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About India




The
National Flag

of India is made up of Khadi ( type of cloth ) , with three bands of colour. Top Band is of Saffron colour, indicating the strength of the country. The white middle band, indicates peace with Dharma Chakra. The last band is green in colour shows the fertility of the land. The National Anthem of the country is Janaganamana composed by Ravindranath Tagore and the National song is Vande Mataram composed by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee. The National Emblem adapted by the Government of India on 26th January 1950 , is taken from the Lion capital of Sarnath erected by Ashoka - the great Mauryan King. In the emblem only three lions are visible and the fourth one is hidden from the view. In the centre of the Abacus, there is a wheel symbolising the Dharma Chakra (Eternal wheel of law) with a bull on the right and horse on the left. The word Satyameva Jayate (Truth alone triumphs) from the Upanishadas have been inscribed in Devanagari script. The emblem is the official seal of the President of India and Central and State Governments of the Indian union. Used only for official purposes, it commands utmost respect and loyalty, while proclaiming independent India 's identity and sovereignty.

National Emblem The state emblem of India is an adaptation from the Sarnath Lion Capital of Asoka as preserved in the Sarnath museum. The emblem was adopted on 26 January 1950 the day India was declared a republic with its constitution coming into effect. There are four lions standing back to back, an elephant, galloping horse, a bull and a lion separated by intervening wheels ( chakras ) over a bell shaped lotus. Carved out of a singe block of polished sandstone, the Capital is crowned by the Wheel of Law (Dharma Chakra). 

NATIONAL ANTHEM OF INDIA

"
Jana Gana Mana Adhinayaka Jaya He
Bharat Bhagya Vidhata
Punjab Sindh Gujarat Maratha
Dravida Utkala Banga
Vindhya Himachal Yamuna Ganga


Ucchala Jaladhi Taranga
Tubh Shubha Name Jage
Tubh Shubha Ashisha Mange
Gahe Tubh Jaya Gata


Jan Gan Mangaldayak Jay He
Bharat Bhagya Vidhata
Jaye He ! Jaye He ! Jaye He !
Jaye,Jaye,Jaye,Jaye He
"

The Indian National Song VANDE MATARAM

The following is the text of its first stanza

Vande Mataram!
Sujalam, suphalam, malayaja shitalam,
Shasyashyamalam, Mataram!
Shubhrajyothsna pulakitayaminim,
Phullakusumita drumadala shobhinim,
Suhasinim sumadhura bhashinim,
Sukhadam varadam, Mataram!

The English translation of the stanza rendered by Sri Aurobindo in prose 1 is :

I bow to thee, Mother,
richly-watered, richly-fruited,
cool with the winds of the south,
dark with the crops of the harvests,
The Mother!
Her nights rejoicing in the glory of the moonlight,
her lands clothed beautifully with her trees in flowering bloom,
sweet of laughter, sweet of speech,
The Mother, giver of boons, giver of bliss.


National Bird

The Peacock :
Symbolic of many qualities - grace, joy, pride, beauty, love and mysticism, the Peacock is depicted in picture with the company of Indian Gods and Goddesses. It is the sacred bird of the India , protected not only by a religious sentiment but also by parliamentary statute.

NATIONAL TREE

The Banyan :
 Commanding a central presence in the timeless setting of India 's countryside, is the mighty Banyan, a tree endemic to the Indian subcontinent. What's amazing about this tree is the fact that it is a veritable micro habitant for countless creatures. For man it provides shelter and is a point where the village community gather and transact much of its affairs.

NATIONAL FLOWER

The Lotus :
Rich in meaning and metaphor, the Lotus symbolises divinity, fertility , wealth , knowledge and not to forget enlightenment. Lending to its uniqueness, the flower grows in murky waters and rises on a long stalk above the surface to bloom glorious. Untouched by the impurity, lotus symbolises the purity of heart and mind. Human beings are instructed by Indian scripture to live a life of non-attachment, which is very hard. Then in Indian thought, there is the last and final lotus - Charan Kamal or lotus feet of the Almighty. It was this depth of thought that made the founding fathers of modern India enshrine the lotus in the Constitution as the National Flower.

NATIONAL ANIMAL

The Tiger : Lord of the Indian Jungles, evokes royalty, majesty and power. With its position at top of the ecological pyramids, the tiger is the symbol of India 's wealth of wildlife. India homes nearly half the world-wide population of tigers and thus tiger remains synonymous with India . To protect this royal animal Project Tiger was launched in 1973. Today, the tiger advances as a symbol of India 's conservation of itself its wildlife heritage.  

Significance of Namaskar, Tilak, Bindi, Mangalsutra, etc.

Namaskar : Namaskar or Namaste is the most popular form of greeting in India . Folding the hands politely is a general salutation for welcoming someone or bidding farewell. While doing this, both the palms are placed together and raised to below the face. It is believed that both the hands symbolise one mind or the self meeting the self.

Tilak : Tilak is the the ritual mark on the forehead. It can be put in many forms as a sign of blessing, greeting or auspicious. This is usually made out of a red vermilion paste ( kumkum ) which is a mixture of turmeric, alum, iodine, camphor, etc. It can also be made of sandalwood paste ( chandan ) blended with musk. It is applied on the spot between the brows which is considered the seat of latent wisdom and mental concentration and is very important for worship. This also indicates the point at which the (third) spiritual eye opens. All thoughts and actions are supposed to be governed by this spot. Putting of the third eye symbolises the quest for the `opening' of the third eye. All rites and ceremonies of the Hindus begin with a tilak topped wit a few grains of rice placed with the index finger or the thumb.

Aarti : It is performed as an act of veneration and love. It is often performed as a mark of worship and to seek blessings from God, to welcome the guests, for children on their birthdays, family members on auspicious occasions or to welcome a newly wed couple.

For performing Aarati , five small lamps called niranjans are filled with ghee or oil, and arranged in a small metal tray. A wick is made out of cotton wool and placed in the lamps. A conch-shell filled with water, auspicious leaves or flowers, incense or lighted camphor are also placed in the tray. The lamps are lit and the tray is rotated in a circular motion in front of the deity of the person to be welcomed. The purpose is to ward off evil effects and malefic influence of the `evil eye'!

Garlanding : Flower garlands are generally offered as a mark of respect and honour. They are offered to welcome the visitors or in honour to the Gods and Goddesses. These are generally made with white jasmine and orange marigold flowers. They are woven in thread and tied at the end with the help of a knot.

Bindi : A bindi is an auspicious mark worn by young girls and women. It is derived from Bindu a sanskrit word for dot. It is usually a red dot made with vermillion powder which is worn by women between their eyebrows on the forehead.

Considered a symbol of Goddess Parvati, it signifies female energy and is believed to protect women and their husbands. Traditionally a symbol of marriage, it has also become decorative and is worn today by girls and women as well. No longer it is restricted in colour and shape, bindis are seen in many bright colours and different shapes and designs embellished with coloured glass or glitter.

Mangalsutra : This is a necklace made of black beads and a golden pendant, worn ONLY by the married women as a mark of being married. It is the Indian equivalent of the western wedding ring. The mangalsutra is tied by her groom around her neck. These are supposed to protect against evil and the life of their husband.

 
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