Jan 21st

VALLATHOL - A TRIBUTE FROM MULK RAJ ANAND

By soman

VALLATHOL – A TRIBUTE

 

n  By Mulk Raj Anand, world famous novelist in English who fought the British rulers with his pen and traveled all over the world propagating Indian independence in the ‘thirties and ‘forties of 20th century. 

n   

Dear Mahakavi Vallathol,

 

Although we belonged to the poetic brotherhood of India, we were never able to understand each other, in anything like the complete manner which our urges of communication demanded.  There were many reasons for this - language being one.

*

Strangely enough, it was just before your death that the late Sardar KMPanikkar          gave me a translation of some of your poems to read in the English language - that too in far-off Peking!  How helpless one feels when tries to express the reactions of   one’s soul to the under-layers of the sensibility of a poet.

*

I remember the few golden days after Independence, when I stayed with you in a little hut in Cheruthuruthy.  You seemed to have taken responsibility for all the men, women and children in the village.

*

In the Kalamandalam, where you had got together the first Kathakali troupe of thecontemporary period, I saw you attending the rehearsals.  The gods, monsters and others,who performed the dramas on those mornings, were products of the kind of  unknowtruth which had been contained in your poetry: the prelude to action. In your verse I can see the sense of history in the struggle of Good against Evil.     

 

(Abridged from article published in the Vallathol Memorial Souvenir, 1965).                                               

 

 

 

 

Jul 31st

Sandra Fowler's Comments on Silappadigaram

By Raja

SANDRA FOWLER (She left this world a year back and has been my friend for nearly 10 years)

Sandra Fowler was born in West Columbia, WV, on February 4, 1937, and has been writing poetry for almost fifty years.  Associate Editor, Ocarina from about 1978 to 1989.  Had a poem nominated for The Pushcart prize, 1998.  Wazir Agha dedicated his Selected Poems to her in 1998.  Interviewed by Skylark Purdue University Calumet in 2000.  Honorary Doctorate, World Academy Of Arts And Culture, 2002.  Wall Of Tolerance Honoree, 2002.  Biography listed in Who's Who of American Women, Marquis, and The Dictionary Of International Biography, England.  Chosen by The International Translation and Research Centre and The Journal Of World Poets Quarterly (Multilingual), and published in China, as one of The International Best Poets Of 2005.
 
Appreciation of Rajaram Ramachandran

Rajaram Ramachandran is one of India’s treasures.  His fine epic poetry has built friendship bridges between the countries of the world without regard to race, culture, or creed.  His elegant verses can be understood by schoolchildren, and yet have enough depth and meaning to appeal to politicians and scholars as well.  This is a tribute to a singular talent.  The warmth and wit of this poet has reached out with compassionate understanding to promote peace and harmony between the peoples of the East and the West.  He deserves recognition and praise for this.

At seventy-five years of age, Rajaram Ramachandran has lost none of his creative powers.  “Silappadigaram, The Killer Anklet” is a work of art.  It contains beautiful word paintings, lyrical verses and speaks the universal language of music when it is read aloud.

It is a great gift to be able to bring a legend of two thousand years ago to life again.  Yet the poet has met the Himalayan challenge with courage and dedication.  Because of his skill, we are moved by the tragedy of Kannagi, the incarnation of a chaste woman, as if we had just met her yesterday.  Indeed Rajaram Ramachandran’s vivid portrait of this saga from The Golden Age of Tamil literature makes us realize, to our surprise, that human nature changes very little from age to age.

I salute the artisan of this story for his great achievement.  It is a world-class effort, and I   recommend it without hesitation to both readers in the East and the West.  I believe, like Kannagi, it has the power to be remembered for a long, long time.

Sandra Fowler, Litt.D.
22rd June 2006.

Silappadigaram, The Killer Anklet

Rajaram Ramachandran excels in translating epic literature into something that is clear and understandable to the average reader.  Simplicity is an art not easily achieved, but the writer of “The Killer Anklet” is the rare exception.  His fine-tuned lyrical style hammered out through long hours of dedicated work show him to be a wordsmith of some note.

The original story of the killer anklet was written some two thousand years ago by a royal prince turned Jain Saint in the Golden Age of Tamil Literature.  The poet has condensed this complex work into simple English verses that compels the interest of scholar and laymen alike.

In the preface the artist tells us that this story was filmed in black and white some fifty years ago and that it touched his heart to see the sufferings of Kannagi, a chaste woman, who loved her husband, Kovalan, in spite of his affair with Madhavi, a beautiful dancer of some renown.  Thus, these three are the protagonists of this rich, exotic tale, which revolves around Kannagi’s anklet.

One can almost hear the fatal clinking of her anklet as the poet moves her musically through his passionate stanzas to the inevitable fate of Kannagi and Kovalan in Madurai Town.

