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Books > Hindu > Saints > The Divine Songs of Sage Poet Ramprasad
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The Divine Songs of Sage Poet Ramprasad
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The Divine Songs of Sage Poet Ramprasad
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About The Book:

 

Ramprasad Sen was born in the second decade of the eighteenth century in Halishahar in (then) Bengal. He was a great saint in Shakta cult. But, he was too a natural poet and composer.

The songs are hymns to Goddess Mother Kali couched in rustic words and symbols of everyday life. Yet, most of this symbolism is a rare mosaic of the occult mystery of Tantrashastra and carry a double meaning. Thus, flying kites, the blind ox trudging routine endless circles of the village oil-machine (ghaani), the small town courtroom, the sailing craft of life - are all symbols of the highest mystic Shakta worship of Goddess Durga or Kali (Mahashakti).

The English rendering aims to echo the nuances of the original in its threefold uniqueness: (a) simplicity and rustic symbols, (b) their inner spiritual mystique, and (c) muse and rhymes. The volume will treat the English speaking world to a taste of this rare Indian spiritual songs and poetry.

About The Author:

Prof. Shyamal Banerjee is a student of English literature. Teaching of Swamiji and Sri Aurobindo. English (Hons.) and M.A. (Econ.) of Calcutta University. First in English in IAS Former Sr. Professor, IIM (Joka), Kolkata. Author of many books and poems in English (and Bengali) - he took to translation spurred by a challenge to bring rare and unique Sanskrit and Bengali classics to the European reader without spoiling the savour and muse of the original. The result was his rendering into English of Michael Madhusudan Dutt's Meghnad Badh Kavya (Original in Bengali); Vidyasagar -The Ocean Man of Compassion (Karunasagar Vidyasagar in Bengali); Kalidasa's Meghadootam; Srimadbhagabad Geeta (original in Sanskrit); and now The Divine Songs of Sage Poet Ramprasad (original in Bengali).

Introduction

Man and Religion

In any human system, in every clime and country, literature has given expression to the nuances of individual and social life. It is but natural, for, the emotional world of life as it is lived must find expression. This expression is both a joy and a compulsion. All emotions, yearnings are a charge, pent up fury that beaks barriers to come out in the open. The lava that erupts from out the crater of the volcano or the massive fluid that cascades as the mountain falls is victims of the same compulsion. And the joy is immanent. The color and the sound and the smell of the millions of sensuous manifestations of Nature around us are all bubbling with the joy of creation. The longings of the inner being have an urge of reunion with its creator, as he is revealed in the existential worlds.

Songs and poetry have ever served as the spontaneous vehicle of this conscious psychic life of man. In this inner bower of man's life religious devotion to a Power that is supreme-both immanent and transcendent-has always occupied a central position. Nothing else, it seems, lends any meaning to the life of the individual as we know it in this mortal world.

Devotional songs have enriched all literatures of the world. It is particularly so in India literatures of the world. It is particularly so in Indian literatures in all of its many languages. The normal man has a passion for the supernormal. The reach must always elude the grasp, or, as the poet says 'what is Heaven for?' Nature is endowed with power, and so it is benign and beautiful. The ancient man perceived his God as the wielder of Supernatural power, the Fire, the Sun, the Rain, and the Winds who decide the destiny of man, against whom man was powerless, weak and insignificant. That is the beginning of all forms of worship.

As man's philosophic search for his Creator continued, God was bestowed with not only power but love, compassion, benign weal for all his creations. The Godhead was imbued with properties, virtues as he took immense and multitudinous forms. The Hindu pantheon of gods and deities came to be as wide as the relations of man with his Creator. The rishis (sages) of the Vedanta searched for the essence of this Godhead. The avenues were diverse, the paths of worship were many and God was perceived or realized in various ways. Advaitavada occupied a large stream of Hindu philosophy. There is only one God; all manifestations are merely his symbols as he is revealed. God is immanent in everything is in God. Without God nothing exists. The whole of existence is but an image of the reality and Reality is God-infinite, uneroding, unborn, undying.

Along with this Vedantic approach to God, many streams of worship and philosophy went along and imbued man and society for ages. Taking off from Vedic legends the Hindu pantheon was overflowing with deities, endowed with various qualities, virtues and powers. Indra, Varuna, Surya, Vishnu, Shiva, Agni, Vasus, Usha and a hundred others. It is a curious phenomenon that the deities that filled the horizon of human perception-they seem to be many and, at the same time, one. This vision is not one of polytheism; this is not indeed monotheism either, although the concept of the monistic Godhead seems to flow as a ubiquitous under current. But the legion gods do not also submit themselves to henotheism. It is not the worship of One God of one's own psychic realm with realization that there are many others. It is a worship of a deity, and then the deity seems to be one and the same as the Supreme Being, the one Almighty Godhead. And these gods are interchangeable, clearly conceived as different forms of the same Almighty being. Thus Vishnu (Lord Krishna), the Goddess Durga or Kali, Lord Shiva and others in the pantheon are often realized as an image of the same Supreme being.

In the poetry and songs of the period, in the last millennium these variations of worship and perception of Godhead are eloquently manifest.

The image of the Godhead is bound to be colored by the perception of humanity. The worshipper and the worshipped were bonded by common ties. The deities and the Godhead were humanized. They were superhuman beings of course, and yet not free from the laws and virtues of humanity. The human soul marched toward Godhead for the ultimate reunion. Perception of the world as a playground of Godhead, with its littleness and essential futility, continued as an under current of all sagely souls. Human relations with Godhead were overwhelmed with love and worshipful submission. The being could easily interchange sex and gender. Indeed, the very concept of Godhead had no element of distinction of gender. The Supreme is the only Male, Purusha. All creation was the will of God. God wanted to manifest Himself in Nature (Prakriti). Prakriti was conceived as the Female form, Mahamaya, the Goddess Kali or Durga-an image of God Himself, one and the same with God.

In Bengal right from the twelfth century, the Vaishnava cult of religion had a large sway. Countless devotees had filled the pages of literature with the sweet and loving relationship of Radha and Krishna in Vrindavana. With the advent of Sri Chaitanya in Nadia in Bengal worshipful songs and dances on the love and devotion of Radha for Sri Krishna had reached a culmination. The songs of the devout poets in Brajaboli-Vidyapati, Chandidas, Gobindadas, Sekhar and others and Jayadeva in Sanskrit had enriched Indian literature purely for their poetic qualities apart from their place in the devotional history of the land in which they are unquestionable landmarks.

Along with the Vaishnava cult of worship, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries religious life in Bengal saw the ascendance of the Shakti cult of worship. Goddess Kali, Tara or Durga was the most important Mother Goddess as the object of worship of philosophers, poets and sages in the last three centuries. One form of Goddess Durga was Uma, daughter of the Great Himalayas and mother Menaka. Uma is a daughter of the mountains, the sweet beautiful girl, who was married away to Lord Shiva. Uma is also Parvati in the great works of poet Kalidasa. She is ever the sweet charming daughter of every household in the sprawling land of India.

Ramprasad and his Poetry

Foremost among the sage poets of the Shakti cult was Ramprasad. His songs and lyrics are of immense variety and are a phenomenal blend of the secrets of the sagely Tantric ways of worship with the sweetest relations of love and submission of the child and the mother. Ramprasad embodies the popular worshipful love and submission of the land to the Mother, as the Supreme Goddess in all her manifestations. The poet is aware that the only mission of life is love and worship of Mother Goddess and everything else is fruitless and futile:

"I have lost my days in fruitless fun,
My mission lost, charmed by bewitching time…"

The poet is agonizingly conscious that all human relations are but transitory. The real and only life-selfless and eternal-can exist at the feet of the Mother herself.

 

"When oh, Mother Tara I earned riches
At home and far away, Then friends, bothers, wife and sons
Were mine, all obeying my words;
Now my earning gone, my age is over;
Those selfsame friends, brothers, wife, sons
Scold me all, alas, for lack of means…"

Ramprasad uses the commonest of the common rustic lore and language, often, in his songs devoted to the Mother. He often uses symbols and metaphors taken from ordinary life. Thus he uses the symbol of the dice game in one of his songs:

 

"I came into this world,
I yearned I would play at game of dice;
My hopes, alas, all shattered, a broken state-
The first ever die the meanest 'five;'
The die then read 'one and twelve,' then eighteen,
Again sixteen, ages of matchless rounds;
Then at last on 'twelve plus one'-alas,
Mother-it got stuck at 'five' and 'six'
'Six plus two for eight,' 'six and four for ten'
Oh Mother, all outside my ken,
My game gave me no fame, none-
My stake, its all over now;
My last was my fourteenth lane-
Stopped then at the blind alley;
The fault was Ramprasad's –utter shame,
The ripened die fell back alas
To its raw state once again."

