The song Vande Mataram, composed in Sanskrit by Bankimchandra Chatterji, was a source of inspiration to the people in their struggle for freedom.
It came to be considered the “National Song of India”, and it played a part in the Indian independence movement, first sung in a political context by Rabindranath Tagore at the 1896 session of the Indian National Congress. In 1950, its first two verses were given the official status of “national song” of the Republic of India, distinct from the national anthem of India Jana Gana Mana.
The first political occasion when it was sung was the 1896 session of the Indian National Congress. The following is the text of its first stanza:
Sujalam, suphalam, malayaja shitalam,
Phullakusumita drumadala shobhinim,
Suhasinim sumadhura bhashinim,
Sukhadam varadam, Mataram!
Vande Mataram, Vande Mataram!
The English translation of the stanza rendered by Sri Aurobindo in prose 1 is:
I bow to thee, Mother,
cool with the winds of the south,
dark with the crops of the harvests,
Her nights rejoicing in the glory of the moonlight,
her lands clothed beautifully with her trees in flowering bloom,
sweet of laughter, sweet of speech,
The Mother, giver of boons, giver of bliss.