Svatantrata: Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake

-D K Hari

-Hema Hari

 

Perhaps the renowned king, Raja Chandragupta did not know the example he was setting when he successfully threw off the repression of the Nanda tyranny. With the help of the master tactician, Chanakya, the king made a statement about people’s freedom, the freedom to practice their beliefs in the manner they chose.

This act of independence resonated far and wide. Our ancients scientifically created philosophies which were all-encompassing and embraced human life as a whole. Independence, swarajya and svatantrata might mean the same to the cursory eye. You will be surprised.

Svarajya & svatantrata

Svarajya is my birthright and I shall have it,” came a passionate cry from the famous Indian freedom fighter, Bal Gangadhar Tilak. This became a famous slogan, urging Indians to fight the shackles of British rule. Rajya is to rule. Svarajya is self-rule.

When the freedom fighters fought for Svarajya, freedom, it was not a call only for political freedom of India. But a call  for Svatantrata too. Sva denotes self and tantra stands for sciences.

Vande Mataram | Art of Living | Nitin Dawar

It is the freedom, the right to practise one’s own sciences and techniques. It is the independence to practise one’s indigenous way of living, that which is sustainable and in consonance with the people of the land, nature and the cosmos. It is to be free from all influences and act under one’s will. It thus stands for the notion of independence, freedom.

More than political independence, Svatantrata stands for a higher level of freedom, a higher dimension of independence.

The long walk to freedom

What we fought for and obtained from the British is svarajya, self rule. Svarajya is the fundamental need. Yet svarajya does not imply that we have svatantra. The walk towards true Svatantrata is long with svrajya and true wisdom (gyana) as its accomplices.

As India celebrates its 73rd Independence day, it might be a good time to harken the call of the ancients. They wisely knew the progress of a land lies ingrained in svatantra, true freedom. As Rabindranath Tagore wrote:
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth..
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

2750 Indian vocalists set record singing Vande Mataram – Antarnaad