Saturday 25 May 2024

Vande Mataram

 – Nivedita Raghunath Bhide JI (Yuva Bharati, 50th Year Special Commemorative Volume,  June 2003)

Vande Mataram - Just the two words but these two words had moved the whole nation and continues to move the hearts of millions. Because these are not two words, it is Mantra. The seer of this Mantra was Sri Bankimchandra whose Jayanti is on 24 June. In the days of British rule over us, this Mantra inspired many to sacrifice their all including life for the freedom of our Motherland. India, a land protected by grand Himalayas on the Northern side and the deep blue oceans on the other three sides has evolved as a unique land in the world. Whether in the ancient European literature or in Sinic literature, whether in the medieval travelogues India has fascinated the world. She has a unique character and has made great contributions to the world. We are the children of such motherland. A mother who has been the mother of the universe, a mother who is timeless and young, a mother who has nourished her children materially, culturally and spiritually for ages. The more we know about her more proud we become. The more we see her in the context of the world more her existence becomes essential. Bowing down to her and laying down the life for becomes spontaneous. Many great warriors and saints have given their lives for the protection of this motherland.


This month of June is also sanctified by few more important days. 3 June is Maharana Pratap Jayanti. 12 June is the day of Coronation of Sri Chatrapati Sivaji Maharaj. 14 May is Kabir Jayanti and 15 May Guru Hargovindsingh Jayanti. This great land of ours is eternally guiding the humanity for its well-being. As said in the Vedas, this nation of ours is shaped by the penance of the Rishis for the well- being of the world. As her birth is from the penance of the Rishis, her growth and enrichment, her protection and purposefulness of her existence is also due to the penance of uncountable men and women.


Maharana Pratap is an example for how to recognize the enemy even if he is very apparently well-behaved, as was Akbar. The spirit of freedom in Maharana Pratap would not allow him to bow his head in front of Akbar even though Akbar was ready to allow Maharana to rule Chittor if he would accept the sovereignty of Akbar. But Maharana Pratap knew that though Akbar might not destroy or harass the Hindus, the later emperors might do it. Akbar's good behavior towards Hindus was no guarantee that his progeny also would be so. But if he had joined with Akbar, then he would be only strengthening in our country the hold of outside dynasty - a dynasty alien to the culture and religion of this land. It is like the MNC product is very attractive and cheap in the beginning but more its market increases, the Indians are thrown out of jobs and India is impoverished. Understanding the repercussions of the acceptance of what is against the interest of our nation is very important. Maharana Pratap is an excellent example of that. He resisted all the overtures of Akbar. He underwent all the sufferings. He had even to lose his kingdom. Just one nod to the authority of Akbar as sovereign and Maharana Pratap would have had all the riches at his feet. When Indian kings were competing with each other to prostrate in front of Akbar and have his favours, when they were justifying their support for Akbar in the name that Akbar is a tolerant Mughal King and he would not destroy the Hindu temples etc. Maharana Pratap stood high defying the authority of Akbar and thus he kept notionally the idea as well as possibility intact that India belongs to the Indians. He thus became the great source of inspiration for all those who worked for the freedom of our land.


When the coronation of Chatrapati Sivaji Maharaj took place, only one person understood its implication. That was Aurangazeb. Actually he lost his sleep. Aurangazeb knew that it was not just the fancy of Sivaji Maharaj but Sivaji Maharaj had challenged the Mughal Empire.


It was then that he took the decision to lead the army personally to Deccan to destroy the flame of Swarajya Self-rule which Sivaji Maharaj had kindled in the minds of the people successfully. Even before Aurangazeb had reached South, Sivaji Maharaj passed away quite unexpectedly. But still Aurangazeb had no victory. One son of Sivaji Maharaj was caught and killed brutally because he refused to give up his religion. The second son too died. There was no king to guide the war and Aurangazeb did not win. It is the only example in the world history that the Emperor left his capital and stayed in the southern corner of his empire fighting unsuccessfully for 27 years. At last he died broken-hearted. But the inspiration given by Sivaji Maharaj continued to inspire men to lay their lives for the freedom of Motherland. That beautiful Mantra 'Vande Mataram' which Bankimchandra gave later includes actually the legendary valour and inspiration of these great persons.


Whether the life of Kabir or the lives of ten Sikh Gurus - it is the commentary on the Mantra "Vande Mataram". Though brought up in a Muslim family, Kabir did not hesitate to claim the great heritage of his motherland. He not only did not reject it but actually he made great contributions to the heritage of our Motherland. Similarly the Ten Gurus of the Sikhs made great contributions to the philosophy as well as protection of this motherland. Thus the month of June this year has brought to us sacred memories of the great persons of our land whose life was explanation and dedication to Great Mantra 'Vande Mataram.' When Bankimchandra became the seer of the Mantra "Vande Mataram" all the sacrifice and contributions made by many in the past as well as the future possibilities of this great land got encoded in these two mystic words.


