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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Rabindranath Tagore and National Anthems of Bangladesh, India & Sri Lanka

It may sound unbelievable, but true that Asia's first Nobel Prize winner in Literature in 1913 Rabindranath Tagore was behind the three great national anthems of three great nations, viz. Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka. In the recently concluded "ICC  World  Cricket Tournament - 2011" jointly organised by the said three countries, it was witnessed again  that the players of three different nationalities singing 'Anthems' created and inspired by the same genius for their respective nations.

Indian National Anthem
Bangladesh National Anthem;
  Amar sonar Bangla,
Ami tomae bhalobashi.
My Bengal of Gold,
I love you.

Chirodin tomar akash,
Tomar batash,
Amar prane bajae bãshi.
Forever your skies,
Your air set my heart in tune
As if it were a flute.

O ma,
Phagune tor amer bone
Ghrane pagol kôre,
Mori hae, hae re,
O ma,
Ôghrane tor bhôra khete
Ami ki dekhechhi modhur hashi.
In spring, O mother mine,
The fragrance from your mango groves
Makes me wild with joy,
Ah, what a thrill!
In autumn, O mother mine,
In the full blossomed paddy fields
I have seen spread all over sweet smiles.

Ki shobha, ki chhaea go,
Ki sneho, ki maea go,
Ki ãchol bichhaeechho
Bôt,er mule,
Nodir kule kule!
Ah, what beauty, what shades,

What an affection, and what tenderness!

What a quilt have you spread

At the feet of banyan trees

And along the banks of rivers!

Ma, tor mukher bani

Amar kane lage,

Shudhar môto,

Mori hae, hae re,

Ma, tor bôdonkhani molin hole,

Ami nôeon jôle bhashi.


O mother mine, words from your lips

Are like nectar to my ears.

Ah, what a thrill!

If sadness, O mother mine,

Casts a gloom on your face,

My eyes are filled with tears!

Sri Lankan National Anthem

"Sri Lanka Matha" is the national anthem of Sri Lanka. The words and music were written by Ananda Samarakoon in 1940 in the Sinhala language, and was officially adopted as the national anthem on November 22, 1951 by a committee headed by Sir Edwin Wijeyeratne.The first line of the anthem originally read: "Namo namo matha, apa Sri Lanka". There was some controversy over these words in the 1950s, and in early 1962 they were changed to their present form.

Ananda Samarakoon was born George Wilfred Alwis to a Christian family in Padukka, in Ceylon, on January 13, 1911. 
 In 1936, Samarakoon left for Santiniketan in India to study art and music. After six months he abandoned his studies and returned to Sri Lanka, and changed his name to Ananda Samarakoon, embracing Buddhism. He was very much influenced by Rabindranath Tagore while in India and his fascination and the desire to imitate the great Indian musician would go on to take him in the direction of creating a musical tradition for the Sri Lankan people. During Samarakoon's stay in India, one of his early compositions, Namo Namo Mata (composed in 1940, recorded in 1946) was nominated as the national anthem and was officially adopted by the State as the Sri Lankan national anthem in 1952. Critics attacked Namo Namo Mata, particularly the "Gana" significance of the introductory words (Namo Namo Matha) which designate disease and ill luck. Samarakoon was not a believer in "Gana", and the criticism caused him to write numerous articles counter attacking his critics to defend his composition. However, without his consent, the introductory words were changed to "Sri Lanka Mathaa" so that the "Gana" significance now would designate victory and prosperity.

Sri Lanka Matha, apa Sri Lanka,                                                                                                            
    Namo Namo Namo Namo Matha.                                                                                                                                                                                  Sundara siri barini,
Surendi athi Sobamana Lanka
Dhanya dhanaya neka mal pala thuru piri, Jaya bhoomiya ramya.
Apa hata sapa siri setha sadana, jeewanaye Matha!
Piliganu mena apa bhakthi pooja,
Namo Namo Matha.
Apa Sri Lanka,
Namo Namo Namo Namo Matha
Obawe apa widya, Obamaya apa sathya
Obawe apa shakti, Apa hada thula bhakthi
Oba apa aloke, Aapage anuprane
oba apa jeewana we, Apa muktiya obawe
Nawa jeewana demine
Nnithina apa Pubudu karan matha
Gnana weerya wadawamina ragena yanu
mena jaya bhoomi kara
Eka mawekuge daru kala bawina
yamu yamu wee nopama
Namo Namo Matha
Apa Sri Lanka,
Namo Namo Namo Namo Matha.
Mother Lanka we salute Thee!
Plenteous in prosperity, Thou,
Beauteous in grace and love,
Laden with grain and luscious fruit,
And fragrant flowers of radiant hue,
Giver of life and all good things,
Our land of joy and victory,
Receive our grateful praise sublime,
Lanka! we worship Thee.
Thou gavest us Knowledge and Truth,
Thou art our strength and inward faith,
Our light divine and sentient being,
Breath of life and liberation.
Grant us, bondage free, inspiration.
Inspire us for ever.
In wisdom and strength renewed,
Ill-will, hatred, strife all ended, In love enfolded, a mighty nation
Marching onward, all as one,
       Lead us, Mother, to fullest freedom.
In 1945 Samarakoon's only son died at the age of five and the grieving Samarakoon left Sri Lanka for India where he pursued a painting career and held eleven art exhibitions there. Though his painting were critically acclaimed, he returned to music in 1951 back in Sri Lanka. On April 5, 1962, at the age of fifty one, Samarakoon committed suicide. 



