Payoji Maine

Ram Sita LakshmanA very happy राम नवमी Rama Navami to all my readers! Intending to share a nice Bhajan with you to celebrate this Birthday of Lord Rama, I decided very quickly on Payoji Maine, a very famous Meera Bhajan.   I have always enjoyed the nice imagery that the song evokes; I can see Meera Bai with her hands cupped and extended before her within which her Guru drops a special jewel (I always saw it as a Ruby, I don’t know why!). It gleams and changes shape as Rama or Krishna. And she a Jogin, a Sanyasini, a mendicant with no worldly possessions, wrapped in a simple saffron cloth, dancing barefoot in the streets, she holds this incongruous possession of a jewel which is so lustrous and inviting.  Don’t you, like me, want to know what secrets it holds that it enthrals her so? Don’t you wish to know how exactly it called to her that she left home and safety, wealth and respectability, to follow its call? I am fascinated especially by Meera Bai when she says ‘harash harash jash gayo’ – that she sings His praise laughingly, with joy.  That we may all find such joy in the contemplation of the Divine! For lyrics, see footnote.

Finding it curious that she sings of Raam-Ratan, she who was so devoted to Krishna, I did some googling. It seems possible that her original words were ‘Naam-Ratan’ , ‘the precious stone of the name’ or in other words, the treasure that chanting Krishna’s name is. Raam Naam or Krishna Naam, it does not matter really; let us just take God’s name today in joy just as Meera Bai does.

To present this song, here is a rendition by Anup Jalota, the kind of Bhajans.

Footnote (lyrics) :

पायोजी मैंने राम-रतन धन पायो

I have found the wealth (precious jewel) of chanting Ram’s name.

वस्तु अमोलिक दी म्हारे  सतगुरू,
किरपा करि अपणायो (पायोजी मैंने)

My Guru gave me this priceless thing, and I have accepted it with grace.

खर्च न खूटे वाको (alternate: खरचै नहिं कोई ), चोर न लूटे,
दिन दिन बढ़त सवायो (पायोजी मैंने)

No one can spend (this treasure), nor can they steal it. And day by day it increases by a quarter again.

सत की नाव, खेवटिया सतगुरू,
भव-सागर तरि आयो (पायोजी मैंने)

On the boat of truth, the boatman was my Guru, (and thus) I crossed the ocean of existence.

जनम जनम की पूंजी पाई,
जग में सभी खोवायो (पायोजी मैंने)

Now that I have found the treasure after searching in several births, I have abandoned all else in the world.

दासी मीरा लाल गिरिधर (alternate: मीरा के प्रभु गिरधरनागर)
हरख हरख जस गायो (पायोजी मैंने)

Meera is a servant of the dear Lord Giridhar (Krishna), whose glories I sing happily, joyfully.


Filed under Anup Jalota, Bhajan, Meera

4 responses to “Payoji Maine

  1. indigoite

    Happy Ram Navami to you too. All time classic Bhajan. There are so many lovely renderings of this Bhajan (Anup Jalota’s which you have featured is right at the very top). Another rendition which I loved is surprisingly from Ranjani & Gayatri. You would not normally associate a wonderful rendition of a Meera Bhajan from Carnatic singers, but the sisters are absolutely magnificent in this one –

    I believe your explanation of naam ratan is indeed the right one. Never thought about it until reading this.

    • Thank you 🙂 I do have Ranjani-Gayatri’s payoji maine already and I agree, they sing beautifully! I was actually thinking of posting their version but on re-listening their pronunciation gave me pause just in a couple of places so I decided to go with a native-speaker version instead. I listened to OS Arun’s version as well, and I have the same problem. I’m afraid I am a bit fussy about my Hindi 🙂

  2. jay

    Another great bhajan. Thanks for the lyrics.

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