Atul’s Song A Day- A choice collection of Hindi Film & Non-Film Songs

Sur saritey kalyaanmayi

Posted on: June 2, 2012


This article is written by Sudhir, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a regular contributor to this blog.

devi suresvari bhagavati Gange
tribhuvana-tarini tarala tarange

O Ganga
The goddess supreme
The benefactress of all
The salvation of every being
In the three worlds
One whose mellifluous waves
Are a source of bliss

Thus sang Adi Sankaracharya, the sage from Kaladi (in Kerala) more than twelve hundred years ago in the honor of Ganga, the most revered and the most worshipped river flow in our country. And before him, the sages and the rishis of yore, have lavished praises on this supreme source of life. And then, even earlier, the scriptures speak of her. And another step before, the Vedas, that are the source of all scriptures and knowledge, sing verses in her honor.

Ganga, the mighty deluge of life giving water, is not an earthly creation. She not even a part of this universe, or this whole existence that is created by Brahma. It is from an age and a time even before Brahma is born. It is eternal, and it exists, outside the cycles of creation and assimilation of this universe.

(NOTE: Brahma is the creator incarnate, the force that gives rise to this entire existence. But Brahma is also born, from Vishnu, and after a number of cycles of creation and assimilation, Brahma himself dissolves back into Vishnu again. These cycles and super cycles is a whole separate topic all by itself).

The stories from the Puranas and the Upnishads describe the original resting place of Ganga, and how she came to be. Sanat Kumaras, the four original sons of Brahma are the epitome of devotion to Vishnu. One day, it so passed that they had a desire to sing the praises of Vishnu. Along with Muni Naarad, Brahma, and other rishis and sages, they embarked upon Baikunth, the world where Vishnu lives with Lakshmi, his eternal consort. It is said in the scriptures that the kirtan that happened on that occasion was supremely sublime, and has been unsurpassed ever in this creation. The dedication and the affection that came to be expressed, generated a divine emotion of love in Vishnu’s being. The word used in Hindi/Sanskrit is ‘dravee-bhoot’, which literally translates to – melting away as a liquid. The being of Vishnu, and the emotion of love that sprung within his being, expressed itself as a fluid flowing from his feet. This is the earliest origin of what we know as Ganga.

Now the creation of Brahma, that we all are a part of, exists at a different level from Baikunth, and this fluid came to rest at the cosmic partition of these two universes.

The next mention of Ganga is from the era when the Vaaman avatar of Vishnu, appears to the ‘yagna shala’ (the place where the formal rituals are performed) of Raja Bali. The purpose of Vishnu to appear in this incarnation is to prevent Raja Bali to complete 100 such ‘yagnas’. The entire exchange that happens between Raja Bali, his teacher Shukracharya and Vishnu is form of Vaaman, is a divine saga by itself. The episode ends up with Raja Bali committing to endow an area of earth measured as three steps by the tiny Vaaman himself. When the commitment is made, Vishnu appears in his viraat-swaroop, and measure the entire universe of creation with two steps. In the first step he measures the entire earth, in the second step he measures the entire sky and other higher worlds. Just when he is extending his leg and foot for the second step, his toe nail scrapes against the very fabric of partition between this universe and ‘Baikunth’. This creates a tiny break in this fabric, and the waters of Ganga start to flow through this fissure. And not wanting this liquid form to be dissipated, Brahma immediately captured it in his ‘kamandal’.

And there it stays, for many eons.

Within the creation of Brahma, on the planet called earth, the dynasty of the Sun, ‘suryavansh’ is flourishing. In this lineage is Raja Sagar, an ancestor of Lord Ram. (NOTE: The word ‘sagar’ here is not the same as ‘saagar’. This ‘sagar’ rhymes with ‘agar’). Once, Raja Sagar, in consultation with his guru and advisors makes a decision to perform the ‘Ashva-medha Yagna’, a ceremony performed to proclaim someone as the emperor and lord of all earth. In this ceremony, a horse (ashva) is allowed to roam freely across the land. Wherever this horse ventures, that land, that kingdom is supposed to pay allegiance to the one who is performing this ceremony. And if not, then that king or that people are obliged to battle the army of the king who released this horse. If the king’s army is victorious, then of course the land and the people come under his rule. But if those who challenge this claim are victorious, then the proclamation become vain, and the king loses his prestige. So anyway, King Sagar initiated this ‘yagna’. Indra, the king of heaven, is worried at the increasing power and influence of Raja Sagar. He plays a little mischief. He quietly steals the horse and takes it to the ashram of Kapil Muni, and ties it to a tree close to where Kapil Muni is meditating. Raja Sagar has sixty thousand sons. All but one are part of the army that is following the horse. When the horse is untraceable, they become worried and start searching. They find the horse in Kapil Muni’s ashram, and hastily jump to the conclusion that it is Kapil Muni who has stolen this horse. In meditation, the sage does not respond to the questioning from the accompanying warriors, and in a fit of arrogance, the sons of sagar light a fire around the sage. When the heat of this fire disturbs Kapil Muni, he opens his eyes and looks around. The power of his vision is such that all the sixty thousand sons are instantly reduced to ashes.

