Vinayak Damodar Savarkar

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

My Final Testament - Poem by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar

The moon in the summer-night is smiling in the sky
The Snow-white stars are brightly shining too
The flowers in the garden of my home blossom
As the children water them in the evening ll 1 ll

All the members in my family have assembled
Atmosphere as happier than Vrindavan of Krishna
The beautiful, ideal and chaste youthfulness
of people is resonating all over the place ll 2 ll


Affections reigned in the hearts of young people
Spreading the fragrance of rich heritage and civilization
My home was a fragrant and heavenly tree which
people referred to as 'abode of righteousness' ll 3 ll

I savored the food prepared by you
the taste of which was further enriched by your love
how we used to dine together
chatting and relaxing in calm moonlight ll 4 ll

How we listened to the stories of Sri Raam's exile
and those of Italy's quest for independence and unification
and the ballad of brave Tanaji
or those of Chittorgarh and Shanivaar-Vaada ll 5 ll

How was our beloved (land) orphaned and defiled
saddened by the slavery and poverty was our mother (land)
Saddened by her penury, how we
counselled the youth to alliviete her off her misery ll 6 ll
Ah! ! that time spent in the company of beloved
that spendid moonlight brightening those beautiful nights
that heavenly desire to liberate the mother
And that firm resolve, I remember everything... ll 7 ll
The vows exchanged with the beloved
do you remember them, Oh Vahini *
'Will fight like Bajiprabhu' resolved the young men
'Will sacrifice like Padmini of Chittorgarh' resolved the ladies as well ll 8 ll

Blindly have we not made this resolve
But in the light of history and the laws of nature
Whatever is luminous and scorching
Have we purposefully held the robes of a sati in our hands ll 9 ll

It has been eight years, since then
and we have achieved so much
In spite of all those vows taken and fulfilment of some of them,
why does not the heart feel the joy? ? ? ll 10 ll

From Himalayas to Ocean, the nation has risen
have assumed the valor, giving up the stance of deprivation
The Yagna-pyre initiated is burning vigorously,
but so is the resolve of devotees.. ll 11 ll

Those who undertake responsibility of the Yagna's fulfilment,
are tested immedietely for their resolve
'For benefit of mankind and this planet
Who is ready to burn first in this pyre? ? ' ll 12 ll

As soon as Sri Raam set up this open invitation
Our family rose with unflinching resolve
'Your holyness! ! ! ' roared our kin
'this divine right belongs to us' ll 13 ll

For upliftment of righteousness, our sacrifice was decided
These words weren't uttered in childish manner
nor were we flinched by the prospects of torturous road ahead
our yoga of desire-less action continued unflinchiingly ll 14 ll

By all the vows exchanged with loved ones
We fulfilled them all today
In this raging fire, for the sake of liberation of mother,
We burnt ourselves and became immortal ll 15 ll

Oh Motherland! I have dedicated my intellect to you,
To you I have dedicated my oratory,
To you I have dedicated my new poem,
You have become the sole subject of my prose ll 16 ll

At your altar, have I sacrificed my friends
sacrificed the pleasures of youth, myself
Righteous is your cause and blessed by all gods
Serving you, I realized the supreme truth ll 17 ll

At your altar, I sacrificed my home, wealth and property
IN this raging fire did I sacrifice my new-born son and wife
At your altar, did my Elder brother go
the one who was embodiment of courage and dignity ll 18 ll

At your Altar, did my younger brother go as well;
Now, it is my turn....
Even if we were seven brothers in family
All of them would have been sacrificed at your Altar, oh Mother! ! ! ll 19 ll

India is mother to 300 million children
All of them are our brothers, truthful and motivated
our family, but a small dropp in this vast ocean of humanity
Even if it dies out, our line will continue ll 20 ll
In spite of success and failure, Oh motherland,
our resolve still remains unbroken..
In this raging fire, for the sake of liberation of mother,
We burnt ourselves and became immortal ll 21ll

After saying this, dear Vahini,
Follow this divine pledge throughout your life
Just like the torturous penance of Parvati
Just like the burning resolve of rajput princess ll 22 ll

That luminous feminine strength
has not yet disappeared from Bharatbhumi
Prove these words, Oh brave lady
may your life be a guiding star for the rest ll 23 ll

I bid you good-bye, Oh divine lady,
This brother of your's is bowing in front of you, one last time
The affections and love shall remain in my heart forever;
ardently convey this message to my beloved (wife) ... ll 24 ll

Blindly have we not made this resolve
But in the light of history and the laws of nature
Whatever is luminous and scorching
Have we purposefully held the robes of a sati in our hands ll 25 ll

[Translated by 'KalChiron']


Poet's Notes about The Poem

On 13 March 1910, Savarkar was arrested on charges of sedition and inciting to murder in India, at Victoria Station, London, when arriving from Paris. On 14 March, he was taken to Bow Street Extradition Police Court. He was charged with a provisional warrant issued under the Fugitive Offenders Act 1881 and sent to seven days' police custody. After a few days, he was sent to Brixton Jail. On 29 March, Anant Kanhere, Karve and Deshpande, all accused in the Jackson Murder Case (Nashik) were sentenced to death. The sentence was carried out on 19 April 1910. Savarkar learnt of this terrible news while in Brixton Jail. On 20 April, Savarkar's hearing commenced again. The Magistrate rejected the plea of Savarkar's lawyer Reginald Von to grant him bail. Savarkar was sent back to Brixton Jail. His life lay in shambles. Darkness seemed to envelope him on all sides. His elder brother Babarao had been sentenced to Transportation for Life in the Andamans. His only son Prabhakar, aged four years, had died in India in 1909. His younger brother Narayanrao faced imminent arrest. His elder sister-in-law Yashodabai (Yesuvahini; vahini -sister-in-law) and wife Yamunabai (Mai) now faced the brunt of British wrath and social ostracism. Savarkar's associate Madan Lal Dhingra had embraced martyrdom a year earlier. The hanging of Kanhere, Karve and Deshpande was fresh in Savarkar's mind. Savarkar's revolutionary organization Abhinav Bharat was now virtually finished. Savarkar, himself faced a possible death sentence. It was in these terrible circumstances that Savarkar composed a poetic letter to his dear sister-in-law Yesuvahini whom he variously calls a divine lady, a brave woman and a dear sister. This 25 stanza poem called ‘Maajhe mrutyupatra' (My Final Testament') has become immortal in the annals of Marathi literature.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 10, 2012

Poem Edited: Tuesday, September 11, 2012


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