Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Vemana verse - Gnana Margam

I notice that many visitors are coming to my blog for the Vemana verses.
In fact during the last one year I hardly added any new entries under the title.
Still, people are visiting the old pages.
It only means that they are really interested in reading Vemana!

I sincerely thank all those friends!
I assure you, I would keep adding new verses of Vemana from now on!

In the recent past I procured a book of Vemana verses published by Asian Educational Services.
The book is simply titled "Verses of vemana."
But the subtitle in Telugu inside tells that it is a collection of verses on the Gnana Marga, the path of enlightenment!
The book claims that it contains the English version by none other than C P Brown.
What is available is not a metric English poetic version, but the meaning of the verse.

These verses are not really not known to many.
Out of the thousands of padyams composed by Vemana only a few are known widely.

We shall try to discuss the popular and also the relatively unknown verses here.

This entry brings you a padyam from the collection mentioned above.

It is common knowledge that Vemana composed his verses in simple style of prosody.
in this book, I found a Vrittam right in the beginning of the collection.
This is the 12th poem in the book.

ఒక్కడు రోగియాయె మరియొక్కడు దిక్కుల ద్యాగియాయె వే
రొక్కడు భోగియాయె నటుయొక్కడు చక్కని యోగియాయె దా
నొక్కడు రాగియాయె నినుబోలు మహాత్ముని గానమెచ్చటన్
నిక్కము ఇన్ని రూపములు నీకును జెల్లును నన్న వేమనా

OkkaDu rOgiyAye mariyokkaDu dikkula dyAgiyAye vE
rokkaDu bhOgiyAye naTuyokkaDu cakkani yOgiyAye da
nokkaDu rAgiyAye ninu bOlu mahAtmuni gAna (meccan) necchatTan
nikkamu inni rUpamulu nIkunu jellunu nanna vEmanA

Meaning as given in by Brown:

One man became diseased, one became a donor everywhere, another became a possessor - such a man became a true saint. One himself became a libertine. But, nowhere shall we see a mighty sage like to thee O! Vemana! - truly all these various forms pertain to thee O! Brother!

vemana perhaps wanted to talk about the different stages of his life. His story not though very detailed talks about such stages. With self as an example, the poet also talked about the forms a person  can take in life.
Interestingly all the words rhyme with each other.

rOgi = Sick man
tyAgi = renounced
bhOgi = libertine
yOgi = practitioner of discipline
rAgi = lustful

But, the conditions are different as chalk from cheese!
The path they take in life makes the difference. Vemana passed through all these stages. Ultimately he is now known as Yogi Vemana! That is why Vemana in this poem tells that people pick up one of the five forms in their life. But he could pass through all of them! So, he is special!

In Hindi there is saying that one who eats only once a day is a YOgi, one who eats twice is a bhOgi and the one who eats thrice is a rOgi!
we can substitute the other worldly desires for the food.
There is a rAgi the lustful and the tyAgi the renounced at the ends of the spectrum.

Is this poem really composed by Vemana?
People like good friend Dr N Gopi should tell.
He researched Vemana extensively!


yuddandisivasubramanyam said...


yuddandisivasubramanyam said...

sir, you are requested to write "neeru kaaramaaye..poem and also the poems which are not available in modern texts, so that readers can learn more and live better.