Friday, 23 December 2011

The Morning Song of India  (1919) 
by Rabindranath Tagore, translated by Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore, during his tour of South India in 1919, spent some days at the Theosophical College,
Madanapalle, (then part of Madras) at the invitation of its Principal James H Cousins. Tagore sang the song
Jana Gana Mana at the function there. The college authorities, greatly impressed by the lofty ideals of the song, selected it as their prayer song. In the days that followed, enchanted by the dreamy hills of Madanapalle, Tagore wrote down the English translation of the song and along with Cousins' wife, Margaret (an expert in Western music), set down the notation which is followed till this day. The song was carried beyond the borders of India by the college students and became the Morning Song of India and subsequently the first stanza in Bengali was adopted as the National Anthem of India.

Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people,Dispenser of India's destiny,
Thy name rouses the hearts of Punjab, Sindh, Gujarat & Maratha,of the Dravida and Orissa and Bengal,
It echoes in the hills of the Vindhyas and Himalayas,mingles in the music of
Jamuna and Ganges,
And is chanted by the waves of the Indian Sea. They pray for thy blessings and sing thy praise,
The saving of all people waits in thy hands,
Thou dispenser of India's destiny,
Victory, Victory, Victory to thee.

Day and night, thy voice goes out from land to land,
calling Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains round thy throne and Parsees,
Mussalmans and Christians.
Offerings are brought to thy shrine by the East and the West
To be woven in a garland of love.
Thou bringest the hearts of all peoples into the harmony of one life,Thou
Dispenser of India's destiny,
Victory, Victory, Victory to thee."

The procession of pilgrims passes over the endless road, rugged with the rise
and fall of nations;
and it resounds with the thunder of thy wheel.Eternal Charioteer!
Through the dire days of doom thy trumpet sounds, and men are led by thee
across death.
Thy finger points the path to all people.
Oh dispenser of India's destiny!
Victory, victory, victory to thee.

The darkness was dense and deep was the night; my country lay in a deathlike silence of swoon.
But thy mother arms were round her and thine eyes gazed upon her troubled
face in sleepless love through her hours of ghastly dreams.
Thou art the companion and the saviour of the people in their sorrows,
thou dispenser of India's destiny!
Victory, victory, victory to thee.

The night fades;the light breaks over the peaks of the Eastern hills,
the birds begin to sing and the morning breeze carries the breath of new life.
The rays of the mercy have touched the waking land with their blessings.
Victory to the King of Kings,
victory to thee, dispenser of India's destiny.
Victory, victory, victory to thee.

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