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Teachings From Poems of Subramania Bharati

A collection of teachings from poems of Subramania Bharati

On Krishna
O mind, remember
Kannan’s holy feet;
It will give definitely
An indestructible form.
The Lord who sports
A darkling form,
Will give us riches,
Gratification and fame.
Like the worm in the fishing-rod,
Like a flame in the wind,
My heart did throb in anguish
For an endless term.
Like a caged parrot
I sorrowed alone.
Even the sweetest things
Turned bitter to my taste.

As I lived again in thought
The magic touch, the softness,
The body thrilled anew
And a novel peace was mine.
I wondered in my mind
Who He might have been:
Lo! The divine form of Krishna
Stood before my eyes.


On Advaita
Are those flame-bright eyes, Kannamma!
The sun and the moon?
Does the dark eye-ball, Kannamma!
Reflect the inky skies?
Are those woven diamonds gleaming
On the raven-like silken robe
The star-clusters above
In the middle of the night?

Having vanquished the demon Fear,
And killed the reptile Lie,
We have embraced the Veda’s path
That leads to Brahma-knowledge. …
The crow and the sparrow are of us,
The sea and the mountain are of us;
’Tis ourselves everywhere we see,
And the heart dances with delight.


On Draupadi

Youthful Uma, Kali herself the strong,
The original Shakti with her trident in hand,
The mahamaya that destroys illusion,
Who exults among ghosts and corpses,
Who destroys all by her smile while riding a lion,
Who saves all by her smile while riding a lion.
Finely, bravely spoken Sir!
When treacherous Ravana, having carried away
And lodged Sita in his garden,
Called his ministers and law-givers
And told them the deed he had done,
These same wise old advisers declared:
‘You have done the proper thing:
’Twill square with dharma’s claims!’
When the demon king rules the land
Needs must the Shastras feed on filth!
Was it well done to trick my guileless king
To play at dice? Wasn’t it deceit,
A predetermined act of fraud
Meant to deprive us of our land?
O ye that have sisters and wives.
Isn’t this a crime on woman?
Would you be damned for ever?


Howbeit a fictional tale, O wise old poets,
Could my story yield on closer study
A deep philosophical meaning,
Won’t you explain what it indeed is? (Kuyil Pattu)


Nations are made of homes. And so long as you do not have justice and equality fully practised at home, you cannot expect to see them practised in your public life. Because it is the home life that is the basis of public life. And a man who is a villain at home cannot find himself suddenly transformed into a saint the moment he gets to the Councils or to Courts of Justice.

Stumble not, fools into the pit—
The preying, destroying recapitulation
Of things past and done with—
Nor with the agony of vain regrets.
The past will not return!
Rather plant in your heart the thought
That you have today achieved
Another birth.