Connecting Devotees Worldwide - In Service Of Srila Prabhupada
"Jan Gan Man" is national anthem of India written by Ravindranath Tagore.
Many people dont know that it have 5 paragraphs (Because all are not sung)
It was written in Bengali but most of the words are Sanskrit.
Linguist tried to understand why Tagore wrote it for King George V?
They were trying to find with what intention did Tagore compose this song?
And they arrived at the conclusion that it was not written for King nor it refers to 'Bharat Mata' or mother earth it was specifically written for Lord Krishna.
Tagore's poetry are unique because it always had high ideals and kept the truth firmly within sight.Tagore was a Bengali polymath author of 'Gitanjali'
In stanza -3 Tagore refers to Lord Krishna as "The Eternal Charioteer" who is "guiding the people through the ages." Upon reflection we know that Lord Krishna was charioteer to Arjuna when he gave the Supreme philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita
Situation in which the song was written -
Now the situation is best explained by the following quote:
"... surrounds the 1911 visit to India by King George V. To commemorate the occasion, the Indian National Congress (INC) approached Tagore for a poem of welcome. As Yeats (his Irish admirer of many years) recalled later, Tagore was deeply troubled by the assignment. Early one morning, he composed a very beautiful poem and handed it over to his colleagues. He suggested that it was a poem addressed to God, and that they should give it to the Congress people.
At the Calcutta Congress session which began on December 16, 1911, the second day was apparently devoted entirely to welcoming King George V. Jana Gana Mana was sung on this occasion. Thereafter, the newspaper reports maintained that it was sung as a salute to the King Emperor (George V). Since Tagore did not immediately refute the allegation, the perception spread that the song was a eulogy to the monarchy"
Tagore says that the name of the ruler of India must resound in the provinces of "Punjab, Sind, Gujaratha, Maratha....". Upon reflection we see that it is Lord Krishna's names that resound in these provinces. Indeed a person may be named as "Narayana" in Tamil Nadu and be named as "Harbhajan" in Punjab. Both names of totally different cultures referring to incarnations of Lord Krishna. This is not to exclude names of Gods in other religions. Names of gods in Islam like "Rahim" which means "The Most Merciful" which describe the attributes of God are also to be included. Names of devotees of God in Christianity like "Joseph" or names in other religions like Zorashtrianism, Sikhism and other religions of India are also to be included.
According to Linguist -
"There are three aspects to the song, one is the line of the song, second is the line-by-line translation of the song and the third is the purport of the line. The contribution of the author is in the purport of the song. "
Below is analysis
Stanza 1 Purport – Analysis
Stanza 1 Line 1: Jano Gano Mano Adhinaayako Jayo Hey,Bhaarato Bhaagyo Bidhaataa
Translation: Oh! the ruler of the minds of people, Victory be to You, dispenser of the destiny of India!
Purport: So in this line Tagore is almost questioning King George V, whether he really is the ruler of the people as well as the minds of the people of Bharat (India)? If yes, then George should accept this praise. If no, then this praise is intended for the real ruler of the minds of all the people of Bharat. The truth is of the foremost consideration to Tagore.
Stanza 1 Line 2: Panjaabo Sindhu Gujaraato Maraathaa,Draabiro Utkalo Bango
Translation: Thy name rouses the hearts of Punjab, Sind,Gujarat and Maratha.
Purport: Now here Tagore states that "your" name rouses the
hearts of Punjab, Sindhu, Gujarat and Maratha. Did George's name really resound in Punjab, Sindhu, Gujarat and Maratha? If not then whose names resounded in these provinces in those times? The plain answer is; the names of the Indians living in these provinces, during those times, resounded in those provinces.
But are these names really those of the Indians living in those times or are they God's names? I will sample a few "names of people" of India and indeed those of other countries as well to show you what I mean.
God's incarnations names: Ram, Aniruddha, Narayana, Venkat ,Vishnu, Srinivas, Raghavan, Parashuram.....
God's devotees' names: Joseph, John, Gabriel, Gaurang, Arjun, Parth, Sai, Karthik, Gandharv, Harkirat,Mitrabhanu....
