08 September 2006

Patriotism doesn’t need anyone’s patronage, Vande Mataram

We need no one to dictate us on how to be patriotic!! We know how much patriotic we are and we are happy about it. Think of India as a whole…a vast country with diverse culture across it and beauty spread allover in diverse form. There are thousands of Gods, lakhs of temples, millions of festivals, crores of followers, billions of historical places, various types of philosophical groups, same number of food habits.. amidst all these lies a nation of a billion people which the west call ‘mystic’.

When there’s a lot of scattered mechanism of living lives within a country, when the primary aim of the people is to get roti, kapda aur makaan where’s the time to think about country, and also when at times if there’s a question of the pride of the nation how will these varieties of people react to it, bear with it, come with each other?!

That was on display for the entire world during the great “Indian freedom struggle” and guess who bound the disordered people together? Who was instrumental behind the achievement of the up-hill task?
It was nothing but a song. A song which fills everyone listening to it with a never before feeling of pride for the mother land, a song which treats Mother as the Mother-land, a song which implies Mother, Mother-land, Mother-of-the-universe (Durga) are all one and the same… And that song was “VANDE MATARAM”.

Who gave it to us? One great poet Bankim Chandra Chatterjee.

Some history of the song
It is true that Vande Mataram blossomed forth in Anandamath, but it is even true that it was Bankim's intention that it should blossom forth beyond Anandamath. For Vande Mataram, the song, was composed before Anandamath was written.

How Bankim saw the wonderful vision that worked as a most powerful spiritual lever in the movement for his country's liberation, how he immortalised that vision in the hymn is not fully known. But this much is known that one auspicious moment arrived, in 1875, when Bankim took a holiday to escape from the hectic life of Calcutta. He boarded a train bound for his native town Kantalapada. As the city left behind, there was greenery all around and his heart filled with joy. The contemplation of the motherland with her rich rivers, flowers, fruits and forests sent a pulsating current through Bankim. In that instant the sod was turned into divinity by magic. His eyes and ears became alert, hungry. His inner eye beheld the motherland in all her rich variety and beauty; his inner ear listened to voices from the earth, the air and the sky. And Nature begot her song! She gave it to benevolent Bankim! He bowed and received the gift. And then he reduced it to writing, as one who saw and heard the whole of it.

Here’s the beautiful song in original format for you :

vande maataraM
sujalaaM suphalaaM malayaja shiitalaaM
sasyashyaamalaaM maataraM

shubhrajyotsnaa pulakitayaaminiiM
pullakusumita drumadala shobhiniiM
suhaasiniiM sumadhura bhaashhiNiiM
sukhadaaM varadaaM maataraM

koTi koTi kaNTha kalakalaninaada karaale
koTi koTi bhujai.rdhR^itakharakaravaale
abalaa keno maa eto bale
bahubaladhaariNiiM namaami taariNiiM
ripudalavaariNiiM maataraM

tumi vidyaa tumi dharma
tumi hR^idi tumi marma
tvaM hi praaNaaH shariire

baahute tumi maa shakti
hR^idaye tumi maa bhakti
tomaara i pratimaa gaDi
mandire mandire

tvaM hi durgaa dashapraharaNadhaariNii
kamalaa kamaladala vihaariNii
vaaNii vidyaadaayinii namaami tvaaM
namaami kamalaaM amalaaM atulaaM
sujalaaM suphalaaM maataraM

shyaamalaaM saralaaM susmitaaM bhuushhitaaM
dharaNiiM bharaNiiM maataraM


And here is the English translation of the same by Sri Aurobindo

Mother, I bow to thee!
Rich with thy hurrying streams,
bright with orchard gleams,
Cool with thy winds of delight,
Dark fields waving Mother of might,
Mother free.
Glory of moonlight dreams,
Over thy branches and lordly streams,
Clad in thy blossoming trees,
Mother, giver of ease
Laughing low and sweet!
Mother I kiss thy feet,
Speaker sweet and low!
Mother, to thee I bow.

Who hath said thou art weak in thy lands
When the sword flesh out in the seventy million hands
And seventy million voices roar
Thy dreadful name from shore to shore?
With many strengths who art mighty and stored,
To thee I call Mother and Lord!
Though who savest, arise and save!
To her I cry who ever her foeman drove
Back from plain and Sea
And shook herself free.

Thou art wisdom, thou art law,
Thou art heart, our soul, our breath
Though art love divine, the awe
In our hearts that conquers death.
Thine the strength that nervs the arm,
Thine the beauty, thine the charm.
Every image made divine
In our temples is but thine.

Thou art Durga, Lady and Queen,
With her hands that strike and her
swords of sheen,
Thou art Lakshmi lotus-throned,
And the Muse a hundred-toned,
Pure and perfect without peer,
Mother lend thine ear,
Rich with thy hurrying streams,
Bright with thy orchard gleems,
Dark of hue O candid-fair
In thy soul, with jewelled hair
And thy glorious smile divine,
Lovilest of all earthly lands,
Showering wealth from well-stored hands!
Mother, mother mine!
Mother sweet, I bow to thee,
Mother great and free!


Mother, I bow to you, I prefer you, my Motherland, to anything else in the world. Same feelings reflected by Bhagat Singh, same reflected Mahatma Gandhi, same reflected Netaji, and same is loved and respected by all..But how unfortunate it is that this beautiful song, which has successfully raised the patriotic spirits of crores of people for over a century now, which has a greater historic role played in shaping the spirits of the country than our National Anthem Janaganamana, is being termed communal and anti-national? How un-civilized those people would be to consider Vande Mataram anti-national! How does singing Vande Mataram offend some body’s religion? How does this beautiful song doesn’t implant patriotism in some people? How does it sound so offensive to them? Who are they? Those who consider religion at a higher level than country is talking these, I’m sure. Should we allow such people to spill the hatred even after over a century? Should we not consider Vande Mataram as our National Song?


Vijay said...

Very well said...

The song doesnt have to do with what cast, creed or religion.. I think its been played up too much by the bloody politicians.

Srik said...

Religion is made for us, to help us in living, and country is that which has made us, which has given us everything that we boast of!!
But unfortunately see the priorities now a days..religion is poking in for everything..
If this continues, then we may have to divide earth on the basis of religion and then most strongest would be most dangerous. Religion must just help us live. And why do we live? To get honours for the country.. Priorities must be well defined.

Thanks Vijay, its more evident that politicians are behind the spoilt sanctity of this great song.

Vani said...

"Its more evident that politicians are behind the spoilt sanctity of this great song."

How True Srik, The present goverment is trying all sorts of tactics to get the people divided...more an extension of the "Divide and Rule" policy of the british, now adopted by the Italian queen ruling us.

Srik said...

Yes Vani,
Everyone had a great expectation when it was told that Manmohan singh would be the prime minister and Chidambaram the finance minister. Yes in deed, Indian economy is on a roll but any amount of achievement on the corpse of the culture and pride of the land will take us no where. India can not become a US, she has her own personlaity which should be preserved, even if we reach Mount Everest, our hearts should feel as if we are standing on earth, which is true eventually. The culture of the land, basic traits of the place be preserved, and Vande Mataram is a lot more helpful on the way of achieving it. Country should develop healthily. If we forget our roots, then we also shall be Confused Desis as our NRI friends are.

prasca said...

ಇದು ನಮ್ಮ ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರಗೀತೆಯಾಗಿರಬೇಕಿತ್ತು. ಆಗಿಲ್ಲ ಅದು ನಮ್ಮ ದುರಾದೃಷ್ಟ.