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

Paayo ji maine Ram Ratan dhan paayo

Posted on: December 4, 2012


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

In my younger days, I disliked the traditional classical vocal music as I had no patience to listen to a couple of verses umpteen times with longish alaaps. I used to feel that the ‘progression’ in the vocal music was too slow for me to get interested in listening to such recitals. However, I liked the filmy and non-filmy songs based on classical ragas as those would get over in about 3 minutes. My taste on traditional classical vocal music changed when I bought a LP of Pandit D V Paluskar in early 70s mainly for 5 devotional songs contained in the one side, the other side being his full length vocal recital on raag Shri. This LP was a turning point for me and I started liking Hindustani classical music. I felt that he must be a great classical vocalist whose vocal music sounded great to my untrained ears.

Over a past few days, I have been reading a good amount of material on Pandit D V Paluskar (28/05/1921 – 25/10/1955). It was through these readings that I became interested in knowing about his father Vishnu Digambar Paluskar (18/08/1872 – 21/08/1931) especially knowing that at the age of 15, he became blind due to an accidental fire cracker bursting. After reading an impressive profile of V D Paluskar, I feel that he was a pioneer in bringing about reforms in the sphere of Hindustani classical music. Despite the handicap of blindness, he extensively travelled all over northern India and studied the different traditions of Hindustani classical music. In the event, he also acquainted himself with Brijbhasha.

V D Paluskar belonged to a family of kirtankar (engaged in giving discourses on Hindu epics supported by renditions of devotional songs). He knew the power of conveying the social and political messages through music and devotional songs. He believed that classical music, apart from entertaining, should inculcate inspirational and social values. So he worked towards bringing the Hindustani classical music to the masses. The composition of the original ‘Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram’ preceded by Sanskrit Shlokas was one of his first attempts toward this end. Mahatma Gandhi liked this bhajan so much that every session of Indian National Congress used to begin with V D Paluskar singing this bhajan and end with ‘Vande Mataram’ , also composed and sung by him.

Traditionally, Hindustani classical music had been the privileges of aristocrats. Well known musicians and vocalists used to be appointed in kings’ and nawabs’ courts and their performances were mostly confined to the four walls of the courts, havelis of rich zamindars (land owners) and temples. V D Paluskar was probably the first Hindustani classical vocalist who broke away from this tradition and gave a public performance in 1901 somewhere in Saurashtra at a nominal fee. Later, he toured all over North India to give the public performances.

By the time he reached Lahore, he was clear that Hindustani classical music needed to be instutionalised – from the personalised gharanas to a formal school encompassing all the style of classical music. He founded the Gandhrva Mahavidyalaya in Lahore in 1901, the first music school run by the public fund. Later, he opened a similar school in Bombay (Mumbai) in 1908 and merged the Lahore branch with it due to logistic reasons. He had to borrow money to construct a building for the school. Due to non-payment of loan, the creditors attached the building and thus the school was closed. But before his death in 1931, his missionary approach to classical music had already brought respect to the profession of classical musicians and singers. Later his illustrious son, Pandit D V Paluskar carried his legacy of bringing the classical music to the society at large. Some of his disciples were Vinayakrao Patwardhan, Narayanrao Vyas and Pandit Omkarnath Thakur.

Pandit Dattatreya Vishnu Paluskar (D V Paluskar) was only 10 years old when his father died. During his childhood, he learnt Hindustani classical music under the guidance from his father. After his father’s death, he received training and guidance from among others, Vinayakrao Patwaradhan and Narayanrao Vyas who were once the disciples of his father. At the age of 14, he gave his first public performance and by the age of 17, he became an empanelled artist in All India Radio. By age of 20, he had achieved an all-India stature of Hindustani classical vocalist sharing the concerts with the doyen of Hindustani classical vocalists like Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Amir Khan, Omkarnath Thakur and Kesarbai Kerkar. He cut his first disc in 1944.