This noble woman has seen her happy marriage laid in ruins because of her husband’s infatuation with the seductive dancer, Madhavi.  However, her love remains steadfast, even though Kovalan, once a rich merchant, returns to her virtually penniless.  Instead of chiding him, she selflessly offers him one of her precious anklets to sell so that they can begin a new life together.

One can almost see Kannagi’s tears falling, like pearls, as she whispers:

“The deeds not to be done
By any respectable man,
These you’ve already done,
 But with you I will remain.” (159),

and Kovalan’s acknowledgement of her worth, which is above jewels:

“The elders’ well wishes, your modesty,
Your self determination and chastity,
With these things only you came,
In my distress to console me.”

“My love, give me one anklet
That adorns your soft foot
I shall go to the city market,
And for a price sell it.”

“He then tightly embraced her.
Shedding tears, he felt sorry for her.
Pity, she was left alone there,
 As no servant to serve her.” (160).

However, as fate would have it, Kovalan chose a goldsmith who had previously stolen an anklet identical to Kannagi’s anklet from the wife of King Pandian, the ruler of Madurai Town.  He seized upon the opportunity to exonerate himself by accusing the hapless Kovalan of the theft.  We can hear the malice in the voice of this wicked soul as he accuses an innocent man before King Pandian:

“With no tools to make a hole
Thro’ the strong palace wall,
And with no magic wand,
The thief used a magic sound.”

This sound brought sleep
To the gate watchman deep,
He stole the Queen’s anklet
He’s now sitting in my hut.” (163),

and so the king orders the death of Kovalan:

“A soldier threw his sword
Kovalan spoke no word,
Nevertheless, he fell down dead,
In a pool of blood.” (166).

The poet then asks the unanswerable questions as to why this sorrowful end has occurred:
Who was to be blamed?
This end had the fate timed?
Or, the King was named”
Or, the goldsmith framed?

Who’ll give answer?
No answer lies here.
When justice is delayed
Then justice is denied. (167).

When Kannagi sees her husband we hear her heart’s lament in these eloquent verses:

On the floor she saw him lying.
The evening sun started setting.
The Madurai City raised its noise,
When it heard her sad voice.

That morning only a flower,
She had it from her lover,
But she saw him speechless,
 In a pool of blood motionless. (180).

Her cry, in intense, passionate poetry, echoes through the town:

“Is there a woman here?
Like me who is born to suffer?
Who can bear this loss like me?
Is there any one like me?

“Is there a God in this town?
Where the justice has fallen?
The king’s rule is broken.
 Is there a God in this town?” (181),

therefore, she decides to confront King Pandian for his sins:

Tears flowed from her eyes
She remembered her dreams
She wiped out her tears
 And reached Pandian’s palace (182).

Before the King and Queen she stands and declares in a bold voice:

“I married the son of Masathuvan,
The son’s name is Kovalan
Kannagi is my name
To sell my anklet he came.”

“He was killed by your guard
I came here for justice, my lord.
The truth you don’t know
The other anklet I want to show.” (186),

and as she bends down to remove her anklet she declares:

“My Lord this anklet of mine,
Inside it contains rubies fine”
My lady, this anklet of mine,
Inside it contains pearls fine.”

To prove her side she broke
A ruby stone shot at one stroke
Right on the King’s face as fire,
 And then it fell on the floor (186-187).

It is then that the king’s terrible mistake is revealed and his conscience becomes his executioner.  We hear his impassioned cry in these powerful verses:

“On the goldmith’s complaint,
On my part with no restraint,
I acted in haste, so I’m the thief
 Unfit to be this country’s chief” (187).

So saying, he falls down dead.  Her heart, as broken as Kannagi’s anklet, the Queen touches her beloved husband’s foot and joins him in death.
The poet sums up what has happened in these sad words:

Those who did acts of injustice,
At the end, they’ll never meet justice.
The king’s judgment error
 Took away three lives forever (187-188).

Kannagi’s heartrending cries from two thousand years ago still have the power to move us, for grief knows no barriers of time, distance, or culture:

“If I’m also a chaste woman,
Let me also die with my man,
Not before I destroy this town,
 And reap vengeance of mine.” (191).

Thus, she invokes the gods to send down fire from Heaven on Madurai.  Then she circles the city three times and with her own hands cuts off her left breast.  The gods hear her and the city burns, nor is the fire selective in spite of Kannagi’s desperate prayer:


“:Cows, sages, Brahamins,
Chaste women, old persons,
Children, let them be free.
And let not evils go free”

The fire turned serious,
And it became furious
It burnt the Pandian’s city,
Showing no mercy or pity.” (192).

