I swim in the ocean of bliss
while I meditate on Her in my heart lotus.
Ramprasad was born in a village on the bank of the Ganges about 34 miles north of Calcutta
around 1723. As a child he had an extraordinary capability for learning with a special talent
for poetry. At the age of 22, his father died leaving him responsible for the family. He
found work in Calcutta as an accounting clerk. Ramprasad was a worshipper of Kali,
God as Mother, and would write passionate songs to Her in the back of his account book.
When the owner found out and read these songs, he realized that Ramprasad was a highly
gifted devotee of God. He told Ramprasad to go home and devote himself to composing
songs to the Divine Mother and he would continue to pay him his salary. Ramprasadís fame
spread and he was appointed court poet in Krishnanagar and given a large property rent free.
Sri Ramakrishna in Dakshineswar sang Ramprasad's songs as do countless devotees of the Divine Mother, Kali.
I drink no ordinary wine,
but Wine of Everlasting Bliss,
As I repeat my Mother Kali's name;
It so intoxicates my mind that people take me to be drunk!
First my guru gives molasses for the making of the Wine;
My longing is the ferment to transform it.
Knowledge, the maker of the Wine,
prepares it for me then;
And when it is done,
my mind imbibes it from the bottle of the mantra,
Taking the Mother's name to make it pure.
Drink of this Wine, says Ramprasad,
and the four fruits of life are yours.
Tell me, brother, what happens after death?
The whole world is arguing about it --
Some say you become a ghost,
Others that you go to heaven,
And some that you get close to God,
And the Vedas insist you're a bit of sky
Reflected in a jar fated to shatter.
When you look for sin and virtue in nothing,
You end up with nothing.
The elements live in the body together
But go their own ways at death.
Prasad says: you end, brother,
Where you began, a reflection
Rising in water, mixing with water,
Finally one with water.
Once for all, this time,
I have thoroughly understood;
From One who knows it well,
I have learnt the secret of bhava.
A man has come to me from a country
where there is no night,
And now I cannot distinguish
day from night any longer;
Rituals and devotions have all grown profitless for me.
My sleep is broken;
how can I slumber any more?
For now I am wide awake
in the sleeplessness of yoga.
O Divine Mother,
made one with Thee in yoga-sleep at last,
My slumber I have lulled asleep for evermore.
I bow my head, says Prasad,
before desire and liberation;
Knowing the secret that Kali
is one with the highest Brahman,
I have discarded, once for all,
both righteousness and sin.