Bollywood songs and spirituality – there seems to be no connection between the two. 80% of the song are romantic songs where the male and female actors express their love for each other or grieving songs because they did not get the love they desired. Other 19% are different genres of songs – travel, dance, kids, or situational. Very few, less than 1% songs would be devotional or related to God, Ishwar or Allah.
Now, if you have a spiritual bent of mind, and if you have never turned over this idea in your mind, let me suggest to you that if you replace the lover in the songs with God, most of these so called romantic Bollywood songs can as well be sung for the love of God. Yes, with no change of lyrics but just a change in direction or rather just a change of image in your mind.
Let me share some examples. Listen to these songs and replace the man or the woman with God, Ishwar, Allah or simply a higher power.
Pick any song you like. See how easy it is to get into a spiritual mindset by simply changing the direction of your love.
What is love? Love is love, if we don’t categorize it as parental love or sexual love or compassionate love. You can love a person, love an animal, love an activity or love a higher force.
All of Rumi’s compositions were about love. For instance this one below
Or this one
So you never thought you could get enlightened by humming Bollywood songs in the shower? I hope you are convinced of the possibility now. You were just thinking of the wrong person all this while.
I particularly like the song – Ae bhai jara dekh ke chalo from Mera Naam Joker, picturised on Raj Kapoor and sung by Manna Dey with music by Shanker Jaikishan. It not only is an entertaining song but also carries a deep meaning, if you care to think about it, as deep as Buddha’s teachings. I don’t know with what feelings the lyricist Neeraj (Gopaldas Saxena) composed this song but I am sure he definitely had some insight. Anyway, here is how this song can be interpreted spiritually.
Death is the trigger for all spiritual inquiries. Siddharth Gautama, overwhelmed by the prospect of death coming to himself and his family, left everything in his search for the meaning of life and death. In every genuine spiritual teaching, the idea of death is one of the central points for introspection.
Gurdjieff likened humans to goats living in ignorance even while they are being taken to the butcher. How can you enjoy life when you know you are going to die one day and do not know when that day will come. Death is certain but when and how it will come is not certain.
And when life ends, all your achievements, all your wealth, all your legacy – what happens to that? Does it stay with you? Nope. It is all empty. It was empty all along even while the circus was going on.
To know this emptiness is not the end of motivation for life or the end of the life energy. You may think emptiness is nihilistic but that is only because you have not gone to the very depth. Knowing emptiness deeply, you will no longer be attached. You will in fact be free for the first time. Since there is no you, to rephrase, there will be freedom and an end to suffering. You will not suffer from the ups and downs of life. You will be equanimous in the face of comfort and adversity both. Isn’t that a worthwhile goal, something that every human must aim for?
So, Ae bhai, please, Jara Dekh Ke Chalo! Won’t you?