Bharat to India, Indus to Sangam of Saraswati, Ganga & YamunaJanuary 6, 2010
Bharatavarsha is the land of the great King Bharat, the son of Shakuntala and Dushyant, since long back in history. He was brave like lion.
The first known permanent settlements appeared over 9,000 years ago and gradually developed into the Indus Valley Civilization, dating back to 3300 BCE known to possess a sophisticated lifestyle, a knowledge of town planning and an undecipherable script language. It existed at the same time as the ancient civilizations of Egypt and Sumer but far outlasted them, surviving for nearly a thousand years. The Indus valley civilization fell to tectonic upheavals in about 1700 BC, which caused a series of floods. The name India originated from Indus River, so is the word Hindu (the religion) and the Hindi (the language), as a result of mispronunciations of River Sindhu by Persians and Greeks.
Aryans came from the North around 1500 BCE, and spread through large parts of India bringing with them their culture and religious beliefs. The Four Vedas, the important books of Hinduism were compiled in this period.
In 567 BCE, the founder of the Buddhist Religion Gautama Buddha was born. Two hundred years later, in the 4th century BCE, Emperor Ashoka, one of the greatest Kings of Indian history, led the Mauryan Empire to take over almost all of what is now modern India. This great leader embraced Buddhism and built the group of monuments. The 4 lions of Ashoka pillar at Sarnath has been adopted by India as its national emblem and the Dharma Chakra (the wheel) on the Ashoka Pillar adorns the National Flag.
They were followed by the Guptas in the north, while in the south part of India several different Hindu empires, the Cholas, the Pandyas and the Cheras spread and grew, trading with Europe and other parts of Asia till the end of the 1100s.
In 1192, Mohammed of Ghori, a ruler from Afghanistan, came into India and captured several places in the north including Delhi. The Dehli Sultanate gradually took control of more and more of North India over the next 200 years. Soon the Mughals, who were from Iran, came in and took control of the north.
The Europeans – Portuguese, French, Dutch, Danish and British – started arriving in the early 1600s. All of them held territories in India and made friends and enemies among India’s rulers, but it was the British who eventually controlled most of India and finally made it one of their colonies.
India got its independence from Britain in 1947 after a long struggle. In the process of becoming independent, India became two countries instead of one.
Since independence the republic of India, Bharat (officially named in Hindi) or Bharat Varsha, which many people still prefer to call it by that ancient name, has made huge progress and coped with great problems, and has developed its industry and its agriculture, and has maintained a system of government which makes it the largest democracy in the world.
It is clear from the vedic texts, that the Rig Vedic people lived on the banks of a river called the Saraswati. There were about 300 cities (plus so many supporting towns & villages) along the banks of saraswati. It was called Saraswati-Sindhu Civilization.
The major rivers of north – west (Punjab, Sindh, Rajasthan & Gujrat) were: Saraswati, Sindhu (Indus), Shatadru (Sutlej), Vipasa (Beas), Vitasa (Jhelum), Parushni (Ravi), Asikni (Chenab), Yamuna, Drishadwati and Lavanavati. All rivers have changed their courses since Vedic times. Of these, three rivers: Saraswati, Drishadwati and Lavanavati no longer exist.
The Rig Veda praises the river Saraswati as: ambitambe naditambe devitambe, the best of mothers, best of rivers, best of goddesses
Saraswati and her tributary rivers: Yamuna, Sutlej, Drishadvati and Lavanavati formed the other channel from Himalayas flowing through Kurukshetra, Rann of Kutch to the Arabian Sea. Saraswati was a mighty river with her bed as vast as 10 km in some places.
Tectonic movements pushed up the Aravali hills, in northern Rajasthan. This changed the drainage pattern of the Northwest drastically. Saraswati lost her major tributaries, Yamuna and Sutlej. Sutlej turned west and joined Beas-Sindhu system, and Yamuna started migrating east to join Ganga.
During Mahabharat times: The volume of water flowing down the Saraswati had reduced. The waters of Saraswati did not make it upto the sea. Yamuna at this time, partly flowed westwards to meet Saraswati and partly flowed eastwards to meet Ganga. At the time of Krishna’s birth Yamuna was not as mighty as it is today. Hence it must have been possible for Vasudev to cross the river, with the new born Krishna in his arms.
After Mahabharat times: Yamuna flowed into Ganga. Because Yamuna brought the waters of Saraswati to Ganga, the Sagam is called as the Triveni Sangam (confluence of the three streams) of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. Ganga now took the importance of Saraswati and the title of goddess.
The demise of Saraswati, was near fatal for the Saraswati civilization. The scarcity of water forced people to migrate. to east to the Ganga-Yamuna plains, west, northwest and south to Godavari plains.