Saturday, June 25, 2011

Liars, Lies, and Perjury - Sivavaakiyar's Song

These days, rationalists and the hoi-polloi, view certain institutions and edifices with deep distrust. Religion and Law comes to my mind immediately. In of itself, neither religion nor law is bad, but, one notices the intense repulsiveness and skepticism that is palpable when conversations turn towards these touchy topics because of the modern-day scandals, lies, and perjuries that tend to overshadow them. After all, people like Gandhi, Tolstoy, and Tagore were all Thinkers with deep religious convictions aimed towards their endless search towards Eternal Truth. Their punctilio lay in truth and Truth.

So, what is wrong?

Personally, I think, when a person is willfully perjuring, lying, and fooling before the rightful representatives of the society as in a court of law or before the sacred courts of human conscience, then such a person is not only endangering his or her own self, but, thoroughly demolishes the fundamental edifices of social-order.  Regardless of the individual stature or the games played by such charlatans -- be it before the courts of law or public-opinion -- such institutions that act on behalf of the last, average citizen, who has no clout, power, or money to stand against the thraldom of lies, should in and on his behalf act to eschew perjury at all costs. 

Every single lie of perjury has a profound consequence that affects some other individuals, families, or societies in inexplicable ways.

That's what I ruminated when I came across this wonderful song by an ancient Tamil Sithhar Sivavaakiyar. 

What is amazing about this song is its rhythmic pattern ("சந்தம்") and its intense language constructs chastising false-prophets, pranksters, charlatans and lying hypocrites.

Those, who care for truth and Truth will love this ancient poem.

"ஞானிஞானி யென்றுரைத்த நாய்கள் கோடிகோடியே
வானிலாத மழைநாளென்ற வாதிகோடி கோடியே
தானிலான சாகரத்தின் தன்மைகாணா மூடர்கள்
மூனிலாமற் கோடிகோடி முன்னறிந்த தென்பரே

My Interpretation

"Many were those dogs that anointed themselves as Enlightened.
Many were those charlatans that promised rainy downpours on cloudless days.
Those ignorant that never experienced the endless oceans of Wisdom too were many,
who with shameless indolence claimed they knew the Truth even before It existed!"

Not only is this song so intense for its choice of words, but, it has a wonderful dose of sarcasm and wry humor throughout. 

In retrospect I wish I had a formal training in Tamil language. Or at least, had the opportunity to learn it as a First Language.

Yet, thanks to all my Tamil teachers at School, paramount amongst them being my Mom & Dad, who taught me in the greatest of all schools: Home.

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