Even after independence, this Mantra Vande Mataram' has a great potency to inspire us to make India such a nation that she can guide the whole world. India is our mother. But by her very mission she has been the mother of the whole world. The mission of the nation depends on its world vision.


Every nation has a vision for itself and for the world. Originally the Greek- Roman civilization and later the West have demonstrated their vision for the world. Their vision is based on the 'Struggle for the existence' and 'Survival of the fittest'. Therefore, conquering, ruling and homogenizing the world for their supremacy over the rest either through statecraft, trades, commerce or religion has been their practice. It is this vision of the west, which implies its claim to superiority over the rest that is perceived to be leading to civilizational clashes among nations and religions. It is their world vision, which made them and even now makes them to exploit the world without any qualms. The underlying principle has always been conquering and ruling over the rest. It was only the instrumentality, which was different at different times.


The global mission of Bharat is driven not by acquisition, conquest or power. It is the other way round. Global vision of Bharat is the family of different nations and peoples. Global vision of Bharat is not to validate or invalidate any particular view of god or world, of life here or hereafter. Bharatiya global vision recognizes the core idea of nature that diversity is the basis of creation. Unless a view accepts this fundamental truth about nature, it cannot qualify as global vision, encompassing all views of life and after life faithfully accepted by the people of the world. Indian world vision is not the vision of global market or of enforcing homogeneity of view or faith about life or life after. Our vision is the vision of the World as a Family - Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. India never commended or accepted the homogenization of the humanity based on uniformity, which has been the thrust of the West and the Abrahamic faiths. But she recognizes and stresses the underlying unity kept subtly concealed within the apparent diversity of worship, gods and goddesses, ways of life.


'There is no single universal way of life, single universal god or book, or single universal worship' is the only universal principle of human life and progress in the world and this is encapsulated in the idea of Sanatana Dharma. India is Dharmabhoomi, when Dharma is practised. The method of spreading this thought - Dharma, which just means seeing validity, legitimacy and sacredness in all thoughts about life here and life hereafter, is ingrained in India since time immemorial as reflected in "Krinvanto Vishvamaryam." This is global mission of India. Mother does not, destroy her children because they are different from each other. But she cultures them so that they can learn to co-exist. Thus this has been the mission of India.


India has vision of family of nations Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, and she herself played the role of a Mother in this family. She is the Mother of the universe not like the self-appointed saviours that we see around but by her purpose, practice, her history we see that she has really been the mother of the world. India is the only country in the world that in spite of her being the big, and powerful country it has not invaded or destroyed any country or any culture in her whole history. That does not mean that Indians did not go to other lands. They went and spread the Indian culture but without destroying the local cultures. Actually contribution of India has been only to enrich the other cultures, to unify them keeping their uniqueness intact. Any serious student whether Indian or non-Indian of history realizes this great contribution of India. Swami Vivekananda in his world famous Chicago address had said, "I thank you in the name of Mother of religions, I thank you...I am proud to belong to a nation which has sheltered the persecuted and the refugees of all religions and all nations of the earth." The Mark Twain says, "India is the cradle of the human race, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition. Most valuable and the most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only." Will Durant says in his book 'Story of Civilisation': "India is the motherland of our race and Sanskrit is the mother of Indo-European languages. She is the mother of our philosophy, of our mathematics, mother of ideals embodied in Christianity and mother of our democracy. Mother India is in many ways the mother of us all. ...India will teach us the tolerance and gentleness of mature mind, understanding spirit and a unifying, pacifying love for all human beings." The purpose of the existence of India is to give unifying principles to the world.


The Mantra "Vande Mataram" should impel us not only to revive India but also to make her guide the whole world. Whenever we failed in this mission or narrowed down our scope we degenerated. As said by Swami Vivekananda, "We find that one of the causes, which led to this degeneration was the narrowing of our view, narrowing the scope of our actions... To become broad, to go out, to amalgamate, to universalize, is the end of our aims. And all the time we have been making ourselves smaller and smaller, and dissociating ourselves, contrary to the plans laid out in our scriptures... I went to America and Europe. I had to, because that is the first sign of the revival of national life, expansion. This reviving national life, expanding inside, threw me off, and thousands will be thrown off in that way." How prophetic Swami Vivekananda has been! Since his time so many Yogis and Sadhus and Sanyasis are going out to other countries, that shows the expansion of India has started, these are the signs of the great future of India ahead.


Still more forcefully Swami Vivekananda had added, "It is not only that we must revive our own country that is a small matter; I am an imaginative man and my idea is the conquest of the whole world by Hindu race. Once more the world must be conquered by India.


