Nobler than the Noblest!

வறுமை! நம் தேசத்தில்
  அது அறிவின் ஆபரணம்

vaRumai! nam thaesathil
adhu aRivin aabaraNam

Poverty! In our country
it is the ornament of intelligence

புலமைக்கு கிடைக்கும் முதல் விருது

pulamaikku kidaikkum mudhal virudhu

It is the first award given to poetic prowess

என்றும் பசிதான் கவிதையின் ரத்தம

endRum pasidhaan kavidhaiyin rathama

Always, hunger is the lifeblood of a poem

வறுமைக்கு பசிக்கும் போதெல்லாம்
  அது புலவனைத்தான் புசிக்கிறது

vaRumaikku pasikkum poadhellaam
adhu pulavanaithaan pusikkiRadhu

When ever hunger strikes poverty,
It feeds on the scholarly

புலவனின் கவிதையோ 
 பசியே வைக்கும் பந்தி

pulavanin kavidhaiyoa
pasiyae vaikkum pandhdhi

For the poet’s creation,
Hunger itself throws the feast,

கவிஞன் மனித ராசி என்றால் நான்
  மறுதலிப்பேன்

kavinjan manidha raasi endRaal naan
maRudhalippaen

If a poet were to be classified as being human,
I would deny

அவன் உயர்திணையைவிட
  உயர்ந்தவன்

avan uyardhiNaiyaivida
uyarndhdhavan

He is nobler than noblest,

எழுதும்போது
  வெளிச்சம் வேண்டியிருந்தால்
  அவனுக்கு
  விரல் மெழுகுவத்தி

ezhudhumpoadhu
veLichcham vaeNdiyirundhdhaal
avanukku
viRal mezhuguvathi

If there is need for light,
when penning a poem,
then his fingers
become the candle

பெருமூச்சியெல்லாம்
  அவனது
  பேனா புல்லாங்குழல்
  ராகஜாதியாய்
  ரசவாதம் செய்துவிடும்

perumoochchiyellaam
avanadhu
paenaa pullaangguzhal
raagaJaadhiyaay
rasavaadham seydhuvidum

All the deep breathes
turn melodic
due to the flute that is his pen

அவன் கண்ணீர்
  இறுகி .. இறுகி ..
  முத்துக்களாய் முதிர்ந்துவிடும்

avan kaNNeer
iRugi .. iRugi ..
muthukkaLaay mudhirndhdhuvidum

His tears, become denser by the tick,
and eventually trickle down like pearls

தன்னை
  நசுக்கி கொண்டு அவன்
  சிரித்து கொள்வான்

thannai
nasukki koNdu avan
sirithu koLvaan

He crushes himself (for his creation),
but sports a smile nevertheless,

சோகமே அவனது படுக்கை
  கவலையே அவனது தலையணை

soagamae avanadhu padukkai
kavalaiyae avanadhu thalaiyaNai

Suffering is his mattress,
Worry is his pillow,

அவனுக்கு தெரியும்
  விருச்சத்தை சுருட்டி
  விதையாக்கும் வித்தை

avanukku theriyum
viruchchathai surutti
vidhaiyaakkum vithai

He knows the art of
condensing a tree into a seed

பாரதி முதலில் பயந்தான் பிறகு
  பயம் அவனை கண்டு பயந்தது

baaradhi mudhalil payandhdhaan piRagu
payam avanai kaNdu payandhdhadhu

At first, Bharathi was afraid,
later fear was afraid of him,

தன்னை எரிக்க வந்த வறுமையை
  அவன் செரித்து விட்டான்

thannai erikka vandhdha vaRumaiyai
avan serithu vittaan

The poverty that came to burn him
Was (crushed into pieces) and digested by him

அவன்தான் சூரிய சொப்பனங்களில்
  சொக்கி கிடந்தானே
  இருட்டு அவனுக்கென்ன பொருட்டு ?

avandhaan sooriya soppanangaLil
sokki kidandhdhaanae
iruttu avanukkenna poruttu ?

For him, who was enthralled In the celestial dreams,
Would the darkness be of concern?

அவன்தான் நாளைய பூக்களின் மேல்
  நடந்து கொண்டிருந்தான்
  இன்றின் முட்கள் என்செய்யும் ?

avandhaan naaLaiya pookkaLin mael
nadandhdhu koNdirundhdhaan
indRin mutkaL encheyyum ?

For him, who was walking On the flowers of tomorrow,
What harm could today’s thorn bear?

