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Sri Aurobindo

Bande Mataram

Early Political Writings. 1890 — May 1908

Bande Mataram. February 19, 1908

The Future of the Movement

When a great people rises from the dust, what mantra is the sanjīvanī mantra or what power is the resurrecting force of its resurgence? In India there are two great mantras, the mantra of “Bande Mataram” which is the public and universal cry of awakened love of Motherland, and there is another more secret and mystic which is not yet revealed. The mantra of “Bande Mataram” is a mantra once before given to the world by the Sannyasins of the Vindhya hills. It was lost by the treachery of our own countrymen because the nation was not then ripe for resurgence and a premature awakening would have brought about a speedy downfall. But when in the great earthquake of 1897 there was a voice heard by the Sannyasins, and they were conscious of the decree of God that India should rise again, the mantra was again revealed to the world. It was echoed in the hearts of the people, and when the cry had ripened in silence in a few great hearts, the whole nation became conscious of the revelation. Who imagined when the people of Bengal rose in 1905 against the Partition that that was the beginning of a great upheaval? It is a passing tempest, said the wise men of England, let it go over our heads and we will wait. But the tempest did not pass, nor the thunders cease. So there was a reconsideration of policy and the wise men said, “The people of Bengal are easily cowed down, and we will try whether force cannot do what patience has failed to do”. When Sir Bampfylde Fuller met Lord Curzon at Agra, this was the policy agreed on between them to hammer the Bengalis into quietude. But Sir Bampfylde Fuller has gone and the movement remains. Hare too will go, and many will go, but the movement will remain. The regulation lathi, the Police truncheon, the threat of the Goorkha1 rifle are as straws in the wind before the Divine breath of God. Human power is mere weakness when measured with the will of the Eternal. So the movement will continue. It is now time to look deeper into it and know its fountain sources. So long we were content with the superficial aspects, but the time has come for God to reveal Himself, and the powers of the world to look on in amazement at His wonderful workings. When we left Pabna we knew that He was at work to unite the Bengali race. We hope yet to see that He is at work to unite the Indian people. When the Convention Committee meets at Allahabad, it will be seen whether it is His will to unite the parties into a single whole or to separate them from each other, so that the work of salvation may be hastened by the energy of the Nationalist Party being separated from the steadiness of the Moderates. Whatever may happen, it is His will. We look forward to the Easter meeting for light on what He intends. If the Moderate leaders of Bengal are wise, they will realise that Bengal at least is destined to become predominatingly Nationalist, that it is her mission to lead and force the rest of India to follow. Whoever tries to prevent her from fulfilling that mission, is setting himself against the decrees of God and will be blown away like stubble before the tempest.


Later edition of this work: The Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo.- Set in 37 volumes.- Volumes 6-7.- Bande Mataram: Political Writings and Speeches. 18901908 .- Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 2002.- 1182 p.

1 2002 ed. CWSA, vol.6-7: Gurkha