Category Archives: poetry

বল মা কি আচারে, রামপ্রসাদ সেন

Following my previous post on the translation, here is the original Bengali poem by  Sri Ramprasad Sen.

বল মা কি আচারে
  রামপ্রসাদ সেন

বল মা কি আচারে

কি মন্ত্র বিচারে
কোন উপচারে পূজিব মা
কি নামে ডাকিব
কি মন্ত্র পাঠিব
কি দিয়ে গঠিব
তোমার প্রতিমা
শুনেছি পুরানে বেদাগামতন্ত্রে
জীত্শক্তি  মা তুমি জীব দেহযন্ত্রে
মা তুমি জাগিবে কোন উদ্বোধন মন্ত্রে
কে দেবে সে মন্ত্র বল হরবামা
আবাহন মন্ত্র ডাকিব কোন ঘটে
যে ঘটে যা ঘটাও সে ঘটে তাই ঘটে
জগতমাঝে তব পটিয়সী মায়া
ঘটে পটে রটাও তোমার মহিমা
ফল পূজা করে লভিব কি ফল
কি ফলে পূজিলে পাব ইষ্টফল
চরণেতে যার চতুর্বর্গফল *
মোক্ষফলের বৃক্ষ হর মনোরমা 
* ধর্ম, অর্থ, কাম, মোক্ষ

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.

A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth: A verse in its honour

Here’s rhyme dedicated to Vikram Seth’s mangum opus that I recently concluded. Honestly, the last three lines are more for the sake of the poem and do not refelct my actual feelings. Though managing such a bulky(and mine was hard-bound) book is irksome(just think of carrying around outdoors), one does get used to it.

A fine novel you have, Mr. Seth,

at times it does take away my breath

just wondering of its very size.

I must say it is extremely wise

to bring to life such rich characters,

leaders, idlers, bards and barristers.

Through people, culture, trades and cities,

astute comments and subtle witties

you prove yourself a gifted writer.

But if only the book was shorter

I could wield the work with bit more ease

So next time could you shorten it please?



© 2007 mystic-wanderer