In communion with God

Padma Narayanan
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Devotion Some of the kritis of Tyagaraja explains the poet's empathy with Rama. Padma Narayanan

Saint Tyagaraja
Saint Tyagaraja

T he Hindu devotee's God is endowed with all beauty. He is a paragon of all qualities ever conceived by the imperfect human mind and yet He is in some special way part of the devotee's psyche. Our poetry is rich with any number of songs that, under the veil of ridicule adore our Gods and Goddesses, display a unique intimacy. Do we not have a Vaishnavite saint losing himself in the beauty of the Lord that he breaks out spontaneously with verses blessing the Lord that He may live for many years?

We have an entire treasure of songs and poems belonging to this unique genre. Saint Tyagaraja's His language is always direct and conversational. His identification with the Lord is so complete that now and then the dividing line between the master and the servant disappears.

The devotee-divinity relationship is so personal and intimate that the devotee is able to question the implied indifference that the Lord displays towards His bhakta. Wondering what could have caused such indifference, Tyagaraja questions, “Are you scared you'll lose your wealth if you appear before me?” ( ‘Ethita Nilachite,' - Sankarabharanam) and “Perhaps your grace will fall on me only if I own elephants and wealth?” (‘Tharithapu Lekha' - Saveri). The devotee-God relationship is as much sacred as it is personal. Such is the texture of a Hindu devotee's love for his personal God that they are almost one.



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