Sahana Devi

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Sahana Devi (Bengali: সাহানা দেবী) (1897–1990)[1] was an Indian singer, she was a widely listened to[2] singer of Rabindra Sangeet. She was the niece of Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das.[3]


She was born into an illustrious Bengali Brahmo family and had distinguished array of men and women in her paternal and maternal sides. Her paternal grandfather Kali Narayan Gupta, was a zamindar who became a Brahmo samaj leader, social reformer and a songwriter. Sir, K G Gupta, one of the top ranking Indian ICS was her father's elder brother. Her father Dr. Pyare Mohan Gupta was a district civil surgeon. Atul Prasad Sen was her father's sister's son. Her mother Tarala Devi was the elder sister of 'Deshbandhu' Chittaranjan Das. Sahaha took her music lessons from her maternal aunt Amala Das, a pioneer Rabindra Sangeet exponenet and the first Indian woman to record songs in HMV. She was among the few singers to learn directly from Rabindranath Tagore and Dinendranath Tagore. In 1922, she met Dilipkumar Roy in the Gaya session of the Indian National Congress and was deeply influenced by his musical style, though she retained a distinct way of her own. Sick and deserted by her family, she was given refuge in 1927 by Tagore in his Santiniketan but she had to leave the place for her failing health.[citation needed]

Sahana Devi was one of two singers allowed by Rabindranath Tagore to improvise his songs.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Devi was the niece of Chittaranjan Das[5] and a cousin of Atulprasad Sen.[6]

In 1928, she joined the Aurobindo Ashram at Pondicherry where she lived until her death in 1990.[5]

Devi wrote an autobiography in 1978 called 'Smritir Kheya' (Ferrying Down the memory stream)[7]


  1. ^ Sri Chinmoy. "Sahana Devi | Sri Chinmoy". Retrieved 14 June 2011.
  2. ^ Sudhiranjan Mukhopadyay. "Hemanta - The Early Years". Retrieved 14 June 2011.
  3. ^ "Sahana Devi - Forty Years Ago". Retrieved 24 February 2012. External link in |publisher= (help)
  4. ^ Ashis K. Biswas (28 Jan 2002). "Copy Write, Unbound". Outlook India. Retrieved 14 June 2011.
  5. ^ a b "Sahana Devi - Forty Years Ago". Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust. Retrieved 14 June 2011.
  6. ^ Sayeed, Khan Md (2012). "Sen, Atulprasad". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
  7. ^ Alice Thorner; Maithreyi Krishnaraj (2000). Ideals, Images, and Real Lives: Women in Literature and History. Orient Blackswan. p. 66. ISBN 978-81-250-0843-9.