God's attributes names: Khalid, Razzak, Ali, Rahman, Venu, Murali, Pankaj, Majid, Piyush, Rajeev, Kaustub.....
These are few of the names that still "rouse the hearts of Punjab, Sind, Gujarat, Maratha, Dravida-Utkala-Banga" till today.
Stanza 1 Line 3: Bindhyo Himaachalo Jamunaa Gangaa, Uchchhalo Jalodhi Tarango
Tabo Shubho Naamey Jaagey, Tabo Shubho Aashisho Maagey.
Translation: 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.
Purport: " Tabo Shubho Naamey Jaagey, Tabo Shubho Aashisho Maagey ". "Your" or in this case God’s auspicious names echo in the hills of the Vindhyas and Himalyas, mingle in the music of Jamuna and Ganga and are chanted by the waves of the Indian Sea. The Jamuna and the Ganga are the holiest of Indian rivers since time immemorial.
Stanza 1 Line 4: Gaahey Tabo Jayogaathaa
Translation: They pray for thy blessing and sing thy praise.
Purport: Every line in this poem is to be taken literally only then will one gets the real beauty of the poem. So in this line they pray for God’s blessing and sing God’s praise (unknowingly or knowingly they chant God’s names and are blessed.)
Stanza 1 Line 5: Jano Gano Mangalo Daayako, Jayo Hey Bhaarato Bhaagyo Bidhaataa
Translation: The saving of all people waits in thy hand,thou dispenser of India's destiny.
Purport: Now here Tagore gets bolder. "The saving of all people waits in thy hand, thou dispenser of India's destiny".
Saving from what; what will George save the people of India from? Is George so powerful that he controls India's destiny?
So this is a direct reference to God not George. The saving of all people waits in God’s hand. It is God alone who can dispense with India's destiny.
Stanza 1 Line 6: Jayo Hey, Jayo Hey, Jayo Hey,Jayo Jayo Jayo, Jayo Hey
Translation: Victory, victory, victory to thee
Purport: Obvious statement stating victory for God.
Summary of Stanza 1 Purport – From Stanza 1 purport we know for sure that Jana Gana Mana was not sung for King George V but for God. From this stanza we don’t know for sure who that god is but that will become clearer from the analysis of the following stanzas.
Stanza 2 Purport – Analysis
Stanza 2 Line 1: Ohoroho Tobo Aahbaano Prachaarito,Shuni Tabo Udaaro Baani
Translation: Your call is announced continuously,we heed Your gracious call
Purport: Here Tagore continues to define the characteristics of the ruler of India. He says the ruler’s call is announced continuously. We can understand here that Tagore is eliminating King George V as his call is announced only when he visits India that is rarely. Opposed to this, God’s call is announced continuously. Also Tagore says that the people of India heed the gracious call. In those times the people of India would never heed King George V’s call as the ruler was forced upon them.
Stanza 2 Line 2: Hindu Bauddho Shikho Jaino,Parashiko Musholmaano Christaani, Purabo Pashchimo Aashey,Tabo Singhaasano Paashey, ,Tabo Singhaasano Paashey Premohaaro Hawye Gaanthaa
Translation: The Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Parsees, Muslims, and Christians, The East and the West come,to the side of Your throne And weave the garland of love.
Purport: Here Tagore lists the followers of the various religions in India. He also says that the East and the West of India come to "the side of your throne and weave the garland of love". Whose throne is Tagore referring to. There are 3 possibilities, one is some king of Bharat who had a throne, the second is King George V who had a throne and the third is Lord Krishna himself who is/was a king and has/had a throne. Now a king of Bharat during those times is not a possibility because other than King George V there was no one to whom the whole of India bowed. King George V is a possibility we have eliminated earlier in Stanza 1 however for argument’s sake let us keep this possibility. Lord Krishna is a possibility because not only did he exist on earth in dvapar yug as a king, but also according to our scriptures he still exists in the spiritual world as the undisputed Lord of all the universes. So Tagore could be referring to the throne of Lord Krishna apart from the throne of King George V.
Let us take a reference from Chaitanya-charitamrita, Adi-lila, 1.16.
preshthalibhih sevyamanau smarami
"I mediate on Shri Shri Radha and Govinda, who sit on an effulgent throne underneath a desire tree in a temple of jewels in Vrindavana. They are being served by Their most confidential associates, the gopis."
