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English Translation of Shree Maa Sharada Baavanee - A Gujarati Hymn on Shree Maa Sharada Devi and Her Divine Life

Vanita is an engineer-researcher-consultant-artist: an accomplished singer-poetess. She loves to write on Indian Culture and Life.


Shree Maa Sharada Devi ....

Shree Maa Sharada Devi (also written as Sarada Devi, pronounced as Shaaradaa Devi; 22nd December, 1853 to 21th July, 1920), was the wife and spiritual consort of Thakur Shree Ramakrishna Paramhansa (18th February, 1936 to 16th August, 1886), the Guru of the great Swami Vivekananda .

Shree Shree Maa, as Shree Maa Sharada Devi is fondly called, is the Sangha-Maataa (the Mother of the Sangha or Community / Organization) of the Ramakrishna Mission, established by the disciples of her husband Shree Ramakrishna Paramhansa, under the leadership of Swami Vivekananda, on the 1st of May, 1897.

The Ramakrishna Mission ....

Ramakrishna Mission has over 200 branches across the world, which spreads the message of the Indian Vedantic Philosophy of Life of spreading Love, Peace, Harmony and Oneness, as realized, lived and put forth by Thakur Shree Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Maa Sharada Devi and Swami Vivekananda, by practicing the Vedic ideal of Aatmano mokshaartham jagat hitaaya cha which means "For the salvation of our individual self and for the well-being of all on Earth" by "Service to the Almighty through service to man".


Inspiration for writing this Hymn ....

In the later half of 2015, Swami Atmadipanandaji a monk of the Ramakrishna Mission order and presently the Secretary of Ramakrishna Mission, Porbandar, Gujarat, once inspired me to write a Baavanee of Shree Shree Maa Sharada Devi, " .... Sister, why don't you write a Baavanee of Sharada Maa ? .... " I had not thought about that and I responded saying, I would be happy if I could do it, with his blessings and the Grace of Shree Sharada Maa.

After a couple of month, I wrote this Hymn, which got published in the December, 2016 edition of Shree Ramakrishna Jyot published by Shree Ramakrishna Mission Ashram, Rajkot, Gujarat.

About Baavanee ....

A Baavanee is a 52-lines hymn in the praise of a Deity (Baavan means 52 in Gujarati, Hindi and some other similar Indian languages).

The Baavanee of all popular Deities like Shree Gurudev Datt, Shree Ranchhodray of Dakor (Gujarat), Shree Jalaram Bapa of Virpur (Gujarat) and so on are a part of regular prayers of crores of devotees across the world. There is a simple traditional tune to which a Baavanee is sung, familiar to almost every Gujarati. These days, new compositions, set to different classical Raagas have also come up and are available online.

The lyrics of a Baavanee are set to a specific meter / strophe and they generally cover the entire life of the Deity, from birth to the incidents of their life that inspire devotees.


This Baavanee describes the life of Shree Shree Maa Sharada, including her birth, childhood, marriage, married life, spiritual awakening, Thakur's life and work, her role as the Guru / Patron / Mother of Ramakrishna Mission, experiences of disciples and devotees and so on .....


Shree Maa Sharada Baavanee .... Translation into English from Gujarati with elaborations ....

Gujarati Text in English ScriptEnglish TranslationElaboration of the meaning

Jay Shaaradaa Maateshwari, Sanaatanee Vishwambharee,

Glory to Goddess Mother Shaarada, Immortal Omnipresent,

Vishwambharee means the embodiment of the Omnipresent Divine Energy which Creates and Sustains the Creation.

Shree Ramakrishna Hridayeshwaree, Jagadambaa Jagadeeshwaree,

Shree Ramakrishna's Beloved, Mother Goddess of Universe

Hridayeshwaree means the Goddess of (dwelling in) one's Heart, here, Shree Ramakrishna's Heart

Jayrambati punyadharaa, jagahit kaaje avataryaa,

At Jayrambati, holy place, for welfare of the World You took birth,

Jayrambati is Sharada Maa's birthplace in Bankura district of West Bengal in India.

Ramachandra Shyamasundari, taat-maat dwij dharamachari,

Ramachandra Shyama Sundari, parents Religious Brahmin folks,

Sharada Maa's parents - Ramachandra and Shyamasundari Mukhopadhyay were pious and religious Brahmin.

