Oldest and Longest Patriotic Song!

 

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Bhumi Sukta (Ode to Earth) in the Atharva Veda is a beautiful poem with 63 verses; it is a priceless contribution of Atharva Veda to the Vedic literature; this poetry is universal and not local. The earth on which the poet lives opted for Indra and not Vritra, the powers of light and darkness. It shows the crystal clear thinking of Vedic seers. The very first verse in the sukta glorifies the Vedic values of Sathya and Rita, truth and order.

Though the earth is called Pruthvi in Sanskrit throughout  the hymn, we may consider the poet is singing about his own land—the mother land. Some of the modern translations use the word motherland instead of earth. It makes more sense.

 

One would be wonderstruck to read the world’s oldest and longest patriotic song in the Atharva Veda. Atharva Veda’s date is only conjectural and it was compiled earlier than 1000 BC. It is amazing to find a very long patriotic song in praise of motherland (earth) in the Veda. Greeks have not even started writing their first book then. Tamil’s oldest book came 1000 years after Atharva Veda. Moses started issuing Ten Commandments around that date. In such a remote period Hindu thinking has reached its pinnacle!

 

Each Vedic hymn is equal to 1000 self improvement books. The Vedic hymns are full of positive thoughts. Through auto suggestion, it makes anyone great. Each hymn gives positive energy to those who chant, to those who hear and those who believe in them. You don’t need to read any book written by Dale Carnegie or Anthony Robbins. If you sit in a group of Vedic pundits and repeat the hymns every day for hours the whole atmosphere will be surcharged with tremendous energy and positive thoughts. That is why ancient Hindu kings appointed Vedic priests in every town, temple and palace who repeated the positive words million times and prayed for the welfare of not only human beings but also animals. This is the highest stage of human thought.

 

Vedic priests were not primitive nomads. They were highly civilized. No Gilgamesh, Atra Hasis or Ziusudra had such sublime thoughts.

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Atharva Veda seers sing about the beauty of earth in general. It will beat all the national anthems of the world. If I give the full version, it will run to several pages. This verse inspired great poets like Bankim Chandra Chatterjee and Bharati. I will give below some of the verses from the hymn on earth/motherland. It is from Kanda 12 of Atharva Veda:

“ Sacred is the earth (motherland). It not only nurtures that which is past and all the objects of the present, it bears the seed of the future as well. Such is our great motherland.

“ Our earth (motherland) is populated with learned men. It is populated by those who are inferior, those who are average and those who are superior. But all such people forget their differences and live together in unity and friendship. This is the land where we will perform deeds and attain fame. This is the land where our intelligence prospers.

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“ In our motherland can be found enterprising and hard working farmers and artisans. In every direction that one glances, one finds fields of rice, wheat and other grains. Our motherland nourishes different forms of life. It provides us with cows, food grains and other forms of sustenance.

“The famous warriors of yore performed valorous deeds here. In this land the learned and the brave ones conquered the violent demons.

 

“Our earth/motherland is the nurturer. In it can be found gold, silver, diamonds, emeralds and other gems. Nuggets of gold and all sorts of objects, all forms of vegetation, and all forms of living beings can be found in our motherland. Our motherland is the best country of all.

“ In the beginning, this land was immersed in the water of the ocean. Vast is the expanse of this land. Its heights reach up to heaven.

“ In this land to be found learned mendicants who roam in every direction.  Just as the water attains same level everywhere, these hermits look upon all with equal favour.

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“ The Ashvinis look after this land of ours. Brave warriors have measured the length and breadth of our motherland

“O my earth/ Motheland! May the mountains and the snow clad peaks that can be found here NOT bring you unhappiness.

“You are my mother. I am the son of the earth.  The water which rains down and nourishes is my father. My I be preserved.

“ In this land the Vedas are revered in every direction. The righteous ones are worshiped here and the land is uplifted through the performances of sacrifices. Wonderful are the words of wisdom that have been uttered in this land.

“ O my Motherland! All of us are your subjects. May all of us be gifted with sweet speech. May we live together in harmony. May trees and plants grow on you in abundance.

 

“This land is the mother of all trees, shrubs, plants and creepers. It is here that truth, learning, bravery and righteousness flourish. This land will bring us welfare and happiness. May we always serve our motherland.

“O, Motherland! This is the place where we all live in harmony. May you be great and firm. May brave warriors protest you with their valour and intelligence from enemies. May we be enriched. May we prosper.

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May we not cause unhappiness to others when we are travelling on this land.

This is the land where the search for the god is made. This is the land that the god has blessed.

May my motherland grant us the riches that we desire. The inhabitants of this land sing and dance. The cities in my motherland have been built by the gods.

“ O  earth (my Motherland)! Grant us wisdom so that we can ensure our welfare. May we be learned all the time. May we prosper in your midst.

 

Atharva Veda Kanda 7 also got a hymn on the motherland.

“Heaven is in the motherland. The motherland is our mother. it is our father and son”.

(I have given only half of the verses. It goes on and on about the glory of our holy land. It is full of positive thoughts. It praises nature at length. We must replace our National Anthem “Jana Gana Mana” with the abridged version of this Vedic hymn!!)

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