Vande Mataram – V. Rangarajan – Published in 1977

Vande Mataram Entire

Acharya J.B. Kripalani, the Bheeshma Pitaamaha of Indian National Movement and a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi, wrote this in his inspiring foreword to the maiden publication of Sister Nivedita Academy, VANDE MATARAM by V. Rangarajan, released on the auspicious Akshaya Triteeya day, April 21, 1977, the day sacred for the worship of Bharata Mata, to commemorate the Vande Mataram Centenary Celebrations:

“Sri V. Rangarajan has done some original work in giving the history of our National Anthem, Vande Mataram. It was necessary because thousands of our pre-independence patriots had to suffer grievously in uttering and singing this song which before independence was considered the National Anthem. Some of them lost their lives for singing this song. Every patriot from Khudiram Bose to Bhagat Singh and Rajguru died with the mantram of Vande Mataram on their lips. It had become spontaneously the National Anthem adopted by the mass of our people.

Starting with the release of this book, the Academy has made rapid strides by setting up centres in India and in South Africa, engaging itself in multifarious activities like publication of books, journal and newsletter, conducting course on Hindu thought and culture for students all over the world and spearheading a spiritual movement for collective sadhana for world peace.


Full Text of the book





Foreword By




CHENNAI – 600 005

(Tele-Fax: 0991-44-8546135)


Volume II—Part II

First Published : Akshya Triteeya, April 21, 1977

Second Edition : Independence Day, August 15, 1998

Third Edition: Hindu Samrajyotsav Day, June 16, 2008


Price: Rs. 25

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the Sacred Memory of

my revered parents




Sri V. Rangarajan has done some original work in giving the history of our National Anthem, Vande Mataram. It was necessary because thousands of our pre-independence patriots had to suffer grievously in uttering and singing this song which before independence was considered the National Anthem. Some of them lost their lives for singing this song. Every patriot from Khudiram Bose to Bhagat Singh and Rajguru died with the mantram of Vande Mataram on their lips. It had become spontaneously the National Anthem adopted by the mass of our people.

It is therefore strange that after independence instead of this anthem, the present one, Janaganamana by our great poet Rabindranath Tagore, suddenly came to be recognized as our National Anthem. The adoption of a national song was never considered as it ought to have been by the Constituent Assembly. It was only announced by Rajendra Babu, the first President of our Republic. National Anthems are not adopted by the nation like that. They are to be recognized by the people. Even as it is, only the first two paragraphs of Vande Mataram are sung. The rest of it is omitted, the reason obviously being that the Muslims objected to the mention of the Indian Goddesses in the song though every goddess is the personification of some divine virtues and all this is explained in the song itself. Even now it will be desirable to have Vande Mataram as the National Anthem along with Janaganamana. Also the whole song must be sung, because the portions that are left out express the most beautiful and poetic sentiments about the Motherland.


16-2-`77                                                      J.B. KRIPALANI


There is no greater Divinity than the Motherland and no higher form of worship than the service of the Mother. Since time immemorial our rishis and sages have preached this and people from all walks of life — right from the ruler of the land to the tiller of the soil — have reverentially upheld this. I belong to the class of people who believe that the downfall of this country began the very day we gave up this supreme ideal of holding the Motherland holier than the heavens and that the only way to make Her once again the preceptor of the world is to instill this ideal in the hearts of common masses, particularly the youth, women and children.

My deep association, right from my childhood, with those people who are wedded to this ideology has inspired me to dedicate myself to this noble task and in my own humble way I have been endeavouring to propagate these sublime thoughts. In fact, all my writings so far have this one aim before them, viz. preaching the gospel of worship of the Motherland. Articles on patriots and revolutionaries, kings and emperors of our land, on festivals and celebrations of our country and my editorials in Yuva Bharati  and other journals with which I am associated, have all carried only this mission forward.

The advent of Vande Mataram Centenary opened yet another opportunity for me to spread this message. By virtue of my being the Secretary of the Vande Mataram Centenary Celebration Committee in Madras, I was called upon to produce literature for the enlightenment of the common run on the glorious history of the immortal song written by Rishi Bankim Chandra. I set myself to the work of collecting all materials from various sources and prepared a series of articles that appeared in Yuva Bharati, a cultural monthly for youth, published by Vivekananda Kendra. They have received very warm appreciation from all sections of people all over the country in response to whose demand, they have now been brought out in book form.

It was sheer Divine Grace that enabled me to present these articles before the revered Acharya J.B. Kripalani, one of the greatest patriots and freedom fighters of our country living in our midst today. He was kind and gracious enough to give me valuable suggestions and also an inspiring foreword to the work. I am extremely grateful to him for this act of benignity.

Many have helped me to bring out this publication and I am thankful to all those who have contributed their own share for the success of this endeavour. I am duty-bound to mention particularly the names of my colleagues, Sri K.P. Shivkumar, and my wife Smt. Bharati Rangarajan, who have gone through the manuscript and the proofs very carefully at every stage and to Sri T. Baskaradoss, the artist who has drawn for the front cover and done the other illustrations with due devotion.

I trust, this humble work will receive hearty welcome from the reading public and enable me to proceed ahead in making available to the beloved children of Mother Bharat, more and more such works in many languages, under the auspices of Sister Nivedita Academy, which has been offered as a fragrant flower at the feet of Bhavani Bharati.

Akshaya Triteeya, 21st April, 1977,                   V. RANGARAJAN



More than two decades have passed since the first edition of VANDE MATARAM was published. The author who was then a young graduate is today, no doubt, advanced in his academic qualifications, age and experience in life, but made a humbler man by his revered Master, Yogi Ramsuratkumar of Tiruvannamalai, who devoured the ‘I’ in him and made him a ‘Sadhu’ by giving him initiation in 1988. However, one thing has withstood the onslaught of time and remains as fresh as it was in his youth –the intense love of his Motherland and the firm conviction that one’s Salvation is in nothing other than the sacrifice of oneself at the Altar of that Divine Mother. A detour of various spiritual practices, close association with many spiritual leaders and participation in the activities of various religious, spiritual  and cultural organizations inside the country and abroad has made this sadhu realize the truth all the more clearly that all these exercises will turn out into a big humbug if the basic requisite of love and devotion to one’s Motherland and her children  manifesting in dedicated service is not there. Without this prime virtue of Patriotism, all religious leaders, spiritual organizations and socio-cultural movements can only divide the society, people and the country and make a mockery of God and religion. One who cannot love one’s family can never love one’s society, one who is incapable of loving one’s society cannot serve one’s country and one in whose heart the love of one’s country and people is not manifest, can never serve humanity. The day this truth will dawn in the hearts of all the people in this country is not far off. Children of this great nation will realize that there is no greater religion than Deshabhakti — Love of Motherland, no greater worship than adoration and service of the Motherland — Deshamaatrikaa Poojaa — and no greater deity than Bharat Mata — the Divine Mother Bharat. That day, this Motherland of ours, Bharata Bhavani, will be seated on the pedestal of the Loka Guru, the Preceptor of the World.

The first edition  of  VANDE MATARAM  was published to commemorate the Centenary of the immortal song of Rishi Bankim Chandra. In spite of the persistent requests from various quarters, it has taken such a long time for the second edition to come out. However, it is Divine Will that this second edition comes out to commemorate the Fiftieth Anniversary Celebrations of India’s Independence. A very significant and special aspect of this edition is the inclusion in it, as Appendix, of the reviews and notices of the book by very eminent national leaders and writers like Sow. Lakshmi N. Menon, Former Union Minister for External Affairs, Sri N.S. Varadachari, a renowned Freedom Fighter of the South, Sri A. Ranganathan and Sri T.R. Rajagopala Aiyar, well-known authors and columnists, published in prominent periodicals and dailies of the country as also the press reports which highlighted the clarion call of Acharya Kripalani in his Foreword to the book, to give Vande Mataram the status and official recognition as the National Anthem of Bharat and sing the song in full along with Jana Gana Mana. It is a sad reflection of the lack of patriotism and will on the part of those who have been in power all these years that this dream of one of the greatest sons of Mother India, who also happened to be a lieutenant of Mahatma Gandhi, is yet to be fulfilled even after two decades. We hope and pray that the emerging new patriotic and national leadership of the country will hearken to this call and make this immortal song the National Anthem and not only fulfill the wish of the great statesman, but also honour the sacrifices made by those who faced the gallows singing this soul-stirring song and uttering the Taraka Mantra,  Vande Mataram!

This sadhu is grateful to his daughter, Smt. Nivedita Ramesh, who has taken the pains to carefully typeset the whole work on our computer in the Nivedita Graphics, Bangalore.

Independence Day,                   SADHU PROF. V. RANGARAJAN

August 15, 1998



Dreams become realities when the dreamer intensely holds on to his ideals and inspires others too in his endeavour to realize the dreams. As a little boy, playing in the Sanghasthan of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in front of Sri Paramanarkulangara Bhagavati Temple at Ernakulam, Kerala, and seeing the Motherland as the living manifestation of the Bhagavati while singing the soul-stirring Praarthana, “Namaste sadaa vatsale maatrubhoome…“, standing in front of the Parama Pavitra Bhagava Dwaja, the ideal of Deshamatrikaa Upaasana was deeply implanted in this sadhu’s heart. As Assistant Editor of Yuva Bharati, when we were writing the biographical sketches of great patriots and revolutionaries inspired by the immortal song, Vande Mataram by Rishi Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, The ideal in the heart, which was in the form of burning embers, started glowing into a flame. The great patriot, nationalist and freedom fighter, Acharya J.B. Kripalani, inspired this sadhu to convert the flame into a torch that will shed light on the ideal of Motherland worship by writing the history of the immortal song, Vande Mataram, and he himself wrote the Preface to the work. The first edition of the book came out in a tiny form on Akshaya Triteeya, April 21, 1977, to mark the Centenary of Vande Mataram. It received a spontaneous response from the patriotic citizens all over the country and also reached the hands of younger generation through schools and libraries. However, it took two decades to bring out the second enlarged edition of the book on the Independence Day, August 15, 1998. This edition also received a warm welcome from patriotic children of Mother India. It received very good appreciation and comments from leaders like Prof. Rajhendra Singh, the then Sarsanghchalak of RSS and editors and writers of national newspapers. These are included in this third edition along with two more chapters, which were originally written by this author as articles in TATTVA DARSANA. This third enlarged edition comes out after a span of another decade, and in the meantime, our dream of setting up a temple for Sri Bharata Bhavani has found its fulfillment, when Sri Vishwesha Teertha of Udipi Pejawar Mutt, consecrated Sri Bharatamata Mandir at Srinivasanagar in Krishnarajapuram, Bangalore, in the presence of Sri H.V. Seshadri, former Sarkaryavah of RSS, on December 4, 2004. We hope this edition will also receive welcome from the present generation and turn them into patriots with sterling character and burning idealism.

Hindu Samrajyotsav Day,                      Sadhu Prof. V. Rangarajan

June 16, 2008

Sri Bharatamata Mandir, Bangalore.



Sister Nivedita Academy came into existence, on the auspicious Tamil New Year’s Day, April 13, 1977. It is a unique institute trying to impart to common people, particularly to the students, youth, women and labourers, the basic knowledge about the history and culture of the country and the thoughts and ideals cherished by Her great sons and daughters since time immemorial, with a special stress on patriotism and nationalism. Our motto  — iv}an< y}< tnute —  Vijnaanam yajnam tanute (Knowledge performs sacrifice) — makes it clear that the object of imparting such knowledge is to inspire our people to dedicate their lives to the cause of the country and sacrifice their all at the altar of the Motherland.

The idea of undertaking such a novel endeavour occurred to us when we witnessed an enthusiastic welcome to the writings of  Sri V. Rangarajan on patriots and revolutionaries like Madame Cama, Sister Nivedita, Mahakavi Bharati, Sri Aurobindo, Veer Savarkar and Dr. Hedgewar; articles on great kings and  emperors of India from Porus to Rajendra Chola; short stories reverberating the spirit of patriotism and self-sacrifice and contributions on ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Deshamatrika Pooja’, all of which appeared in Yuva Bharati, a cultural monthly for youth, published by Vivekananda Kendra, and of which the author has the good fortune of being the Assistant Editor right from its inception. This spontaneous response has impelled us to dedicate ourselves to the task of producing such literature on a wider scale in English as well as in vernaculars so that many potential leaders of the country may draw inspiration to offer themselves at the service of the Motherland.

The institute will also organize free study classes, symposia, seminars, discussions and group meetings to enable our men and women to cultivate the habit of swaadhyaaya or self-study and also arrange social service activities to provide opportunities to practice the precepts they imbibe, besides celebrating National Festivals and birthdays of National Leaders.

As a first step in our humble endeavour, we place before the patriots and national-minded public, a handy volume, “Vande Mataram”, being the collection of a series of articles on the fascinating saga of the immortal song of Indian nationalism and a brief narrative on the ideal of the worship of Motherland by Sri V. Rangarajan, with an inspiring foreword by Acharya J.B. Kripalani. We trust, this work will receive due approbation from the reading public.

                                        SISTER NIVEDITA ACADEMY




Twenty-two years is a pretty long period in the history of any organization. SISTER NIVEDITA ACADEMY has grown  into an adult institution with youthful vigour, spreading its branches inside the country and abroad, and carrying the message of Mother Bharat to distant lands to promote the twin ideals of spiritual nationalism and human brotherhood. The Academy’s official organ, TATTVA DARSANA, Quarterly, is completing fifteen years of yeoman service in the promotion of religion, philosophy, culture and science. H.H. Swami Chinmayananda rightly envisaged of it at its very inception: “Even though the market is saturated with trash, I am confident that TATTVA DARSANA will have all success, and I am looking forward to seeing its glorious trail of service to the Hindu Nation.” The journal has, indeed, risen upto his expectations.

Many are the students in India and abroad who have been immensely benefited by the Vijnana Bharati Course in Hindu Thought and Culture conducted by the Academy. A number of publications in English and regional languages have come out, marking the steady growth of this institution which has set up its own computerized printing unit, NIVEDITA GRAPHICS, operating both in the Chennai and Bangalore centres, to augment our publication activities. HINDU VOICE INTERNATIONAL, our News and Feature service to enlighten our Hindu brethren in India and abroad about all that is happening in the Hindu world, has been coming out at frequent intervals from the Academy’s Indian and South African headquarters. YOGI RAMSURATKUMAR YOUTH ASSOCIATION, the youth wing of the Academy, has launched a World Movement for Ramnam to promote concerted and collective spiritual sadhana for world peace. YOGI RAMSURATKUMAR INDOLOGICAL RESEARCH CENTRE of the Academy promotes intensive research in various fields of knowledge to bring out authoritative academic works by renowned scholars and has today a big library consisting of thousands of rare volumes, back issues of important journals, press clippings and audio and video tapes. To cap all the achievements of the Academy in the last two decades and above, a Gurukula Ashrama  is now being set up at Bangalore to train up  boys and girls from inside the country and abroad in all aspects of our hoary spiritual culture and heritage and to send them to distant lands as messengers of Mother India, not to propagate any creed, sect, cult or math, but  to achieve the goal,  k&{vNtae ivZvmayRm! — “Krinwanto Vishwam  Aaryam” — “Let us make the whole world noble!” The foreign tours of  Sadhu Rangarajan have enabled us to set up our centres abroad and brethren in distant lands are closely drawn to our humble work. Of course, ours is still a small flame, but it can set fire to a whole forest and turn this glorious country into a veritable Yagna Saala!

The Academy feels proud in bringing out this second edition of  VANDE MATARAM to commemorate the Celebration of Fifty Years of Indian Independence and offering it as our humble homage to the innumerable patriots and freedom fighters who laid down their precious lives at the altar of Mother Bharat.

