Music and lyrics
by Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar
|Short description||The 5,018 songs composed by Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar|
|Alternative names||Songs of Prabhat, Songs of a New Dawn, Songs of Awakening|
|Language||Mostly Bengali, but also Hindi, English, Sanskrit, Urdu, Magahi, Maithili and Angika, as well as various dialects|
|Location in Sarkarverse|
Prabhat Samgiita is the collection of songs given by Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar from September of 1982 until October of 1990 (the last eight years of his life). For each of the 5,018 songs, Sarkar himself composed the lyrics and put them to melody (sometimes classic, sometimes blended, often original). With such a large and distinctive body of work, it may be argued that Sarkar did not just give a collection of songs but indeed a new genre of music.
The first song of Prabhat Samgiita was given on 1982 September 14. The last song was given on 1990 October 20 (less than 24 hours before Sarkar's decease).
In Bengali, the word Prabhát(a) (প্রভাত - pɾɔbhat̪) means dawn, morning or daybreak. The word Saḿgiit(a) (সংগীত - ʃɔŋɡgit̪), also spelled as Sauṋgiit(a) (সঙ্গীত - ʃɔŋɡit̪) means song and music. Thus, prabhát(a) saḿgiit(a) or prabhát(a) sauṋgiit(a) etymologically means "morning song" or "songs of dawn". This is borne out by the Samsad Bengali-English Dictionary, which defines the conjoint word (প্রভাতসংগীত) as "a morning song, a matin". A less literal and somewhat fanciful interpretation "Prabhat Samgiita" is "songs of a new dawn". However, if Prabhat is recognized as the name of the composer, then the etymology of the two words is largely irrelevant. In that case, consistent with other similar collections of music like the songs of Rabindranath Tagore, Rabindra Samgiita (রবীন্দ্রসংগীত), Prabhat Samgiita would simply mean "Songs of Prabhat". As nothing like all or even the majority of these songs would rightly be classified as morning music, it is the latter interpretation that makes most sense.
Name and variants
Prabhat Samgiita is commonly translated as either "Songs of Prabhat" or "Songs of a New Dawn" However, while prabhát does mean "daybreak" or "dawn", it does not mean "new dawn". And, in light of other similar collections (for example, Meera Bhajans, Rabindra Sangeet, and Nazrul Geeti), the former definition (Songs of Prabhat) seems the most appropriate.
Prabhat Samgiita has many spelling variants. There are many reasons for this. Currently, there is not just one commonly accepted Bengali-English transliteration. And, even were there only one accepted transliteration, multiple possibilities would still exist. In addition, the word saḿgiita has two different spellings in Bengali.
Thus we have the word prabhát that can be spelled as:
- Prabhat, Prabhát, Prabhāt, Prabhata, Prabháta, Prabhāta
And we have the word saḿgiita that can be spelled as:
- Sangit, Sangeet, Sangiit, Samgiit, Saḿgiit, Saṃgīt, Sauṋgiit, Saŋgīt and all of these with an "a" at the end:
- Sangita, Sangeeta, Sangiita, Samgiita, Saḿgiita, Saṃgīta, Sauṋgiita and Saŋgīta
If combined, all these variations could create a huge number of spelling variants for Prabhat Samgiita, however not all combinations are used. Subhas Sarkar mainly prefers the variant Prabháta Saḿgiita and sometimes uses Prabhāta saṃgīta. There is no consistency of spelling, even within the same newspapers. The Hindu, an Indian English newspaper, often spells Prabhat Samgiita however also spells Prabhat Sangit and also Prabhat Sangeet. The Times of India, another Indian English newspaper, uses both Prabhat Samgiita and Prabhat Sangeet. Most other newspapers spell Prabhat Sangeet, though some articles prefer Prabhat Sangit and Prabhata Samgiita. Publications of Ananda Marga Pracaraka Samgha usually goes by the spelling Prabháta Saḿgiita and also often by Prabhát Saḿgiita and Prabhát Saḿgiit. Older publications, however, tend to use the variant Prabhát Sauṋgiit or Prabháta Sauṋgiita. Finally there are instances of unusual spellings as well, such as Prabhat Sangeeth and Prabhat Samhitta.
Composition, collection, and releases
Sarkar composed the first song of Prabhat Samgiita, Bandhu he niye calo, on 14 September 1982 at Deoghar, India. He continued composing songs until his death on 21 October 1990. During that eight years, he composed a total of 5,018 songs, including both lyrics and tune. The last song, Ámrá gaŕe nova gurukul, was composed on 20 October 1990, one day before his death. Renaissance Artists and Writers Association (RAWA), has sponsored many performances and recordings of selected songs. These performances have featured artists such as Ashwini Bhide-Deshpande, Rashid Khan, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Manoj Kumar, Vithal Rao, Shruti Sadolikar, Haimanti Sukla and Archana Udupa.
