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BHAGAWAD-DHWAJA


A SIGNIFICANT SYMBOL OF OUR CULTURE AND NATION

A flag is not a mere symbol of a nation but it is the touchstone of the ethos of the people living in that nation. It is the symbol of a nation's freedom, sovereignty, honour and pride. A nation and its people are bound by several bonds besides the common bond of being subject to the same Government. The flag is the unbroken continuous thread that runs through our heritage and culture. It is a significant way of expressing devotion towards the nation. It also indicates the values and way of life. is it not true, that any nation would sacrifice its all, to save the honour of its national flag ?

Our emotions and ideas about our saffron coloured flag are precisely expressed in the above shloka. The saffron colour of our flag was not an accidental choice but a deliberate decision, to remind people of the beautiful and the tender orange rays of the rising sun, dispelling darkness of the night; of the blood shed by valiant martyrs laying down their lives to save the honour and glory of their beloved motherland. The flames of fire represent the surging emotions of the sacrificing tendencies of the great sons of this land and also the ever upward trend of progress of this culture which cannot be curbed by any outward compulsion. That is why everybody aspired that this flag should fly with glory.

The concept of flag was put into practice to distinguish one tribe from another. In the evolutionary process, the Federal States system came into existence. The symbol of the most powerful tribe was accepted as the national flag.

The word Dhwaja originates from the Sanskrit root Dhwaja to go, to fly high. It is a dynamic source of inspiration to the nation which leaves no stone unturned to guard its honour and glory. The honour and credit of introducing to the world the concept of flag goes to Bharat only.

Long long back, our great sages intuitively solved many baffling riddles of the universe. Their profound philosophical thought astounds the world today also. They in their contemplative mood (Dhyana) visualised the cosmic dawn with its saffron colour. Millions of rays of the rising sun destroy darkness simultaneously. The knowledge also enlightens mankind for a noble cause. Knowledge is automatically followed by glory. Sacrifice is one of the noblest thought which is represented by the flames of the fire. Fire burns and makes the lives of others prosperous, it is a symbol of dedication, purity, and an ever upward trend. These three qualities are essential to maintain the social equilibrium. It is revealed from history that wherever this flag was honoured, selfishness vanished and divine qualities were promoted. The values of life which our Dhwaja denotes are to be cherished not only by Bharat but are beneficial to the whole mankind.

A reference to this Dhwaja occurs in Vedic literature, a number of times.

1. Arun Ketu Atharva 11-10-2
2. Arunah Ketavah Atharva 11-10-7
3. Arun Ketu Rigveda 1-124-11
4. Arush Ketu Rigveda 8-49-2
5. Rushan Ketu Rigveda 10-1-5
6. Agni Ketu Rigveda 1-50-3
7. Rajso Bhanu Ketu Rigveda 1-92-3
8. Rajasah Ketu Rigveda 1-124-5
9. Suoyah Ketu Atharva 5-21-12
10. Parijat Dhwaja Atharva 5-21-12
11. Harih Ketu Rigveda 2-11-6

It would not be out of context to mention here that in Rigveda we even find an elaborate description of making of a flag of saffron shade. It is stated that the Powder of the dry stems of Parijata flowers (Nyetanthus arbitritis) should be mixed and boiled. In that decoction, a piece of white silk cloth should be dipped, then we get the beautiful saffron flag with the fragrance of those flowers.

The flag was also significantly known as Agniketu. The culture of Bharat is known as Yagya Sanskriti. Rishis from various parts of the country used to come together on the occasion of Yagyas. They used to discuss the current problems and the situation of the country and find out practical solutions which geared the material and spiritual progress of our nation. Those who could not tolerate this, tried to obstruct these Yagyas, which were an effective life force. In the course of time, it became practically difficult to carry this Yagaya fire from place to place. Yagya Sanskriti was then symbolised in the Bhgawaddhwaja. We are inspired to dedicate our individual self at its altar with a definite commitment to safeguard the values (Purity, sacrifice, penance, excellence in our chosen task indomitable upward trend) it denotes.

A reference to this Dhwaja is found in our scriptural, Pauranic literature. Lord Vishnu carried this flag, mounted on Garuda. A reference to this flag runs as an unbroken thread upholding our heritage and culture. Officers commanding the army of Gods carried this flag in wars. Maharshi Valmiki has written in Ramayan that after his victory over Ravana, Shri Ram flew back to Ayodhya along with Seetadevi with the saffron colour flag on the Pushpak Viman.

Mahabharat contains an interesting story of hoisting this flag and its worship. King Uparichari (who acquired this name because of his extensive travel by air to supervise and administer his vast Kingdom) once helped Indra of Swargaloka to defeat his enemies. Pleased by his assistance, Lord Indra told him the worship of Brahma Dhwaja for his strength, well being and prosperity. He advised the King to hoist a saffron flag on the first day of the month, Chaitra, and offer prayer by chanting.