The song is a plea to the Great Goddess, symbolizing the game of dice in which the poet seems to have lost in life.
Another symbol is the game of kite flying. Song no.27 (in this collection) throughout uses the various phases of kite flying till the kite is cut off its strings and loses its moorings. The poet uses the simile as an image of life in its heart-breaking pursuit of the worship of the Mother.

Ramprasad's lyrics and songs are rich in imageries and eloquent sensuous description of the Mother. The curious blend of power and charm, the ravishing woman engaged in war-is exemplified in the songs, nos. 33 to 39.

The culmination of the Shakti cult was perhaps seen in the great sage of modern times Sri Ramakrishna. Sri Ramakrishna preached the oneness of all religions. He said again and again that God can be reached through every creed and religion. There are as many ways to reach him as there are creeds. The seeds of this consciousness are also seen in Ramprasad's songs and poetry. Song no. 17 is an eloquent statement of the oneness of relations and the sameness of Godhead. Ramprasad declared-"Oh Mother Kali, you became Lord Rashbehari, as the amorous lover in Vrindavana."

There was inevitably some little rivalry between the votaries of Vaishnava cult and those of Shakti cult. Ramprasad shows the great awareness of the futility of religious fanaticism or conflicts among creeds and beliefs. He perhaps is the symbol and culmination of the immanent sublimity of the Hindu religion which embraces all religious forms of worship in its catholic unifying stream.

Ramprasad was a natural poet. His scholarship was well known; his love of language made him proficient in many literatures including made him proficient in many literatures including Persian, Urdu, Sanskrit and of course, Bengali. Most of his songs and lyrics were composed on the spot and have come to us through memorization by his listeners and disciples. Many of the songs have great lyric beauties. They embody many secrets of Tantric Sadhana and sagely revelations of the progress of worship for realization of Godhead. At the same time, the literary beauty and quality of the songs have made them immortal in the literature of Bengal. Among the common people of Bengal, throughout the rustic world Ramprasad's songs are on the lips of every devout soul. The songs reflect various emotional moods and relationships between the child and Mother, the sweetness of the Mother as a young girl as Uma, the daughter of the Indian household-the Supreme power of the Great Shakti, are all there in unforgettable lyric words and imageries through the songs of the great sage.

The attachment of the sage poet to the land of Bengal has captured the life and thoughts of countless people of the land, in a language that is their own and through symbols and metaphors which are bywords of village life and ex-perience.

 

Life and Worship of the Poet Sage Ramprasad

Ramprasad was born in the second decade of eighteenth century, in a distinguished family in village Halishahar in Bengal (now West Bengal), about 60 kilometers from Kolkata. His father was Ram Ram Sen and grandfather Rameshwar Sen.

The Sen family of Halishahar was known for its liberal traditions and devotion to the Tantric cult of Shakti (Goddess Kali) worship. Ramprasad was a talented child. He showed early studies included Persian and Urdu with a good deal of knowledge of Sanskrit and the Shastras.

At the age of 22, he was married to Sarbani. But that Ramprasad was not an ordinary person was evident from his early life. He showed little interest in the affairs of the world and concerns of the family. Even as a boy, he was often absent-minded, sad and melancholy for no apparent reason. Often he sought teacher (guru), he increasingly delved into his spiritual life and the path of worship of Goddess Kali. At this time, the great Tantric sage Pandit Agam Bagish came to town. Ramprasad saw him in solitude and received lessons from him. From then on he was fast losing himself in his search for realization of the Mother Goddess Kali.

The family had its fears and anxiety. Ram Sen,- Ramprasad's father, was fast losing health and the affairs of the family got into serious financial difficulties. At this juncture Ram Sen suddenly died leaving the burden of the impoverished family on the shoulders of Ramprasad.

 

The Struggle

The stark reality of life's struggle in the world now stared Ramprasad in the face. Unaccustomed to the burden of domestic life and not knowing any means of earning money, Ramprasad was miserable. He prayed to Goddess Mother for help but there was no relief.

Then one day in desperation he left for Calcutta to seek a means of livelihood. After some effort he got a job in the house of Durga charan Mitra, a zamindar at Garanhata in Calcutta. His monthly salary was Rs.30. Ramprasad was delighted and grateful to the Mother. But very soon the poet and seeker forgot himself and went about writing songs and hymns in the praise and worship of Goddess Kali across the pages of his accounts books.

Moved by the Great Mother's grace he wrote:

"Oh Mother, make me thy treasurer
I am not ungrateful Shankari, oh Mother."

From now on Ramprasad was lost immersed in chanting of Mother's name. Song after song filled the pages of the books of accounts of the zamindari of his master. Charged and overflowing with emotion and lest he should forget, the worshipful lyrics must be recorded as they came like fragrance from the churned petals of the jasmine flower.

It came to such a pass that Ramprasad's allotted work was neglected, errors started creeping in, routine tasks fell into arrears. His colleagues and seniors were unhappy and then angry. They reported to the master on Ramprasad's lapses. For a time the kind-hearted master took no notice. But one day, disgusted and worried he sent for Ramprasad. The officials took him to the master with all his books. The master picked up the book and was surprised-all over the book were written the name of Goddess Kali and Durga and devotional songs dedicated to them. The first song that the master read-

 

"Oh Mother make me thy treasurer
I am not ungrateful, Shankari oh Mother,
Usurps the treasure of thy feet everyone,
I'am so aggrieved; the treasurer, thou hast named
Lord Tripurari, so forgetful He;
Lord Shiva, He so easily pleased-
By nature beautiful-even so in his care
You lodge your treasure immense rare;
The estate is half and yet even then
Shiva's wages are so high again; If thou should'st tow my father's print
Then thee I'd get, there is just a hint;
Prasad says, I would be dead
With the burden of such feet;
If I attain such feet as those
I would then escape my miseries."

The master was overwhelmed, his eyes filled in tears, he embraced Ramprasad and said, "Ramprasad, you are not meant for this humdrum work of the world. Go back home and do your worship and write your songs. You will get a monthly sum of Rs. 30 at your home."

 

Spiritual Development-Marvels in Ramprasad's Life

Relieved of his immediate financial straits Ramprasad went about his spiritual pursuits with even more zeal. The sagely years of Ramprasad's life are a saga of spiritual growth of a human soul and is filled with marvels.

One anecdote goes-the fence around Ramprasad's cottage fell into disrepair. It was not mended for want of money. One day, Ramprasad started doing the fence himself. His young daughter Jagadeeswari was helping him with the binding chords sitting by his side. This went on for some time when suddenly Jagadeeswari left without telling her father. Ram prasad failed to notice it. However, the work went on and the binding chord was fed to Ramprasad as usual. After a while Jagadeeswari returned. Surprised, she asked father who it was that supplied the chords to him. Ramprasad equally lost said,-why you have been doing it all the time! When he was told that the daughter was away for quite a bit of time Ramprasad was overwhelmed knowing that Goddess Mother came as a young girl to help with his work.

There is another story of his life:

One day a young beautiful woman came to listen to Ramprasad's devotional songs. Ramprasad was then going for his bath. He asked the woman to wait for him. When he came back from his bath, he found that the woman had vanished. In wonder and fear he looked around for her. His eyes fell on the wall of the place of worship and read the writings: "I am Goddess Annapurna. I came to hear your songs. I cannot wait now. Do come to Kashi (Varanasi) and recite your songs to me."

Ramprasad felt miserable. He could not sleep. He decided at once to proceed to Kashi to sing his songs before Mother Goddess Annapurna.

On his way to Kashi at Triveni (in Hooghly district in West Bengal) he dreamt a dream: "You need not come to Kashi, you can sing your songs her itself." Filled with joy Ramprasad gave out his entire soul and sungha series of worshipful songs devoted to the Mother. The songs came out like a cascade of holy waters from heaven as if Goddess Saraswati herself sat on his tongue.

