Subhash K Jha lists seven memorable songs for Maha Shiv Ratri.

Darshan Do Baba Bhole from Har Har Mahadev

Haath jod kar baar baar yeh nanha baalak boley, darshan do baba Bhole

That’s a little boy pleading with Lord Shiva to make an appearance. And the voice singing for him is none other than Lata Mangeshkar.

Kalyanji of Kalyanji-Anandji, who composed this timeless bhajan once spoke to me about Lataji‘s transformative powers: “She could be singing for the mother and the child in the same breath. She could do anything.”

The 1974 film in which Dara Singh played Shiva Bhagwan is forgotten. But Lataji‘s song lives on.


Jai Bholenath Jai Ho Prabhu from Kunwara Baap

Rajesh Roshan’s first film soundtrack contained this peerless Shiva bhajan.

The film’s leading man Mehmood, who was also its producer, wanted a Shiva bhajan like no other.

Composer Rajesh Roshan gave Mehmood tune after tune to fit the bill, all of which Mehmood rejected. Finally, Roshan came up with this heartrending tune.

Curiously it is Kishore Kumar, hardly the voice of devotional songs, joining Lataji to pay this soul-stirring homage to Lord Shiva.


Om Namah Shivay Sanson Ki Sargam Pe Dhadkan Ye Dohraye from Mashal

Dim all the lights. Listen to this serene ode to Lord Shiva by Lataji in complete silence.

It is one of the most therapeutic bhajans ever composed.

This one was special for Lataji because her brother Hridaynath Mangeshkar composed it. And one of Lataji‘s favourite actresses Waheeda Rehman sang it on screen.

Javed Akhtar’s articulate supremely spiritual words prove that godliness has no religion.

Yash Chopra, who directed Mashal and who hero-worshipped Lataji, told me this bhajan was a favourite of his.


Bhole Oh Bhole from Yaarana

Kishore Kumar singing a bhajan is rare enough. But singing it with such depth and devotion…. It’s a pity that this number was eclipsed by Kishoreda‘s romantic ballad Chhu Kar Mere Mann Ko in Yaarana.

Mr B regards Bhole Oh Bhole as among his most favourite songs on screen.

Rajesh Roshan, who composed it, reveals, “Bhajans became increasingly irrelevant in cinema as we moved towards this millennium.

“I was lucky to compose two Shiv bhajans, the first one Jai Bholenath was sung by Lataji and Kishoreda in my first soundtrack Kunwara Baap.

This one in Yaarana was so feelingly sung by Kishoreda and so wonderfully enacted by Bachchan saab.”


Jai Jai Shiv Shankar from Aap Ki Kasam

R D Burman’s stunning score for this Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz starrer boasts of much better classics like Karvaten Badalte Rahe, Zindagi Ke Safar Mein and Chori Chori Chupke Chupke.

But it was this fun Mahadev song filmed on a faraway hillside with a crowd of Shiv bhakts which burst open the charts with a sound that erupted into a celebratory odyssey.

Mumtaz, the superstar who participated in this historic number, recalls every incident connected with the song.

Kakaji (Rajesh Khanna) and I had a lot of fun shooting this number.

“It was a fun song.

“We had to act as if we were high on bhang. But, of course, we were completely sober.

“Who could do those intricate step in a sozzled state?”


Bhole Shankar from Locket

Bappi Lahiri was very proud of this homage to Shankar Bhagwan in this loopy film that was all about locket science.

He felt it had the potential to be as big as R D Burman’s Jai Jai Shiv Shankar. And it probably did. But the song didn’t even make it to the screen.

The film was completed under huge financial hardships.

What was planned as a lavish tribute to Lord Shiva never happened.


Namo Namo from Kedarnath

Jai ho jai ho Shankar, Bholenaath Shankara, Adi Dev Shankara, he Shivaay Shankara, tere jaap ke bina, Bholenaath Shankara. chale ye saans kis tarah, he Shivaay ShankarA

Sushant Singh Rajput was a Shiv bhakt in real life. When he got the chance to lip-sync this Amit Trivedi tune in Kedarnath he was over the moon.

Every time Sushant emoted to the powerful chants of the song he felt close to God.

Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/

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