References from History

The imperial flag of the Kings in Puranas and history is described as saffron flag. Emperor Chandragupta Maury's Kirti dhwaja was also of the same shade. Shalivahan and Vikramaditya defeated the Shakas and Huns respectively under the same flag. Great Hindu emperors who performed Ashwamedha Yaga were said to have planted the flag of this shade to demark their boundaries. The Emperor of Vijayanager had also the saffron flag as mentioned in Talikot historical records. Pictures of this battle drawn by Afatali depict King Ramdevarava seated on an elephant carrying the saffron coloured flag. Kings of Pal dynasty who ruled Bengal in 6th century B. C. had this Dhwaja as a token of blessings of Goddess Kali. Adi Shankarcharya reorganised Hindus under the same flag. Chhatrapati Shivaji also conducted all his activities for freedom under this flag. All Rajputs accepted and fought their prestige battles against Mughals under this flag. The same flag fluttered on Shanwarwada, the palace and office of the Hindu Empire. It makes quite clear that all the People cherished a feeling of respect about this saffron coloured flag.

When the British established their rule over Bharat in 1818 A. D. the Union Jack was hoisted all over the country. The heart of every Hindu, cherished love and regard for this saffron colour flag, though it was removed from the flag pole. This flag is still flying on the temples throughout the country and is carried by the thousands and lakhs of pilgrims of Pandharpur, preaching human values of life disregarding untouchability and all other outward differences.

Sister Nivedita, the illustrious disciple of Swami Vivekananda, the patriot Saint of Bharat, after her deep study and contemplation realised that only saffron colour flag should be the national flag of Hindusthan. In 1904, she wrote to her friend Miss Macleod At first I chose Red as the colour of the flag, but soon realised that Hindu mind received no inspiration from it. So I finally selected the flag of saffron colour and that had pale yellow Vajra at its centre.

Scriptures, history, social feelings, all indicate that people living in this country from Himalayan slopes in the north to the shores of Hindu Mahasagar in the South, from Sindhu Sagar in the west to the Ganga Sagar in the east, love and respect this and this flag only.

The pattern and style of the Dhwaja resembles to that of our beloved motherland. There are two triangles. The upper one is smaller denoting material wealth and enjoyment, the lower one is bigger and represents renunciation emphasizing that our life is based on Tyaga. The flag can flutter only if the flag pole is strong and steady. The flag of our glorious culture & nation can flutter only if the common will of its constituents is strong and also if they stand firmly united. That means we, who respect the Bhagawad Dhwaja, must stand united to promote the divine way of life, denoted by it, for the overall peace and prosperity of the mankind. The bunches of Silk thread fixed at the two edges of the triangles are the symbols of the sunrays and the flames of fire. Samiti insists on use silk thread bunches for the Dhwaja.

We come across many persons who say that prior to the advent of the British there was no concept regarding nation or national flag in Bharat. This is obviously the cumulative effect of the brainwashing by the Britishers. In this respect, we totally forget our ancient national life and its flag. Such apathetic people came forward to search a new national flag even though we had an age old flag. Under the influence of composite culture and composite nationalism we framed the constitution of free Bharat and her flag which was a combination at various pieces as against the traditional flag of one singleintegrated piece of cloth.


Evolution of the Tri colour Flag

Madam Cama first time demonstrated at Berlin conference in 1908, the tri colour flag and hoisted it as the flag of Bharat. As she designed the flag at Paris, perhaps she was influenced by the French Revolution flag which was tri coloured. The flag of her making had three horizontal parallel stripes, the top stripe being green with eight lotus flowers, the middle was of saffron colour with Vande Mataram inscribed on it and tower stripe was red with the Sun and the Moon the symbols drawn on it. This flag was designed more on an impulse than through contemplation about the cultural values and background of the nation.

The Home Rule movement launched by Annie Besant designed another flag. She chose a flag of nine stripes, four of the nine stripes being green, to represent the Muslim Community and five red to represent the Hindu Community because by that time, communal differences were deeprooted by the British administrators in the minds of the people here. Apart from these nine stripes of red and green, this flag, on its top stripe near the flag pole, carried a replica of the Union Jack, even with the stars on it. This flag was produced. only as an;experiment, because it could not make any impact on Hindu minds, as it had no appeal for them.

