Om Jai Jagdish Hare (Hindi: ॐ जय जगदीश हरे) is a Hindu religious song. Though it is not written for any particular deity, it is mostly sung in Vishnu temples. Although the religious hymn is a Hindi-language composition, it is widely sung by Hindus. The prayer is sung by the entire congregation at the time of Aarti, a form of Hindu worship.
Does the "Om Jaya Jagadish Hare" aartī, invokes any particular deity?
Short Answer: Depending on the meaning eschewed from the aartī lyrics, No & Yes.
The Origin of the aartī
The famous aartī, "Jaya Jagadish Hare", by Pandit Shardha Ram Phillauri, is originally said to have been composed as a Universal aartī by the author. The popular imagination phenomenon might have made it limited to Lord Vishnu.
The aartī, as it's sung today might have made its first raw cinematic appearance in a song from the 1952 movie, Anand Math. In here, the Govinda damodar Stotram of Sri BilvaMangala Thakura is adapted with the 'Jai Jagdish Hare' refrain.
The rendition of the written aartī reaches its zenith in a later 1970 movie, Purab Aur Paschim. The protrayed song in the movie, playing background of the aartī, beautifully portrays the devotion towards the Radha-Krishna, and the prayer symbolizes the continuity of the Indian tradition before and after India's independence. This is probably the point which catapulted the song into the popular mass imagination, with it's characteristic background music and tone becoming a favorite aartī staple across India (or the hindi speaking belt atleast). This phenomenon is something very similar on the lines of the appearance of Santoshi Mata as a mainstream deity due to a popular bollywood film by the same name.
The aartī's various variations employing same background tune and structure, are used for specific deities such as in: Om Jai Shiv omkara, Om Jai Lakshmi mata, Om Jai Ambe gauri, Om Jai Adya Shakti, Om Jai Saraswati Mata, Om Jai Gange Mata, et al..
For which deity the aartī is written ?
- View 1: It's not written for Vishnu, but the general Almighty.
Even if one looks at the wording lyrics of the aartī, it specifically doesn't point to a definitive particular deity. An example -
...तुम पूरण परमात्मा, तुम अन्तर्यामी,
पारब्रह्म परमेश्वर, तुम सब के स्वामी ॥.....
...Tuma pūraṇa paramātmā, tuma antaryāmī,
PāraBrahma parameśvara, tuma sabkē svāmī ॥...
Thou art the ancient great soul. Thou art the omnipotent master Lord, Thou art the Lord of everything and everyone Oh Lord of the Universe
All the known deities within the Hindu pantheon have been referred to as by the above epithets in all major works dedicated to them. And in general, thus, can be used as an aartī for all the manifestation of the Brahman. Hence, it's actually indeed a Universal aartī.
- View 2: It's indeed written for Vishnu.
For example, lets see two lines in the aartī
तुम करुणा के सागर, तुम पालनकर्ता,...
Tuma karuṇā ke sāgara, tuma PālanaKartā...
Thou art an ocean of mercy Lord, thou art the protector
दीन-बन्धु दुःख-हर्ता, ठाकुर तुम मेरे,
dīna-bandhu duḥkha-hartā, ṭhākura tuma mere
Friend of the helpless and feeble Lord, you are my overlord or thakur ji (Shri Krishna)
Generally, it's a common paurāṇika tradtion (across all sampradāyas) to specifically refer Lord Vishnu as the PālanaKartā of the Universe. Further, the epithet ṭhākura ji, is quite a prevalent name for Vishnu in his Shri Krishna avatara.
Moreover, the word "Hare" (हरे) can be interpreted as either the vocative form ( सम्बोधन विभक्ति : sambodhana vibhakti ) of Hari, which is another name of Vishnu, meaning "he who removes illusion". Another interpretation is as the vocative of Harā, becoming Hare, which is a name of Rādhā. In any case the case is made for the aartī to be Vishnu centric, in this case.
Thus, by the above explained logic, it maybe argued that indeed, the aartī is in reverence to Vishnu only.
Thus, depending on how the lyrics are analysed, one maybe to able to reach both the conclusion that
- Yes, indeed the aartī is for Vishnu
- No, the aartī is for the the general Almighty, Brahman and hence can be used for any saguṇa or nirguṇa form of the Supreme.
Excellent answer from Vivikta - just adding two small items of evidence that this is for Ishwara or Trimurti and not any particular deity:
the deity is called parameshwar in addition to Hari - Parameshwar is usually Siva (not always, though). And Hari is also a name of Siva:
विषय-विकार मिटाओ, पाप हरो देवा (स्वामी, पाप हरो देवा)
It uses "har" as a verb - "destroy my sins" - Hara (noun) is Siva.
Magnificent prayer - an essence of Hinduism.