a poem by Rajaram Ramachandran, India - poetry writer, author, poet


Once Saint Thyagaraja went,
To the Pudukottai King’s Court,
Packed with renowned musicians,
Taking part in a music celebration.

The King held a novel test.
An oil lamp in their midst,
He kept with a condition,
Really not a practical one.

“None should use match stick,
But by your song, light the wick.”
As it was an impossible task,
None dared to take the risk.

But Saint Thyagaraja took a song
In Raga Jothisvarupini and sang.
No wonder, the lamp was on,
With its bright light-shine!

The entire court was astonished.
Like this, the Saint proved,
Any music, the one divine,
It could melt even a stone.

Every song of the Saint
Exposed his inner spirit,
That spoke of his faith
In the spiritual path.

It was this Holy Spirit in him
That, till his last, guided him.
Every day did mark a day
Of his progress in the spiritual way.

In thousands, songs he composed.
In thousands, he was followed.
In thousands, pages are required,
His lifetime achievements, to record.

As a premonition of his death,
On December, twenty seventh,
Of eighteen forty six, in his dream,
To His abode, the Lord invited him.

(This he sang in Raga Sahana
Kribai nelakondha Ramunee
Kuri thappa kandi)

“On the high mountain, I saw Ram.
One by one, all rush to see Him,
Everyone holding in his hands,
A fan made of beautiful flowers.”

“My body shook out of joy.
Tears flowed from my eyes.
Rama told me, in ten days,
He shall save me eternally!”

Next day, he announced this,
Openly before all his disciples.
They didn’t expect this dream,
That gave a rude shock to them.

As a last act, he renounced
All attachments in this world,
Under Nadabrahmananda’s name
Awaiting the final call from Ram.

Prayer meetings, at his request,
Went on, non-stop, day and night.
In Eighteen forty-seven, January,
It happened on the sixth day.

Before the assembled crowd,
A glowing light from his head,
Up above the sky departed,
To the abode of the Lord.

Every year, on this day,
Musicians gather and pray,
Holding music festivals
At his last Samadhi place.

Musicians sang his songs.
They still sing his songs.
Also they’ll sing his songs,
Until this music world exits.


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