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Thread: shyama sangeet--devotional songs to kali

  1. #1
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    shyama sangeet--devotional songs to kali


    Shyama(other name of kali) sangeet is a genre of devotional songs sung in both folk and classical tunes like thumri or dhrupad that highlights the motherly bonds of affection between the universal female principle as kali and her children . this genre of singing originated in the medieval era in bengal but has become particularly popular in the last few centuries with authors continuing to pen down songs even now ! given here some traditional famous versions of the shyamasangeet...


    1 ---

    You're a poor farmer, mind of mine!
    You've let the precious field of human life
    sit fallow too long.
    If only you had planted right
    a golden crop would be yours by now!
    If you had fenced it around
    with the name of Ma Kali,
    no one could ever seize it from you.
    Even the God of Death couldn't smash
    the stout barrier of the wild-haired Goddess.
    Don't you know it could be confiscated
    from under your feet this very moment
    or a hundred years hence?
    Mind, the ownership rights are still yours -
    whisk away the harvest this minute!
    The Guru planted the seeds,
    but the rain of your devotion
    must irrigate the fields.




    2---

    What riches will you grant me?
    What wealth do you have to give?
    Your gracious glance,
    or the lotus of your feet?
    It's all mortgaged to Shiva!
    Is there any hope at all
    of getting your feet back from him?*
    Kali, try with all your might
    to extricate yourself -
    what good can it do worshipers
    if a holy icon drowns
    in its own vessel of offered milk?
    Even if you allowed me a share
    in the grace of your precious feet,
    it wouldn't be worth much
    since Father Shiva's exchanged
    his very own corpse
    for a stake in the same!
    But what of the son's right
    to a father's wealth?
    What will I get of that?
    Ramprasad says: I've been labeled
    an unworthy son.
    My legacy's been snatched.

    *To touch the Goddess' feet in supplication is to also receive her blessings. Kali stands on the corpse of her husband Shiva, so in the eyes of the petulant poet, the great "father god" has usurped the "grace of her lotus feet" from the rightful recipient, namely Ramprasad himself.






    3---

    " o my mother ! o dweller of the cremation grounds !
    i know that cremation grounds are your abode and your chosen place .
    now , just to invite you , i have made my heart a crematorium also . ive destroyed all my pride and belongings , i have burnt away all my ego and desires in the pyres within my heart . now , my heart is as barren as crematorium . come o mother , step in the crematorium of my heart .

    i do not have any more worldly cravings . the fire of your seperation is the only thing in me now. come o mother .

    come o mother , with the mahakaal shiva at your feet , with the ankle bells tingling because of your divine dance , and allow me to behold your radiant face before my final journey towars the crematorium(death) . "




    4---

    Kali, I know that you know
    how to play tricks.
    You let anyone call you
    by any name they choose:
    The Magas call you Pharatara,
    Europeans call you God;
    Mughals and Pathans,
    Saiyids and Qazis
    all call you Khoda.
    Shaktas say you are their Shakti,
    Shaivas call you Shiva.
    Sauryas think you're the Sun,
    and pious Vaishnavas call you
    O gracious Radha.
    Ganapatyas call you Ganesh,
    and Yakshas call you Kuber.
    Craftsmen call you Vishvakarma;
    boatmen say you're their saint, Badar.
    Ramdulal says this is no illusion.
    From what comes to pass,
    the truth is felt.
    Only the mind misbehaves, and takes One God
    to be many.

    * This poem features a number of different communities found in South Asia during the poet's lifetime; each community is paired with the respective object of its devotion. The Magas are a people of (what is now) Northeastern India and Bangladesh, and Pharatara is presumably a deity in their traditional pantheon. Pathans are from Afghanistan and Northwestern Pakistan. Saiyids are Muslims believed to have descended from the family of the prophet Muhammad. Qazis are Islamic judges. Khoda is the Persian and Hindustani word for the Islamic unitary God. Sauryas are worshippers of the sun. Ganapati is another name of the elephant-headed god Ganesh, and Ganapatyas are his special devotees. Yakshas are nature deities who often guard hidden treasures, and the legendary Kuber is the wealthiest of the Yakshas. Vishvakarma is the Hindu patron god of architects and craftsmen. Badar is the Muslim patron saint of boatmen.




