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At the Feet of The Mother

Bhawani Bharati (Bharat that is India) | 3. The Rise of Bharat Shakti

India, the ancient mother, is indeed striving to be reborn, striving with agony and tears, but she strives in vain. What ails her, she, who is after all so vast and might be so strong? There is surely some enormous defect, something vital is wanting in us; nor is it difficult to lay our finger on the spot. We have all things else, but we are empty of strength, void of energy. We have abandoned Shakti and are therefore abandoned by Shakti. The Mother is not in our hearts, in our brains, in our arms….

The deeper we look, the more we shall be convinced that the one thing wanting, which we must strive to acquire before all others, is strength—strength physical, strength mental, strength moral, but above all strength spiritual which is the one inexhaustible and imperishable source of all the others. If we have strength, everything else will be added to us easily and naturally. In the absence of strength we are like men in a dream who have hands but cannot seize or strike, who have feet but cannot run…

If India is to survive, she must be made young again. Rushing and billowing streams of energy must be poured into her; her soul must become, as it was in the old times, like the surges, vast, puissant, calm or turbulent at will, an ocean of action or of force….. [Bande Mataram, CWSA 06:80]

For India to truly play its role it is necessary that it must first discover itself, its lost wisdom, its hidden powers. This task has already begun and one can mark the steps and stages that have been taken and others that are yet needed.

In the second half of the previous century, soon after Independence, India was simply trying to find its footing. But with the shift of global equations India began to look within to discover its soul. It is this subtle inner shift missed by the surface analysts, a shift precipitated due to a number of reasons most prominent of it being an overt and covert global effort to tarnish the age old culture and its profound values that India stood for before it was discovered by the invaders. This global effort to debunk India and her civilizational values or else to give it a suitable colour of pacifist non-violent country that had nothing much to offer and which could be easily taken over by the same forces that enslaved it once ended up only waking up the wounded lion. The cycle of Time was turning fast and the centenary of events that took place in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century brought in a different energy from the past to inject the present with new hope for the future. Sri Aurobindo had penned down the Durga Stotra in 1909 to awaken the Soul of India. But his voice and the word, after an initial awakening, had gone largely unheeded or buried under the din and noise of the politics of that time. But as often happens when a voice comes from the far avenues of the Beyond or a thought floats down from the higher worlds, it is ill-heard during the hour when it touches the mind of earth. Its landing on our globe goes unseen but its action begins and sometimes later, a century later or even more the Idea bursts forth from the heart of the Earth and the soul of humanity hears and responds. Such is the force of Durga Stotra in which Sri Aurobindo addressed the Soul of India and her children. A hundred years later her children have heard and are waking up.

The first result of this awakening has been that there is a resurgence of interest in India’s past. But this interest in the past is not so much about history as it is about a cultural and religious resurgence. This tendency to return to the roots of a country can be seen in other nations as well and though outwardly it takes the form of a religious revival, at its core it is a reaching out to the soul of the nation. Religion and culture are like the two arms through which a nation reaches out to the world but its heart is the Soul and its secret aspiration. What begins as a religious and cultural revival must therefore fulfill itself in the spiritual. How does this discovery proceed and what is the significance of the form and name of a nation.

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To be spontaneous means not to think, organise, decide and make an effort to realise with the personal will.