This statement proves that Lord Krishna is still seated on a throne in the spiritual universe and you can imagine the extent of Tagore’s spiritual knowledge if he was referring to Lord Krishna’s throne. Imagine this was 1911 long before Srila Prabhupada came on this Earth and Tagore was actually referring to Lord Krishna’s throne. This reflects the maturity and knowledge of Tagore.
The garland of love here again could mean for King George V or for Lord Krishna, who used to sport a garland according to scriptures.
Let us take a reference from the Narada Pancaratra Text 9.
Translation - Lord Krishna wears a garland of forest flowers, and He wears a yellow dhoti. It is He who lifted Govardhana Hill and Who stole the celestial Parijata tree. He is the protector of the cows, and indeed, He is the protector of everyone.
This proves that Lord Krishna wears a garland. You can imagine Tagore’s spiritual knowledge. He knows in the turbulent times of 1911 that Lord Krishna wears a garland of love made by his devotees.
Stanza 2 Line 3: Jano Gano Oikyo Bidhaayako Jayo Hey,Bhaarato Bhaagyo Bidhaataa
Translation: Oh! You who bring in the unity of the people!, Victory be to You, dispenser of the destiny of India!
Purport: This line refers to someone who brings unity to the people. This could be a reference to King George V or to Lord Krishna. Now King George V brings unity by being the ruler of India. How does Lord Krishna bring unity to the people of India? The answer to this question lies in the mysterious purport of stanza 1 line 2. Now according to this purport Krishna’s name resounds in the provinces of "Punjaba, Sindhu, Gujrata, Maratha, Dravida, Utkala Banka". If we reflect on it, we can see the truth in it. There maybe a person called Narayan in Tamil Nadu and a person called Krishna in Gujrat. Two very diverse cultures have Krishna’s names that are uniting them. Similarly there is a person called Harbhajan Singh in Punjab. Harbhajan means Hari’s bhajan, reference to another incarnation of Krishna. Hence Krishna is the common theme in the diverse cultures of India. Hence Lord Krishna is uniting the people of India.
Stanza 2 Line 4: Jayo Hey, Jayo Hey, Jayo Hey,Jayo Jayo Jayo, Jayo Hey
Translation: Victory, victory, victory to thee.
Purport: This line just denotes victory to God.
Summary of Stanza 2 Purport – From the Stanza 2 purport we come to know about the reference to the throne of Lord Krishna and to the garland of love for Lord Krishna. The reference to King George V was disproved in the first stanza analysis but is not ruled out comprehensively as yet. We come to know how Lord Krishna is uniting the people of Bharat through her diverse cultures.
Stanza 3 Purport – Analysis
Stanza 3 Line 1: Potono Abhbhudoy Bandhuro Ponthaa,Jugo Jugo Dhaabito Jaatri
Translation: The way of life is somber as it moves through ups and downs, But we, the pilgrims, have followed it through ages.
Purport: Here the phrase "we, the pilgrims, have followed it through ages" most likely refers to the process of birth and death and rebirth. On a deeper note it refers to the journey of the soul through the various births and deaths. This shows the maturity of Tagore in his poetry. For people who don’t believe in the transmigration of the soul, it can simply be interpreted as the suffering of the Indian people for a number of centuries under British rule. Either way it is not significant towards providing an explanation of, whom the song was ultimately written for.
Stanza 3 Line 2: Hey Chiro Saarothi, Tabo Ratha Chakrey Mukhorito Potho Dino Raatri
Translation: Oh! Eternal Charioteer, the wheels of your chariot echo day and night in the path.
Purport: This is a very significant line. Here the phrase "Eternal Charioteer" could only refer to Lord Krishna who was the charioteer of Arjuna. Indeed Tagore clearly indicates that the Lord is the Eternal Charioteer for all beings or who is a charioteer for eternity.
Let us take a reference from the Bhagawad Gita As It Is about Krishna’s status as a charioteer from Chapter 1 Text 21-22.
senayor ubhayor madhye
ratham sthapaya me 'cyuta
yavad etan nirikse 'ham
kair maya saha yoddhavyam
Translation - Arjuna said: O infallible one, please draw my chariot between the two armies so that I may see who is present here, who is desirous of fighting, and with whom I must contend in this great battle attempt.
