The famous phrase from William Shakespeare’s remounted play Romeo & Juliet had its significance in many contexts, but probably not always.
A name signifies many things, and it’s the very first identity of a person, place, thing, or animal. If there had been nothing in a name, why would we spend time and effort to name our newborn? In fact, these days, the obsessed pet lover makes quite an effort to name their pets as well. For naming the newborns, in most cultures around the globe, people consult their respective religious preachers or pick names from religious or historical figures to emotionally satisfy themselves that their newborns will be as famous and pious as those figures whose names are chosen.
Naming places of significance evokes similar emotions. A place and its name signify many things. If that were not the case, why have most of the conquerors throughout history imposed their own names on places, taking out the original names?
What if I say New York was New Amsterdam when it was under Dutch control and changed to New York in 1664 under British control? And then the list goes on.
Peking to Beijing in 1958
Edo to Tokyo in 1868
Ceylon to Sri Lanka in 1972
Burma to Myanmar in 1989
Siam to Thailand in 1939
Persia to Iran in 1935
Now what’s in the name Bharat? There are several explanations available in the public domain, including the most famous, which most kids in India from the 1970s and 1980s must have known was coming from King Bharat. But analysing most explanations and meanings of the word Bharat in Sanskrit, I think the most logical and well-explained one is that “Bha” in Sanskrit stands for “light” or “enlightenment.” There are some explanations for “Bhava,” meaning worldly existence, born, origin, birth, etc. The second part, “Rat” or “Rata” in Sanskrit, means to fuse, engage, attach, restore, etc. Both the words “Bha” and “Rata” may slightly differ in meaning depending on the context. But when they join to become “Bharat,” it means fusing, mixing, engaging in enlightenment, and immersing themselves in always seeking knowledge.
Isn’t it such a beautiful name and meaning if we have to name our newborn? Let there be a light of knowledge in our lives. There is a lot in a name, and in Bharat, for sure.