(29) THAT IS PLAY, THIS IS VERSE
23rd January, 1946
Some time back, while replying to the questions of some devotees, Bhagavan was reminded of a sloka in Hamsa Gita, which described the attributes of a siddha (highly developed soul), and with great enthusiasm he wrote out the verse in Tamil. As Balarama Reddy who happened to be there said, “What about a verse in Telugu also?” Bhagavan wrote a translation in Telugu in Aataveladi (a form of versification) and was wondering whether the import of the sloka had come out correctly. I suggested in a low tone that it might perhaps be better if it were in Theta Gita (another form of versification).
“Yes, it could be changed thus,” said Bhagavan; “That is Aata, this is Theta.” I was rather intrigued by that saying.
When I went there again in the afternoon at 2-30 p.m., Bhagavan had already written it in Theta Gita verse and gave it to me saying, “See if it is all right.” Though it did not appear smooth-flowing, I was happy in the thought that Bhagavan had written it and so without going deeper into it, I said, “In whatever way Bhagavan writes, to me it appears quite good.” “It is quite enough even if one person is satisfied when written by an unqualified person like myself,” said Bhagavan. People around burst out laughing. He says he is not learned, and all the other writers are great pandits! What else is it except a mild reproach to some of us who pride ourselves on our erudition? It did not end there. Saying that the meaning is incomplete here or the grammar is defective there, Bhagavan discussed it the whole day with Balarama Reddy, and when I went there yesterday morning for parayana, he gave me a paper on which the padyam (verse) had been fair-copied.
When I brought it home and saw it, not only did I feel some doubt regarding the correctness of a particular letter in the padyam, but also got a desire to copy the matter in the Ashram note book and keep the original paper for myself and so, I cut it out neatly with scissors, and put it in my bag and went to the Ashram by 8 a.m.
Even as I was prostrating before him, Bhagavan made a mention of the very letter about which I had a doubt. He said, “It must be changed, give me back my paper. Should I not show it if anyone were to ask for it?” Yes, he could divine what I had in my mind. I felt surprised.
Many instances of this kind have occurred previously.
When Bhagavan asked me and insisted on the return of his paper like a school boy, I felt ashamed of my desire, was afraid of being chided, and amused at his teasing words -- all simultaneously.
“I have brought it, here it is,” I said and gave it. He took it, and put it away carefully as though it was a great treasure. The whole of yesterday he kept on saying that the grammar was not correct. When I was asked about it, I said, “For the divine voice, will the grammar come in the way?” Bhagavan said laughingly, “It is all right,” and ultimately Bhagavan himself prepared it in Theta Gita and gave it to me to copy it out on the distinct understanding that I should return the original paper to him. For a small thing like this, he played with us for three days and ultimately finished the verse in Theta Gita.
“That is Aata (play); this is Theta (verse).” This is perhaps the meaning of his words. That verse is given hereunder: