Like a bhikshu, Naren sat near the feet of his Thakur, Ramakrishna. The ebony-colored statue of Ma Kali glistened in the background. She seemed to be smiling. Her dearest son was coming home. Finally. Long ago, he had expressed the desire to return, albeit in a song. Little did he know then that it would be a circuitous journey full of thorns. The lilting notes of Naren’s first song at Dakshineswar echoed in the room still.

“Let’s go back once more

O mind, to our proper home!”

Tears in his eyes, Ramakrishna had held Naren’s hand and adored his blooming visage. The errant traveller had arrived.

“Oh, where were you all this while? You kept me waiting for so long.”

Naren need not have asked anything. But the question had weighed on him for ages. It had become more pressing than his own existence.

“Have you seen God?” he asked. Deep down, he feared getting a diplomatic response, a philosophical treatise that came to nothing.

Yes, I have as clearly as I see you here. Only more clearly.”

Eternity had rolled between that day and today. Life’s choppy waves had tossed Naren mercilessly. He had battled with internal tussles: anger, sadness, and despair; he had rallied against the same frail madman in whose feet he sat now in complete surrender. It was an important moment. Today, Naren had accepted mother divine. The moment called for a full-throated celebration through a prayer. For Naren, the singer, this should have been easy. Yet, he was at a loss for words. Like a child, he looked at his Guru. “Tell me what to sing for her. I know nothing.”

He was ready to learn the first song that Ramakrishna bestowed upon him most lovingly. For the next two days, Naren sang in ecstasy: Amar Ma tvam hi Tara.

Maa twam hi taaraa, aamaar maa twam hi taara

(Mother thou are our sole redeemer.)

Tumi trigunadhara, paratpara,

Aamaar maa twam hi taara

(With the support of the three gunas, higher than the highest)

My mother, thou are our sole redeemer.)

Aami jaani go o dina-dayaamayee tumi durgmete dukhaharaa ||

(Thou are compassionate I know who takes away our bitter griefs

Aamaar maa twam hi taara

(My mother, you are our sole redeemer.)

Tumi jale tumi sthale, tumi aadyamule go maa

(Thou are in earth and water. Thou liest at the root of all)

Aachho sarvaghate akshapute, saakaar aakaar niraakaara ||

(Thou has thy home; though clothed with form. Yet thou are formless reality.)

aamaar maa twam hi taara

(My mother, you are our sole redeemer.)

Tumi sandhyaa tumi gaayatri, tumi jadaddhaatri go maa

(Thou are the Sandhya prayer, thou are Gayatri, thou sustain this universe.)

Akuler traankatri, sadaashiver manoharaa ||

(Mother, thou help those who have no help but Thee. O eternal Beloved of Shiva)

Aamaar maa twam hi taara, amaar maa twam hi taara

(My mother, you are our sole redeemer.)

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