Ihaparasowbhagyavathi Brahmarshi Smt. Umadevi Amma
Reflecting the Inner Voice of Sadguru Sri Seshadri Swamigal
Long ago, this Kaliyuga had been bedecked with many a worthy poet. They had rained words of wisdom for the world and for the uplift of living beings.
Now the world has become smaller. This makes prayers significant and important.
We can find ever so many versifiers and poets; but we rarely come across celebrated poets and beseeching poems.
A poem is a bridge between God and man. Reciting devotional verses and songs is a pleasing supplication. The words used are not simple letters but mantras.
The object of a poem is to seek His guidelines for living in the world and for a placement in His world. Further, we seek His blessings for everything and anything through a good poem. We talk to Him by reciting good verses.
Today, the world of Aanhika (spiritual practice) is very thirsty. So, prayerful poems are essential to quench that thirst and for spirituality to flourish.
The author, V. Suryanarayan, a great Vedanti and a master philosopher, is a born poet and can create itihasams (history). The present book, “Prayers of the Pen”, is a garden of flowers. The flowers will be used for the archana (worship) of Gods and Goddesses.
These poems are deep, devotional, Vedantic and spiritual. They deal with Atma, Jeevatma, Paramatma, karma-punya, poorva janma and rebirth besides ways and means to reach His Lotus Feet. There are prophesies and food for thought and Atma Parivarthanam.
The pen of the author is comparable to the stylus of great Rishis. The present “Prayers of the Pen” is an Itihasam. Everybody should read the book, understand it and follow what is stated therein. It will lead to Moksha; pave the way for glory and prosperity.
This poetic version is sincerely placed before readers as a small tribute to a great Guru – Mahan Seshadri – a humble testimony to the invincibility of the Colossus of Arunachala! What has prompted me to embark on this venture is indeed a short but true story known only to the Sadguru and through Him to Smt. Umadevi Amma of Thiruvannamalai. It also proves a point: He is Omniscient, Omnipotent and Omnipresent. In 1989, Sri. N. Devarajan of Thiruvannamalai wrote his book of poems entitled “Light in Shade” and took it to Smt. Umadevi Amma for Swamigal’s blessing. The manuscript thereafter was shown to me at His behest. When Sri. Devarajan and Sri. S. R. Veeraraghavan who accompanied him requested me to go through the manuscript and append an introduction; I was a bit taken aback as I had none of the credentials of a poet that Sri. Devarajan was, although with his maiden effort of a masterpiece! Only infrequently in the past, I had occasion to write a few lines of poem and verse, besides lyrics and limericks, for my inner satisfaction, but only Sri Seshadri Swamigal knew I had a greater liking for the musical medium of prose! Accordingly, I should admit that this book entitled “Prayers of the Pen” has given me more contentment than my prose versions entitled “Aurora of Arunachala” and “Vignettes of Vedanta”.
I believe that the poetical stuff takes birth in the bosom of the author with what the famous French critic, Gonda, has called in his “Vision of Vedic Poets” a power styled “Pratibha Shakti”- a shakti or capacity to write something which is instantly inspirational and contemporaneous with the grace of the Guru or Devata rising in the heart centre in full bloom by way of sudden manifestation. Spurana by Swayamprakasha, is the Inner Lord or Guru.
Prayers of the Pen – Dedication
I looked upon the task of writing a foreword to “Light in Shade” not only as a divine direction from the all-knowing Swamigal but also as a message to try my own. The outcome is the humble literary exercise entitled “Prayers of the Pen” and this poetic prayer is placed at the Lotus Feet of Sadguru Sri Seshadri Swamigal for his blessing and the readers for their candid comments.
For the discriminating readers, I appeal to them to go to the core of thoughts, reflections and reminiscences by breaking the five elemental barriers of (and go beyond)
- Prithvi – represented by the visible pages of the book itself, the printing quality or the get –up;
- Aap – standing for the rasa or style or compositional essence
- Thejas – constituted by fiery expressions or lack of fire
- Vayu – symbolically represented by the ease of speed and movement of words, and
- Aakasha – whose “tanmaatra” is the subtle sound element, characterizing the aspects o rhyme and rhythm!
Although God pervades the five elements, He transcends them. The “Prayers of the Pen” area addressed to Him, not to the physical embellishments of the book!
The superimposition of the elemental structure makes it difficult for the ordinary ones to perceive the divine force encompassed in it and also transcending it.
As the charm of creation lies in Divinity extending far beyond the visible and invisible world around us, so the reader’s vision should be to look beyond the elemental exercise of the visible pen or the book, for any Vedantic sense or quintessence!
The visible one helps us to see the invisible through devotion, purity and prayers for the relentless pursuit of knowledge (nahi jnanena sadrusham) enshrined in the four Maha Vakyas in each of the four Vedas, viz,
Prajna is Brahman (Prajnanam Brahma)
I am Brahman (Aham Brahmasmi)
That you are (Tat-twam-asi) and
This Atman is Brahman (Ayam Atma Brahma)
Very rightly Adi Shankara emphasised the importance of what may well be called the four major Vedic Proclamations! The Adi Guru wielded a most invincible pen himself. So did Sadguru Sri Seshadri Swamigal. Hence, the title of the book: “Prayers of the Pen”.
But, “Pen-mani, who are you?”
“What is the object of your prayers?”
I was born in factory posh
Shorn of all perfunctory trash
My function to flash and describe
and the beast!
Palm-leaf was paper ancient
for inscription patient!
On modern medium, there was no will
nor descendant of quill!
Before three score years and ten,
My predecessor was a “piercing pen”
a penetrating one!
Ushered into existence ease
My insistence is
To throw light on the origins
of the world
and the word
of life human
secrets to success
failures by excess,
place of Atman
and grace of Brahman!
Guru’s gift to humanity
And “inroads” to immortality!
Not one of these lines in this book has been revised as it was my intention to present the literary thoughts as they happened to flow, rather involuntarily. That explains the reason for my stand that public approbation or critic’s condemnations are matters of objectivity. The book solicits neither a Pulitzer Prize nor a Howitzer Gun! All that it requests the readers is a kind perusal or a mental dance with the ecstasy of its thoughts – thoughts of the divine.
Some of the poems like “Brahma-Chaitanya” appealed to me most. It is based on the primordial energy which is the seed of all creation and destroyer of the fear of death or rebirth:
“…Janana-marana bheeti dhwamsi
Sakala bhuvana beejam
The Pen has attempted a few innovations such as in the different limbs of the figures of speech – in Transferred Epithet, Alliteration, Simile, Metaphor, Onomatopoeia, Oxymoron, Synecdoche, Metonymy and the like. In these, there is an attempt at fusion of Vedantic ideas and aspects of the figures of speech.
If the readers find these lines readable, the credit should go to Swamigal for the inspiration. For such of those lines that make one perspire, the Pen prays Neela Saraswathi for pardon of the readers.
I am deeply indebted to Smt. Umadevi Amma and Sri R. Muthukumaraswamy for Sri Seshadri Swamigal’s Foreword to “Prayers of the Pen”.
The author invokes the blessings of Sri Seshadri Swamigal and grace of Sri Arunachaleswara and Devi on all.