Bhakti Song 75 – Nothing I Lack

பேதைக்குக் குறைவேது?

 

எந் நிலையிலும் மகிழ்வாய் இருக்க

எந் நாளும் நானும் அறிவேனே

எதையும் செய்ய என்னால் ஆகுமினி

என் ஐயன் என்னோடு உள்ளவரை

வாழ்வும் தாழ்வும் நான் அறிந்தேனே

பாங்காய் எனக்கவன் போதித்ததால்

குறைவும் நிறைவும் எனக்கினி இல்லை

எல்லாம் அவனுள் நிறைந்ததினால்

பலவீனன் ஆயினும் பெலன்பெற்றேன்

மதியீனன் ஆயினும் உள்ளபடி அறிந்தேன்

போதிக்கும் குருவாக என்நாதனிருக்கையில்

பேதைக்குக் குறைவேது இவ்வுலகில் வாழும்வரை!

22-04-1995

English Translation

I know always

To remain joyful in every situation

I can accomplish anything hereafter

As long as my Lord is with me

I learnt about success and failures

As He taught me clearly

I am neither full nor empty hereafter

As everything is complete in Him

Though I am weak, I received strength

Though a fool, I understood (things) as they are

As the Lord remains the Guru to teach me

What else will this ignorance lack as long as I live on this earth?

22-04-1995

 

Comments

This is a song I wrote after I meditated on Phil. 4:11-13. Though the entire Muktiveda is important for us, yet several verses become more important as they address a particular need in a clear way. For me these two lines are important for me in this song, as I often meditate on this thought in my life:

குறைவும் நிறைவும் எனக்கினி இல்லை

எல்லாம் அவனுள் நிறைந்ததினால்

I am neither full nor empty hereafter

As everything is complete in Him

 

‘As everything is complete in Him’ – any feeling related with ‘high and low’ or ‘full and empty’ never creates mere emotion about them. The human tendency is that when we have abundance then we get a fear of losing. It creates a subtle anxiety and prevents us from enjoying that abundance totally. The same way when we miss or feel empty, then we get a longing (thrishna) to have it or an anger that stops us from having it. Then ‘anxiety’ and ‘longing’ always makes us lose our balance in life. To strike a balance between the two is called ‘stitap prjnata’—stable mindedness. But it is not easy to achieve. All kinds of sadhana won’t help us unless we realize and understand that we are complete in Him. Here bhakti alone helps a person than jnana or karma.

When Arjuna asks about the ‘lakshana’ (symptoms) of a stable minded (sthitaprajna) (Gita 2:54) person, what Krisha shares in response (2:55-71) is worth reading. Particularly I like the slokas 2:63-64.1 However mere instruction on such sadhana, particularly giving ethical and moral ideals as the symptoms for a stable-minded person, is not easy for everyone. For example Valluvar says, ‘when troubles come, just laugh’. 2 And questioning this Kannadasan in one of his film songs asks:

துன்பம் வரும் வேளையிலே சிரிங்க

என்று சொல்லிவச்சார் வள்ளுவரு சரிங்க

பாம்பு வந்து கடிக்கயில் பாழ்மனது துடிக்கையில்

யாரிடத்தில் பொங்கிவரும் சிரிப்பு

இது கீழ்ப்புறத்தில் கசப்பு மேற்புறத்தில் இனிப்பு

பட்டினத்தார் கையில் உள்ள கரும்பு

When suffering comes (just) laugh

Said Valluvar and that is correct!

But when a snake bites and the mind is troubled

In whose heart laughter will bubble?

This is like the sugar can in the hands of Pattinnathar 3

Which is bitter at the bottom and sweet at the top. (quoted from memory)

 

Having mere detachment or stoic indifference to anything could be ideal, yet it is not practical or even advisable. Of course ‘viewing gold and a broken mud pot as the one and the same’4 could be one of the marks of a stable-minded person, but it is said from the point of renouncing everything. And Pattinattar giving his idealism says:

The one who attained true janna will remain like a child

(சேய்போல் இருப்பக் கண்டீர் மெய்ஞ்ஞானம் தெளிந்தவரே)

 

And another ideal that he shares as part of this song is:

…                    …                    Viewing other women as mother

and treating others as oneself, we will remain very humble

(….                                                                  நன்மங்கையரைத்

தாய்போல் கருதி தம்போல் அனைவர்க்கும் தாழ்மைசொல்லி)

 

But based on the symptom, what he prescribes is a bit odd and could be based on his own experience as a wandering sannyasi:

 

Wandering like a ghost, laying like a dead body, accepting all the alms

And eating them like a dog and wandering like a fox….

(பேய்போல் திரிந்து பிணம்போல் கிடந்து இட்டபிச்சையெல்லாம்

நாய்போல் அரிந்தி நரிபோல் உழன்று நன்மங்கையரைத்)5

 

We can quote such idealism and practical examples from the life of many saints from the Hindu tradition. However the Muktivedic ideal is not having a condescending view on matter (both materials and body), but ‘stewardship’ and a realization that we are ‘complete in Him’. I like this Muktivedic sadhana which prescribes a healthy and holistic view about life not pushing us to one extreme.

21-7-14

Notes

  1. dhyaayato visayaan pumsah sangas tesuupajaayate

sangaat samjaayate kaamah kaamat krodho’bhijaayate. (62)

krodhaad bhavati sammohah sammohaat smrtivibhramah

smrti bhramsaad buddhinaaso buddhinaasaat pranasyati.(63)

–Brooding on the objects of senses, a man develops attachment for them; from attachment springs up desire; from desire (unfulfilled) ensues anger. From anger arises delusion, from delusion; confusion of memory; from confusion of memory, loss of reason; and from loss of, reason (discrimination), he goes to complete ruin.—Swami Ramsukhadas, Srimad Bhagavadgita, Sadhaka sanjivani, Gita Press, Gorakhpur, Vol. I, pp. 140-41

This is like a small thought/need, then an imagination on that, then desire, then longing(thrishna), then action and finally conviction or justification of doing it.

2.. இடுக்கண் வருங்கால் நகுக அதனை

அடுத்துஊர்வது அஃதுஒப்பது இல்

Laugh away the trouble when it comes

Nothing equals it to conquer pains.—Thirukkural, Trn. M. Rajaram, New Delhi, Rupa & Co, 2009, p. 128

3.. See BT Song 55 for the sugar can in the hand of Pattinatthar.

4.. ஓடும் செம்பொன்னும் ஒக்கவே நோக்குவார் (quoted from memory)

  1. Here is the full poem:

பேய்போல் திரிந்து பிணம்போல் கிடந்து இட்டபிச்சையெல்லாம்

நாய்போல் அரிந்தி நரிபோல் உழன்று நன்மங்கையரைத்

தாய்போல் கருதி தம்போல் அனைவர்க்கும் தாழ்மைசொல்லி

சேய்போல் இருப்பக் கண்டீர் மெய்ஞ்ஞானம் தெளிந்தவரே