Written by famous poet Narsinh Mehta back in the 15th century, the bhajan Vaishnava Jana To has become synonymous with Mahatma Gandhi.
Adopted by Gandhi into the routine of his prayers, the bhajan has been sung by several different artists over the years. It talks about equality, respecting others and helping those who are in misery.
At a time when India is struggling with intolerance towards minorities like Dalits and Muslims, this song assumes great significance.
The bhajan was originally written in Gujarati. Here are the lyrics and their English translation.
वैष्णव जन तो तेने कहिये
जे पीड परायी जाणे रे ।
पर दुःखे उपकार करे तो ये
मन अभिमान न आणे रे ॥
सकळ लोकमां सहुने वंदे,
निंदा न करे केनी रे ।
वाच काछ मन निश्चळ राखे,
धन धन जननी तेनी रे ॥
समदृष्टि ने तृष्णा त्यागी,
परस्त्री जेने मात रे ।
जिह्वा थकी असत्य न बोले,
परधन नव झाले हाथ रे ॥
मोह माया व्यापे नहि जेने,
दृढ़ वैराग्य जेना मनमां रे ।
रामनाम शुं ताळी रे लागी,
सकळ तीरथ तेना तनमां रे ॥
वणलोभी ने कपटरहित छे,
काम क्रोध निवार्या रे ।
भणे नरसैयॊ तेनुं दरसन करतां,
कुळ एकोतेर तार्या रे ॥
Call those people Vaishnavas who
Feel the pain of others,
Help those who are in misery,
But never let self-conceit enter their mind.
They respect the entire world,
Do not disparage anyone,
Keep their words, actions and thoughts pure,
The mother of such a soul is blessed.
They see all equally, renounce craving,
Respect other women as their own mother,
Their tongue never utters false words,
Their hands never touch the wealth of others.
They do not succumb to worldly attachments,
They are firmly detached from the mundane,
They are enticed by the name of God (Rama),
All places ofpilgrimage are embodied in them.
They have forsaken greed and deceit,
They stay afar from lust and anger,
Narsi says: I’d be grateful to meet such a soul,
Whose virtue liberates their entire lineage.
Today, on Gandhi Jayanti, we bring you the five most popular versions that will surely make you emotional.
2- Jazz Version
Artist: Raj Mishra Khamaj
3- Guitar Version
Artist: Baiju Dharmajan
4- Instrumental Version
5. Feature Film Version
Artist: Vibha Sharma
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