    5---

    " o mind! why do you think so much ? just sit down at my mothers feet .
    if you do lavish pujas you risk the chance of developing fine ego,
    that's why its best to worship her alone , away from the rest of the world .
    why do you always need a deity of brass , wood or stone ?
    make a deity within your heart , seated within the thousand petalled lotus.
    why do you need fruits and sweets ?
    just please her with the drink of your bhakti-sudha.
    why do you call for chandeliers and thousand lamps ?
    decorate your mind with the gems of different virtues and see them shining all the day and night.
    why do you sacrifice the goats and lambs .?
    put your lust , anger , greed and other vices on the sacrificial alter and chop them off from your true self.
    ramprasad says to his own mind , why do you need drums for a puja ?
    sound the vibrations of her divine name and keep yourself to her lotus feet " .






    6---

    Human rebirth is the hope of hopes,
    but my coming into the world
    was just coming,
    and came to nothing in the end.
    A bee imagines a painting
    to be the real lotus
    and stubbornly hovers near.
    Mother, you tricked me with words
    and fed me neem leaves
    saying they were sugar.
    My mouth slavered for sweet
    but tasted only bitter.
    You have cheated me
    my whole life long.
    You put me on earth saying
    "It's time for us to play,"
    but the game you played
    only disappointed me.

    Ramprasad says this outcome
    of the game of existence
    was always meant to be.
    Now night falls, come and take
    your tired child home.




  2. #2

    Re: shyama sangeet--devotional songs to kali

    These are a beautiful collection ji, thank you for sharing them with us!

  3. #3
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    Re: shyama sangeet--devotional songs to kali

    thanks harjas kaur ji , for ur kind words of appreciation .

  4. #4

    Re: shyama sangeet--devotional songs to kali

    Vandanam Sambya. This is such a touchingly beautiful devotional poetry. Is this is a song on YT? I searched but did not get anything like this. And where do you get Shri Ramaprasad's poems?

    <
    Kali stands on the corpse of her husband Shiva, so in the eyes of the petulant poet, the great "father god" has usurped the "grace of her lotus feet" from the rightful recipient, namely Ramprasad himself.
    >

    Such a beautiful bhava. I laughed out at his being labelled petulant. I can 'see' him throwing a tantrum at the Devi asking Her to give him Her feet.

    Thank you. Please continue t o post more about him/ such kind of poems/ Devi.



    Quote Originally Posted by sambya View Post

    Shyama(other name of kali) sangeet is a genre of devotional songs sung in both folk and classical tunes like thumri or dhrupad that highlights the motherly bonds of affection between the universal female principle as kali and her children . this genre of singing originated in the medieval era in bengal but has become particularly popular in the last few centuries with authors continuing to pen down songs even now ! given here some traditional famous versions of the shyamasangeet...


    1 ---

    You're a poor farmer, mind of mine!
    You've let the precious field of human life
    sit fallow too long.
    If only you had planted right
    a golden crop would be yours by now!
    If you had fenced it around
    with the name of Ma Kali,
    no one could ever seize it from you.
    Even the God of Death couldn't smash
    the stout barrier of the wild-haired Goddess.
    Don't you know it could be confiscated
    from under your feet this very moment
    or a hundred years hence?
    Mind, the ownership rights are still yours -
    whisk away the harvest this minute!
    The Guru planted the seeds,
    but the rain of your devotion
    must irrigate the fields.




    2---

    What riches will you grant me?
    What wealth do you have to give?
    Your gracious glance,
    or the lotus of your feet?
    It's all mortgaged to Shiva!
    Is there any hope at all
    of getting your feet back from him?*
    Kali, try with all your might
    to extricate yourself -
    what good can it do worshipers
    if a holy icon drowns
    in its own vessel of offered milk?
    Even if you allowed me a share
    in the grace of your precious feet,
    it wouldn't be worth much
    since Father Shiva's exchanged
    his very own corpse
    for a stake in the same!
    But what of the son's right
    to a father's wealth?
    What will I get of that?
    Ramprasad says: I've been labeled
    an unworthy son.
    My legacy's been snatched.