Here, King Sagar is getting worried on not hearing any news of his sons and the army for many days. He then instructs Anshuman, his eldest son that stayed back with him, to go and search for his missing brothers. In his quest, Anshuman finally arrives at the ashram of Kapil Muni and comes to know the entire episode. He begs for forgiveness from the sage, and asks him the way by which his brothers may be forgiven and find salavation. Kapil Muni replies that the only way is to get the mighty Ganga down to earth, and have it flow over these ashes. He advises Anshuman that Ganga is sitting in the kamandal of Brahma, in the heavens.

Anshuman decides to take on severe penance for this purpose but is not successful. Then after him, five succeeding generations of descendants also pursue the same quest but to no avail. Till the advent of Bhagirath, the seventh generation from Raja Sagar. Bhagirath is finally able to please Brahma with his austerities and penance, and Brahma agrees to let Ganga descend to the earth from his kamandal. But then Ganga says that with the force of her flow, the entire earth will be washed away. There needs to be something or someone to hold the waters of Ganga as they descend from the heavens and to absorb the impact. Brahma advises Bhagirath that Lord Shiv is the only one who can manage to hold the descent and the flow of Ganga. Bhagirath now prays to Lord Shiv and asks for this favor from him. Lord Shiv acquiesces, and thence the stage is set for the descent of Ganga from heavens to earth.

The day, that this event of cosmic proportions happened, is the celebration known as Ganga Dassehra. It is the Jyeshtha Shukla Dashmi, the tenth day of the waxing moon cycle in the month of Jyeshtha. This day was celebrated the day before, on Thursday, 31st May, 2012. And you must be wondering why is this post coming two days later. I had planned for this write up for some time now, but the only problem was – well, all the known songs in the praise of Ganga, are already posted on this blog. I have been searching for an appropriate song to include in this post, and my search was successful just last evening. After some digging through the Geet Kosh, as well as trawling through the YouTube, I am finally able to locate another wonderful song in the honor of the mighty Ganga.

The film is ‘Prabhu Ki Maya’ from 1955. This film is a production from the banner of Filmistan Ltd, and is directed by Vitthaldas Panchotia. The main star cast includes Prem Adeeb, Vitthaldas Panchotia, Mubaarak, P Kailaash, Master Rajkumar, Kanu Roy, Ram Avtaar, Narbada Shankar, Chaman Puri, Paras Ram, Pandey, Champak Lal, Heeru, Rooplakshmi, Koshu, Mumtaz Begum, Kanta, Sheila, Jharna, Uma Devi etc. The lyrics for this film are written by Pt. Madhur and Saraswati Kumar ‘Deepak’, and these verses of reverence are penned by Saraswati Kumar ’Deepak’. The music composition is by Ravi. The singing voice is that of Hemant Kumar.

On screen, this song is performed by Mubarak. He is apparently a pious person, singing the praise of Mother Ganga, and is seeking some boon. I would request other knowledgeable readers to kindly add more information about this film and the situation for this song.

The song itself is a wonderful veneration of Ganga, the mother goddess incarnated in forms of the flowing waters of the mighty river. The performer on screen extols the history of how Ganga came to be on this land and prays to her for kindness. Listen once again to this long forgotten song in the praise of Ganga.

sur saritey kalyaanmayi hey gangey jag ki maata
tere punya padon mein janani tribhuvan sheesh jhukaata

O Ganga
The merciful, the goddess amongst rivers
All from these three worlds of existences
Present their respect at your holy feet

Bhaagirath ne jidhar bhakti se apna shankh bajaaya
usi panth ko patit paawani maa tum ne apnaaya

O the cleanser of sinners
You flow on the path
That was traversed by the King Bhagirath
As he walked blowing his conch shell
Announcing your arrival

Haridwar, Kaashi, Prayaag ko tum ne teerth banaaya
aaj hamaare jeevan par maa dukh ka baadal chhaaya