We are also proud to announce that this Volume is the First in a SERIES, also titled VANDE MATARAM, that will constitute the COMPLETE WORKS OF SADHU PROF. V. RANGARAJAN, covering all his speeches, writings and letters in the last over three decades. We are sure, the patriotic and philanthropic-minded children of Mother India and lovers of the glorious culture and heritage of this sacred land will extend to us their whole-hearted help and co-operation in successfully bringing out the whole series as our humble offering at the feet of Bharata Mata. Vande Mataram!

                                                 SISTER NIVEDITA ACADEMY


This enlarged third edition of VANDE MATARAM comes out as Part II of Volume II of Vijnana Bharati—Gnana Ganga Series, which constitute the Complete Works of Sadhu Prof. V. Rangarajan. Part I came out as “SAGA OF PATRIOTISM—Revolutionaries in India’s Freedom Struggle” on Dr. Hedgewar Jayanti, Yugadi, March 21, 2004, and the second edition of it is coming out along with this edition of VANDE MATARAM. We are grateful to Sri Vedantham for doing the page make up and to Rashtrotthana Mudrana, Bangalore, for the beautiful printing of this edition.







Publisher’s Notes

Vedic National Anthem

Vande Mataram by Rishi Bankim Chandra Chatterjee

Vande Mataram English Translation by Sri Aurobindo








Appendix V – News and Photos

Front Cover:

BHARATAMATA by Sri Abanindranath Tagore




We have here a picture which bids fair to prove the beginning of a new age in Indian art. Using all the added means of expression which the modern period has bestowed upon him, the artist has here given expression nevertheless to a purely Indian idea, in Indian form. The curving line of lotuses and the white radiance of the halo are beautiful additions to the Asiatically-conceived figure with its four arms, as the symbol of the divine multiplication of power. This is the first masterpiece, in which an Indian artist has actually succeeded in disengaging, as it were, the spirit of the Motherland,–giver of Faith and Learning, of Clothing and Food, –and portraying Her, as She appears to the eyes of Her children. What he sees in Her is here made clear to all of us. Spirit of the Motherland, giver of all good, yet eternally virgin, eternally raft from human sense in prayer and gift. The misty lotuses and the white light set Her apart from the common world, as much as the four arms, and Her infinite love. And yet in every detail, of “Shankha” bracelet, and close-veiling garment, of bare feet, and open, sincere expression, is She not after all, our very own, heart of our heart, at once mother and daughter of the Indian land, even as to the Rishis of old was Ushabala, in her Indian girlhood, daughter of the dawn?

–Sister Nivedita


Vol III. Page 57)



“Let all the Brahmans in this nation shine with the append of the Brahmanical spirit. Let all the Kshatriyas belonging to the Kshatra class turn out to be arch- masters in the art and science of weapons and wars; may the heroes be all great intrepid Maharathis (meaning warriors of highest standard); let the cows yield good volume of milk; may the bullocks and the horses in this country become strong and speedful; may the women be of very dignified character, possessed with great virtues and charms and good mistresses of the houses which they rule; let the householders turn out to be valiant in assemblies and on the battle-fields; may they get good children who will also shine as great assembly-men; let the rains bless this land according to seasons and as much as we want; let the herbs and the trees bear ample flowers and fruits; let the whole life of this our nation be full in acquisition and use of all things  which make the life comfortable and joyful.”


vNde matrm!

\i; b<ikm cNd+ ca”rjI



Translation by SRI AUROBINDO

Mother, I bow to thee!

Rich with thy hurrying streams,

Bright with thy 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 swords flash out in crores and crores of hands

And crores and crores of voices roar

Thy dreadful name from shore to shore?

With many strengths who art mighty and stored,

To thee I call, Mother and Lord!

Thou who savest, arise and save!

To her I cry who ever her foemen drave

Back from plain and sea

And shook herself free.

Thou art wisdom, thou art law,

Thou our heart, our soul, our breath,

Thou the love divine, the awe

In our hearts that conquers death.

Thine the strength that nerves 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 gleams,

Dark of hue, O candid-fair

In thy soul, with appendi hair

And thy glorious smile divine,

Loveliest of all earthly lands,

Showering wealth from well-stored hands!

Mother, mother mine!

Mother sweet, I bow to thee,

Mother great and free!





“When posterity comes to crown with her praises for the Makers of India, she will place her  most splendid laurel not on the sweeting temples of a place-hunting politician, nor  on the narrow forehead of a noisy social reformer, but on the serene brow of that gracious Bengali, who never clamoured for place or power, but did his work in silence for love of his work, even as nature does, and just because he had no aim but to give out the best that was in him, was able to create a language, a literature and a nation.”


Sri Bharata Mata


The Hymn of Patriotism


A dense dark forest full of banyan trees. Tree tops mingle with each other weaving a mat of thick foliage which would not allow even a ray of the sun at meridian to penetrate into the jungle. The vast expanse of the forest area is permeated by a fearful and grave silence. But for the rustling noise of leaves and the cry of wild animals, no other sound is heard. There are birds and beasts in the wilderness, but they dare not move out for fear of death. In such a terrifying solitude, with dreadful darkness around, in the thick of the night, there arises a human voice piercing the veil of silence :

“Will my heart’s desire ever be fulfilled ? ”

The voice dies down as the forest relapses into silence. A little later the voice is again heard :

“Will my heart’s desire ever be fulfilled ? ”

A third time when the voice shakes the expanse of darkness, the reply comes:

“What are you prepared to sacrifice ? ”

“I am prepared to surrender even my life if necessary ”, replies the voice.

The echo derides : “Life ! What is life ? It is a small thing which any one can sacrifice.”

“What other precious possession have I besides my life ? What else can I give ? ”

Pat comes the reply : “Devotion”.

With this captivating scene begins the immortal novel Ananda Math of Bankim Chandra Chatterjee. The situation described in it is symbolic of the conditions that existed during Bankim’s period. The crushing defeat of the great patriots in the war of 1857 brought indescribable woes and agony to the people. Ruthless suppression and inhuman brutality unleashed by the British Government broke the spirit of courage and self-respect in the people and turned them meek and helpless. None dared to question the ruler, whatever be the injury and insult inflicted by the latter. There was a grave silence everywhere and people took it for granted that the Britishers had come to stay here and it was the destiny of the people to rot under the subjugation by foreigners. They must silently serve them, hoping for better days to come. The servility of the so called educated and cultured and the loss of self-respect, combined with western education and ideals, posed a grave threat to the social and religious ideals of the Motherland.


yda yda ih xmRSy Glain-Rvit –art ,

A_yuTwanmxmRSy tadaTman< s&jaMyhm!  .         

Yadaa yadaahi dharmasya glaanir bhavati bhaarata,

  Abbyutthaanamadharmasya tadaatmaanam srijaamyaham.

This is the eternal promise of the Lord. Whenever dharma declines, He will body Himself forth to uproot unrighteousness. So was born the great Rishi, Bankim Chandra – the seer of patriotism. “ Among the Rishis of later age we have at last realized that we must include the name of the man who gave us the reviving mantra which is creating new India, the mantra Bande Mataram,” says Aurobindo.

Born in a prosperous family in Kantalapada, 24 Parganas, on June 27, 1838, Bankim Chandra was a young student at the time of the First War of Indian Independence. Undisturbed by the political storm that had overtaken the country, he prosecuted his studies and took his degree in 1858. He entered Government service as a Deputy Magistrate and Deputy Collector and distinguished himself as an able administrator and an impartial judge. In him there was the combination of the traditional values of the country and the impact of western education. He was well-versed both in the classics of the land and the western thoughts. No wonder that even while in Government service his genius found expression in the literary field. His early novels, Rajmohan’s Wife and  The Adventures of a Young Hindu were in English. But destiny had willed him to become the uncrowned king of Bengali literature and his important works in his mother-tongue, like Durgesha Nandini, Kapala Kundala and Krishnakanter Will won him an honoured place among the top-ranking litterateurs of his day. But what enshrined him in the hearts of millions of people as a Maker of Modern India – a seer and nation-builder – is his unique contribution of later works like Devi Chaudhurani, Ananda Math, Krishna Charit and Dharmatattwa. Among them  Ananda Math, in which is incorporated his inspiring and soul-stirring national song, Bande Mataram, is a landmark in the history of historical novels in the country.


Bankim was not an idle utopian or a practical cynic. He had “ a positive vision of what was needed for the salvation of the country.” He was convinced that society could not stay without religion and that a society without religion could not progress. While rooted in the eternal and spiritual values cherished in the land, he unhesitatingly derided superstitions. Being a devout student of the Bhagavad Gita, he had immense faith in the superiority of moral strength over physical force. “He saw that the force from above must be met by a mightier reacting force from below, — the strength of repression by an insurgent national strength,” as Aurobindo has put it. “The Mother of his vision held trenchant steel in her twice seventy million hands and not the bowl of the mendicant. It was the gospel of fearless strength and force which he preached under a veil and in images in Ananda Math and Devi Chaudhurani.” “He perceived that the first element of moral strength must be tyaga, complete self-sacrifice for the country and complete self-devotion to the work of liberation. His workers and fighters for motherland are political bairagees who have no other thought than their duty to her and have put all else behind them as less dear and less precious and only to be resumed when their work for her is done.” “Again, he perceived that the second element of the moral strength needed must be self-discipline and organization.” “Lastly, he perceived that the third element of moral strength must be the infusion of religious feeling into patriotic work.”

Bankim would have remained  a mere visionary and a political preacher if he had not presented to the people his supreme contribution – the vision of our Mother. He  had the realization that  a mere intellectual idea of the Motherland was not in itself a driving force nor the mere recognition of the desirability of freedom, an inspiring motive. Unless the people had the will to attain freedom at the cost of everything they considered very dear, and were prepared to sacrifice everything at the altar of the Mother, these ideals would remain meaningless catch-words. “ It is not till the Motherland reveals herself to the eye of the mind as something more than a stretch of earth or a mass of individuals, it is not till she takes shape as a great Divine and Maternal Power in a form of beauty that can dominate the mind and seize the heart that these petty fears and hopes vanish in the all-absorbing passion for the Mother and her service, and the patriotism that works miracles and saves a doomed nation is born. To some men it is given to have that vision and reveal it to others.” It was given to Bankim Chandra to have that supreme vision of the Mother  in the form of dashapraharana dhaarini durga and reveal it to a nation which was groping in darkness, to give them a new light, to awaken them from deep slumber and arouse them to perform supreme acts of self-sacrifice. Since times immemorial, the Rishis of our land have glorified Mother Earth as the manifestation of the Supreme Mother and declared: jnnI jNm-!imZc SvgRadip grIysI – “ jananee janmabhoomischa swargaadapi gareeyasi” – “Mother and Motherland are greater than the heavens”. But in the modern times, it was ordained to be the task of Rishi Bankim to sing the Bande Mataram and recall to the mind of the subjugated nation the glorious memory of the past and the unsullied greatness of the Mother.


Bande Mataram was composed even before the Ananda Math was born. It happened in 1875 when, on a holiday, Bankim boarded a train to his native place, Kantalapada, to escape from the boredom of official life in the city of Calcutta. The train passed into the outskirts of the city and glided through vast tracts of land, wrapped in enchanting green foliage, decked with multifarious flowers, nourished and nurtured by hurrying streams and beautiful lakes and unveiling the bewitching charm of nature in all its splendour. As hills and dales, valleys and meadows ran past, the poet’s heart was thrilled with the vision of his exquisite Mother – the Bharata Mata. He was transported to a realm where all the physical vision vanished and there stood in front of him the Divine Mother riding the lion, holding the trident in her hand and adorned with all the precious jewels and a golden crown studded with rare gems, and casting her benign smile upon him. And the poet burst into song :

        “Vande Maataram !
Sujalaam suphalaam

            Malayaja sheetalaam

            Sasya shyaamalaam

            Maataram ! . . . . . ”


“    Mother I bow to thee !

Rich with thy hurrying streams,

Bright with thy orchard gleams,

Cool with thy winds of delight,

Dark fields waving,

Mother of might,

Mother free . . . . . ”

And he saw swords flash out in twice seventy million hands of the Mother ! He also saw her as Durga, Lady and Queen with her hands that strike and her swords of sheen ; as Lakshmi, lotus-throned ; and the Muse a hundred-toned, pure and perfect without peer.


The song was born. But it had to reach the masses. It took about seven years for Bankim to present it to the people in the ideal setting. In no other setting it would have been more appropriate than in the historic novel, Ananda Math. Bankim had drawn inspiration from the Sannyasi Rebellion (1763-1800). The famine of 1770 drove a large number of people to join the sannyasis fighting against the combined forces of the Mussalmans and the British, and the latter were never able to crush the revolt. At a later stage the sannyasis shifted their scene of operation from Bihar and Bengal and probably joined the Marathas against the British. Bankim was also deeply influenced by Maharashtra’s well-known revolutionary, Vasudev Balwant Phadke. Samachar Chandrika and other Bengali journals had carried his autobiography and later it came out in the form of a book. Bankim was also deeply impressed by the uprising of 1857, after the suppression of which many freedom fighters fled into forests and remote villages in the garb of sannyasins. All these influenced his thinking in drawing the blue-print for his renowned novel. But shrewd as he was, Bankim selected the struggle of 1773, of Hindu sannyasins against their Muslim rulers in Bengal, as the theme of his story, to save the novel from the clutches of the British.

“Vande Mataram! Sujalaam, suphalaam…”

In the days of acute famine in Bengal, Mahendra, a wealthy man of the village Padachinha, is forced to leave his place with his wife and child. After many ordeals, he comes across Bhavananda, a sannyasin belonging to the patriotic order of Ananda Math. While the two  walk along an arcadian path in the forest, the young sannyasin bursts into a song in praise of his Mother, ‘rich with hurrying streams and bright with orchard gleams.’ Mahendra wonders who that Mother is and then Bhavananda reveals to him : “We have no other Mother. The scriptures say that the Mother and the Motherland are greater than heaven itself. We consider the Motherland as our Mother. Apart from her, we have neither father nor mother, neither brother nor friend, neither wife nor child, nor house nor possessions. That great Mother engrosses all our attention – richly watered, plentifully-fruited, waved by winds of delight and dark with bountiful harvests . . . .” Mahendra, inspired by the great vision revealed to him, later joins the mission of the sannyasins headed by Satyananda. The story runs on with inspiring scenes and events depicting the supreme self-sacrifice and utter dedication and devotion of young men and women to the cause of the emancipation of the Motherland.


The power-packed mantra – Bande Mataram  — intoned by Rishi Bankim Chandra got revealed first in Barisal which was the nerve-centre of freedom struggle in East Bengal, where it echoed like thunder. And the timing was the mammoth uprising against the partition of Bengal, in 1905. Lt. Governor Fuller promptly banned the singing of Bande Mataram. But from the streets of Barisal, the home-town of Ashwinikumar Dutt, a born rebel and patriot, the slogan spread like a wild fire throughout the length and breadth of the country, consuming in its wild passion the hearts of millions and millions of youth who turned into fierce patriots and nationalists and offered their precious lives at the altar of the Holy Mother. The Bengal provincial conference of the Indian National Congress at Barisal was scheduled to take place on April 14, 1906, and the pledge to undo the partition was to be taken. On the eve of the conference there was a mammoth meeting in the small town of Barisal in which an effigy of Lord Curzon was burnt and a thousand voices  cried Bande Mataram  with a firm determination to root out the alien rule from the soil of the Motherland. Like the birth of Sri Krishna which shook the fierce asura, Kamsa, the birth of the new slogan chilled the marrow of the British authority. At once the District Magistrate issued a proclamation prohibiting the shouting of the slogan Bande Mataram and singing the enchanting song at meetings or processions. Despite the intimidation of the authorities, the conference began as scheduled and delegates reached the venue in large numbers from all parts of Bengal. Led by the uncrowned king of Bengal, Babu Surendranath Banerjee, the delegates included prominent leaders like Motilal Ghosh, Editor of Amrita Bazaar Patrika, Bhupendra Basu, Bipin Chandra Pal, and Aurobindo Ghosh. Bande Mataram badges adorned the chests and shoulders of the delegates and placards and banners with the Bande Mataram slogan went up in the colourful procession they took out through the streets of Barisal to the venue of the conference. It was enough provocation for the already panicky and angry officials. Hundreds of policemen armed with regulation lathis (fairly thick, six feet long) fell upon the unarmed patriots. But the brave and daring patriots answered each lathi blow with shouts of Bande Mataram at the top of their voice. Those who fell soaked in blood were kicked by the police with heavy boots and the badges were snatched as their chests bore the mark of blood. Surendra Babu was arrested and produced before the magistrate, Emerson. The former strongly protested against the brutal repression. But the magistrate fined him Rs. 200 for contempt of court and another Rs. 200 for participation in the procession.


