Ramprasad Jiboni o Rochonasomogro

About this text

Introductory notes

The present selections have been made from Satyanarayan Bhattacharya's biography and collection of Ramprasad Sen's compositions, published in 1957 from Calcutta. Ramprasad Sen was noted saint and devotee of Goddess Kali, Ramprasad, an inhabitant of Halisahar, in present day North 24 Parganas in West Bengal, lived during the 18th Century. Ramprasad, who was a poet and composer was patronised by Maharaja Krishnachandra, the zaminder of the Nadia estate. Ramprasad's devotional songs to Goddess Kali, known as 'Ramprasadi' have retained their popularity over two centuries. Ramprasad's compositions and his signature Ramprasadi tunes have subsequently influenced future poets and composers, including Rabindranath Tagore. Ramprasad was witness to the major developments and changes that Bengal underwent during the 18th Century, and these events have left a mark in his compositions.

Ramprasad Sen was deeply affected by Famine of 1770, and the scarcities that rural Bengal experienced during his life time. The songs selected here bear testimony to the sufferings that the people of Bengal underwent during Sen's lifetime.

Selection details

Ramprasad Sen was deeply affected by Famine of 1770, and the scarcities that rural Bengal experienced during his life time. The songs selected here bear testimony to the sufferings that the people of Bengal underwent during Sen's lifetime.

[Page 109]

1. Jhijhit Thumri

In this song Ramprasad prays Annada, another form of the mother goddess, for food as he cannot stand his hunger. He points out its the mother who takes care of her child when he or she is hungry. It is the inherent motherly nature, that makes her overlook her children's misdeeds and takes care of the child.

[Page 117]

2. Prasadi tune, Tal-Ektal

Ramprasad in this song declares that he does not fear misery. With misery present all around, he considers it better to accept the burden of misery on his own head. Ramprasad draws analogy of himself with a worm carrying the burden of poison that fills the society. Ramprasad feels with misery all around one must be proud of one's misery than one's comfort and bliss.

[Page 130]

3. Raga Jayjayanti, Tal-Jat

Ramprasad declares that he resides in Anandamayee, the mother goddess' private estate. In mother goddess' private estate he is not under the compulsion of paying any rent. Where Lord Shiva, is an officiary, he is not required to sign any terms. The chants of "joy Durga" or hail the mother goddess is the only rent that Ramprasad pays to the estate. However, Ramprasad's longing is to take over the estate through his devotion to the mother goddess.

[Page 134]

4. Prasadi tune, Tal-Ektal

Ramprasad in this song warns the tax collectors not to scare him. He warns them not to be proud of the izara of lands that they have earned. Ramprasad points out that this land belongs to Lord Shiva, and he has earned his patta from Lord Shiva himself where Mother Brahmamayee(Kali) was present as witness.

[Page 165]

5. Prasadi tune, Tal-Ektal

Ramprasad in this song complains to Mother Kali for the disparity all around. While some owns great wealth, others have to lead a hard life to earn their daily meal. Ramprasad observes while some goes around in exotic palaquins, and leave in grand houses, others have to carry heavy burden to earn living and be satisfied with scanty meal. Ramprasad wonder what he harm he has caused to Mother Kali, for also having to lead such a hard life.


[Page 193]

Ramprasad complains to Mother Kali for the misery all around. The misery and scarcity have made him an ascetic, a Sannyasi, abandoning his home. Now he will not bother of Mother Kali's love and care, leading the life of a mendicant. Ramprasad wonders how Mother Kali has become an enemy to her children causing suffering owing to scarcity and hunger.

[Page 203]

7. Prasadi tune, Tal-Ektal

Ramprasad warns the tax collector, that he doesn't owe him anything. He says that Shyama Kali, the mother goddess is owner of this world, the tax collector is just a mercenary. With goddess Durga to protect him he warns the tax-collector not to be oppressive or forceful.

This text is an English-language translation of the original version:

This is a selection from the original text


collector, hunger, scarcity

Source text

Title: Ramprasad Jiboni o Rochonasomogro

Author: Ramprasad Sen

Editor(s): Satyanarayan Bhattacharya

Publisher: Granthmela

Publication date: 2016

Original compiled c.18th century

Edition: 1st Edition

Place of publication: Calcutta

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from images available at the Digital Library of India: http://www.dli.ernet.in/. Original compiled c.18th century

Digital edition

Original author(s): Ramprasad Sen

Original editor(s): Satyanarayan Bhattacharya

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) page 109
  • 2 ) page 117
  • 3 ) page 130
  • 4 ) page 134
  • 5 ) page 165
  • 6 ) page 193
  • 7 ) page 203


Texts collected by: Ayesha Mukherjee, Amlan Das Gupta, Azarmi Dukht Safavi

Texts transcribed by: Muhammad Irshad Alam, Bonisha Bhattacharya, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Muhammad Ehteshamuddin, Kahkashan Khalil, Sarbajit Mitra

Texts encoded by: Bonisha Bhattacharya, Shreya Bose, Lucy Corley, Kinshuk Das, Bedbyas Datta, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Sarbajit Mitra, Josh Monk, Reesoom Pal

Encoding checking by: Hannah Petrie, Gary Stringer, Charlotte Tupman

Genre: India > poetry

For more information about the project, contact Dr Ayesha Mukherjee at the University of Exeter.