மூடனே நான் முழுமனதாய் உன்னை
நாடியே நாளும் நன்கு தேடாதவரை
வீணிலே போக்கினேன் காலமதை-உலகின்
ஞானமதை வீணில் நாடும் வரை
மெச்சினர் மனிதர் ஞானியென்று-ஆனால்
கொச்சையான என் குணமறியாமலே
நல்வாழ்வை நாடாமல் நாளும்-பொய்
ஞானமதை வீணில் நாடியதால்
பயன் என்னபெற்றேன் கல்வியினால்
மனப்பரிசுத்தமற்று வீணில் வாழும்வரை
பக்தியுடன் பணியும் மூடனுக்கே!
I will remain a fool till I don’t seek you
Diligently with my whole heart everyday.
I merely wasted my time
As long as I sought the wisdom of this world.
People praised me as a jnani
Without knowing my mean nature!
Without seeking a good life everyday
Seeking false knowledge wastefully,
What profit did I gain through my reading
If I live a life without a pure heart?
O eternal one show mercy to this sinner
Who bows before you with much bhakti.
One time Kannan said that I was spending too much time reading rather than seeking the Lord in prayer because he saw me reading books like a mad man. Seeking information is not bad, but being obsessed with books is a temptation for me. I won’t read a book and keep away. I will mark important points, and type all of my notes. After that I will arrange them under various topics. In this method, I end up reading the book three times.
For a professional writer such an endeavour might be necessary. But reading books only to gather information and saving them for a future need won’t make a person a scholar. As one person often says, “For Swamiji, writing is merely ‘cut’ and ‘paste’”. There is truth in it. One time I told him in the ashram that when I complete one book another book should be ready. When I write, other thoughts will come and I will end up writing several things simultaneously. When I forget something in the kitchen my mother will rebuke me to pay attention to cooking and not to think about books.
By sharing this I am not trying to applaud myself. As a bhakta and a sannyasi the time that I should spend in sadhana is less than what I spend on mere gathering information by reading (and also watching some TV programs – that’s why I watch DD Bharati, Podigai and other channels which most ignore). But I spend less time with the Lord and more with books. I wish it was the other way around.
In this context I wrote this song in 1995. Almost 20 years have gone, but not much improvement in this regard. I can console myself by saying that as others work a minimum of 6 to 8 hours in their workplace, I am spending a few hours in reading and writing. However this won’t justify my passion for books, which a sannyasi should overcome.