Vande Mataram!

As I was writing this post- जननी जन्मभूमिश्च स्वर्गादपि गरीयसी l , on my other blog, I began to think about how it is, that addressing our country- Janmabhoomi– as our Matrubhoomi, is so integral a part of our culture.
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Even before a child is born, when still in the mother’s womb, a bond is created between the child and his mother. She gives the child nourishment, both physical and mental, and helps him mature and evolve. The child in turn, trusts her and reveres her.

Later, this type of bond is also created with his father, other members of the family, teachers, etc.  As the child’s horizons begin to widen, he begins to realize that there are more things worthy of reverence.

In our literature of earlier times, rivers are addressed as mother, the cow is addressed as mother, because they too, give nourishment.

And finally, our nation is addressed as our mother, because our motherland nourishes and protects all her children.

It is said in the Vedas – माता भूमिः पुत्रोऽहम् पृथिव्याः 

[The earth is my mother, I am her child.]

What exactly is this motherland- this Matrubhoomi-of ours?

Only the earth beneath our feet? The crops which grow in the soil and feed us? The natural resources buried deep in the ground? The rivers which give us life-sustaining water?

The majestic Himalayan, Vindhya and Sahyadri mountain ranges which inspire awe in us? The forests which give us Sandalwood, Teakwood, medicinal plants, and a wide variety of fruits ? Animals and birds of a multitude of varieties?

The places of pilgrimage, from Rameshwar to Kashi? Somnath and Omkareshwar and Konark? Guruwayur and Tirupati? Where the people of this land have been praying for thousands of years?

Our Motherland is all these and more, too.

Most important- our Motherland is the people living in this land.

From Kanyakumari to the Himalayas, From the Bay of Bengal to the Arabian Sea, there are people speaking different languages, following different ways of worship, living different lifestyles.

Some live in the cities, some in the villages, some in the hilly regions. All are children of our motherland.

There is a verse in the Taittariya Upanishad which says-

Matru devo bhava, Pitru devo bhava, Acharya devo bhava, Atithi devo bhava

One should worship Mother, Father, Teacher and Guests as God- meaning that one should fulfill their duty towards them.

To show our regard for our motherland-whom we revere as our mother- we declare-

“Vande Mataram!”

We do not mean that we revere only the piece of land that is our country-  we revere all of the above, which taken together make up our motherland.

And we vow to fulfill our Dharma– our duty- towards our Matrubhoomi.

Vande Mataram!
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30 thoughts on “Vande Mataram!”

  1. Manju,this is an outstanding post. I wish those that issue fatwas and argue about who should say /not say Vande Mataram, could read this. The logic is so clear and simple. And we are unfortunately so good at making simple things difficult.Hear, hear….

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  2. Such a lovely post, Manju! You have made it so simple! As Ugich Konitari says,'I wish those that issue fatwas and argue about who should say /not say Vande Mataram, could read this.'

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  3. Fantastic ! It is that simple. The politics of political heist will not let us see it this simply. And there are large masses that are perpetually swayed by such emotions !Life goes on !

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  4. I agree to Ugich..we make the simple things complicated and difficult,and i dont know how people can claim themselves to be the citizen of this country and refuse to follow the rules.

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  5. Ugich Konitari, Smitha, Kavi– Thank you!It is a very simple concept- made complicated today by those with political motives.Maald– Thank you!Renu– This view of our country as our mother has been held for thousands of years. It is a wonder why people find it so difficult to understand this.Kislay, Vinodji, Thank you!

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  6. We express our respect and reverence to the Mother. This is a way of expressing gratefulness to the Provider – a "tatva" in the form of Mother.This is universal and transcends narrow confines of religion. It is a basic human value – to be thankful to the Provider.Manju….you have expressed the concept so well….I am amazed at the absolute clarity of thought.

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  7. Lovely post. If those in power feel as strongly towards serving the motherland, and direct their enegies to helping nurture and develop the country rather than themselves, just imagine the progress we would make.Vande Mataram.

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  8. Prerna– Good quote- and so true!Mavin– Yes, this is a basic human value- to be thankful to the provider. And we should not think that it demeans us to express this sentiment.Radha– If that happened, we would probably become a superpower nation!

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  9. Congratulations on the Blogadda pick, Manju ji.I totally concur with everything you wrote still I have a question. Do you think anyone who doesn't recite Vande Mataram is less Indian? I mean forget fatwas and such idiotic acts. Just a general question. Many think that those who leave India (like us NRIs) don't give back to our country and are traitors in a way. Even our PM on his recent visit to US urged all Indians to return to homeland. Do we become less Indian if we don't recite Vande Mataram? What is your opinion on it? Thanks.

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  10. Solilo– That is a good question. Though I am not refering to the national song, Vande Mataram, in this post, I do think that any Indian should not have an objection to singing it.I am refering to the reverence that any Indian feels towards their motherland. How we revere any form of 'Matrubhav'.You might read Mavin's comment. He has explained it nicely.I am trying to show how this is not a new sentiment. Not one put forward for political reasons.This sentiment was in our (our ancestors') hearts thousands of years ago.At that time there was only Vedic Dharma or Sanatan Dharma- whatever one chooses to call it.Even if some of us later changed our religion, why should we change our view of regarding our country as our Matrubhoomi?In any case, I am only trying to express what I and many other Indians feel. I am not judging anyone else, nor have I a right to do so.

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  11. A very thought provoking post…Wish everyone understands this simple truth and shouts "Vande Mataram" with love and reverence for our motherland… as for Manmohan Singh's comment.. I guess he misses his daughter too much and was only sending a veiled message :)nd Solilo.. who says we are not supporting our country even if we are not there physically? Though the support may not be direct, a part of every NRI's monthly income is spent in his/her motherland.. it maybe monthly/yearly or even daily… starting from the stock market, nd the Indians continue to leave their marks in every field.. I think the NRI's are generally the best ambassadors and if our PM sincerely wishes all Indians to return then then he better work towards the same…

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