This was an exhibit produced during the Alipore Bomb Case implicating the Ghose brothers, Arbinda and Barindra. The latter was instrumental in setting up a “secret society” of nationalist missionaries in Bengal that, with Aurobindo’s journalistic resources and national reach, was in tune with the country’s “hot” hearts in the underground. These hardliners took the initiative beyond the ‘appealing’ moderates of Congress and raised the terms of India’s freedom struggle from demand for autonomy to claim for independence.
The exhibit contains the solemn oaths, in Bengali and Sanskrit, which the revolutionaries took …
[TRANSLATION OF THE BENGALI PORTION]
Thou sword — everlasting emblem of Powers, knowing that in Thee — the soul image of Janurdhani Karali (Goddess Kali), the primordial mother of India, lies hidden, I touch Thee by my head and do (hereby) bind myself for the purpose of extirpating the Asuras (not Suras or Debatas, i.e., enemies of Debatas).
Thou Bhagabat Gita (a sacred book of that name), the source of all, pregnant with all truths, Thou sacred Veda, knowing that in Thee lies hidden the spirit (genius) of Sri Krishna, incarnation of Bisnu the preserving element of the Hindu Trinity, the founder of unity in India and the destroyer of the Asuras, I bow down and touch Thee and do (hereby) bind myself for the purpose of extirpating the Asuras.
I invoke the all-powerful God to help and witness my taking this vow.
I touch the feet of my religious Guru (preceptor), the source of virtue and knowledge, and do (hereby) swear.
I call to mind the feet of my mother — the personification of my mother country — and do (hereby) swear.
In the name of the great leaders, the God-sent apostles, I do (hereby) swear.
- That from to-day I take up the task of setting up Dharma Rajya in India by removing and doing away with all obstacle, I do (hereby) offer my life to achieve this end.
- That I shall not care for those that are against this aim and Dharma (religion), be they swadeshi or foreigner.
- That I shall not do anything that is opposed to the aims of our mandali(community).
- That I shall bow down and carry out all orders of the leaders of the mandali.
- That I shall never disclose the secret orders and resolutions of the mandali at the sacrifice of my life.
- That I shall bear all difficulties without being moved and run at the sacrifice of whatever I have — wealth, life, honour, reputation. I shall do my duty in regard to you.
- That if any way I dishonour or break this vow, let the curses of the great patriots, ancestors, and of God that knows the heart soon overtake and destroy me.
16th May 1908.
Om. (Trinity) let there be peace.
Om. Shome Bharat Lakshmi. We invoke (pray) Barun, Agni, Manu, Aditya, Bisnu, Surya, Bharma, and Brahaspati (names of gods of Hindu mythology).
Om. Let there be an auspicious day in this duty of establishing Dharma Rajya.
Preceptor (religious initiator) — Om. Auspicious day. —
Om. Let there be peace in this duty
Preceptor — Om. Be it so.
Om. Let there be success in this duty.
Preceptor — Om. Be it so.
Invoking the ancestors that were born of heroes.
(We) bow down to the original heroes that set the current of life in this world and the germs of life and perfect individualities — we resign ourselves to them.
(We) bow down to the Aryans that were reared up in the laps of Bharat (India) full of wealth and crops. (We) bow down to Thee Brahman and other Rishis that reared and brought up the infant Aryans fired with patriotism. (We) bow down to Thee Manu and other heroes that were powerful as the Sun and (pious) as Judhisthir and other Rishi-like kings. In the life-play of Bamdeb (son of Basudeb or Sri Krishna) the key-note always and invariably was to set up a Dharma Rajya. We bow down to Thee — the ideal heroes of India that sacrificed their lives to save mother-land from the grip of foreigners and thus achieved the glorious end of the heroes — that never cared for their lives and properties, when they had to serve their country. The image of patriotism has appeared before our mind’s eye. We bow down to Thee — our countrymen whose good wishes, benedictions, and encouragements fired me — us — to-day. (We) now call men of the world before whom we are ashamed to appear, (for) we are able to save the honour of (our) country.
In the fire of our resolve to save the mother country, let their hatred and mother India’s shame be the sacrificial ghee (clarified butter). My heart will be burning — my mind will be burning, so long as this fire of her shame be not extinguished. We renounce all pleasures, ornaments, etc.
Remembering country’s pride (golden deed) — Devas sing the glory of those that are deserving in India (Bharat Bhumi — land of Bharat, a king of primeval age. India was named after him).
It is the deeds which lead men either to Heaven or Hell.
Then (Atha) resolve — Bisnu (the preserving deity of Hindu Trinity).
Om. (All mantras begin with this word.) Tat-sat (God alone exists). To-day — in the month of — phase (paksha) of the moon — in the (tithi) day of the moon, I — of — take this vow of setting up Dharma Rajya.
After taking vow — (first two lines are not understood as part is torn off).
Thou Sri Krishna (Keshub) I take this vow before Thee. Let it be successful through Thy Graces. (The 4th line is not understood.)
Taking up sword.
I bow down to Thee — sword, Thou crown of all weapons, the symbol of death.
With much respect I take Thee from the hands of Adhya Saktee (Kali — the final energy). In this vicious Kali when virtue has been so much attenuated, when weapons have been the order of the day, Thou art (the only) arbiter (or upholder) of truths.