நின்றது இந்தியா வா?
  இல்லை இருதயத்தின் ஒரு பாதியா ?
  சந்தேகத்தில் மனம் சலிந்தது

nindRadhu indhdhiyaa vaa?
illai irudhayathin oru paadhiyaa ?
sandhdhaegathil manam salindhdhadhu

Is it India that stopped?
Isn’t it half his heart?
His mind was weary with the confusion!

 தன் பேனாவை எண்ணியே
  பெரிதும் வருந்தினான்

than paenaavai eNNiyae
peridhum varundhdhinaan

He thought about his pen
and repented a great deal,

எதிரிகள் போர்களத்தையே
  திருடிவிட்டதாய் திகைத்தான்

edhirigaL poarkaLathaiyae
thirudivittadhaay thigaithaan

He was astounded
For he thought that the enemies
Stole the battlefield itself (Rather than waging war)

அவன் இமைப்பதற்கு
  இரண்டு நாள் ஆயிற்று

avan imaippadhaRku
iraNdu naaL aayitRu

It took him two days
to even blink an eye
(due to the shock)

வருமானம் வரும் வழியே
  முட் கதவுகளால் அல்லவா
  மூடிவிட்டார்கள் ?

varumaanam varum vazhiyae
mut kadhavugaLaal allavaa
moodivittaarkaL ?

Didn’t they close the path
That brought income
With doors of thorn?

வறுமை தன் வாசலை
  விசாலமாக விரித்தது

vaRumai than vaasalai
visaalamaaga virithadhu

While poverty opened up
its paths wide open

சுயலோகத்தையும் அவன்
  நாடகத்தில் வரும்
  நவரசம் போல
  நன்றாய் ரசித்தான்

suyaloagathaiyum avan
naadagathil varum
navarasam poala
nandRaay rasithaan

He enjoyed the misery in his
own life,
like the way one would enjoy the
splendid expressions of a drama,

கொடுக்க வேண்டிய வாடகை
  நகராத கூவம் போல
  தேங்கியது

kodukka vaeNdiya vaadagai
nagaraadha koovam poala
thaenggiyadhu

The rent that he needed to give (for his house),
started to became stagnant like a well

வசூலிக்க வரும்
  செட்டியாரோ
  கடன்பட்டார் நெஞ்சம்போல
  கலங்கினார்

vasoolikka varum
chettiyaaroa
kadanpattaar nenjampoala
kalangginaar

The Chettiar who came to collect the rent,
his heart was agitated like the one who was in debt,

கோவில் மாடத்தில்
  கூடுகட்டும் புறாவிடம்
  வாடகை எப்படி வசூலிப்பது

koavil maadathil
koodugattum puRaavidam
vaadagai eppadi vasoolippadhu
at the altar of the temple,
to the pigeon that was making its nest,
how can one ask for rent?

இன்று கட்டாயம்
  கேட்பதென்று கால்கள் விரையும்

indRu kattaayam
kaetpadhendRu kaalkaL viraiyum

“Today I will for sure ask”,
with this thought his feet walk briskly

பாரதியின் வாசலுக்கு வரும்போதோ
  காலணியோடு அந்த
  கருத்தையும்
  வெளியே விட்டுவிட்டு
  வீட்டுக்கு போவார்

paaradhiyin vaasalukku varumpoadhoa
kaalaNiyoadu andhdha
karuthaiyum
veLiyae vittuvittu
veettukku poavaar

But when he hit Bharathi’s doorstep,
with the footwear
even this thought
was left behind,
and the Chettiar would go in,

பாரதி சிரிப்பான்
  ஒரு வெண்கல மணி
  விண்ணில் அதிரும்

paaradhi sirippaan
oru veNkala maNi
viNNil adhirum

Bharathi would laugh,
A bronze gong would
strike in the skies,

வாரும் விளக்கெண்ணெய்வாள்
  வாடகைக்கு அப்படி என்ன அவசரம் ஒய்

vaarum viLakkeNNeyvaaL
vaadagaikku appadi enna avasaram oy

Come in! Oh know it all buddy!
What is the hurry to collect rent now?

