Bhakti Song 61 – ஓர் புலம்பல்

On 18-09-1993 at Gonda during the night at 2 am I suffered a lot due to stomach pain. I even began to sweat due to extreme pain and almost I fainted. There was no one near me while I was suffering. On the next day, I was still suffering from pain. For my morning devotion, I wrote this song.

ஓர் புலம்பல்

ஏன் என்று கேட்கவில்லை ஐயா

என்வாழ்வில் இத்துன்பம் ஏன்வைத்தாய் என்று?

உன்சித்தம் ஒன்றே வாழ்வில் நிறைவேற

ஒப்புவித்தேன் அன்றே உன்கையில் நிறைவாக

ஆனாலும் துன்பம் மிகவாகும் போது

என்செய்வேன் உன்னிடம் புலம்புதல் அல்லாது?

முணுமுணுக்கவில்லை முரண்பட்டே நானும்

முனகுகிறேன் இவ்வலி தாக்கிடும் போதும்

அறிந்தவன் நீயே அத்துன்பம் தானும்

அதனாலே வந்தேன் சிறுபிள்ளை நானும்!

மடிமீது தலைவைத்து தலைகோதி மெல்ல

“மகனே” எனக்கூறி ஆறுதல் சொல்ல

தாயன்றி இங்கு தனிமையில் உள்ள

சேய்க்கு நீயன்றி யாருள்ளார் சொல்ல?

English Translation

I never questioned you O Lord

Why have you allowed such suffering in my life?

I surrendered myself totally at your hand

For you to do your will in my life.

But when the suffering is unbearable

What else can I do except to murmur unto you?

I am not murmuring out of frustration

But I groan as this pain attacks me much.

As you too know such pain

I came unto you as your little one

By keeping my head on the lap

By calling me ‘my dear child’ to give comfort

Who else is here for this baby

Who lives here alone without its mother?


Suffering is a reality no matter how one wishes to philosophize about it. When we face suffering, particularly because of physical pain, all kinds of philosophies comes to an end there. At that time, longing for a human touch and the care of others is the real need. In my life as a single person, as I choose to remain reclusive, I’ve paid a heavy price when I underwent physical suffering without anyone around to take care of me. Though God helped me to manage and sent the needed help in time, the loneliness that I experienced at those times was unbearable. However I invented my own way to overcome it.

One time here at Mathigiri, when I got a severe stomach ache at 2.00 am, I could not call anyone. Then I lay down and began to concentrate on the pain. I began to trace its origin in my stomach and traveled along with it wherever it moved in my stomach. This gave some interest to me. Instead of allowing the pain to trouble me I began to enjoy it. But I had to consciously focus my attention more on its intensity and movement than on my pain. In the same way when I burnt my fingers I began to enjoy the pain rather than allow it to trouble me. Of course every time it was not possible and I don’t know what I would do if I got hurt more than what I can bear. Anyhow such re-focusing of pain helped me to overcome my loneliness and wait patiently for the help to arrive.

As usual another remedy for me is to pour down that experience through some poem. This is one such occasion. The climax of this song is the last four lines and I cannot convey the original meaning of Tamil in English. I find it strange that most of us cry when we have pain by using the word ‘amma’ than any other words. Is it a Tamilian culture or common to others too? Because whenever I face some pain, the first comes to my mind is my mother, as she will take care of me more than anyone else. That is what I expressed in the last four lines.