Sarkar composed songs in eight different languages: Bengali, Hindi, English, Sanskrit, Urdu, Magahi, Maithili and Angika. Sarkar held that songs should be performed in their original language to preserve the composer's rhythm, melody, and meaning. Hence, no permission was given by Sarkar for performance of his songs in any language other than the language in which he composed them.
Sarkar's songs cover a multitude of themes. There are devotional songs, mystical songs, and revolutionary songs. There are folk songs, children's songs, and ballads. There are wedding songs, birthday songs, and festival songs. Regardless of the theme, in every song there is a strong spiritual undercurrent, expressive of Sarkar's personal philosophy of Neohumanism.
List of songs
- Main article: List of songs of Prabhat Samgiita
As Sarkar never gave titles to his songs, the songs are referenced by their first line. In other words, the first line of each song is treated as the song's title.
- Subramanya, Mysore 2008.
- The Telegraph (Calcutta) 20/09/2004.
- Sugatananda Avt (Acharya.) (1990) Sambhavami, a Short Biography of Shrii Shrii Anandamurtijii Ācārya Sugatānanda Avadhūta p. 33 ISBN 978-3-921769-28-7
- Biswas, Sailendra.
- Sarkár, Prabhát Raiṋjan 21/10/2007.
- Avadhuta, Divyachetananda Acharya 19/06/2009.
- Sarkar, Subhas 12/09/2011.
- Sarkár, Subhas 31/12/2010.
- The Hindu 21/03/2008.
- The Hindu 15/09/2009.
- The Hindu 15/06/2007.
- The Hindu 20/09/2004.
- The Hindu 27/09/2009.
- Sarkar, Prabhat Ranjan 1987.
- Afternoon (newspaper) 07/06/2011.
- Ghista, Garda 30/11/2006.
- The Statesman 07/10/2011.
- Ujjawala, Jha 20/11/2011.
- Sarkár, Prabhát Raiṋjan 30/04/2003.
- Ghista, Garda (30/11/2006), The Gujarat Genocide: A Case Study in Fundamentalist Cleansing, AuthorHouse, p. 174, ISBN 9781425944537 .
- Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar, Shrii Prabhát Raiṋjan (1987) Saḿgiita: Song, Dance and Instrumental Music (1st Edition ed.) Kolkata, India: Ananda Marga Publications ISBN 81-7252-250-9
- Sarkár, Shrii Prabhát Raiṋjan (30/04/2003) Prabhát Sauṋgiit (10th Vol.) (in Bengali) (2nd Edition ed.) Kolkata, India: Ananda Marga Publications pp. xxviii ISBN 81-7252-214-2
- Sarkár, Shrii Prabhát Raiṋjan (21/10/2007) Prabhát Sauṋgiit (1st Vol.) (in Bengali) (3rd ed.) Kolkata, India: Ananda Marga Publications p. 1 ISBN 81-7252-255-X
- Sarkár, Subhas (31/12/2010) Prabháta Samgiita: A Literary and Philosophical Appreciation (1st ed.) Ananda Marga Publications ISBN 978-81-7252-260-5 OCLC 704229361
- Afternoon (newspaper) (07/06/2011) "Top cultural icon feted" Afternoon (newspaper) retrieved 5 February 2013
- Avadhuta, Divyachetananda Acharya (19/06/2009) "Friday Review Delhi - Songs of dawn" The Hindu retrieved 5 February 2013
- Biswas, Sailendra "Samsad Bengali-English Dictionary" (in Bengali/English) Digital Dictionaries of South Asia retrieved 7 February 2013
- Jha, Ujjawala (20/11/2011) "Shri Shri Anandamurti: A 20th Century Indian Philosopher" Pune, India: Centre of Advanced Study in Sanskrit, University of Pune p. 2 retrieved 1 February 2013
- Sarkár, Subhas (12/09/2011) "Songs of a new dawn" The Times of India retrieved 6 February 2013
- Subramanya, Mysore (17/03/2008), DANCE/MUSIC REVIEW - Prabhat Sangeeth, Deccan Herald, retrieved 1 February 2013 .
- The Hindu (15/09/2009) "Prabhat Samgiita Divas celebrated" The Hindu (New Delhi) retrieved 13 February 2013
- The Hindu (15/06/2007) "Music and memories" The Hindu retrieved 1 February 2013
- The Hindu (20/09/2004) "Metro cultural round-up" The Hindu retrieved 1 February 2013
- The Hindu (27/09/2009) "Divine music that evokes blissful experience" The Times of India retrieved 1 February 2013
- The Hindu (21/03/2008) "Friday Review Bangalore - Music for humanity" Bangalore, India: The Hindu retrieved 5 February 2013
- The Statesman (07/10/2011) "Driven by devotion - Meena Banerjee was mesmerised by a few pleasant surprises" The Statesman retrieved 6 February 2013
- The Telegraph (Calcutta) (20/09/2004) "Homage to spiritual guru" Calcutta, India retrieved 1 February 2013