Janma poorve Maa Jagadambaa, paame darshan Shyama Maa,

Before birth Maa Jagadambaa, gave Darshan to Shyama Maa

Sharada Maa's mother Shyamasundari (Shyama Maa) had obtained vision of Mother Goddess Jagadambaa some days before the birth of Maa Sharada

Utaree rumjhum baalakee, vruksh tale kaalaa karatee,

A little girl with anklets sounding sweet, climbed down a tree, caressing,

In the vision, Shyama Maa saw a little girl wearing sweet sounding anklets climbing down a Bel tree (stone apple tree), caressing her,

Kanthhe baahyu gheri ne, tandraa aave samaaee kukhe

Hugging lovingly from behind, absorbing in the womb in a reverie

The little girl loving put her hands around Shyama Maa's neck from behind, leading her to a state of reverie and then unconsciousness. Shyama Maa felt the girl (her consciousness) enter her womb.

Sihar graame jyaan mosaal, ghatanaakram aa thayo saakaar,

At Sihar village, maternal ancestral place, this incident took place.

This incident took place at the native place of Sharada Maa's maternal family, in a village called Sihar (or Sihore in Bengali) near Jayrambati, below a Bel tree that still stands there.

Nhaanakadee Shaaradaamani, kutumb ni moti deekaree

Little Sharadamani, eldest daughter of the family,

Maa Sharada was the eldest among her siblings.

Anujo ne nit saachavati, gruhkaaryo Maa sang karatee

Looked after younger brothers, did household chores with mother,

Maa Sharada used to look after her younger brothers and helped her mother with household chores.

Veenatee kapaasiyaa honshe, janoee banaavavaa te kaante

Plucked cotton-buds zealously, spinning them to sacred threads

Maa Sharada used to help her father gather cotton buds from fields and spinned them to make sacred threads, called Janeu in Hindi / Janoee in Gujarati.

Dushkaale bhookhyaa tanee, Pitaa sang sevaa karatee,

During tragic famine days, served hungry people with father,

During Maa's childhood, there was a severe famine in Bengal. She helped her father serve famine stricken hungry people with food, fanning the hot food with her saree ....

Paanch varsh ni kuamalee vay, Thakur sang paamya parinay

At the tender age of five, got married to Thakur

Maa Sharada married Thakur when she was five and Thakur was twenty three years old.

Shvashurgruhe pagalaa karee, Pitrugruhe aavyaa faree,

Setting feet at her in-law's, returned to her father's place,

As per the tradition, the young bride Maa Sharada returned to her father's place soon after the ceremonies of marriage were over.

Thakur Dakshineshware jaay, taposaadhanaa maa parovaay

Thakur then goes to Dakshineshwar and immerses into austerities

After marriage, Thakur went back to Dakshineshwar and immersed himself into deep devotion and austerities.

Thakur Shree Ramakrishna Dev, Maa Kali bhakti ni khev

Thakur Shree Ramakrishna Dev, immensely devoted to Maa Kali

Thakur's devotion to Maa Kali was pure, intense, immense and focused.

Raat-divas Maataa nu ratan, dhyaan-samaadhi bhaav-magan,

Day-night, chanting Maa Kali, immersed in meditation-bhaav-samadhi

Thakur had lost the sense of time, passing days and nights immersed in the devotion of Maa Kali, in deep states of meditation - samadhi and bhaava

Ter varsh aayu umbar, patigruhe aavaagaman

At thirteen years of age, came to husband's place again

At the age of thirteen, Maa Sharada came to stay at Kamarpukur with Thakur and his family for one year.

Snehabharyaa vairaagi pati, Aadhyaatma panthe jaay dori

Renounced husband, lovingly, leads her to spirituality

Thakur was a very loving and kind husband. He affectionately and tenderly led Sharada to the path of spirituality.

Kamarpukur ae varsh rahee, Thakur paachhaa gayaa faree

Staying at Kamarpukur that year, back to his place Thakur returns

After a stay of one year at Kamarpukur with his family and Maa Sharada, Thakur returned to Dakshineshwar.

Chaar varsh sudhee tyaar pachhee, vikat saadhanaa aacharee

Four years hence-after, practices severe austerities,

At Dakshineshwar, Thakur performed severe austerities for four years.

