Friday, May 23, 2008


అధికుడైన రా జొకల్పుని జేపట్ట
వానిమాట చెల్లు వసుధలోన
గణకు లొప్పియున్న గవ్వలు చెల్లవా?
విశ్వదాభిరామ వినురవేమ.

అధికుడైన రాజు = A great king
ఒక = one
అల్పుని = mean person
జేపట్ట = befriends
వానిమాట = his word
చెల్లు = becomes legal tender
వసుధలోన = on the earth
గణకు లొప్పియున్న= if finance people accept
గవ్వలు = cowries
చెల్లవా? = would they not be legal tender
విశ్వదాభిరామ వినురవేమ.

Another gem of a padyam from Vemana.
He says, if a king takes an unworthy man in to his umbrage and gives him some authority, his words will become law. Here, the capability of the person is not at all considered. To explain the situation Vemana takes an example. There was a time when there were no coins and notes. Cowrie shells were taken as money. Vemana says if the right people accept, even today, would not the cowrie shells be accepted as money?
Vemana makes a wonderful point about the validity of authority. Authority need not exactly be correct. If it has the endorsement of the rulers, or the powers that be, everything becomes authoritative. He mocks at the way the powerful people give authority to unworthy. The system is not very different even today.

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