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Congratulations on such an informative article. There is a short biography of Ramprasad Sen that gives his date of birth as "1720 or 1721" with death in 1781. See p. 64 in: Asit Bandyopadhyay, "Medieval Bengali Literature" in: "Medieval Indian Literature: An Anthology, Volume One, Surveys and Selections, Assamese - Dogri", K. Ayyappa Paniker (Chief Editor). Sahita Akademi, New Delhi, 1997, ISBN 81-260-0365-0. That page can be used as a citation for the fact that he was born into a Vaidya family. However the article there says nothing about tantric connections. The article statements about the tantric family line do not appear to have citations at the moment. Since the Vaidya fact can be cited, would it strengthen the article to use the above citation for that, and separate the tantric fact to a separate sentence so it can be given appropriate citations should they become available? I will look over the rest of the article and see if there are any other details that may be worth mentioning. Buddhipriya (talk) 04:18, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
The opening line of Early life section mentions about "Tantric Vaidya family" and this has a inline citation to Harding. If you think any other citations are necessary, pls add them. Thanks. --Nvineeth (talk) 08:29, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
In an effort to address the concern one reviewer had about citations I am looking for things that may be cited. The following sentence could be cited to add to the notability of the subject: "Ramprasad Sen is perhaps the most well-known Bengali poet addressing Kālī..." Source: p. 191, Nancy M. Martin, "North Indian Hindi Devotional Literature", in: The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism, Gavin Flood (Editor). Blackwell Publishing, Malden MA, 2005, ISBN 1-4051-3251-5.
A second citation on notability could be p. 64 in the article by Bandyopadhyay cited in my previous comment: "He composed and set to tune his songs, which have wide acceptability, even in modern times. His language is simple, sweet, familiar and unsophisticated. The beggars and mendicants visit the householders for a morsel of food chanting these songs, and obviously they are not disobliged." In rereading the piece by Bandyopadhyay I noticed something that hedges on the "tantric" connection by making a distinction with Shakta songs: "The Shakta cult is sometimes equated with Tantricism.... But the Shakta singers and poets like Ramaprasad Sen and Kamalalakanta Bhattacharya worshipped Goddess Kalika, the primordial mother-goddess as their own mother, they adored her with song-offerings, which may be called one of the best productions of the late medieval period." That sentence goes to notability. There may be benefit in making some greater clarity that Shakta worship may or may not be "tantric" in tone. Since the word tantra is widely misunderstood, someone may get the wrong impression of the nature of the poetry. Of course if citation can be given, this concern may not be important. Buddhipriya (talk) 04:51, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for digging these out. Also the "The Shakta cult is sometimes equated with Tantricism..." part will be a nice addition to the "Poetry and influence" section., can you pls add it since you have access to the complete book. Thanks. --Nvineeth (talk) 17:21, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
I also prefer this source for the more nuanced description of Ramprasad's language — "sweet, familiar, and unsophisticated" vs. the current "simple and emotional" (which I added). "Emotional" has too many connotations in the West that have nothing to do with devotion. Priyanathtalk 17:43, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
The passage is available on Google Books, so I made the one change I just mentioned.Priyanathtalk 02:32, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
Regarding the tantra connection, I think several references make that point. But I agree with Buddhipriya that it could somehow be made more clear just what that means, since it's so widely misunderstood. Priyanathtalk 02:38, 19 May 2009 (UTC)