Most of his Hindustani classical renditions were in khayals and taranas. But at his all public concerts, he would also sing one or two devotional songs of Kabir, Surdas, Tulsidas and Meerabai in classical ragas some of which were composed by his father. He blended the classical music with the devotional music which appealed to the masses. It is a creditable feet for Pandit D V Paluskar that he created a niche for himself in Hindustani classical music among his contemporaries with his unique rendition techniques making the audience spellbound. I have listened to his renditions in some ragas and also all the bhajans available on YT. I can say that his music had divinity. There is a Sanskrit quotation which means ‘salutation to the bliss of Madhav by whose grace a dumb man can talk and a physically handicapped man can cross mountain’. I feel it will not be an exaggeration if I say ‘salutation to Pandit D V Paluskar by whose music an atheist ( non-believer in God) can become theist ( believer in God)’. No doubt, he was revered like a saint all over India. Once, he was invited by one of his admirers from Lucknow ostensibly for a concert on the eve of his daughter’s marriage. When he reached there, there was no concert as his admirer wanted him to merely bless the couple.

Those who worked closely with him in the concerts had said that he was very meticulous in planning his presentations in the concerts. He used to keep diary notes of his daily activities. He never haggled in fees for his concerts. He was the most successful record artist of his time as his records were very popular and are still popular. He had mastered the art of presenting any Hindustani classical ragas with complete picture within the disc space of 78 RPM gramophone records.

D V Paluskar sang the only one song aaj gaawat man mero jhoom ke in Hindi film Baiju Baawara (1952) as a part of jugalbandi where he lent his voice to Bharat Bhushan (Baiju) along with Ustad Amir Khan lending his voice to Surendra ( Tansen). It is said that Naushad first approach Ustad Amir Khan who agreed to sing provided Pandit D V Paluskar was his ‘opponent’ and he would not mind losing in the jugalbandi to him. This showed the respect D V Paluskar commanded from his equally illustrious classical vocalist. Those who were associated with him in the concerts revealed that he did not sing his Baiju Baawara song in the public concerts despite requests from the audience. He also sang a song for a Bangla film ‘Shaap Mochan’ (1955) under the music direction of Hemant Kumar.

In 1955, Pandit D V Paluskar visited China as a part of cultural delegation and gave public concerts in several cities there. Two months later on October 25, 1955, at a young age of 34, he succumbed to an infection of encephalitis probably contacted while in China. Pandit D V Paluskar was the 12th and the only surviving child of his parents after 11 of their children died in infancy. He survived in his infancy as he was destined to serve the cause of Hindustani classical music, albeit for a short tenure of his life.

Pandit D V Paluskar came like a meteor and showered the sparkles of Hindustani classical music. He left behind a trail of his brilliant classical compositions for posterity. Whenever one listens to his bhajans and other classical renditions such as bole re papihara in raag Miyaan ki Malhar, I feel as if he is still around us. After his death, HMV brought out a couple of LPs containing his bhajans and other classical renditions in various raags from the aluminium discs lying in the archives of All India Radio. These with his earlier recordings in 78 RPM records are the only legacies left behind by the great maestro for the lovers of Hindustani classical music.

As I mentioned earlier, I had bought Pandit D V Paluskar’s LP only for bhajans but after listening to raga Shri on the other side of the LP, I became interested in classical music. One of the bhajans in this LP is the famous Meera bhajan ‘paayo ji maine Ram ratan dhan paayo’ (1944) composed and sung by him. I used to listen to this as well as a few of his other bhajans quite often on AIR, Bombay. According to one listing, Pandit D V Paluskar recorded this bhajan in 1944 and 78 RPM record No. N.88083 was released in the same year. I regard this bhajan as a quintessence of devotional songs – touching the hearts of the listeners and making them feel good.

I have listened to this bhajan sung by other top singers like Lata Mangeshkar, Anuradha Paudwal, Anup Jalota, Hemlata, Chitra Singh etc. All of them have sung beautifully but I get positive vibrations and a great feeling only when I listen to Pandit D V Paluskar’s rendition not only of this bhajan but his other bhajans. After reading the depressing headlines on the newspapers, his bhajans work for me as a mood elevator.


