Sunday, February 11, 2007

School prayer

When I visited the Rishi Valley School last June, I was pleasantly surprised to hear during a morning assembly the prayer in Hindi, Racha Prabhu.

This was the prayer sung virtually every morning when I was a little boy at the Hindi High School in Calcutta, 1963-68. I had learnt it phonetically, and now only the first few words remained in my memory. As it happened, I had been remembering this earliest prayer I’d sung. So I was really delighted to hear it sung at Rishi Valley.

But it was only during my next visit to Rishi Valley, in January, that I got down to copying the lyrics from the school song book. Having googled for the words once – and been unsuccessful - I discovered that there are several people who are keen to get the lyrics. So I am glad to share this here.

Racha prabhu tu ney yah brahmand sara
Prano sey pyara, tu hi sabsey nyara
Tu hi bhai-bandhu, tu hi jagat janani
Sakal jagat mein ek tera pasara

In translation:

Lord, you have created this wide universe
Dearer than life, you alone are the most wonderful
You alone are brother and friend
You alone are mother of the world
All the worlds are only your expanse.


Vincent said...

Nice prayer. Would be nice to know more about your time at this school.

mfm157 said...

Sweet prayer. It reminds me of Illama Iqbal's "Lab peh aati hai duah, bun keh tamana meri". Use to sing it in school all the time for the morning assembly.

Anonymous said...

Hullo Yves. I guess the school laid my academic foundations, esp in English and Math. But I was not happy there, largely because it was a Hindi-speaking environment, which was completely alien to me. After I left this school and joined another one, it was as if I had come into light for the first time, and began enjoying being in the school, among friends.

Hi mfm157, thanks for referring to Iqbal's song. I've heard that - sung at the Doon School in Dehradun - and had captivated by the song and its simple moving melody. I had forgotten the words -so many, many thanks for your reference!

I am reminded of another beautiful song I heard sung in a school assembly:

Duniya ek bagiya hai, aur ishwar mali hai, yahaan phool hai har insaan, aur mazhab dali hai


The world is a garden, and God is the gardener, here every person is a flower, and Religion is a branch



GhoseSpot said...

well this is not about prayer - but as Rama has commented in your blog 'a garden" at a sister school of Rishi Valley ( run also by the Krishnamurti Foundation )in the Sahyadri Hills. Check it out at:

and they too have a prayer (assemby chant), which you can hear on the youtube:

hot cross bun said...

hmmm.... sorry, i know i'm a stranger into this blog, but i couldn't resist... i am an ex-student of rishi valley school, passed out in 2005.... loved the chant, takes me back to the best days of my life..... thank you.

Athyuttam Reddy said...

Hello Uncle!
I've spent the last hour or so reading your posts on RV, and admittedly, it's taken me back down memory lane. :) I was at RV until my 10th (ICSE '11), and needless to say, it wasn't easy leaving. To that end, a few friends and I got going on this tiny project of ours that we like to call 'The RV Storybook', a means for alumni and parents to revel in nostalgia. So we started collecting posts and pictures, anecdotes and experiences, all kinds of stuff that would remind us of the beauty of the valley, and are only just getting started. I just wanted to let you know that we have the entire Assembly Book online! Not just that...we have recorded versions of the Assembly songs too! Do come by. :D

ptc saharanpur said...

@sandip ghose: the prayer on the youtube link is "mahishasurmardini strotram". it is a prayer to holy mother for slaying the inner demons of ignorance and bad habits.
it was really good to know that such powerful and pure sanskrit chants are being sung in our schools!!