இன்னும் பத்து வருஷம்
  சுயராஜ்ய ஜோதி
  தெரிந்துவிடும்

innum pathu varusham
suyaraaJya Joadhi
therindhdhuvidum

In ten years,
The light of Independence (swarajya),
will be lit,

பிறகென்ன ?
  அரசாங்கத்தின் கஜானாவிற்கு
  காசோலை தருவேன்
  போய்வாரும்

piRagenna ?
arasaangathin kaJaanaaviRku
kaasoalai tharuvaen
poayvaarum

Then what?
I’ll draw cheque Even to Government treasury
(For I would be that rich by then)
Come back later than now

மீண்டும்
  வெண்கல சிரிப்பு
  விண்ணை உரசும்

meeNdum
veNkala sirippu
viNNai urasum

Yet again, the bronze gong (his laughter)
will fill up the skies

ரணங்களை எல்லாம்
  ஆபரணங்களாய்
  அணிய பழகிய
  அந்த பொழுதில்
  வங்காளத்து மகான்
  வந்து சேர்ந்தார்

raNangaLai ellaam
aabaraNangaLaay
aNiya pazhagiya
andhdha pozhudhil
vanggaaLathu magaan
vandhdhu saerndhdhaar

He had learnt to wear all his debts (battles)
as his jewels
At that moment the great from Bengal
arrived

Note: An excerpt from Vairamuthu’s book ” Kavirajan kathai” Chapter 27 – உயர்திணையைவிட உயர்ந்தவன் (Greater than the greatest)

PS: Thanks to Sucheendra for the translation of this beautiful Extract.

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[Bharathi Vasana kavidhai] Sakthi – Happiness Part 6

Sakthi

First part: Happiness

6

Snake-charmer plays the pipe.
“Beautiful music is of sorrow” so we had heard.
But the music sung by this charmer is sweet,
yet, not of sorrow feeling.
This is like a debate by the learned people.
Like a novelist adding line after line
which are short and filled with meaning.
What is this charmer debating about?
“thaanathanthath thaanathanthath thaa-thanath
thaanathandana thaanathandana thaa–
thanthanathana thanthanathana thaa”
Like that he is playing variety in loops.
What is the meaning of this?
A child said the following meaning for this:
“I adorned flowers to Kali.
A donkey came to eat them away.”
In the name of Sakthi, I built this body.
The pain from sin is eating this away.
I surrendered to Parasakthi.
The pain vanished.
Parasakthi started to live on my soul with light.
Let her live long.


Note: Sakthi literally means Power and also the name of Goddess.

The Tamil version of the above translation is available at http://www.lyricaldelights.com

[Bharathi Vasana kavidhai] Sakthi – Happiness Part 5

Sakthi

First part: Happiness

5

“Could put up a fence in land.
But is it possible to fence in sky?” Yes, you can.
Isn’t the sky filling even the land?
If you fence up land, doesn’t it mean
that the sky of that part is also fenced up?
Control Body. Then controlling soul is possible.
Control Soul. Then controlling mind is possible.
Control Mind. Then controlling Sakthi is possible.
There is no despair in being controlled by the Sakthi.
There is a cotton pillow before me.
It has a shape, a size, a purpose to it.
Sakthi looks after that this purpose is met out.
It can be preserved without being extinct,
even as long as humans exist in this world.
If it is renewed often, Sakthi exists in it for longer.
If not renewed, the form changes.
Dirty pillow, tattered pillow, old pillow —
Take out the cotton in it and use in mattress.
Throw out the outer cover as waste cloth.
It’s form has expired.
If the form is preserved, Sakthi could be preserved.
That is, Sakthi could be preserved in the same form.
Even when the form changes, Sakthi doesn’t change.
Everywhere, everything, every time, every activity exhibits Sakthi.
It is good to preserve the form.
In the name of Sakthi.
It is good to praise Sakthi, by preserving the form.
But one who preserves just the form, loses Sakthi.


Note: Sakthi literally means Power and also the name of Goddess.

The Tamil version of the above translation is available at http://www.lyricaldelights.com

[Bharathi Vasana kavidhai] Sakthi – Happiness Part 4

Sakthi

First part: Happiness

4

“Could put up a fence in land.
But is it possible to fence in sky?” asked Ramakrishna muni.
Could tie up inanimate objects. But is it possible to tie Sakthi?
Could tie up the body. But is it possible to tie the soul?
Tie up the soul. Then it is possible to tie the heart.
Sakthi in me is in my soul and heart.
Sakthi should have infinite temples.
In the time without the beginning and ending, she should have new temples at every minute.
Out of these infinite temples, the name of one of the temple is “Me”.
If it is renewed ceaselessly, Sakthi will be present in it.
When it becomes old, She will leave it.
Now, she is filled in me.
Now, my soul is bubbling with energy and contentment.
Now, my body has comfort and strength.
Now, my thoughts are clear.
This is enough for me.
I will not linger in the past, neither ponder about the future.
Now, Sakthi is sitting in the throne within me.
Let her live long!
I praise her, hail her, pray to her incessantly.


