Meera sang Ram Ratan Dhan Paayo in 16th Century ( Meerabai: 1498- 1557 AD). Meera was an ardent devotee of Krishna and wrote many bhajans in the praise of Shri Krishna, primarily extolling his love for his devotees.
‘Payo ji maine Raam ratan dhan payo.’ is very popular bhajan over the centuries. It has been sung in temple and at home with great devotion and elan. This is the gem of Bhajan and has inspired many artists and writers over the period of time. Even today, this song keeps inspiring the musicians and filmmakers. Lets have a look how this has inspired the filmmakers over the period of time.
It was sung by Lata Mangeshkar in September her Music Album names “Ram ratan Dhan Payo” released in September, 2006.
We have given you the lyrics of this popular Bhajan in Hindi.
Lyrics in Hindi:
पायो जी मैने राम रतन धन पायो
वस्तु अमौलिक दी मेरे सतगुरु, किरपा करि अपनायो
पायो जी मैने…
जनम जनम की पूंजी पाई, जग में सभी खोवायो
पायो जी मैने…
खर्च ना खूटे वाको चोर ना लूटे, दिन दिन बढ़त सवायो
पायो जी मैने…
सत की नांव, खेवटिया सतगुरु, भवसागर तर आयो
पायो जी मैने…
मीरा के प्रभु गिरधर नागर, हरख हरख जस गायो
पायो जी मैने राम रतन धन पायो”
L:पायो जी मैने राम रतन धन पायो (Paayo ji maine, Ram ratan dhan paayo)
T:O , I have found the treasure of Lords divine name “Ram”
L:वस्तु अमौलिक दी मेरे सतगुरु, किरपा करि अपनायो (Vastu amaulik di mere sataguru, Kirapa kari apanaayo)
T:My Guru has given this invaluable gift, He has gracefully accepted me as his disciple,
L:जनम जनम की पूंजी पाई, जग में सभी खोवायो (Janam janam ki poonji paayi, Jag mein sabhi khovaayo)
T:I have found the accrued spiritual wealth of my many previous births and I have lost all worldly things now,
L:खर्च ना खूटे वाको चोर ना लूटे, दिन दिन बढ़त सवायो ( Kharacha naa khute, vaako chor naa loote, Din din badhat savaayo)
T:This wealth cannot be spent and not even be broken into smaller tenders, And this increases a quarter more everyday
L:सत की नांव, खेवटिया सतगुरु, भवसागर तर आयो ( Sat ki naav, khevatiya sataguru, Bhavasagar tar aayo)
T:My boat is made of ultimate divine truth(Sat) , My Guru is the captain of the ship and thus I have crossed the ocean of cosmic illusion of world.
L:मीरा के प्रभु गिरधर नागर, हरख हरख जस गायो ( Meera ke prabhu girdhar nagar, Harakh harakh jasa gaayo )
T: Meera’s Lord is one who holds the Mountain ( Lord Krishna who uplifted Govardhan mountain ), Looking at him(or at his idol), I sing his praises.
Mirabai has received the Gurumantra from her Guru or Sri Ram’s name. In Gurumantra A Guru gives divine mantra to be chanted by his disciple, depending on the inclination of the disciple. Mira here has received the name of Ram as Guru Mantra Ram and Krishna are same for Mira as both are incarnations of Lord Vishnu. That’s why Mira starts the verse with Ram’s name and in last line she says Giridhar ( A name for Lord Krishna) . It is to be noted that Mira was an ardent devotee of Lord Krishna from her childhood. So the Gurmantra of Ram naam has struck the right chords with her and she is in singing in ecstasy of finding the gurumantra which is key to meeting her beloved.
Explanation of Verse:
Mirabai says that She has received the wealth of Shri Ram’s name and she is in complete ecstasy of Lords name. She says that her Guru has given her this invaluable gift who has has shown his great benevolence by accepting her as disciple.
It is said that Guru helps his disciple to find his right spiritual path as he can see the previous births of disciple and thus directs his disciple’s efforts to the path which is closest to his heart and will lead to his spiritual goal in bets way possible. Mira says that She has received her forgotten spiritual wealth of her previous lives while she has lost all worldly things which is no longer useful to her . Also the wealth of Lords name will traverse with her into many births while the worldly wealth will only last till a single lifetime.
She further says that The wealth of Lord’s name is not spent even if you repeat it several times. Also there is no change for this wealth in the market as this name is absolute. Neither the thief can steal it. And the more you use it(Take lords name) it increase many fold. Everyday it becomes a quarter more than previous day as spiritual merits are increased manifold if it is done with devotion.
Now the name of Lord is Sat ( The Truth) from which this vessel of salvation is made. My Guru is the one who directs the vessel in right spiritual path. This way she will get over the ocean of miseries of this worldly illusion.
Remember in Gita Shri Krishna Also says That there are three name of ultimate reality :: SAT, CHIT. ANAND. Here the reference of sat is also indicating to the ultimate reality.
Mira says in last line of the verse that her Lord is Giridhar( One who hold the mountain) . Lord Krishna uplifted the Govardhana mountain on his little finger in Gokul and the he was given a name of Giridhar. Mira is happy to see her lord Krishna everyday ( In her childhood Mira received a Krishna Idol from a saint,w ho was ordered by Lord to give the Idol to Mira) and sings the praises of Lord Krishna happily. “
In Popular Culture:
Pt. D V Paluskar was a famous classical singer in 1950s and he sand this song very beautifully. Please listen.
In more recent times the song Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo from movie ” Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo” has been inspired from this song of Meera. Although very modern in its treatment to the song, it communicates the similar vibes of love and congeniality family love & unity and platonic love as the original Bhajan does.
Rajshree is known for making family based movies and they do justice to the song very well. Watch this song here::
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