The Father of the Nation – Mahatma Gandhi – has this time found a musical echo in the Northeastern state of Assam as an award-winning music composer Ranjan Kumar Bezbaruah has come up with his soulful melodious rendition of Bapu’s favourite Gujarati bhajan ‘Vaishnava Jana To’ in mother of Indian languages Sanskrit.
On the occasion of Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary, the bhajan ‘Vaishnava Jana To’ earlier translated into Sanskrit by a Varanasi-based scholar and now sung by Bezbaruah will have a country wide release on October 2nd, 2019. This is a first-of-its-kind musical initiative taken up in India.
“I am happy and elated to have lent my voice to the composition and it was my concept. On the occasion of Gandhiji’s birthday, the song will be released on October 2nd. The Doordarshan will air the song on October 5th, 2019 and the All India Radio, Ranchi will air it on October 2nd, 2019,” said Bezbaruah while speaking to TIME8.
The music was arranged by Pranjal Borah from Assam and Narayan Dutt Mishra of Jawaharlal Nehru University edited the song.
‘Vaishnava Jana To’ one of the most popular Hindu bhajans, written in the 15th century by poet Narsinh Mehta in the Gujarati language has a special connection with Mahatma Gandhi as it is said that he had included the bhajan in his daily prayers during the Salt March.
“A number of legendary musicians have lent their melodious voice to the bhajan in the Gujarati version but this is for the first time that a Sanskirt version will be released for the public,” added the singer, composer and lyricist.
In his 20-year long career, Bezbaruah translated popular Indian songs including a few of music maestro Bhupen Hazarika’s creations into Sanskrit and also lend his voice to them. Presently, he is a Sanskrit teacher at Nagaon Government Girls’ Higher Senior Secondary School in Assam.
While talking about his experience of translating popular musical numbers including Bhupen Hazarika’s songs into Sanskrit language, the musician said, “My association with music and Sanskrit with creative renderings have been widely accepted by the people. I am immensely grateful to all.”
Photo credit: Ranjan Bezbaruah’s Facebook handle