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Sri Aurobindo

Bande Mataram

Early Political Writings. 1890 — May 1908

Bande Mataram. February 20, 1908

By the Way


When we wrote of the days of ancient greatness, we did not think that we were about to witness the singular spectacle of a Hindu society professing to restore the purity of the old religion bowing down at the throne of Minto, who could recognise1 in the Lords of today the Rajas and Maharajas of modern India, the sons of the great Kshatriya blood? Minto and Morley are the representatives of Yavana and Saka of old. Did the princes of ancient India go out of their way to kneel before their throne? Was that the glory of Hinduism? Or are we witnessing a revival of the days when Asoka ruled over the Asiatic peoples? The Bharat Dharma Mahamandal aim at the revival of Hinduism but they are working for its final extinction.

Minto Worship

When we speak of the Notables bowing at the feet of Minto, we are aware that we shall lay ourselves open to the charge of disloyalty. Well, that is a charge we have never been anxious to avoid. When sedition is found in all we write then it is no advantage picking and choosing our expressions. But we have one thing to say. Who made Lord Minto ruler of India? Not the hand of any earthly power. But the decree of God, and if the Hindu people bow down before Minto, it is only as the Viceroy of God. Is that the logic of the Bharat Dharma Mahamandal? If so, it is a logic based on outward facts, not on the inner truths. God is today manifesting himself again, but where? Not in the glory of England which is on the wane, but in the resurgence of Asia.


Minto is an archangel of peace, says Romesh Chandra Dutt; Morley an archangel of benevolence. With so many archangels to look after us, we are unfortunate indeed if we cannot be happy. Poor India!

Within and Without

Romesh Chandra Dutt is a statesman according to his own idea of himself and statesmen are always looking out for their fellows. Romesh Chandra with his large-hearted appreciation of the ruling qualities of the British race, Surendranath with his unswerving loyalty, Narendranath with his gratitude are, one would imagine, so many pillars of British rule. What about Romesh Chandra's letters to Lord Curzon, Surendranath's boycott or Narendranath's secret hopes of Theosophical rule of Mahatmas? Whoever says one thing with his lips and another in his heart, can never hope to help his country.

Truth and Falsehood

When we are on the subject, let us be frank. Truth is the rock on which the world is built. Satyena tiṣṭhate jagat. Falsehood can never be the true source of strength. When falsehood is at the root of a movement, that movement is doomed to failure. Diplomacy can only help a movement if the movement proceeds upon truth. To make diplomacy the root-principle is to contravene the laws of existence.


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: recognize