Original Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram …

We all must be aware of the famous patriotic song ‘Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram..’. Ever since it was popularized by Mahatma Gandhi, it has been making its appearance in all our national events and festivals upholding the secular nature of our country. The famous  Hindustani classical musician, Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar  set the tune for this song, whose name has been etched in memory for this great contribution.  Gandhiji and other freedom fighters sang this song as they did the Salt March to Dandi.

While we appreciate the song, do we know that the lines we hear today are the modified lyrics of the famous Ram Dhun (Bhajan on Lord Rama)? The original lyrics are also equally melodious and brings about our deep rooted devotion to Lord Rama.

Lyrics made famous by Mahatma Gandhi

raghupati raghava raja ram
patita pavana sitaram
sitaram sitaram
bhaj pyare tu sitaram
ishwar allah tero nam
sab ko sanmati de bhagavan
rama rahim karim saman
ham sab hai unki santan
saba mila mange yahan varadan
hamara rahe manava ka jnan

Original Lyrics of Ram Dhun

raghupati raghava raja ram
patita pavana sitaram
sundara vigraha megha shyam
ganga tulsi shalagram
bhadra girishvara sitaram
bhakta jana priya sitaram
janaki ramana sita ram
jaya jaya raghava sitaram


The King Rama who is the Raghava, the Lord of Raghu,
He is the Sita Ram, who makes the sinner pure,
He has pretty looks and is black like the cloud,
For He is as pure as Ganga, Thulasi and Shaligram,
He is Sitaram of Bhadrachalam
And He is Sitaram who is the darling of devotees and also Sita,
Hail, hail Oh Raghava! Oh Sitaram!

How melodious and meaningful, isn’t it? We should also teach this version to our kids so that they are aware of the original version.

A video link of this divine song is given below:

It is believed that the above song is influenced by the work, Nama Ramayana. It is a hymn in praise of Lord Rama, which in turn illustrates the qualities of Lord Rama by citing various incidents from the Ramayana. Lakshmanacharya, an ardent devotee of Lord Rama composed this melodious work. 

Listen to the beautiful and timeless rendering of Nama Ramayana by Smt. M.S.Subbulakshmi (“shuddha brahma paratpara ram”).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbcfzCMb86E – shudda

Author Details

Rangarajan has been blogging for over 12 years now on various topics. With Thedal, he becomes one with the universe and he is hoping that his search will help him discover the eternal truth.  Please join him as he traverses through the universe across temples, philosophies and science!

4 thoughts on “Original Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram …”

  1. Interesting information, Ranga. The original song lyrics also seems good though the video link you’ve shared is not accessible.
    However let us also not forget Gandhiji’s secular version especially in courrent times when peaceful co-existence is the need of the hour.

    Thanks for sharing Smt. MSS’s Nama Ramayana. Wonderful listening to it and the visuals are so appealing. Answers to some of your Ramayan quiz can be found here! 😉

    1. Thanks Shoba. Not sure why you weren’t able to access the youtube video. I tried now and it works fine for me. If you have time, please check in other device.
      India has been inherently secular even before Gandhiji and will continue to be so. Having come across the original version of this song, I thought it would be good idea for all us to know this version as well.
      Thanks for pointing out the connection between Nama Ramayana and the Quiz. Didn’t realize until you pointed out!

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