Bhakti Song 18 – I Too Have Slept


This is one of my favorite songs. When I cook, I like to read a book. In the same manner on 07-04-1987, when I was at Barhait (present Jharkhand), I was reading Gefforey T Bull’s ‘When the Iron Gates Yields’:

O Lord, I have not learnt to cry;
perhaps I lough too oft, for true conformity;
to thee and thy rough cross, or try;
to love thee without sorrowing—
talk but touch not, thus they heed not.
What heart, O Lord, moved through the garden?
I too have slept, but wake me Lord,
E’n though it be to love with tears

The last two lines touched my heart so deeply that I stopped cooking and within ten minutes wrote this song:


18. தூங்கிவிட்டேன் ஐயா


தூங்கிவிட்டேன் ஐயா சீடரைப் போலவே

தோட்டத்திலே நீ கலங்கிப் புலம்பிடும் வேளையில்

நாட்டம் கொண்டேனையா நன்மைகள் பெற்றிட

வாட்டம் கொண்டேனே சிலுவை வருந்தியே சுமக்க–தூங்கி….


அனுதினம் நாடினேன் ஐயா உன் கிருபை

அவனியின் வாழ்விது அமைதியுடன் செல்ல

ஆயினும் மறுத்தேனே அழைப்பினை ஏற்க

அன்றாடம் உனக்காய்ப் பாடுகள் சகிக்க–தூங்கி….


எத்தனை நன்மைகள் என்வாழ்வில் ஈந்தாய்

எண்ணினால் மாளாது ஏராளம் ஏராளம்

அத்தனை பெற்ற நான் ஆனாலும் மறுத்தேன்

ஐயனே உன்பாரம் சுமப்பதை வெறுத்தேன்–தூங்கி….


பக்தனைப் போலவே சிலுவையும் சுமப்பேனோ

பாவியைப்போலவே மறுத்தேதான் நடப்பேனோ?

என்னாலே ஆகாது உன்பாரம் சுமக்க

முக்தேசனே அருளும் பாடுகள் சகிக்க–தூங்கி….


என்நுகம் இனிது ஏற்கவும் எளிது

என்றேதான் அழைத்தாயே ஈசனே வந்தேன்

சொல்லியே தாராய் சுமந்திட நாளும்

சோர்வுற்ற என்னைக் கிருபையால் காராய்–தூங்கி….



Like your disciples I too slept O Lord

When you were lamenting in the garden with much distress

I longed to receive benefits from you

But hesitate to take up the cross


Every day I sought your grace

To live a peaceful life on this earth

But I refused to accept your call

To suffer every day for your sake


How many blessings you have given in my life

If I began to count they are many

Though received so much yet I denied

And hate to bear your burden (of the cross)


Like that bhakta shall I take up your cross

Or like a sinner, I will walk denying you?

But I cannot bear your cross (it is beyond my ability to bear your cross)

Muktesa give me your grace to bear with the suffering


‘My burden is very light and it is pleasant one to take’

As you called I came unto Oh you God

Teach me to bear it every day

Protect me by your grace as I become tired often





Whenever I feel that I cannot go more than where I am, I immediately remember this song and sing it loudly. The real meaning of this is not in the word, but the way I sing the entire song, particularly these two lines:

But I cannot bear your cross (It is beyond my ability to bear your cross);
Muktesa give me your grace to bear with the suffering

I sing them with a loud cry deep from my stomach. I give a small pause and then with a low voice utter the next line that expresses the meaning more clearly. As I said already, the raga (melody) also enhances the meaning of the song.

Suffering is unwanted in every form. Like Kunti (mother of Pandavas in Mahabharata) we can ask God to allow suffering so that we can come close to Him. Still here, it is more for our personal spiritual need than for the sake of others.

Whatever might be the historical context of the cross in the Roman world, where it is treated as a shameful way to die, after the Prayaschitta of Muktinath on it, irrespective of its theological nature, the Cross gained a new universal meaning of suffering for the sake of others. I read somewhere that after Gahdhiji was assassinated, in a procession to honour him, his picture was garlanded and a cross above it. We all know well that ‘When I Survey the Wondrous Cross’ was Gandhiji’s favourite hymn. After Renaissance in India, although many Muktivedic values were challenged and changed us, the Cross stood predominantly among them.