Song-Paayo ji maine Ram ratan dhan paayo (D V Paluskar NFS)(1944) Singer-D V Paluskar, Lyrics-Meerabai

Lyrics

aaa
aa aa aa
aaa
paayo ji maine Ram ratan dhan paayo
paayo ji maine Ram ratan dhan paayo
paayo ji maine

paayo ji maine
vastu amolik di mere satguru
vastu amolik
vastu amolik
vastu amolik di mere satguru
kirpa kar apnaayo
paayo ji maine Ram ratan dhan paayo

aa aa aa aaa
janam janam ki
ee ee ee
ee ee ee
ee ee ee ee
janam janam ki poonji paayi
poonji paayi
poonji paayi
janam janam ki poonji paayi
jag mein sabhi khawaayo
paayo ji maine Ram ratan dhan paayo
paayo ji maine Ram ratan dhan paayo
paayo ji maine Ram ratan dhan paayo
paayo ji maine Ram ratan dhan paayo
paayo ji maine

kharche naa khutwaa ko
o o
aa aa aaa
ko o o o
o o o
kharche naaa khutwaa ko
chor naa loote
din din badhat sawwaayo
paayo ji maine Ram ratan dhan paayo
paayo ji maine

aa aa aa aaa
sat ki naav
sat ki naav
khewatiyaa satguru
bhavsaagar tar aayo
paayo ji maine
bhavsagaar tar aayo
paayo ji maine

aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aaa
Meera ke prabhu
Meera ke prabhu
Meera ke prabhu
Meera ke prabhu
Meera ke prabhu Giridhar naagar
harakh harakh jas gaayo
paayo ji maine Ram ratan dhan paayo
paayo ji maine Ram ratan dhan paayo

20 Responses to "Paayo ji maine Ram Ratan dhan paayo"

Kamath ji,
What an excellent piece of writing ! Ranga ekdum khush !!!
Your writings ooze energy,info and dedication towards making it an all
encompassing article.Truely we are lucky to have people like you and
Sudhirjee who have so much knowledge and an urge to share it with the like minded others.Thanks.
And a Big Thank you to Atul ji for getting these Gem of people in his Blog as regulars.
This Bhajan was an almost a daily affair on AIR,on some or the other station.In those days,when Radio was the main source for Music,we used to get several stations of AIR on the Radio(Unlike today’s AM radios,with limited ranges).Our pet was Hyderabad,Mumbai (for AIR it has always been mumbai Radio station since the begining),Pune,Nagpur,Aurangabad and Delhi.In the mornings the day used to start with first Bhajans and then from 7 am to 8 am it used to be Radio Ceylon.
This bhajan and other Bhajans like Chalo man ganga jamuna teer by Paluskar were our fafourites.
Thanks once again.
-AD

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Thanks for liking the bhajan and the appreciation of the article.

Call it a destiny which made me to write articles on Hindi film and non film songs for this blog which I came across accidentally more than a year back. In the past, I used to occasionally write articles on monetary policy, money market, bond market etc. After my retirement I used to confine myself in writing only my travel blogs. I had never written articles on Hindi film songs until I came across this blog. I am grateful to Atul whose blog brought me back on the track of the golden period of Hindi film music which I had lost after 80s . The knowledge about the Hindi films and songs which I first acquired in the 70s has no match for the ones I got from this blog during the last one year or so.

D V Paluskar have been my idol ever since I heard his bhajans. Only a couple of days back, I told my wife that DVP’s honey filled voice ‘tastes’ better in my ears than the actual honey in my mouth :).

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Kamathji,
So much more written by Arunji on DVP…but it’s a very nice and elucidative article. It has a very useful and in depth information too 🙂
I like this Bhajan by (D. V. P.) too 🙂
Next question:
how and why Meerabai wrote this Bhajan on Lord Ram?
Meerabai’s Lord is the Mountain-Holder, Giridhara Gopala. So, most of her compositions praised Lord Krishna. Meerabai always has chosen Lord Krishna than any other form of God.
It is said that Meerabai was a incarnate either of Radha, Radha~rani, Lalita, Chmapa Kali, Rukmani or Gopi … etc…
These all women met Lord Rama in their previous life, and all wanted to marry Him-but Ramji refused as He was married to Sitaji. Besides, Rama spend many years in forest and in the war. But in their next life Lord Krishna married or concerted all of these ladies.
Now Back to Meerabai…Once she visited Goswami in Vidravan…he taught her to seek Him by praying Him base of (Nirguna) objective way than (saguna) the subjective way. For her it was enlightening as it led her to think the objective way to seeking Him.
So, she decided not to be that much possessive of one name. Even with name of Lord Rama, Prahlad, Vibhishana, Bharat, Hanuman etc… people have reached to Supreme Being…so why shouldn’t I keep Rama’s name as like I’ve found the new-wealth of gem.

there is another Ram bhajan of Meerabai…by..Sandhya Mukherjee.

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Thanks for appreciating the article.