    *To touch the Goddess' feet in supplication is to also receive her blessings. Kali stands on the corpse of her husband Shiva, so in the eyes of the petulant poet, the great "father god" has usurped the "grace of her lotus feet" from the rightful recipient, namely Ramprasad himself.





    3---

    " o my mother ! o dweller of the cremation grounds !
    i know that cremation grounds are your abode and your chosen place .
    now , just to invite you , i have made my heart a crematorium also . ive destroyed all my pride and belongings , i have burnt away all my ego and desires in the pyres within my heart . now , my heart is as barren as crematorium . come o mother , step in the crematorium of my heart .

    i do not have any more worldly cravings . the fire of your seperation is the only thing in me now. come o mother .

    come o mother , with the mahakaal shiva at your feet , with the ankle bells tingling because of your divine dance , and allow me to behold your radiant face before my final journey towars the crematorium(death) . "




    4---

    Kali, I know that you know
    how to play tricks.
    You let anyone call you
    by any name they choose:
    The Magas call you Pharatara,
    Europeans call you God;
    Mughals and Pathans,
    Saiyids and Qazis
    all call you Khoda.
    Shaktas say you are their Shakti,
    Shaivas call you Shiva.
    Sauryas think you're the Sun,
    and pious Vaishnavas call you
    O gracious Radha.
    Ganapatyas call you Ganesh,
    and Yakshas call you Kuber.
    Craftsmen call you Vishvakarma;
    boatmen say you're their saint, Badar.
    Ramdulal says this is no illusion.
    From what comes to pass,
    the truth is felt.
    Only the mind misbehaves, and takes One God
    to be many.

    * This poem features a number of different communities found in South Asia during the poet's lifetime; each community is paired with the respective object of its devotion. The Magas are a people of (what is now) Northeastern India and Bangladesh, and Pharatara is presumably a deity in their traditional pantheon. Pathans are from Afghanistan and Northwestern Pakistan. Saiyids are Muslims believed to have descended from the family of the prophet Muhammad. Qazis are Islamic judges. Khoda is the Persian and Hindustani word for the Islamic unitary God. Sauryas are worshippers of the sun. Ganapati is another name of the elephant-headed god Ganesh, and Ganapatyas are his special devotees. Yakshas are nature deities who often guard hidden treasures, and the legendary Kuber is the wealthiest of the Yakshas. Vishvakarma is the Hindu patron god of architects and craftsmen. Badar is the Muslim patron saint of boatmen.




    5---

    " o mind! why do you think so much ? just sit down at my mothers feet .
    if you do lavish pujas you risk the chance of developing fine ego,
    that's why its best to worship her alone , away from the rest of the world .
    why do you always need a deity of brass , wood or stone ?
    make a deity within your heart , seated within the thousand petalled lotus.
    why do you need fruits and sweets ?
    just please her with the drink of your bhakti-sudha.
    why do you call for chandeliers and thousand lamps ?
    decorate your mind with the gems of different virtues and see them shining all the day and night.
    why do you sacrifice the goats and lambs .?
    put your lust , anger , greed and other vices on the sacrificial alter and chop them off from your true self.
    ramprasad says to his own mind , why do you need drums for a puja ?
    sound the vibrations of her divine name and keep yourself to her lotus feet " .






    6---

    Human rebirth is the hope of hopes,
    but my coming into the world
    was just coming,
    and came to nothing in the end.
    A bee imagines a painting
    to be the real lotus
    and stubbornly hovers near.
    Mother, you tricked me with words
    and fed me neem leaves
    saying they were sugar.
    My mouth slavered for sweet
    but tasted only bitter.
    You have cheated me
    my whole life long.
    You put me on earth saying
    "It's time for us to play,"
    but the game you played
    only disappointed me.

    Ramprasad says this outcome
    of the game of existence
    was always meant to be.
    Now night falls, come and take
    your tired child home.



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