Bhakti Song 45 – Self denial

I have to give a warning before you read this. This contains certain issues that are not discussed openly and considered un-modest. But as I went through such phases in my life that forced me to vent out my frustration through a poem, I will share this. If you are not comfortable reading such thoughts, it’s better you ignore it.

When I stayed at Rewa, several basic needs were denied to me. Once when I faced similar situation, out of frustration I wrote this song. There is some confusion in my diary entry about the date. One reason could be that some songs I started one time and completed later.

 

சுய வெறுப்பு

ஆடம்பரத்தையே நான் நாடவில்லை

அதிகவசதியும் தேடிடவில்லை

அடிப்படைத் தேவையே மறுத்திடும்போது

ஆத்திரம் ஒன்றே மேலோங்கிடுது

எல்லோரும் பிறந்தது சமமாக என்றால்

ஏன் இந்த முறன்பாடு உலகினில் இங்கு?

பசி ஏப்பம் விடும் பாமரர் ஒருபுறம்

புளியேப்பம் விடும் பணக்காரர் மறுபுறம்

யாரிடம் சென்றே முறையீடு செய்வது?

“ஏன்” என்ற கேள்வியே என்றும் மிஞ்சுது

வல்லவன் வகுத்ததே வாய்க்கால் ஆனபின்

வறியவர் மீண்டிட வழியிங்கு ஏது?

இரக்கின்ற நிலையை உலகினில் வைத்த

இறைவன் அன்றிப் பொறுப்பிதற்கு யாரு?

“இரந்து உயிர்வாழ்தல் வேண்டின்

பரந்து கெடுக உலகியற்றியான்”

என்று வள்ளுவன் இயற்றிய குறளும்

எவ்வளவு உண்மை இந்நிலையினிலே!

ஏழ்மையின் கொடுமையைத் தாங்காமல் நானும்

இறையிடம் முறையிட்டேன் இந்நிலை காண!

பதிலுக்கு எதிர்பார்த்துக் காத்திடும்போது

பதிலாக வந்தது கேள்வியே இங்கு

“என்நன்றி கொன்றார்க்கும் உய்வுண்டாம்

உய்வில்லை செய்நன்றி கொன்றமகற்கு.

என்பதும் வள்ளுவன் இயற்றிய குறளே

ஏனிதை மறந்தாய் என் இனிய மகனே?

மனிதர்த் தேவைக்கு வேண்டிய யாவும்

மனமுவந்தளித்தேன் இயற்கையில் நானும்

அவரின் ஆசைக்கு எல்லையே காணும்

அதற்குமுன் வறியவன் ஆனேன் நானும்

உள்ளவன் ஏய்க்கிறான் வறியவனையே

தன்சுகம் ஒன்றையே என்றும் நினைப்பதால்

ஏழையும் ஏழ்மையின்மீது பழி கூறி

என்றும் வாழ்கின்றான் சோம்பேறியாய்

இருவர்க்கும் இடையில் ஒரு சமநிலை வேண்டும்

அதற்கும் ஆயத்தம் என்றால் நீயும்

அனுதினம் பின்தொடர் என்னை என்றும்

சோம்பேறி-செல்வந்தர்க்கு மத்தியிலே

செல்வத்தைப் பங்கிடவோ வந்தேன் நானும்?

என்னிடம் உள்ளது பதிலோ ஒன்று

ஏற்றிட ஆயத்தமா நீ இங்கு இன்று?

சுய வெறுப்புடன் சீடர் சிலரேனும்

சிலுவையைச் சுமந்தே நாளும் பணிவோடு

என்னைப்போல் உலகினில் வாழ்ந்திடும் அன்று

சமநிலை வந்திடும் தரணியில் நன்று!”

 

English Translation

I neither seek luxury

Nor too many comforts

When basic needs are denied

Only anger (frustration) overcomes me

If all were born equally

Why is there so much contradiction on this world?

On one side the poor suffer due to poverty

Whereas the rich indulge in luxury

To whom shall we complain?

Finally the question ‘why’ alone remains unanswered.

When might things became right?

Where is the hope for the poor?

