Who Is Bharata?

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Bharata (character in the Mahabharata)

Bharata Definition

Bharata is a prominent character in the ancient Hindu epic, the Mahabharata. Dated around the 3rd century CE, the Mahabharata embodies numerous characters, each representing distinct qualities and moral dilemmas.

Bharata depicts the embodiment of righteousness and selflessness.

A rare statue of Bharata, Chandragiri hill temple complex, Sravanabelgola, Karnataka, India. Jain basadis in the background.
A rare statue of Bharata, Chandragiri hill temple complex, Sravanabelgola, Karnataka, India.

Bharata Deep Dive

Bharata’s lineage can be traced back to the eponymous king Bharata, from whom it is believed the land of India derives its name, Bharat.

Born to Dushyanta and Queen Shakuntala, Bharata’s birth was a result of an ill-fated encounter and subsequent separation of his parents. Bharata was raised in the hermitage of sage Kanva where he developed an affinity for simplicity, humility, and spiritual wisdom.

Bharata’s formative years in the hermitage played a crucial role in shaping his noble character. Immersed in the teachings of the scriptures, he imbibed a deep understanding of dharma, righteousness, and the principles of justice.

His upbringing fostered humility and a sense of duty towards his people, instilling in him the qualities of a fair and compassionate ruler.

An act of profound selflessness defines Bharata’s character within the Mahabharata.

Despite being the rightful heir to the throne of Hastinapura, he voluntarily renounced his claim, yielding the kingdom to his blind half-brother Dhritarashtra.

This act of sacrifice exemplifies Bharata’s unwavering commitment to family harmony and his prioritization of the greater good over personal ambition.

Throughout the epic, Bharata serves as a moral compass, embodying the principles of dharma. His impartiality and adherence to righteous conduct make him a revered figure among both allies and adversaries.

Within the Mahabharata there are times of political and personal conflict. It is in these times that Bharata’s wisdom and diplomatic skills make him a trusted mediator, encouraging reconciliation and peace.

Bharata’s story within the Mahabharata leaves a lasting impact on subsequent generations. His virtuous character and selfless acts inspire individuals to uphold righteousness and embrace their responsibilities with sincerity.

Bharata’s name carries immense symbolism, representing integrity, sacrifice, and the pursuit of justice. He stands as a timeless embodiment of moral ideals.

a silhouette of a king riding a horse

Bharata In Your Life

The character of Bharata in the Mahabharata imparts several valuable lessons that we can learn from:

1. Selflessness and Sacrifice

Bharata’s act of renouncing the throne exemplifies the importance of selflessness and sacrifice for the greater good. It teaches us to prioritize peace and the well-being of others over personal ambition and desires.

2. Adherence to Dharma

Bharata’s unwavering commitment to righteousness and adherence to dharma serve as a reminder of the significance of moral integrity. It teaches us the importance of upholding ethical principles in our actions and decisions.

3. Humility and Service

Bharata’s humble upbringing and dedication to serving his people underscore the virtues of humility and selfless service. It reminds us of the value of compassion and caring for others, regardless of one’s position or status.

4. Wisdom and Diplomacy

Bharata’s role as a trusted mediator highlights the importance of wisdom and diplomacy in resolving conflicts. It teaches us to seek peaceful solutions, listen to different perspectives, and promote harmony through dialogue.

5. Embracing Responsibility

Bharata’s willingness to accept his responsibilities as a prince and later as a guide signifies the importance of embracing one’s duties and obligations. It reminds us of the significance of fulfilling our roles and making decisions with the welfare of others in mind.

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To go deep and expand your yogic knowledge, access our free Yoga Terms Encyclopedia, where we host a profound wealth of ancient and timeless yogic wisdom in an accessible modern format.

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Amy is a yoga teacher and practitioner based in Brighton.

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