-Sadhu Prof V Rangarajan-
Shri Mohan Bhagwat, Sarsanghchalak of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, said on March 3, 2016: “Now the time has come when we have to tell the new generation to chant Bharat Mata Ki Jai. It created unnecessary controversy by irresponsible reaction. It fails to die down even after clarification by Mohan Bhagwat in which he said, “We have to create such a great Bharat where people themselves chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. It need not be imposed. It should be real, spontaneous.” Therefore, there is a need to understand and realise the nature of Bharat as a motherland.
In response to Shri Bhagwat’s statement, there were varied responses. AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi came out with a statement that he will not chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ even if a knife is put to his throat. Maharashtra Assembly suspended AIMIM MLA, Waris Pathan, for refusing to say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. While 73-year old Tajuddin Barbhuiyan of Assam proclaimed: “What’s wrong in Chanting that slogan? Am I not Indian? I am not on Asaduddin Owiasi’s page. I will chant the slogan a hundred times.” However, Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband in Uttar Pradesh, issued a Fatwa on April 1, 2016, against chanting of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, holding that the slogan goes “against the tenets of Islam”. In Meerut, members of the Muslim community chanted ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. The worst was intellectual justification given by Irfan Habib, who claims himself to be a historian, in an interview to The Hindu in which he says that consideration of Bharat as a mother was not there in ancient India and it was a concept that came from Europe.
We would like to bring to the attention of that ignoramus, what an eminent Indologist and patriotic Bharatiya, Anwar Shaikh, has pointed out, commenting on the verses of Bhumi Sukta of Atharvana Veda. Writing on ‘BHARATA MATA’ in his quarterly, Liberty, published from Prescott, U.K., he says:
“Verse 12 expresses the total devotion of a Hindu to Bharat Mata: ‘… I am the son of Earth, Earth is my Mother.’ Study of this hymn reveals that while the Vedic doctrine respects all gods, it attaches the greatest importance to the land of Bharat because it is the Mother of all those who dwell in her bosom. One can live in India and believe in any God he likes because so vast is the Vedic concept of Divinity that there is no jealousy among Gods. This liberality is based on the advanced Vedic thinking, which realises that as the wheel of time moves forward, changes of all sorts must take place, thus religious doctrines may not form the cause of social discord.
It goes without saying that just confession of love is not a convincing proof of one’s affection; it must be reinforced by sustained action. Therefore, a dweller of India does not acknowledge her as his Motherland if he hates Kaashi and loves Kaaba. All his civic rights depend on this point.
The Sanskrit word, Rashtra, is a politico-cultural term, which is different from the western political concepts of ‘nation’ or ‘state’. The Barhaspatya Samhita says, Himalayaad aarabhya yaavad indu sarovaraparyantam tam deva nirmitam desham hindusthaanam prachakshate—that land created by God and stretching from the Himalayas up to the Indian Ocean is Hindusthan. It is also known as Bharatavarsha. The Vishnupurana says, “Uttaram yat samudrasya himaadreschaiva dakshinam, varsham tad bhaaratam naama bhaaratee yatra santatih”—that land which is to the north of the ocean and south of the Himalayas is Bharati and the people of the land are Bharatiyas. Chanakya, who was instrumental in the building up of the mighty Maurya Empire by Chandragupta Maurya, declared: “Prithivyaa samudra paryanataayaa eka raat”—the entire land stretching up to the seas is one nation. Lord Ramachandra declared: Jananee janmabhoomischa Swargaadapi gareeyasi—“Mother and Motherland are more sacred than Heavens!”
Since times immemorial, spiritualism has been the bedrock on which the edifice of our glorious nationhood has been built. The Vedic Rishi prays in a sookta in the Atharvan Veda: “Oh Mother, those who hate us, those who march with armies to overpower us, those who think evil of us in their minds, and those who desire our death and destruction, may you crush them to pieces; it is this my Motherland on whose lap my forefathers, the great Rishis, performed sacrifices, penances and sang songs in the seven seasons.”
Swami Vivekananda, in his clarion call to the Hindu nation, proclaimed, “For the next fifty years this alone shall be our keynote — this, our great Mother India. Let all other vain gods disappear for the time from our minds.” His illustrious disciple, Sister Nivedita, gave us a prayer on the same lines.
Swami Rama Tirtha propounded patriotism as practical Vedanta. He roared: “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 Coromondal is my left and the Malabar my right leg. I am the whole of India and its east and west are my arms.” The great Tamil poet-philosopher, Mahakavi C Subramania Bharati, addressing the little kids of his Motherland, sang:—Chedamillaata Hindusthaanam, Atai deivamenru kumbidadi paappaa— “Oh little child, adore and worship the Undivided Hindustan—Akhanda Bharat—as your Goddess.”
Sir John Woodroffe, the renowned Western exponent of Tantra, referring to the children of the sacred Bharatavarsha, says: “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 Mahashakti. 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”.
Eulogising Bankim Chandra as “one among the Rishis of the later age”, Mahayogi Sri Aurobindo says: “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-embracing passion for the Mother and her service, and the patriotism that works miracles and saves a doomed nation is born.”
Rev. Fr. Anthony Elanjimittam of St. Catherine of Siena School, Mount Mary Road, Bandra, Mumbai, an enlightened Christian missionary, who followed the footsteps of the great patriot-revolutionary of India, Sri Brahmabandhav Upadhyaya, says in his article on “Vedantic India”, in Tattva Darsana, quarterly: “This Bharat is so carved out by Mother Nature that our sub-continent is a world of its own with an inalienable soul of the highest Everest-high esoteric wisdom, enshrined in our Vedic culture.”
It does not require a magnifying glass to discern that those who are opposing ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ are first rate traitors and progeny of those who aggressed this holy land and subjugated the Rashtra. Unfortunately, the English educated and Europeanised leadership which took over the reins of the country from the outgoing Britishers played into the hand of anti-national and treacherous forces inside the country. On February 4, 1938, John Francis Ashley Erskine, Governor of Madras, wrote to Victor Hope, Governor-General and Viceroy of Bharat, seeking his view on dropping Vande Mataram from the proceedings of the Legislative Assembly sighting walkouts by Muslim members were staging walkouts. Even in Independent Bharat, the story continues.
Today there is a need to scream into the ears of our sleeping dharmaacharyaas to awaken them and appeal to them to go to every nook and corner of the country spreading the cult of worship of the Motherland Bharatavarsha, who is the Mother of all our gods, goddesses, saints, sages, sannyasins and of our sampradayas and consecrating temples dedicated to Her. Proud, patriotic and self-respecting Hindus should celebrate Akshaya Triteeya—Vaishaka Shukla Triteeya—falling on May 9, 2016, which is the auspicious day for the worship of Sri Bharatamata.
(The writer is Founder Trustee, Sister Nivedita Academy)