From the first LP record of Christian Bhajans in Malayalam. Track 10. Deccan Records. LDEC 102 (1979). Note This chant's story is embedded in the history of a liturgical movement that Dharmaram College in Bengaluru spearheaded from 1964 to 1979. The staff and students attempted to inculturate the Christian faith by devising an "Indian liturgy" in Malayalam. The movement was part of celebrating Indian theology in worship. Accordingly, the liturgical vocabulary, rituals, and Indian classical music became the medium. Fr. Cherian Kunianthodath, CMI wrote the text of "Jeewa Kiranamay Vilangum" to a melody in use in the Ramkrishna Ashram in Bengaluru. The song became a part of the thanksgiving meditation after Communion. The serene melody in the popular North Indian rag Darbari Kanada created a meditative mood. The song became popular among those who attended the "Indian liturgy."
In 1978, when I was choosing the bhajans for the LP, this chant was an easy choice. Prof. Pratapkumar J. Toliya made the music arrangement and conducted the recording at the H. M. V. studio at Gemini in Chennai (The Deccan Studio at Indira Nagar, Bengaluru, was not ready yet). Mr. George Thangiah, the Managing Director of Deccan Records, took a personal interest in the production of the Christian Bhajans LP. He made a surprise visit to Chennai on the second day of recording to give me moral support. Mr. Thangiah sat in the control room, next to Raghu, the famous sound recording engineer in Chennai, during this song's recording.
Christian Musicological Society of India is an international forum for interdisciplinary research, discussion, and dissemination of knowledge, on the music, art and dance of about thirty million Christians in India, who belong to a diverse set of communities and linguistic groups and follow a variety of liturgical traditions some of which date back to the early Christian era. Founded in 1999 by Dr. Joseph J. Palackal CMI, the Society hopes that such researches will draw attention to the lesser known aspects of India in connection with the rest of the world.