Happy Ramanavami to all my readers! May the Lord’s blessings shine on all of you!
On this auspicious day, I have chosen for your listening pleasure a wonderful bhajan by Tulasi dasa in the voices of Rajan and Sajan Mishra. This is from a set of CDs by Musictoday called Bhaktimala which I have since the eighties. It’s an excellent set with some beautiful music by myriad artists whom I have listened to innumerable times.
Tulasi dasa has written this poetry as being recited by Vishwamitra when he wakes the young Rama and Lakshmana. We are all very familiar with verses in Valmiki’s Ramayana, set to the same scene.
कौसल्या सुप्रजा राम पूर्वा संध्या प्रवर्तते ।
उत्तिष्ठ नरशार्दूल कर्त्तव्यं दैवमाह्निकम् ||
kausalya suprajA rAma pUrvA sandhyA pravartati.
uttiSHTHA narashArdUla kartavyam daivamAhnikam.
O Rama, the noble son of Kausalya! Dawn has commenced in the East. O Best amongst men! Wake up, the daily rituals have to be performed!
These words in the golden voice of M.S.Subbalakshmi are etched in all our hearts, aren’t they! I always smile when I imagine the scene. I can well visualise Vishwamitra coaxing young Rama and Lakshmana, who were but boys at that time, just as I had to coax my son out of bed to get to school when he was their age!
I have listened to Rajan and Sajan Mishra’s music for many years; they are amazing musicians whom I intended to feature again in the future. In this rendition, they start with an invocation to the Sun God.
आदिदेव नमस्तुभ्यं प्रसीद मम भास्कर ।
दिवाकर नमस्तुभ्यं प्रभाकर नमोऽस्तु ते ॥
AdidEva namastubhyam prasIda mama bhAskara.
divAkara namastubhyam prabhAkara namOstu tE.
Salutations to O Primal God ! Please be gracious to me, O Effulgent One!
Salutations to the Day-Maker! Salutations to the Maker of Light!
-First verse of Suryashtakam from the Samba Puranas
In Ramayana, divinities descend on earth in human form and thus Vishwamitra awakening them is nothing extraordinary. But who are we singing to when we awaken God? Is He not always awake? Yes, of course He is. When we sing suprabhatam or songs of awakening, we sing to the God within us, urging Him/Her to awaken from the cloud of Maya which keeps the divinity inside us in a state of sleep. With this song, we urge our own divinity, our soul to wake up to and understand its own Truth.
This song was often sung in Gandhiji’s ashram. He translated it for Mirabehn; that is the translation I have given below in the footnote.
So here are Rajan and Sajan Mishra with Jagiye Raghunatha Kunwara.
Footnote : Lyrics and Translation
Language : Awadhi, a dialect of Hindi
जागिये रघुनाथ कुंवर, पंछी बन बोले |
चंद्र किरण शीतल भई, चकई पिय मिलन गई |
त्रिविधमंद चलत पवन, पल्लव द्रुम डोले ||
प्रातः भानु प्रकट भयो, रजनी को तिमिर गयो |
भृंग करत गुंजगान, कमलन दल खोले ||
ब्रह्मादिक धरत ध्यान, सुर नर मुनि करत गान |
जागन की बेर भई, नैन पलक खोले ||
तुलसीदास अति अनन्द, निरख के मुखारबिन्द |
दीनन को देत दान, भूषण बहु मोले ||
jAgiyE raghunAtha ku.nvara, panchI bana bOlE.
chandra kiraNa shItala bhayI, chakayI piya milana gayI,
trividhama.nda chalaya pavana, pallava druma DOlE.
prAtah bhAnu prakaTa bhayO, rajanI kO timira gayO,
bhringa karata gunjagAna, kamalana dala khOlE.
brahmAdika dharata dhyAna, sura nara muni karata gAna,
jAgana kI bEra bhayI, naina palaka khOlE.
tulasIdAsa ati ananda, nirakha kE mukhArabinda,
dInana kO dEta dAna, bhUshaNa bahu mOlE.
Translation (by Gandhiji)
O Prince of the Raghus, wake up; the birds are singing in the grove. The moon will disappear presently, the chakravaka bird is off to meet her lord. The threefold breeze is gently blowing, the leaves are rustling. The morning sun is on the horizon, darkness of the night is gone. The bees are humming, the lotus has opened its leaf. Brahma and others are in meditation; the gods, common people and sages are singing hymns of praise. Thus when it was rising time Rama opened his eyes. Tulsidas is overjoyed to see the lotus face of Rama who gives valuables as gifts to the poor.