Till 1921 the Union Jack was hoisted ceremoniously in all the annual sessions of the Indian National Congress. At the instance of Mahatma Gandhi, a two colour flag was designed with red and green stripes representing Hindu and Muslim communities respectively. But this flag too, failed to make its impact on people's mind. To appease other communities, the design of the flag was changed and a white stripe was added with Charakha as a new emblem. This flag was patently designed on religious considerations. The Sikhs also, then insisted on having a black stripe to represent them. This proposal was opposed by Shri Gandhiji at that time. Therefore, in 1 931 in the Karachi session of the Congress, a Flag Committee was appointed with Sarvashri Vallabhabhai Pate[, Pandit Nehru, Dr. Pattabhi Seetaramayya, Dr. Hardikar, Acharya Kalelkar, Master Tarasingh and Maulana Azad. This committee was set up on 2nd April 1931 to go into the objections raised by all people against the three colours and communal symbols and to submit its report by 31st July 1931.

The committee's decision was published in the Times of India, of 6th August 1931. The report said that the committee had issued a questionaire to elicit public opinion in regard to the objections, the answers received were examined and as a result of which the committee has recommended that the colour of the flag of free Bharat, should be Saffron only. Near the flag pole at the top was to be printed a Charakha in blue, about one quarter of the flag's surface. This report was placed before the Working Committee, but it was rejected at the instance of Mahatma Gandhi. The red stripe on earlier tricolour was replaced by saffron stripe and the tri colour was finalised. The committee's report was consigned to waste paper basket.

The present tri colour finalised by Working Committee on 7th August was as under.

The topmost stripe was to be saffron, the middle one, white and the lowest, one green. The white band was to have the picture of a charakha on it. The saffron .colour was to symbolise the spirit of courage and sacrifice, the white was to symbolise loyalty and culture, the charakha was to represent people's aspirations. The size of the flag was 2' * 3'.

Many small groups objected to this flag. Another flag committee was appointed under the presidentship of Pandit Nehru. This committee also, unequivocally, gave the decision in favour of the saffron colour flag but it was never executed, at the instance of Mahatma Gandhi.

The approved flag was prepared at (Bezwada) Vijaywada. Principal P. C. Venkatayya of National College, Muslipatnam designed it for Gandhiji in three hours and Gandhiji approved it. At first there were two colours only. The idea of having Charakha came from Lala Hansaraj of Jalandar. But this flag was never submitted to the working committee for consideration. At last in 1931 the flag was finalised and the present tri colour was approved.

All India Congress Session of Bombay endorsed this flag at the instance of Gandhiji. Shri Kanhyalal Munshi, P. D. Tandon and Satyamurthy stoutly opposed Gandhiji and strongly criticised the working committee but it was of no avail. The flag recommended by the Flag Committee was rejected and Gandhiji's tri colour was adopted.

After the attainment of the independence there was one more change in the flag. The charakha was replaced by Ashok Chakra as symbol of peace. The Constituent Assembly substituted the red stripe. The meanings earlier attributed were also changed. Saffron colour stood for sacrifice, white for peace and green for prosperity. Swatantryaveer Savarkar had suggested that the flag should have on it the Sudarshan Chakra of Lord Krishna instead of Ashok Chakra. The idea was excellent and inspiring, being conducive to the tradition of infusing the heroic spirit, fighting boldly against all evils.

In spite of all these events, the constitutionally accepted tri colour flag of free, independent Bharat must be respected by every citizen It cannot be easily overlooked that most of the struggles for freedom waged under this banner. The qualitative explanation of its colour stripes has been accepted in place of communal feeling attributed to it earlier. It is now our pride and honour. It has been established as the state flag of Independent Bharat. If this flag is insulted by any one, it must be taken as an insult to the whole country and any such insult must be dealt with, firmly. We should respect it and be ready, if necessary, to shed our blood for safeguarding its honour and prestige. We must respect Bhagawaddhwaja primarily as our cultural flag that has come down to us from Vedic times when culture was accepted as the soul of the nation.

Let it be our mentor and guide in the task of national reconstruction and inspire the refined minds to attain their goals.

That is why it is requested that every Hindu must hoist the saffron flag, our age old cultural pride, on the New Year's Day i. e. Chaitra Shukla Pratipada and pledge to stand united to protect the divine values of life, represented by it,

O Flag of the Divinity, We bow to you with regards.


SAMITI PRAYER

Samiti Daily Prayer

  1. Homage to you by us, Oh Motherland, Holy land we are your daughters, brought up and cultured by you.

    Oh, affectionate, auspicious land of Hindus we dedicate our lives to your cause.

  2. We bow to you again and again, Oh Supreme Power of the Universe, for you have created the great Hindu Nation.

    United we are ready, with your blessings. To tread together The Path.

  3. Oh Mother, bestow upon your loving daughters. The immaculate character ideal to the whole world which has never submitted meekly to anyone but which is honoured by the Universe.

  4. Oh Mother, cultivate within us power divine which can destroy all evil thoughts and actions.

    And inspire our father, brother, husband and son. To follow the path of virtue.

  5. Oh Mother, bestow upon us your blessings. That we stand United, Virtuous and Bold. Devoted to duty, steadfast in our undertaking. And give birth to a glorious nation in future.


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