The conference had to be gone through and hence Surendranath paid the fines and obtained freedom to participate in the conference. As the session was in progress a police officer called Kemp, appeared on the scene and demanded of the president an assurance that the delegates would not shout Bande Mataram. The president, sensing the mood of the delegates, refused to give such an assurance. Thereupon, the police official read out the order of the magistrate under Sec. 144 prohibiting the meeting. Though the delegates were all red with rage, they responded to the appeal of the elderly leaders to peacefully disperse. While dispersing, they marched in files through the streets, shouting the slogan, Bande Mataram.

News of the police repression at Barisal and the dramatic end of the conference spread like a conflagration in the entire Bengal and the delegates from Calcutta, while on their way back home, were welcomed in every station by people in thousands shouting the battle-cry, Bande Mataram. Sister Nivedita spoke to them in words of affection : “For the sake of the country’s freedom you have offered blood, and through this sacrifice both you and the people of Bengal have become hallowed.”

Sri Aurobindo wrote at that time : “Tyrants have tried but have they ever succeeded in repressing the natural love of freedom in man ? Repressed, it has grown in strength ;  crushed under the heel of the tyrant, it has assumed myriad forms and in successive icarnations gained in strength and inspiration from repeated failures and endless suffering, it has risen finally, to overthrow its oppressor for good ; this is the teaching of history ; this is the message of humanity.

“But like the scriptural adder, tyrannies have eyes but they see not, have ears but they hear not, and the universal teachings of history and the eternal message of humanity are both lost on them. And the car of progress has, through human folly and ssperversity, to wade through blood and ruin on earth.”






Vande Mataram, the sacred mantra of patriotism, of which Rishi Bankim Chandra is the seer, brought under its spell many young men and women whom it converted into prophets of nationalism and fierce patriots who offered everything at the altar of the Mother. The first and foremost among them is Swami Vivekananda who had read Ananda Math and who had the opportunity to meet Bankim himself when Sri Ramakrishna sent him and two other disciples to the house of the great novelist. Inspired by the vision of the Mother presented in Vande Mataram, Swamiji became a worshipper of Shakti in the form of Motherland. According to his brother, Bhupendranath Datta, who is a renowned revolutionary, “The primary object of Swami Vivekananda was nationalism. To arouse the sleeping Lion of India and put it on its proper pedestal was his life’s mission. His national idea was the idea of Bankimchandra Chattopadhyaya as depicted in the revolutionary novel,  Ananda Math.”  The Swamiji proclaimed to his countrymen that the Motherland and the children of the Mother are the only gods to be worshipped. ‘Liberty is the possession of the brave’, he declared and called upon the valiant youth of the nation to use sama, dana, bheda and danda  — the four weapons – to conquer the enemies. Sister Nivedita has said that he had “a loathing for bondage, and a horror of those who cover chains with flowers.” The Swamiji advised her to dedicate her life for the service of the Mother. She has said, “Swamiji asked me to forge a mighty weapon out of the bones of Bengali youths which can free India.” While in Europe he even tried to seek the help of  the  Russian  revolutionary,  Kropotkin, and the inventor of machine-gun, H. Maxim, for the revolutionaries of India. No wonder that the Holy Mother Sarada Devi remarked after the passing away of the patriot-monk: “Had Naren been living now, he would have been in the Company’s jail.”

Swami Vivekananda


“If Bankim was the seer of the national mantra, Sri Aurobindo was the God-appointed high-priest and prophet,” says Sisir Kumar Mitra. In the words of Sister Nivedita, “Aurobindo came out with a new interpretation of Bankim Chandra’s song, ‘Bande Mataram’, which now leaped out of its comparative obscurity within the covers of a Bengali novel and in one sweep found itself on the lips of every Indian man, woman or child.” His superb contribution is his masterly rendering of Vande Mataram into English verse. He said, “Nationalism is a religion that has come from God.” “Liberty is the fruit we seek from the sacrifice and the Motherland the goddess to whom we offer it; into the seven leaping tongues of the fire of yagna we must offer all that we are and all that we have, feeding the fire even with our blood and lives and happiness of our nearest and dearest; for the Motherland is a goddess who loves not a maimed and imperfect sacrifice, and freedom was never won from the Gods by a grudging giver,” he wrote.

The celebrated Bhavani Mandir scheme written and circulated by Sri Aurobindo in 1905 and which marked the influence of Bankim Chandra Chatterjee’s Ananda Math on Sri Aurobindo, envisaged the erection of a temple in a secret place among the hills consecrated to Goddess Bhavani, symbolizing Mother India, and the founding of an order of Brahmacharins who would be consecrated body and soul to the liberation of the Mother from foreign yoke through an armed uprising.

Sri Aurobindo


Sister Nivedita, the embodiment of the ideal of spiritual-nationalism propounded by Swami Vivekananda, dedicated herself body and soul, for the cause of Motherland and she even resigned from the Ramakrishna Order to enable herself to plunge completely into the national movement. Coming under the spell of ‘Vande Mataram,’ she thundered:

“Age succeeds age in India, and even the voice of the Mother calls upon Her children to worship Her with new offerings, with renewal of their own greatness. Today she cries for the offering of nationality. Today she asks, as a household Mother of the strong men whom she has borne and bred, that we show to Her, not gentleness and submission, but manly strength and invincible might. Today she would that we play before Her with the sword. Today she would find Herself the Mother of a hero-clan. Today does she cry once more that she is hungered, and only by lives and blood of the crowned kings of men, can the citadel be saved.” It was Sister Nivedita who requested Sri Aurobindo to shift the centre of his activities from Baroda to Bengal in order to carry out his Bhavani Mandir scheme. At a time when the slogan ‘Vande Mataram’ chilled the marrow of the British authority in India, she made it compulsory to sing the song ‘Vande Mataram’ every day in her school. She also designed a national flag and exhibited it at the Congress Session in Calcutta in 1906. The saffron flag embroidered by her school children contained the symbol of Vajrayudha  in yellow on a red background and the slogan ‘Vande Mataram’ in big letters was across it.

Sister Nivedita


Another fierce patriot and prophet who came under the spell of ‘Vande Mataram’ is Brahmabandhav Upadhyaya who remained a sannyasi throughout his life. Inspired by Bankim Chandra’s Ananda Math, he placed the Motherland in the place of the Mother and preached: “First free the Mother from her bondage, then seek your own deliverance.” He insisted that a man from every house should dedicate himself to the nation’s work, like the sannyasins of Ananda Math, and that every father should offer a son for the service of the Motherland.

In 1905 he started Sandhya, the first among the journals to be influenced by ‘Vande Mataram’. His editorials emitting fire, invited  the wrath of the British Government. He wrote in forceful words: “Oppression and tyranny are of no consequence to a people who consider it a sin to identify the body with the soul. Who can oppress a people in whose view the physical body is so contemptible as to be fit to be thrown away like a piece of torn rag? Those who think that the body is everything are afraid of oppression. What need I fear? If the Firinghi should dare put me in the rack, I shall throw my body before his face as if it were a torn slipper.”

Brahmabandhav Upadhyaya


With the emergence of the revolutionary movement and the passions of the youth aroused by the partition of Bengal, ‘Vande Mataram’ became a battle-cry and it galvanized the entire nation into a violent mood, producing countless martyrs for whom shedding their life-blood and giving up their lives for the cause of the Motherland became the path to the attainment of salvation. To add fuel to the fire, a journal called Bande Mataram, which became the mouth-piece of the revolutionary movement, was started by Bepin Chandra Pal with a modest capital of Rs. 500 and Sri Aurobindo as

the Editor. Bande Mataram was unique in journalistic history in the influence it exercised in converting the mind of a people and preparing it for revolution. But the weakness of the journal was on its financial side. After the arrest of Sri Aurobindo in the Alipore Bomb Case, the financial condition of the journal became precarious. The revolutionary workers, deciding that the journal should die a glorious death, commissioned Bejoy Chatterjee to write a fiery editorial for which the Government banned the publication and confiscated its copies.


In the enthusiasm that surged out by the shouting of ‘Vande Mataram’ everywhere, the revolutionary movement started getting shape and secret organizations came to be set up. As early as 1902, Satish Chandra Bose founded a secret society called ‘Anuseelan Samity’, the code of conduct prescribed for whose members was strongly reminiscent of the Ananda Math. The idea, Anuseelan, was also drawn from Bankim’s writings. Chosen patriotic young men with an iron will and capacity to endure any amount of suffering, and ever prepared to offer their lives at the altar of the Mother, took pledge before the image of Kali in a secret temple and assumed secret names after being initiated into the revolutionary cult. Soon such secret organizations started proliferating in different parts of Bengal and gradually spread to Maharashtra, Punjab and many other provinces of the country, including the distant Tamilnadu. ‘Yugantar’, ‘Abhinav Bharat’, ‘Bharat Mata Society’, etc. were the different names given to these secret societies which, however, had links with each other. Pulin Bihari Das, P. Mitra, Babarao Savarkar, Veer Savarkar, Dr. Hedgewar, Jatindranath Mukherjee, M.N. Roy, Rash Bihari Bose, Bhagat Singh, Chandra Sekhar Azad and V.V.S. Iyer are all only a few gems in the precious necklace of revolutionaries worn by Bharata Mata on Her neck. Countless are the young men and women who offered their lives at the bidding of the Mother’s call and immortalized themselves by becoming flowers offered at Her holy feet. Khudiram and Prafulla were assigned the task of appendix_on from the world the cruel Chief Presidency Magistrate of Calcutta, Kingsford, who meted out inhuman punishment to those who displayed patriotism in word, deed or writing. The bomb that was thrown at him missed the target and killed two English women. Prafulla shot himself dead while Khudiram was hanged on August 8, 1908. He ascended the gallows with ‘Vande Mataram’ on his lips.

Khudiram Bose

Sushil Lahiri, who was sentenced to death in connection with the Benaras Conspiracy Case, also died with ‘Vande Mataram’ on his lips. Gopi Mohan Saha, attempted to hunt out Tegart who was collecting information about revolutionaries in India and abroad. But he missed his target and killed another English-man. When he was sentenced to death, he wrote to his mother to pray that every Indian mother gave birth to sons like him and every Indian home became holy with a mother like her. He too courted death with the cry of ‘Vande Mataram’ emerging from his heart. So did Dinesh who shot British officers in Calcutta Secretariat. Master Da, the revolutionary of Chittagong Armoury Raid fame, cried ceaselessly ‘Vande Mataram’ from inside the jail in which he was interned during his last days. His frail body was severely beaten with stout lathis and the jail authorities on the final day had to put the noose only around the neck of the dead body of the martyr. Kanialal, who disposed off a traitor, Narendra Gosain, during the Alipore Bomb Case, kissed the handman’s rope with ‘Vande Mataram’ on his lips.


Besides those who offered their lives, countless others accepted untold sufferings for the simple offence of uttering ‘Vande Mataram’. Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, who later became the founder of the Rashtreeya Swayamsevak Sangh, was rusticated from the school, at the age of 19, for shouting ‘Vande Mataram’ in the classroom. During Fuller’s regime of terror in Bengal, some of the boys in Sirajgunj High School were criminally  proceeded against  for shouting ‘Vande Mataram’.

Dr. Keshav Baliram Hedgewar

Sushil Kumar was awarded fifteen lashes for hitting back a daroga who assaulted people shouting ‘Vande Mataram’ when the Bande Mataram Case was going on in the court. Chandra Sekhar Azad,  a fourteen-year-old lad, was awarded fourteen lashes as punishment for participating in the Non-co-operation Movement. Every time the lash fell on his bare body, he shouted ‘Vande Mataram’ and the chanting of the mantra in such a sacrifice converted him into the scarlet pimpernel of Indian revolutionary movement.


Veer Savarkar, who had definite ideas regarding revolution, had set up a secret society called Mitra Mela and used to bring out a secret bulletin called Vande Mataram. Savarkar has written an essay in Marathi entitled Vande Mataram in 1906. With a view to go abroad to get in touch with the European revolutionaries and to learn their techniques, he sought a scholarship for studying law, from Shyamji Krishna Varma, founder of the India House in London. With the help of Tilak, he got the scholarship and reached India House where he was joined by another fiery youth, Lala Har Dayal. These twin angels of revolution created a spirited atmosphere in London and with their arrival in the India House, the tunes of ‘Vande Mataram’ started resounding in the heart of England. On May 10, 1908, they organized a mammoth meeting at India House to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the First War of Indian Independence in 1857. The invitation bore the caption, ‘Vande Mataram’, the song was sung at the commencement of the programme, the speeches were applauded with claps and shouts of ‘Vande Mataram’ and the participating Indians wore ‘Vande Mataram’ badges.

Veer Vinayak Damodar Savarkar

When the situation in London became too hot for the Indian revolutionaries operating there, they shifted their centre of activities to Paris where they joined the renowned Indian revolutionary, Madame Bikaiji Rustum Cama who was already there.


Madame Cama had prepared a tricolour flag in Paris and hoisted it at Berlin in the year 1905. The flag, with three strips in green, saffron and red colours arranged horizontally, had eight lotuses in the green strip, ‘Vande Mataram’ in Devanagari script in the saffron strip in the middle, and the sun and the crescent in the red strip. Unfurling the flag at the International Socialist Congress at Stuttgart in Germany, Madame Cama spoke in a voice choked with emotion : “The flag is of Indian Independence ! Behold it is born! It s already sanctified by the blood of martyred Indian youth! I call upon you, gentlemen, to rise and salute the flag of Indian Independence.” The audience stood up and saluted the flag with all reverence.

Vande Mataram Flag and Madam Cama

Madame Cama started a journal to consolidate the activities of Indian revolutionaries abroad and to establish link with those at home. Lala Har Dayal became the Editor of the journal called The Bande Mataram which was inaugurated in 1909. The early issues of the journal were printed at Geneva and later,  when the Government came to know about it, the place of printing was changed to Rotterdam in Holland. The Bande Mataram bore below its title the caption : “Monthly Organ of Indian Independence”. It also carried on the title two illustrations – one, of the Indian national flag and the other, of Mother India pulling out her sword from the scabbard – besides a couplet from the Gita, exhorting Arjuna to fight. Madan Lal Dhingra, who shot Sir Curzon Wyllie in London and was sentenced to death, gave out his last statement : “My only prayer to God is that I may again return to the same Mother and die in the same cause till the Mother is freed for the service of humanity and glory of God. Vande Mataram!” Har Dayal immortalized Dhingra by writing an editorial in The Bande Mataram, paying tribute to the hero and also by starting another journal called Madan Talwar after his name.

