Tum Gagan Ke Chandrama Ho Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

Sati Savitri

Sati Savitri (1964) portrays a Hindu myth about a wife’s unconditional devotion to her husband.

Today, we present the lyrics and English translation to a beautiful duet from Sati Savitri (1964): tum gagan ke cha.ndramaa ho. Directed by Shantilal Soni, Sati Savitri is a forgotten film in the Hindu devotional genre that narrates the love story of Savitri (played by Anjali Devi) and Satyavan (Mahipal). Savitri is celebrated in Hindu mythology as the ideal pativrata wife whose dedication to her husband allowed her to bring her husband back from Yama, the God of Death.

While the film itself has been forgotten, Laxmikant-Pyarelaal’s soundtrack for this movie is full of exquisite compositions that are still remembered today. Laxmikant and Pyarelaal had worked as assistants to the South Indian composer P. Adinarayana Rao on the music for Suvarna Sundari (1957). As the producer of Sati Savitri, P. Adinarayana Rao hired Laxmikant-Pyarelaal to compose the music for this film. In reverence of their former mentor, Laxmikant-Pyarelaal composed a classical soundtrack with several raga-based melodies. Aside from the lovely duet presented here, two stellar Lata solos from this film come to mind: jiivan Dor tumhii sang bandhii based in Yaman Kalyan and kabhii to miloge jiivan saathii based in Kalavati. 

The duet tum gagan ke cha.ndramaa ho is also rendered by Lata Mangeshkar and Manna De in raga Yaman Kalyan. In my opinion, no other playback singer renders Yaman Kalyan as gracefully as Lata does. Her prowess with this raga is matched here by Manna De, whose classical training set him apart from many of his male peers in the industry.

Apart from the beautiful melody and rendition, the lyrics of this duet are memorable for their use of chaste Hindi. Given the devotional Hindu story presented in this film, the use of Urdu poetry here would have seemed incongruous. Instead, lyricist Bharat Vyas has written a series of metaphors in pure Hindi where both Savitri and Satyavan use self-deprecating comparisons to describe themselves while using elevating comparisons to describe the other. In the mukhDaa, Savitri claims that she is the dust of the Earth whereas Satyavan is the Moon in the sky (tum gagan ke cha.ndramaa ho, mai.n dharaa kii dhuul huu.n). In response, Satyavan claims that he is merely the priest when Savitri is the prayer; he is thirst when Savitri is the nectar (tum ho puujaa mai.n pujaarii, tum sudhaa mai.n pyaas huu.n). This song certainly contains beautiful metaphors all around, but it is interesting to note that the poet decided to give the most self-deprecating line to the heroine: tum ho kaayaa mai.n huu.n chhayaa, tum kshamaa mai.n bhuul huu.n (You are the body, I am the shadow; you are forgiveness, I am the sin). Why are we not surprised?

You might have noticed that images from the film are missing from this post. Normally, when Mrs. 55 or I translate a song, we try to include images from the movie’s picturization of the song to go along with our entries. I tried searching for a long time, but I was unable to find any images or video clips of Sati Savitri on the internet (except for the film poster displayed above). If any of our readers have more information to share about this rare and forgotten film, we would love to hear about it! Until next time…

-Mr. 55

Tum Gagan Ke Chandrama Ho: Lyrics and Translation

tum gagan ke cha.ndramaa ho, mai.n dharaa kii dhuul huu.n
You are the Moon of the sky, while I am the dust of the Earth.
tum praNay ke devtaa ho, mai.n samarpit phuul huu.n
You are the God of love, while I am a devoted flower.
tum ho puujaa mai.n pujaarii, tum sudhaa mai.n pyaas huu.n
You are the prayer, I am the priest; you are nectar, I am thirst.

tum mahaasaagar kii siimaa, mai.n kinaare kii lahar
You are the boundary of the ocean, while I am a wave by the shore.
tum mahaasangiit ke svar, mai.n adhuurii saa.ns bhar
You are the notes of a profound melody, while I am an incomplete breath.
tum ho kaayaa mai.n huu.n chhayaa, tum kshamaa mai.n bhuul huu.n
You are the body, I am the shadow; you are forgiveness, I am the sin.

tum ushaa kii laalimaa ho, bhor kaa sinduur ho
You are the redness of daybreak, the vermillion of dawn.
mere praaNo.n kii ho gunjan, mere man kii mayuur ho
You are the humming of my spirit, the peacock of my mind. 
tum ho puujaa mai.n pujaarii, tum sudhaa mai.n pyaas huu.n
You are the prayer, I am the priest; you are nectar, I am thirst.

tum gagan ke chandramaa ho, mai.n dharaa kii dhuul huu.n
You are the Moon of the sky, while I am the dust of the Earth.

