Vaishnav Jan to tene kahiye je – the lyrics and their meaning

It's a beautiful song. I always liked to hum it. Never got to understand it's meaning. If you omit the link it makes between a Vaishnav religion and the name here, I think it talks of the kind of life a human being is expected to live...should live. No matter what your religion is! 
You can hear the song as you read on, here -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLbqn7hmOo0
The English meaning is inline to the Hindi Verses.

   Vaishnav jan to tene kahiye je    
   [One who is a Vaishnav]           
   PeeD paraayi jaaNe re         
   [Knows the pain of others]         
   Par-dukhkhe upkaar kare toye  
   [Does good to others, esp. to those ones who are in misery]          
   Man abhimaan na aaNe re           
   [Does not let pride enter his mind]         
   Vaishnav...                 

   SakaL lok maan sahune vande           
   [A Vaishnav, Tolerates and praises the the entire world]         
   Nindaa na kare keni re           
   [Does not say bad things about anyone]         
   Vaach kaachh man nishchaL raakhe           
   [Keeps his/her words, actions and thoughts pure]         
   Dhan-dhan janani teni re           
   [O Vaishnav, your mother is blessed (dhanya-dhanya)]                   
    Vaishnav...         

   Sam-drishti ne trishna tyaagi           
   [A Vaishnav sees everything equally, rejects greed and 
     avarice]
   Par-stree jene maat re           
   [Considers some one else's wife/daughter as his mother]        
   Jivha thaki asatya na bole           
   [The toungue may get tired, but will never speak lies]
   Par-dhan nav jhaalee haath re           
   [Does not even touch someone else's property]        
   Vaishnav...         

   Moh-maaya vyaape nahi jene           
   [A Vaishnav does not succumb to worldly attachments]        
   DriDh vairaagya jena man maan re           
   [Who has devoted himself to stauch detachment to worldly   
    pleasures]
   Ram naam shoon taaLi laagi           
   [Who has been edicted to the elixir coming be the name of 
    Ram]
   SakaL tirath tena tan maan re           
   [For whom all the religious sites are in the mind]        
   Vaishnav...         

   VaN-lobhi ne kapaT-rahit chhe           
   [Who has no greed and deciet]        
   Kaam-krodh nivaarya re           
   [Who has renounced lust of all types and anger]
   BhaNe Narsaiyyo tenun darshan karta           
   [The poet Narsi will like to see such a person] 
   KuL ekoter taarya re           
   [By who's virtue, the entire family gets salvation]
   Vaishnav... 

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13 thoughts on “Vaishnav Jan to tene kahiye je – the lyrics and their meaning

  1. Even I like this song a lot and very rightly said just ignore the mention of Vaishnav and you get an idealistic song….

    If you listen patiently its not that difficult to understand 🙂

    I searched religiously once for the MP3 version of this and I am still unsuccessful. Thanks for the youtube link.

  2. Beautiful song with profound meaning. Now I know why it was Mahatama Gandhi's favourite song. It can be a life changer if one follows it. No wonder it is still so difficult to understand Gandhi even today…we are all so far from it..

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