There is still another anecdote in his life: "The day after Kalipuja, at the immersion ceremony Ramprasad composed four songs standing neck-deep in the Ganges river. It is said that at the end of the fourth song when the words "the last rite is over (Dakshina hoyece)" were uttered the 'vital wind' from his being pierced the crown of his head and melted into eternity.

The life and work of sage poet Ramprasad as of his illustrious successor Sri Ramakrishna is a treasure house of the metaphysical lore of the country. It sits on the crown of Bengali literature which is bound to shine with undiminished brilliance as ages wear on.

 

CONTENTS

Introduction   XV
Song
nos.
1. Who would nag you day and night 1
2. My days were lost in frolic and fun 1
3. Oh mind, do not crave for pleasure 2
4. I came to the world, I longed I would play at dice 2
5. Look, whose woman is it, dancing in dreaded stance 3
6. Tarry a moment oh Death, let me chant loud 4
7. Tell me, could you, my friend what happens when one is dead 5
8. I came just for coming, into this world I came 6
9. What profit, oh mind to Kasi Sojourning 6
10. Oh Mother, don your robes 7
11. My luck; oh, Mother Tara 8
12. Oh, Lord of my life, the prince of mountains thou 9
13. Oh Mountain Lord, when my Uma is home this time 10
14. This thy balmy night has dawned 10
15. Who is it coming there, swinging 11
16. Oh Goddess Kali, how is it unrobed you roam 12
17. Oh Mother Kali, your became Lord Rashbehart 13
18. In a broken hut I dwell 13
19. My own Uma, she is no ordinary girl 14
20. Now I have hit upon the quintessence 15
21. Do I dread any in this world - me 15
22. Deliver thou, beseech, oh Tara 16
23. By whose wily words, oh mind 16
24. Oh mind, you have lost the warrant 17
25. Just think, oh mind, your own indeed is none 18
26. Is it just that Shiva's consort she 18
27. Mother Shyama you are flying kites 19
28. Jai Kali, Jai Kali - so you sing 19
29. His net cast the fisherman looks on 20
30. What use, oh Mother in trivial wealth 20
31. Do not touch me, oh Death, I've lost my caste 21
32. This time I will till my soil 21
33. Whose woman there, dancing in dour war 22
34. Who is that bewitching woman, on the brow 23
35. Who's that enchanting woman 24
36. Whose woman is that ravishing maid 24
37. Graceful as the nascent blue rainbearing cloud 25
38. Who is that woman, bewitching appearance 26
39. That enchanting woman, who is She 26
40. Is She just a woman, of many just one! 27
41. My poor mind, how is it amiss 28
42. Shame, my bumble-bee of mind, you let go the game 28
43. Fie! Oh mind, you are greedy of erthly riches 29
44. You turn, oh mind, your love to her 30
45. Will that day come, oh Mother Tara 31
46. Who, oh Mother, will fathom your sport 31
47. Mother Kshema, I am tenant of her own domain 32
48. Being Mother is not ideal word 33
49. Why should I, by the holy Ganges dwell 33
50. Oh Mother Kali, all worries you wiped out 34
51. Beware, look out! The bark sinks 35
52. Nothing good is ever mine 36
53. Who knows how Mother Kali is 37
54. On the emerald rock of Kali's feet 37
55. Your saviour feet, you squandered all 38
56. This Time, oh Hara, I will reckon one! 39
57. Tell me, Mother Tara, where do I tarry 39
58. Kasi, what use is it 40
59. Mother, how long must you wheel me around? 42
60. Oh mind, you are so poor in the peasant's skill 43
61. Now I have mused on the quintessence 44
62. In the heart's lotus playground swings shyama of fearful face 44
63. My cherished dream is unfulfilled 45
64. Oh Mother, it's over, my time of play 46
65. How long must I trudge on this fruitless toil 46
66. What marvel, oh mind, you came to do 47
67. Listen, Mother Tara, to my tale of woes 48
68. If the raft should sink, even then 49
69. Guess, what I'm dying to divine 49
70. Have pity on the poor, oh Shiva's queen 50
71. What treasure would you give me, oh 51
72. In my soul the queen of bliss 51
73. How often do I tell you, Mother, of all my endless woes 52
74. Why is it, mind, your illusion lasts 52
75. Chanting Kali's hymns day and night 53
76. The charming woman, radiant dark 54
77. Why are you, oh mind, so alarmed 55
78. Your saviour feet, all you gave away; none 55
79. Now the game is don 56
80. Am I afraid of misery 57
81. Where do I go at this unseemly hour 58
82. How you'd get ride of me 58
83. Away with you, you Yama' s tout 59
84. I'll no more be swayed by sham deceit 59
85. What is it you vaunt, oh mother 60
86. What use this body, my friend 61
87. Oh mind, call Mother Shyama's name 62
88. That is why I love the darksome looks 62
89. I will call you Kali no more 63
90. I am so sore about that woe 64
91. Day and night bethink, oh mind 65
92. Tara, what more harm can happen 65
93. Locks unlaced, enrobed in space 66
94. Look there, who, that enchantress one! 67
95. On the body supine of Shiva supreme 68
96. That woman, what marvel, how she battles 68
97. Who is that woman doing war? 70
98. I pray, oh mind 71
99. For sure this day will end 71
100. The word is shoreless, there's no ferry across 72
101. How am I so much at fault! 73
102. Why commerce anymore 73
103. Thou my tongue, sing, keep chanting Kali's name 75
104. Of the queen of charms it is fun supreme 76
105. Oh my mind, my forgetful uncle thou 76
106 Oh mind, do you fathom Her the Queen 77
107. My mother, She abides in the inner niche of my mind 79
108. Mother Tara, thou oh queen Snankari 79
109. I dwell in the name of Mother Kali 80
110. So sweet is Mother Kali's name 81
111. Oh mind, at tipcat let's have a hand 82
112. That is why I grieve repine 83
113. Oh, thou my tongue, for once, call aloud 84
114. Tara's name is destroyer of all 84
115. Now, hence, oh Kali I'll take your count 85
116. Witness my chartered deed, oh come 86
117. Tara, deliverer of the woebegone 87
118. You, emissary of Death, better go back 88
119. Oh Death, what use your idle threat 89
120. Mother Tara, I'm not one of your timid child 90
121. Oh mind, what's your business that you came 91
122. I've reposed my soul on those fearless feet 91
123. That is why I bide under the tree 92
124. Oh mother, my destiny is to blame 93
125. Is it there, e'er, any fear, pestilence 94
126. The mind bethinks it'll go on pilgrimage 95
127. Set me free, Mothers, with waving locks 96
128. Mother, now I'm vocal in my plaint 97
129. Mother, how so much you dacne in wart 98
130. Loose vast hanging tresses 99
131. Home of charmer hopes, dread doom ferry across 100
132. Face as the moon without her stain 101
133. Who is there that ravishing woman 102
134. Shyama, the woman of legion charms 103
135. Lord Shankara beneath her feet 105
136. Shyama, that ravishing woman she 106
137. That graceful woman Shyama, who is she? 107
138. The gentle dame, she is naked stark 107
139. As the young lily the enchanting dame 108
140. Oh mind, is it that you do not know 109
141. What justice this, mother, fair play! 110
142. Why is it, for Kasi I should ask! 111
143. I abide immune out of bounds 112
144. The way in of Death is now shut out 113
145 Chant Kali, Tara's name oh, ceaselessly 114
146. It never left me, my evil fate 115
147. I'm none, no fugitive from law 116
148. That's why, oh mind, I tell you so 116
149. My mind, how you float on fancy, fun 118
150. When is it I would in Kasi dwell 118
151. Oh mother, I am so careworn distraught 119
152. In every nook and home there Mother' dwells 120
153 I'll take refuge beneath mother's feet 120
154. Who is that woman, whose enchanting love 121
155. Oh my mind, I touch your feet, entreat 122
156. Oh my Queen, the metropolis is loud 122
157. I tell you this, oh mind, do worship, chant 124
158. Kasi, Annapurna's blessed land 124
159. Oh mind, call out Kali's name 125
160. Supreme deliverer of fallen soul 126
161. Oh my tongue, chant Kali Kali, chant again 127
162. All merciful! Who calls you all-benign 128
163. Beyond all knowing, Unborn, Mother Thou! 128
164. The wretched soul has spread his empty plate 129
165. Thou hast broken up the fair Mother Shyama 130
166. How longer must I toil round and round 131
167. How longer must Thous, sleep oj Kulakundalini 132
168. Look into yourself, oh mind 133
169. Will that day ever be mine 134
170. Do not wake her up my Jaya girl 135
171. Oh listen, that One He, -He is my groom 136
