Bhakti Song 71 – I should become greedy

பேராசை வேண்டும்

 

பேராசை எனக்கிதில் வேண்டும் என்றும்

பேரின்ப வெள்ளத்தில் பாய்ந்துநான் நீராட

மூவாசை மலமும் முற்றிலும் நீங்கிட

முதல்வனே உன்னைப் பற்றியே நாடிட–பேராசை….

 

மண்ணாசை பொன்னாசை மற்றெல்லா ஆசைகளும்

மானிடர்க் கியல்பான ஒன்றே-ஆனால்

மனதினை மயக்கியே மாயையில் ஆழ்த்திடும்

வீணாசை என்னில் நீக்க வேண்டியே–பேராசை….

 

உள்ளான வாழ்க்கையில் உறுதியாய் வளர்ந்திட

உன்வார்த்தை அனுதினம் வேண்டும்–அதுவன்றி

வீண் “ஓசை” எழுப்பிடும் வீணான தத்துவப்

பேரோசை நீக்கியே பொழுதும் உன்னருள் நாட–பேராசை….

 

English Translation

I should become greedy to swim

In the flood of bliss and to take a dip in it

To remove the three snares completely

And to cling unto you to follow the First One

 

Lust for earth, gold and other things

Are quite natural for humans – but

To remove the vanity from my heart

Which deludes the mind and drowns in Maya—I should become greedy

 

To grow in the inner man firmly

I need your Word every day – other than that

To remove the desire to be involved in vain arguments

which merely creates only ‘noise’–I should become greedy

 

Comments

Throughout the 1990s, I never missed an opportunity that allowed me to indulge in argument with anyone. When I read anything that irritated me, unless I wrote some rejoinder I wouldn’t find inner peace. When a short question was asked, or if I read a relatively short article, or when I received a postcard with some short criticism or comments, I would write a long response running several pages. I would try to prove my point from various angles and quote elaborately—even unnecessarily, which nobody could read or understand. One time someone gave me a small piece of paper after my class. It had a very short comment criticising my approach. I took several pages to give my response. In the course of giving my response, I even raised a few imagined questions that they might ask (my purvapaksha) and began to give my response.

In my classes while giving a response to some questions, I would talk too much, quoting from various sources which most of the students would not even understand. But after such arguments when I was alone, I would feel very bad about myself. I would even ask the question to myself, “Did you respond like that to prove that you know more than others? To brag about your intellectual capacity? Your oratory skills? Why don’t you say something very simple so that your audience will benefit rather than just for your personal satisfaction?”

After such incidents, I would try to keep quiet and avoid taking classes or writing such responses. Of course some of those responses that I wrote out of frustration and irritation became a book, Living Water and Indian Bowl. But my bhakti in the Lord always longed to seek Him and be with Him alone leaving everything else. This I could not do.

It took a lot of time to learn that instead of rebutting everything that I read or heard, it is better to ignore, even at the cost of accepting personal defeat rather than wasting time in mere counter arguments. However I am not sure that I can keep quiet all the time. Sometimes we have to answer. But, it is better to leave such arguments than stretching it beyond everybody’s limit.

Likewise when we read something that convinces us totally but we cannot agree with it, it’s better to draw a truce by declaring to ‘agree to disagree’. Refuting others’ views may be part of our temperament, which we have to overcome with the help of the Lord. When I watch some TV program, I immediately write something about it. Some of them are posted in my blog. But one thing is sure. Unless others are benefited by our talk and writing at the minimum, it remains mere ‘noise’, which should be avoided for the benefit of all.

In the second stanza, line one, I deliberately avoided mentioning the third snare among the triplet desire mentioned generally in all Hindu scriptures—particularly in Tamil ‘lust for earth, gold and woman’. I don’t agree that ‘woman’ should be included as a snare or trap for man to overcome any lust. Most of the scriptures were written by men, and many out of frustration as they were defeated by their own lust. Therefore, they included ‘woman’ in that triplet snare. The way they use abusive words describing a woman’s body and calling it by various names is condemnable. When I was reading ‘Tiruvarutpa’ by Ramalinga Swami, I wondered if I was reading a religious scripture or erotic one. The way Adi Sankara wrote in one stanza about woman in Bhajagovindam1 is a great injustice done not just against woman, but against humanity. Women are a part of life and cannot be dumped as a thing of lust for a man. Negatively, this also infers that only man has the lust for woman. As a man I cannot understand the mindset of a woman. But I think they equally have this struggle in their life.

But I mainly wrote this song not to waste my time in useless arguments but to drown myself in the bliss of the Lord.

15-7-14

 

Notes

  1. Nari sthana bara nabi desam

Drshtva maga moha vesham

Yetan maasavasadi vikaram

Manasavi chintaya varam varam. (quoted from memory)

–don’t become lustful after seeing the …. and … of woman. All these are nothing but a perversion of flesh. And think again and again about this.