Bhakti Song 17 – Single-Mindedness

 

This song is based on Ramalinga Swamiji’s Arutpa. This is one of my favourite songs in Arutpa. I wrote this when I was at Barhait in Jarkhand on 14-03-1987.

 

17.  ஓர் வேண்டுதல்

 

ஓர்மனம் வேண்டும், உண்மைவேண்டும் உன்னை என்றும்

உத்தமமாய்ப் பின்பற்றும் மனது வேண்டும்

உறவு வேண்டும் உண்மையாய்த் தொழும் பக்தரொடு

உள்ளன்பு வேண்டும், உன் அன்பில் நிலைநிற்கும் கிருபைவேண்டும்

தாழ்மை வேண்டும் தான் எனும் தன்மை நீங்கித் தற்பரனே

தரணியில் நின்திருத் தொண்டு செய்ய தரவேண்டும் நின்னருளே

எளிமை வேண்டும் எனதென்ற எண்ணம் நீங்கி ஈசனே நின்

அருள்கொண்டு இப்புவியில் வாழவேண்டும்

புகழவேண்டும் பொழுதெல்லாம் நின்திருப்புகழ்பாடி

ஒழுகவேண்டும் உத்தமமாய் நின் வசனம் கொண்டு

திகழவேண்டும் தேவனே மெய்சாட்சியாக

அருளவேண்டும் ஐயா–அத்தகைய வாழ்வு என்றும்.

 

 

I want single-mindedness, truth and

A heart to follow you faithfully

I need the relationship with bhaktas who worship in Truth

I need inner love and grace to dwell in your love

I should be humble and remove my ego

To do your seva on this earth I need your grace

I must become simple and by removing ‘myness’ O Lord

With your grace I should live on this earth

I must glorify you all time by singing your glory

I must follow you honestly by your Word

I must live as your true witness

O Lord you should give such a life all the time.

 

Comments

For the Tamilians, I have given the original song from Arutpa below. In such songs, we can replace the name for god with any name and the entire song will suit our worship very well and have a beautiful meaning. There are several songs of Arutpa that will touch our soul if we pay attention to the meaning alone.

When I compiled a song book for the Gurukulam, I included a few songs from Tamil Siddhas and I wanted to include a few from Arutpa by removing those stanzas with sectarian affiliation. I later gave it up as we have enough songs of our own to use. As the sectarian scriptures belong to that particular sect, I cannot misuse them. At the same time they belong to our common heritage, and I have every right to use them, without distorting its original meaning.

But here comes the conflict. Though the meaning appeals to my bhakti, the theology goes against the Muktiveda. In the name of my birthright and common heritage, can I selectively use those songs that suit my purpose? I had this conflict within me for a long time. But since I never shared my poems with others and never used Hindu poems in my worship with others, I never discussed it with anyone.

Then I gradually realized that when I use them I am not twisting their theology to suit my purpose. I use only those songs which have a common meaning, feeling, expression, or experience. If I begin to read only others’ theology in them, then I cannot use any Hindu terms like advaita, atman, avatara, etc., as they have their theological and textual context which will only fit within the Hindu religious tradition.

So the best option left for me is to explain their original meaning and the context and then make it clear why I am using them. I don’t want to superimpose my theology on them or exploit them to serve my purpose. But if they help me to clearly communicate my inner experience and intellectual understanding to myself and to share with others, then I have every right to use them as a part of my common heritage.

I don’t want to discuss how some of the pioneers like Brahmabandhab Upadhyaya and others have done theology using Indian terms. It is beyond the scope of this posting and my ability. Several scholarly works are there for those who are interested to do their own study on this subject. Although I learnt a lot from them, I cannot imitate their model as they were trapped with a self-imposed situation to work within the frame of their denominational doctrine. Thankfully God liberated me from that. So I don’t have that kind of ‘denominational’ captivity. But I have to keep a balance between using my right as a Hindu and my commitment to Muktivedic principles in my communication. As I welcome criticism and correction from my well-wishers, I feel safe in my theology.

 

20-5-14

 

The Original Poem

ஒருமையுடன் நினது திருமலரடி நினைக்கின்ற

உத்தமர் தம் உறவு வேண்டும்

உள்ளொன்று வைத்துப் புறமொன்று பேசுவார்

உறவு கலவாமை வேண்டும்

பெருமைபெறும் நினது புகழ் பேசவேண்டும் பொய்மை

பேசா திருக்க வேண்டும்

பெருநெறி பிடித்தொழுக வேண்டும் மதமான பேய்

பிடியாதிருக்க வேண்டும்

மருவு பெண்ணாசையை மறக்கவே வேண்டும் உனை

மறவா திருக்க வேண்டும்

மதி வேண்டும் நின்கருணை நிதி வேண்டும் நோயற்ற

வாழ்வினான் வாழ வேண்டும்

… …. …–ஓளவை சு. துரைசாமிப் பிள்ளை, திருவருட்பா, மூலமும் உரையும், சுத்தசன்மார்க்க நிலையம், (10 தொகுதிகள்) வடலூர், முதல் தொகுதி, ப. 82