172. Should'st my mind be amiss, or err 136
173. Alone I came, I'll quit alone 137
174. No more, my child, - grieve, sulk resent 137
175. I do not shut my eyes for fear of that 138
176 Turn me insane, oh Mother (Brahmamoyee) across 138
177. Put 'Her' in the niche of your bosom - caressing warm 139
178. I am not that dud moronic son of Thine 140
179. Come, Mother, let's have duel in the 'penance-ring' 141
180. How now, today oh Queen Kali 142
181. The daughter of the mountain King - her metropolis 100
182. My fond desire has gone in vain 144
183. The day is no longer far away 144
184. What same is it , oh, how obscene! 145
185. Mother Kali, I've lost my caste 146
186. Mother Taran, Thou art the queen of thoughts 147
187. I've known, oh Kali, now Thy mental stance 147
188. When, alas but when 148
189. I'm most wretched, the meanest of the mean 149
190. Should I come by a rupee one crore purse 150
191. Today, Mother Kali, Thou hast assumed, as if, all-devouring form 151
192. Oh Tara, you queen of thoughts 152
193. Deliverance is her 'Name' 152
194. Wake up, arise Thou gracious queen 153
195. Tell me oh Uma, my little child 154
196 Come, oh Mother, in my bosom dwell 155
197. Is it that, oh Brahmamoyee 156
198. What is this game, oh Kali 156
199. This time I will sure go mad 157
200. Come, oh Mother, in my bosom dwell 158
201. It's now betimes, oh Tara, my Prayer I submit 159
202. It's time, oh mind, you better call 159
203. Oh, it is not that wine I drink 160
204 Oh mind 161
205. Do thou get up, oh Uma, leave thy bed 162
206. Oh thou Mother Kali, ever ceaselessly 162
207 Oh Mother Kali with wreath of skulls 163
208. (Oh) you mist go - to tarry there's little time 164
209. Why not, oh Mother Tara, I so beseech 165
210. I wonder how oft you dwell in diverse moods 166
211. My Mother, She is the sea of joy supreme 166
212. Oh mind, what is this error on which you err 168
213. Tell me, oh hibiscus flower, how 169
214. Being mother thou, oh Mother Taraerry across 170
215. I pray, oh mind, why not thou dost blossom 172
216. Durga Mother , be'est thou with Durga's pages 173
217. When the child's in tears crying 'mother' 173
218. Kali ever immersed in joy expansive vast 175
219. My Father, He is unvaried full of joy 176
220. My heart's in aching pain 176
221. Who bethinks of Tara's feet 177
222. Let's go, oh mind, we two together across 178
223. Is it for nought that my soul so weeps! 179
224. If the world is full of grief and pain 180
225. Is it, oh Mother, thou wouldst send thy son 181
226. I call thee, Shyama, often and then again 182
227. You must save me, oh, thou saviour mine 183
228. That naked girl, her laurels care 183
229. Shyama, oh, who is that, below thy feet, supine! 184
230. The worlds dwell in Thee; -in thy marvel 185
231. I have got it, Mother, thy wily wish 186
232. This life, for ever it will not last 186
233. Oh Mother 187
234. Thou Mountain Lord, - Ganesha mine 188
235. Oh Mountain Lord, my Gouri, she did come 189
236. Aloft oh lift your limbs oh Mountain King 190
237. The dark dense cloud, in the inner firmament,- it loomed 190
238. Kali, how long like this time will lapse 191
239. What is the treasure I can offer Thee 192
240. That woman as the dark somber night 193
241. What is thy 'name', Mother by which thee I call! 193
242. How could you my little mother 194
243. Come, mother, thou Lor Bhola's spouse 195
244. She came just only yesterday 196
245. As tomorrow, Bhola comes 197
246. To this slave what grace, thou gracious Queen 198
247. Take me on to thy lap, oh, Mother Kali 198
248. Oh Kali, do this thou when Death doth come 199
249. There's no son so wretched as I 200
250. It is my fault I have cried and moaned 200
251. Let us set out, oh conscious mind 201
252. Whose dark swarthy maiden there 201
253. I have drawn the fence with Kali's name 202
254. What do I offer thee as worship 203
255. Where art thou, the word's deliverer 204
256. What dread have I of dreaded Death 205
257. Gaya, Ganga, Provas others Kasi Kanchi who but yearns 205
258. I cling on to thy feet, Mother, even then 206
259. Oh thou, 'fish of life,' thy life is done 207
260. I have come to know, Shyama Mother's Court 208
261. Mother thou, deign the blooming lotus of thy feet 209
262. Jaya, oh, do not, I pray, so beseech 210
263. I have come to know, I ken so well 210
264. Should I breathe my last chanting 'Jai Kali 211
265. Wake up thou, arise, oh mind 212
266. The fishing net cast well spread out 213
267. Into the Yamuna water I'll throw my self 214
268. Who is that your company, oh mind! 214
269. Get thee gone, oh Death, -what wouldst thou dare? 215
270. As the blooming lotus blue azure 216
271. Tara, pray now take me across the stream 217
272. Save thy son oh Saviour 217
273. Can I blame thee, Mother, oh? 218
274. To dwell in a place of pilgrimage, it's futile 219
275. How will it profit thee my errant mind, 221
276. When will it be that time will come, when 221
277. Tara! Thou art Supreme Mother Divine! 222
278 Mother, you cast me, sure out of mind 223
279. Tell me Tara, them what use reposing trust in thee 224
280 Shiva's queen you mountain-maid 224
281. Who is that one who dwells upstairs 225
282. Take back your sack and gypsy gown 226
283. Do tell me, what kind is this stance 227
284. Lift thy head, thou Lord supreme 228
285. I'll let you know what's Mother's Pain 229
286. By your ways and stance I now know for sure 230
287. The gnawing endless pain and tears 231
288. Howsoever I teach you, mind, alas, you ne'er learn 231
289. Do burn the passions 232
290. What fears oh mind, so why bemoan 233
291. Thou hast me bewitched becharmed 234
292. In the world's realm of thoughts 235
293. At long last now I have thought it right 237
294. What fears have I, oh Death, of thee 238
295. On the earth the joyous blissful soul is one 240
296. Listen, oh my mind 241
297. Ignorant my absent mind, that's why 242
298. Oh mind, why but all these worries thine 243
299. This time, Kali, I'll thee devour 244
300. Oh mind, why not have a game of dice? 245
301. Oh mind, get want to the saviour's feet 246
302. Mother, art thou everywhere! 247
303. Oh mind, even in error, absent mind 248
304. Oh my mind, must you take some potion, then 248
305. My mind oh, it so yearns to go, resort 249
306. I die of the load of thankless work in thrall 250
307. The elephant queen wild in must 251
308. Oh mind, let me but ask you this 252
309. Do not call out, seek, 'Mother' any more, oh mind 252
310. Listen, Mother Shyama, my yearnings hopes 253
311. Ooh mind, let me but ask you this 254
312. Oh mind, hush, just keep quiet and calm 255
313. My Mother She is so concerned 256
314. My mind, is it, you have gone insane? 257
315. My mind, why, tell me, to Kasi would you roam? 258
316. As a Porter I have spent all my days -oh Kali 259
317. Is it there still left aught of misery 260
318. You will no longer be born again 260
319. (Mother) pray, as life ends I do attain those feet 261
320. Have thy pleasure, oh Mother, I know thy way 262
321. What good turn you have done, oh Kali 263
322. The one who is daughter of mountain stone 264
323. The one who Tara's feet bethinks 264
324. You didn't care, oh mind, to obey my will 265
325. Crimson lotus in scarlet hands 266
326. Oh thou Death, -look, here I fearless stand 267
327. I shudder, my little mother, as I bethink 267
328. Pray, hearken thou, oh somber Night 269
329. The withered Tree - it does not sprout 269
330. My heart, I've turned it desert - waste 270
331. Thou art, oh Morther os fond of desolate waste! 271
332. Shyama Mother, some device she has set up 272
333. If Shiva, Mother, is thy husband, Lord across 273
334. Is it, my Shyama Mother 274

 

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The Divine Songs of Sage Poet Ramprasad

Item Code:
IDD928
Cover:
Hardcover
Edition:
2004
ISBN:
8121510856
Language:
English
Size:
8.8" X 5.8"
Pages:
300
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Weight of the Book: 480 gms
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About The Book:

 

Ramprasad Sen was born in the second decade of the eighteenth century in Halishahar in (then) Bengal. He was a great saint in Shakta cult. But, he was too a natural poet and composer.

