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

He namrta ke samrat

Posted on: October 2, 2013

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

Today (2 october 2013) is a special day- both for our country and for our Blog.

For the country, because today is the Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. For the Blog, because it completes 8800 songs today, with this song.

Both reasons call for a Celebration with a special song, but then how to combine these two apparently diverse topics in one song ?

No problem.

Here is a Historical song, sung by Manna Dey and written by none other than our MAHATMA GANDHI JI.

Surprised ? I was, when I first came accross this song. We know that Gandhiji used to write regularly in Newspapers and the Congress Bulletin. We have also known about his famous book. But Lyrics ? Not a known case.

There is an interesting History behind this song. Read on…

This is something Historical.We all know that Mahatma Gandhi was called the Father of the Nation and his contribution to the Independence struggle is well known.

Gandhiji led a simple life. His diet was simple and his daily routine was fixed. Other Congress leaders took inspiration from him in those days.

When I was browsing through You Tube,I came across this uploaded song and I was pleasantly surprised. I knew that I had struck Gold. Curiously, I tried to find out more about this song, as the uploader had not given much information.

Luckily,I found all the information I needed to know about this song and the history,on Dr.Surjit Singh ji’s site. Recently he had announced that he has uploaded the 2011 annual report of SIRC (Society of Indian Record Collectors.Actually this is the ‘RECORD NEWS’,edited by its President Dr. Suresh Chandwankar(NO.ISSN-0971-7942).

This is what is written by Dr. Chandwankar, about this song and how the record was traced…(a rough transcription)-

Recently a rare record made on Gandhiji’s Lyrics has been unearthed by some ardent record Collecters.


As per Mr. Bal Deshpande of Nashik,who was close to composer Vasnt Desai and who was present at the time of recording this song, this is neither a song nor a Bhajan,or a Poem. It is a letter written by Gandhiji. Young maniben patel-daughter of Sardar Vallabh bhai Patel,had asked Gandhiji few questions like, How does God look like ? where does He stay ?,how to find God ?, and what to ask Him ?.

Gandhiji had replied to her.

This reply Letter was found in 1968, by Shri Madhukar Rao Chaudhari-a minister in Maharashtra Government.

He was also the President of Gandhi centenary Committee.
In those days Vasant Desai was closely associated with the Cultural and musical department of Maharashtra Govt and was,therefore known to Mr. Chaudhari.
Vasant Desai,along with C.Ramchandra had launched ” Ek sur ek taal” programme in schools.
Mr.Chaudhari requested vasant desai to give a tune to this ” Letter” and make a record for the Centenary celebrations.

Special records were made in 1970. these were distributed to various Govt institutions and a hugh balance was rotting in Governmennt Godowns, for several years.

After someone sold them as scrap some records found their way to the ‘Chor Bazar’ in Bombay. Some diehard Record collectors who usually haunt these Chor Bazars for old rare records,came upon this record. Sensing the Historical importance it was picked up and that is how this song came to light.

Here are the details of how this song was rediscovered in the chor bazar of Mumbai (thanks to Gajendra Khanna’s article in Anmol Fankaar)

This is a very special song of Manna Dey as its lyricist is Gandhi ji.

Suresh ji ( Suresh Chandvankar ji,)told us the story about the song. This song was recorded in 1969. The Maharashtra government had made a special committee to celebrate Mahatma Gandhi’s birth centenary. It was proposed to get a special song recorded for the same and Vasant Desai was given the job to compose it. Now, the question arose as to the song when an incident came up for discussion.

It had so happened that Sardar Patel’s daughter Maniben had written a postcard to Gandhi ji asking him many questions related to God. These were:-

Where does God Stay? (कहाँ रहते हैं?)

What does he look like? (वो कैसे दिखते हैं?)

Where should we search for him? (उन्हें कहाँ खोजें?)

If we meet him, what should we ask him? (उनसे क्या पूछें?)

If we meet him, what should we request from him? (उनसे क्या माँगें?)

