Vemana: Profound wisdom in simple language

Vemana: Profound wisdom in simple language
Highlights

Even as the State government is set to celebrate the World Telugu Conference from December 15-19, I wanted to do my part in honour of Telugu, my mother tongue.  Towards this end, I chose portions of \'Vemana Satakam\' for translating and rendering them in English, preferably in the very four lines as written by Mahakavi Vemana.  

Even as the State government is set to celebrate the World Telugu Conference from December 15-19, I wanted to do my part in honour of Telugu, my mother tongue. Towards this end, I chose portions of 'Vemana Satakam' for translating and rendering them in English, preferably in the very four lines as written by Mahakavi Vemana.

You may appreciate that he was able to convey tremendously meaningful messages understandable even by the mass in just three lines, with the fourth line being the refrain, 'Viswadabhirama Vinuravema! Even here, I coined that fourth line like this: 'Words of Vemana, hear me Oh Ramana!'.

Vemana is stated to have written about 100 Telugu poems, containing four lines each, with the fourth line being the same for all the hundred poems. Perhaps, no other poet was able to convey such meaningful passages in such a simple language. In Telugu language, otherwise called the ‘Italian of the East’, the poems have, what is called ‘Chandassu’ or metre.

These poems were written in ‘Aataveladhi’ chandassu, conveying a lot of meaning, social and moral, and are of mystic import. They not only deal with social problems, but also seek to show some solutions also. They are rather poems of wisdom and lessons of life, conveyed in pithy lines that even illiterate people can understand and benefit.

By Prasad Govada

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