Anandamath (Dawn over India)/Part 3/Chapter 7

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When Jiban had gone out of the cottage, Shanti again picked up the sarangi and sang most sweetly, most feelingly:

Mother, hail!
Thou with sweet springs flowing,
Thou fair fruits bestowing,
Cool with zephyrs blowing,
Green with corn-crops growing,
Mother, hail!

As if in reply to Shanti's song, someone from outside sang resonantly in a deep voice:

Though now three hundred million voices through thy mouth sonorous shout,
Though twice three hundred million hands hold thy trenchant sword-blades out,
Yet with all this power now,
Mother, wherefore powerless thou?

In an instant Shanti was reverently bowing at the feet of Mahatma Satya.

'Master,' she said, 'For what good deeds of mine am I thus rewarded by your august presence? Please command what I have to do I seek your blessing.'

'Mother, I bless you. Nothing but good can befall you.'

'How is that possible, Master, when you have ordained widowhood?'

'I certainly failed to appreciate your real worth. Mother, without fully realising the strength of the rope, I pulled it too hard. You are wiser than I. You must find a way out of the tangle for me. Please do not let Jiban know that I know the truth about you. He may continue to live for your love, as he has been doing for sometime. We can win only if he lives.'

'Well, Master,' Shanti said, her black eyes darker in flashing anger, 'my husband and I are two halves of the same soul. I am going to report to him our entire conversation. If he has to die, let him die. I lose nothing by his death; for I am sure to die with him. He will attain heaven indeed; and do you think anyone can keep me away from wherever he is?'

'I have never met with defeat. Today I acknowledge my defeat at your hands. Mother, I am your child. Please have mercy on this child of yours. I beg of you, please, save the life of Jiban; and save your own life too. Thus, and thus alone can I win success — yes, win freedom for our enslaved Mother India!'

'My husband's duties are his own,' Shanti said and laughed. 'Who am I to prevent him from the discharge of his duties? In this life the husband is the lord of the wife; but in the life beyond death, righteousness is the lord of us all. My husband is great indeed to me; but greater than he is my sense of duty; and greater even than that is the sense of duty of my husband. I can sacrifice my sense of duty as I like, but I can never allow myself to cause my husband to stray from his path of duty. Mahatma, that is impossible! If my husband has to die at your command, let him die. I can never, never ask him not to die.'

'Mother, there must be acts of sacrifice to denote our unflinching devotion to the cause,' Mahatma Satya said with a sigh. 'We all shall have to sacrifice ourselves. I am going to die. Jiban and Bhavan will have to die. Perhaps, my little mother, you, too, will have to die. But you must realise that we must die doing our duty. There is no sense in dying merely for the sake of death, without furthering the cause of our country's freedom. Hitherto I have addressed only my Mother India as mother; for we recognise no other mother than our Motherland —

With sweet springs flowing,
Fair fruits bestowing,
Cool with zephyrs blowing,
Green with corn-crops growing.

Today I address you as mother. So do honour your child's request. Please do your very best to win victory — and — save Jiban's life, and your own.'

Mahatma Satya left the cottage singing Bande Mataram.