National anthem: translated

As a reference to my post about “why is jana gana our national anthem“, here is the anthem, translated.


जनगणमन अधिनायक जय हे, भारतभाग्यविधाता !
पंजाब सिंधु गुजरात मराठा द्राविड़ उत्कल बंग,
विंध्य हिमाचल यमुना गंगा उच्छलजलधितरंग,
तव शुभ नामे जागे, तव शुभ आशिश मागे,
गाहे तव जयगाथा ।
जनगणमंगलदायक जय हे, भारत भाग्य विधाता !
जय हे, जय हे, जय हे, जय जय जय, जय हे !
जनगणमन अधिनायक जय हे, भारतभाग्यविधाता ॥

Simple Translation into English

Victory to the ruler of minds of all people,
Lord of India’s destiny.
Punjab, Sindh (now in Pakistan), Gujarat and Maratha country,
Dravida country (South), Utkala (Orissa) and Bengal,
The hills of the Vindhyas and Himalayas,
And pure waters of Yamuna and Ganga,
They chant only your name,
They seek only your blessings,
They sing only your praise.
Victory to the giver of good for all people,
Lord of India’s destiny.
Victory, victory, victory to you.


4 Responses

  1. I suppose the first line here, “Victory to the ruler of minds of all people” is the part that could be most squeamish, for its references to the British Raj. As a third-gen independent Indian, though, I grew up learning that this ruler is a certain pan-religious Bhagawan; this might be a slightly difficult semiotic point to make, but I’m rather okay with the idea that while Rabindranath Tagore’s adhinaayaka could have been King George V, my adhinaayaka (adhinaayaki?) is, indeed, Mother India herself.

    In short, and this is not immediately apparent when you stand to attention in a school assembly, but for good or for bad, Jana Gana Mana has become our identity internationally. There’s so much to be told about that hair-raising moment when, after all those exotic tunes from other countries, you finally hear yours being played.

    • I feel what u said about our national anthem is true. The picture that comes to our minds when we sing our anthem is that of mother India and not of any King George V. We never gave a second thought about the translation of our anthem but sang it patriotically like a newborn who takes whatever its mother feeds it with the only intention of filling its stomach

      • yes, but i think its time we change it. Vande mataram is apt as our National song. Or any other song which does not in all meaning sing praise of the King of England. It wasn’t important for our leaders @ that time. but we are an emerging nation now and its time for change!

  2. Adhinaayaki – that would have made some sense. But seriously, the tune of this anthem is our identity internationally, not the weak-on-meaning lyrics.

    I am just curious to know the ‘who’s and ‘how’s of the decision behind picking this one as the anthem.

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