This piece brings together two hymns from two faiths, Hinduism and Christianity. The Hindu song, Jai Jagdish Hare (जय जगदीश हरे), is one of the most widely known Hindu songs across the Indian diaspora and was composed by 19th century Hindu missionary and social reformer, Shardha Ram Phillauri. Phillauri is credited with writing one of the first novels in the Hindi language, Bhagyawati (published 1888), which portrayed women and women’s rights in a manner that was progressive for its time. The Christian song, Amazing Grace, was first published in 1779, with words written English poet and Anglican clergyman John Newton. It has had many melodies, but the most known version is based on a tune called “New Britain.” Newton started his career in the Atlantic slave trade, but later renounced this trade and became a major supporter of abolitionism after experiencing a period of Christian conversion. 

The melody is played on the melodica (

Jai Jagadish Hare (Translation of the first two verses)

Oh Lord of the whole Universe!
In an instant you remove the agonies and sorrows of devotees
One who is immersed in devotion to you will get your grace
Their mind is freed of sorrow, joy and prosperity enter the home,
their body is freed of hardship.

Amazing Grace (first two verses)

Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
That sav'd a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears reliev'd;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believ'd!

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Gaurav Venkateswar