Purport - Although Lord Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, out of His causeless mercy He was engaged in the service of His friend. He never fails in His affection for His devotees, and thus He is addressed herein as infallible. As charioteer, He had to carry out the orders of Arjuna, and since He did not hesitate to do so, He is addressed as infallible. Although He had accepted the position of a charioteer for His devotee, His supreme position was not challenged…..
So here we have conclusive proof that Lord Krishna was the charioteer of Arjuna in the Kurukshetra war. But Tagore is referring to someone as "the Eternal charioteer". Now tell me apart from Lord Krishna who else is qualified to be an eternal charioteer. This is a direct reference to Lord Krishna by Tagore.
This rules out King George V as he was never a charioteer during his lifetime.
Stanza 3 Line 3: Daaruno Biplabo Maajhey,Tabo Shankhodhwoni Bajey
Translation: In the midst of fierce revolution, your conch shell sounds.
Purport: Here Tagore is talking about a fierce revolution. What is this fierce revolution that Tagore is referring to? Here Tagore talks about "your conch shell sounds". This clearly refers to Krishna’s Panchajanya conch that was symbolic before every war. Let us take a reference from the Bhagawad Gita As It Is about Krishna’s conch the Panchajanya from Chapter 1 Text 15.
paundram dadhmau maha-sankham
Translation - Then, Lord Krsna blew His conchshell, called Pancajanya; Arjuna blew his, the Devadatta; and Bhima, the voracious eater and performer of Herculean tasks, blew his terrific conchshell called Paundram.
It may be argued that the possessor of a conch shell here could be anyone among Krishna, Arjuna and Bheema or even someone in the Kaurava army. But if we think about the context here, Tagore is clearly telling that in the midst of a fierce revolution your conch shell sounds. Tagore is clearly taking the Kurukshetra war as a revolution and Krishna is the God whose conch shell sounds. Why is the Kurukshetra war a revolution? Because the smaller Pandava army defeated the larger Kaurava army. Why Krishna? Because he is a God and Arjuna and Bheema are mere celestials in comparison. Why not any other God? Because no God other than Lord Krishna or Lord Vishnu uses a conch. Shiva does not possess a conch and neither does Brahma and even if they possessed a conch they never used it in a war. So this is a clear reference to Krishna’s conch the Panchajanya.
This also completely rules out King George V as he never possessed a conch and never used it. Again you can imagine Tagore’s knowledge, he knew that the ruler of India, Lord Krishna possessed a conch.
Stanza 3 Line 4: Sankato Dukkho Traataa
Translation: You save us from fear and misery.
Purport: Since King George V is ruled out, this is a direct reference to Lord Krishna who saves us from fear and misery.
Stanza 3 Line 5: Jano Gano Potho Parichaayako, Jayo Hey Bhaarato Bhaagyo Bidhaataa.
Translation: Oh! You who guide the people through tortuous path...
Victory be to You, dispenser of the destiny of India!
Purport: Here the reference is to Lord Krishna who is guiding the people through a tortuous path. Here the dispenser of the destiny of India is obviously a reference to a very powerful person and that person is Lord Krishna.
Stanza 3 Line 6: Jayo Hey, Jayo Hey, Jayo Hey,Jayo Jayo Jayo, Jayo Hey
Translation: Victory, victory, victory to thee
Purport: Just a statement stating victory for Lord Krishna.
Summary of Stanza 3 Purport – From the Stanza 3 purport we once again conclusively eliminate King George V as he was never a charioteer and never used a conch. From this stanza we also gather the first direct reference to Lord Krishna as he was a charioteer of Arjuna and used the Pancajanya conch before every battle. Till now we were only inferring about Lord Krishna but these are direct references to Lord Krishna by Tagore. What was implied in the first two stanzas is conclusively proved in the third stanza.
On 10 November 1937 Tagore wrote a letter to Mr Pulin Bihari Sen about the controversy. That letter in Bengali can be found in Tagore's biography Ravindrajivani, volume II page 339 by Prabhatkumar Mukherjee.