Madanlal Dhingra

Lala Har Dayal


Lala Har Dayal carried the message of ‘Vande Mataram’ to America where he was instrumental in founding the Gadar Party for the cause of Indian Independence. ‘Vande Mataram’ became a novel form of greeting when Indians in Canada, particularly members of the Gadar movement, met each other. Indian patriots in San Francisco founded an association called Bharata Mata Sangh and brought out a secret publication called Bande Mataram Khalsa. The slogan even penetrated into Africa where in 1912, Gokhale was received by Indians shouting the slogan ‘Vande Mataram’. Anandan, Satyendra Bardan, Abdul Quadir and Faiza, four revolutionaries belonging to the Indian Independence League founded in Malaya in 1942, were among those caught while attempting to penetrate into India from Singapore. These four were sentenced to death and hanged on September 10, 1943, and they died with ‘Vande Mataram’ on their lips.





Vande Mataram’ was a source of inspiration not only to the revolutionaries but to other patriots too who were engaged in the Swadeshi and the later non-violent movements. On October 16, 1905, the day on which partition of Bengal was officially enforced, Hindus and Muslims assembled on the banks of Hooghly, took bath uttering the slogan ‘Vande Mataram’ and tied append on one another’s hands to signify brotherhood and protest against partition. Swadeshi movement derived strength and inspiration from ‘Vande Mataram’. “Swadeshi was ‘Vande Mataram’ in action”, says Theodore L. Shay. As Rabindranath Tagore has put it, the soul of Swadeshi discovered itself in the form of ‘Vande Mataram’. Foreign clothes were offered into the leaping tongues of bonfires, by people in thousands, shouting ‘Vande Mataram’. Navaratri was celebrated with worship in Kali temple, after taking pledge that foreign goods would not be touched. The entire nation was in the grip of the Swadeshi movement and the slogan of ‘Vande Mataram’ echoed and re-echoed in every nook and corner of the country. Mahatma Gandhi, who was in the distant South Africa, heard the cry of ‘Vande Mataram’ and wrote in The Indian Opinion on December 2, 1905, praising the song, Bande Mataram : “Every western nation has its national anthem. They sing it on important occasions . . .  Having realized this, Bankim Chandra, the Bengali poet, thought of composing a song for the Bengali people. The song, ‘Bande Mataram,’ composed by him has become very popular throughout Bengal. Mammoth meetings have been held in Bengal in connection with the Swadeshi movement where  millions of people gathered together and sang Bankim’s song. The song, it is said, has proved so popular that it has come to

be our national anthem.” After a brief description of the significance and the import of the song, Gandhiji also gave at the end of his article the song in Gujarati script. It is noteworthy that Mahatma Gandhi used to sign his letters with the words ‘Vande Mataram from Mohandas,’ but it however changed, from 1924 onwards, to ‘Bapu’ or ‘Blessings from Bapu’.

Mahatma Gandhi


While in London, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose used to recall with pride the days of Swadeshi movement. On one such occasion, he remarked to Dilip Kumar Roy that the only way to India’s freedom was revolution. When the latter demurred that it was a Russian ideology, Subhas retorted : “Man alive! Have you never heard such a thing as partition of Bengal, Ananda Math and Aurobindo Ghosh ? Russia ! Her revolutionaries had only just been weaned when we were full grown adults . . . ”

Subhas received inspiration from the life and teachings of Swami Vivekananda. In his renowned autobiography, Subhas quotes Sister Nivedita  on  Vivekananda:    “The  queen  of  his  adoration  was  his

motherland. There was not a cry within her shores that did not find in him a responsive echo.” He further says, “I was barely fifteen when Vivekananda entered my life. Then there followed a revolution within and everything was turned upside down.” The National Anthem of the Azad Hind Fauz led by Netaji Subhas was a soul-stirring adoration of the Motherland which inspired thousands of soldiers belonging to the Fauz to offer their lives  at the altar of the Mother. Referring to ‘Vande Mataram’ song in his autobiography, Subhas says,“ ‘ Bande Mataram’ literally means ‘I salute the mother’(i.e. motherland). It is the nearest approach to India’s national anthem.”

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose

At the Congress Session in 1896, Rabindranath Tagore sang ‘Bande Mataram’. Later in 1905, Poet Sarala Devi Chaudurani sang ‘Vande Mataram’ in the Benares Congress Session, in spite of the qualms of the Moderate President, Gokhale. Every sentence of the speech of Surendranath Banerjee in this session was punctuated with shouts of ‘Vande Mataram’. ‘Vande Mataram’ appeared on flags and name-boards and even on sarees and append which the British authorities promptly seized. Lala Lajpatrai started a journal called Vande Mataram from Lahore. ‘Vande Mataram’ even seeped into the ranks of the army. Surendranath Banerjee has said that in one of the recruitment meetings he attended, he saw British officers standing up in reverence when Vande Mataram was sung and that the soldiers of Bengali regiment openly declared that nothing would give them greater pleasure, or fill them with more patriotic pride than to attack the German trenches with the cry of Vande Mataram on their lips.


Mahakavi Subramania Bharati of Tamilnadu, who had attended the Congress Sessions in 1905 and 1906, while returning from Benares, met Sister Nivedita at Dum Dum and recognized in her his spiritual mother. Inspired by her, whom he adopted as his guru, he dedicated himself at the altar of the Motherland. He had fully realized the vision of the Motherland, and his songs, including the two marvelous Tamil verse translations of Bande Mataram are revelations of his vision. In the introductory note to his Swadesha Geetangal, he wrote: “These flowers are dedicated to Bharata Mata,  the symbol of unity and eternal youth.” In a preface to Janma Bhoomi which appeared in 1909, he said: “The light of liberty is dear to me, I therefore offered a few flowers to the Mother. Her devotees liked them; the Mother received them. That has emboldened me to offer more flowers to the Mother.” Persuaded by Bharati, Bepin Chandra Pal visited Madras in 1906 carrying the message of Bande Mataram which echoed on the shores of Marina Beach. Surendranath Arya, a Swadeshi worker, held meetings in market places at Madras and spread the message of Vande Mataram.

Mahakavi C. Subramania Bharati

V.O. Chidambaram Pillai, Subramania Siva, V.V.S. Iyer, Tirumalachari and Neelakanta Brahmachari were all early recruits to the revolutionary movement from Tamilnadu. Impelled by the spirit of Vande Mataram, V.O. Chidambaram Pillai launched the Swadeshi Steam Navigation Company at Tuticorin. The slogan of Vande Mataram echoed and re-echoed in every nook and corner of Tinnevelli District during the famous Coral Mills Strike which Chidambaram Pillai organized. He came to be known as Vande Mataram Pillai, because he was the pioneer in propagating the life-giving mantra among the people in the remote South. Siva had a mad dream of setting up a temple of Bharata Mata at Papparappatti near Salem. (Though the foundation stone for it was laid by C.R. Das in 1923, at the instance of Siva, the temple is yet to come up there).

V.O. Chidambaram Pillai

Chidambaram Pillai and Siva were arrested on charges of sedition and on July 7, 1908, sentenced to forty years in jail in the Andamans and ten years rigorous imprisonment, respectively. The enraged people at Tinnevelli held processions and demonstration, shouting Vande Mataram and the police unleashed its machinery of brutish repression. A fifteen-year-old lad was ordered to be flogged for shouting Vande Mataram. The revolutionaries of Bharata Mata Samity commissioned Vanchinathan to wreak vengeance by shooting down Collector Ash. Ash was shot down at Maniyachi junction and Vanchi shot himself also, shouting Vande Mataram. Alluri Seetharama Raju of Andhra was another revolutionary inspired by Vande Mataram. Tiruppur Kumaran of Tamilnadu became immortal by courting death while the national flag was held aloft in his hand and his lips uttered Vande Mataram as he succumbed on the spot to the brutal police lathi charge. Vande Mataram inspired even the Indian soldiers of the British army stationed in Tamilnadu. Twenty-four daring young men belonging to the Fourth Madras Coastal Defence Battery were tried on charges of attempting to create mutiny and sentenced to death. They were hanged in Madras gaol and they all died with Vande Mataram on their lips.


Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar

Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar had set the tradition of singing Vande Mataram in all Congress Sessions since 1915. In 1923, at the Kakinada Session of the Congress, when he rose to sing the song, Maulana Mohamed Ali, who was the President, objected to it. Even as early as 1908, Muslim League was opposed to Bande Mataram and at the League’s session in that year, presided over by Sayyed Imam, the song was condemned as sectarian, for it advocated the worship of the Motherland as a Goddess. But, in the surging floods of the revolutionary and the Swadeshi movements given rise to by the mantra, Vande Mataram, the objection was completely deluged. Later, during the non-cooperation movement, when the Congress leadership adopted a policy of appeasing the Muslims, the objection to the song raised its head again. In 1922, to appease the Muslims, the singing of Mohammad  Iqbal’s ‘Hindustan Hamaara’ along with Vande Mataram was introduced. Still the Muslims were not satisfied. In 1923, in spite of the objections from the chair, the undaunted Paluskar sang the song to the thrill of the audience. The President’s objection came as a shock to the Congress leaders. The Muslim leaders wanted the song Vande Mataram completely replaced by Iqbal’s song. In 1937, when the Congress captured power in seven provinces, the proceedings of the Legislatures commenced with the singing of Vande Mataram. But the League members protested and staged walk-outs. The All India Muslim League passed resolutions condemning Vande Mataram. To appease the League leaders, the Congress Working Committee in 1937 decided to maim the national song by allowing only the first two stanzas to be sung. Even after this, in 1937, in the Madras Legislative Assembly, when the song was sung, a League member moved an adjournment motion protesting against it and later staged a walk-out. To please the League further, the Congress decided to allow the singing of a song by Basheer Ahmad, reciting Quoran and also a prayer in English in the Assembly. The League still persisted in its objection and in 1938, Jinnah placed before Nehru his demand for completely abandoning Vande Mataram. A disgusted Mahatma Gandhi wrote that though the Vande Mataram song had enthralled him, he did not want to risk a quarrel over the song and that the song will never suffer from disuse. Gradually, the cry of Allah-O-Akbar began to be heard in the place of Vande Mataram.


Even the partition of the country could not undo the demoralization in the Congress ranks created by the League’s opposition to Vande Mataram. It was the natural expectation of everyone that Vande Mataram would become the national anthem of Free India. Smt. Sucheta Kripalani used to sing it in the Constituent Assembly. But much to the surprise of its own members, the Assembly deferred the question of adopting the national anthem again and again. When Nehru expressed the view that the song Bande Mataram did  not lend itself to orchestral music, a patriot-musician of Poona, Master Krishna Rao Ramachandra Phulumbikar disproved it by setting it to instrumental music. When he sought permission to play it over the AIR, he was not permitted. He boycotted the Radio. Later, upon the intervention of Sardar Patel, he was permitted to sing over the AIR. He went to Delhi, sang the song before Pandit Nehru and other national leaders and convinced all of them about the capacity of the song to lend itself to orchestral music. Again, when he came to know that the Government would not approve Vande Mataram as national anthem unless it got clearance from the British band experts, he went to Bombay and with the help of the British band Commander, C.R. Gordon, got a  record of Vande Mataram rendered to British Band music. Krishna Rao again rushed to Delhi, presented the song before Nehru and other Constituent Assembly members and conveyed to them the deep appreciation and even preference of the song to Janaganamana as the choice of National Anthem, expressed by Mr. Gordon.

In spite of all these efforts, the Congress leaders did not like Vande Mataram becoming the national anthem for obvious reasons. Even before an official decision was taken by the Constituent Assembly on this issue, Janaganamana was played as India’s national anthem in the UN General Assembly in 1947. There was furore in the country on this matter. Sri Aurobindo, advocating the superiority of Vande Mataram, wrote in Mother India: “The revelatory vision and the mantric vibration distinguishing Vande Mataram throw Janaganamana entirely into the shade. And it is no wonder that not Tagore’s, but Bankim’s song has been the motive force of the whole struggle for Bharat’s freedom.”

The genesis of Janaganamana was also a point in favour of Vande Mataram. Janaganamana was first sung by Rabindranath Tagore in the Calcutta Congress Session on December 27, 1911, the second day which was devoted entirely to things connected with the welcoming of King George V. The newspapers of the time – The Statesman, The Englishman, The Indian etc. – faithfully reporting the proceedings of the day, said that the proceedings began with the singing by Babu Rabindranath Tagore of a song specially composed by him in honour of the Emperor. Tagore also did not contradict the newspaper reports which characterized Janaganamana as a song composed in honour of King George V.

There was a possibility of the Constituent Assembly adopting Vande Mataram as the national anthem. But things took place behind the scene. The question did not come up before the Assembly. Instead of passing a resolution on the vital subject in the Constituent Assembly, the President, Dr. Rajendra Prasad came up with a statement in the Assembly on January 24, 1950, saying that Janaganamana will be the national anthem and Vande Mataram will have equal status with it.


Of course, Vande Mataram needs no official stamp of recognition as the national anthem. As early as 1905, Satish Chandra Mukherjee of the Dawn and the Dawn Society observed: “‘Bande Mataram’, Hail, Mother! – What Bengali heart is not set beating faster at the sound of the two magic words? When the late Bankim Chandra Chatterjee in his immortal work – Ananda Math, the ‘Abode of Joy’—first sang the heart-stirring and soul-lifting song, the opening words of which have furnished Modern Bengal with a battle-cry

and a divine inspiration, so to say – could he have dreamt of the transformation – the miraculous and wonderful transformation which the two mellifluent words were destined to work in the hopes and aspirations of his degenerate countrymen? The welkin now rings with Bande Mataram. The streets and lanes of Calcutta and the rest of the province resound with the solemn watchword. Bande Mataram has stirred the hearts of the people to their depths.” It is a song enshrined in the hearts of millions and millions of Indians and sanctified by the sacrifice of countless martyrs who were inspired by the song to offer their lives at the altar of the Motherland. And, as Sri Aurobindo has put it in his striking words: “And when posterity comes to crown with her praises the Makers of India, she will place her most splendid laurel not on the sweating temples of a place-hunting politician, nor on the narrow forehead of a noisy social reformer but  on the serene brow of that gracious Bengali who never clamoured for place or power, but did his work in silence for love of his work, even as nature does, and, just because he had no aim but to give out the best that was in him, was able to create a language, a literature and a nation.”

Let the immortal song of Rishi Bankim, provide us inspiration to live and rise up to the expectations of those countless patriots and martyrs who sacrificed their lives with Vande Mataram on their lips so that we should live as free citizens of a glorious and sovereign nation.





mata -!im> pu*aae=h<p&iwV(a>, —“Maata bhoomi putroham prithivyaaa”—This land is my mother and I am her child – is the emphatic proclamation of the Vedic Aryan expressing his intense devotion to his Motherland. “Oh Motherland, we humans have been born from your womb and we move upon your surface. It is you who nourish the bipeds as well as quadrupeds. All humans are your children,” he declares in unequivocal terms expressing his gratefulness to his Mother who is the nourisher and sustainer of his life. He has a great pride in the Nation. The seven rivers presided over by ‘the River’—‘Sindhu’, are a symbol of his nationality and culture. The towns of his motherland “are built by the Gods.” Even the food that he eats, he accepts as “food for strength, for vitality, for endurance, for the service of the nation, for the conquest of enemies and for a full life of hundred years.” In the Rig Veda, he prays: “Oh people with a wide outlook and a friendly attitude, let all thinkers come together and endeavour for public good in a far-flung and well-protected Swarajya.”

Every Hindu believes that birth in this holy land is coveted even by Gods. Sri Rama, the embodiment of the Supreme Being, proclaims: “Mother and Motherland are greater than heaven.” According to Bhagavata, “far better it is to win a few moments of life in Bharatabhoomi than aeons of life in these celestial regions.” “Bharat is the greatest land on earth, and it alone is the Land of Action while the rest are Lands of Pleasure,” declares the Mahabharata.