It is impossible to say how many people died that day because of something so delicate and so beautiful as Kannagi’s musical anklet.  Everything was prewritten.  Not even the prayer of a chaste woman could change it.

Kannagi leaves the ruined city by the western gate.  On Neduvel Hill she sits down under a Vengai tree and cries for her husband.  It is the fourteenth day after his death.  The poet speaks of her in these elegiac verses:

“In praise of her lover she prayed.
Lords of the Heaven also praised
On her fresh flowers they showered,
This way Kannagi was honored.

Up the sky, a heavenly chariot took her
When Kovalan also joined her
“Kannagi” stayed in the mind of those
 Who were to their husbands too close. (209).

Moreover, what was the fate of the beautiful dancing girl, Madhavi, of whom Kovalan said,

“Her enchanting appearance,
Her shining moonlike face
Besides her dazzling necklace,
They all blinded my eyes.” (81)?

The poet tells us that when Madhavi heard of the death of Kovalan and his old parent, she rejected the world never to dance again.

R. Rajaram expresses the moral of the story of the killer anklet, which was the root cause of the loss of so many lives, in words of priceless eastern wisdom: 

“One can’t avoid birth,
Or after birth, the death,
So, search for the truth
While staying on this earth.”

“Lead a life of austerity,
In this world of prosperity,
Try to attain a state of eternity
This is my advice to posterity.” (292,293).

Does this tragedy have any basis in reality?  The answer is lost in the mists of history and legend.  But the poet tells us that there are several temples in South India dedicated to the worship of Kannagi, that woman turned goddess who became, in the minds of many, an incarnation of the chaste woman. 


Sandra Fowler,
23-06-2006

Jul 31st

Part 30 - Boons Granted

By Raja

(Devandhi told about Manimegalai’s renunciation.  Sathan came on her and talked furiously.  Kannagi’s mother, Kovalan’s mother, and Madhari were born as children in their next birth and they explained the purpose of their birth. Devandhi got permission to worship the chastity goddess.  Kings of other countries worshiped her and took leave of her.  Cheran went to the sacrifice center.To the author, Kannagi told her previous history.  Finally, with preaching the story ended,)

453-V30-1. Who was that Manimegalai

Senguttuvan, the conqueror
Of the northern rulers
He saw Kannagi in the role
Of a goddess in the temple.

Then he asked Devandhi,
“Who was that Manimegalai
About whom the friend of Kannagi
Made a statement with a cry?”

“What was the reason,
For her renunciation?
Now will you tell
About her in detail?”

454-V30-2. Devandhi spoke

“May the king’s success
Grow high, but not less!
May his kingdom flourish!
May He fulfill his every wish!”

455-V30-3. Chitrapadhi’s query

“That age she has reached
When her black hair braided
Into five types of hair dressing,
To look more pleasing.”

“Her black eyes with red linings,
They know her age’s feelings,
But she doesn’t know this,
Which I can see from her eyes.”

“Even her coral-like red mouth,
Hiding her pearl-like white teeth,
That kind of smile from a youth,
It’s absent, this is the truth.”

“Her short breasts expanded.
Her small chest widened.
Her two thighs fattened
Her two feet flattened.”

“She appears so simple.
That no upper class people,
Would like to marry her
What best to do for her?”

The disturbed Madhavi’s mother,
Chitrapadhi this way asked her.
About her granddaughter,
Manimegalai’s near future.

456-V30-4. She got her renounced

Madhavi spoke:

“Oh Manimegalai, my daughter,
Let me decide your future.
You also come with me.
For a renounced life like me.”

She asked her to observe austerity,
And to give her wealth in charity.
A monk life she also took,
To save her from any bad man’s look.

457-V30-5. Reason for the cry

“When the king and people,
Knew this news terrible,
They felt like a ruby stone
That fell and drowned in the ocean.”

Devandhi told King Senguttuvan,
In a feeling of frustration,
That the young girl took renunciation
On her mother’s compulsion.

458-V30-6. Divine she became

Her head-hairs unfurled behind.
Her eye brows trembled.
Her wry smile wasn’t visible.
Her speech wasn’t audible.

Her beautiful face sweated.
Her two eyes reddened.
Her two hands trembled.
Her two legs danced.

Her body became possessed.
Her tongue became dried,
Her devotional speech revealed
Her spiritual world she landed.

459-V30-7. Three young girls

To watch the king’s festivals,
With Setti’s twin-girls,
A girl from pundit’s family,
Three mixed in that crowd easily.

460-V30-8. Spring water

“Near the Kannagi Temple,
Around and up the hill,
Springs many are there,
Full of fresh water.”

“One spring is at the center.
If one bathes in that water,
His past life he’ll feel
And see it’s so real.”

“This water I brought,
Which you now got,
And till the sun set,
Its power isn’t lost.”