Who else is the responsible for this?

Other than God who allowed this on earth?

How true it is

When Tiruvalluvan said that

‘if one has to live by begging

Let God himself come and beg’

As I cannot tolerate such poverty

I complained to God to see this situation

When I was waiting for the answer

Another question alone came in way of response (from God):

“There is no hope for redemption

For an ungrateful person!”

This too comes from the words of Valluvan

and why you forgot that my dear son?

I provided enough wholeheartedly

for the need of humans through nature

But I never see any limit to their desire

And I too became poor before their greed!

Those who ‘have plenty’ cheat the poor

When they think only of their comfort

The poor are also blaming poverty

Lives always in laziness!

A balance should be kept between them

If you are ready for that

Then you follow me daily

Did I come to divide the property

Between lazy and rich?

But I have one answer even to this

But are you ready to accept it today?

At least if a few shishyas of mine

Having self-denial and ready to carry the cross with much humility

When began to live like me on this earth

Then that balance will come in this world

 

Comments:

Rather than any other place, due to many circumstances and reasons, I had to struggle a lot each time during my visit to Rewa. One time I had to immediately travel to Varanasi after I travelled over night from Lucknow to reach Rewa as I could not find proper accommodation.

Rewa is a hot place even in April. So when I reached Rewa one summer, I could not stay with the person with whom I used to stay before I visit other villages. As so many relatives came to stay with him in a one-bedroom small house, I cannot even use their toilet as it is just opposite to the kitchen that too adjacent to the hall where all the ladies were staying and sleeping.

When I reached Rewa already it was 9.00 am and it was very hot. As I could stay with that person, I was requested to stay with another shishya who was studying in the college by staying in a small room without running water or a toilet. So when I reached his house by 10 pm, he was ready to leave for his college and he gave the key and asked me to prepare my food. But my immediate need was to use the toilet.

In many parts of North India (even over all in whole India) and in many rural areas even today we have to go to open fields to relieve ourselves. Though Rewa is a big city, that boy stayed in a small room with a tin sheet roof (during the day, no one can stay inside such room), where there was no toilet. So like many in India, I took a pot of water (in a vessel known as lota – the same vessel will be cleaned with mud and used to drink water. But in few places now this practice is changed and they take water in some plastic containers) and began to search for a hiding place. I couldn’t find one as there was no field to hide ourselves since there were so many other houses and people also beginning to move. Finally I managed to find a place in some stone quarry by climbing down in the hot sun. But it was too dirty as so many people already used it as a toilet in the morning. {Thanks for P.M. Modi’s initiative for ‘Clean India Program’ and initiative to construct toilets in rural areas}.

As a digression here, I would like to tell one humorous incident that took place back in 1986 when I was at Madhubani in North Bihar. Along with my co-worker we went inside Nepal as we had several contacts there. That boy was entirely new and never had the habit of going out in the open to relieve himself. The next day morning I guided him how to do that. He was not ready, but as there was no other alternative, he took water and began to walk. Finally he reached the border of next village and as he could not find a place to hide himself he came with much frustration and began to complain about finding such a hiding place. Then I said, “In India and Nepal rarely you will find a place without people. Just hide inside some bamboo grove.” “What if someone suddenly crossed by?” was his question. “Then close your eyes.” When I said this he could not control himself and began to laugh.

When I make such complaints some (like Chakaravarthy) would say “Why not stay in some hotel rather than undergoing such problems?” But I never like to stay in a hotel or eat hotel food. In several of my travels I have spent the whole night sitting at the railway station or at a bus stand, but never liked to stay in a hotel. I don’t like the smell of the room, bed, etc. As I never liked a costly hotel I preferred to stay at the railway station rather than to go to hotel. I will adjust in any house with all limitations rather than to a stay in a hotel.

Another interesting point in this song is the way I used Tirukkural, even quoted by the Lord in response to my complaints? I am not sure others have done it or will approve it. But I have never come across it in any of my readings, making the Lord to quote from some other literature or scripture. Poems never follow strict convention rules in many areas and give extreme freedom to a person to express her thoughts in any form.