Thus long before civilization dawned on other parts of the world, Mother India had attained the heights of culture wherein the spirit of nationhood and adoration of the Motherland have been living forces. A traditional Hindu, when he wakes up from the bed in the early morning, craves the indulgence of the Mother – Bhoodevi, the consort of Vishnu, whose robe is the sea and the breasts are the mountains – to forgive his sacrilege in having to place his foot on her body. He invokes the presence of Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Saraswati, Narmada, Sindhu and Kaveri in the very water he uses to take bath. To him Ayodhya, Mathura, Maya, Kasi, Kanchi, Avantika, Puri and Dwaravati are all places conferring Moksha. The mountains and hills too are sacred to him, for Kalidasa depicts the Himalayas in his Kumaarasambhava as ‘Devataatmaa’—of divine in nature.

Inspite of the onslaughts of hordes after hordes of foreign invaders and hundreds of years of subjugation and slavery under alien forces, this glorious tradition of worshipping the Motherland has been kept alive to this day by the Hindu.


As Sri Aurobindo has rightly pointed out, ours is the eternal  land, the eternal people and the eternal religion whose strength, greatness and holiness may be over-clouded but never, even for a moment, utterly cease. The hero, the Rishi, the saint, are the natural fruits of our Indian soil and there has been no age in which they have not been born.  And so it was given to Rishi Bankim Chandra to reawaken in the modern times this spirit of adoration and love for the Motherland, in the hearts of our people by giving them the mantra, ‘Vande Mataram’. Once he presented this vision of the glorious, eternal Mother in the form of the Motherland in his immortal song ‘Vande Mataram’, the springs of spiritual nationalism started surging up again from the hearts of many  great heroes and heroines of Mother India and these divine waters of devotion and dedication at the altar of the Mother inundated the whole country.

“If there is any land on this earth that can lay claim to be the blessed Punya Bhoomi, to be the land to which souls on this earth must come to account for Karma, the land to which every soul that is wending its way Godward must come to attain its home, the land where humanity has attained its highest towards gentleness, towards generosity, towards purity, towards calmness, above all, the land of introspection and of spirituality – it is India,” thundered Swami Vivekananda.

“Approach Thou, O Mother, Deliverer!

Thy children, Thy muslings are we!

On our hearts be the place for Thy stepping,

Thine own, Bhumya Devi, are we.

Where lead they, O Mother!

Thy footfalls? ”,

sang Sister Nivedita.

“Heaven we do not want. Deliverance we seek not. O Mother! Let us be born again and again in India till your chains fall off,” cried Brahmabandhav Upadhyaya.

Swatantrya Veer Savarkar hailed her as the daughter of God. “She is the richly endowed daughter of God – This our Motherland. Her rivers are deep and perennial. Her land is yielding to the plough and her fields loaded with golden harvests. Her necessaries of life are few and a genial nature yields them all almost for the asking. Rich in her fauna, rich in her flora, She knows She owes it all to the immediate source of light and heat – The Sun … Her gardens are green and shady, Her granaries well stocked, Her waters crystal, Her flowers scented, Her fruits juicy and Her herbs healing, Her brush is dipped in the colours of Dawn and Her flute resonant with the music of Gokul. Verily Hind is the richly endowed daughter of God.”

Sri Guruji Golwalkar saw in Her the father, mother and guru. “She has been, in fact, the central theme of our national life all through. She has nourished us as the mother with her soil, air and water and all the various objects for our sustenance and happiness. Like a father she has arranged  protection to us through the impregnable Himalayas in the north, and various mountain ranges like Arawali, Vindhya, and Sahyadri interspersed all over the country that afforded our freedom fighters protection and shelter in the past. And she has acted as our spiritual preceptor too in her capacity as Dharmabhoomi and Mokshabhoomi. Our Motherland has been a mother, a father and a teacher – maataa, pitaa and guru – all rolled into one.”

“Raashtraaya swaahaa, raashtraaya idam na mama!”

Sri Guruji Madhavarao  Sadashivarao Golwalkar

Mahatma Gandhi said, “I cling to India like a child to its mother’s breast, because I feel that she gives me the spiritual nourishment that I need.”

Even foreigners who loved India as their adopted Mother could not but give vent to their feelings of respect and love for her. “If there is one place on the face of the earth where all the dreams of living man have found a home from the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India,” said Romain Rolland, verily echoing the words of a 14th century historian, Abdullah Wassaf, who declared: “If it is asserted that Paradise is in India, be not surprised, because Paradise itself is not comparable to it.”


There are 52 shakti peethas dedicated to the Divine Mother in our country. But the Motherland herself is the manifestation of Maha Shakti. Almost every town, stream, tree, stone and animal is personified and sanctified in India, says Swami Rama Tirtha and asks, “Is it not high time now to deify the entire Motherland and let every partial manifestation inspire us with devotion to the whole? Through praana pratishthaa the Hindus endow with flesh and blood the effigy of Durga. Is it not worthwhile to call forth the inherent glory and evoke fire and life in the more real Durga of Mother India?”

This deification of the Motherland as the embodiment of Maha Shakti and worshipping her as the Supreme Mother is the highest form of religion. The Western concepts of nationalism and patriotism which express love for the fatherland do not come anywhere near this sacred realization of the divinity of the land of birth. Here the Motherland is something more than a stretch of earth or a mass of individuals and patriotism is the all-absorbing passion for the Mother. “What is Nationalism?”. Sri Aurobindo asks and he himself answers, “Nationalism is not a mere political programme. Nationalism is a religion that has come from God. Nationalism is a creed in which you shall have to live..” “Nationalism is an Avataara and cannot be slain. Nationalism is a divinely appointed shakti of the Eternal and must do its God-given work before it returns to the bosom of the Universal Energy from which it came.”


If nationalism is a religion, the spiritual aspect of it is patriotism. “You talk of patriotism, but has the thought of your motherland taken so much hold of you, that you have lost your sleep and you carry the burden of your people throughout your waking moments? That is real patriotism,” says Swami Vivekananda. He exhorts his fellowmen: “Thou brave one, be bold, take courage, be proud that thou art an Indian, and proudly proclaim, ‘I am an Indian, every Indian is my brother.’ Say, ‘The ignorant Indian, the poor and destitute Indian, the Brahmin Indian, the Pariah Indian, is my brother.’ Thou, too, clad with but a rag round thy loins, proudly proclaim at the top of thy voice, ‘the Indian is my brother, the Indian is my life, India’s gods and goddesses are my God. India’s society is the cradle of my infancy, the pleasure-garden of my youth, the sacred heaven, the Varanasi of my old age.’ Say brother : ‘the soil of India is my highest heaven, the good of India is my good,’ and repeat and pray day and night, ‘O Thou Lord of Gouri, O thou Mother of the Universe, vouchsafe manliness unto me ! O Thou Mother of Strength, take away my weakness, take away my unmanliness, and make me a Man!”

Swami Rama Tirtha

These very sentiments find expression in the words of Swami Rama Tirtha Also. “Do you wish to be a patriot?”, he asks. “Then tune yourself in love with your country and the people. Feel your unity with them. Let not even the shadow of your present personality be the thin glass partition between you and your people. Be a genuine spiritual soldier laying down your personal life in the interests of the land. Abnegating the little ego, and having thus become the whole country, feel anything, and the country will feel with you. March, and your country will follow. Feel health, your people will be healthy. Your strength will begin to pulsate in your nerves.” He completely identifies himself with India: “Let me feel I am India, — the whole of India. The land of India is my own body. The Comorin is my feet, the Himalayas my head. From my hair flows the Ganges, from my head come the Brahmaputra and the Indus. The Vindhyachalas are girt round my loins. The Coromandel is my right and Malabar my left leg. I am the whole of India, and its East and West are my arms; and I spread  them  out  to  embrace  Humanity.   I am  universal in my love. Ah! Such is the posture of my body. It is standing and gazing at infinite space; but my inner spirit is the soul of all. When I walk, I feel it is India walking. When I breathe, I feel it is India breathing. When I speak, it is India speaking. I am India …. This is the highest realization of patriotism, and this is Practical Vedanta.”

Bipin Chandra Pal classifies patriotism into two kinds – the abstract and the concrete. He points out that the social and religious reformer loves his country and his people as ardently and devotedly as any other person, but his patriotism is of the abstract kind. He loves only the good, the beautiful and the true, in his own country. But there is another class of patriotism also. It may be best characterized as concrete. It is not the love of an abstraction called country or nation. It loves its people in the concrete, just as they are, a mixture of both reason and unreason, of both good and bad. It loves its nation with a pure love, which sees the whole, seizes the totality, and in that totality finds an explanation for both its reason and unreason, its good and evil, and seeing both the light and the shade together, it is able to realize the proper perspective of both. This, he says, is the character of what may be called concrete patriotism.

Sarojini Naidu expounds patriotism in her inimitable words: “The vision of love, the vision of religion, and the vision of patriotism – to me these three things have all been one. I do not know, I think there are many of you who do not know also, a human love that can compare with the love that one gives to the Motherland. I think the most devout Hindu of you, the most loyal Mussalman of you, cannot know of a religion more sacred and more uplifting than the worship that one brings to the feet of the mother. Patriotism. What is patriotism? It is the combined vision of love and religion. It is a vision made reality. It is a dream that has passed into love, it is a love that has passed into service, it is a worship that becomes the ladder that brings to fulfillment that great vision, the third vision, the final vision, the glorious vision.”


When one thus realizes that the Motherland is a living entity – his Eternal and Divine Mother – the manifestation of Maha Shakti, and develops the spirit of intense passion and devotion to her and ultimately identifies oneself with her, it is called Deshaatmabodh – the consciousness of the unity of one’s own soul with that of the soul of the nation. Like in the ordinary religious practices where, for achieving one’s identity with the deity of adoration, one has to practise the physical worship of the image of the deity as a preliminary step, the practitioner of the religion of patriotism too worships the Motherland in the form of Deshamaatrikaa. But this Deshamaatrikaa is none else than the Mother Durga. As Brahmabandhav Upadhyaya has said, the reverence for the Mother is just the love of the Motherland, but it is always deeply religious and thus miles apart from Western patriotism. According to Sri Aurobindo, love has a place in politics and the sap which keeps it alive “is the realization of the Motherhood of God in the country, the vision of the Mother, the knowledge of the Mother, the perpetual contemplation, adoration and service of the Mother.” Sir John Woodroffe, the renowned Western exponent of Tantra Shastra, reminds the Indian people that “They will gain power (shakti) to uphold their race and will receive all their desires if they serve their country in the belief that service (seva) of Shri Bharata is worship (seva) of the Maha Shakti. Shri Bhagavati who, though appearing in one of her forms as Bharata Shakti is not merely a Devi of the Hindus but their name for the one Mother of the World.”


In an editorial article on “Pujah and Patriotism” in Bande Mataram, Sri Aurobindo says that it is only a patriot who can understand the full significance of the Durga Pujas in Bengal. It is a national festival. It is a sacrament which brings home to us that the motherland is no other than divinity itself, that the divine energy and glory cannot but be intensely felt by every heart when the meadows, groves and fields of the motherland appear to us appendix_ in celestial light – the glory and freshness. He asserts that this our national festival, which is named after the season in which it is celebrated and is called the Sharadeeya Puja, establishes unquestionably that with us Nature is one with Nature’s God, that the Motherland in all her beauty and grandeur represents the Goddess of our worship, as Bankim has so eloquently expressed in the famous anthem, ‘Bande Mataram’. The festival, he says, at once  awakens the strongest and most heartfelt associations with the Motherland. It inspires ready love and reverence for her.

Yet another festival that commands our direct devotion to the Motherland is the Akshaya Triteeya – the day of the worship of Deshamatrika Devi or the Mother in the form of the Motherland – which falls on Vaishaakhi Shukla Triteeya (April-May). As Sarojini Naidu has rightly said, in the years to come the greatest national festival that will be kept in every part of India will be not the dawn of the New Year, nor merely the feast of Saraswati, nor of any of the other gods and goddesses, but that of our living India, whose temple is in our hearts, who speaks with the same tongue to the child as to the philosopher, to the tiller of the soil as to the poet. We shall keep the festival, and we shall worship Her as she must be worshipped, in spirit and in truth.


But one thing is sure. This cannot and will not happen by mere wishful thinking. We have our duty to perform to bring this about into a reality. We have a great task ahead of us. As Sri Aurobindo envisaged in his scheme of Bhavaani Mandir, we have to create an order of dedicated missionaries who are prepared to offer their everything at the altar of the Mother. And what will be the work of these missionaries? Sister Nivedita delineates their task: “Let the missionary travel with the magic lantern, with collections of post cards, with a map of India and with head and heart full of ballads, stories and geographical descriptions. Let him gather together the women, let him gather together the villagers, let him entertain them in the garden, in the courtyard, in the verandahs, beside the well, and under the village tree with stories and songs and descriptions of India! India! India!” The missionary has to instill in their hearts the great thought, “this and no other is our Motherland! We are Indians every one!” And another equally important work of the band of missionaries will be to flood the country with spiritual ideas. “Before flooding India with socialistic or political ideas, first deluge the land with spiritual ideas,” commands Swami Vivekananda. According to him the first work that demands our attention is that the most wonderful truths confined in our Upanishads, in our scriptures and in our Puranas must be brought out and scattered broadcast all over the land. “When India remembers the teaching she received from Shankaracharya, Ramanuja and Madhwa, when she realizes what Sri Ramakrishna came to reveal, then she will rise. Her very life is Vedanta,” says Sri Aurobindo.


And why should India rise? The late Mrs. Annie Besant, a great friend of India, said about sixty years ago: “When nations of the earth were sent forth one after the other, a special word was given by God to each, the word which was to express to the world the particular message of each … and to India, the eldest born of His children, He gave a word that summed up the whole in one, the word Dharma – It is too difficult to translate the word in English. It briefly means a code of Duty. Duty towards God, Duty towards His people, Duty to Society, Duty to animals and birds which can also mean love for all the creation.” In the seclusion of his Alipore gaol, Sri Aurobindo heard God’s voice speaking to him, “I am raising up this nation to send forth my word. When you go forth, speak to your nation always this word, that it is for the Sanatana Dharma that they arise, it is for the world and not for themselves that they arise. I am giving them freedom for the service of the world.”

This then is the message and mission of the worship of the Motherland. She is to be adored and invoked to rise to become the guru of the world. The whole philosophy of this creed of Deshamaatrikaa Pooja can be summed up in the inspiring words of Sri Guruji Golwalkar :

“Devotion to Motherland of the intense, dynamic, uncompromising and fiery type is the life-breath of a free, prosperous and glorious national existence on the face of the earth. And we, the Hindus, are the inheritors of the most sublime devotion of the Motherland. Let those ancient embers of devotion lying dormant in every Hindu heart be fanned and joined in a sacred conflagration which shall consume all the past aggressions on our motherland and bring to life the dreams of Bharata Mata reinstated in her pristine undivided form.”




Fifteenth of August dawns again, awakening in our minds the hallowed memories of the countless heroes and martyrs who sacrificed their precious lives at the altar of Mother Bharat and shed their sacred blood in the struggle for Her emancipation from foreign shackles. It is also the auspicious day on which Sri Aurobindo, the great seer of patriotism, the exponent of ‘Vande Mataram’—the holy Mantra of Indian Nationalism – was born into this world. Perhaps it was not sheer accident that the day of deliverance of the country synchronized with the birthday of this Mahayogi, for everything that happens has the sanction of the Divine Will.

