Today's Beautiful Gem: `Tulas'amma' by Saint
Tyaagaraaja, translated by me.
"amma rAvamma, tulas'amma nanu pAlimpu-
mamma satatamu padamule namminAnamma (pallavi)
"O mother Tulasi, please come and take good care of me;
Always I repose my faith at your feet.
"nemmatini nIv(u) ihaparammul(u) osaguduv(u) anutsu
kammaviltuni tanDri kalanaina pAyaDaTa (anupallavi)
"Knowing that you offer wordly as well as heavenly comforts,
Vishnu (the father of Manmatha) never
forsakes your company even in His dreams.
"nI mRdu tanuvunu kani, nI parimaLamunu kani
nI mahatvamunu kani, nIrajAkSi
tAmrasadaLanEtri, tyAgarAzuni mitri
prEmato s'iramunanu peTTukonnADaTa (caraNam)
"O lotus-eyed one,
Falling in love with the softness of your body and its fragrance,
Being aware of your innate greatness,
He placed you at the top of his mind,
O lotus-eyed one, and the friend of the Bard!"
Note: With so much discussion on the medical importance of Tulasi, this Tyagaraja kIrtana (in Kalyani raga set to Jhampa tALa) emphasises the spiritual importance of Tulasi in Hindu homes. There is rarely a Hindu home without a sprig of Tulasi. God Vishnu is supposed to be wearing a garland of Tulasi. Tulasi is also offered with the holy water (teertha).
Om s'aantih: Peace! - J. K. Mohana Rao