Song Sketch

The Grand Wedding – Shivji Bihaane Chale – Munimji

By  | 

Shiva – The Auspicious One. The Supreme God from the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. Supreme beings – the creator, the protector and the destroyer. Mahashivratri is the annual festival celebrated in honour of Shiva. It is dedicated to him. It literally means the Great night of Shiva. So it basically is a festival which is celebrated at night. Midnight to be precise. There are many legends as to why Mahashivratri is celebrated. Shiva is formless and it is believed that this formless God appeared in a Lingam form at the midnight on Mahashivratri. Hence the Shiva devotees keep a vigil at night. It is also believed that Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati on this day. It is the day of union of Shiva with Shakti, Purush with Prakriti.
Hindi films, time and again have been inspired by Hindu mythology. Lord Rama, Krishna, Shiva being the most popular ones amongst them. Yet there have been devotional songs, bhajans in commercial Hindi cinema too. One such song is from the film Munimji (1955). Starring Dev Anand, Nalini Jaywant and Pran. We have Dev Anand masquerading as the Munimji. The song – ballet is performed to celebrate the birthday of Ratan (Pran) who is betrothed to Roopa (Nalini Jaywant). The song itself is the story narration of Shiva’s wedding with Parvati.

Ho Shivji bihaane chale
Paalki sajaay ke
Bhabhuti lagaaye ke naa
Ho Shivji bihaane chale
Paalki sajaay ke
Babhuti lagaaye ke
Paalki sajaay ke naa

When we are talking about Shiva, how can the song go without His instrument – The damru. Dada Burman uses it right in the beginning of the song. The delectable damru welcomes Shiva as the wedding procession starts. Followed by the amusing dholak and yes the auspicious conch too!! As Shivji enters the stage, we can hear ektara/gopichand and manjiras, which give it a devotional effect. What a piece by Senior Burman!!
Rendered by the unmistakable voice of Hemant Kumar, the song is a pure delight. It is an audio visual treat. Composed by S D Burman, it is a folklore from Bihar, which is re-designed by Shailendra.
The baaraat of Shiva is ready to leave for the grand wedding. There’s a palanquin ready for Parvati. Shivji is ready too. Besmeared his body with the ashes (bhabhuti). He being the Pashupati, Lord of all the creatures of the world, is accompanied by all weird creatures, animals, insects, etc too. The dance ballet shows all the weird ones dancing along with Shivji. This ballet is composed by Sachin Shankar (cousin of Uday Shankar), who himself plays Shivji.

O jab Shiv baba kare taiyyaari
Kaike sakal samaan ho
Daahine ang trishool viraaje
Naache bhoot shaitaan ho
Bramha chalen Vishnu chalen
Lai ke Ved puraan ho
Shankh Chakra aur Gadaa Dhanushh lai
Chalen Shri Bhagwan ho
Aur ban-than ke chalen bam bhola
Lilhe bhaang dhatoor kaa golaa
Bole je hardam
Chale ladka paraay ke

When the Lord adorns himself, it is like never before. He holds a trident in his right hand, while the demons and the spirits dance around him. Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu accompany him with the holy scriptures. He also carries the holy conch, chakra and the gadaa or mace, a bow and an arrow. He’s not only graced with these things but he also smokes hemp and some amount of marijuana. He asks to rejoice as his wedding is about to take place.

Koyi aayi koyi aaya
Koyi aayi koyi aaya

O maataa matadin par chanchal li
Tilak dalili lilaar ho
Kala naag gardan ke neeche
Wohu dilan phuphkaar ho
Lotaa phenk ke bhaag chalaili
Taaveej nikhal lilaar ho
Inn ke sangi bibaah na kar bo
Gauri rahi kunwaari ho
Kahe Parvati samjhaayi
Batiyaan maano hamro maai
Jai bharaile haan
Hum karmawa likhhaay ke

In comes Parvati (played by Amita) with a varmala in her hand. She’s all set to tie the knot with the Aadiyogi. With a welcome thaali in her hand, Parvati’s mother receives the groom and the baraatis. But she’s petrified when she sees a cobra around Shivji’s neck. The thaali just slips from her hand in panic. She thinks it will be better if her beloved daughter Gauri (Parvati) remains unmarried instead of marrying her off to someone who is so scary in his looks and behaves weirdly. But Parvati pleads to her mother that she’s destined to marry Shiva. That is her future, her being. It cannot be averted.

O jab Shiv baabaa mandwaa gaile
Hola mangla chaar ho
Baba pandit ved vichaare
Holaa gussa chaar ho
Bajarbichhi ki lagi jhaalri
Nagin ki adhikaar ho
Beech mandwa mein naaun aili
Kare jhangan badiyaar ho
E go nagin gehlan bidayi
Naun gaile chale paraayi
Sabha se lagelaa
Devta thathaay ke

And so the wedding takes place under the decorated canopy. With scriptures being read, people dance with rejoice. While the wedding rituals are being performed, Parvati’s mother comes to give away the bride officially to Shiva (Kanyadaan and Bidaai) and she’s blessed with Shivji’s cobra, in her saree pallu instead of the traditional rice, again scaring her away again, much to the amusement of the people gathered there. Making them laugh to their wit’s end. Watching all these histrionics, Parvati is not very pleased. She requests Shiva saying that she doesn’t mind his present form which scares off everyone. She knows what Shiva actually is and she wants him just that way. But for her mother’s sake, asks him to adorn more gentler, presentable form. And then Shiva adorned a beautiful form, much to the joy of everyone. He became the most handsome, the most beautiful man in the universe. The Sundermoorty – Shiva!!

Aa aa aa aa
Toh komal roop dhare Shiv-Shankar
Khushi bhaye nar-naari ho
Raajahi naachan gaan karaaile
Ijjat rahen hamaar ho
Rahe var saathi Shiv-Shankar se
Kehu ke na paawal paar ho
Inn ke jataa se Gangaa bahli
Mahimaa agam apaar ho
Jai Shiv-Shankar dhyaan lagaaye
Inn ke teenon lok dikhaaye
Kahe dukh haran yahi
Chhado banovaa ke
Babhuti lagaaye ke
Paalki sajaay ke naa

That form of Shiva, which is blissful. Shiva – from his matted hair flows the pure Ganga. His form Bholenath which has childlike innocence, or the exuberant Nataraja, or the Ardhanarishavar, or Kaalbhairav the destroyer. Meditate on these forms of Shiva to experience the bliss and the nothingness. Stay blessed in this world and that!! How beautifully Shailendra has said this!!

Mahashivratri – the night of wakefulness from within, the aliveness, the awareness of the gift that is you. Not as a religion but as a perception in one’s mind. Escalate yourself, grow yourself from nothing to nothingness. Experience the bliss called Shiva!!

Avid music lover and Dev Anand fan


  1. M V Devraj

    February 13, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    Bahut Khoob, Deepa. Enjoyed every bit.I was involved in an assignment of doing the transcript of this song, and was quite tough and some meanings were difficult to get.Great rendition by Hemant Da.

    • Deepa

      February 15, 2018 at 6:58 pm

      Thank you. Would love to see your take on the song 🙂

Leave a Reply

Share via