Bhakti Song 23 – A Burning Lamp

எரிகின்ற தீபம்


எரிகின்ற தீபமே ஏற்றிடும் மறுதீபம்

என்பதே வாழ்க்கையில் உண்மையும் ஆனதால்

எவ்வளவு கற்றுமே என்னுளம் ஆவியால்

ஏற்றிய தீபமாய் ஒளிதனைப் பெற்றிடேல்

கற்ற என்கல்வியால் கண்டிலேன் பயனெதும்

கண்ணிருந்தும் குருடனாய், காதிருந்தும் செவிடனாய்

மதியிருந்தும் மூடனாய், மனதினில் ஏழையாய்

அகமதில்நீஇன்றி ஐயனே வெறுமையாய்

வாழ்ந்திடும் வாழ்க்கையில் வளம்குன்றி வறியனாய்

புவிக்குப் பாரமாய், பொழுதெல்லாம் வீணுமாய்

கழிந்திடும் காலத்தில் கல்லறை ஏகியே

காரிருள் அடையுமுன் காத்திடும் முக்தேசனே

எரிகின்ற தீபமாய் இலங்கிடும் நின்வார்த்தையால்

இறங்கிடும் இவ்வேழைக்கு இவ்வுலக வாழ்க்கையில்

அருள்கொண்டு ஐய்யனே அண்டிடும் அடியனுக்கு

அருளிடும் நின்வார்த்தையை அணைந்திடா தீபமாய்.


English Translation

A Burning Lamp


Only a burning lamp can light another one

Is true in life

I don’t find any use with my learning

Unless my heart with the power of the Spirit

Becomes a burning lamp by receiving the light (from you)

Having eyes I became blind, became deaf even though I have ears

I became a fool, even though I have intellect, and became a poor man in my heart

Without you in my heart I became empty

I became a poor man in life without any resource

I became a burden to the earth and wasted my life all the time

Save me Lord Muktesa before I attain that eternal darkness

Before I go to my grave by wasting it on earth

Show mercy to this poor man in this life on earth

To become a burning lamp through your eternal Words

Give your words as the un-quenching lamp to this slave

Who sought your feet!



My reading of Hindu scripture and personal study on Hinduism helped me to think beyond the Muktiveda about the common grace of God that He bestows in every culture and tradition. I never tried to limit God’s revelation within the boundary of the Muktiveda. My bhakti in the Lord never forced me to throw away my heritage.

At the same time, I never want to say that it served me for the time-being to lead me to the Lord. Once it served its purpose now I have to throw it away. If I do that the loss will be mine as no one could master all the cultural and spiritual wealth in one’s own worldview in which she takes birth easily. I don’t treat them as a part of God’s gift in my life. They are mine by my birthright. They are my inheritance and not just a gift from God. This is my personal belief that God never expects me to abandon that which belongs to me. If I cannot abandon my mother, how can I abandon my heritage? My mother gave me physical birth and the Lord gave me spiritual birth. Do I have to throw away my mother from my life—even if she is not ready to follow the Lord? If I cannot do that, then how would God expect me to abandon my cultural/religious/social heritage? Here I think the evangelicals, because of their misguided zeal for evangelism fail to understand the mind of God. But from the beginning I never succumb to their zeal to misguide me in this area.