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Sri Aurobindo

Bande Mataram

Early Political Writings. 1890 — May 1908

Bande Mataram. March 31, 1908

A Prayer

Spirit of God that rulest, lord and king

Of all this universe, who from Thy throne

In heaven, besieged by prayers, lookst down on man,

Immeasurable Spirit, if any thought

Of human frailty in my mind should dwell,

While at Thy feet I lay myself, forgive.

Not for myself but for the land where Thou

Wert once a mighty warrior, lord and king,

For India, for her sons, I pray, who now

Fallen, abject, cringing to a foreign hand,

Forget Thee. Thou immeasurable Lord

Of all this universe, august, unborn,

By Thy unspeakable compassion urged

Enteredst a human body, of Thy huge

Empire a little province earnest down

From foes within and foes without to save.

Again the land is full of Thee and full

Of hope; a stir is in the air, a cry

Is in men's hearts, the whole terrestrial globe

Thrills and vague rumours, huge presentiments

Move like the visions born of mist and dream

Across the places where Thou once wast born

Prophesying Thy advent. Wilt Thou come

Lord, in a form such as Thou worest once

When Mathura was free, when Kamsa fell,

And from Brindavan came the avenging sword

Till then concealed. So would we have Thee come.

The nations of the earth are full of sin;

Greed, lust, ambition are their gods, and keep

Revel with Science for their caterer

To give the food by which they live. All forms

Of mercy, gentleness and love are lost

While strength alone is worshipped, strength divorced

From justice, uninspired by noble aims.

The greatnesses of earth forget their source

And limit; they desire to break and build,

To fill their lust, to hold majestic rule

For ever, but forget the source of strength,

Forget the purpose for which strength is given.

Oppression fills the spaces of the world,

Hatred and pain reply with murder, One

Is needed who will break the strengths of earth

By His diviner strength; and till He comes

In vain we struggle and in vain aspire.

Come therefore, for Thou saidst that Thou wouldst come;

Whenever strong injustice lifts her head

To slay the good, Thou saidst that Thou wouldst come

For rescue of the world. Today the globe

Waits for Thy coming, as it waited then

When Ravan was the master of the world

And Lanka, full of splendid strength and sin,

Possessed mankind. Now many Ravans rule

And many Lankas. Therefore come; the earth

Can bear no more the burden of their pride,

Hellward she sinks. Unless Thou come, the end

Approaches. Save Thy fair creation, Lord.


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