Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Vemana 10

ఎంత చదువు చదివి ఎన్నెన్ని విన్నను
హీనుడవగుణంబు మానలేడు
బొగ్గుపాల గడుగ పోవునా మలినంబు
విశ్వదాభిరామ వినురవేమ
Enta caduvu cadivi ennenni vinnanu
hInudavaguNambu manalEdu
boggupAla gaduga pOvunA malinambu
viswadABirAma vinura vEma

ఎంత చదువు చదివి = however much educated
ఎన్నెన్ని విన్నను = however much he listens
హీనుడు = a mean man
అవగుణంబు = lowly characters
మానలేడు = can not stop
బొగ్గుపాల గడుగ = if coal is washed in milk
పోవునా మలినంబు = will the dirt go
విశ్వదాభిరామ వినురవేమ

However much educated, or listens to people, a bad man can never stop his bad ways. It is like even after washing in milk, coal will not lose its dirty appaerance.

Vemana in this verse refers to the futility of formal education without the the ethics and culture. Eduaction in ancient style is by study and listening to the masters. Even these things will give the right benefit in only the right kind of people, means Vemana. If a person by birth or habit is immersed in bad ways, eduaction of this type can not make him mend his ways.
Vemana comments on two things here. One is education without the completeness i.e. culture. Another is the unchanging ways of bad people.
It is common knowledge that this world has two kinds of bad people. One without education another kind belongs to bad people with education.
You look at all the happenings that appear in news. It is always some well educated people invlved in bad acts and crimes of all sorts. Politics usedto be run by the intelligentsia at one point. Now it is perhaps in the hands of many people who are no doubt educated. By no means all of them can be called good.
In every instance Vemana has a good simily to illustrate the point. Coal is dirty. You can wash it. Not with water but with milk.
Milk is supposed to be purifying even the sinners. Vemana takes a jibe at tradition by taking milk and not water to make the coal clean. Water is an ordinary purifier. Milk is a superior one to water. Vemana hence says, even if washed with milk, coal will not lose its quality of making things dirty when it comes into contact. A bad man creates few more bad people. A good man may not be able to turn people int good people. One only has to look for interpretation of each and every word Vemana uses. Everyt word has a purpose, it appears.

If one wants to comment on what Vemana tells in three lines, one can perhaps write a big book. It is the brevity that gives Vemana the palce that he has in the firmament of litearture.
Being able to tell in fewer words is a skill that is not easily possible.

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