Srinatha’s ‘ChaaTu’ poems – (3) – part:2

The second part of the story relating the ‘chaaTu’ poem ‘sarvajna naamadheayamu’ told by the great poet Srinatha is as under:

One of the persons who were present in the royal court of the king Sarvajna Singabhupala at the time of Srinatha reciting the poem ‘sarvajna naamadheayamu’ thinks inappropriate to equate the epithet ‘sarvajna’ – ‘the all-knowing one’ – to Lord Shiva and the king Singabhupala at the same time and at the same breadth, questions Srinatha latter in private as to how he could commit such a blunder of equating the intelligence of a mere human-being, though a great and popular king he might have been,  to that of Lord Shiva and wasn’t it inappropriate to do so?

Srinatha listens to this questioning, smiles and clarifies to the person that he never intended to do so and requests that persons to consider his poem once again and reads the same poem as under:

sarvajna naamadheayamu,
Sarvunakea! raavu siMgajanapaalunikea,
YurviMjellunu? da kkoru
sarvajnuM DanuTa, kukka saamaja manuTea!

సర్వజ్ఞ నామధేయము
శర్వునకే! రావు సింగజనపాలునికే
యుర్వింజెల్లును? ద క్కొరు
సర్వజ్ఞుం డనుట, కుక్క సామజ మనుటే!

The epithet ‘the all-knowing’
suits only Lord Siva! it suits king Rao Singa
in which world? to call any other
the ‘all-knowing’ is like calling a dog an elephant!

[It can be noticed from the above that not a single ‘letter’ in the poem was changed except the breaks taken while reciting the poem which are indicated by the punctuation marks ‘!’ and ‘?’ which changed the meaning of the poem in such a way that it totally negated the meaning in the first version of the poem!]

 The person who questioned Srinatha’s prudence of equating the king Rao Singabhupala with Lord Shiva realises his mistake and the poetic capabilities of Srinatha! He apologises to Srinatha for his ignorance and courage to question his prudence which Srinatha accepts with kind heart and laughs the whole thing off in a light-hearted manner as he was always used to be!

This is one of the many such episodes which prove that the eloquence and poetic wit of Poet Srinatha is sharp on both sides!


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