A Jewel in Devotional Songs!!

It is a well known fact that devotion can be achieved in heights through the language of music and dance…..or for that matter any form of art. There have been countless examples in history in the form of great people like Saint Thyagaraja, Mutthuswami Dikshitar, Annamayya, Ramadasu,Tulsidas, Surdas and so on who have come across eternal bliss in devotion through music irrespective of the religion they belong. Whoever the god is……the feeling of devotion is almost the same. Right on topic, Lord Hanuman is believed to be the strongest god and always comes to help when a person is in distress or in need of courage. It is also believed that He comes to the rescue of people who are in need of help…..and gives lot of strength in return for the people to go on!!

One such wonderful devotional song about Lord Hanuman is in our much-liked socio fantasy movie Jagadeka Veerudu Athiloka Sundari (JVAS)……during the situation when the kids pray to Lord Hanuman for the well-being of Raju……as he was in the middle of a dangerous journey to the Himalayas.

I have talked about the storyline of this movie while I was discussing about the wonderful BGMs from this movie in the post Jagadeka Veerudu Athiloka Sundari BGM post in this blog..

The situation in which this song arrives in the movie is…….the kids overhear some other characters in the movie talking about how dangerous the journey to Manasa Sarovaram is……and get really worried about what will happen to Raju. But as it was too late to stop Raju from going there…….what can these people do to ensure his well-being? The only way they think of is to sing a brilliant song of devotion to Lord Hanuman so that he will give the strength to Raju to withstand this journey!!

As far as I know……this song- “Jai Chiranjeeva” has been the most popular devotional songs in Telugu Cinema for the excellent music it offers as well as Shailaja’s excellent voice!!

During a singing competition programme which airs on Maa TV…….Shailaja, one of the judges for that programme has mentioned specifically about this song saying that Raaja sir has made her get perfect with her voice the whole night before the day of recording…….and that was how she could do proper justice to the song!! She even mentioned that she has never seen any other composer so disciplined and concerned about the perfection of the song!! The effort is what I feel…..is quite evident in the song!!

The enchanting manner in which the song progresses is simply brilliant- if asked to say in a single phrase. Starting with a higher note in Shailaja’s voice, depicting full of anguish and worry…..supported by the shruthi of thambura….. the starting of the song giving us the feel of devotion!! Shailaja’s style of singing sounds very appropriate for the kids’ voice with a little high-pitch, but at the same time pleasing to hear!!

The starting line “Jai Chiranjeeva” has been sung with such pain and desperation…..that even Lord Hanuman can hear wherever he is residing in!! Right on the situation……there is a long pause and heavy rhythm to intensify the scene!! The heavy and gripping tabla rhythm which follows gives us a better feel of the seriousness of the situation!! We can feel exactly how the poor kids must have been feeling in the story…..helpless yet desperate to help the hero!!

The pallavi moves on with the excellent support of violin (sounding like symphony but still too devotional!!)……and now the chorus (for the other kids) joins Shailaja’s voice making the song even more pleading and symbolizing the actual meaning of Bhakthi-through music!!

The violin moves around with anguish and with true danger where we get to see the obstacles which Raju is going through in Himalayas…..but at the same time becoming successful…..the music says it all- that the journey is fatal and Raju is taking too much of a risk……the ending rhythm of this bit itself explains this fact!!

Now we come across Shailaja’s voice and the kids singing with true hope that Hanuman will rescue them in this regard……The music moves flawlessly…….and so the music!!

When the violin’s part comes next…..it is based with even more intensified rhythm and the impending danger which is yet to come in Raju’s journey……with narrow escapes and ups-and-downs…

I still wonder is there any better way in which a violin can be used other than the way our Raaja sir uses?

The bass work doesn’t sound too pronounced (the usual bass guitar hasn’t been used here!)…….but sounds faintly audible to the listener…..but the impact which it creates is far more than a thousand words can explain!! The bass work magically symbolizes the Himalayan Valleys in which Raju falls down…..but comes up without losing his hope!!

While we are immersed completely in this sparkling musical treat…….we move on to the charanam for the ever-welcoming voice part again!! The charanam starts with a highest note…….which makes us feel the “real” meaning of bhakthi once again!! The heavy beats after each sentence sung makes us realize that this journey is too dangerous to move ahead…..but yet it goes on!! The violin changes its scale…….moving little faster…..but incredibly not changing the song’s initial pace!! As the kids get more involved in the prayer……we move into the musical brilliance in violin and the bass work with even more involvement!!

Shailaja’s voice goes on chanting the line “Jai Chiranjeeva….Jagadeka Veera”…..immersed in prayer of the kids…..and the rhythm and the music goes little faster as we tend to approach the end of the song…….and at that point Raju falls down in the snow……to his final destination- that is Manasa Sarovaram!!

It is at this point we feel relieved……the prayers to Lord Hanuman (composed by the Musician of Devotion- Raaja Sir!!) have come fruitful!!

The even more wonderful thing after this song…..we immediately get to see the completely contrasting song “Andaalalo” in the movie……which doesn’t sound serious or heavy to the ears at all!!

Only people like Raaja sir can render contrasting as well as pleasing compositions and at the same time never compromising with the musical richness to music lovers like us!!!

The contrast which Andhalalo song offers…….immidiately after a truly devotional song like this still intrigues me!!!

Here is the way to get to a jewel in devotional songs!!


Watch the devotional sincerity of the kids as well as the contrasting fight for survival by Raju in the video below:


About Navya

An ardent lover of music, books,photography and a thousand more things and trying to get a grip on all!
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