  1. Great Concept. Whenever the anthem is sung or played live, the audience should stand in attention position. It cannot be indiscriminately sung or played randomly. Hence sahara people are putting their best effort to make the work record. We should also participate to achieve the world record. Today we live amid a sea of corruptions but tomorrow, through creativity and struggle, win the fight to free all of our heart and minds. Let’s get creative. Let’s win.
    Bharat Bhawna Diwas

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  2. It came as surprise to learn that Tagore had a significant influence on the Sri Lankan national anthem. Thank you so much

  3. It is clear from the article that the Sri Lankan Anthem was written and set to music by Samarakoon, a Sri Lankan who was influenced by Tagore. But it is not clear who wrote and set to music the Bangaladeshi Anthem. Please clarify? thanks!

    1. Robindronath was Bengali . national anthem of Sr. Lanka and India all first composed in Bengali later on its translated .

    2. The national anthem of Bangladesh was written and composed by Sri Randranath Tagore.

  4. đồng tâm
    game mu
    cho thuê nhà trọ
    cho thuê phòng trọ
    nhac san cuc manh
    số điện thoại tư vấn pháp luật miễn phí
    văn phòng luật
    tổng đài tư vấn pháp luật
    dịch vụ thành lập công ty trọn gói

    Mà Âm Vô Pháp lại càng không nghĩ đến một thiếu niên áo đen nhìn như một thư sinh yếu đuối kia chính là mục tiêu khiến y vạn dặm xa xôi đến Thiết Vân Thành này - Sở Diêm Vương. Chỉ cần giết hắn thì xem mình đã hoàn thành nhiệm vụ!

    Ngược lại trong lòng y lại hào hứng bừng bừng, bắt vị Sở Diêm Vương đang đi tới trở về bức cung một hồi. Trong nội tâm không ngừng tính toán: sau khi bắt hắn sẽ hung hăng sửa trị, tra ra tung tích chân thực của Sở Diêm Vương xong lập tức sẽ giết người diệt khẩu…

    Gần hơn, càng gần nữa…

    Tịch mịch chưa từng có.
    Âm Vô Pháp càng thêm thận trọng, đã ẩn tàng khí tức bản thân. Tuy rằng y khẳng định gia hỏa trẻ tuổi này tuyệt đối không phát hiện được mình, nhưng đó là bản tính cẩn thận của sát thủ. Từ xưa đến nay, trước mỗi lần ra tay, hắn đều chuẩn bị mọi việc rất kỹ càng không chút sơ hở nào.

    Đằng trước có một ngã ba đường, người qua kẻ lại thật là náo nhiệt. Trong mắt người bình thường, chỗ giao lộ này không thích hợp để động thủ. Cho dù đắc thủ, cũng bị người khác thấy mặt, do đó sẽ bị truy nã...

    Nhưng trong mắt cao thủ cỡ như Âm Vô Pháp, ngã ba này là địa điểm tốt nhất để ra tay. Có nhiều người che chắn, Âm Vô Pháp hoàn toàn nắm chắc ra tay mà không ai thấy được bản thân!

    Vì vậy, thân hình Âm Vô Pháp lóe lên, vô thanh vô tức đi tới ngã ba đường, rẽ vào một góc ôm cây đợi thỏ.

  5. Robindronath was Bengali . national anthem of Sr. Lanka and India all first composed in Bengali later on its translated .

    1. Wikipedia is not a reliable source , The columnist who first made this claim on 2011 was unable to produce , any evidence supporting his claim.

  6. সবাইকে স্বাগতঃ জানাচ্ছি. আপনাদের আগমন সবার জন্য আনন্দমুখর হোক - রবীন্দ্র সঙ্গীত
    চর্চার দিরবীন্দ্র অনুরাগী বন্ধু-
    গন্ত হোক উন্মচিত --- এই আশাই রাখছি.

  7. NiceNice blog, I like your blog you also see this topic blog, I like your blog you also see this topic

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  9. Which country's national anthem is written by a nobe prize winner other than Tagore?plz reply

  10. Norway.It's national anthem is written by Nobel laureate Bjornsen.

  11. So much knowledge from this Blog.
    Many many Thanks
    I m Indian.
    But I also Loves Sri-lankan National Anthem
    I can sings it somehow��

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