Sukdev Das Bairagya

Margram (Khedapara), Rampurhat, Birbhum

Supreme Brahma, Ultimate Meaning, Beyond Essence and Form (Parambrahma, Paramartha, Nirgun, Nirakar)

Brahma, the Supreme Self, the ultimate element(1),
The formless one, the one without qualities,
In order to create this universe,
Of his(2) own volition, attained a form. (2 times)

The one who is older than the infinite(3),
Created this universe;
By attaining a complete form,
He made this world abundant!
The egg within the womb of Shakti(4),
That bore the essence of Brahma,
Was impregnated...
And Vishnu, the great, emerged,
Vishnu, the one whose abode is the vessel of butter(5).
Brahma, the Supreme Self, the ultimate element...

His forehead bore strength,
His eyes bore the sun and the moon,
The sky materialized out of his mind,
And the wind from his breath!
Brahma, the Supreme Self, the ultimate element…

Out of Purusha and Prakriti(6),
Emerged the ultimate theory of being!
So says Teensharat(7)—
Out of the three Virtues,
Came forth the Holy Trinity(8)!
Brahma, the Supreme Self, the ultimate element...

 (1) Para Brahman (not to be confused with the caste “Brahmin”) is the supreme Self (‘para’ meaning supreme) who exists beyond all descriptions and conceptualizations and is a key concept in the four Vedas as well as the Upanishads.  
 (2) It may be noted that Para Brahman has no gender. The pronoun ‘he’ has been used in this translation only for referential purpose. Within Bengali language the pronoun is never gendered.
 (3) The Sanskrit/ Bengali terms used are ‘adi’ and ‘anadi’ meaning ‘infinite’, ‘without beginning and end’ or ‘beyond space and time.’
 (4) The divine feminine.
 (5) Vishnu, or his avatar Krishna, is often imagined as a little child who is extremely fond of butter or churned milk. Within visual iconography, he is often depicted as a naughty toddler eating churned milk out of a broken earthen pot.
 (6) As postulated by the philosopher Samkhya, Purusha is the soul, the Self and pure consciousness. The word literally means "man." Prakriti is nature in all its aspects. Prakriti is the creative energy which is envisioned as female.
 (7) The name of the lyricist of this song. Often, lyricists would use pseudonyms and insert these towards the end of the song they wrote.   
 (8) Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara.

পরম ব্রহ্ম পরমার্থ নিরগুণ নিরাকার,

এই ব্রহ্মাণ্ড সৃজনের লাগি আপনি হইলেন সাকার।

অনাদির আদি যিনি, ব্রহ্মাণ্ড সৃজিলেন তিনি,

পূর্ণ করে দেহখানি করিলেন ভু তলাকার।

শক্তি গর্ভে অণ্ড হইল, অণ্ডতে ব্রহ্মাণ্ড রহিল,

তাহাতে মহাবিষ্ণু জন্ম নিল,

ক্ষীরতে বসতি যার।

পরম ব্রহ্ম পরমার্থ নিরগুণ নিরাকার...

শক্তি হইলেন ললাটেতে, চন্দ্র সূর্য নয়নেতে,

আকাস হল মন হতে, নিঃশ্বাসে পবন তার।

পরম ব্রহ্ম পরমার্থ নিরগুণ নিরাকার...

পুরুষ ও প্রকৃতি হইতে, মহতত্ব জন্মেন তাতে,

তিনশরত বলে, ত্রিগুণেতে জন্ম হইল তিনজনার।

পরম ব্রহ্ম পরমার্থ নিরগুণ নিরাকার...

Translator’s Note:  This song draws upon the philosophy of Samkhya and combines it with Baul and Vaishnavite forms of belief. It speaks about the creation of the universe through the union of Purusha and Prakriti (Samkhyan concepts). However, it simultaneously posits this within Baul and Vaishnavite belief systems by referencing Vishnu and Brahma who is envisioned as the creative source, the ultimate element, residing within the highest chakra of the human body.

Recorded in May, 2008, in Shonajhuri, Santiniketan, WB

Camera: Shubhankar Bhar, Shubra Dutta

Sound: Partha Barman, Laltu Dasgupta

Editor: Krishnskanta Pal/ Rhonda Granger

Producer/Director: Aditi Sircar

Translated by Parjanya Sen