"A certain high official in His Majesty's service, who was also my friend, had requested that I write a song of felicitation towards the Emperor. The request simply amazed me. It caused a great stir in my heart. In response to that great mental turmoil, I pronounced the victory in Jana Gana Mana of that Bhagya Vidhata [ed. God of Destiny] of India who has from age after age held steadfast the reins of India's chariot through rise and fall, through the straight path and the curved. That Lord of Destiny, that Reader of the Collective Mind of India, that Perennial Guide, could never be George V, George VI, or any other George. Even my official friend understood this about the song. After all, even if his admiration for the crown was excessive, he was not lacking in simple common sense."
This proves that Tagore did not write the anthem for King George V.
Again in his letter of 19 March 1939 Tagore writes,
"I should only insult myself if I cared to answer those who consider me capable of such unbounded stupidity as to sing in praise of George the Fourth or George the Fifth as the Eternal Charioteer leading the pilgrims on their journey through countless ages of the timeless history of mankind." (Purvasa, Phalgun, 1354, p738.)
This proves that Tagore had someone in mind as the eternal charioteer but not King George V. Also it proves that Tagore was referring to someone eternal and not to a mortal. This eternal being, from the description given can only be Lord Krishna.
Stanza 4 Purport – Analysis
Stanza 4 Line 1: Ghoro Timiro Ghono Nibiro,Nishithey Peerito Murchhito Deshey
Translation: During the bleakest of nights,when the whole country was sick and in swoon.
Purport: This line refers to the "bleakest of nights" or the worst parts of the British rule.
Stanza 4 Line 2: Jagrato Chhilo Tabo Abicholo Mangalo,Noto Nayoney Animeshey.
Translation: Wakeful remained Your incessant blessings, through Your lowered but winkless eyes.
Purport: Here Tagore says two things one is "the incessant blessings" which can only be given by a God since they are incessant. Also Tagore refers to "Your lowered but winkless eyes", only a God’s or a celestial’s eyes can remain winkless but a human’s eyes invariably wink.
Let as take a reference from The Mahabharata of Krishna – Dwaipayana Vyasa Volume 1 Books 1,2 and 3.
"Thou hast winkless eyes (for thou seest at all times)."
This statement was said in praise of Lord Shiva who is a God.
Let us take a reference from The Mahabharata of Krishna – Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 2 Books 1,2 and 3.
"And thereupon she beheld the celestials unmoistened with perspiration, with winkless eyes, and unfading garlands, unstained with dust, and staying without touching the ground. And Naishadha stood revealed to his shadow, his fading garlands, himself stained with dust and sweat, resting on the ground with winking eyes. And O Bharata, discerning the gods and the virtuous Nala, the daughter of Bhima chose Naishadha according to her truth."
Here in the Nala Damayanti story, Damayanti discerns her husband Nala, a virtuous human from the celestials who came in his form by his winking eyes and the celestials’ winkless eyes.
Now if Lord Shiva has winkless eyes, if celestials have winkless eyes then it would be a folly to assume that Lord Krishna would have winking eyes like a human. So I leave it at an inference that Lord Krishna had winkless eyes like any other God or celestial.
Therefore the winkless eyes refer to Lord Krishna’s eyes that were winkless. Lowering of the eyes is out of the respect and love of Lord Krishna for his people.
Stanza 4 Line 3: Duhswapney Aatankey,Rokkhaa Koriley Ankey.
Translation: Through nightmares and fears,You protected us on Your lap.
Purport: Here Tagore refers to the mother nation of India who protected the Indian people on her lap.
Stanza 4 Line 4: Snehamoyi Tumi Maataaa.
Translation: Oh Loving Mother.
Purport: Suddenly Tagore shifts from Lord Krishna to Mother India when he refers to "loving mother".
Stanza 4 Line 5: Jano Gano Duhkho Trayako,Jayo Hey Bhaarato Bhaagyo Bidhaataa.
Translation: Oh! You who have removed the misery of the people...Victory be to You, dispenser of the destiny of India!
Purport: Now Tagore comes back to Lord Krishna who has removed the misery of the people of India. Tagore addresses Lord Krishna as "dispenser of the destiny of India".