*Female lines in red are sung by Lata Mangeshkar. Male lines in green are sung by Manna De. 


gagan: sky; cha.ndramaa: Moon; dharaa: Earth; praNay: love; devta: god; samarpit: devoted; pujaarii: priest; sudhaa: nectar; mahaasaagar: ocean; siimaa: boundary, border; kinaaraa: shore; lahar: wave; svar: musical note; adhuurii: incomplete; kaayaa: body; kshamaa: forgiveness; bhuul: sin, mistake; ushaa: daybreak, dawn; sinduur: vermillion; praaN: spirit; gunjan: humming; mayuur: peacock.

Goan composer Anthony Gonsalves conducts Lata Mangeshkar and Manna De on stage in Bombay (1958). Laxmikant and Pyarelaal are seated toward the right.

5 thoughts on “Tum Gagan Ke Chandrama Ho Lyrics and Translation: Let’s Learn Urdu-Hindi

  1. Wow, you really dug deep this time 🙂
    Very good info & post. Thanks for your time & effort, albeit unsuccessful, in trying to include video clippings …

    The song is a tad more classical & slow than many Bollywood classical-based songs but rendered beautifully by both singers. I like Manna Dey’s solos much much more than most of his duets. Unfortunately, his duets are usually picturised on the comedian, hence the songs are a bit “off”. But he got some truly good breaks at classical solos, which he performed so very well.

    As regards lyrics, lets just say that they are contextualized; totally different era. Hence I prefer enjoying the poetic metaphors than going into the gender issues ;-))

  2. It is generally obseved that in music of L-P,Chal , mukhda i. e. words uttered by singers are given more than musical part of the songs.Where as in music composed by either Kalyanji-Anandji, Chitragupta or even Shankar jaikhishan, tunes were given more leverage.Any songs by Kalyanji-Anandji always starts with a fine and catchy tune and is followed by singer’s voice.For example, in Amane-Samne film,beautiful song sung by Lata-Mohd Rafi ” Kabhi rat din hum door the” is commenced with a beautiful tune and ended with also by the same tums. Thus continiuty of the song is maintained completely with middle tunes also. This feature seems to be lacking in songs by L-P. There seems to be a break in middle of songs using unnecessary and meaningless tunes.If you are a keen watcher of hindi misic, you will notice this difference. Many of L-P songs just start with direct words, not with any fine tunes. For example, Song from Karz directly starts with “Darde Dil Darde “. Sometimes their songs are simply written and composed by Anad Baxi only without ant use of tunes unlike Kalyanji-Anandji who always uses beautiful tunes in the begining and in in the middle of songs.Shanker-Jaikhishan were also very adept in this art. Madan -Mohan also used very little tunes in the begining of their songs.SDBurmon also could not give any fine tunes in the begining of good songs. Remember Mere Sapno ki Rani.

  3. Tum gagan is an ode to the joys of marital bliss
    – the virtues of commitment ,devotion and fidelity.
    It’s a joyous celebration of chaste hindi and a reminder that romance takes on the hues of fulfilment and enrichment which sustains and fortified wedded life .
    Old-fashioned ? You bet I am !

  4. I am a tamilian. But I am very familiar With most of the old Hindi songs. This song I am listening after a long time. Listening to this song makes my soul, body and mind to some eternal happiness. Even though I don’t understand hindi, I learned the meaning of each and every word from you. There are lot of Sanskrit words in this song. Those words are superb.With the meaning understood the happiness increases.

    Even though Manna Dey is not a singer for heroes, he excels here.

    Thanks a lot for your interest and pain taken to explain the meaning of this song.
    My whole hearted thanks once again.
    God bless!

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