Exploring the Meaning and Translation of Vande Mataram Song Lyrics in English

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Salutations to you, Motherland, adorned with lush greenery and bountiful fruits, blessed with cool breezes and fertile fields.

The radiant moonlight illuminates the beautiful land adorned with blooming flowers and lush trees. The graceful lady speaks in a sweet and melodious voice, bringing happiness and granting blessings. She is the giver of joy, our beloved motherland.

Innumerable voices resound fiercely, holding countless swords in their mighty hands. Why should I be weak when strength is within me?

I pay my respects to the powerful and victorious mother who saves us from our enemies.

You are knowledge, you are righteousness,

You reside in the heart, you are the essence.

You are indeed life within this body,

With your power, may devotion arise in the heart.

Oh Motherland!

You are the embodiment of Goddess Durga, who possesses ten arms and resides on a lotus. You are the bestower of speech and knowledge. I bow to you, I bow to your pure and flawless form, which is unparalleled and abundant like clean water. O Motherland!

Adorned with simplicity and a charming smile, she fills the earth with her grace.

Understanding the Vande Mataram Song: An English Perspective for India

Vande Mataram, also spelled Bande Mataram and Bônde Mātôrôm, is a poem composed by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee in the 1870s. The poem is written in Sanskrit and Sanskritised Bengali. Its translation means “I praise you, Motherland.” In October 1937, the Congress adopted the first two verses of Vande Mataram as the National Song of India.


1. Vande Mataram is a patriotic poem.

2. It was written by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee.

3. The poem is written in both Sanskrit and Sanskritised Bengali.

4. It praises the Motherland or India.

5. Vande Mataram has different spelling variations like Bande Mataram and Bônde Mātôrôm.

6. In October 1937, the Congress declared it as the National Song of India based on its first two verses

English Translation of Vande Mataram Song Lyrics

I pay my respects to you, O Mother India – Vande Mataram.

Sujalam – denoting the presence of clean water. The term “su” signifies goodness, while “jal” represents water, thus sujalam refers to the concept of pure and uncontaminated water.

Suphalam – denoting the presence of delicious fruits. The term “phal” refers to fruit, while “su” signifies goodness or excellence. Therefore, when we say suphalāṃ, it implies the existence of delectable and succulent fruits.

Malayaja-śītalām – Revitalized by the refreshing fragrance of the cool breeze from the Malaya hills. The hills of Malayagiri, located in Orissa, India, are renowned for their abundant sandalwood forests. Guru Nanak also makes a reference to this in his aarti (Dhoop Malayaanlo).

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The land is abundant and thriving, with a beautiful light-brown hue.

gleaming and radiant moonlight of pure white (śubhra jyotsnā)

The surroundings adorned with blooming flowers and lush greenery.

English Translation of Vande Mataram Song – Shivpreet Singh

As seventy million hands brandish their swords, a powerful sight unfolds.

With her striking hands and shining swords, she showcases her power.

English Translation of Vande Mataram – Sri Aurobindo

Here is the translation in prose of the above two stanzas rendered by Sri Aurobindo Ghosh. This has also been adopted by the Government of India’s national portal. The original Vande Mataram consists of six stanzas and the translation in prose for the complete poem by Shri Aurobindo appeared in Karmayogin, 20 November 1909.

Abundant with your swift-flowing rivers, shining with the vibrant colors of orchards, refreshing with the pleasant breezes of joy, vast fields swaying in the power of Motherhood, Liberated Mother..

The beauty of the moonlit dreams shines upon your majestic streams and branches, adorned with blooming trees. Oh Mother, who brings comfort and joy, I hear your gentle laughter. I humbly kiss your feet, dear Speaker of love and tenderness. Mother, it is to you that my praises are dedicated.

Who has claimed that you are feeble in your own territory, when seventy million hands brandish swords and seventy million voices shout out your fearsome name from one coast to another? With numerous strengths, you possess great power and abundance. I address you as my Mother and Lord! You, who rescues and protects, please rise up and deliver us! I call upon her who has always repelled her enemies both on land and at sea, asserting her freedom.

You are knowledge, you are order,

You are the essence of our being,

You are divine love, the reverence

In our hearts that overcomes death.

Yours is the power that strengthens us,

Yours is the beauty, yours is the allure.

Is a reflection of your divine presence.

You are Durga, the powerful Lady and Queen, with your striking hands and shining swords. You are Lakshmi, seated on a lotus throne, and the Muse with a hundred melodies. Pure and flawless beyond comparison, Mother please listen to us. Your streams flow abundantly, your orchards shine brightly. O fair one with dark complexion!

In your spirit, adorned with sparkling hair and a heavenly smile, You are the most beautiful land on Earth, bestowing abundance from your plentiful hands! O Mother, my dear Mother! Sweet Mother, I adore you. Great and liberated Mother!

English Translation of Vande Mataram by Keshab Bhattarai

Salutations (to you), oh Mother! (You are blessed with) Richness in water resources, plenty of fruits (and forest resources), flushed with cool air breezing from Malaya mountains; Green with rice plants o ! our motherland Salutations (to you), oh Mother!

In the land of India, where nights are illuminated by dazzling lights and adorned with beautiful flowers and trees, there lies our beloved motherland. She brings us joy, prosperity, and endless blessings. We offer our heartfelt salutations to you, oh Mother India!

