Bhakti Song 62 – What is my requirement?

26-10-1993 (கோண்டா)-அன்று சில முக்கியமான தீர்மானங்கள் எடுக்க வேண்டி இருந்தது. எதிர்காலம் பற்றிய சில கேள்விகளும் தோன்றின. ஆனால் அனைத்தையும் இறைவனிடம் கொண்டு சென்றபோது எழுதிய பாடல்:

On 26-10-1993 (Gonda) I had to take a crucial decision. Several questions came to me about my future. While submitting all of them to the Lord, I wrote this song as my prayer:


எது வேண்டும்


இது வேண்டும் அது வேண்டும்

என நிதம் பல வேண்டாமல்

எதை நான் செயவேண்டும்

என உளம் நீ கொண்டாயோ

அதையே நான் செய்ய வேண்டி

அருளை நீ தருவாயே!



English Translation:


Not asking for this need and that

Not praying for them everyday

What do you have for me in your heart

For me to do

Help me to accomplish that

Giving by your grace




The following is one of my favourite poems in Tiruvasagam by Manikkavacagar.


வேண்டத் தக்க தறிவோய்நீ! வேண்ட முழுதுந் தருவோய்நீ

வேண்டும் அயன் மாற் கரியோய்நீ! வேண்டி என்னைப் பணிகொன்டாய்!

வேண்டிநீ யாதருள் செய்தாய்? யானும் அதுவே வேண்டின் அல்லால்

வேண்டும் பரிசொன் றுண்டென்னில் அதுவும் உன்றன் விருப்பன்றே?–குழைத்த பத்து, 6


–Thou know’st what to DESIRE is meet,–when we DESIRE

Thou’rt He that wholly grants! To Ayan (Brahma) and to Maal {Vishnu}

DESIRING Thee, how hard to reach! Yet me Thou didst

DESIRE, my service claim! DESIRING what didst Thou

Bestow Thy grace? That and naught else do I DESIRE i

And if aught else there be that stirs in me DESIRE,

That too, in sooth, is Thy DESIRE,–is it no so?

–The Tiruvacagam, G.U. Pope, London, Oxford University Press, 1900, p. 275


My free translation:

You know what my requirement is; you will provide all my needs;

You are rare indeed to Brahma and Vishunu; you alone voluntarily called me for your seva; you alone voluntarily gave your grace; I too not only asking that alone, if I need any other things, that I leave to your desire

I often think of the peace that occupies our mind once we know for sure what God’s will is for us, and then the intensity of anxiety that comes down though not completely disappears. On several occasion I have stumbled in small areas when I made decisions thinking that it is God’s will. But to my amazement, on certain crucial decisions, I never felt any pressure or anxiety and things moved very smoothly. But when I look back, I realize one fact: in taking crucial decisions, I sought the council and prayers of my well-wishers. Sometimes I accepted their advice even though it went against my desire. Somehow I felt that it is better to listen to them rather than taking my own decisions as such decisions won’t affect me alone.

I think this is very crucial in our bhakti as a mandali. If I am part of a (physical) mandali, I have to surrender some of my personal freedom also, unless it affects my privacy too much.

Let me give one practical example. Kannan often pestered me to get married, even though he knew my decision was final on that matter. Since he is my best friend I often took it as a joke and made some jovial comment about it. One time he again insisted how I shouldn’t live alone. So I said, “OK. Go and talk to Prasad. If he agrees then I will get married.” So when Kannan met him, Prasad said, “What?!? Swamiji get married? No chance! What will my relatives and friends think about it? They all will laugh at me, saying, ‘Finally your Swamiji also succumbed to the need of another person!’ Forget it completely.”

When I met Prasad he said this to me. After that, Kannan never raised that matter again though still he often teases me. (Now I know he does this because of jealousy. Kanna, it is too late for both of us!)

So it looks very strange to me that I never prayed very intensely for many crucial decisions when I sought the counsel of others and accepted the collective decision of my well-wishers. Whereas on several small issues, I have to pray a lot as the final responsibility rests with me. This is one strength in our bhakti as a mandali. When we submit to the mandali, we are not surrendering our personal freedom, but allowing others to shoulder our responsibility. But in any decision that will affect the entire mandali and strain our relationship with others, submission is better than seeking the will of God through our personal prayers alone.