Today's Beautiful Gem: Two songs of Saint Tukaaraam (1607-49), freely rendered by Nicol Macnicol.

"Keep me from vanity
For sure I perish if
From this deceiving world
Ah, thou, Vaikuntha's Lord,
If once thy gracious face
The world's enticement then

"I am a mass of sin;
Yet thou must take me as I am
Me Death has all consumed;
All else forsaking, at thy feet
Keep me from pride,
I quit thy side.
How hard to flee!
Deliver me!
I look upon,
Is past and gone."

Thou art all purity;
And bear my load for me.
In thee all power abides.
Thy servant Tukaa hides."

Note: Tukaram was the greatest Maharashtrian poet. He wrote nearly one thousand abhangs. His bhakti to paNDarinAth is free from caste or sectarian affiliations. I hope our Marathi friends will post a few originals with translations.

Om s'aantih: Peace! - J. K. Mohana Rao