Meaning of Vande Mataram

Vande Mataram translates to “I praise thee, Mother.”

Vande Mataram is the national song of India. This is not to be confused with the national anthem of India, which is Jana Gana Mana. The national song is essentially a patriotic song that celebrates the motherland.

Vande Mataram is a poem written by Bankim Chandra Chatterji in his 1882 novel, Anandamath. The poem in actually written in Bengali and Sanskrit, and praises the motherland, India.

In 1896, Rabindranath Tagore sang this song in front of the Indian National Congress session. This was the first time that the song was associated with the Indian independence movement in a political context. The song went to play a vital role in the movement. Hence, in 1950, after India won its independence, the first two verses of Vande Mataram were designated at the national song of India.

Lyrics of Vande Mataram, the national song of India:
vande mātaram
sujalāṃ suphalāṃ
malayajaśītalām
śasya śyāmalāṃ
mātaram
vande mātaram

śubhra jyotsnā
pulakita yāminīm
phulla kusumita
drumadalaśobhinīm
suhāsinīṃ
sumadhura bhāṣiṇīm
sukhadāṃ varadāṃ
mātaram
vande mātaram

This roughly translates into:

Mother, I salute thee!
Rich with thy hurrying streams,
bright with orchard gleams,
Cool with thy winds of delight,
Dark fields waving Mother of might,
Mother free.

Glory of moonlight dreams,
Over thy branches and lordly streams,
Clad in thy blossoming trees,
Mother, giver of ease
Laughing low and sweet!
Mother I kiss thy feet,
Speaker sweet and low!
Mother, to thee I salute.

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