By this time there must have been numbers of blogs written on the fatwa issued by one Islamic organization in India, expressing the anger, disagreement, discontent over the fatwa. This is certainly not an effort to be one among them. This is also not just another attempt to condemn the Islamic community for their different views. Being a devotee of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo, I have learned by this time that I should not separate any section of Life, be it a stone or a person, or a community. This is rather a humble effort by me to present the Spirit, the Mantra of Vande Mataram has embodied in it, as Sri Bankim Chandra received it from those higher spheres, and as Sri Aurobindo presented it to the whole world, in clear words which can even be understood by a common man, not just in those times of freedom struggle, even today.
When I was a kid, we used to start our day with the Vande Mataram broadcasted on the All India Radio. We never knew what Vande Mataram is that time. Still the way it influenced us was really great. Probably that's why it is a Mantra and not just another poem. Then my mothers used to teach us sing it for some occasions. We never realized the words we sung. But still the current of inspiration that was flowing could be felt. An experience beyond words. Truly Magical. Then with the time, when we got to know about it a little bit in our history classes, about the way British Rulers were scared for this, and the ban they imposed on it, and still people continuing to cry Vande Mataram, and getting arrested, tortured, even sacrificing their lives, we started realizing the terrible Divine Power these two rods embody slowly, but still not completely. Still it was a great poem for all of us, like the national anthem.
Only when I gew up, in my +12 days, when I came across a speech by Sri S. Ramanna, a pracharak of Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh, I got to learn the entire history behind the poem, and realized that the Vande MAtaram I knew so far was just a part of the poem, only first two verses of the complete Mantra. It was a pre recorded audio cassette in which Sri Ramanna narrated the whole saga of Vande Mataram, in his absolutely miraculous voice, that even now I can feel when I remember him. A great orator and a great devotee of Mother India, he was blessed by The Mother with the duty of spearheading the message of Vande Mataram, across the country.
Then when I heard Vande Mataram being played in the Play Ground in the Ashram, on 15th August this year, it was an experience so concrete, and that's where I realized completely the wonderful power of Vande Mataram, as a song celestial and a song of adoration of not just the Mother India, but the adoration of the Divine Mother. When it comes to the India, and The Mother, to speak of one is to speak of the other, without having any slightest idea of this strange oneness.
How Vande Mataram Descended….The History…
Usually I never dig around such concrete experiences. I always try to live the same for a long time. But when I heard the news about this fatwa, I felt it is now necessary to relive the moment, and mine up as much information as possible on Vande Mataram and present the same to this wonderful media of internet blogging.
When Sri Bankim Chandra, visualized the Vande Mataram, and included it as a part of the novel Ananda Matha, it remained in the covers of the novel for some time. Only when Sri Aurobindo, along with his partenering frontiers of the freedom fight, realized the Power of the song, they unearthed it to the whole world.
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.
"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.
Following is the translation of Vande Mataram by Sri Aurobindo:
Mother, I bow to thee!
Rich with thy hurrying streams,
bright with orchard gleams,
Cool with thy winds of delight,
Dark fields waving Mother of might,
Glory of moonlight dreams,
Over thy branches and lordly streams,
Clad in thy blossoming trees,
Mother, giver of ease
Laughing low and sweet!
Mother I kiss thy feet,
Speaker sweet and low!
Mother, to thee I bow.
Who hath said thou art weak in thy lands
When the sword flesh out in the seventy million hands
And seventy million voices roar
Thy dreadful name from shore to shore?
With many strengths who art mighty and stored,
To thee I call Mother and Lord!
Though who savest, arise and save!
To her I cry who ever her foeman drove
Back from plain and Sea
And shook herself free.
Thou art wisdom, thou art law,
Thou art heart, our soul, our breath
Though art love divine, the awe
In our hearts that conquers death.
Thine the strength that nervs the arm,
Thine the beauty, thine the charm.
Every image made divine
In our temples is but thine.
Thou art Durga, Lady and Queen,
With her hands that strike and her
swords of sheen,
Thou art Lakshmi lotus-throned,
And the Muse a hundred-toned,
Pure and perfect without peer,
Mother lend thine ear,
Rich with thy hurrying streams,
Bright with thy orchard gleems,
Dark of hue O candid-fair
In thy soul, with jewelled hair
And thy glorious smile divine,
Lovilest of all earthly lands,
Showering wealth from well-stored hands!
Mother, mother mine!
