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Sri Aurobindo

Bande Mataram

Early Political Writings. 1890 — May 1908

Bande Mataram. March 14, 1908

Loyalty to Order

The action of the Bharat Dharma Mandal in presenting themselves before the Viceroy as representatives of Hindu Society and offering their loyalty and the post of defender of the Hindu faith has been so severely criticised by the vernacular Press in Calcutta that it would be unkindness to add a final stroke. We cannot refrain, however, from reminding the Mahamandal that the foundations of Hinduism are truth and manhood, eṣa dharmaḥ sanātanaḥ. Hinduism is no sect or dogmatic creed, no bundle of formulas, no set of social rules, but a mighty, eternal and universal truth. It has learned the secret of preparing man's soul for the divine consummation of identity with the infinite existence of God; rules of life and formulas of belief are only sacred and useful when they help that great preparation. And the first rule of life is that man must live the highest life of which he is capable, overcoming selfishness, overcoming fear, overcoming the temptation to palter with truth in order to earn earthly favours. The first formula of belief is satyānnāsti paro dharmaḥ, there is no higher law of conduct than truth. We leave it to the conscience of the Mahamandal to decide how much of truth and manhood there was in their demonstration of loyalty and their ridiculous appeal to a representative of Western materialism and practical atheism to defend Hinduism and its institutions.

 

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.