Hari Om Sharan: A life in prayer

A popular album of bhajan singer Hari Om Sharan  

Many of those who grew up in the North of India in the Seventies and Eighties would have heard the long-haired and bearded singer Hari Om Sharan. Any religious festival, especially Rama Navami or Hanuman Jayanti, were incomplete without his bhajans being played in the neighbourhood temple or on the radio. At the break of dawn, his voice, soaked in devotion, would rent the air.

His shows and records were sought after by the spiritually and musically inclined. His voice had no trace of affectation. The plainitive rendering was both honest and heartwarming.

It was an era before the rise of the showman-bhajan singer Anup Jalota. The bhajan singer’s albums were a huge success, particularly those on Lord Rama and Hanuman. Even today, Rama Navami brings to the mind his bhajan, ‘Tera Ramji karenge beda paar udasi man kahe ko kare’. With its beautiful blend of a distinctively emotional voice and relaxing music, it’s a favourite of many bhajan lovers.

Hari Om Sharan’s popularity lay in the fact that he seemed to communicate to the listeners through his music, most often telling them to imbibe values that would make their life better. The number of comments on YouTube (his bhajans are available on T Series Bhakti and Saregama Shakti) are proof of how his devotional offerings continue to strike a chord with people.

The lyrics of his bhajans were simple and easily comprehensible. For instance, ‘Daata ek Ram bhikhari sari duniya’, ‘Prabhu hum pe kripa karna’, ‘Uddhar karo Bhagwan, tumhri sharan padeh’, ‘Yeh garv bhara mastak mera prabhu charan dhul tak jhukne de’ and ‘Jinke hriday Shri Ram Rame’. Hari Om Sharan, who passed away in 2007, also rendered excerpts from the Ram Charit Manas, Sundar Kand and Hanuman Chalisa.

Born in Lahore, he moved to India after the Partition and had a huge following in the country and abroad.

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Printable version | Nov 16, 2020 10:55:19 PM |

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