We know pretty well that one enters the earth will have to make exit one day. When, none on earth can predict and so also how, where and why!!!!

Just the other day I translated a nice poem of Mahakavi Bharathiyar who challenged the God of DEATH, called in Hindu pantheon as LORD YAMA-‘YAMA DHARMARAJA’ and translated the same into English which I reproduce below in original Tamil, its transliteration and translation with my comment:



The great patriotic, national poet Mahakavi Subrahmanya Bharathiyar had unbounded patriotism, abundant love for freedom political and more, love for the languages-he was a master of eighteen languages which is not an exaggeration- love for the people and their tradition and culture, infectious ‘optimism’ and fearlessness.

In this Sunday story,  we see his beautiful poem on –“Address to the Lord Yama”.

In the Hindu pantheon Lord Yama is the God of Death. He knows when to take away the life of a person born on earth and he does his duty meticulously!

Original in Tamil:

காலனுக்கு உரைத்தல்


காலா! உனைநான் சிறு புல்லென மதிக்கிறேன்; என்றன்

காலருகே வாடா! சற்றே உனை மிதிக்கிறேன் – அட      (காலா)


வேலாயுத விருதினைமனதிற் பதிக்கிறேன் – நல்ல

வேதாந்த முரைத்த ஞானியர் தமை யெண்ணித் துதிக்கிறேன்-ஆதி

மூலா வென்று யானையைக் காக்கவே – நின்றன்

முதலைக்கு நேர்ந்ததை மறந்தாயோ கெட்ட மூடனே?-அட(காலா)

ஆலாலமுண்டவனடி காணென்ற மார்க்கண்டன் – தன

தாவி கவரப்போய் நீ பட்டபாட்டினை அறிகுவன் – இங்கு

நாலாயிரம் காதம் விட்டகல்! உனைவிதிக்கிறேன் –ஹரி

நாராயண னாகநின்  முன்னே உதிக்கிறேன் – அட   (காலா)




Kaalaa! Unainaan sirupullena mathikkiraen-endran

Kaalarugae vaadaa! Satrae unai mithikkiraen-ada(kaalaa)




Vaelaayudha virudhinai manadhir padhikkiraen-nalla

Vaedhaantha muraiththa njaaniyar thamai yeNNIth thudhikkiraen – adhi

Moolaa venru kadhariya yaanaiyaik kaakkavae –ninran

Mudhalaikku naerndhadhai marandhaayoa letta moodanae?

Ada – (kaalaa)


Aalaala mundavanadi saraNenra maarkaNdan – thana

Dhaavi kavarappoay nee patta paattinai ariguvaen – ingu

Naalaayiram kaadham viitagal! Unai vidhikkiraen – hari

NaaraayaNa naaganin munnae udhikkiraen – ada (kaalaa)




Yamaa! I treat you as a trivial grass-

Come near my feet! I shall simply stamp you ! Yah (Yamaa)


Taken I to my heart the award of the Lord

Pray to the saints of yore who gave me sermons –

To save the elephant that cried “oh, my great God”

Do you forget fool Yamaa what happened to your crocodile-                                                                                                         -yah, (Yamaa)

MarkaNda- who surrendered to the Lord Shiva who gulped


Whose life you wanted to take- your suffering and humiliation

I am aware of- here

Get away four thousand miles! I order you-

I appear before you as Hari Narayana- yah (Yamaa)


This is one of the most beautiful poems of Mahakavi Bharathiyar who chose to challenge the God of Death- YAMA in Hindu pantheon. It is believed by the people that Lord Yama is very powerful. Bharathiyar in this poem describes two mythological beliefs and says that all powerful Yamaa could not succeed on the basis of which the poet challenges Yamaa to come near him and he will simply stamp him under his feet! He also orders Yamaa to go four thousand miles away!!

One incident is Yamaa’s decision to take away the life of an elephant by making a crocodile to drag the elephant into deep water and kill. When the elephant called Lord Vishnu, Yamaa through the crocodile could do no harm to the devoted elephant and had to quit his attempt!

Again when Lord Yamaa wanted to take away the life of a strong devotee of Shiva much against his own father’s advice to pray only Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva protected Markandeya and Yamaa could do nothing!

