Bharat Mata

Bharat Mata

Bharat Mata (Hindi, भारत माता, "Bhārata Mātā"), that is, "the Mother India" or "Bharathamba" (Bharata - India or "bearing", Mata - Mother) is a personification of India as a mother goddess. She is usually depicted as a woman clad in an orange or saffron saree holding a flag and sometimes, accompanied by a lion.


An ancient Hindu verse some see as glorifying her as a goddess is:

Ratnakaradhautapadam Himalyakirtitinim (I)
Brahmarajarsiratnamdhyam vande Bharatamataram (II)

In Sanskrit (transliterated)

IAST|Namaste Sadaa Vatsale Matrbhume,
IAST|Twya Hindubume Sukham Vardhitoʃham.
IAST|Patatesh kaayo namaste namaste.(1)

IAST|Prabho shaktiman Hindurashtrangbhutaa, Ime saadaran twaan namaamo vayam.
IAST|Twdeeyaay kaaryaay baddhaa kateeyam, shubhaamaashishan dehi tatpoortaye.
IAST|Ajayyaan cha vishawasya deheesh shaktim, susheelanjagad yen namram bhavet.
IAST|shrutenchev yat kantakaakeernamaargam, swayam sweekrtan nas sugamkaaryet.(2)

IAST|Samutkarsh nishshreyaseikamugram,
IAST|param saadhanan naam veerbrtam.
IAST|tadantas sphurtwkshaya dhyenishtha, hridyant prajaagartu teevranisham.
IAST|vijetree cha nas sanhtaa kaaryashaktir, vidhayasya dharmasya sanrakshanam.
IAST|paramvaibhavan netumetat swarashtram, samarthaa bhavatwaashishaa te bhrsham.(3)


In Sanskrit

नमस्ते सदा वत्सले मातृभूमे
त्वया हुन्दुभुमे सुखं वर्धितोहम
महामंगले पुण्यभूमे त्वदर्थे
पतत्वेष कायो नमस्ते नमस्ते|

प्रभो शक्तिमन हिन्दुराश्त्रन्ग्भुता इमे सादरं त्वं नमामो वयम
त्वदीयाय कार्याय बदधा कटीयं शुभामाशिशन देही तत्पूर्तये
अजय्यां च विशव्स्य देहीश शक्तिम सुशीलान्जगद ये ननम ब्रह्मवेत
श्रुतेंचेवायत कन्ताकाकीर्नामार्गम स्वयं स्विक्र्तानस सुगम्कार्मयेत
विजेत्री चानस संहता कार्यशक्तिर विधायास्य धर्मस्य संरक्षणम्
परम्वैभावं ने तुमेतात स्वराष्ट्रं, समर्था भवत्वा शीशा ते भृशं

समुत्कर्ष निश्श्रेय ससेइकमुग्रामपरम साधानानाम वीरम ब्र्ह्मवेत
तदंतास स्फुर्त्व्कशाया धेयानिष्ठ हृद्यान्त्प्रजा गर्तु तीव्रनिषम

भारत माता की जय

English translation

Forever I bow to thee, O Loving motherland! O Motherland of us all, Thou has brought me up in happiness. May my life, O great and blessed Holy land, be laid down in Thy cause. I bow to Thee, again and again. (1)

We, the children of the Nation, bow to Thee in reverence, O Almighty God. We have girded up our loins to carry on Thy work. Give us Thy holy blessings for its fulfillment. O Lord! Grant us such might as no power on earth can ever challenge, such purity of character as would command the respect of the whole world and such knowledge as would make easy the thorny path that we have voluntarily chosen. (2)

May we be inspired with the spirit of stern heroism,which is the sole and ultimate means of attaining the highest spiritual bliss with the greatest & holiest prosperity. May intense and everlasting devotion to our Ideal ever inspire our hearts. May our victorious organised power of action, by Thy Grace, fully protect our dharma and lead this nation of ours to the highest pinnacle of glory. (3)


The sacredness of the mother and the motherland first occurs in Valmiki Ramayana, where Rama exclaims: "jananI janmabhUmischa swargAdapi garIyasi", the mother and the motherland are more significant than heaven itself.

The image of Bharat Mata in modern times emerged with awakening of India in late nineteenth century. A play "Bharat Mata" by Kiran Chandra Bandyopadhyay, was first performed in 1873. Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay's Anand Math introduced the hymn Vande Mataram which soon became the song of the emerging freedom movement in India. Abanindranath Tagore portrayed Bharat Mata as a four-armed goddess wearing saffron colored robes, holding a book, paddy, a mala, and a white cloth.

Temples of Bharat Mata

In 1936, a Bharat Mata temple was built in Benaras by Shiv Prashad Gupt and was inaugurated by none less than Mahatma Gandhi. The temple is dedicated to Mother India and not any member of the Hindu pantheon. The temple contains no image of any deity. It has a huge relief map of the Indian sub-continent showing all its rivers, mountains, and pilgrimages. Mahatma Gandhi said, "I hope this temple, which will serve as a cosmopolitan platform for people of all religions, castes, and creeds including Harijans, will go a great way in promoting religious unity, peace, and love in the country." In the Mahatma's speech we see a concern for the universal mother, not restricted to the mother that is India but the mother that is the earth. Bharat Mata temple in Haridwar, was built by Swami Satyamitranand Giri. Consecration of this temple took place on 15 May 1983. Here, Bharat Mata holds a milk urn in one hand and sheaves of grain in the other, which signify the nurture provided by the mother to her children, as babies and as adults.

There are many other smaller shrines of Bharat Mata, for example, at Vrindavan, Daulatabad Fort, Bangalore (Sadhu Rangarajan's Bharatmata Ashram), among others.

ee also

*Hindu deities
*List of Hindu deities
*List of Hinduism-related articles
*Hindu nationalism

Further reading

*"Hindu Goddesses: Vision of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious Traditions" (ISBN 81-208-0379-5) by David Kinsley

* [ Patriotic fervour] The Hindu, August 17, 2003.

* [ The life and times of Bharat Mata] Sadan Jha, Manushi, Issue 142.

* [ Bharat Mata Images] Prof. Pritchett, Columbia University

External links

* [] bharat bhakti
* [ HinduUnity.Org] - Bharat Mata (by Anwar Shaikh)
* [ The Hindu] - Patriotic fervour

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