Mahakavi Subramanya Bharathiar is well known throughout the length and breadth of India lie was one of those great souls that stood in the front rank in the struggle for Independence. He had to shift to Pondicherry on account of its political convictions. There he became intimate with Aravinda Ghose and this led to his intense spiritual development
He showed poetic talent of a high order even in his ninth year and came to be called a Varakavi. His poetical bent and spiritual fervour resulted in literary output of diverse types. His national songs were really national in matter and style. Every syllable thereof breathes the intense spirit of nationalism and spiritual fervour. The songs stirred the feelings of those who heard them and spurred them on to do their best in the struggle for freedom. But they were not songs for those times only; they belong to the class of great poems which are immortal having an appeal in all ages. They are indeed prophetic and bespeak his literary genius
The works of Bharathi are characterised by depth of vision, clarity of thought, the use of suitable words to denote great thoughts, and a majesty of ideas, all set in natural musical cadence They include the three epic pieces, “Kannan Paattu”, “Pappa Pattu”, “Panchali Sapatham” (Challenge) and “Kuyil Pattu” besides numerous national songs, moral pie, and devotional songs, his prose works include “Gnana Ratham”, “Navaratna (nine) Stories” besides numerous short stones. As in his poems, he displays a distinct style of his own in his prose works too. Running through them all can be seen his deep spiritual fervour and intense patriotism.
The great soul was born in 1882 in Ettayapuram and entered final rest in 1921 at Madras. From his childhood he had the good fortune to move in the company of great men and he became well versed in the Vedas and Shastras.
He possessed a deep knowledge of Sanskrit, it is said that in his early days he went to Benaras and studied Sanskrit there. Those who developed into his works can easily discern the aroma of Sanskrit in them.
They disclose, without a trace of doubt, lint deep piety and intense spiritual fervour. The great truths enshrined in the Vedas, Parson, lthihasas (Epics) and Dharma Shastras (Religious codes) can be found embodied in his poems and prose works. Using words in vogue among the common folk he has invested thorn with a live vigour and deep import. A study of his works will convince the reader that he seems to have been animated by the compelling aim of spreading the ideals and concepts of Dharma anti Piety through them.
To consider him as a national poet only will be doing him scant justice. Had he been one, he might have contented himself with composing “national songs” alone. It will be truer to say that, sensing the needs of the times, he produced national songs too all the great poets horn Vyasa and the Alwars down to the present times, have found supreme delight in the “leelas” of the Divine Lord, Sri Krishna, and have lost their souls in capture in recounting his sportive deeds. But Bharati may be said to have excelled them, for he is the only poet of eminence who was conceived of Sri Krishna in many roles such as mother, father, friend, servant, mistress, master, disciple, preceptor and sportive child, and poured out his heart in ecstatic enjoyment of those roles. These songs, fulfilling the need requirements of music are sung even to day in Tamil Nadu inspiring the people with lofty sentiment. It is with the desire that people in North India too should enjoy this priceless treasure; I have ventured to translate some of Bharati’s works in Sanskrit, the mother of all languages.
At this critical juncture in the history of our motherland when in facing hostile hordes on its holy northern frontiers, special significance attaches to Bharathi’s national songs. How forceful will it be if people all over India could sing their national songs in the same language? Which language could be more appropriate than Sanskrit for that soul stirring purpose? It is this desire that all the Indians should he stirred to heights of patriotic endeavour by these national songs, that has been the chief motive for this translation.
Srirama Desikan has translated the “Papa’s Song” that its singing may stir the youth to heights of heroism in the service of the motherland.
Among Bharathi’s works, “Gnana Ratham” stands out as a masterpiece of prose creation. In it are enshrined priceless philosophical ideas and dharmic principles, hence has
translated it in prose. Sriramadesikan has even split the Sandhis to facilitate easy comprehension by readers who have only a cursory knowledge of Sanskrit.
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