Ch J Satyananda Kumar

(25-04-1955 / Amadalavalasa, Srikakulam, AP, India, now living at Visakhapatnam)

Vemana's wisdom


VEMANA’S WISDOM

Kumaragiri Vemareddy (1352-1430) popularly known as Vemana was a 14th century Telugu poet and social reformer. His poems were written in the popular vernacular of Telugu, and are known for their use of simple language and native idioms. His poems discuss the subjects of wisdom and morality. He is popularly called Yogi Vemana, in recognition of his success in the path of Yoga. The following are the English translations of few of his Telugu poems)
.

(1)
Kallalaadu vani gramakarta yerugu
Satyamaadu vani swamy yerugu
Bedda tindibotu bendlaamenrungura
Viswadaabhirama vinuravema

Village head knows the ways of a liar
God identifies the man who is truthful and fair
Glutton’s wife can alone gauge her hubby’s appetite
Listen Vema, who attained bliss by renouncing every thing

(2)
Anni daanamula kanna anna daaname goppa
Kanna talli kanna ghanamu ledu
Yenna guruni kanna yekkuva ledayaa
Viswadabhi rama vinura vema

Among all generous things giving food to the starved is great
None is greater than the mother who gives birth
When compared no one can be found above the teacher
Listen Vema, who attained bliss by renouncing everything

(3) Champa dagina yatti shatruvu tana cheta
jikkinemi geedu seyaradu
posaga melu chesi pommanute chalu
viswadabhirama vinura vema

When an enemy is captured who deserves to be killed
Let him not be harmed
It is better to do him good and let him go
Listen Vema, who attained bliss by renouncing everything


(4)

Vittamu gala vani veepuna pundaina
Vasudhalona jaala varta tecchu
Bedavaani inta bendlayina nerugaru
Viswadabhi rama vinura vema

A mere wound on a wealthy man’s shoulder
Becomes a great news in the world
But even a marriage in a poor man’s house goes un-noticed
Listen Vema, who attained bliss by renouncing everything

(5)
Cheppulona rayi, cheviloni joreega,
Kantiloni nalusu, gali mullu
Nintiloni poru nintanta gaadaya
Viswadabhi rama vinura vema

A piece of stone in sandal, disturbance of gad-fly in ear,
A speck of dust in eye, thorn in the foot
Discord with spouse at home are indescribable woes
Listen Vema, who attained bliss by renouncing everything

(6)
Tirumalaku bova duraka dasari kaadu
Kasi kega bandi gajamu gaadu
Kukka singamagune godavariki bova
Viswadabhirama vinura vema

Going to Tirumala, a muslim can’t become a Vishnu devotee
When gone to Kasi, a pig can’t become an elephant
Will a dog become a lion when it visits Godavary river?
Listen Vema, who attained bliss by renouncing worldly lusts

(7)

Paraga rati gundu bagula gottaga vacchu
Gondalanni pindi gottavacchu
Kathina chittu manasu karaginchagaa raadu
Viswadaabhi rama vinura vema

Even a hard rock can be broken
Hills also can be pound into dust
But, a hard hearted man can’t be mellowed down
Listen Vema, who attained bliss by renouncing worldly lusts

(8)

aapadala vela narasi bandhula joodu
bhayamu vela joodu bantutanamu
pedavela joodu pendlaamu gunamu
viswadaabhiraama vinura vema

In the times of distress and need, see the real affection of relative
In the times of danger, one’s real valour can be found
In the times of penury, wife’s real love can be found
Listen Vema, who attained bliss by renouncing worldly lusts

(9)

mrucchu gudiki boyi mudivippune gaani
posaga swamy joochi mrokka datadu
kukka illu jocchi kundalu vedukada?
Viswadaabhi rama vinura vema

When a thief goes to a temple, he plunders the offering box
But he does not worship the God with devotion
When a street dog enters a house, it just searches the pots for food
Listen Vema, who attained bliss by renouncing worldly lusts

(10)

antarangamandu naparadhamulu sesi
manchivaani valene manujudundu
itarulerugakunna neeswaruderugadaa?
Viswadaabhi rama vinura vema

Committing sins and transgressions in heart
A man pretends to be a good man
If others fail to realize it, won’t God realize it?
Listen Vema, who attained bliss by renouncing worldly lusts


Vemana’s Wisdom (3)

(11)
gaaju kuppelona gadavaka deepambu
dettulundu gnana mattulundu
telisinatti vaari dehambulanduna
viswadabhi rama vinuravema

As the flame burns steadily in the glass dome of a lantern
Wisdom and knowledge also indwells placidly
In the flesh and soul of wise men
Listen Vema, who attained bliss by renouncing worldly lusts

(12)

Talliyunnappude tanadu gaaraaabamu
Lame povadannu narayurevaru
Manchi kaalamapude maryaada naarjimpu
Viswadaabhiraama vinura vema

When mother is alive the child gets love and affection
When she dies no one caresses him
When good times exist one should earn respect
Listen Vema, who attained bliss by renouncing worldly lusts

(13)

Adugakardhamicchunatadu brahma gnaani
Aduga nardhamicchunatadu tyagi
Aduganeeyaleni yatadu penu lobhi
Viswadaabhiramma vinura vema

One who gives largesse even before one requests, is divinely wise
One who helps others in response to a request is generous
One who does not heed to the request of needy is a great miser
Listen Vema, who attained bliss by renouncing worldly lusts

(14)

Appu leni vaadu adhika sampannudu
Tappuneni vaadu dharani leru
Goppa leni buddhi konchemai povura
Viswadabhi rama vinura vema

One who has no debts is the wealthiest
One who errs not, does not exist in the world
Thoughts that are not lofty, makes one ignoble
Listen Vema, who attained bliss by renouncing worldly lusts

(15)

Bahula kaavyamulanu barikimpagaa vaacchu
Bahula sabdha chayam balukavacchu
Sahana mokkoatabba jaala kashtamburaa
Viswadaabhi rama vinura vema

It may be easy to read many literary texts
It also may be easy to speak many things
But it is not so easy to acquire forbearance
Listen Vema, who attained bliss by renouncing worldly lusts

Submitted: Tuesday, December 01, 2009

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