How to call you, Mother? A translation of a song by Ramprasad Sen

Bengal, despite its current state of dilapidation, has produced some towering saints in its rich history. Ramprasad Sen can surely be counted among them. A great eighteenth century mystic and Kali devotee, he was also a gifted poet and singer. His songs are popular to this day. Paramahansa Yogananda was a great admirer of Sri Ramprasad, his song Will that day O’ come to me Ma an English rendition of a Ramprasad song.

Sometime back, I came across this gem (from the Bengali film “Sadhak Ramprasad”) by contemporary thumri maestro Ramkumar Chatterjee, and was compelled to its translation. Audio track is available here (for native Bengali speakers and people who know the language), and here is my attempt to convey it’s essence in English:

How to call you, Mother?

Tell me Mother –

With what rite expression

by what incantation,

with which concoction to worship you Ma?


What chants should I narrate,

with what mantras supplicate,

what should I equate your form with O Ma?


Vedas and Puranas, I have heard in their hymns

that you are the force of victory in beings.

Arise you will Mother on which mantra’s wings?

Who will dispense that mantra to me Ma?


A mantra of ascension should I use on which urn?

It is by your will that events take their turn.

Your seductive maya pervades humanity,

as you manifest your grace in reality.


By the worship of fruits, O what should I gain?

With which fruit of prayer should you I obtain?

Fruits of the world at your feet you contain –

The tree of ultimate expression you are Ma.


© Mystic Wanderer, 2012


Read more about Sri Ramprasad
Creative Commons License

How to call you, Mother by Mystic Wanderer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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Alter ego of @thecallofwords Wandering in the flow of words

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