Seventy million people sing in a resounding chorus, while countless hands wield swords to safeguard you. How can I ever claim that you are weak? I beseech you, mighty mother adorned with power and renowned as the vanquisher of foes. Greetings to you, revered Mother!

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You represent wisdom, virtues, love, and the very essence of existence. You are undeniably the life force within us. Oh Mother, you embody strength in our arms and devotion in our hearts. Your divine presence can be found in every temple. We offer our salutations to you, oh Mother!

You are indeed the ten-handed Durga goddess, you are the goddess of wealth, Kamala or Laxmi, residing on the lotus, you are the bestower of (power of) speech and knowledge – Goddess Saraswati, I pray to you. I salute you oh pure unmatched Goddess KamalA. You are blessed with water resources, blessed with plenty of fruits, Salutations (to you), oh Mother!

You are serene, gentle, delightful, and exquisite. Oh Motherland, provider of sustenance, I offer my greetings. Greetings to you, oh Mother! I pay homage to you.

In the novel “Anandmath,” composed in the Bengali script, there exists a heartfelt tribute to the Motherland known as “Vande Mataram.” Translated, this title signifies “I bow to thee, Mother.” Interestingly, within the later verses of the song, the concept of the “mother goddess” has been inferred to symbolize the homeland of the people – Banga Mata (Mother Bengal) and Bharat Mata (Mother India), even though such allusions are not explicitly stated in the text.

This iconic composition played a pivotal role in the Indian independence movement. It was first sung in a political context by Rabindranath Tagore during the 1896 session of the Indian National Congress. Subsequently, in 1905, it gained popularity as a marching song for political activism within the Indian freedom movement. Sri Aurobindo, a spiritual Indian nationalist and philosopher, hailed it as the “National Anthem of Bengal.” Remarkably, despite being banned by the British government along with the novel that contained it, the ban was openly defied by workers and the general public. Many individuals faced imprisonment for singing it, but ultimately, the ban was lifted by the Indian populace after they achieved independence from colonial rule.

On January 24, 1950, the Constituent Assembly of India officially adopted “Vande Mataram” as the national song. During this historic moment, India’s first President, Rajendra Prasad, emphasized that the song should be held in equal regard with the national anthem of India, “Jana Gana Mana.” Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that the Constitution of India does not explicitly designate “Vande Mataram” as the national song.

The first two verses of the song symbolize an abstract reference to mother and motherland, devoid of any specific mention of Hindu deities by name, unlike the later verses that do invoke goddesses such as Durga. Additionally, unlike the national anthem “Jana Gana Mana,” which has a specified duration of 52 seconds for rendition, there are no time constraints or circumstantial specifications for performing “Vande Mataram.”

Vande Mataram Song Controversies in English

The reasoning behind this decision, as expressed by the assembled leaders, including Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, was that while the first two stanzas of the song beautifully evoked the essence of the motherland without any objectionable content, the later stanzas contained references to the Hindu goddess Durga. This consideration aimed to ensure inclusivity and respect for the diverse religious and cultural beliefs of the Indian population.

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Opposition to the song also came from the Muslim League and its leader, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Subsequently, with the backing of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, the Indian National Congress made the decision to adopt only the first two stanzas of “Vande Mataram” as the national song for public gatherings. This choice involved the exclusion of verses that contained references to goddesses like Durga and Lakshmi.

On 24th January 1950, Rajendra Prasad, who was leading the Constituent Assembly at that time, declared a statement which was later accepted as the conclusive resolution on this matter.

… The composition consisting of the words and music known as Jana Gana Mana is the National Anthem of India, subject to such alterations in the words as the Government may authorise as occasion arises; and the song Vande Mataram, which has played a historic part in the struggle for Indian freedom, shall be honoured equally with Jana Gana Mana and shall have equal status with it. (Applause). I hope this will satisfy the Members.

According to the records of the Constituent Assembly of India on January 24, 1950, a statement was made. This information is being presented in my own words without adding any additional details. The language used will be English suitable for an Indian audience.

The definition of a national song in English

A National Song holds a significant place in the heart of a nation, serving as a powerful expression of patriotism and unity. It is an anthem adopted by the government to be sung on public or state occasions, symbolizing the shared values and aspirations of its people. In India, one such revered National Song is “Vande Mataram,” which translates to “I bow to thee, Motherland” in English.

The original national song of India: What is it?

1. Composed by Bankimchandra Chatterji.

2. Written in Sanskrit language.

4. Holds an equal status with Jana-gana-mana.

The first person to say Vande Mataram

Vande Mataram is a renowned Sanskrit poem composed by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee. The poem was originally published in his novel Anand Math in the year 1882. Its profound words and patriotic essence have made it an iconic piece of literature in India.

The fame of Vande Mataram

Vande Mataram is composed of two Sanskrit verses that are written in an elaborate form of Bengali language. The lyrics are beautifully crafted, expressing deep devotion and love for Motherland India. The first verse is sung melodiously like a stanza, while the second verse is recited with utmost reverence.

Over time, Vande Mataram has transcended its status as just a patriotic song to become an integral part of Indian identity. It serves as a constant reminder to uphold unity, diversity, and national integrity. Whether sung at public gatherings or performed on special occasions, this timeless composition continues to inspire millions with its powerful message.