Rama, My Lord ! Please employ me as your servant,

When I was in a school, the School Pupil’s Leader,(SPL), was one, by name Ram Mohan. People used to call him, I did not know at that time why , ‘Ram Pandu’, Pandu in Telugu means normally, a fruit.
It was only many decades later, when, Bapu and Ramana, made a movie, Ram Bantu, that I surmised that Ram Pandu was indeed Ram Bantu,, ( Rama’s servant), and Pandu was not fruit but instead, Bantu wrongly pronounced.

Sentry duty is onerous. We know the rigmarole that Jaya and Vijaya, the sentries at the Lord Visnu’s abode, Vaikuntham, had to go through, for having denied admittance to a wrathful sage. .Not all VIPs are like the sage who cursed the sentries of Lord Vishnu.
A wisp of a girl, Durgabai, stopped Pandit Nehru from entering into the venue of an AICC meeting, for not having a pass, but was none the worse for it.
There are other sentries too, n who do not just stop short of stopping you at the gate if you do not possess proper authorization,. They may even manhandle you,come what may.
Here, I translate for you a cute lyric of Tyagaraja,,”‘Bantu Reethi Koluvu” in which the saint, seeks Lord Rama, to appoint him as His liveried sentry and personal attendant, Bantu. The lyric is set to Adi Tala in the Hamsanadam raga.

Rama, My Lord ! Please grant me the job of being your servant,

The job of a personal attendant, who can apprehend and strike down, unruly, mischievous and arrogant elements like, the Cupid,

Rama, My Lord ! Please grant me the job of being your servant,

And grant me too, a solid body-shield in the form of goose-bumps, A stamped badge of authority and honor identifying me as Your dear devotee, And do give me also a mighty sword , that is Your Name (on my tongue) And then see, My Lord, ,how Tyagaraja will, shine forth splendidly.

Rama, My Lord ! Please grant me the job of being your servant,

Here are some words that occur in the lyric with their English equivalents
Bantu = servant, slave
Reethi= like, in the manner of, as
Koluvu= employment, service, worship, job
Iyyawayya = give me oh father,
Tunta vinti vani= pertaining to the mischievous one with the bow ( Cupid, Manmadha)
Modalaina= etc., and some more like him
Madadula = things like arrogance ( reference is to the six enemies of equanimity,
lust, anger, avarice, mad desire, arrogance, evil jealousy)
Kotti= strike down
Nela gula jeyu= make someone fall down on the ground.
Nija bantu,= own servant, true servant,
Ghana kanchukamu= solid body shield,
Romanchamane= by way of ,goose-bumps
Mudra billa = stamped metal badge, signifying authority
Vara Khadgam= great desirable sword
Eave= give me
Rajillunayya= will shine forth splendidly,
neeche= by your grace.


About versa kay

Agile, keen, versatile,considerate,patient
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