“VANDE MATARAM” is a mantra, it is not a slogan – a Mantra which relates our soul to our living deity – Bharat Mata.
“HOME IS INDIA – If there is one place where all the dreams of living men have found a home, it is India. – Romain Rolland.”
“India is not the earth, rivers and mountains of this land,” says the mother of Aurobindo Ashram, “neither is it a collective name for the inhabitants of this country. India is a living being… India is a Goddess. If she likes she can manifest in a human form”.
Just as the individual has a psychic being, which is his true self governing his destiny, so also each nation too has its psychic being which is its true self, moulding its destiny from behind. It is the soul of the country. It is the natural genius of the nation, the fountain head of all that is beautiful, noble, great and generous in the life of a country. True patriots feel its presence as a tangible reality. It is this which in India has been made into a divine being. Those who truly love our country call it “Bharat Mata” mother India and it is to her that they daily offer a prayer for the welfare of our country. It is she who symbolizes and incarnates the true ideal of the country and its true mission in the world.
The ordinary idea of the nation consists of its geographical and territorial aspect. There is the passion for the land in which we dwell, ‘the land of our fathers’, “the land of our birth (pitrubhoomi, Janma bhoomi). It is a strong and passionate emotion, it has been behind historic efforts and sacrifices. But to see and adore our country as a land of our birth and life is not the same as to see it as a living being, a living being. For us to see our country as a mother – Goddess is to see Bharat – Mata”. This vision is possible to us only if we go deep within instead of being confined to surface.
It was this saintly-vision – a seer vision which was vouchsafed to Bankim Chandra in the 19th century. It was this vision of a “Rishi” that made him the giver of this Mantra “Vande Mataram” in the tradition of a vedic Rishi.
This Mantra “Vande Mataram” gave a new spirit, a new life, a new power to the nation.
Our nation of millions, then in deep slumber, was awakened like a lion. It rose to break the iron chains of British rule. But once the independence was achieved, the “Mantra of Vande Mataram” was gradually pushed to the back ground. There was an onrush of western materialism. The geographical and territorial, the country of rich rivers and minerals came to the fore. “Bharat Mata” Mother India was asked to be content with political freedom obtained by the warriors.
Here the Indian politicians did what any other materialistic country would have done. But this was not expected of a country with India’s spiritual heritage.
Maharshi Sri Aurobindo wrote in 1908:
“Man is of a less terrestrial (materialistic) mould. He has an element of the divine which the politician ignores. The practical politician looks to the position at the moment and imagines that he has taken everything into consideration. He has indeed studied the surface and the immediate surroundings, but he has missed what lies beyond material vision. He has left the divine (in him), the incalculable in man, that element which upsets the calculations of the schemer and disconcerts the wisdom of the diplomat”. And in post- independence India that is what has happened. Sri Aurobindo continues:
“Given the Brain- power, the man-power and the natural resources of India, any other materialistic nation would have developed much more of material prosperity than what has been in our country. The neglect of spiritual values, the erosion of dharma, ethics and morality has brought unbridled selfishness, deformation and corruption in all walks of life”.
This happened in all walks of life to such an extent that even the material progress has not taken place as has been expected.
The slogans that came to us after 1947 are many. The slogans of big dams and big industries, the slogans of political parties have remained as mere slogans only. In this plethora of slogans the mantra of “Vande Mataram” that stirred the soul of the masses to win freedom has been ignored. It is that mantra if invoked again devotedly can again touch the chords of the hearts of the people of our country. It is that mantra which relates us to our living Goddess “Bharat Mata”. It asks us to be in contact with our soul and the soul of the country. It exhorts us to adore our country and work for her greatness and prosperity with the simplicity of a child for.
On the momentous 15th August1947, at Pondicherry the mother invoked “Bharat Mata”,
“O our Mother, O Soul of India, Mother
Who has never forsaken thy children
Even in the days of darkest depression,
Even when they turned away from
Thy voice, served other masters and
Denied thee, now when they have arisen
And the light is on thy face in the dawn
of thy liberation, in this great hour
we salute thee”.
“Guide us so that the horizon of freedom
Opening before us may be also a
Horizon of true life in the community
Of the nations”.
“Guide us so that we may be always
On the side of great ideals and show
To men thy true visage, as a leader
In the ways of the spirit and friend
And helper of all these peoples”.
The mantra of ‘Vande Mataram’ has to be restored to the people of our country; Bharat Mata has to be invoked by the people of our country for guidance. By the worship of lesser Godheads of money and power- hunting India is not going to be great .With a sincere heart, with true adoration, we have to look to Mother India, we have to work for the high ideals set by her, we have to endeavor for the peaks of which are India’s destiny.