Mother sweet, I bow to thee,
Mother great and free!
Then what happened is a history which stands out in the human evolution so far. Vande Mataram, becomes the breath of every Indian fighting for the freedom, not just for the freedom of oneself but of the whole nation, and this is not just a nation, a land habited by people, but the Spiritual Center of the universe, the Psychic being of the earth!
The Way Vande Mataram acts…
If you wonder why and how this could happen, you must experience the Vande Mataram in the Ashram play ground on a darshan day.
Especially when the song goes as:
Tumi vidyaa tumi dharma
tumi hR^idi tumi marma
tvaM hi praaNaaH shariire
Baahute tumi maa shakti
hR^idaye tumi maa bhakti
tomaara i pratimaa gaDi
Not just you experience the sudden uproar of the flame of Aspiration in you and the self opening to The Mother; simultaneously you experience the answer from The Mother. Her presence grows everywhere around you, and most importantly within you, so concretely that you can no longer identify yourself separately from Her. For this state of elated Bliss, for sure no one will have any words to express. Because the song is not just another song. It is a Mantra received by Bankim Chandrafrom those higher realms like the Vedic Rishis, and given to us by Sri Aurobindo to call for Her Grace. This is one mantra, which gives you instant result, which is always simultaneous with your aspiration soaring up, as you sing it. This is the
only mantra which you can embody as you chant it, so easily, without any effort. When you are one with what you do, for sure the answer has to come, as She has promised.
This is where you also realize the lines from Savitri:
A prayer, a master act, a king idea
Can link man's strength to a transcendent Force.
- Savitri Book 1 Canto 2, Page 20.
The Mantra of Vande Mataram, instantly links us with the Supreme, and all the Might and Power of The Supreme are experienced and one is armed with the same.
Then who or what can stop you in this world?
Then miracle is made the common rule,
One mighty deed can change the course of things;
A lonely thought becomes omnipotent.
- Savitri Book 1 Canto 2, Page 20.
Is there any such song which has created this effect?
Not just then, but even now the Mantra is still a Mantra and the effect is concrete….
BBC World Service conducted an international poll In 2003, to choose ten most famous songs of all time. Around 7000 songs were selected from all over the world. According to BBC, people from around the world voted Vande mataram was Second in top 10 songs
Here is the link if you wish to see the top 10 songs: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/us/features/topten/profiles/index.shtml#vande
Probably because many people around the world do not even know about Vande Mataram, it was voted as second.
The Key Issue….
Now…..one may ask me hey you forgot the key issue here….a section of the society has issued a ban on Vande Mataram….what do you have to say on this?
Well..(at least for me) it is not the key issue at all. For me key issue is why are getting agitated?
When muslims are showing fanaticism over Vande Mataram, which is certainly unnecessary, if we too copy them, then it is a "self" defeat. Not the defeat of the egoistic self of ours, but the larger "Self" of ours, The Mother, whom we adore with Vande Mataram. Always the Divine is opposed by the hostile forces. That is the very method of the hostile forces and the lower nature. As in Yoga the choice is ours, either be a captive of the hostile forces, or the free warrior of The Supreme, here too we must follow the same. After all, All Life is Yoga!
It is very natural that one who has known the Vande Mataram, and the inspiration it generated, and freedom it bestowed us, gets angry and agitated over this issue of fatwa. And it is even very natural that he spreads this message of anger and agitation throughout the community. So the result is more agitation and anger in the society, rather than the Force of Vande Mataram acting through people to bring in harmony and victory as it did and for which it is meant. It is again an act of hostility and lower nature, if we continue to spread the anger and agitation.
Instead, we must again link ourselves to The Supreme Divine Mother, through Vande Mataram, to Her Transcendent Force, be one with it, embody it, and spread it. If we speak of this wonderful power of Vande Mataram, and the way it acts to ten people around us, at least one among them will certainly follow it. And he would never fail to pass it on to ten people again, to have one more minimum effective spiritual warrior. Even this is a great victory for The Divine, within us. While such message spreads, even those who do not realize this Power, will join their hands. And certainly a time shall come, when those who are opposing it now, shall surrender themselves to it. Because, She has come to transform this world. And she will.
Therefore, I urge to stop spreading the anger and agitation and embody the Power of Vande Matarm. Be the instruments of The Divine Mother, and work for Her, instead of being in the captivity of hostile forces, and work for Her, through Vande Mataram.
Dedicated to Her Feet.
8th November 2009