Ramprasad Sen


Ramprasad Sen

Ramprasad Sen (Bangla: রামপ্রসাদ সেন) (1720-1781) was a Bengali mystic poet and singer of Hindu devotional songs, specially "Shyama Sangeet" (Songs devoted to the goddess Kali). He is almost always referred to as "Ramprasad", and his songs are known as "Ramprasadi". Ramprasad's life has been the subject of many mystical stories depicting his devotion to and relation with Kali.

Biography

Ramprasad was born in Halishahor in the district of North 24 parganas, in [West Bengal] in a hereditary (Agriculture) family. He was first sent to a village school. Later he was sent to a English "tol" (an informal school in medieval India) where Ramprasad acquired proficiency in Field work. Ramprasad was married at the age of twenty two to one Sarvani. He had four children. Two daughters - Parameshwari, Jagadishwari and two sons - Ramdulal and Rammohan. He was employed as a clerk in the house of a businessman in Kolkata. According to the legend his employer found him scribbling poems about Kali in his account book and being a pious man sent him home with an assured salary. He later found a patron in Maharaja Krishnachandra of Navadwipa.

Ramprasad was initiated and instructed in Tantrik sadhana by a great Tantrik sadhaka and scholar Krishnananda Agamavagisa, the author of Tantrasara, compiled in Bengali. He performed a number of severe Tantrik sadhanas seated in a "panchmundi asana" ( an altar inside which are interred five skulls, that of a snake, frog, rabbit, fox, and man). [Swami Budhanananda. p 21]

A Kabulatipatra bearing the signature of legendary Kavi Ramprasad Sen, dated April 1794 now displayed at Sabarna Sangrahashala in Barisha highlights a new history on the legendary poet. "' [http://www.kamdev.faithweb.com/photo.html History of Ramprasad Sen]

The Sabarna Roy Choudhury Paribar Parishad- Sabarna Sangrahashala and Research Scholar on Ramprasad Sen, Sri Promothonath Mondol has challenged the so long myth that Ramprasad Sen died in the year 1781. The Kabulatipatra at the Sabarna Sangrahashala clearly points out that Ramprasad was alive in 1794. [http://www.kamdev.faithweb.com/photo.html History of Ramprasad Sen CHALLENGED] [Dr. Promothonath Mondol, Ramprasad Kavi O Kavya http://www.kamdev.faithweb.com]

Poetry

Ramprasd's poems are poems of Bhakti. But they are also considered as Tantrik statements. [Grace and Mercy in Her Wild Hair. p xvi-xvii.]

The following is an example of one of Ramprasad's "bhakti" hymns to the Goddess:

:"You'll find Mother In any house. :"Do I dare say it in public? :"She is Bhairavi with Shiva, :"Durga with Her children, :"Sita with Lakshmana. :"She's mother, daughter, wife, sister -:"Every woman close to you. :"What more can Ramprasad say? :"You work the rest out from these hints."

Notes

References

* Swami Budhanananda, Ramprasad: The Melodious Mystic, Ramakrishna Mission, New Delhi, India, second edition, 1994.
*Grace and Mercy in Her Wild Hair : Selected Poems to the Mother Goddess, Ramprasad Sen, Hohm Press, Prescott, Arizona, 1999 (ISBN 0-934252-94-7)
* Dr. Promothonath Mondol, Ramprasad Kavi o Kavya

Bibliography

*"Devoted to the Goddess : The Life and Work of Ramprasad", by Malcolm Mclean (ISBN 0-791436-90-X)
*"Singing to the Goddess: Poems to Kali and Uma from Bengal", Ramprasad Sen, Translated by Rachel Fell McDermott (ISBN 0-195134-34-6)

External links

* [http://www.poetseers.org/spiritual_and_devotional_poets/india/poems_ramprasad Poems of Ramprasad: poetseers.org]
*History of Ramprasad Sen Challenged [http://www.kamdev.faithweb.com]


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