Bhakti Song 48 – My Imperfection

At Martudham ashram in Varanasi, in one gathering for my shishyas from Rewa, one incident really disturbed me. One of my shishya’s behaviour in the dinning hall disturbed all of us. However before telling it to him, on 28-05-1993 evening by four o’clock I began to pray for him. But when I began to pray for him, my shortcomings appeared before me in manifold. Immediately I stopping praying for him, I began to lament about my shortcomings to the Lord. Then I wrote the following song.


என்குறை பெரிதாக என்முன் நிற்கையில்

எப்படி உரைப்பேன் பிறர்குறை உன்முன்?

பெரிதே மனப்போராட்டம் அதன்மீது

பெற்றிலேன் வெற்றியே பலமுறை முயன்றுமே!

என்தகுதி ஒன்றையே ஆதாரமாய் எண்ணியே

பிறர்குறை நீக்கிட முடியாது உண்மையே

புனிதனே திருவடிப் புகலிடம் தேடியே

போராட வந்துள்ளேன் என்குறை போக்கவே

என்குறை பிறர்குறை எல்லாமே உன்மீது

ஏற்றுக்கொண்டாய் அன்று சிலுவையின் மீது

எனவே உன்னருள்மீது நம்பிக்கை வைத்து

நாடினேன் மீண்டுமே நாதனே உன்திருவடி


English Translation

When my own faults stand tall before me

How I am going to point out others?

Great is my inner struggle

I never achieved victory in spite of repeated attempts

The truth is that based on my own character/qualities

I cannot remove another’s fault

O Holy one seeking your feet as my refuge

I come unto you to struggle to overcome my faults

My faults and others fault

You already took them on you on the cross

Therefore keeping trust in your grace

I sought your feet one more time



Generally for a Hindu, bhakti helps to keep the focus on our relationship with God rather than to reflect on its influence on personal ethics. However, my bhakti in the Lord always forces me to evaluate my relationship with others. In fact our relationship with others sets the condition for our bhakti in the Lord. When I sit to pray for my need, immediately I think about others needs and begin to pray for them. Similarly when I want to correct something in other’s life, my faults stands tall before me. Though this creates some remorse within me to think about my faults, I realize that only after becoming perfect I cannot correct others. This is the beauty in the Muktiveda. Knowing our shortcomings and depending upon the mercy, grace and forgiveness from God, we are called to discipline others when it becomes necessary. So in our approach to discipline others, our shortcomings makes us humble rather than shy away from our responsibility with a guilty conscience. I think God never creates a mere guilty conscience in us, which will crumble us and make us impotent. Rather, in creating remorse for our shortcomings God helps us to discipline others. If others question about our own shortcomings and imperfections when we disciple them, then our bhakti in the Lord helps us to confess our weakness and remind them that we do our part out of our love towards them than with a regimental attitude of taking some high moral ground or to embarrass them before others.

As the Muktiveda rightly says, our righteousness never reveals the wrath of God, all our approaches, both for others and ourselves are through the righteousness of our Lord. Personal ethics, bhakti, spirituality and our responsibilities are integrated giving a human touch with divine grace in Muktiveda.