This is the dream of my life, and I wish that each one of you who hear me today will have the same dream in your minds, and stop not till you have realized the dream. They will tell you everyday that we had better look to our own homes first and then go to work outside. But I will tell you in plain language that you work best when you work for others... We must go out, we must conquer the world through our spirituality and philosophy. There is no other alternative, we must do it or die." If we as a nation do not work to influence the world, then the world is going to influence us and going to set agenda for our destruction. Therefore to spread the all-inclusive thoughts of India we would also have to confront and contain the exclusive ideologies.


In the song 'Vande Mataram' which Sri Bankimchandra composed, one beautiful line is, "Tvam hi Durga Dashpraharanadharinim..." This beautiful and unique motherland of ours is the manifestation of Jagatjanani Durga herself. Durga who is carrying weapons in her ten hands. Durga as mother of the Universe, also has to have weapons for the destruction of the evil. Only then she would be able to protect her children. India has survived so long because she as a nation has never hesitated to fight with the Adharmik-exclusive forces. And therefore she could stand the waves after waves of invasions and keep her identity. Swami Vivekananda had emphatically said, "It is the same India which has witnessed the shocks of centuries, of hundreds of foreign invasions. It is the same land, which stands firmer than any rock in the whole world, with its undying vigour, indestructible life. Its life is of the same nature as the soul, without beginning and without end, immortal; and we are the children of such a country."


A simple look at the world history will establish that India is the only country without a beginning; its history is undated, in fact undateable. The other known ancient civilizations like Greece, Babylonian, Persian, Roman rose to power and eminence and then became extinct. But India lives on. It has a durability attached to it, which the Divine seems to have denied to other civilizations.


An American Museum histogram of civilizations contains - giving the details of the beginning and the end of different civilizations; only the Indian civilization, and its cousin, the Confucian Civilization continue without beginning, obviously is without end. Why to go in the distant past to see intransigence of other nations? Even in last 300 years we saw so many powers rose and fell and they are the footnotes of history today. Powers like France, Great Britain, Germany, Ottoman, USSR were on the high in the world and today these are either not existent or are insignificant. Two centuries ago, the US was irrelevant. Three centuries ago, it did not exist. Today it is a super power. This is how nations have come and gone, as Swamiji said, 'living a few of hours of exultant and of exuberant dominance and of wicked national life and then vanishing like ripples on the face of the waters'. But unlike all these roller-coaster ride of the world nations and civilizations, India lives on and lives with unprecedented steadiness and greatness inherent in her.


She is the oldest and yet young with full of promises. Every rising power tries to teach lessons to India and also boast to her, but before long that power is no more a power and in due course gets extinct. But Vande Mataram - India lives on.


It is like the story of the tree and the creeper. In one rainy season, a creeper climbs in no time on a 150 years old tree and boasts to the tree, "What is the use of your 150 years of existence? See, I have climbed in no time up to your top." The tree smiles and tells the creeper, "You are the 150th creeper that I have seen." India has seen many nations rose to power based on India's wealth or knowledge, and then declined, and become extinct. But Vande Mataram India lives on.


India is a country, which has perhaps faced the maximum invasions in the world. Most of the invaders also tried to defile and mutilate her, tried to annihilate her identity. But today those invaders are extinct, are part of the past. But India lives on. As Swamiji had said, "Its life is of the same nature as the soul, without beginning and without end, immortal; and we are the children of such a country." "Vande Mataram" thus encompasses homage to all that is noble and lofty in our motherland and also inspires us to work for her great future. Mananat Trayate iti Mantrah That which protects by contemplation over it, is Mantra. The Mantra "Vande Mataram" has that potency. Contemplation on it, can inspire the young men and women to give up their life for the regeneration of their Motherland so that she can fulfil her mission of guiding the world.

कथा : विवेकानन्द केन्द्र { Katha : Vivekananda Kendra }
Vivekananda Rock Memorial & Vivekananda Kendra :
Read n Get Articles, Magazines, Books @

Let's work on "Swamiji's Vision - Eknathji's Mission"

Follow Vivekananda Kendra on   blog   twitter   g+   facebook   rss   delicious   youtube   Donate Online

मुक्तसंग्ङोऽनहंवादी धृत्युत्साहसमन्वित:।
सिद्ध‌‌यसिद्धयोर्निर्विकार: कर्ता सात्त्विक उच्यते ॥१८.२६॥

Freed from attachment, non-egoistic, endowed with courage and enthusiasm and unperturbed by success or failure, the worker is known as a pure (Sattvika) one. Four outstanding and essential qualities of a worker. - Bhagwad Gita : XVIII-26

No comments:

Post a Comment