The songs are hymns to Goddess Mother Kali couched in rustic words and symbols of everyday life. Yet, most of this symbolism is a rare mosaic of the occult mystery of Tantrashastra and carry a double meaning. Thus, flying kites, the blind ox trudging routine endless circles of the village oil-machine (ghaani), the small town courtroom, the sailing craft of life - are all symbols of the highest mystic Shakta worship of Goddess Durga or Kali (Mahashakti).

The English rendering aims to echo the nuances of the original in its threefold uniqueness: (a) simplicity and rustic symbols, (b) their inner spiritual mystique, and (c) muse and rhymes. The volume will treat the English speaking world to a taste of this rare Indian spiritual songs and poetry.

About The Author:

Prof. Shyamal Banerjee is a student of English literature. Teaching of Swamiji and Sri Aurobindo. English (Hons.) and M.A. (Econ.) of Calcutta University. First in English in IAS Former Sr. Professor, IIM (Joka), Kolkata. Author of many books and poems in English (and Bengali) - he took to translation spurred by a challenge to bring rare and unique Sanskrit and Bengali classics to the European reader without spoiling the savour and muse of the original. The result was his rendering into English of Michael Madhusudan Dutt's Meghnad Badh Kavya (Original in Bengali); Vidyasagar -The Ocean Man of Compassion (Karunasagar Vidyasagar in Bengali); Kalidasa's Meghadootam; Srimadbhagabad Geeta (original in Sanskrit); and now The Divine Songs of Sage Poet Ramprasad (original in Bengali).

Introduction

Man and Religion

In any human system, in every clime and country, literature has given expression to the nuances of individual and social life. It is but natural, for, the emotional world of life as it is lived must find expression. This expression is both a joy and a compulsion. All emotions, yearnings are a charge, pent up fury that beaks barriers to come out in the open. The lava that erupts from out the crater of the volcano or the massive fluid that cascades as the mountain falls is victims of the same compulsion. And the joy is immanent. The color and the sound and the smell of the millions of sensuous manifestations of Nature around us are all bubbling with the joy of creation. The longings of the inner being have an urge of reunion with its creator, as he is revealed in the existential worlds.

Songs and poetry have ever served as the spontaneous vehicle of this conscious psychic life of man. In this inner bower of man's life religious devotion to a Power that is supreme-both immanent and transcendent-has always occupied a central position. Nothing else, it seems, lends any meaning to the life of the individual as we know it in this mortal world.

Devotional songs have enriched all literatures of the world. It is particularly so in India literatures of the world. It is particularly so in Indian literatures in all of its many languages. The normal man has a passion for the supernormal. The reach must always elude the grasp, or, as the poet says 'what is Heaven for?' Nature is endowed with power, and so it is benign and beautiful. The ancient man perceived his God as the wielder of Supernatural power, the Fire, the Sun, the Rain, and the Winds who decide the destiny of man, against whom man was powerless, weak and insignificant. That is the beginning of all forms of worship.

As man's philosophic search for his Creator continued, God was bestowed with not only power but love, compassion, benign weal for all his creations. The Godhead was imbued with properties, virtues as he took immense and multitudinous forms. The Hindu pantheon of gods and deities came to be as wide as the relations of man with his Creator. The rishis (sages) of the Vedanta searched for the essence of this Godhead. The avenues were diverse, the paths of worship were many and God was perceived or realized in various ways. Advaitavada occupied a large stream of Hindu philosophy. There is only one God; all manifestations are merely his symbols as he is revealed. God is immanent in everything is in God. Without God nothing exists. The whole of existence is but an image of the reality and Reality is God-infinite, uneroding, unborn, undying.

Along with this Vedantic approach to God, many streams of worship and philosophy went along and imbued man and society for ages. Taking off from Vedic legends the Hindu pantheon was overflowing with deities, endowed with various qualities, virtues and powers. Indra, Varuna, Surya, Vishnu, Shiva, Agni, Vasus, Usha and a hundred others. It is a curious phenomenon that the deities that filled the horizon of human perception-they seem to be many and, at the same time, one. This vision is not one of polytheism; this is not indeed monotheism either, although the concept of the monistic Godhead seems to flow as a ubiquitous under current. But the legion gods do not also submit themselves to henotheism. It is not the worship of One God of one's own psychic realm with realization that there are many others. It is a worship of a deity, and then the deity seems to be one and the same as the Supreme Being, the one Almighty Godhead. And these gods are interchangeable, clearly conceived as different forms of the same Almighty being. Thus Vishnu (Lord Krishna), the Goddess Durga or Kali, Lord Shiva and others in the pantheon are often realized as an image of the same Supreme being.

In the poetry and songs of the period, in the last millennium these variations of worship and perception of Godhead are eloquently manifest.

The image of the Godhead is bound to be colored by the perception of humanity. The worshipper and the worshipped were bonded by common ties. The deities and the Godhead were humanized. They were superhuman beings of course, and yet not free from the laws and virtues of humanity. The human soul marched toward Godhead for the ultimate reunion. Perception of the world as a playground of Godhead, with its littleness and essential futility, continued as an under current of all sagely souls. Human relations with Godhead were overwhelmed with love and worshipful submission. The being could easily interchange sex and gender. Indeed, the very concept of Godhead had no element of distinction of gender. The Supreme is the only Male, Purusha. All creation was the will of God. God wanted to manifest Himself in Nature (Prakriti). Prakriti was conceived as the Female form, Mahamaya, the Goddess Kali or Durga-an image of God Himself, one and the same with God.

In Bengal right from the twelfth century, the Vaishnava cult of religion had a large sway. Countless devotees had filled the pages of literature with the sweet and loving relationship of Radha and Krishna in Vrindavana. With the advent of Sri Chaitanya in Nadia in Bengal worshipful songs and dances on the love and devotion of Radha for Sri Krishna had reached a culmination. The songs of the devout poets in Brajaboli-Vidyapati, Chandidas, Gobindadas, Sekhar and others and Jayadeva in Sanskrit had enriched Indian literature purely for their poetic qualities apart from their place in the devotional history of the land in which they are unquestionable landmarks.

Along with the Vaishnava cult of worship, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries religious life in Bengal saw the ascendance of the Shakti cult of worship. Goddess Kali, Tara or Durga was the most important Mother Goddess as the object of worship of philosophers, poets and sages in the last three centuries. One form of Goddess Durga was Uma, daughter of the Great Himalayas and mother Menaka. Uma is a daughter of the mountains, the sweet beautiful girl, who was married away to Lord Shiva. Uma is also Parvati in the great works of poet Kalidasa. She is ever the sweet charming daughter of every household in the sprawling land of India.

Ramprasad and his Poetry

Foremost among the sage poets of the Shakti cult was Ramprasad. His songs and lyrics are of immense variety and are a phenomenal blend of the secrets of the sagely Tantric ways of worship with the sweetest relations of love and submission of the child and the mother. Ramprasad embodies the popular worshipful love and submission of the land to the Mother, as the Supreme Goddess in all her manifestations. The poet is aware that the only mission of life is love and worship of Mother Goddess and everything else is fruitless and futile:

"I have lost my days in fruitless fun,
My mission lost, charmed by bewitching time…"

The poet is agonizingly conscious that all human relations are but transitory. The real and only life-selfless and eternal-can exist at the feet of the Mother herself.

 

"When oh, Mother Tara I earned riches
At home and far away, Then friends, bothers, wife and sons
Were mine, all obeying my words;
Now my earning gone, my age is over;
Those selfsame friends, brothers, wife, sons
Scold me all, alas, for lack of means…"

Ramprasad uses the commonest of the common rustic lore and language, often, in his songs devoted to the Mother. He often uses symbols and metaphors taken from ordinary life. Thus he uses the symbol of the dice game in one of his songs:

 

"I came into this world,
I yearned I would play at game of dice;
My hopes, alas, all shattered, a broken state-
The first ever die the meanest 'five;'
The die then read 'one and twelve,' then eighteen,
Again sixteen, ages of matchless rounds;
Then at last on 'twelve plus one'-alas,
Mother-it got stuck at 'five' and 'six'
'Six plus two for eight,' 'six and four for ten'
Oh Mother, all outside my ken,
My game gave me no fame, none-
My stake, its all over now;
My last was my fourteenth lane-
Stopped then at the blind alley;
The fault was Ramprasad's –utter shame,
The ripened die fell back alas
To its raw state once again."

