Friday 18 May 2018

Thunderbolt : Vajra - 2

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

The future is never exactly as the past. And the new symbol cannot be even as the old. Hence the Thunderbolt of present day use is crossed. That is to say, it is multiplied in power, as befits the aspiration that is not of a great man here and there, but of every soul in a vast nation, at the same time. It is India, in all her millions, not a few Indian saints or prophets, who is called today to attain selflessness. India, in the might of her brotherhood, India in her unity, India in the cohesion of a single body, has to go down, down, down, into the depths, in order to climb the mountains of perfect strength and gaze upon the Promised Land.

It is for this that the Thunderbolt is multiplied, that it may be the symbol, not of a hero, but of a nation of heroes. With the same idea, also, of expressing in the national emblem the unity of India, many people use the lotus for the reverse of the flag. Very few probably know the beautiful old map of Varaha-Mihira (about a.d. 550) in which India is represented as an eight-petalled lotus, where Panchala is the centre, and Magadha, Kalinga, Avanta, Amarta, Sindhu, Harhama, Madra, and Kulinda form the eight petals. India as the lotus, the lotus lying on the Ocean, or India as Uma practising austerities to be the bride of Mahadeva—it is difficult, sometimes, to believe that our old poets did not directly and deliberately idealize their country !

When we think of all that a national banner represents, we cannot wonder that the standards were the only things contained in the chapel of the Praetorium, in Roman times. We feel their sacredness, alike in war and peace. We thrill to the thought of the shot-riddled flags brought home from European battle-fields and hung beside the altar, in churches and cathedrals. To a people who understand their own nationality, no other guerdon can be half so precious. For a banner is at once a benison and a menace, a consecration and a rallying-cry. It is as an altar, at whose foot, whether for assault or defence, men's lives are freely offered up. Generations come and go. New combinations arrive and vanish, but that for which the national symbol stands—that ineffable union of jana-desh-dharma for ever which people fights—remains for ever, simple and steadfast as Eternity, mirrored in the fugitive minds of its myriad worshippers.

To be continued.....

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