Frankly admitting, I was more or less an atheist in my life until the selfless and innocent love of a highly religious girl turned me into a believer. Considering the religious sentiments rooted too deep in the psyche of the Indian masses, Bollywood movies have always been coming up with devotional songs of high quality. Though there is no dearth of non-cine devotional songs too in Hindi (and also the other Indian languages), this review of myself is dedicated to devotional songs from Bollywood movies.I have not included songs like Sukh Ke Sab Saathi Dukh Mein Na Koi (Gopi – 1970), Tora Mann Darpan Kehlaaye (Kaajal – 1965), Jiska Koi Nahin Uska To Khuda Hai Yaaron (Laawaris – 1981) etc. because they have been covered in my review of philosophical songs. I have also not covered several songs from the movies based on mythological plots because all the songs of such movies are bound to be devotional only.
Bollywood movies have presented thousands of devotional songs and every devotee can prepare his / her list according to own choice which is bound to differ from person to person. Hence the list of my favourite devotional songs is a subjective one only. Here are my top ten devotional songs :
- Shyam Rang Ranga Re, Har Pal Mera Re (Apne Paraye – 1980) : I am a devotee of Lord Krishna and this beautiful song penned by Yogesh and composed by Bappi Lahiri has been sung by K.J. Yesudas, Asha Bhonsle and chorus in such a way that can win the heart of any devotee of Lord Krishna. Picturized on Amol Palekar, Manisha, Shabaana Aazmi and others, this is a devotional song I am ready to listen to (and watch also) again and again and again. Bappi Da has composed it following the Vaishnav Bhakti tradition (Keertaniya Sangeet).
- Tora Manwa Kyun Ghabraaye Re (Sadhna – 1958) : A Bhajan (devotional song) very close to my heart which has been sung touchingly by Geeta Dutt and picturized on Leela Chitnis, Vyjayantimala and Sunil Dutt. Saahir’s heart-winning lyric has been composed by N. Dutta.
- Aye Maalik Tere Bande Hum (Do Ankhen Barah Haath – 1957) : This immortal prayer which has been adopted by thousands of schools as their morning prayer, has been sung by Lata, composed by Vasant Desai and picturized on Sandhya alongwith V. Shaantaraam and others. The timeless words of the songs have come from the pen of Bharat Vyas.
- Itni Shakti Hamen Dena Daata, Man Ka Vishwaas Kamzor Ho Na (Ankush – 1986) : A great prayer song sung by Pushpa Paagdhare, Sushma Shreshth and chorus and picturized on Ashalata, Nisha Singh and others. Kuldeep Singh has composed the inspirational lyric of Abhilash.
- Hamko Mann Ki Shakti Dena, Mann Vijay Karen (Guddi – 1971) : Another heart-winning prayer telling that it’s important to conquer your inner self first before you think of conquering others. Vaani Jairam has sung this beautiful song, penned by Gulzar and composed by Vasant Desai. It’s been picturized on Jaya Bhaaduri and others.
- Tu Pyar Ka Saagar Hai, Teri Ek Boond Ke Pyaase Hum (Seema – 1955) : A devotional song very close to my heart. The Almighty is indeed the ocean of love whose just one drop is sufficient for a human-being. Sung by Manna Dey, this song has been written by Shailendra, composed by Shankar Jaikishan and picturized on Balraaj Saahni.
- Allah Tero Naam Eeshwar Tero Naam (Hum Dono – 1961) : Lata’s great devotional song picturized on Nanda and Saadhana. The brilliant of Saahir got composed by Jaidev.
- Jyot Se Jyot Jagaate Chalo, Prem Ki Ganga Bahaate Chalo (Sant Gyaneshwar – 1964) : A popular devotional song penned by Bharat Vyas and composed by Laxmikant Pyarelaal. This Lata-Mukesh duet has been picturized on Surekha, Sudhir Kumar etc. in this religious movie.
- Mere Mann Mandir Mein Tum Bhagwaan Rahe (Dard Ka Rishta – 1982) : This is a touching song linked with the Ganesh Visarjan in Maharaashtra which has been sung passionately by Hariharan and chorus and picturized on Sunil Dutt. Anand Bakshi’s lyric has been composed by R.D. Burman. In this song, an aggrieved father (whose daughter’s life is in danger) pours his heart out before the Lord.
