Mallika Akar

Jhaudia, Jalangi, Murshidabad

Come to me Once, O Unblemished Lord ( Ekbaar Eshohe Prabhu Niranjan)

Come to me once, o unblemished lord – 
My life passes by in the strange ways of the world.

I see you in mediation, you my friend and I yours,
I keep you in the temple of my heart.
Grant me deliverance, o Bhairav!
Come to me once, o unblemished lord.

And you are my devotion, you my freedom
You the Allah, you the primal force.
You give me faith, give me strength –
Let my life in this world be nourished.
Come to me once, o unblemished lord.

And Trigunesri has granted this world,
Seeing its strange works, alas, says Lalon Shah.

Lift the mind in his contemplation
There this servant will find place, o kind one
There this servant will find place.
Come to me once, o unblemished lord.

Recorded 13th January, 2008 in Joydeb, Kenduli, Burbhum, WB

This seems to be a song by Lalon Fakir (viz. 1774/5-1890), the renowned seer of Kushtia (today in Western Bangladesh). Compared to the more complex of Lalon’s songs, this seems to be relatively straightforward, addressing the longing of the devotee for the lord. However, the mélange of references to both Hindu and Islamic traditions is noteworthy – the ‘lord’ (Prabhu) of the first line seems to be imagined as both Allah and Bhairav (i.e. Shiva of the Hindu pantheon), and described as ‘Trigunesri’, literally ‘lord of three qualities’, which again may be a descriptor of Shiva with his three eyes and trident. Lalon also refers to the tradition of Gaudiya Vaishnavs where devotion is imagined as friendship (among many other forms of devotion), and the Lord is addressed as ‘Sakha’ (male friend/companion) and the devotee as ‘Sakhi’ (female friend/companion).

Translator/Transcriber: Aniruddha Dutta

Producer/Director:  Aditi Sircar

Camera: Shubhankar Bhar, Alok Maity

Camera Caretakers: Sanjib Das, Shantu
Sound: Dhiman Karmakar

Production Co-Ordinator: Kartick Das Baul

Edited By Rhonda Granger