#17 (Thyagaraja) Brother Jalpesan Poem by Rajaram Ramachandran

#17 (Thyagaraja) Brother Jalpesan

Rating: 3.0

Saint Thyagaraja was tall,
And he was very simple,
With a turban o’er his head,
A majestic look he had.

A Tulsi Mala in his neck,
On his forehead a Tilak,
A beads mala in his hand
Exposed his pious mind.

At four early morning,
He was daily singing
To wake up the Lord
From his flower bed.

After his bath in the river,
And other routines were over,
He went round the streets
Singing “Rama” Bhajan songs.

Whatever people offered
That served as food
For his family members
And any other guests.

(About this situation he sang
In Raga Malavasri
Ennalu Thirigedhi Ennalu)

“How many days,
Shall I like this
Go as a wanderer
Here and there.”

“How in this family jungle
Like a thief I struggle,
After chasing others,
Live as a wanderer.”

“From camphor to salt,
In charity when I get,
How to boast myself as
Superior to all others? ”

“Day and night worrying,
For morrow’s food waiting,
How the time is taken away
Meant for God, in this worry? ”

“How long shall I act
As if I’m sincere, in fact?
How long shall I wander
As a deceptive wanderer? ”

“When others invite me for feast
Thinking I’m a great pundit,
And for me to say “let it be ready, ”
How far it is justified morally? ”

“When I’m non-stop praying
From morning to evening,
How far I deserve this feast
As a wanderer like a beast.”

“I know well my fault,
Yet, I’m unable to avoid it.
How long can I wander
Like a helpless wanderer? ”

Jalpesan, his elder brother,
Headed a group, as a leader,
Who criticized the Saint
That he was a big cheat.

“Is he a great pundit?
He’s only a big cheat.
“Rama, Rama”, he says
Just to cheat us in many ways.”

“He says that he sings music, ”
But he plays only a trick,
By mixing different words
In a variety of odd tunes.”

These comments he heard
But silence he observed.
For more peace, he prayed,
Every day before God.

Sandra Fowler 07 August 2009

An excellent word portrait of a pious, humble and gracious person. No wonder he is remembered both for his music and the content of his character. Exceptional write, Rajaram. Always your distant friend, Sandra

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Rajaram Ramachandran

Rajaram Ramachandran

Chennai born, now at Juhu, Mumbai, India
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