Gandhiji had lovingly replied answering all the questions calling God “Namrata Ke Samrat” in the form of the following prayer to God:-

हे नम्ता के सम्राट, दीन भंगी की हीन कुटिया के निवासी
गंगा यमुना गोदावरी के जलों से सिंचित इस सुन्दर देश में
तुझे सब जगह खोजने में हमें मदद दें
हमें ग्रहणशीलता और खुला दिल दें तेरी अपनी नम्रता दे
भारत की जनता से एकरूप होने की शक्ति और उतकण्ठा दे
हे भगवन
तू तभी मदद के लिए आता है जब मनुष्य शून्य बनकर तेरी शरण लेता है
हमें वरदान दें कि सेवक और मित्र के नाते इस जनता की हम सेवा करना चाहते हैं
उससे कभी अलग न पड़ जाएँ हमें त्याग भक्ति की मूर्ति बना
ताकि इस देश को हम ज़्यादा समझें और ज़्यादा चाहें हमें वरदान दें
हे भगवन

These answers were recorded as the song and that is how Gandhiji became the lyricist.

Suresh ji told me at the Bangalore RMIM meet in 2011 where he shared this that he found stacks of records of these in a market in Mumbai for sale. Apparently, some godown had condemned these and sent. He bought all copies and that is how this rare song came out of oblivion. When Manna Dey was made to hear it on the phone, he got emotional and tears came to his eyes. He said he had not heard the song since the recording and thought it was lost!

You all can enjoy it too thanks to his generosity. We all pray for many more happy healthy years for Manna Babu. May God bless him.

There is yet another record made on Gandhiji’s song. Its title is HEY NAMRATA KE SAGAR. This is more like a Prayer than a song. There is a History for this song also.

This Bhajan Hey Namrata ke Sagar was found by the illustrious family of Aditya Birla, 3 years ago.They say Gandhiji must have written it in one of his stays in Birla House before Partition. The composition pleads to God to bestow Humility on the people and bless the country with Prosperity.reportedly,neither the Congress Party nor the Gaqndhi family had any inkling about this song/Bhajan or its existence.

This song is sung by Pt.Ajay Chakraborty with music by south’s famous composer Illay Raja. The ending words are by Pt. Bhimsen Joshi and at the end of the record Amitabh Bachhan appears,reciting some lines.

Needless for me to comment on these 2 Historical Records and the treatment meted out to them by the so called followers of Mahatma Gandhi ji.

It was noteworthy that the patriotic feelings of the ardent and die hard Record Collectors,who found these records in chor bazar and realised its national and Historical importance. Because of them we are able to hear these lost records.

Thanks are also due to the Uploader Anmol fankaar, Dr. Surjit Singh ji and Dr. Suresh Chandwankar ji for giving us the access to the record and valuable history of these Records.

This is how we get to hear this Historical song today.

The 8800th song in the Blog is surely going to be Unique….

Here it is – Gandhiji’s Lyrics+ Manna Dey’s voice+ Vasant Desai’s music in this 8800th song on the Blog….

Song-He namrta ke samrat (Manna Dey NFS)( 1969) Singer-Manna Dey, Lyrics-Mahatma Gandhi, MD-Vasant Desai


He namrta ke samraat
he namrta ke samraat
deen bhangi ki heen kutiya ke niwaasi
deen bhangi ki heen kutiya ke niwaasi
Ganga Yamuna Godavari ke jalon se sinchit is sunder desh mein
tujhe sab jagah khojne mein
hamen madad de
hamen grahansheelta
aur khula dil de
teri apni namrta de
teri apni namrta de
Bharat ki janta se
ekroop hone ki
shakti aur utkantha de
shakti aur utkantha de
he bhagwan
he bhagwan
tu tabhi madad ke liye aata hai
jab manushya shoonya bankar teri sharan leta hai
hamen vardaan de
hamen vardaan de

ki sewak aur mitr ke naate
is janta ki ham
sewa karna chaahte hain
us’se kabhi alag na pad jaayen
us’se kabhi alag na pad jaayen
hamen tyaag bhakti namrta ki moorti bana
taaki is desh ko ham jyaada samjhen
aur jyaada chaahen
hamen vardaan de
hamen vardaan de

he bhagwan
he bhagwan
he bhagwan
he bhagwan

Hindi script lyrics
हे नम्रता के सम्राट,
हे नम्रता के सम्राट,
दीन भंगी की हीन कुटिया के निवासी
दीन भंगी की हीन कुटिया के निवासी
गंगा यमुना गोदावरी के जलों से सिंचित इस सुन्दर देश में
तुझे सब जगह खोजने में
हमें मदद दें
हमें ग्रहणशीलता और खुला दिल दें
तेरी अपनी नम्रता दे
तेरी अपनी नम्रता दे
भारत की जनता से
एकरूप होने की
शक्ति और उतकण्ठा दे
शक्ति और उतकण्ठा दे
हे भगवन
हे भगवन
तू तभी मदद के लिए आता है
जब मनुष्य शून्य बनकर
तेरी शरण लेता है
हमें वरदान दें
हमें वरदान दें