Stanza 4 Line 6: Jayo Hey, Jayo Hey, Jayo Hey,Jayo Jayo Jayo, Jayo Hey
Translation: Victory, victory, victory to thee.
Purport: Just a statement stating victory for Lord Krishna.
Summary of Stanza 4 Purport – From the Stanza 4 purport we infer again about Lord Krishna. We infer from the phrases "incessant blessings" and "winkless eyes" that the reference is to a God and not to a mortal. This God is Lord Krishna as described in Stanza 2 and Stanza 3. Also King George V is eliminated as he does not give incessant blessings and neither does he have winkless eyes.
Stanza 5 Purport – Analysis
Stanza 5 Line 1: Raatri Prabhatilo Udilo Rabichhabi, Purbo Udayo Giri Bhaaley
Translation: The night is over, and the Sun has risen over the hills of the eastern horizon.
Purport: Here Tagore speaks as though India has already got independence. He says that "the night is over and the Sun has risen over the hills of the eastern horizon."
Stanza 5 Line 2: Gaahey Bihangamo Punyo Samirano, Nabo Jibano Rasho Dhaley.
Translation: The birds are singing, and a gentle auspicious breeze is pouring the elixir of new life.
Purport: He talks of the joy of independence through the expressions of the birds’ songs and the gentle auspicious breeze.
Stanza 5 Line 3: Tabo Karunaaruno Ragey,Nidrito Bhaarato Jagey.
Translation: By the halo of Your compassion India that was asleep is now waking.
Purport: Here Tagore talks of the "halo of your compassion". Halo is usually found around a saint or a god. Here in this case Tagore is referring to the halo of Lord Krishna.
Let us take a reference from Krishna as Vatapathra-Shayee.
"The body of baby Krishna is adorned lovingly with jewellery and majestic ornaments. The peacock feather is tucked in the knotted hair. The sacred Vaishnava mark of Vishnu (tilaka)rests on his small forehead. A yellow divine halo can be seen around his face."
This proves that Lord Krishna has a halo about him. You can now imagine Tagore’s adherence to the truth while writing this poem. Every characteristic that Tagore has defined of Lord Krishna has been proved by scripture.
Stanza 5 Line 4: Tabo Chorone Noto Maatha.
Translation: On your feet we lay our heads.
Purport: Tagore gets devotional here. He says that the people of India lay their heads on the feet of Lord Krishna.
Let us take a reference from the Srimad Bhagavatam 7.5.23-24.
sravanam kirtanam visnoh
arcanam vandanam dasyam
iti pumsarpita visnau
bhaktis cen nava-laksana
kriyeta bhagavaty addha
tan manye 'dhitam uttamam
Translation - Prahlada Maharaja said: Hearing and chanting about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and pastimes of Lord Visnu, remembering them, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia, offering prayers to the Lord, becoming His servant, considering the Lord one's best friend, and surrendering everything unto Him (in other words, serving Him with the body, mind and words) -- these nine processes are accepted as pure devotional service. One who has dedicated his life to the service of Krsna through these nine methods should be understood to be the most learned person, for he has acquired complete knowledge.
From this we can understand that Tagore was referring to pada-sevanam or service to the lotus feet of Lord Krishna. This is a high form of devotion in poetry indeed and only Tagore was capable of it.
Stanza 5 Line 5: Jayo Jayo Jayo Hey, Jayo Rajeshwaro, Bhaarato Bhaagyo Bidhaataa.
Translation: Victory, Victory, Victory be to You, the Supreme King, the dispenser of the destiny of India!.
Purport: Tagore addresses Lord Krishna as the supreme king and the dispenser of the destiny of India.
Stanza 5 Line 6: Jayo Hey, Jayo Hey, Jayo Hey,Jayo Jayo Jayo, Jayo Hey
Translation: Victory, victory, victory to thee.
Purport: Just a statement stating victory for Lord Krishna.
Summary of Stanza 5 Purport – From the Stanza 5 purport we get a glimpse of true freedom as portrayed by Tagore. The halo of compassion of Lord Krishna is described and finally how the people of India lay their heads at Lord Krishna’s feet.