WHO WAS THE COMPOSER OF “AARTI” OM JAY JAGDISH HARE?
Pt Shardha Ram Phillauri wrote the masterpiece Om Jai Jagdish Hare, a hymn which is sung in Hindu households across the country.He was born in a Brahmin family at a small town Phillaur in the year 1837. He was married to a Sikh woman Mehtab Kaur. He had learnt Gurmukhi script in 1844 at the age of seven. Later, he learnt Hindi, Sanskrit, Persian, astrology and music in 1850. He met Christian priest Neutan in 1858 and translated one part of Bible in Gurmukhi for the first time in 1868. He wrote controversial book, Sikhan De Raj Di Vithia ( The story of Sikh rule) in 1866. He died on June 24, 1881 at Lahore. His father, Jai Dyalu, was an astrologer by profession. Pt Phillauri himself was a great astrologer and frequented Amritsar in this connection.
Strange but true,the first Hindi novel was written in Amritsar in 1888 by Pt Shardha Ram Phillauri. Om Jai Jagdish Hare is a Hindu bhajan (devotional song), composed in or near the 1870s by PanditShardha Ram Phillauri in Punjab, India. Even though it is in Hindi, it is universally used by Hindus around the world speaking any of the numerous Indian languages, or belonging to any one of many sects.In simple words ‘Aarti’ means Prayer. Back home, perhaps after Namaste‘ – the traditional form of greetings – Aarti is the most important ritual performed by the masses of India
The entire prayer is an attempt to praise the glory of the inexpressible God and surrendering oneself to Him. The Aarti can be a very soothing experience. Each person, however, will realize for oneself by listening, singing and contemplating upon this simple but divine prayer. This simply worded prayer produces tremendous vibrations and literally compels a person to become quiet and poised. It can be a very relaxing experience.
We have attempted below to present understanding of the prayer, followed by humble interpretation. This is the prologue of the Aarti. In it is revealed the power of the word “Om”.
Om, is perhaps the only word that phonetically and logically signifies the primordial sound. The great masters and saints have for thousands of years contemplated upon this one Word. It has even been said that all the Vedas dissolve into Gayatri and Gayatri itself dissolves into Om. In the Yoga, experiments have been conducted extensively to assess the impact experienced by an aspirant by simply uttering Om in a particular manner or by chanting repeatedly (Simran). It is not a case of hypnotism or auto-suggestion, but an established fact that one’s association with the word Om with understanding helps in attaining transcendence.
One can go on and on ….
Om, thus, simply stated is the Word that is unequaled and unrivaled, therefore “Supreme”. It is perhaps for this reason that almost all Vedic Shlokas (verses) begin with the word” Om”.
Thus establishing Om as the Supreme One, the prologue of the Aarti asserts that all evils of the worshipper get annihilated instantaneously.
The entire Aarti revolves around the supremacy of God and educates the worshipper to realize this and surrender oneself to this Truth.
It may have been inspired by the Dashavatara (दशावतार कीर्ति धवलम्) section of Gita Govinda of Jayadeva, a lyrical composition of 12th century, which has the same refrain:
The prayer is sung by the entire congregation at the time of Aarti, worship of the deity using a festal lamp.There are also variants of the song, using the same tune and structure, but with focus on different deities. These include Om Jai Lakshmi Mata, Om Jai Shiva Omkara and Om Jai Shiva Shakti Hare.
Om Jaye Jagdish Hare Swami Jaye Jagdish Hare Bhagt Jano Ke Sankat Khshan Mein Dur Kare … Om Jaye Jagdish Hare (1)
Victory to Vishnu, the lord of the universe Who will remove in a second, The sorrow of all his devotees, And the sorrows of all his followers. Om victory to Vishnu, the Lord of Universe
In this verse the worship-per is being motivated to contemplate on the Name. Reward is offered in the form of mental peace and healthy body, both essential ingredients to lead a harmonious life.
We notice in our daily life that we neglect God and rely upon transient sources for our existence. Resultant, our lives are chaotic and full of frustrations. However, by realizing that God is the sole Cause, one can understand one’s true being.
Jo Dhaywe Phal Pave Dukh Vinshe Man Ka Sukh Sampati Ghar Aave Kasht Mite Tan Ka … Om Jaye Jagdish Hare (2)
He who meditates will get the fruit, Of a mind without sorrows, Lord, mind without sorrows, Pleasures and wealth will come to his house, Lord, Pleasures and wealth will come to his house, And the sufferings of his body will be cured. Om Victory to Vishnu, the Lord of the universe.
It is our understanding that all our mental chaos and ill-health is projection of our own ego. It is due to the neglect or the lack of understanding of our own unique individuality that we find ourselves dragged into comparisons both subjectively and objectively. This chaotic state can turn into order when we learn to accept ourselves the way we are.
Maat-Pita Tum Mere Sharan Gahun Kiskee Tum Bin Aur Na Duja Aas Karun Jiskee … Om Jaye Jagdish Hare (3)
You are my father and mother, To whom should I surrender, Lord, to whom should I surrender? Lord except you I do not see anyone else, To whom I should surrender, Om victory to Vishnu, the Lord of universe.
