is what I am. I am Divine! So is everyone else!

And Unity is what our country embodies. We have a plethora of languages, cultures, beliefs etc. Everything knit together with Bhava- Raga-Tala is Bharata!

I wonder if the genesis of India is that meaningful. To top it all, we adulate our country as Bharat-Mata. I doubt if this suffix is attached to any other country on the globe!

(This piece has been published in the HT on 03.12.2023. It can be viewed here https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/chandigarh-news/sunrayswhat-bharat-stands-for-101701549632596.html)