- Hoke Maayus Tere Dar Se Sawaali Na Gaya (Laila Majnu – 1976) : A heart-winning devotional song sung by the legendary lover – Qais (famous as Majnu) in the honour of the Lord that none has ever returned from his door with empty hands from His door. Saahir’s beautiful lyric has been composed by Madan Mohan. Shankar-Shambhu, Aziz Nazan, Mohammed Rafi, Ambar Kumar etc. have sung it passionately for Rishi Kapoor in the movie.
In addition to these top ten, the following devotional songs are also very dear to me :
- Mann Tadpat Hari Darshan Ko Aaj (Baiju Bawra – 1952) : An immortal devotional song sung by Rafi, penned by Shakeel Badayuni, composed by Naushad and picturized on Raj Mohan (playing the role of Swami Haridas in the movie). It is based on the classical Raag – Maalkauns.
- O Duniya Ke Rakhwaale, Sunn Dard Bhare Mere Naale (Baiju Bawra – 1952) : Mohammed Rafi’s immensely popular and famous song, picturized on Bhaarat Bhooshan (playing the title role of the immortal singer in the movie). Credits for lyric and composition are the same as above.
- Dekh Tere Sansaar Ki Haalat Kya Ho Gayi Bhagwaan (Nastik – 1954) : This thoughtful devotional song, spelling out the reality of the world before the Lord has been penned by Kavi Pradeep and composed by C. Ramachandra. Chitalkar (C. Ramachandra himself) has sung it for Ajit in the movie.
- Duniya Na Bhaaye Mohe, Ab To Bula Le Charano Mein Charano Mein (Basant Bahar – 1956) : This pain-soaked voice of a devotee has been sung by Rafi for Bhaarat Bhooshan. Shankar Jaikishan have composed the lyric of Shailendra.
- Zara Saamne To Aa O Chhaliye, Chhup Chhup Chhalne Mein Kya Raaz Hai (Janam Janam Ke Phere – 1957) : A beautiful devotional song sung by Lata and Rafi for Nirupa Roy and Mahipaal. The beautiful lyric of Bharat Vyas has been composed by S.N. Tripathi.
- Aana Hai To Aa, Raah Mein Kuchh Der Nahin Hai (Naya Daur – 1957) : Saahir has penned this great Bhajan which has been composed by O.P. Nayyar. Rafi has given voice for Dilip Kumar on the screen for this song.
- Madhuban Mein Raadhika Naache Re (Kohinoor – 1960) : This immensely popular song sung by Rafi for Dilip Kumar has been composed by Naushad with the credit for the lyric going to Shakeel Badayuni.
- Na Main Dhan Chaahun, Na Ratan Chaahun (Kala Bazar – 1960) : Geeta Dutt and Sudha Malhotra have sung this beautiful Bhajan for Waheeda Rehman and Leela Chitnis in the movie. Sachin Da (S.D. Burman) has composed Shailendra’s lyric.
- Raadhike Tune Baansuri Churaai (Beti Bete – 1964) : A devotional song sung by Rafi and picturized on Sunil Dutt. Shailendra’s lyric has been composed by Shankar Jaikishan.
- Khabar Mori Na Leeni Re Bahut Din Beete (Sant Gyaneshwar – 1964) : This touching devotional song penned by Bharat Vyas and composed by Laxmikant Pyarelaal has been sung by Lata for Surekha in the movie.
- Hey Rom Rom Mein Basne Waale Raam (Neel Kamal – 1968) : This Bhajan has been sung by Asha Bhonsle for Waheeda Rehman in the movie. Ravi has composed Saahir’s lyric.
- Jaise Suraj Ki Garmi Se Tapte Huye Tann Ko Mil Jaaye Taruvar Ki Chhaaya (Parinay – 1974) : A famous Bhajan sung by renowned Bhajan singers of the country – Sharma Brothers. Jaidev has composed the lyric of Raamanand Sharma. It’s been picturized on Romesh Sharma and others.
- Main To Aarti Utaroon Re Santoshi Maata Ki (Jai Santoshi Maa – 1975) : This famous lyric of Kavi Pradeep has been composed by C. Arjun and Usha Mangeshkar has sung it for Kaana Kaushal in this movie.
- Karti Hoon Tumhara Vrat Main, Sweekaar Karo Maa (Jai Santoshi Maa – 1975) : Same credits. Actually all the songs of this religious movie are very good which was a surprise blockbuster of the year 1975.
- Shyam Teri Bansi Pukaare Raadha Naam (Geet Gaata Chal – 1975) : A beautiful devotional song penned and composed by blind music maestro – Ravindra Jain and sung by Aarti Mukherjee and Jaspal Singh for Khyati and Sachin in the movie.