Quoting these two mythological happenings, Bharathiyar challenges Yamaa to come near him and he will simply make him to pulp by the poet’s feet! What a lovely theme, content and presentation!

With all these assertions from the Poet, God of Death goes on with HIS duties as one of the trinities –Creator-protector and Destroyer- as Bharathi himself fell a victim to the Yama –in Chennai through the temple elephant!

I recollect and reproduce one or two of my thoughts in verses on the theme of DEATH:



Oh! God of Death! Lord Yama- thee alone permanent
In this world and earth- eternally impermanent!
Health is lost but sure one day with medicines retrieved
Wealth is lost but sure one day with efforts is retrieved
Name is lost but sure one day with honesty retrieved
Fame is lost but sure one day with good conduct retrieved
House is lost but sure one day with a new one retrieved
Job is lost but sure one day with someone else retrieved!
Alas! When the God of death takes one away from earth
Permanently gone not to be retrieved till next birth!
Sure not in the same form and name, house and roof
Oh! God of Death! Lord Yama-thee alone permanent
In this world and earth- eternally impermanent
Mourn not death, may be the dead had relief permanent!




What is this DREADED DEATH
Knows no distinction
Young or old, poor or rich
Either sex, healthy or sick
Virtuous or vicious, dunce or diligent
Unlettered or highly literate
Dedicated Mahatma or despicable bandit
Social worker or menace to the society
All are same in the grip of death!

Death at times brings relief
Most of the times nothing but grief!

In one’s life time
That he lives is not a matter
How he lives is all that matters!

Man’s greatness is not in being
Sure one agrees that in doing!

Death can remove the physical self
Sure not his words and deeds
That indeed make him live for age!

Birth is alike getting out of sleep
Death is akin to getting into sleep
Fear not death, but boldly face!

Alive are dead; Dead are alive
All in the manner we live
And how we serve the society with love
To live in peace and amity, joy and cheers!



சாவே நீ ஏன் வரவேண்டும்?


இறைவன் கொடுத்த இவ்வாழ்வை

இயற்கை படைத்த இவ்வ்வுலகில்

குறையே இன்றி நடத்துகையில்

சாவே நீ ஏன் வரவேண்டும்?


அன்பின் வடிவே என் அன்னை

பண்பின் வடிவே என் ஆசான்

கற்பின் வடிவே என் மனைவி –இவரிடம்

சாவே நீ ஏன் வரவேண்டும்?


கள்ளம் மறந்த குழந்தை அவன்

உள்ளம் கவர்ந்த தலைவன் இவன்

உலகம்  வியந்த கவிஞன் அவன் –இவரிடம்

சாவே நீ எண் வரவேண்டும்?


உயர்ந்த உள்ளம் கொண்டவனாம்

பரந்த எண்ணம் படைத்தவனாம்

சிறந்த சேவை செய்தவனாம் –இவரிடம்

சாவே நீ ஏன் வரவேண்டும்?


குணமும் அறியாய் கோபமும் அறியாய்

மனமும் அறியாய் பணமும் அறியாய்

இனமும் அறியாய் வயதும் அறியாய்

தினமும் வருவாய் துயரே தருவாய்.


வாழ்வும் அறியாய் தாழ்வும் அறியாய்

தீதும் அறியாய் நன்றும் அறியாய்

அறிஞரும் அறியாய் வறியரும் அறியாய்

அனைவரும் ஒன்றே நின்றன் மடியில்.


உற்றவர் அறியாய் மற்றவர் அறியாய்

பெற்றவர் அறியாய் பெற்றதும் அறியாய்

உத்தமன் அறியாய் மற்றதும் அறியாய்

காலம் வந்தால் காலன் வருவாய்!


என்னே என்னே சாவின் கொடுமை

என்றே எண்ணிக் கலங்கிடும் நிலையில்

சிந்தையில் எழுந்த பொருளுடை எண்ணம்

”சாவும் செத்தால் யாம் என் செய்வோம்”?


சாவை நினைத்தால் நல்லவை பெருகும்

சாவை நினைத்தால் அல்லவை அகலும்

சாவை நினைத்தால் உள்ளம் உயரும்

சாவை நினைத்தால் அறமும் ஓங்கும்.



