After a long time let us once again peep into the wisdom of Sumati Shatakam.

Baddena the poet addresses the good mind the Sumati…

Word of advice to an imbecile is an effort wasted after all ...


పగ వలదెవ్వరితోడను

వగవంగావలదు లేమి వచ్చిన పిదపన్

తెగనాడవలదు సభలను

మగువకు మనసియ్యవలదు మహిలో సుమతీ


Paga valadevvari tODanu

vagavangA valadu lEmi vacchin pidapan

teganADa valadu saBhlanu

maguvaku manasiyyavaladu mahilO sumatI


పగ = animosity

వలదు = not required

ఎవ్వరితోడను = with anyone

వగవంగావలదు = don’t cry or feel sad

లేమి = poverty

వచ్చిన = having come

పిదపన్ - after

తెగనాడవలదు = don’t criticise

సభలను = courts or meetings

మగువకు = to a woman

మనసు = heart

ఇయ్యవలదు = don’t give

మహిలో = on the land

సుమతీ = Oh the good minded one…


Here poet proposes four things to be avoided.

Three of them for the mind. And may be one more for the tongue…

Or is that also for the mind also?


Make friends and not enemies is the good advice here. Hatred or bickering with none that too. It is easy to understand. Even if anyone harms you, it is to forgive the person and forget the incident. You can live happily. If one carries the ill will in the heart, life becomes miserable. One keeps thinking of somehow squaring up the matter. It makes one venomous. Bad in nature! Ghalib says


Kuch is tarah zindagi ko asaan kar liya mein nay

Kisiko baksh diya, kisise maafi maang liya mein ne…


I made my life easier this way… some I have forgiven and with others I have apologized…

No time to make friends and keep smiling… where do you find it to fume and blow your top off?


Poverty of money is no poverty at all. I have been living as happily as anyone without much money in the pocket. Forget about the bank! As long as you control your needs you live happily. There is enough in this world for my needs and not for my greed. Once you had money. Now it is gone, isn’t it? It is better. Life is giving you a chance to taste poverty too. Otherwise you never know what hunger is! In poverty what little comes to hand appears great, if you can imagine. So poverty is not for lamenting. It is for being one with majority of humanity…


Do you go to meetings and congregations? Do you really? Somehow I find myself in meetings very often. They pull me there per force even. Poet says not to critical at such assemblies. Good about it. Listen what is spoken by the others. If you have a point against one or all of them, simply say so, but not keep raving there only. Many people feel that critics are seen as special people. They think that they are noticed better. Not exactly so. Criticism is good but at the right place and time only. That is why poet asks you to behave when a lot of people are around. All of them need not react well to your ranting even if it has substance.


Bah… Baddena too warns men to keep away from fairer sex. He asks men never to lose heart to one of that class. Was he a broken heart? He must have been one surely. Is the Shatakam meant to be read only by menfolk and not women? Every once in a while I find this question staring me in the face. Earlier days writers and poets never too womenfolk into account while composing their works.


A Sumati could be a man and equally well a woman! But the last part of the verse cautions men against falling in love with females! That was how the society behaved. Male chauvinism at every step…

I do not really know what love is. I also feel all these songs and dances in the name of love too absurd to be devoted time. But the world looks like is going round and round along the wheel called love. Anyone who was successful and lived happily can say that love is divine, love is God and all that kitsch. One failed or seen other fail would suggest a la Baddena.


A little verse goes with a longish commentary perhaps. Tell me if you find this meaningful at all.Vijayagopal....




More By  :  Dr. Gopalam Karamchedu

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