What was the motive that impelled these angelic souls to come under the spell of the captivating slogan of Swaraj and offer everything they had for the one sole aim of achieving freedom? It was not hatred towards the British or the system of their government or all the so-called modernisms that they brought into this country under the cover of their government. Nothing would be farther from truth than to say that a race that has, since time immemorial, proclaimed to the world the oneness of humanity and has welcomed all noble thoughts from all quarters of the world could hate any other class of people or the noble things that the class can give to humanity. On the other hand, Nationalism meant to these people, as Bepin Chandra Pal had put it in unambiguous terms, “the inviolable right of the composite Indian people, to fully and freely live its own special life in its own way, following its own peculiar genius, and developing its specific culture to its highest perfection, and thus to contribute what is highest and best in it, to the general stock of human knowledge and human culture.”

It was this Divine Destiny of the Nation that threw hundreds of patriotic young men into the cauldron of freedom struggle. It was for the fulfillment of this Heavenly Ordination that India survived the onslaughts of two thousand years of alien aggression, ravages and oppressions. “Understand that India is still living because she has her own quota yet to give to the general store of the world’s civilization,” says Swami Vivekananda.

And what is the message that India has to deliver to the world? During his incarceration in the Alipore Jail, Sri Aurobindo received the message right from Lord Vasudeva : “When you go forth, speak to your nation always this word, that  it is for the Sanatan Dharma that they arise, it is for the world and not for themselves that they arise. I am giving them freedom for the service of the world. When therefore it is said that India shall rise, it is the Sanatan Dharma that shall rise. When it is said that India shall be great, it is the Sanatan Dharma that shall be great. When it is said that India shall expand and extend herself, it is the Sanatan Dharma that shall expand and extend itself over the world. It is for the Dharma and by the Dharma that India exists.”

How is it that Free India going to convey this message to humanity? And when is it going to do? Have we forgotten the word – Dharma – that our ancestors cherished so piously and handed over to us to be passed on to humanity? Have we also forgotten the immense sacrifices that they made to preserve and protect this ambrosial ideal for the sake of universal happiness? No, we shall not and will not. As a first requisite for accomplishing our end, we shall once again arouse the spirit of patriotism in our masses.

When the country was languishing in the darkness of slavery and dependence, under the alien rulers, the path to awaken our people to the consciousness of their duty to the world was the struggle against foreign domination. But today the task before us is to rekindle the spirit of patriotism by awakening in our hearts an intense passion and love for our Motherland. As Aurobindo has pointed out, “Love has a place in politics, but it is the love of one’s country, for one’s countrymen, for the glory, greatness and happiness of the race, the divine ananda of self-immolation for one’s fellows, the ecstasy of relieving their sufferings, the joy of seeing one’s blood flow for the country and freedom, the bliss of union in death with the fathers of the race. The feeling of almost physical delight in the touch of the mother-soil, of the winds that blow from Indian seas, of the rivers that stream from Indian hills, in the hearing of Indian speech, music, poetry, in the familiar sights, sounds, habits, dress, manners of our Indian life, this is the physical root of that love. The pride in our past, the pain of our present, the passion for the future are its trunk and branches. Self-sacrifice and self-forgetfulness, great service, high endurance for the country are its fruit. And the sap which keeps it alive is the realization of the Motherhood of God in the country, the vision of the Mother, the knowledge of the Mother, the perpetual contemplation, adoration and service of the Mother.”

Inculcation of this intense love for the Motherland and establishment of ineffable fraternity among the people are possible only when each and every citizen lives for others, and when there is absolute freedom from strife and squabbles inside the country. And the golden way to achieve this atmosphere of peace and harmony among countrymen is pointed out by the great patriot-monk Swami Vivekananda: “Be patient with everybody. Why should you mix in controversies? Bear with the various opinions of everybody. Patience, purity and perseverance will prevail. Please everybody without becoming a hypocrite and without being a coward. Hold on to your own ideas with strength and purity, and whatever obstructions may now be in your way, the world is bound to listen to you in the long run. Be positive. Do not criticize others. Give your message, teach what you have to teach, and there stop. The Lord knows the rest.”

Let us live true to the call of the great Swami and rededicate ourselves to the task of conveying the message of Bharat to the whole world. Let us all join together and chant from the bottom of our hearts the immortal mantra, Vande Mataram!



The nation has celebrated the Golden Jubilee Year of Indian Independence with much inspiration and colourful festivities throughout the year as it deserved. The greatest achievement in the Golden Jubilee Year is the installation as Prime Minister of the country a man who has offered his whole life in the service of Mother India and has been serving Her as a humble servant right from his youth in a selfless spirit. The second greatest achievement is the successful testing of nuclear weapon at Pokaran, which has raised the prestige of this nation to a great height in the comity of nations. The most heartening scene that one could see throughout the year is that everyone, from the little baby to the senior citizen, has heard and uttered the mantra, Vande Mataram, which was the battle cry of hundred thousand freedom fighters, patriots and revolutionaries of our country during the freedom struggle. All these are grand achievements, no doubt, but the most agonizing fact is that even in the fiftieth year of Independence, we the people of India had no guts to sing in public functions the whole song of Bande Mataram composed by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee – that Immortal song which enchanted millions of youth in our country like Khudiram Bose, Bhagat Singh and Chandra Shekhar Azad and made them offer their precious lives at the altar of Mother Bharat! The reason?! The spineless politicians in India are still afraid of offending the anti-national Muslims who cannot accept Motherland as a sacred or divine entity that is not to be sacrificed like a goat for selfish interests. Especially in the last fifty years these Muslims have procreated very fast and their vote bank  in Hindusthan is not something that a power-mongering politician could easily overlook for the sake of reverence for the mother or Motherland. According to these politicians, perhaps even Bhagavan Rama would not have uttered, “Jananee janmabhoomischa swargaadapi gareeyasi” – “Mother and Motherland are more sacred than the Heavens!” – if he were to confront an electorate with a powerful  Muslim vote bank in His Rama Rajya.

Muslim fanatics of the pre-partition days who wanted to vivisect the country could not accept the adoration of the Motherland as Mother Divine! Though the blood that flowed in their veins was the Hindu blood and they were only the hapless victims of rape, plunder and forcible conversion by marauders from outside the country, though they were all descendants of the Vedic rishis who sang the Sama Hymns sitting on the banks of  the sacred rivers, Sindh, Ganga, Yamuna  and Saraswati, once they got converted to Islam, they feigned themselves to be the progeny of Muhammad Gazni, Muhammad Ghori and Babar. Right from the day the valiant hero of Hindusthan, Prithviraj Chauhan, fell on the battle field due to the treacherous act of his own kinsman, Jayachand, the history of India under the Muslim rulers has been one of rape, murder, plunder, destruction of temples, abduction of Hindu women, butchering of Hindu children and Jezia on the Hindus who failed to convert themselves to Islam. Among those Hindus who survived the onslaughts, there were great heroes like Rana Pratap, Chhatrapati Shivaji and Guru Govind Singh who fought incessantly for the freedom of the Motherland. Later, when the Muslim power collapsed and the British took over the rule of this land, it was mainly the Hindus who carried on the struggle for the emancipation of the sacred Motherland. There were some Muslim rulers who fought against the British to regain their power, but not out of love or devotion to Motherland. That the Muslims in this country owed their loyalty not to this country but only to the Religious Head of Islam outside the country became very evident when they launched the Khilafat Movement, not for the emancipation of India, but for the restoration of power to the Khalif of Turkey.

As early as 1924, the great patriot and freedom fighter, Lala Lajpatrai, declared with deep foresight: “I am afraid, Indian Muslims are more pan-Islamic and exclusive than the Muslims of any other country on the face of the globe, and that fact alone makes the creation of united India more difficult than would otherwise be the case.” Yet another great patriot-revolutionary, Dr. Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, who founded the Rashtreeya Swayamsevak Sangh on the Vijayadasami day in 1925, concentrated in organizing the Hindu society, for he knew well that only the Hindus could be unreservedly loyal to their Motherland whereas others had divided loyalty. This historical truth came to light when, at the Kakinada Session of the Indian National Congress in 1923, the then President, Maulana Mohammad Ali objected to the singing of Bande Mataram of  Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, which was adopted as the national song of India by patriots, revolutionaries and freedom fighters right from the days of the fight against the partition of Bengal in 1908. In fact, Pandit Vishntu Digambar Paluskar had set the tradition of singing Vande Mataram in all the Congress Sessions since 1915. When the idea of butchering the Motherland got into the head of the Muslims, how can they tolerate the Hindus eulogizing the Motherland as the Divine Mother? In order to appease the Muslims, the Congress leaders introduced the singing of Mohammad Iqbal’s ‘Hindusthan Hamara’ along with ‘Vande Mataram’. Still the Muslims were not satisfied. As a prelude to the mutilation of the Motherland, the song Vande Mataram was mutilated! That portion of the song where Motherland is eulogized as the Goddesses of Wealth, Wisdom and Valour were sacrificed to satisfy the Muslim sentiments. The Muslims did not consider themselves part of the “crores and crores of hands” of the Motherland nor did they accept that the deity worshipped in every shrine is She. So those stanzas too were amputed to satisfy the Muslims. Even then they could not accept the singing of Vande Mataram and Mahatma Gandhi and other leaders decided to say good-bye to the song to keep the Muslims in Congress.

All these efforts of the so called “secular, large-hearted, liberal” leaders proved futile in keeping the Muslims with them. The country was partitioned. Muslims got their Pakistan, but the Hindus never got back their Hindusthan. They got a “secular nation”. When the question of selecting a national anthem came up before the country, in spite of the efforts of the patriotic sections of the people, the power-mongering politicians’ will prevailed. How can the remnants of the Muslim vote bank still strong inside the country could be ignored by the seat-seeking politician? The rightful claim of Vande Mataram to be the national anthem was overlooked and the song, Janaganamana written by Rabindranath Tagore in honour of  King George V was imposed on the people as the national anthem.  In his thought-provoking foreword to this writer’s humble work, Vande Mataram, brought out at the time of the Vande Mataram Centenary Celebrations in 1977, the Bheeshma pitaamaha  of India’s Freedom Movement, Acharya J.B. Kripalani said:

“It is therefore strange that after independence instead of this anthem, the present one, Janaganamana by our great poet Rabindranath Tagore, suddenly came to be recognized as our National Anthem. The adoption of a national song was never considered as it ought to have been by the Constituent Assembly. It was only announced by Rajendra Babu, the first President of our Republic. National Anthems are not adopted by the nation like that. They are to be recognized by the people. Even as it is, only the first two paragraphs of Vande Mataram are sung. The rest of it is omitted, the reason obviously being that the Muslims objected to the mention of the Indian Goddesses in the song though every goddess is the personification of some divine virtues and all this is explained in the song itself. Even now it will be desirable to have Vande Mataram as the National Anthem along with Janaganamana. Also the whole song must be sung, because the portions that are left out express the most beautiful and poetic sentiments about the Motherland.”

It is a pity that even on the day when the whole nation is celebrating the completion of fifty years of Indian Independence, we are not able to sing, in our official function, the soul-stirring song of Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, VANDE MATARAM, in its full form. While the song of Mohammed Iqbal, SAARE JAHANSE ACCHAA HINDUSTAAN HAMAARAA, was sung in full in the Parliament house, only the mutilated form of VANDE MATARAM was sung.

On the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of our Independence, we have coolly forgotten that great national leader, Acharya Kripalani, and his appeal. By mutilating his song, the great poet-patriot who composed it is also humiliated, just to please those who do not want to accept this land as their sacred Motherland. VANDE MATARAM, indeed, does not require the support and recognition of a spine-less secular government and politicians, for, as Acharya Kripalani has pointed out, “It had become spontaneously the National Anthem adopted by the mass of our people”.

It is time that the patriotic people of this country rise to stop the humiliation of this immortal song by mutilating it everyday in the AIR and Doordarshan broadcasts and in Government functions. The “secular” government, if it still wants to pursue its Muslim appeasement policy, can better remove Vande Mataram from all its programmes and celebrations and leave it to the people to honour the song in their own way. Mutilation of this National Song is as much a national disgrace as damage to the national flag and symbols. No Government has the right to do it, for this is People’s Song.

The Golden Jubilee Year of India’s Independence has been a period of ecstasy for it has brought before the younger generation the glorious history of the Indian Independence Movement and the memories of the martyrs and freedom fighters, but it has also been a period of extreme pain and agony for the deliberate suppression of the equally glorious saga of the immortal song that was the sacred hymn for all these heroes and heroines of this land. We do have an excellent Prime Minister who is undoubtedly a great patriot and nationalist, but he and his party colleagues in the Union Cabinet have been helplessly tied to some  so called “secular” allies. Otherwise, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Sangh Pariwar who have always been singing the Vande Mataram in full in all their congregations all these years could not have silently  reconciled to this ill-fate of this national song on the occasion of  celebration of fifty years of Indian Independence.  Vande Mataram!

[Sadhu Prof. V. Rangarjan’s editorial in TATTVA DARSANA, August-October 1998]





Sister Nivedita, the illustrious disciple of Swami Vivekananda and Guru of Mahakavi C. Subramania Bharati, founded her school at 16, Bose Para Lane in the Bagh Bazaar area of Calcutta, a hundred years ago, on the auspicious occasion of the Feast of Kali, on November 12, 1898. Today it is renowned as Sister Nivedita Girls’ School and is silently celebrating its centenary. Swami Vivekananda wanted Miss Margaret Noble who, inspired by his ideals, came from the distant Ireland and turned into Nivedita – the dedicated daughter of Mother India, not to work for Vedanta nor for the cause of his master, Sri Ramakrishna, but to work for the cause of the Motherland, for Her political emancipation by ‘forging a mighty weapon out of the bones of the Bengali youth’ and for Her cultural and social upliftment. The Nivedita Girls’ School that she started was brilliant example to nationalist institutions all over the country. She not only refused to take the aid of the Government, but even introduced  ‘Bande Mataram’ in the daily prayers of her school at a time when singing of the song in public was an offense. Her school was a meeting place of scientists, artists, journalists, nationalists and revolutionaries, prominent among them being Barindra Ghosh, younger brother of Sri Aurobindo, Bhupendranath Duttta, younger brother of Swami Vivekananda, Brahmabandhav Upadhyaya, the fiery editor of the revolutionary journal Sandhya, Abanindranath Tagore, the renowned artist, and Jagdish Chandra Bose, the renowned scientist. Brahmabandhav, though a appendi who adopted Jesus Christ as his ishtha devata, started an institution called Saraswati Ayatana where teachings of the Vedas, Upanishads and Hindu scriptures along with worship of Goddesses Kali, Lakshmi and Saraswati were imparted to children and festivals like Durga Pooja and Ganesh Chaturthi were celebrated.

At the time of the Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress in 1906, Sister Nivedita organized a Swadeshi exhibition in which the Nivedita Girls’ School exhibited a ‘National Flag’. The flag chosen by Sister Nivedita for her country was nothing but the saffron Bhagawa Dwaj which is a symbol of our hoary culture, heritage and nationalism. And on the flag was portrayed in yellow colour the Vajrayudha, reminding the people that the great rishi Daheechi donated his back-bone to the Devas for making a weapon to fight the Asuras and it is now for the people to sacrifice their all at the altar of the Mother in the fight against British Imperialism. It was in the previous year that a Parsi  woman, Madam Bikhaiji Rustom Cama who was an Indian revolutionary in exile, hoisted a national flag with the slogan of Vande Mataram on it in Berlin.  Bharata Mata was the presiding deity in the heart of every patriotic Indian – Hindu, Musalman, Parsi or Christian – in those days. Vande Mataram was the battle cry of every revolutionary – Brahmabandhav, Ashfaqulla, Bhagat Singh  as well as Rajguru and Chandrasekhar Azad. Durga Pooja, Ganga Dashara and Gansh Chaturthi were all national festivals in which all people irrespective of caste, creed or community participated and raised slogans of Vande Mataram and Bharat Mata ki Jai. Nivedita has spoken about the devotion of Muslim boatmen of Bengal who joined hands with Hindu brethren in floating lamps on Ganga at the time of Durga Pooja.

