The idea of ‘ananda’ has been a recurrent one in the works of Rabindranath Tagore. Not only is it central to his philosophical writings, but curiously, it also appears to be a leitmotif in his songs.

The concept of ‘ananda’ is not to be confused with happiness as opposed to sorrow. ‘Ananda’ is distinct from ‘sukh’ (happiness) or ‘duhka’ (sorrow). ‘Ananda’ is best translated into English as ‘bliss’, which is definitely not the antonym of sorrow.

On the contrary, the concept of ‘ananda’- involves a sublimation and transcendence of both happiness and sorrow. In his song Ami jakhon chhilem andha, Tagore wrote: ‘I’ve received you as bliss beyond the shores of happiness and sorrow. (duhha sukher pare tomay peyechhi ananda). Starmark and Hindustan Musical Products Ltd launched Anandam , an album on Vedic verses and hymns on bliss and Tagore&’s songs based on them at Starmark, South City Mall last week.

The Vedic songs are sung by Sayan Mukherjee, the songs of Tagore are sung by Debashish and Rohini Raychaudhuri. The commentary in English is read by Barun Chanda.