As you flowed past Haridwar, Kashi and Prayaag
Your passage transformed these into places of pilgrimage
O revered Ganga
Clouds of sorrow encircle this life

tumhi karo uddhaar Gangey, tumhi karo uddhaar
bheekh dayaa ki de de maiyyaa tere haath hazaar Gangey

Bless us, o mother Ganga
Only you can deliver us from our sorrows
We seek forgiveness for our sins
Bless us, with your thousand hands

hari charanon ko chhodaa tum ne dharti ka dukh taala
Brahmaa ji ka tajaa kamandal Shiv ne bhaar sambhaalaa
saatth hazaar sagar ke beton ki har li jab jwaala

(In compassion for the people of this world)
You gave up your abode at the feet of Lord Vishnu
To come to this earth and
Vanquish to the sorrows of the people here
You flowed from the kamandal of Brahma
And descended onto this earth
With Lord Shiv agreeing to hold you in his locks
And you took away the distress and the burning misfortune
Of the sixty thousand sons of Kign Sagar

tere paawan Gangaa jal ne jag nirmal kar daala
dwaar tumhaare aaya maiyyaa chhod jagat ke dwaar Gangey
tumhi karo uddhaar Gangey, tumhi karo uddhaar

The holy waters of your being
Cleanse this world and make it pure and untainted
I abandon all hopes from other benefactors
And come to your doorstep
Bless us, o mother Ganga
And deliver us from our sorrows

aao Gange punya tarangey, meraa taap mitaao
mukt dhaam ki Gangaa maiyyaa mujh ko raah dikhaao

Come o mighty Ganga
With mighty waves of blessing
And take away all my burning sorrows
O mother Ganga
Show me the path to the adobe of deliverance

ya to darshan de kar maata dukh ki ghataa hataao
ya lehron ke haath badhaa kar is tan ko le jaao

O Ganga
Allow me a revelation of your form
And do away with these clouds of sorrow in my life
Or else
Stretch your waves
And take me away, with your flow


Song-Sur saritey kalyaanmayi (Prabhu Ki Maaya)(1955) Singer-Hemant Kumar, Lyrics-Saraswati Kumar Deepak, MD-Ravi

Lyrics

sur saritey kalyaanmayi
hey Gangey jag ki maata
tere punya padon mein janani
tribhuvan sheesh jhukaata
Bhaagirath ne jidhar bhakti se
apna shankh bajaaya
usi panth ko patit paawani
maa tum ne apnaaya
haridwar, kaashi, prayaag ko
tum ne teerth banaaya
aaj hamaare jeevan par maa
dukh ka baadal chhaaya

Gangey. . . Gangey
tumhi karo uddhaar
tumhi karo uddhaar Gangey
tumhi karo uddhaar
tumhi karo uddhaar Gangey
tumhi karo uddhaar
bheekh dayaa ki de de maiyyaa
tere haath hazaar Gangey
tumhi karo uddhaar
tumhi karo uddhaar Gangey
tumhi karo uddhaar

hari charanon ko chhodaa tum ne
dharti ka dukh taala
brahmaa ji ka tajaa kamandal
shiv ne bhaar sambhaalaa
saatth hazaar sagar ke beton ki
har li jab jwaala
tere paawan Gangaa jal ne
jag nirmal kar daala
dwaar tumhaare aaya maiyyaa
chhod jagat ke dwaar gangey
tumhi karo uddhaar
tumhi karo uddhaar gangey
tumhi karo uddhaar
bheekh dayaa ki de de maiyyaa
tere haath hazaar Gangey
tumhi karo uddhaar
tumhi karo uddhaar Gangey
tumhi karo uddhaar

aao Gange punya tarangey
meraa taap mitaao
mukt dhaam ki Gangaa maiyyaa
mujh ko raah dikhaao
ya to darshan de kar maata
dukh ki ghataa hataao
ya lehron ke haath badhaa kar
is tan ko le jaao
aaaao
aaaao
aaaao
Gangey

2 Responses to "Sur saritey kalyaanmayi"

Sudhir ji,
I am not in a position to give full details today,as I have just arrived in Mumbai,but suffice to inform that this film was based on the importance of Bhagwat puran.
Mubarak plays the role of Raja Parikshit,who is begging for his son’s life,with Ganga maiyya.
The story,dialogues,s/play and direction was all by Panchotiya only.
I am amazed,sudhir ji,at your skill to make mytho or Historical stories so simple that they become ineteresting and arresting.Wah Wah bhai !
-AD

Like

The mythological discourse in excellent indeed.

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