I vow to thee, my country
All earthly things above
Entire and whole and perfect
The service of my love
The love that stands the test
That lays upon the alter
The dearst and the best
The love that pays the price
The love that makes undaunted
The final sacrifice
I’ve heard of long ago
Most dear to them that love her
Most great to them I know
We may not see her King
Her fortress is a faithful heart
Her pride is suffering
Her shining bounds increase
And her ways are ways of gentleness
And all her paths are peace
– Sir Cecil Spring Rice…
A poem learnt in the Standard 10 of my school days still resonates at the same frequency today as it did many years back.
Sir Cecil has written about two countries here, his own motherland (Great Britain) and everyone’s motherland (Kingdom of God). He sets a very sombre tone at the beginning and then it culminates into a high pitch by the time it reaches its end. I still remember asking my teacher.
“Why has he written about two kingdoms? It’s so confusing, Mam!”
Naturally the question had come out of fear of literature exam then, but my teacher, as experienced as she was, a devout Christian, answered,
“Boy, whatever you want achieve in life you have to strive for it, but at the same time, take care to, serve your nation too. Don’t forget your nation which spends all its time, resources and energy for you.”
“And at the same time also think about life after death. We all believe in it in one way or the other. We all have to strive to enter His Kingdom too, to find eternal peace. Here Sir Cecil through his poem is reminding us about it.”
I frankly didn’t understand about His Kingdom and eternal peace at that time, nor do I do it now as a whole, but the first few verses still make me excited just by the idea of serving one’s own Motherland
A few years later…
Had grown up. Started attending lectures (Pravachans) of Pujaniya Pandurang Shashtriji Athavale. He while talking about Bhumi (land) as one of the five elements (Panchtatva) while explaining “Panchchame” from one of the verses of Yajurveda explained thus,
“One has to respect the land on which he/she is born and needs to be dedicated to it. All those who learn here and go and earn in other countries find those beautiful and his/her own country unclean and dirty should be drowned into the seas” He went on to explain “How can one forget the love and warmth a person has got from this land! And what about the economic expenses (subsidies) She has borne for you! Forget all that but how can one detach from his/her mother! How can one call mother dirty! All such people are a blot for their own country.”
(Am writing just a gist of what he has said. Any translation mistake is mine alone)
It resonates my feeling that “An Indian should be dedicated to India in the same way as a Brit is to Britain and a American is to America. For Indians, it should be India first”.
A few days back…
I come in touch with a boy. Know him through mutual friends. The best part is that we haven’t met yet but we both feel that we no two different people. After some initial days of chat he props up a question?
“What is a Pracharak?”
And shares that he wants to be one.
Am amazed by his clarity of thought. (Generally at his age of 17/18 boys have only two things to do. Attend college and impress a girl) I have cross questioned him a lot to the best of my abilities and Yes, am convinced about what we can do for our motherland.
All these everlasting memories and imprints have triggered me to write a blog and express and share my feelings and understanding about my Motherland, our Motherland, India, that is, Bharat….
What is my country?
What is the idea of Bharat?
What is the essence of being an Indian?
What is love for motherland?
And many more…
I plan to write a few blogs and try to find answers to my questions.