சாவே உனக்கொரு சாவு வராமல்

இறைவனை வேண்டி இனிதே உய்வாய்!

In English

God given life is this

Nature made life is this

Leading sans any deficiency

Oh, DEATH- why should you come?

Love incarnation is my mom

Culture incarnation is my preceptor

Affection incarnate is my wife-to them

Oh, Death- why should you come?


That is a child not knowing hypocrisy

He is the leader in the hearts of all

He is a poet renowned in the world – to them

Oh, Death-why should you come?


Noble minded is he

Broad hearted is he

Noble service he has rendered –to them

Oh, Death- why should you come?


You know not virtues, nor anger

You know not good mind, nor money power

You know no sect, nor age

Daily you come and leave us in grief!


You know no lively life, nor deathly living

You know no bad, nor good

You know no scholar, nor the poor

All are equal in thy lap.


Close one you know not, nor the other

Parents you know not,  nor what they got

Virtuous you know not, nor the opposite

Oh, Death-If time comes you come.


“Oh, Death- how cruel you are”

As I brood over the issue

Came to my mind meaningful thought

“What shall we do if DEATH were to DIE?”


If we think of DEATH good will increase

If we think of DEATH bad will decrease

If we think of DEATH mind will scale higher

If we think of DEATH Virtues will develop!



“Death you don’t meet with Death”

Pray God and happily carry on!

This was written by me on 23rd July 1976!

My esteemed viewers may be wondering why all on a sudden a Sunday story on DEATH!

Yes three deaths of my great friends   all in the course of a day took me by grief on SIXTH FEBRUARY resulting in this write up.

First was one of my dear Poet Friends POET B. JAYARAMAN, a retired bank officer and Treasurer of CHENNAI POETS’ CIRCLE, a very affable, decent and interesting personality.

Second is a retired Development Officer of Life Insurance Corporation of India which I deem as my home where I served for more than four decades by name K. Chandrasekaran who was the General Secretary of the NATIONAL FEDERATION OF INSURANCE OF FIELD WORKERS OF INDIA.

.Third was my fellow Officer while I was Senior Divisional Manager of LIC in Kadapa Division by name G. Gopalakrishnan.

As already referred to DEATH knows no age or sex, status or position, the rich or poor, literate or illiterate, when destined lives taken to HIS lap!


What cannot be cured must be endured!



3 thoughts on “DEATH, WON’T YOU DIE!



    One such great friend is Sri.B. Jayaraman, Treasurer of Chennai poets’ circle.
    Second such great is Retired Development Officer Sri.. K. Chandrasekaran, General Secretary of National
    Federation of Insurance Field workers.
    Third such great friend is your fellow officer, SDM Of LIC, G.GOPALAKRISHNAN.

    With emerging thoughts of those three great friends, Bharathiar has motivated you to write this Sunday Story.

    The pictures shown : 1) Lord Yama with HIS courageous and terrifying face.
    2) A challenging face of Mahakavi Bharathiar’s face.

    the pictures are nicely drawn to attract the attention of viewers.

    The original version of ADDRESS TO THE LORD YAMA is read nicely.
    “GET AWAY 4000 MILES” are the words which give enough courage to us to see any unforeseen situations .

    Bharathiar himself fell a victim to the Yama ! YAMA, YOU PLEASE DON’T DIE !

    SIMPLE BUT BEAUTIFUL WORDS ARE : Dreaded Death knows no distinction , young or old
    poor or rich, either sec, healthy or sick, virtuous or vicious- ALL ARE IN THE SAME GRIP OF DEATH !

    Death can remove the physical self but not his words or deeds.

    Birth is like getting out of bed.
    Death is akin to getting in to bed.
    Alive are dead, Dead are alive. ……….. are the wonderful motivating quotes !

    Finally your questioning is very tactful !

    Who invited you ? You took away our holy mothers. You took away the beloved ones.
    You leave none. You don’t show mercy. Your SUNDARA THAMIL description is wonderful to read and digest !



    Thanks Sir,


    G Vasu


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