National Motto and What it Denotes

When the country became Independent, the then Leaders of the Movement selected Satyam Eva Jayate as the Nation’s Motto. This is a pronouncement from Mundakopanishad. It means: ‘Truthfulness alone wins’. It takes us to the Culture and Values revealed in the Vedic Lore as well as the great epic Mahabharata, whose message is “Yato dharmah tato jayah – Where reigns righteousness, there comes victory”.

The adage links us directly to the Cultural Values adumbrated in our ancient literature, which discusses in a singular manner the character and behaviour of the human mind. The exposition does not allow any differentiation on the ground of religion or creed. It is a rational enunciation, with its pre-historic origin, relevance and application, constituting ‘the composite heritage of the land’ and people, irrespective of any religious linkages.

It is important to keep in mind that the prolonged Independence Struggle, which passed through different phases, succeeded in arousing and involving people of all regions, unleashing a powerful National Momentum, only when people like Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Mahatma Gandhi and others ardently instilled into the people the spiritual eternal values of Bhagavadgeeta, the eternal war gospel and the power of devotion.

Speaking various languages, differing equally in dress, food and customs, our people are inspired and led by an underlying National Cultural bond of unity. It is not spun and woven by any one individual leader or group. It is bestowed by the sheer ineffable power of the most ancient Vedic and Epic thoughts, values and ideals, which the people have disseminated, imbibed and embodied generation after generation. Like blood in the body, these cultural chords are present in the thoughts, feelings, emotions, knowledge and inspiration our people carry wherever they go.

For more than half a century, I have been a Moving University, living with people from Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Bihar, Orissa, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Shillong, Assam, Tripura, Manipur, Delhi, Kashmir, Jharkhand, Uttarkhand, Kerala, may be still others. Everywhere men and women have been heartily taking to the spirituo-cultural message I disseminate. This evidences how there exists a strong cultural national bond of unity and affinity, in our people from Himalayas to Kannyakumari. And we owe it undoubtedly to the land’s great Vedic and Epic Cultural Values.

The best way to inspire any people is to enlighten them about their own enriching and empowering past. If they feel that their predecessors were indomitable in their values, inspiration and ideal, then as descendants they too would irresistibly feel the confidence and strength to march forward. This is undeniable psychological law.

The great tenets of our land have provided abundant inspiration, succour and strength to our people, in achieving their needs and goals. Many of these – like “Satyam Eva Jayate” – have been adopted by Educational and other Institutes as their cherished motto. It bespeaks how the cultural values of the land have a continuing relevance and application.

The Upanishadic and Epic maxims adorn these places of learning and business as their cherished motto:

Institute Motto Meaning
Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore Tejasvi naavadheetam astu May what we have learnt be brilliant.
Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai Siddhir-Bhavati Karmajaa Siddhi, spiritual perfection, accrues from action.
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Management Development Institute, Gurgaon

Yogah Karmasu Koushalam Yoga, spiritual crowning, is dexterity in action.
Central Board of Secondary Education, New Delhi Asato ma Sat-gamaya Lead me from darkness to light.
All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi Shareeram aadyam khalu dharma-saadhanam Body is the first means for earning dharma, righteousness.
Armed Forces Medical College, Pune Sarve Santu Niraamayaah May all be free of diseases and ill-health.
Birla Institute of Technology & Sciences, Pilani Jnaanam Param Balam Knowledge is the supreme strength.
Manipal Academy of Higher Education Prajnaanam Brahma Well-developed Knowledge is the Supreme Reality.
Life Insurance Corporation of India Yogakshemam Vahaamyaham I shall look after your welfare

All these are pearls selected from Upanishads, Bhagavadgeeta and allied Texts, strung together with the National Motto “Satyam eva jayate”.

We have launched a number of space vehicles from ISRO. They all have names representing concepts or Cosmic Powers illustrated in our epics and Puraanas; eg. Agni, Aakash, Nandi, etc..

Finally, the question to be asked is whether we have distinct National values, worth imbibing, without which the invincible integrity and strength of the country would not survive. Also, are not these values matchless, relevant and effective even today? You have to find your own answer, on which will rest the strength and sustenance of our proposed move.

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