In his Autobiography of an Unknown Indian, Nirad C. Chaudhuri has aptly described the atmosphere of the times in which the song was written. "The historical romances of Bankim Chatterjee and Ramesh Chandra Dutt glorified Hindu rebellion against Muslim rule and showed the Muslims in a correspondingly poor light. Chatterjee was positively and fiercely anti-Muslim. We were eager readers of these romances and we readily absorbed their spirit."
R.C. Majumdar, the historian, writes "During the long and arduous struggle for freedom from 1905 to 1947 'Bande Mataram' was the rallying cry of the patriotic sons of India, and thousands of them succumbed to the lathi blow of the British police or mounted the scaffold with 'Bande Mataram' on their lips. The central plot moves round a band of sanyasis, called santanas or children, who left their hearth and home and dedicated their lives to the cause of their motherland. They worshipped their motherland as the Goddess Kali;... This aspect of the Ananda Math and the imagery of Goddess Kali leave no doubt that Bankimchandra's nationalism was Hindu rather than Indian. This is made crystal clear from his other writings which contain passionate outbursts against the subjugation of India by the Muslims. From that day set the sun of our glory - that is the refrain of his essays and novels which not unoften contain adverse, and sometimes even irreverent, remarks against the Muslims". As Majumdar puts it, "Bankimchandra converted patriotism into religion and religion into patriotism."
Full song from Anand Math a Bengali novel is:
sujalaaM suphalaaM malayaja shiitalaaM
sasyashyaamalaaM maataraM ||
pullakusumita drumadala shobhiniiM
suhaasiniiM sumadhura bhaashhiNiiM
sukhadaaM varadaaM maataraM ||
koTi koTi kaNTha kalakalaninaada karaale
koTi koTi bhujai.rdhR^itakharakaravaale
abalaa keno maa eto bale
bahubaladhaariNiiM namaami taariNiiM
ripudalavaariNiiM maataraM ||
tumi vidyaa tumi dharma
tumi hR^idi tumi marma
tvaM hi praaNaaH shariire
baahute tumi maa shakti
hR^idaye tumi maa bhakti
tomaara i pratimaa gaDi
mandire mandire ||
tvaM hi durgaa dashapraharaNadhaariNii
kamalaa kamaladala vihaariNii
vaaNii vidyaadaayinii namaami tvaaM
namaami kamalaaM amalaaM atulaaM
sujalaaM suphalaaM maataraM ||
shyaamalaaM saralaaM susmitaaM bhuushhitaaM
dharaNiiM bharaNiiM maataraM ||
The following English translation is by Shree Aurobindo.
Mother, I bow to thee!
Rich with thy hurrying streams,
bright with orchard gleams,
Cool with thy winds of delight,
Dark fields waving Mother of might,
Glory of moonlight dreams,
Over thy branches and lordly streams,
Clad in thy blossoming trees,
Mother, giver of ease
Laughing low and sweet!
Mother I kiss thy feet,
Speaker sweet and low!
Mother, to thee I bow.
Who hath said thou art weak in thy lands
When the sword flesh out in the seventy million hands
And seventy million voices roar
Thy dreadful name from shore to shore?
With many strengths who art mighty and stored,
To thee I call Mother and Lord!
Though who savest, arise and save!
To her I cry who ever her foeman drove
Back from plain and Sea
And shook herself free.
Thou art wisdom, thou art law,
Thou art heart, our soul, our breath
Though art love divine, the awe
In our hearts that conquers death.
Thine the strength that nervs the arm,
Thine the beauty, thine the charm.
Every image made divine
In our temples is but thine.
Thou art Durga, Lady and Queen,
With her hands that strike and her
swords of sheen,
Thou art Lakshmi lotus-throned,
And the Muse a hundred-toned,
Pure and perfect without peer,
Mother lend thine ear,
Rich with thy hurrying streams,
Bright with thy orchard gleems,
Dark of hue O candid-fair
In thy soul, with jewelled hair
And thy glorious smile divine,
Lovilest of all earthly lands,
Showering wealth from well-stored hands!
Mother, mother mine!
Mother sweet, I bow to thee,
Mother great and free!
Bankim, as we will see in the translation done by Aurobindo, referred to “seven crores” of people worshipping motherland. This was the population of the then Bengal Province.