For a moment, I had also the same thought in my mind when I read the first line of the bhajan. But I had no explanation to offer except that Meerabai may have used Ram for Him in generic term in the context of Lord Vishnu’s avatars.

Your explanation is an interesting one.

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This bhajan by DV Paluskar is one of its kind. Am glad that it finds a place here. The write-up by Sadanandji is excellent. I am sure music lovers will hear this bhajan again and again!!

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Thanks for your appreciation.

I have been listening to D V Paluskar’s bhajans for decades and continue to listen quite often.

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The word used in the song is incorrect and lot of explanations have been given by many to justify the word RAM in the bhajan.If one follows the meaning of the song in its entirety, one will know the word is NAM i.e. jap. Meerabai has said in the bhajan that her guru has given her wealth in the nam jap which cannot be stolen by any thief, it always increases, it can be carried forward in the next janam also. She ends the bhajan with the words as usual, her prabhu is giridhar nagar i.e. Shrikrishna only. It is true, that not only Panditji, but also Lata Mangeshkar and her father has sang the bhajan with the word RAM, but still it is incorrect. In my text book of Hindi, the word used was NAM and so I can say that NAM is correct.

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I can only recommend you read: “Meera: The Divine Incarnation” by A.P. Sharma…My findings are on based of his book.

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No doubt that article by Sadanandji is good.
As regards, my comment, I feel, that words in a poem are important if entire poem (Bhajan in this case) carries one certain meaning. I feel that one should try to understand what the poet wants to state than other peoples’ commentary on the same.
I will be thankful, if anybody knows any bhajan by Meerabai, sung in the praise of Ram.
Dilip

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What a renderring by DVP. Thank you for a lovely article Sadanand Ji.. this one is going to be on repeat mode for some time now :).

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Thanks for your appreciation.

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Dear Mr Kamath,
Excellent post.Made an absorbing reading.I am left with nothing to say after all other comments as above. Your ending sentence echoes exactly our feelings too. Thanks a lot
K S shenoy
Bangalore

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Thanks for your appreciation.

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Sadanandji,
Nothing more to say than what Arunji has expressed. Har subah, ye sab bhajans radio pe sunte hi bade huye hai. Aur aap ne is post se woh bachpan ki sunehri yaadein taaza kar di. 🙂 I love all DVP’s bhajans. Jab Jaanki naath sahaay kare jab…, Thumak chalat Ramchandra….,Raghupati Raghav rajaram…..Hari ke charan kamal…..,Ankhiyaan Hari darshan ki pyaasi….. list goes on.
Sandhya Mukherjee’s bhajan that Derubalaji has mentioned is also my fav one along with Piya itni binati suno mori…..
Thanks again.

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Thanks for your appreciation.

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Perhaps the best bhajan, i guess in raag Pahadi

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Grateful thanks to Shri Sadanand Kamath for the truly excellent writeup. Normally i do not read write ups, since i have imbibed some information since 1950.
I request that the following gems by Panditji be kindly covered: ‘Bhajman Ram charan sukhdai (raag Bhairavi), Nirbal ke bal Ram(Bhairavi), Ankiyan Hari darshan ki pyasi(Jhinjhoti), Bhajo re bhayya Ram Govind Hari(Tilak Kamod), Pag Ghongroo bandhe Mira nache re(Malkauns), Ghata ghumad kar aye( Megh Malhar?), Ghoonghat ke pat khol(bhajan), Thakur tumre sharan aye(Mand), Jabsab neer pat(Bhup). The list of Panditji’s gems can go on, but these are a few of my favourites.

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Thanks for your appreciation.

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Dear Kamathji what a wealth of knowledge you have! What an article on Pt D.V.Palsukar. Thanks a lot for such an article.Such articles help a lot in listening to great classical wizards.After advent of FM radio listening to classical music has almost forgotten especially by younger generation.During my school and college days in 60s and early 70s in Delhi All India Radio’s Delhi A used to air renderrings of great classical singers and instrumentalists practically whole day for 7 days a week.I really miss those days.Though I do not know much about classical music but I enjoy listening it . It all happened when I heard the great Ustad Bismillah Khan live at Asiad 72 in New Delhi. Classical music is truly DIVINE.

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Sadanand ji

Thanks for posting this sublime creation, and also for the wonderful write up along with it. It has been long time favorite.

Thanks and rgds
Sudhir

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