The song is a plea to the Great Goddess, symbolizing the game of dice in which the poet seems to have lost in life.
Another symbol is the game of kite flying. Song no.27 (in this collection) throughout uses the various phases of kite flying till the kite is cut off its strings and loses its moorings. The poet uses the simile as an image of life in its heart-breaking pursuit of the worship of the Mother.

Ramprasad's lyrics and songs are rich in imageries and eloquent sensuous description of the Mother. The curious blend of power and charm, the ravishing woman engaged in war-is exemplified in the songs, nos. 33 to 39.

The culmination of the Shakti cult was perhaps seen in the great sage of modern times Sri Ramakrishna. Sri Ramakrishna preached the oneness of all religions. He said again and again that God can be reached through every creed and religion. There are as many ways to reach him as there are creeds. The seeds of this consciousness are also seen in Ramprasad's songs and poetry. Song no. 17 is an eloquent statement of the oneness of relations and the sameness of Godhead. Ramprasad declared-"Oh Mother Kali, you became Lord Rashbehari, as the amorous lover in Vrindavana."

There was inevitably some little rivalry between the votaries of Vaishnava cult and those of Shakti cult. Ramprasad shows the great awareness of the futility of religious fanaticism or conflicts among creeds and beliefs. He perhaps is the symbol and culmination of the immanent sublimity of the Hindu religion which embraces all religious forms of worship in its catholic unifying stream.

Ramprasad was a natural poet. His scholarship was well known; his love of language made him proficient in many literatures including made him proficient in many literatures including Persian, Urdu, Sanskrit and of course, Bengali. Most of his songs and lyrics were composed on the spot and have come to us through memorization by his listeners and disciples. Many of the songs have great lyric beauties. They embody many secrets of Tantric Sadhana and sagely revelations of the progress of worship for realization of Godhead. At the same time, the literary beauty and quality of the songs have made them immortal in the literature of Bengal. Among the common people of Bengal, throughout the rustic world Ramprasad's songs are on the lips of every devout soul. The songs reflect various emotional moods and relationships between the child and Mother, the sweetness of the Mother as a young girl as Uma, the daughter of the Indian household-the Supreme power of the Great Shakti, are all there in unforgettable lyric words and imageries through the songs of the great sage.

The attachment of the sage poet to the land of Bengal has captured the life and thoughts of countless people of the land, in a language that is their own and through symbols and metaphors which are bywords of village life and ex-perience.

 

Life and Worship of the Poet Sage Ramprasad

Ramprasad was born in the second decade of eighteenth century, in a distinguished family in village Halishahar in Bengal (now West Bengal), about 60 kilometers from Kolkata. His father was Ram Ram Sen and grandfather Rameshwar Sen.

The Sen family of Halishahar was known for its liberal traditions and devotion to the Tantric cult of Shakti (Goddess Kali) worship. Ramprasad was a talented child. He showed early studies included Persian and Urdu with a good deal of knowledge of Sanskrit and the Shastras.

At the age of 22, he was married to Sarbani. But that Ramprasad was not an ordinary person was evident from his early life. He showed little interest in the affairs of the world and concerns of the family. Even as a boy, he was often absent-minded, sad and melancholy for no apparent reason. Often he sought teacher (guru), he increasingly delved into his spiritual life and the path of worship of Goddess Kali. At this time, the great Tantric sage Pandit Agam Bagish came to town. Ramprasad saw him in solitude and received lessons from him. From then on he was fast losing himself in his search for realization of the Mother Goddess Kali.

The family had its fears and anxiety. Ram Sen,- Ramprasad's father, was fast losing health and the affairs of the family got into serious financial difficulties. At this juncture Ram Sen suddenly died leaving the burden of the impoverished family on the shoulders of Ramprasad.

 

The Struggle

The stark reality of life's struggle in the world now stared Ramprasad in the face. Unaccustomed to the burden of domestic life and not knowing any means of earning money, Ramprasad was miserable. He prayed to Goddess Mother for help but there was no relief.

Then one day in desperation he left for Calcutta to seek a means of livelihood. After some effort he got a job in the house of Durga charan Mitra, a zamindar at Garanhata in Calcutta. His monthly salary was Rs.30. Ramprasad was delighted and grateful to the Mother. But very soon the poet and seeker forgot himself and went about writing songs and hymns in the praise and worship of Goddess Kali across the pages of his accounts books.

Moved by the Great Mother's grace he wrote:

"Oh Mother, make me thy treasurer
I am not ungrateful Shankari, oh Mother."

From now on Ramprasad was lost immersed in chanting of Mother's name. Song after song filled the pages of the books of accounts of the zamindari of his master. Charged and overflowing with emotion and lest he should forget, the worshipful lyrics must be recorded as they came like fragrance from the churned petals of the jasmine flower.

It came to such a pass that Ramprasad's allotted work was neglected, errors started creeping in, routine tasks fell into arrears. His colleagues and seniors were unhappy and then angry. They reported to the master on Ramprasad's lapses. For a time the kind-hearted master took no notice. But one day, disgusted and worried he sent for Ramprasad. The officials took him to the master with all his books. The master picked up the book and was surprised-all over the book were written the name of Goddess Kali and Durga and devotional songs dedicated to them. The first song that the master read-

 

"Oh Mother make me thy treasurer
I am not ungrateful, Shankari oh Mother,
Usurps the treasure of thy feet everyone,
I'am so aggrieved; the treasurer, thou hast named
Lord Tripurari, so forgetful He;
Lord Shiva, He so easily pleased-
By nature beautiful-even so in his care
You lodge your treasure immense rare;
The estate is half and yet even then
Shiva's wages are so high again; If thou should'st tow my father's print
Then thee I'd get, there is just a hint;
Prasad says, I would be dead
With the burden of such feet;
If I attain such feet as those
I would then escape my miseries."

The master was overwhelmed, his eyes filled in tears, he embraced Ramprasad and said, "Ramprasad, you are not meant for this humdrum work of the world. Go back home and do your worship and write your songs. You will get a monthly sum of Rs. 30 at your home."

 

Spiritual Development-Marvels in Ramprasad's Life

Relieved of his immediate financial straits Ramprasad went about his spiritual pursuits with even more zeal. The sagely years of Ramprasad's life are a saga of spiritual growth of a human soul and is filled with marvels.

One anecdote goes-the fence around Ramprasad's cottage fell into disrepair. It was not mended for want of money. One day, Ramprasad started doing the fence himself. His young daughter Jagadeeswari was helping him with the binding chords sitting by his side. This went on for some time when suddenly Jagadeeswari left without telling her father. Ram prasad failed to notice it. However, the work went on and the binding chord was fed to Ramprasad as usual. After a while Jagadeeswari returned. Surprised, she asked father who it was that supplied the chords to him. Ramprasad equally lost said,-why you have been doing it all the time! When he was told that the daughter was away for quite a bit of time Ramprasad was overwhelmed knowing that Goddess Mother came as a young girl to help with his work.

There is another story of his life:

One day a young beautiful woman came to listen to Ramprasad's devotional songs. Ramprasad was then going for his bath. He asked the woman to wait for him. When he came back from his bath, he found that the woman had vanished. In wonder and fear he looked around for her. His eyes fell on the wall of the place of worship and read the writings: "I am Goddess Annapurna. I came to hear your songs. I cannot wait now. Do come to Kashi (Varanasi) and recite your songs to me."

Ramprasad felt miserable. He could not sleep. He decided at once to proceed to Kashi to sing his songs before Mother Goddess Annapurna.

On his way to Kashi at Triveni (in Hooghly district in West Bengal) he dreamt a dream: "You need not come to Kashi, you can sing your songs her itself." Filled with joy Ramprasad gave out his entire soul and sungha series of worshipful songs devoted to the Mother. The songs came out like a cascade of holy waters from heaven as if Goddess Saraswati herself sat on his tongue.

