Friday, March 19, 2010

Sumati Satakam - The Mouth

ఇమ్ముగ జదువని నోరును,
నమ్మాయని పిలిచి యన్నమడుగని నోరున్
తమ్ములబిలువని నోరును
గుమ్మరి మనుదవ్వినట్టి గుంటర సుమతీ

immuga jaduvani nOrunu
nammAyani bilici yannamadugano nOrun
tammula biluvani nOrunu
gummari manudavvinaTTi gunTara sumatI

ఇమ్ముగ = very well
చదువని = not read
నోరును,= mouth
అమ్మాయని = saying Oh Mother!
పిలిచి = calling
అన్నము = food
అడుగని = not asking for
నోరున్ = mouth
తమ్ముల = brothers
పిలువని = not calling
నోరును = mouth
కుమ్మరి = potter
మను(మన్ను) = earth
తవ్వినట్టి = dug out
గుంటర = a pit
సుమతీ = oh the wise one!


Oh, the wise one! Man has to study well to be wise. He should call out for the mother with love and respect and request her for food. He should show all his love for the people younger to him and always call them to his fold. For all these things, the organ in the body to be used is the mouth. If one does not do all these good things with the mouth, it is only comparable to a pit from which potter has already dug out the useful mud.

Vemana uses the word Chaduvani, which roughly means one that does not read out. It could also mean study. Vemana has used as many classical expressions in his verses as he used colloquial ones. So, we may interpret the first line of this poem as the mouth which does not read out a poem or prose well, or one that has not studied the books well. Calling out for mother and asking for food is the common thing that even as a child we learnt. There is also saying that unless called even the mother would not give food. Here, perhaps Vemana means that one should know the art of asking for his needs and requirements. If you do not ask and expect others to fulfil your needs, you will only be unhappy. If you ask, there is a possibility that the needs will be supplied. A mother would always wait for her child to ask for food. If you ask, she would only be too happy to feed. After you learn the art of asking what you want, you should think of those who are yet to master the craft. You have your little brothers and sisters looking for your guidance and leadership. You should always plead their cases also. If you don’t do these things, the voice tool you have is useless. The mouth that does not do good things and is used only to eat is like the pit from where the potter has dug out the mud. A pit is a pit. It could be of some use. But the one from which the useful mud is removed is good for only dumping waste. The mouth thus will be a dumping pit and the food eaten is equivalent to garbage.

What a way of putting ideas!!

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