कि सेवक और मित्र के नाते
इस जनता की हम
सेवा करना चाहते हैं
उससे कभी अलग न पड़ जाएँ
उससे कभी अलग न पड़ जाएँ
हमें त्याग भक्ति नम्रता की मूर्ति बना
ताकि इस देश को हम
ज़्यादा समझें और ज़्यादा चाहें
हमें वरदान दें
हमें वरदान दें

हे भगवन
हे भगवन
हे भगवन
हे भगवन

15 Responses to "He namrta ke samrat"

I have no words to comment except to bow my head to Mahatma Gandhi for a thought provoking letter (now lyrics) and to Arunkumar Deshmukh for painstakingly going thorough the history behind this song and bringing to the notice of the larger readers of this blog.

Most appropriate for 8800th song of the blog.

Thanks very much.


Kamath ji / Khyati ji / Avinash ji,

Like the song,this post too has a History !
As I have said in the article,I found this song,gathered all the information and wrote a post. I sent it to Atul ji somewhere in the last week of June 2013.
In reply,Atul ji wrote to me that he would like to put this post on Gandhi jayanti,i.e. 2nd Oct 2013 (today). I agreed and sent him a replacement post of another song…
3-4 days ago,I wrote to Atul ji,reminding him about this post.He wrote back to me asking me to rewrite the post as it would be the 8800th song on the Blog.
This was the First time I would be writing for a Milestone song,so I got very enthusiastic,rewrote some portion,edited and sent it to him.
Atul ji has further added some more matter and presented it as my post. How kind of him !
It is not my credit alone for bringing this Gem to our readers,but Atul ji is the initiator,motivator and presenter of this post.


This must be one of the most memorable post celebrating a milestone of this blog and birth anniversary of Bapu. Thanks to Dr. Surjit Singhji and Dr. Suresh Chandwankar for finding and sharing this piece. I would never have known that Bapu was a lyricist too.
Thank you Arunji.


this is simply Great. i salute all of those involved in the creation of this song, in the collection and preservation of this song, its uploading and finally salute to Shri. Deshmuh Sir for this informative post and shri.Atul ji who has made it all possible …. thanks !!!
our tributes to the Father of the nation.
and congratulations to all on 8800 Th post… !!!


Arun ji, Atul ji,

What a historical moment this is. And I am so glad this has been presented on our blog.

Thanks so much for the detailed history.

Vasant Desai was charged with a difficult task of composing a letter as a melodious poem. And he has accomplished it so well.




Many Thanks. Rarest of rare song.
8800 Gems stored with great information.

The “Total number of songs discussed” is being displayed as 8784 only. Kindly correct.


congratulations to Atulsongaday for reaching pot number 8800
and indeed a wonderful way to reach a milestone. Imagine Bapu as a songwriter.
but history of Indian Cinema says that Bapu was not too impressed with movies. i don’t remember where i read that though. i am open to correction.
anyway this was put to music in the late 60s when Bapu was not around


This is a fantastic pice of research. Thanks a lot to the uploader and everyone associated in keeping it preserved and bringing in public domain.

My compliments to Atul for achieving another important milestone.


AK ji,


Arun Ji / Atul Ji.. hats off!! What a find and what timely publishing of the article. Both of you are nothing short of God! I bow before thee. No words to express the appreciation and happiness on this post. Thank you.


Pradeep ji,
Thanks for the deserving part of the exaggeration !


Atulji, congrats on reaching the milestone. It is so kind of you to allow others to write the milestone pieces most of the time. And the contributors prove the trust that you have in their capacity by writing such posts.
Thank you Arunji, it is nothing short of a 8th wonder 🙂


Aparna ji,
Thanks for your appreciation. Comments like yours certainly help in motivating us to continue….


Wow… really a gem! Thanks Arun ji for history of the song too 🙂
Certainly a milestone song in many ways….

Warm Regards,


Thanks,Umesh ji.


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This blog discusses Bollywood songs of yesteryears. Every song has a brief description, followed by a video link, and complete lyrics of the song.

This is a labour of love, where “new” songs are added every day, and that has been the case for over FOURTEEN years. This blog has over 17000 song posts by now.

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