There is still another anecdote in his life: "The day after Kalipuja, at the immersion ceremony Ramprasad composed four songs standing neck-deep in the Ganges river. It is said that at the end of the fourth song when the words "the last rite is over (Dakshina hoyece)" were uttered the 'vital wind' from his being pierced the crown of his head and melted into eternity.

The life and work of sage poet Ramprasad as of his illustrious successor Sri Ramakrishna is a treasure house of the metaphysical lore of the country. It sits on the crown of Bengali literature which is bound to shine with undiminished brilliance as ages wear on.

 

CONTENTS

Introduction   XV
Song
nos.
1. Who would nag you day and night 1
2. My days were lost in frolic and fun 1
3. Oh mind, do not crave for pleasure 2
4. I came to the world, I longed I would play at dice 2
5. Look, whose woman is it, dancing in dreaded stance 3
6. Tarry a moment oh Death, let me chant loud 4
7. Tell me, could you, my friend what happens when one is dead 5
8. I came just for coming, into this world I came 6
9. What profit, oh mind to Kasi Sojourning 6
10. Oh Mother, don your robes 7
11. My luck; oh, Mother Tara 8
12. Oh, Lord of my life, the prince of mountains thou 9
13. Oh Mountain Lord, when my Uma is home this time 10
14. This thy balmy night has dawned 10
15. Who is it coming there, swinging 11
16. Oh Goddess Kali, how is it unrobed you roam 12
17. Oh Mother Kali, your became Lord Rashbehart 13
18. In a broken hut I dwell 13
19. My own Uma, she is no ordinary girl 14
20. Now I have hit upon the quintessence 15
21. Do I dread any in this world - me 15
22. Deliver thou, beseech, oh Tara 16
23. By whose wily words, oh mind 16
24. Oh mind, you have lost the warrant 17
25. Just think, oh mind, your own indeed is none 18
26. Is it just that Shiva's consort she 18
27. Mother Shyama you are flying kites 19
28. Jai Kali, Jai Kali - so you sing 19
29. His net cast the fisherman looks on 20
30. What use, oh Mother in trivial wealth 20
31. Do not touch me, oh Death, I've lost my caste 21
32. This time I will till my soil 21
33. Whose woman there, dancing in dour war 22
34. Who is that bewitching woman, on the brow 23
35. Who's that enchanting woman 24
36. Whose woman is that ravishing maid 24
37. Graceful as the nascent blue rainbearing cloud 25
38. Who is that woman, bewitching appearance 26
39. That enchanting woman, who is She 26
40. Is She just a woman, of many just one! 27
41. My poor mind, how is it amiss 28
42. Shame, my bumble-bee of mind, you let go the game 28
43. Fie! Oh mind, you are greedy of erthly riches 29
44. You turn, oh mind, your love to her 30
45. Will that day come, oh Mother Tara 31
46. Who, oh Mother, will fathom your sport 31
47. Mother Kshema, I am tenant of her own domain 32
48. Being Mother is not ideal word 33
49. Why should I, by the holy Ganges dwell 33
50. Oh Mother Kali, all worries you wiped out 34
51. Beware, look out! The bark sinks 35
52. Nothing good is ever mine 36
53. Who knows how Mother Kali is 37
54. On the emerald rock of Kali's feet 37
55. Your saviour feet, you squandered all 38
56. This Time, oh Hara, I will reckon one! 39
57. Tell me, Mother Tara, where do I tarry 39
58. Kasi, what use is it 40
59. Mother, how long must you wheel me around? 42
60. Oh mind, you are so poor in the peasant's skill 43
61. Now I have mused on the quintessence 44
62. In the heart's lotus playground swings shyama of fearful face 44
63. My cherished dream is unfulfilled 45
64. Oh Mother, it's over, my time of play 46
65. How long must I trudge on this fruitless toil 46
66. What marvel, oh mind, you came to do 47
67. Listen, Mother Tara, to my tale of woes 48
68. If the raft should sink, even then 49
69. Guess, what I'm dying to divine 49
70. Have pity on the poor, oh Shiva's queen 50
71. What treasure would you give me, oh 51
72. In my soul the queen of bliss 51
73. How often do I tell you, Mother, of all my endless woes 52
74. Why is it, mind, your illusion lasts 52
75. Chanting Kali's hymns day and night 53
76. The charming woman, radiant dark 54
77. Why are you, oh mind, so alarmed 55
78. Your saviour feet, all you gave away; none 55
79. Now the game is don 56
80. Am I afraid of misery 57
81. Where do I go at this unseemly hour 58
82. How you'd get ride of me 58
83. Away with you, you Yama' s tout 59
84. I'll no more be swayed by sham deceit 59
85. What is it you vaunt, oh mother 60
86. What use this body, my friend 61
87. Oh mind, call Mother Shyama's name 62
88. That is why I love the darksome looks 62
89. I will call you Kali no more 63
90. I am so sore about that woe 64
91. Day and night bethink, oh mind 65
92. Tara, what more harm can happen 65
93. Locks unlaced, enrobed in space 66
94. Look there, who, that enchantress one! 67
95. On the body supine of Shiva supreme 68
96. That woman, what marvel, how she battles 68
97. Who is that woman doing war? 70
98. I pray, oh mind 71
99. For sure this day will end 71
100. The word is shoreless, there's no ferry across 72
101. How am I so much at fault! 73
102. Why commerce anymore 73
103. Thou my tongue, sing, keep chanting Kali's name 75
104. Of the queen of charms it is fun supreme 76
105. Oh my mind, my forgetful uncle thou 76
106 Oh mind, do you fathom Her the Queen 77
107. My mother, She abides in the inner niche of my mind 79
108. Mother Tara, thou oh queen Snankari 79
109. I dwell in the name of Mother Kali 80
110. So sweet is Mother Kali's name 81
111. Oh mind, at tipcat let's have a hand 82
112. That is why I grieve repine 83
113. Oh, thou my tongue, for once, call aloud 84
114. Tara's name is destroyer of all 84
115. Now, hence, oh Kali I'll take your count 85
116. Witness my chartered deed, oh come 86
117. Tara, deliverer of the woebegone 87
118. You, emissary of Death, better go back 88
119. Oh Death, what use your idle threat 89
120. Mother Tara, I'm not one of your timid child 90
121. Oh mind, what's your business that you came 91
122. I've reposed my soul on those fearless feet 91
123. That is why I bide under the tree 92
124. Oh mother, my destiny is to blame 93
125. Is it there, e'er, any fear, pestilence 94
126. The mind bethinks it'll go on pilgrimage 95
127. Set me free, Mothers, with waving locks 96
128. Mother, now I'm vocal in my plaint 97
129. Mother, how so much you dacne in wart 98
130. Loose vast hanging tresses 99
131. Home of charmer hopes, dread doom ferry across 100
132. Face as the moon without her stain 101
133. Who is there that ravishing woman 102
134. Shyama, the woman of legion charms 103
135. Lord Shankara beneath her feet 105
136. Shyama, that ravishing woman she 106
137. That graceful woman Shyama, who is she? 107
138. The gentle dame, she is naked stark 107
139. As the young lily the enchanting dame 108
140. Oh mind, is it that you do not know 109
141. What justice this, mother, fair play! 110
142. Why is it, for Kasi I should ask! 111
143. I abide immune out of bounds 112
144. The way in of Death is now shut out 113
145 Chant Kali, Tara's name oh, ceaselessly 114
146. It never left me, my evil fate 115
147. I'm none, no fugitive from law 116
148. That's why, oh mind, I tell you so 116
149. My mind, how you float on fancy, fun 118
150. When is it I would in Kasi dwell 118
151. Oh mother, I am so careworn distraught 119
152. In every nook and home there Mother' dwells 120
153 I'll take refuge beneath mother's feet 120
154. Who is that woman, whose enchanting love 121
155. Oh my mind, I touch your feet, entreat 122
156. Oh my Queen, the metropolis is loud 122
157. I tell you this, oh mind, do worship, chant 124
158. Kasi, Annapurna's blessed land 124
159. Oh mind, call out Kali's name 125
160. Supreme deliverer of fallen soul 126
161. Oh my tongue, chant Kali Kali, chant again 127
162. All merciful! Who calls you all-benign 128
163. Beyond all knowing, Unborn, Mother Thou! 128
164. The wretched soul has spread his empty plate 129
165. Thou hast broken up the fair Mother Shyama 130