But the Britishers were very cunning and they played the game of divide and rule to keep the Indians disunited and under subjugation. The foreign missionaries dumped into the country by the colonialists brainwashed the Christians to believe that the Kingdom of Christ will descend on earth only if the European rule was established in every nook and corner of the world. The Muslims in India were told that they were the rightful rulers of the land before the British came in and if at all India gains Independence, the right to rule should go back only to them. The Muslim League was nourished and nurtured by them to create a communal division in the country and they did succeed in their vile attempt. The Christians and Muslims started talking that India was never a nation before the British came in. Vande Mataram was dubbed as a slogan of idol worship and eulogization of the Motherland in Bankim Chandra’s song as Durga representing power, Lakshmi representing wealth and Saraswati representing wisdom was condemned as Hindu communalism. Unfortunately, the generation of uncompromising and fiery patriots like Lala Lajpat Rai, Bipin Chandra Pal and Lokamanya Tilak had disappeared from the national scene. The politicians who took over the leadership of the Congress were more westernized in their outlook and intent on grabbing power from the British than fostering the age old national ideals and protecting the unity and integrity of the country. They did not hesitate to agree to the partition of the country so that they could at least have a part of the country to rule. The paragon of Truth, Mahatma Gandhi, tried all methods to appease the Muslims and win their confidence, but they never accepted him as a leader and considered him only as a Hindu chauvinist. He even dropped the slogan of Vande mataram to please them and took to Allah O’ Akbar, but all these gimmicks proved futile. At last he had to swallow his own words that Pakistan could be created only over his dead body and concede the partition of the country.

Surprisingly, even after the independence, the Muslim and Christian appeasement policy of the political leaders continued. They always feared the wrath of the Hindus who were betrayed by them and therefore made every effort to suppress the Hindu national feelings by dividing the Hindu society into linguistic and caste groups so that they could hold on to power with some sections of the Hindus behind them and the support of Muslim and Christian minorities who were pampered by them. They never hesitated to sacrifice time and again the rights and interests of the majority community to keep the minorities in good humour. As a part of this nefarious game they imposed the so called ideal of ‘Secularism’ on the nation. The minority communities did take advantage of the power-craziness of these politicians and went on extracting the maximum benefits at the cost of the majority community. Whenever the majority community people strove to stand united and fight for their legitimate rights, they were dubbed as communalists and fanatics. Teaching of anything associated with Hindu religion and culture was ‘communalism’. Even the singing of the Vande Mataram song, spontaneously adopted by the people as the national song during the days of struggle for freedom, became communal and the portions eulogizing Mother India as Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati were promptly removed to please the minorities.

Today the Hindus are waking up. The emergence of a political party which is truly national in its outlook and which represents the cultural ethos of the country which have come down through centuries as the biggest party in the parliament is proof of this fact. However, this party has yet to gain the absolute majority to enable it function effectively and independently. A big section of the Hindu society is still too illiterate, ignorant and downtrodden to free themselves from the delusory charm of  the cunning, opportunistic, materialistic and casteist propaganda of the power-mongering politicians. Immediately after the Independence, the politics of the country drifted from the hands of national level leaders to regional satraps and leaders of linguistic, communal and caste groups. The educated elite were driven out of politics and the uneducated and half-educated demagogues, screen play writers, stage and cine actors with no moral and spiritual values in life took over the political leadership. Man-making and nation-building education was replaced by materialistic and self-centred educational ideals. Today, the scene has still worsened. The politics of the country is mainly dominated by Mafia dons, black marketers, criminals and traitors who have no hesitation to barter away the country for their selfish gains. People who have never entered into the compound of a school, except perhaps in the dead of the night to brew illicit liquor, have today, thanks to the corruption and criminalisation of politics, become legislators, parliamentarians and even ministers. Therefore, even the biggest party in the parliament which enjoys the support of the patriotic and national minded people of the country has to depend on the mercy of the allies some of whom are led by people who have no principles, policies, ideals or goals except clinging to power by hook or crook and who are corrupt to the core. Though these parties could never have dreamt of finding berth in the union cabinet but for their alliance with the biggest national party, they are under constant fear that if the biggest party, by virtue of its ideals, principles, policies and efficient performance gains the confidence of the people they will lose their hold. Therefore they constantly pose threats of withdrawal of support and, joining hands with the opposition, try to tarnish the image of the biggest party under some pretext or other.

The recent uproar against the singing of Saraswati Vandana in the conference of Education Ministers of the country, the opposition to the singing of Vande Mataram, and opposition to the teaching of Sanskrit and the message of Vedas and the Upanishads in schools are to be looked at from this angle. No one objected to the singing of Saraswati Vandana in the first Conference of Education Ministers when the paragon of so called secularism, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was the Prime Minister and Moulana Abul Kalam Azad was the Union Education Minister. No one objected when Saraswati Vandana was sung in a function attended by President K.R. Narayanan and the then Prime Minister, I.K. Gujral. But if the Saraswati Vandana  is sung in the Education Ministers’ conference attended by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Union Education Minister Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi who belong to the Bharatiya Janata Party which upholds the national and cultural ideals of the country, it is all communal and fundamentalist!

The BJP Government of Uttar Pradesh is to be heartily congratulated for its bold decision to make singing of Saraswati Vandana and Vande Matasrm compulsory in all schools in the State. They are not doing anything other than what Sister Nivedita and Brahmabandhav did hundred years ago and what great men like Swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo envisaged. This fire of patriotism and nationalism that is being kindled in Uttar Pradesh which is the biggest State in the country will soon spread all over the country and engulf the whole of the country and it is bound to reduce to ashes all parochial, narrow, communal, fanatic and fundamentalist forces which have all these years holding this country to ransom. The crying need of the hour is courage and wisdom on the part of the leadership of the biggest party in the country to boldly stick to its principles, even at the cost of power, with a firm conviction that dharma will ultimately win. Vande Mataram!

[TATTVA DARSANA, November 1998-January 1999]

Sri Aurobindo on “Vande Mataram

as National Song

December 30, 1939

(A discipleJ There are some people who object to “Vande Mataram” as a national song. And some Congressmen support the removal of some parts of the song.

In that case the Hindus should give up their culture.

The argument is that the song speaks of Hindu gods, like Durga, and that is offensive to the Muslims.

But it is not a religious song: it is a national song and the Durga spoken of is India as the Mother. Why should not the Muslims accept it? It is an image used in poetry. In the Indian conception of nationality, the Hindu view would naturally be there. If it cannot find a place there, the Hindus may as well be asked to give up their culture. The Hindus don’t object to “Allah-ho-Akbar”… Why should not the Hindu worship his god? Otherwise the Hindus must either accept Mohammedanism or the European culture or become atheists… I told C.R. Das [in 1923] that this Hindu-Muslim question must be solved before the Britishers go, otherwise there was a danger of civil war. He also agreed and wanted to solve it… In stead of doing what was necessary the Congress is trying to flirt with Jinnah, and Jinnah simply thinks that he has to obstinately stick to his terms to get them. The more they try, the more Jinnah becomes instransigent.

(From India’s Rebirth by Sri Aurobindo)




Vedanta Kesari, Sri Ramakrishna Math, Madras, September 1977

VANDE MATARAM: By V. Rangarajan, Pub. Sister Nivedita Academy, Madras. Pp. 56. Price: Rs.3

This slender book of 56 pages is a study in depth of the history of the celebrated song ‘Vande Mataram’ which had inspired  many heroes and claimed many martyrs. Many of us in India know the song as a patriotic one and no more. Some of us perhaps know it as the appendix_on of a Bengali writer or poet. Very few of us know its background or the great author or the book Ananda math in which the song occurs or of the patriotic ardour of  sannyasins who identified India as mother demanding from her children total devotion and dedication. The children in turn pray for her help for the emancipation of Bharata Mata from her foes.

The glorification of mother as the symbol of all that is divine, beautiful and abiding is a characteristic feature of our Scriptures and therefore a part of our thinking and way of life. While countries in Western Europe refer to their land of nativity as fatherland, we in India regard it as motherland. I do not know whether it is the same all over Asia. In Russia it is Mother Russia.

The song itself, written in beautiful mellifluous language, is an invocation to Mother, describing the beauties of the land with a passionate prayer to her to ‘arise and save’ the land from its foes. Sri Rangarajan gives a comprehensive list of the martyrs who went to the gallows with Vande Mataram on their lips and faced death with a smile on their faces. Of the many who were inspired to memorable acts of devotion and sacrifice, the book gives their names and illustrations. It is no small wonder, that even though the song is not recognized officially as the national anthem, it has filtered into our lives as the call to prayer, devotion and sacrifice. The blood of the martyrs has nourished it and therefore, the song Vande Mataram will live for ever.

Here it is interesting to trace the history and adoption of two well-known national anthems, those of the United States and France. The French national anthem which goes by the name of La Marseilles had a different name which meant, ‘Song of the Call to Arms’ etc. It was first sung by a band of soldiers marching from Marseilles on to the Tuileries in Paris and begins with the call, ‘To Arms Citizens’ etc. to maintain the revolutionary slogan of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. The title was therefore changed into La Marseilles. The American anthem, ‘The Star-spangled Banner’, was inspired by the sight of the flag still floating at dawn after the bombardment of Fort Henry. Both songs are closely related to freedom struggle. Our national anthem should be Vande Mataram. Unfortunately what should have been really and truly the song of our freedom struggle has been given up in favour of ‘Jana Gana Mana’, a song composed in honour of an Emperor who ruled over India as an outsider. And it was adopted not by a poll of public opinion or Parliament but by the imprimatur of the President of the Constitutent Assembly. The arguments advanced against the adoption of Vande Mataram as our national anthem are hardly convincing – that the reference to goddesses offended the Muslims and that it did not lend itself to orchestration. The latter has been disproved because the song was orchestrated. As for the Muslim objection, it is due to their ignorance of the fact that the Hindu goddesses are only personifications of virtues which are held in high esteem by all civilized people.

The author has indeed done real service in making a serious study of this beautiful patriotic song and its abiding inspiration. Whether it is adopted as the national anthem or not, the song which has inspired such diverse persons as Bhagat Singh, Swami Vivekananda and Subhas Bose will live in the hearts and minds of the millions who worship India as mother.

I do sincerely hope that the book will be read by young men and women whose ignorance of the existence of such treasures is matched only by their unforgivable indifference to  the vast wealth hidden in our Scriptures and literature.


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Yuva  Bharati, Vivekananda Kendra, Madras, December 1977

VANDE MATARAM: by V. Rangarajan. Published by Sister Nivedita Academy, 107, Big Street, Triplicane, Madras – 600 005, Pp.55. Price: Rs.3.

This booklet entitled “Vande Mataram” gives us the background of the origin of the freedom struggle in India. From time immemorial the mother has been placed foremost in all our prayers, devotional songs and even in family life. The Upanishads have the exhortation that the mother should be viewed as God.

The song delightful, as it is, represents the voice of ages. It describes the land as one glory. It unites the diverse people of India inhabiting different parts, speaking different languages and living in different environments. It finds unity in diversity.

Written in a style which stirs to the depths the feelings of patriotism in our countrymen, its magic spell enabled the people to face unbearable hardships and make untold sacrifices. It was in fact the song of the martyrs.

The song written by the eminent Bengali novelist Sri Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, brings to our mind the Mother Goddess who can ward off enemies from without and at the same time lift us to the heights of culture and glory. She is pictured as the symbol at once of both compassion and courage. Through the generations the song will continue to inspire all sections of the people, the young and the old. From the days of Swami Vivekananda and Khudiram Bose, the song became a pledge and inspired all to fight for freedom. It was indeed unfortunate that this was not made the National Song, though it rent the air during the culmination of the struggle led by Mahatma Gandhi.

We are indeed grateful to Sri V. Rangarajan, the author, for having traced the history of this hymn of patriotism, the immortal song of the United Bharat, the Great Mother.

This book has a foreword written by the grand old man of today, Acharya Kripalani, who has commended Vande Mataram to be made the National Anthem. It is a matter for satisfaction that the younger generation, whom the author represents, has made “Vande Mataram” their sacred song of inspiration.


*                      *                      *

The Indian Review (Founded in 1900 by G.A. Natesan), Madras, December 1978

VANDE MATARAM  By V. Rangarajan, Sister Nivedita Academy, Madras-5, 55 page, Rs.3. 1977

“Aurobindo” observed Sister Nivedita “came out with a new interpretation of Bankim Chandra’s Song ‘Bande Mataram’ , which now leaped out of its comparative obscurity within the covers of a Bengali novel and in one sweep found itself on the lips of every Indian man, woman and child”. And this well-researched publication is a fine tribute to the memory of Sister Nivedita.

Mr. Rangarajan, Director of the Sister Nivedita Academy is to be congratulated on his work. For he has viewed the philosophy of Vande Mataram against a background which is political, social as well as cultural in its perspectives. In other words, this immortal song has been a product as well as a sustenance of the Indian struggle for freedom.

Mr. Rangarajan is right in stating that Bande Mataram was composed even before the Ananda Math was written. However, it became part of the Ananda Math. Here it is necessary to stress the similarities between the Indian National Movement and the Irish Nationalist Movement. Just as the Irish Nationalist Movement inspired by great poets like Yeats had its beginnings in the Gaelic Revival, so was Sri Aurobindo’s Bande Mataram triggered off by Bankim Chandra’s song. As he put it, it was Bankim Chandra’s “Ananda Math” that gave us the reviving mantra, which is creating a new India, the Mantra ‘Bande Mataram’. And he developed this point in his characteristically eloquent strain: “For what is a nation? What is our mother country? It is not a piece of earth, nor a figure of speech nor a fiction of the mind. It is a mighty ‘Shakti’ composed of all the ‘Shakties’ of all the millions of units that make up the nation, just as Bhawani Mahisha Mardini sprang into being from the Shakti of all the millions of gods assembled in one mass of force and welded into unity. The Shakti we call India, Bhawani Bharati is the living unity of the Shakties of three hundred million people”. In the opening verse of the Kumara Sambhava, Kalidasa describes the lofty Himalayas as the measuring rod spanning the wide land from eastern to the western sea. He also suggests that the culture developed in the Himalayan regions constitutes a scale of values to evaluate other cultures on the map of civilization. Indeed it is this music of the Himalayan way of life which will continuously sing in our ears. And this music has been expressed in its modern idiom by poets like Sri Aurobindo and Subramania Bharati. For ‘Bande Mataram’ expresses the aims and power of the Indian Nation as the Marseillaise embodied the ideal of awakened France or as the aspirations of Ireland are expressed in the songs of Ethna Carberry. It is something more than the defence of the motherland, it is a struggle for liberty and the preservation of our cultural heritage in the ultimate analysis. This unique book is historically accurate, complete and current. For the impact of the Bande Mataram movement in the various parts of India as well as the fall-out in the appendi of England, Europe and America have been meticulously researched. Again, the political and aesthetic responses of the political as well as literary figures like Sri Aurobindo, Bharati, Sister Nivedita, Dr. K.B. Hedgewar, Paluskar, Madame Cama, Dhingra, Veer Savarkar and V.V.S. Iyer have been perceptively analysed. In fine, it is the best presentation I’ve seen in this field.


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Bhavan’s Journal, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bombay, January 15, 1978

VANDE MATARAM – By  V. Rangarajan, Sister Nivedita Academy, 107, Big Street, Triplicane, Madras 600 005. Price Rs. 3/-

SOME  unexpected things took place at the time when India gained Independence in 1948. Those who came into power could have easily done two things – made Sanskrit the official language of India, and “Vande Mataram” composed by Bnakim Chandra Chatterjee (and later incorporated in his Bengali Novel, Ananda Math) the national anthem of our country.