Unmatt thayaa aavyaa vaaval, Shaaradaa to aakal-vikal

Lost sanity, so said rumours, making Shaaradaa anxious

Lost and intoxicated in devotional states, Thakur's condition prompted rumours that He had lost sanity, which aroused anxiety and concerns in Maa Shaaradaa.

Pati-sevaa par mann khainchaay, tyaan javaanee tak sarjaay,

Longing to serve her husband, chance to go there arises soon,

She silently longs to go to Thakur and look after him. Soon, that opportunity arrives.

Pita paamyaa maun vyathaa, sange chaalyaa Calcutta,

Father senses silent grief, took her along to Calcutta,

Ramachandra Mukhopadhyay sensed his daughter plight and went with her to Calcutta / Kolkata to Thakur

Pagpaalaa ae laambee vaat, jwar thee thaay haal behaal,

Long journey on foot, fever causes immense troubles,

Father-daughter walked their way to Dakshineshwar, Kolkata. Maa Sharada caught fever and had to halt on the way, unable to move, almost unconscious.

Jagadambaa nee thaay krupaa, sankat naa poor osaryaa,

The Grace of Jagadambaa comes by to ebb away the flooding troubles,

As Maa Sharada lay semi-conscious, a beautiful bright lady comes to look after her, introducing herself as her sister and nurses her back to health.

Dakshineshware thaay aagaman, peeda-chintaao nu shaman,

Arrival at Dakshineshwar, alleviates pains and concerns,

On arriving at Dakshineshwar and meeting Thakur, all pains and worries vanished.

Nau-das maas divya sahavaas, Shodashee Poojaa jemaa khaas,

Divine companionship of nine-ten months, highlighted by Sodashee Poojaa,

The 9-10 months of divine togetherness was the most memorable phase of Maa Sharada's life, during Thakur performed Shodashee Pooja of Maa Sharada.

Falahaarinee Kalee Poojaa, Thakure karee tyaare tyaan,

When Thakur performed there, Falahaarinee Kali Pooja,

It is also called Falahaarinee Kali Pooja, worshiping Maa Sharada as the Divine Mother of Universe.

Divyatva paamyu jeevan, jagamaatrubhaav prakateekaran,

Divinity descended into life, arousing Universal Motherhood,

This resulted in arousing and illuminating Universal Motherhood in Maa Sharada.

Jap-tap sevaa Thakur nee, Naahaabaat maa rahee karee,

Japa-penance, serving Thakur, carried on, staying at Naahaabaat,

At Dakshineshwar, Maa Sharada stayed in a small room in the Temple's Music Tower called Naahaabaat, serving Thakur and performing her spiritual practices.

Shaant-bhaav lajjaamayee, janaay pan naa haajaree,

Quiet natured, graceful, shy, her very presence noticed hardly,

Sharada Maa was shy, quiet, full of grace and hardly ever noticed around.

Dheere-dheere bhaktajan vrund, karavaa laagyaa aagaman,

Slowly and gradually, groups of devotees began assembling,

Slowly, Thakur's circles of devotees and followers started developing and expanding.

Sevaa karya-kshetra prasaraay, aanand no melo ubharaay,

Expanding work-service domains, overflowing fairs of ecstasy,

The gatherings around Thakur invariably focused on spiritual upliftment of seekers, overflowing with divine moods, talks, singing and dancing, as if fairs of ecstasy.

Satsang keertan bhajanaanand, raat-divas Eeshwar-chintan,

Satsang, Keertan, devotional singing, day and night, contemplating

Satsang - gatherings of like-minded, devotional people for community spiritual services / practices; Keertan - special Devotional songs / singing

Brahma-Shakti nee ananyanataa, sarva dharmo nee ekataa,

Oneness of Brahma-Shakti, all religions leading to the Same One

Essence of Thakur’s teachings …. Brahma means Impersonal God, inactive, not creating, preserving or destroying; Shakti means Personal God, active - creating, preserving or destroying.

Nar maa Naaraayan darshan, Shiv roope jeev sevaa pran,

Seeing Narayana in men, Oath to serve Jeeva as Shiva

Thakur’s way of serving …. Narayana means the Omnipresent God, a name of Vishnu - the all-pervasive Protector and Preserver of Universe; Jeeva means living being; Shiva - Lord Shiva, the Auspicious One present in the entire Creation.

