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Bharat Mata – India as the Mother

The concept of Bharat Mata, considering India as the Mother, is not associated with Hinduism. But the concept is borrowed from Hindu religion in which earth is considered as Mother. It is also inspired by the story of Goddess Durga. The idea of Bharata (India) personified as Mata (Mother) became popular during India’s freedom struggle. The slogan Bharat Mata ki jai (Glory to Mother India) became an important slogan of the freedom movement.

This idea along with Vande Mataram was taken from Bankim Chandra Chatterjee’s famous novel Ananda Math (The Abbey of Bliss).

Sri Aurobindo Ghosh famously exclaimed how in the map of Bharat one could find the portrait of Bharatmata. He described the cities, the mountains, rivers and forests as the materials which go to make up her body. The people inhabiting the country are the cells, which go to make up her living tissues. Indian literature is her memory and speech; the happiness and freedom of her children are her salvation. He called upon the people to behold Bharat as a living mother, meditate upon her and worship her in the nine-fold way of Bhakti. (Source – Encyclopeida of Hinduism Volume II page 260)

A picture of Bharat Mata within the map of India was designed, printed and widely distributed during freedom struggle.