Vinayak Damodar Savarkar

(28 May 1883 - 26 February 1966 / Bhagur, Maharashtra / India)

Atmabal - Poem by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar

Without beginning nor end am I, Inviolable am I.
Vanquish me? In this world no such enemy is born!


Resolutely, as the Upholder of Dharma,
Challenging very Death I charge into the battlefield.
A sword cannot slice me nor can fire burn me,
Craven Death itself shall flee in fear of me!
And yet, O Foolish Foe,
By fear of Death you dare to scare me!




Fling me into the cage of a ferocious lion, you may-
Reduce him to a cowering servility, I will!
Fling me into the blaze of a roaring inferno, you may-
Remove it! For wrap myself with gentle coolness, I will.

Come! Bring on your mighty, skilled armed Legion,
Bring on your weapons and missiles spewing deadly fire!
Ha! Like Lord Shiva consuming the poison Halahal,
Gulp down and digest all of you, I will

[Translated by Anurupa Cinar]


Poet's Notes about The Poem

On 01 July 1910, Savarkar was put on the S.S. Morea which was to bring him from London to India to stand trial. On 08 July 1910, Savarkar made his historic leap into the ocean when the ship was docked off the port of Marseilles. He was arrested and brought back to the ship. He was now handcuffed and largely confined to his cabin. He was restrained by two guards even when he was brought out for a short while to breathe fresh air. His cabin was kept well lit throughout the night. Light would be continuously shone on his face. This robbed him of any peace and privacy. One night, the guards vacated the portion of the ship where he was housed. Savarkar sensed that the guards were planning to attack him. Even as he was lost in a trance, Savarkar saw a pistol hanging out from the pocket of a guard's trouser as it lay hanging on the wall opposite him. Should they attack him, he would use the pistol to finish his attackers and then take his own life, thought Savarkar. In this despondent situation, Savarkar composed the following Marathi poem. This invigorated him.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 10, 2012

Poem Edited: Monday, September 10, 2012


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