Thakur karataa sancharan, bhakti-chaitanya uddipan,

Thakur transmitted Divineness, arousing devotion, consciousness,

Bhakti means Devotion; Chaitanya means Consciousness.

Avirat uddeshyamay jeevan, Thakur kanthhe vyaadhi daman,

Continuous purposeful life, Thakur's throat grew weak, diseased,

Thakur's throat grew sore and painful day by day. Later it was found that he had throat cancer that could not be cured.

Dharmakranti nu karee sthaapan, Thakur kare svalok gaman,

Igniting Religious Revolution, Thakur left for His Abode,

On 16th August, 1886, Thakur left, leaving behind a vast spiritual legacy and tasks.

Maa ne haiye dukh daaroon, shaataa kaaje teerth-gaman,

Grief-laden Maa's heart, seeks solace in pligrimage

Maa Sharada's grief knew no limits. She set out for a pilgrimage with a group of disciples and devotees.

Thakur darshan satat samran, shishyo-bhakto nu jatan,

Thakur's visions, continuous remembrance, caring devotees-disciples,

Thakur's visions and appearances gave some comfort to Maa, as also the love and care of devotees and disciples.

Ramkrishna Sangh nu sthaapan, Sangha-Maataa banee pathdarshan,

Ramakrishna Sangh when established, showed path as Sangha-Maataa,

Ramakrishna Sangha / Mission was established to spread Thakur's Universal message globally. Maa Sharada showed path as the Sangha-Maataa, the Mother of the Organization.

Karyu satat jeevanparyant, Jagmaataa swaroop jeevant,

All through the life, uninterrupted, personified Mother of the World,

All her life, she nurtured Ramakrishna Mission and its activities. Maa Sharada was embodied Divine Motherhood.

Tap-saadagee bharyu jeevan, aadarsh naaritva darshan,

Simple, devoted austere life, examplering ideal womanhood,

Maa Sharada was a living example of simple living, high thinking, devoted purposefulness full of determination and compassion.

Nivedita hoy ke Yogananda, Vivekananda ke Saradananda,

Be it Nivedita or Yogananda, Vivekananda or Saradananda,

Sister Nivedita, Swami Yogananda, Swami Vivekananda, Swami Saradananda ....

Sau shishyo-bhakto nee Maa, sacharaachar nee pan Maataa,

Mother of all disciples-devotees, Mother of all Living Beings,

Maa Sharada was the Mother of all disciples, devotees and All ....

Leelaamayee karunaamayee, kan-kan vyaapee chinmayee,

Mystically playful, compassionate, omnipresent consciousness,

Maa Sharada is worshipped as the embodiment of Omnipresent Consciousness

Gruhajeevan nee saathosaath, jankalyaan kaarya dinraat,

Along with domestic duties, immersed in welfare, day and night,

She looked after her family, more than any normal lady would do and at the same time remained busy all the time in the welfare of All.

Deen-dukhee paatak-ghaatak, ur palato paame Amajad,

Mother to humiliated-aggrieved, sinner-killer, Amjad's life transformed forever,

She was a solace to those who were humiliated, grief-stricken, those who lost ways in life, took to wrong-doings, such as Amjad who was a dacoit, whom she transformed into a respectable human being.

Tam aadarsho dhare jeevan, aevaa aashish dyo paavan,

Grace us with Blessings that we uphold your ideals in our lives,

Prayer to Maa Sharada.

Bhakto par karjo krupaa, Jay Jay Maataa Shaaradaa !!

Bestow your Grace upon devotees, Glory, Glory to Maa Sharada !!

Prayers for bestowing the life of devotees with Divine Grace.


Maa Sharada’s Birth Anniversary as per Hindu Calendar ….

Today is the Birth Anniversary of Maa Sharada this year, as per the Hindu Calendar - the Saptamee (seventh day) of the Krishna Paksha (darker half between Poornima - Full Moon day and Amavasyaa - New Moon day) of the month of Margashirsha, that falls during the months of December-January of the Gregorian calendar.

Prayers !!!

© 2021 Vanita Thakkar