This well-written book of 55 pages by Shri V. Rangarajan traces the growth of the two magic words, ‘Vande Mataram’, and shows how like Lakshmana’s arrow against Indrajit, the words became transmuted into a Mantra of infinite potency and won India her freedom. Along with the larger movements on the non-violent front, India paid her Rakta Bali – her sacrifice of blood in the lives of some of her best children – commemorated in this Book. In ancient Greece and Rome, the life of a citizen without his star was unthinkable. In modern days, patriotism is taken for granted as Scott’s glowing outburst ‘Breathes there the man with soul so dead’ testifies. But in many lands the regard for one’s country is crude, chauvinistic, and has led to two world wars. To India is given the gift of transmuting anything she touches into spiritual gold. The mystic vision of the seers of India who conceived of her as Mother Shakti is the true realization of the path God calls upon her to play in the world, ‘That is for the Sanatan Dharma that they arise, it is for the world and not for themselves that they arise’.

Indeed, this concept of India as Punya Bhoomi is nothing new as Chapter IV, pp.39 and 40 of the Book testify It has been running from the days of the Vedas and finds its fullest expression in the magnificent description of India in the Bhagavatam (5th Skanda, Chapter 19, pp.469 and 470, Volume-I of translation by Shri N, Raghunathan) which deserves to be prescribed as portion in our school text books.

But, unfortunately, while every man in other countries feels proud he is a Chinese or a Japanese or an American, the ordinary Indian seems to have lost his sense of identity and national pride. The only way to make him regain his national self-respect and pride is to convert the national festival days as Pooja days of our Holy Motherland, as the author suggests.

Shri V. Rangarajan’s  Vande Mataram is a clarion call to recapture the fine rapture of our seers – Bankim Chandra Chatterjee and Vivekananda, Sister Nivedita and Gandhi, and Aurobindo Ghosh and the countless others to whom ‘Jananee Janma Bhoomis Cha Swargaad Api Gareeyasee’ – the mother and motherland are more high and sacred than the very heavens.

The Hyderabad All India Radio wakens us at 6 in the morning  with the relay of the first stanza of the ‘Vande Mataram’ song. Let us echo the wish of J.B. Kripalani in his Foreword: ‘Even now it will be desirable to have Vande Mataram as the National Anthem along with Jana Gana Mana’, and hope that it will become a fait accompli soon.

T.R. Rajagopala Aiyar

*                      *                      *

The Mail, Madras, August 6, 1977

VANDE MATARAM:  By  V. Rangarajan, Sister Nivedita Academy, Madras. Price: Rs. 3.

This embodies in a  brief compass the history of Vande Mataram composed by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee of Bengal. Bankim was the seer of the National Mantra and Aurobindo, the god-appointed priest, to expound it. On account of Aurobindo’s interpretation, the song leaped out of obscurity within the covers of a Bengali novel and in one sweep found itself on the lips of every Indian. Aurobindo considered nationalism as a religion that has come from God. Many patriots have lost their lives singing this song, like Khudiram Bose, Bhagat Singh and Raj Guru.

In his foreword J.B. Kripalani has suggested that Vande Mataram may also be sung along with Jana Gana Mana.

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The Sunday Standard, Madras, September 4, 1977

VANDE MATARAM:  By  V. Rangarajan, Sister Nivedita Academy, Madras. Price: Rs. 3.

This is a collection of articles on the inspiring saga of the immortal song of Indian nationalism and a revealing rendering of the ideal of the worship of the Motherland by the author. How “Vande Mataram” was born and why “Jana Gana Mana” was preferred as India’s National Anthem – these are some of the interesting questions answered in the book. The author substantiates the immortal nature of “Vande Mataram”. He proves its claim to be the people’s song.

*                      *                      *

The Hindu, Madras, September 6, 1977

VANDE MATARAM :  By  V. Rangarajan (Sister Nivedita Academy, 107, Big Street, Triplicane, Madras-600005; Rs. 3)  is a collection of articles by the author on Rishi Bankim Chandra Chatterjee’s soul-stirring song Bande Mataram which brought under its spell numerous young men and women of India and converted them into fierce patriots. This thin volume also refers to a few of the countless revolutionary patriots who were inspired by the vision of the Mother presented in Vande Mataram and sacrificed their lives with the national song on their lips. In his foreword, Acharya J.B. Kripalani notes: “even now it will be desirable to have Vande Mataram as the National Anthem along with Janaganamana.”

Reviews of Second Edition


–The Saga of the Immortal Song of Rishi Bankim Chandra

(Second Edition)

On August 15, 1998, the whole nation and Mother India’s children abroad celebrated the conclusion of the Golden Jubilee of India’s Independence. From out of crores and crores of throats emerged once again  the soul-stirring mantra of Vande Mataram filled with joy and pride. However, how many of our children know the most inspiring history of the magical song, Vande Mataram which stirred the hearts of millions and millions of patriots and revolutionaries of this glorious land of Bharatavarsha and impelled them to sacrifice their everything at the altar of the Mother?

At the time of the Celebration of Vande Mataram Centenary, the great patriarch of India’s national movement who was in our midst, Acharya J.B. Kripalani, inspired this humble Sadhu Prof. V. Rangarajan to write the glorious history of the immortal song of Rishi Bankim Chandra and narrate the saga of the sacrifices made by the valiant children of Mother Bharat inside the country as well as outside, in the struggle for  India’s Independence. He was also kind and generous enough to write a thought-provoking ‘Foreword’ to the humble work, VANDE MATARAM, written by this sadhu at his behest. The book was released as the maiden publication of the newly founded SISTER NIVEDITA ACADEMY, in a colourful function on  Akshaya Triteeya, the day auspicious for the worship of Bharata Mata, on April 21, 1977. Eminent patriots, freedom fighters and writers like Smt. Lakshmi N. Menon, former Union Minister of State for External Affairs, Sri N.S. Varadachariar, renowned freedom fighter, Sri A. Ranganathan and Sri T.R. Rajagopala Aiyar, well-known writers, reviewed the book in journals like Vedanta Kesari, Yuva Bharati, Indian Review and Bhavan’s Journal.

After twenty-one years, when the new generation of Mother India is celebrating the completion of 50 years of India’s Independence, Sister Nivedita Academy, the publisher of the work, has felt that an enlarged second edition of the book, which has always been in demand, must be brought out for the enlightenment of the youth of the nation on the glorious history  of  India’s Freedom Struggle and to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of India’s Independence. The new edition  includes  the   thought-provoking reviews of the eminent persons who reviewed it in leading journals and the comments and news that appeared in national dailies. SISTER NIVEDITA ACADEMY wants to offer the book once again at the feet of the Divine Mother paying its humble homage to all the martyrs of our freedom movement. Though the Academy has fixed a nominal price of  Rs.25 (Outside India – US$1.5) for the book, its endeavour will be to make this work available free, especially in the regional languages, to the poor and downtrodden sections of the people, particularly the student community,  so that generations will be imbued with the spirit of patriotism and the ideal of spiritual nationalism which Rishi Bankim and the great spiritual giants like Swami Vivekananda, Swami Rama Tirtha, Sister Nivedita, Mahayogi Sri Aurobindo and Mahakavi C. Subramania Bharati wanted to appendi in their hearts. The Academy hopes to receive the patronage and help of  philanthropic minded patriots and lovers of Mother India.

—TATTVA DARSANA, August-October 1998

Vande Mataram, by Sadhu Prof. V. Rangarajan, Sister Nivedita Academy, 158 (Old 118), Big Street, Triplicane, Chennai 600 005, 1998, pp.80, Paperback, Rs.25.

As a song, Vande Mataram has gained immense popularity, especially in the last three years following the golden jubilee of our independence. Everywhere cassettes of the song in various metres are being sold and one hopes that the immeasurable value of the words uttered is being universally understood.

The history of the song is soul stirring, romantic and inspiring. Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, its creator, was a leader among men and a great philosopher. Wiliam wordsworth described the poets’s role as that of a ‘Vater’ or Father. Bankim Chandra Chatterjee was one such poet who gave to his Motherland a poem which raises the most ordinary of us to a higher level of thinking.

The author Shri Rangarajan has traced the origin of this paean of praise for the Motherland and has taken the reader through the exciting revolutionary period of Indian history—the independence struggle, beginning from the first war of 1857. Bankim Chandra was so moved by his Motherland’s struggle that he composed the song even before the Ananda Math was written. It happened in 1875, when on a holiday Bankim boarded a train to his native place Kantalapada. The natural beauty of the scenery of his native Bengal made him feel he was getting a vision of the Divine Mother. The author traces the history of the song’s birth and rising popularity through the five chapters of the book and has skillfully shown how the song has come to be synonymous with India’s spiritual excellence. The style of writing is simple but very moving and absorbing. The elevated poetic content of Vande Mataram as a song is fully brought out and as a history of the freedom struggle, it is very effectively written.

In these days, when the young people of this country have no good role model, a book of this sort introduces them to stalwarts of intellect and simplicity. The book has brief accounts by Aurobindo Ghosh, Swamiji (Vivekananda), Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, in praise of Vande Mataram. It is earnestly hoped that this message of patriotism and true patriots who loved this country more than themselves will reach the younger members of this country.

Review by Prema Raghunath in Vedanta Kesari, Chennai.


“When posterity comes to crown with her praises for the Makers of India, she will place her  most splendid laurel not on the sweeting temples of a place-hunting politician, nor  on the narrow forehead of a noisy social reformer, but on the serene brow of that gracious Bengali, who never clamoured for place or power, but did his work in silence for love of his work, even as nature does, and just because he had no aim but to give out the best that was in him, was able to create a language, a literature and a nation.”





The Indian Express, Madras, Friday, April 22, 1977

Why not Vande Mataram as national anthem?

By  Our  Staff  Reporter

Acharya Kripalani has urged that “Vande Mataram” be sung as the national anthem along with “Jana gana mana”.

In his foreword to a booklet, “Vande Mataram” written by Mr. V. Rangarajan and released at a quiet function in the City on Thursday, Mr. Kripalani expressed the view that the whole song should be sung, “because the portions that are left out express the most beautiful and poetic sentiments about the motherland”.

He said, “Several lost their lives for singing this song. Every patriot from Khudiram Bose to Bhagat Singh and Rajguru died with the mantram of Vande Mataram on their lips. It had become spontaneously the nation’s anthem adopted by the mass of our people”.

Mr. Kripalani wanted Mr. Rangarajan to specifically state that Vande Mataram had not been made the national anthem as “the wishes of a minority were thrust on the majority”.

Swami Golokananda, who released the book, gave the first copy to Education Secretary C.G. Rangabashyam who said the education department had recently instituted a drive to equip more than 1,400 libraries int the State with books on patriotism and the freedom movement.

Mr. Rama Gopalan of RSS said patriotism was the panacea for all evils. Thefunction was got up by Sister Nivedita Academy, Madras.

The Mail, Madras, 22nd April, 1977

Vande Mataram ‘As National Anthem’

MADRAS, Apr. 22:    Acharya Kripalani has suggested that ‘Vande Mataram’ be also sung as the National Anthem along with ‘Jana Gana Mana’.

In a foreword  to a booklet ‘Vande Mataram’ written by Mr. V. Rangarajan, and released at a function yesterday by Swami Golokananda, he said that Vande Mataram had not been made the national anthem as “the wishes of a minority were thrust on the majority.” The first copy of the booklet was received by Mr. C.G. Rangabashyam, Education Secretary, who said that the department had recently launched a drive to equip more than 1,400 libraries with books on patriotism.

The function was sponsored by the Sister Nivedita Academy.

Acharya  J. B. Kripalani with Sadhu Prof. V  Rangarajan


Appendix III

VANDE MATARAM – An Appreciation



(Headquarters – Nagpur)

Dr. Hedgewar Bhavan, Mahal, Nagpur 440 002

Phone 723003 / 7215859

Sarsanghchalak: Rajendra Singh      Sarkaryavah: H.V.Seshadri

Keshavkunj, Jhandewala, Deshbandhu Gupta Marg, New Delhi 110 055

Phone: 7770365 / 7515854

Dated 20-10-1998

Manyavar Shri Sadhu Rangarajan,


I received your crisp and informative book on Vande Mataram. I have not been able to go through it fully, but it is excellent giving a lot of information at one place. Sri Aurobindo’s translation in poetry is meant to carry the inner meaning rather than exact meanings of words used. I feel the need for that as well since all people do not fully understand the meaning of the words.


You have done a great service, and though due to stiffness I do not write myself, but in this case I am personally congratulating you.

Yours in the Mother’s service,

(Sd/-) Rajendra Singh.


Appendix IV


Let the lost glory of Vande Mataram be restored



Vande Mataram! It is a pity that even on the day when the whole nation was celebrating the completion of fifty years of Indian Independence, we are not able to sing in official functions, the soul-stirring song of Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, Vande Mataram, in its full form. While the song of Mohammed Iqbal, ‘Saare jahhaanse achchaa Hindustaan Hamaraa‘, was sung in full in Parliament, only the mutilated form of Vande Mataram was sung.

One of the greatest leaders of our nation, Acharya J.B. Kripalani, writing a foreword 21 years ago to this writer’s work, “Vande Mataram“, emphatically said, “Even as it is, only the first two paragraphs of Vande Mataram are sung. The rest of it is omitted, the reason obviously being that the Muslims objected to the mention of the Indian goddesses in the song, though every goddess is the personification of some divine virtue and all this is explained in the song itself. Even now it will be desirable to have Vande Mataram as the National Anthem along with Jana Gana Mana. Also the whole song must be sung, because the portions that are left out express the most beautiful and poetic sentiments about the Motherland.”

On the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of our Independence, we have forgotten that great national leader and his appeal. Vande Mataram inspired thousands of freedom fighters, patriots and revolutionaries to perform highest sacrifice of their precious lives at the altar of the Motherland. However, it was mutilated, and thereby the great poet-patriot who composed it was also humiliated, just to please those who wanted to vivisect the sacred Motherland.

The only thing that prevents the Government of Free India from restoring the honour and pristine glory accorded to that song in the pre-Independence days, is its policy of appeasement of the minorities who do not want to give the Motherland the status of Divine. Vande Mataram, indeed, does not require the support and recognition of a spine-less secular government and politicians, for as Acharya Kripalani has pointed out, “It had become spontaneously the national anthem adopted by the mass of our people.” It is time that the patriotic people of the country rise to stop the humiliation of this immortal song by mutilating it. Mutilation of this national song is as much a national disgrace as damage to the national flag and symbols. No government has the right to do it, for this is a people’s song.

  1. Rangarajan, Chennai.

[The Indian Express, Tuesday, August 25, 1998

Appendix V

News & Photos

Release of Vande Mataram First Edition in 1977

Sri C.G. Rangabhashyam, speaking on the occasion of the release of Vande      Mataram. Seated (L to R) : Sri Rama Gopalan and Swami Golokananda

Sitting in left extreme: Freedom fighter, Sri N.S. Varadachari.

Sadhu Prof. V. Rangarajan addressing the gathering

Smt. Bharati Rangarajan proposing vote of thanks.

Chi.Vivkanandan and Sow Nivedita with Papa’s Vande mataram, 1977.

Release of Vande Mataram Second Edition


Sadhu Prof. V. Rangarajan called on his Master, Yogi Ramsuratkumar at Tiruvannamalai on Sunday, October 11, 1998, and placed at his feet the first copies of  his Vande Mataram, second enlarged edition published by Sister Nivedita Academy to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of India’s Independence,  and the August-October 1998 issue of Tattva Darsana. The Master also showered his blessings on the sadhu for the success of his tour of U.P. in the later half of the month and his proposed sixth visit to South Africa and second visit to Mauritius in the beginning of next year.

[TATTVA DARSANA, November 1998-January 1999].