166. How longer must I toil round and round 131
167. How longer must Thous, sleep oj Kulakundalini 132
168. Look into yourself, oh mind 133
169. Will that day ever be mine 134
170. Do not wake her up my Jaya girl 135
171. Oh listen, that One He, -He is my groom 136
172. Should'st my mind be amiss, or err 136
173. Alone I came, I'll quit alone 137
174. No more, my child, - grieve, sulk resent 137
175. I do not shut my eyes for fear of that 138
176 Turn me insane, oh Mother (Brahmamoyee) across 138
177. Put 'Her' in the niche of your bosom - caressing warm 139
178. I am not that dud moronic son of Thine 140
179. Come, Mother, let's have duel in the 'penance-ring' 141
180. How now, today oh Queen Kali 142
181. The daughter of the mountain King - her metropolis 100
182. My fond desire has gone in vain 144
183. The day is no longer far away 144
184. What same is it , oh, how obscene! 145
185. Mother Kali, I've lost my caste 146
186. Mother Taran, Thou art the queen of thoughts 147
187. I've known, oh Kali, now Thy mental stance 147
188. When, alas but when 148
189. I'm most wretched, the meanest of the mean 149
190. Should I come by a rupee one crore purse 150
191. Today, Mother Kali, Thou hast assumed, as if, all-devouring form 151
192. Oh Tara, you queen of thoughts 152
193. Deliverance is her 'Name' 152
194. Wake up, arise Thou gracious queen 153
195. Tell me oh Uma, my little child 154
196 Come, oh Mother, in my bosom dwell 155
197. Is it that, oh Brahmamoyee 156
198. What is this game, oh Kali 156
199. This time I will sure go mad 157
200. Come, oh Mother, in my bosom dwell 158
201. It's now betimes, oh Tara, my Prayer I submit 159
202. It's time, oh mind, you better call 159
203. Oh, it is not that wine I drink 160
204 Oh mind 161
205. Do thou get up, oh Uma, leave thy bed 162
206. Oh thou Mother Kali, ever ceaselessly 162
207 Oh Mother Kali with wreath of skulls 163
208. (Oh) you mist go - to tarry there's little time 164
209. Why not, oh Mother Tara, I so beseech 165
210. I wonder how oft you dwell in diverse moods 166
211. My Mother, She is the sea of joy supreme 166
212. Oh mind, what is this error on which you err 168
213. Tell me, oh hibiscus flower, how 169
214. Being mother thou, oh Mother Taraerry across 170
215. I pray, oh mind, why not thou dost blossom 172
216. Durga Mother , be'est thou with Durga's pages 173
217. When the child's in tears crying 'mother' 173
218. Kali ever immersed in joy expansive vast 175
219. My Father, He is unvaried full of joy 176
220. My heart's in aching pain 176
221. Who bethinks of Tara's feet 177
222. Let's go, oh mind, we two together across 178
223. Is it for nought that my soul so weeps! 179
224. If the world is full of grief and pain 180
225. Is it, oh Mother, thou wouldst send thy son 181
226. I call thee, Shyama, often and then again 182
227. You must save me, oh, thou saviour mine 183
228. That naked girl, her laurels care 183
229. Shyama, oh, who is that, below thy feet, supine! 184
230. The worlds dwell in Thee; -in thy marvel 185
231. I have got it, Mother, thy wily wish 186
232. This life, for ever it will not last 186
233. Oh Mother 187
234. Thou Mountain Lord, - Ganesha mine 188
235. Oh Mountain Lord, my Gouri, she did come 189
236. Aloft oh lift your limbs oh Mountain King 190
237. The dark dense cloud, in the inner firmament,- it loomed 190
238. Kali, how long like this time will lapse 191
239. What is the treasure I can offer Thee 192
240. That woman as the dark somber night 193
241. What is thy 'name', Mother by which thee I call! 193
242. How could you my little mother 194
243. Come, mother, thou Lor Bhola's spouse 195
244. She came just only yesterday 196
245. As tomorrow, Bhola comes 197
246. To this slave what grace, thou gracious Queen 198
247. Take me on to thy lap, oh, Mother Kali 198
248. Oh Kali, do this thou when Death doth come 199
249. There's no son so wretched as I 200
250. It is my fault I have cried and moaned 200
251. Let us set out, oh conscious mind 201
252. Whose dark swarthy maiden there 201
253. I have drawn the fence with Kali's name 202
254. What do I offer thee as worship 203
255. Where art thou, the word's deliverer 204
256. What dread have I of dreaded Death 205
257. Gaya, Ganga, Provas others Kasi Kanchi who but yearns 205
258. I cling on to thy feet, Mother, even then 206
259. Oh thou, 'fish of life,' thy life is done 207
260. I have come to know, Shyama Mother's Court 208
261. Mother thou, deign the blooming lotus of thy feet 209
262. Jaya, oh, do not, I pray, so beseech 210
263. I have come to know, I ken so well 210
264. Should I breathe my last chanting 'Jai Kali 211
265. Wake up thou, arise, oh mind 212
266. The fishing net cast well spread out 213
267. Into the Yamuna water I'll throw my self 214
268. Who is that your company, oh mind! 214
269. Get thee gone, oh Death, -what wouldst thou dare? 215
270. As the blooming lotus blue azure 216
271. Tara, pray now take me across the stream 217
272. Save thy son oh Saviour 217
273. Can I blame thee, Mother, oh? 218
274. To dwell in a place of pilgrimage, it's futile 219
275. How will it profit thee my errant mind, 221
276. When will it be that time will come, when 221
277. Tara! Thou art Supreme Mother Divine! 222
278 Mother, you cast me, sure out of mind 223
279. Tell me Tara, them what use reposing trust in thee 224
280 Shiva's queen you mountain-maid 224
281. Who is that one who dwells upstairs 225
282. Take back your sack and gypsy gown 226
283. Do tell me, what kind is this stance 227
284. Lift thy head, thou Lord supreme 228
285. I'll let you know what's Mother's Pain 229
286. By your ways and stance I now know for sure 230
287. The gnawing endless pain and tears 231
288. Howsoever I teach you, mind, alas, you ne'er learn 231
289. Do burn the passions 232
290. What fears oh mind, so why bemoan 233
291. Thou hast me bewitched becharmed 234
292. In the world's realm of thoughts 235
293. At long last now I have thought it right 237
294. What fears have I, oh Death, of thee 238
295. On the earth the joyous blissful soul is one 240
296. Listen, oh my mind 241
297. Ignorant my absent mind, that's why 242
298. Oh mind, why but all these worries thine 243
299. This time, Kali, I'll thee devour 244
300. Oh mind, why not have a game of dice? 245
301. Oh mind, get want to the saviour's feet 246
302. Mother, art thou everywhere! 247
303. Oh mind, even in error, absent mind 248
304. Oh my mind, must you take some potion, then 248
305. My mind oh, it so yearns to go, resort 249
306. I die of the load of thankless work in thrall 250
307. The elephant queen wild in must 251
308. Oh mind, let me but ask you this 252
309. Do not call out, seek, 'Mother' any more, oh mind 252
310. Listen, Mother Shyama, my yearnings hopes 253
311. Ooh mind, let me but ask you this 254
312. Oh mind, hush, just keep quiet and calm 255
313. My Mother She is so concerned 256
314. My mind, is it, you have gone insane? 257
315. My mind, why, tell me, to Kasi would you roam? 258
316. As a Porter I have spent all my days -oh Kali 259
317. Is it there still left aught of misery 260
318. You will no longer be born again 260
319. (Mother) pray, as life ends I do attain those feet 261
320. Have thy pleasure, oh Mother, I know thy way 262
321. What good turn you have done, oh Kali 263
322. The one who is daughter of mountain stone 264
323. The one who Tara's feet bethinks 264
324. You didn't care, oh mind, to obey my will 265
325. Crimson lotus in scarlet hands 266
326. Oh thou Death, -look, here I fearless stand 267
327. I shudder, my little mother, as I bethink 267
328. Pray, hearken thou, oh somber Night 269
329. The withered Tree - it does not sprout 269
330. My heart, I've turned it desert - waste 270
331. Thou art, oh Morther os fond of desolate waste! 271
332. Shyama Mother, some device she has set up 272
333. If Shiva, Mother, is thy husband, Lord across 273
334. Is it, my Shyama Mother 274

 

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