Vemana Poems


Telugu is one of the national languages of India and is the state language in Andhra Pradesh, one of the southern states of India.  Kumaragiri Vema Reddy popularly known as Vemana (Telugu: వేమన) is a great Telugu philosopher and poet, He is believed to have lived between the years of 1652  to 1730 . http://www.poemhunter.com/vemana/biography/  His poems are known for their use of simple language and analogies to convey valuable guidelines for life and living.

  • Without inner or spiritual purity how can there be any tradition and culture?
  • Among men who look alike, virtuous people stand apart.
  • Even a little food given with respect is sumptuous.
  • The scholar with great accomplishments speaks softly.
  • Shaving the head does not shave the thoughts inside (the mind).
  • People who count faults do not know their own faults.

Here are a few sample poems:

Atma Suddhi lEni AchAramadi yEla

bhAMDaSuddhi lEni pAkamEla lEla

chittaSuddhi lEni SivapUjalElarA

viSwadAbhirAma vinura vEmA

Without inner or spiritual purity how can there be any tradition and culture? Without a clean cooking pot, how can there be a well-cooked dish? Without a clear mind (and good thoughts) how can one focus on the prayers to Lord Siva? Dear one, who is endowed with all the bounty, listen to Vema!

Salt and camphor look similar, But on closer observation we find them to be different Among men who look alike, virtuous people stand apart, Dear one, who is endowed with all the bounty, listen to Vema!

A spoon full of cow’s milk is enough, Of what worth is it, even if it is a potful of donkey’s milk? Even a little food given with respect is sumptuous, Dear one, who is endowed with all the bounty, listen to Vema!

A person with limited skills always speaks pompously, The scholar with great accomplishments speaks softly. Does gold (of much higher value) ring the same way (and make so much noise) as the brass? Dear one, who is endowed with all the bounty, listen to Vema!

Changing your appearance, language and wearing saffron (or priestly) clothes do not lead to liberation, Shaving the head does not shave the thoughts inside (the mind), Dear one, who is endowed with all the bounty, listen to Vema!

There are many that find fault (with others). Everyone in the world has faults. The people who count faults do not know their own faults, Dear one, who is endowed with all the bounty, listen to Vema!

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1 Response to Vemana Poems

  1. Dilip says:

    Thank you…beautiful thoughts. Lessons in humility….

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