Note: Sakthi literally means Power and also the name of Goddess. This part explains that Sakthi is omnipresent and is in every person as well as animate and inanimate object. The nouns referred to in the content are the names of Gods in Hindu mythology.

The Tamil version of the above translation is available at www.lyricaldelights.com

[Bharathi Vasana kavidhai] Sakthi – Happiness Part 3

Sakthi

First part: Happiness

3

Darkness came, Owls became happy.
The woman, who went into forest in search of her lover,
was alone and lamenting.
Light came; Lover came. She became happy
There is Ghost, There is magic.
There is no Ghost. There is magic.
There is sickness. There is ailment.
Tiredness kills. It (titredness) is killed by zeal.
Ignorance kills. It (ignorance) is killed by Knowledge.
We were afraid. Mother removed the fear and gave us strength.
We grieved. Mother changed that and gave joy.
She lifted the bowed heads.
She added light to the tired eyes.
She gave clarity to the confused minds.
She added light to the darkened mind.
Long live Mahasakthi.


The Tamil version of the above translation is available at www.lyricaldelights.com

[Bharathi Vasana kavidhai] Sakthi – Happiness Part 2

Sakthi

First part: Happiness

2

Crow caws.
In the field that is the world, the Sun floods it with light,
  which is like the glitter of the diamond.
That is shadowed by the clouds.
The light pierces through the clouds.
When the flood of light is filtered through the sieve of clouds,
  the dust settles down and the clearer part above it.
Hen crows.
Ant crawls.
Housefly flies.
Young man concentrates on the art.
All these are the works of the great Sakthi.
Let her lead us to do what is to be done righteously.
Let our deeds be natural.
Charming deeds, Happy deeds, Powerful deeds,
  untiring deeds, causing deeds, spreading deeds,
  happening deeds, endless deeds,
Let the great Sakthi bless us.
Poetry, Protection, Feeding, Raising,
  Pruning, Caring, Showering with light —
  Let the great Sakthi bless us in these deeds.
By irrigating with love, ploughing with knowledge,
  Removing the weeds of (baseless old) customs,
  Growing the crop of Holy Scriptures,
  Reaping the benefits of happiness and for consuming it,
  we pray for the grace of the great Sakthi.
Let her bless us with them.

Note: Sakthi literally means Power and also the name of Goddess.

The Tamil version of the above translation is available at www.lyricaldelights.com

[Bharathi Vasana kavidhai] Sakthi – Happiness Part 1

Sakthi

First part: Happiness

1

In the flood of Sakthi, Sun is a bubble.
In the river of Sakthim Sun is a flower.
Sakthi is infinite, doesn’t have borders, doesn’t have an end.
It is what shows action in inactiveness.
Sakthi is what beats, chases, assembles,
gathers, merges, shakes off,
winnows, blows, swirls,
binds, scatters, disperses,
puffs, stops, drives,
makes many into one, makes one to many.
Sakthi is what brings chillness, gives warmth,
gives shivers,
gives happiness, gives ailment, gives cure,
gives normalcy, changes the normality,
gives weakness, gives nourishment, gives ascent,
gives enthusiasm, makes to bloom, gives delightfulness,
kills, gives life.
Sakthi gives happiness, gives anger,
gives hatred, gives contentment,
gives enmity, blossoms love,
gives strength, gives fear,
brings forth boiling emotions, brings calmness.
Sakthi is what is smelt, tasted, touched, heard, seen.
Sakthi is what is thought, researched, calculated, decided,
dreamt, imagined, searched, revolts,
sticks to the place, thought, analysed,
Sakthi is what brings enchantment, brings clarity.
Sakthi is what is felt.
Daughter of Brahma, Sister of Kannan, Wife of Siva.
Wife of Kannan, Daughter of Siva, Sister of Brahma,
Mother of Brahma, Kannan and Siva.
Sakthi is the origin.
Meaning of the meaningless and effect of effect less.
In the ocean of Sakthi, Sun is froth;
In the veena of Sakthi, Sun is ending note; a place for the musical note.
In the divine dance of Sakthi, Light is beats.
In the arts of Sakthi, Light is one of them.
Let Sakthi live.


Note: Sakthi literally means Power and also the name of Goddess. This part explains that Sakthi is omnipresent and is in every person as well as animate and inanimate object. The nouns referred to in the content are the names of Gods in Hindu mythology.

The Tamil version of the above translation is available at www.lyricaldelights.com