Tribute to an Immortal
MSS introduced me to Carnatic music and for most of my childhood carnatic music was synonymous with MS, any festival morning was always began with her suprabatham and what followed was Bhaja Govindam , with Rajaji giving us a glance into spiritual journey which MSS’s voice would carry us. But my favorite song was “Kurai ondrum illa kanna”, which I think I played a thousand times to get me through a really bad period of my life and it worked. MSS was one voice who I could lean on for finding my spirituality, when I felt really alone. Her songs were filled with reverence and purity, that I felt that she prayed for all the people sitting there, listening to her.Her smile when she finished a particular favorite was infectious.
But I really think that I was really fortunate to get to experience her music by just looking at her sing. Her renditions of the Meera Bhajans created an atmosphere of devotion and spirituality towards Lord Krishna, that listeners felt they were in the presence of Meera herself. I remember shopping for cassettes in Chennai, when two foreigners walked in asking for traditional Indian music. The salesguy picked up MS and said “you will definitely like this” without a second thought. On my raising a quizzical eyebrow, he shrugged and said people fell in love with MSS by end of Ist stanza and he was sure they would be definitely back for “Kaar –naetic” music.
One of her disciples was recounting a episode in a train when some ladies approached MSS.On learning that one of ladies learnt Bhaja Govindam just by listening to MS’s tape, the great lady asked the traveler to sing along with her as she immediately started the first verse of the song
So MSS , I just wanted to say Thank You, you have inspired so many people and will continue to do so till the end of time
Thought I would leave will a translation of MSS Bhaja Govindam,,verse by verse, I know a lot of people ,including me just listened for MSS’s Voice
bhaja govindam bhaja govindam
govindam bhaja mUDhamatesamprApte sannihite kAlenahi nahi rakShati dukrunjkaraNe
Adore the lord, adore the lord,Adore the lord O fool,When the appointed time (for departure) comes,the repetition of grammatical rules will not indeed save you.
mUDha jahihi dhanAgamatrshNAmkuru sadbuddhim manasi vitrshNamyallabhase nija karmopAttamvittam tena vinodaya cittam
O fool, leave off the desire of wealth;create in the mind thoughts about reality, devoid of passion.what you get -i.e., what you have achieved through your past deeds-with that, satisfy your mind.
yavadvittopArjana saktah:tAvannija parivAro raktah:pashcAt jIvati jarjara dehevArtAm kopi na prcchati gehe
As long as you have the ability to earn money,so long will your dependents be attached to you.After that, when you live with an infirm body,no one will even speak to you a word.
mA kuru dhana jana youvana garvamharati nimeShAt kala: sarvammAyAmayam idam akhilam hitvAbrahma padam tvam pravisha vidhitvA
Do not be proud of wealth, kindred and youth;Time takes away all these in a moment.Leaving aside this entire (world) which is of the nature ofan illusion, and knowing the state of brahman, enter into it.
sura mandira taru mUla nivAsa:shayyA bhUtalam ajinam vAsa:sarva parigraha bhoga tyAga:kasya sukham na karoti virAga:
Living in temples or at the foot of the trees,sleeping on the ground, wearing deer-skin, renouncing all possessionand thier enjoyment - to whom will not dispassion bring happiness?
bhagavat gIta kincitadhItAgangAjalalava kaNikApitAsahrdapi yena murAri samarcakriyate tasya yamena na carcA
For him, who has studied the Bhagavatgita, even a little,who has drunk a drop of the Gangawater, and who has performedthe worship of the destroyer of the demon Mura (viz Srikrishna)at least once, there is no tiff with Yama
punarapi jananam punarapi maraNampunarapi jananI jaTare shayanamiha samsAre bahudustArekrpayA pAre pAhi murAre
Repeated birth, repeated death and repeated lying inmother's womb - this transmigratory process is extensive anddifficult to cross; save me, O destroyer of Mura, through your grace.
artham anartham bhavaya nityamnAstitata: sukhalesha: satyamputrAdapi dhana bhArjAm bhItih:sarvatraiShA vihitA rIti:
Wealth is no good: thus reflect always; there is not theleast happiness there from; this is the truth.For the wealthy there is fear even from a son;everywhere this is the regular mode.
geyam gItA nAma sahasramdhyeyam shrIpati rUpamajashramneyam sajjana sange cittamdeyam dInajanAya ca vittam
The Bhagavatgita and the Sahasranama should be sung;the form of the lord of Lakshmi ( Vishnu) should be always meditated on;the mind should be led to the company of the good;and wealth should be distributed among the indigent.
gurucharaNambuja nirbhara bhakta:samsAradacIradbhava mukta:sendriyamAnasa niyAmAdevamdrakShyasi nija hrdayastam devam
Being devoted completely to the lotus-feet of the Master,become released soon from the transmigratory process.Thus, through the discipline of sense and mind-control,you will behold the deity that resides in your heart.