God, the primordial seed, is the Creator. Thus God is both the mother and the father. This being so, we can only plead “You” and surrender myself to You. Without God there is nothing, hence our highest aspirations can only be You.
Tum Puran Parmatma Tum Antaryami Par-Brahm Parmeshwar Tum Sabke Swami … Om Jaye Jagdish Hare (4)
You are the complete eternal lord, You are the one who resides in me, Lord, you are the one who resides in me, You are the greatest Lord who is the eternal truth, Lord, who is the eternal truth, And you are the lord of everyone. Om victory to Vishnu, the Lord of the universe.
In the fourth verse of the Aarti, the worship-per is guided to realize that only God is complete. It is like looking at Him in the form of an infinite canvas, without beginning and without end. The understanding of the emphasis on God being the only ‘all-pervading’ One guides us to treat all creation in reverence. This acceptance only brings about Love and compassion.
Tum Karuna Ke Saagar Tum Palankarta Mein Moorakh Khal Kami, Mein Sewak Tum Swami Kripa Karo Bharta … Om Jaye Jagdish Hare (5)
You are the ocean of mercy, You are the Lord who takes care of us all, Lord, you are the one who takes care of us all, I am a simpleton with wrong wishes, And Lord, also your humble follower, Shower your mercy on me, Oh lord. Om victory to Vishnu, the Lord of the universe.
The fifth verse glorifies and accepts God as an ocean of compassion and the only provider. The worship-per humbly accepts his state of ignorance and his being entrapped in sensory perceptions. A confession of sort is being made by proclaiming God the Master and the worship-per as the servant to invoke a sense of humility. And in the end the seeker seeks fulfillment which is only possible if one is liberated.
Tum Ho Ek Agochar Sabke Pran Pati Kis Vidhi Milun Dayamay Tumko Mein Kumti … Om Jaye Jagdish Hare (6)
You are the one who is beyond my sight, You are the lord of soul of everyone, Lord, you are the lord of soul of everyone, What rules should I follow sage? What rules should I follow, merciful one? In worshipping you, this foolish one. Om victory to Vishnu, the Lord of the universe.
The sixth verse deals with metaphysics. It seems to be projecting the underlying principle of the Upanishads. To the ancient Hindu sages, Sun seemed to be the only constant or immutable object cognizable by the naked eye. The Upanishads proclaimed that everything revolves around the Sun. Everything has manifested from the Sun. Thus Sun is the source of all life as known to us.
In this verse, the worshipper is cognizing God as the only immutable principle, the source of all creation. This cognition is realization of the worshipper. This proclamation is what Apostle Peter says in the Corinthians, “All that you see and hear is subject to change”. Guru Granth Sahib says, “Jo Dise So Chalaan Har…” Shankara said, “Brahm Satyam, Jagat Mithya” … Verily only God is Truth, all else is perishable.
Having realized that only God is immutable, the worshipper now seeks God’s grace so as to be able to understand the technique, through which he can literally be able to “see” that Source.
This verse reveals the curiosity of the worship-per and his yearning to realize the Truth.
Deenbandhu Dukh Harta Thakur Tum Mere Apne Hath Badao, Apni Sharan Lagao Dwar Para Tere … Om Jaye Jagdish Hare (7)
You are the relation of the oppressed, You are the one who removes all sorrows, Lord you are my leader, Please lift your hand, Then bless me, As I have reached the gate of yours. Om victory to Vishnu, the Lord of the universe.
In the seventh verse again the worshipper, accepting God as the supreme Sovereign, seeks Him and pleads for His grace.
Vishay Vikaar Mitao Paap Haro Deva Shradha Bhakti Barao Santan Ki Sewa … Om Jaye Jagdish Hare (8)
Remove emotions in case of all issues from me, Oh Lord, who destroys all sins, Lord, who destroys all sins, You increase my devotion and attachment to you, Lord, increase my devotion and attachment, And make me serve you who does not have an end. Om victory to Vishnu, the Lord of the universe
The eight verse emphasizes the yearning of the worship-per to become compassionate and loving so that he can render service to mankind.
Tan Man Dhan Sab Hai Tera Tera Tujhko Arpan Kya Lage Mera … Om Jaye Jagdish Hare (9)
Om victory to Vishnu, the Lord of the universe, Lord, victory to Vishnu, the Lord of the universe, The sorrows of your dear devotees, The sorrows of your followers, You, drive away far, far away in a second, Om victory to Vishnu, the Lord of the universe.
We know that when our actions are performed with a view of rendering service, then even our daily chores become an act of worship. Since the worship-per accepts God as his Creator, the physical body thus already belongs to Him. Consequently, the mind, which is but a subtle part of the body, cannot be ours. It too belongs to Him. The acquired material wealth is a result of body’s actions and mental plans. Since the body and mind do not belong to us, how can then we claim the material wealth to be our possession?
In this verse, it is a concrete admittance of the fact that body, mind and material possessions are all transient and subject to change.
Whatever the worship-per places on the altar of God is in actuality taken from God’s own creation. To thus claim that “I” did this or “I” did that becomes redundant.