- Mangal Bhawan Amangal Haari (Geet Gaata Chal – 1975) : These are actually the CHAUPAAIs from the epic – Raamcharitmaanas penned by Goswami Tulsidaas which Jaspal Singh has sung with utmost devotion for Sachin in the movie. Listening to it in the movie takes the devotee into a state of trance as if he / she were diving in the Ganges of devotion, feeling the nearness of the Almighty. Ravindra Jain has composed the tune.
- O Shankar Mere, Kab Honge Darshan Tere (Bairaag – 1976) : A devotional song which I like very much. Mahendra Kapoor has sung it for Dilip Kumar with the lyric of Anand Bakshi being composed by Kalyanji Anandji.
- Shirdi Waale Saai Baaba, Aaya Hai Tere Dar Pe Sawaali (Amar Akbar Anthony – 1977) : A great devotional song in the honour of the famous Saai Baaba of Shirdi, sung by Rafi and picturized on Rishi Kapoor. Laxmikant Pyarelaal have composed the lyric of Anand Bakshi.
- Yashomati Maiya Se Bole Nand Laala (Satyam Shivam Sundaram – 1978) : A highly popular devotional song sung by Lata Mangeshkar for Padmini Kolhapure in the movie. The brilliant lyric of Narendra Sharma has been composed by Laxmikant Pyarelaal.
- Hey Naam Re, Sabse Bada Tera Naam, O Sheron Waali (Suhaag – 1979) : Laxmikant Pyarelaal have composed the lyric of Anand Bakshi for this popular devotional song sung in the honour for the lion-riding Goddess Durga. This Rafi-Asha duet has been picturized on Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha.
- Raam Ji Ki Nikli Sawaari, Raam Ji Ki Leela Hai Nyaari (Sargam – 1979) : Another popular devotional song picturized on Rishi Kapoor with the voice being of Rafi. Anand Bakshi’s lyric has been composed by Laxmikant Pyarelaal.
- Tune Mujhe Bulaaya Sheraan Waaliye (Aasha – 1980) : Another popular devotional song prepared by the team of Laxmi-Pyare and Anand Bakshi which is in the honour of Maata Vaishno Devi. Sung by popular Bhajan singer – Narendra Chanchal with Rafi, this song has been picturized on Jeetendra and others.
- Dekho Kaanha Nahin Maanat Batiyaan (Payal Ki Jhankaar – 1980) : A heart-winning devotional song which is not only ear-soothing and heart-soothing but also a pleasure to watch on the screen. Rajkamal has prepared the melody for the admirable lyric of Maya Govind and Komal Mahuvakar has performed brilliantly under the choerography of Badri Prasaad.Yesudas and Sulakshana Pandit have sung it.
- Deva O Deva, Ganpati Deva, Tumse Badhkar Kaun (Humse Badhkar Kaun – 1981) : A popular devotional song linked to the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi which has been penned by Ravindra Raawal, composed by Ramlaxman and sung by Asha Bhosle, Bhupinder Singh, Mohammed Rafi, Sapan Chakravarty, Shailendra Singh etc. Mithun Chakravarty, Danny Dengzongpa, Vijayendra Ghaatage, Amjad Khan, Ranjeeta etc. have performed on it.
- Mubarak Ho Sabko Ye Haj Ka Maheena (Coolie – 1983) : Amitabh Bachchan’s popular song linked to the Haj pilgrimage of the Muslims which has been sung by Shabbir Kumar with the credit for the lyric going to Anand Bakshi and that for the composition going to Laxmikant Pyarelaal.
- Chalo Bulava Aaya Hai, Maata Ne Bulaaya Hai (Avtaar – 1983) : Another popular Bhajan of Narendra Chanchal linked to Maata Vaishno Devi which he has sung with Mahendra Kapoor and Asha Bhonsle. The lyricist is again Anand Bakshi and the composers are again Laxmi-Pyare.
- Roshan Hui Raat, Woh Aasmaan Se Utar Ke Zameen Pe Aaya (Sapnay – 1997) : A devotional song in the honour of Jesus Christ which has been penned by Jaaved Akhtar and composed by A.R. Rehna (originally for the Tamil version of this movie – Minsara Kanavu). Anuradha Sriraam has sung it for Kajol in the movie.
And finally a great devotional song of Mukesh who has sung it for Dharmendra in Soorat Aur Seerat (1962) – Bahut Diya Dene Waale Ne Tujhko, Aanchal Hi Na Samaaye To Kya Keeje. The lyrics containing a deep philosophy of life are the creation of Shailendra whereas the credit for their melodious composition goes to Roshan.
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