“If you sprinkle this,
O’er the three girls,
You’ll find them seeing
Their past life reappearing.”

“I’m the Devil Sathan.
On this Brahmin woman
I came in her possession,
To tell you in precision.”

461-V30-9. The King wondered

When the Devil Sathan came,
On Devandhi and told the same,
The king was surprised to hear,
This kind of a great wonder.

462-V30-10. Devandhi’s background

“Her milk Malati one day fed,
To her co-wife’s child,
Who suddenly died.
To revive him she tried.”

“Why the child died?
She was much worried.
For days she prayed.
Before Sathan she cried.”

“Sathan took pity on her.
He appeared before her
Entering the dead child
He became her living child.”

“This child grew up well.
His eyes on Devandhi fell.
This young girl he married.
For eight years with her he lived.”

“He revealed, he was Sathan
And was born for a reason
That came to end then,
So, he had to go back soon.”

“He left her at home alone,
And told her later to join
At the temple where he stayed.
There life long she prayed.”

463-V30-11. The holy water given earlier

“In the temple, the same Sathan
He appeared as a Brahmin
With a jug full of holy water
And he gave it to me there.”

“He also told me its purpose,
And why he was there to discuss.
Let me sprinkle this holy water
On the three girls who’re here.”

“The truth we’ll come to know.
Oh King, it’ll then show
What the Sathan had actually said,
While he was on Devandhi’s head.”

464-V30-12. Kannagi’s mother told

“The previous birth thoughts,
It came to my mind in bits,
When I felt for your position,
In facing his insinuation.”

“To another kingdom you went.
With your lover you were present.
Too much trouble you underwent.
Come, for your absence I lament.”

465-V30-13. Kovalan’s mother spoke

“My dear son, by midnight,
Unmindful, not even slight,
With your wife you started
Leaving us here, you parted.”

“What troubles others didn’t face,
All those happened in your case.
How can I bear this pain?
Please come back, my son.”

466-V30-14. Madhari spoke

“I went to Vaigai River,
To bathe in fresh water,
And before I returned,
The sad news I heard.”

“In my house I didn’t find.
This disturbed my mind.
Oh young man, tell me
It’s you I want to see.”

467-V30-15. All cried

All the assembled ladies cried,
Before the king, from every side,
Telling him whatever they felt.
The king’s heart it did melt.

468-V30-16. The king’s doubt

What was in the king’s mind,
From his face Madalan could find,
And started explaining further,
His doubts at the end to clear.

469-V30-17. The birth’s reason

“To receive gifts from Kovalan,
Came to his house a Brahmin,
Who went back well satisfied,
And Kovalan was also pleased.”

“For all the charities Kovalan did,
A heavenly life later he achieved.
Kannagi’s well wishers three,
As girls they were born free.”

“Two were Setti’s twin daughters,
While the third the pundit’s daughter,
While the old shepherd woman
As pundit’s daughter she was born.”

470-V30-18. This was the norm

“It’s not new to anyone
That a person, who is born,
Sure, he’ll die one day,
To be back again any day.”

“So, this is the norm.
The body has a form.
The soul takes a new body,
It casts away the old body.”

“Based on one’s past actions,
Each one faces their own reactions.”
When Pundit Madalan told like this
It took the king to the height of bliss.

471-V30-19. Celebration with praise

Once popular for its music
More of its folk and classic
In the kingdom of Pandian
It was burnt and pulled down.

The cause for this one,
It was a chaste woman,
For whom, this celebration
Went on there in jubilation.

The king ordered decoration,
In addition to grand celebration,
Three times he went round.
He prostrated on the ground.

472-V30-20. Other king’s prayer

The Aryans Kings from prisons,
And the rest of the persons,
Prayed, “From our Himalayas she came,
So, we are bound to worship her name.

473-V30-21. She gave boon

From the sky at that time,
A loud voice came,
Saying, “Take this boon.”
And it vanished soon.

The king, the other kings,
Besides army, all were praising
With words of appreciation,
O’er this divine vision.

With the Veda Pundit Madalan
And others, the King Senguttuvan
They entered the sacrifice yard.
To Kannagi, his respects he paid.

“Oh king, may you’ve all treasures!”
May you’ve endless pleasures!
Kannagi so blessed everyone.
As a daughter of the Heaven.

474-V30-22. The author blessed

The author said:

“Kannagi stood before me.
Also she blessed me,
To be a king of pleasure,
Beyond a limitless measure.”

475-V30-23. The author’s request

“Leave your worries.
Be sure God exists.
Listen to the wise.
Fear for the lies.”

“To blame others don’t rush.
Stop eating food made of flesh.
Never attempt to kill anyone.
Do charity to everyone.”

“Observe moral code of conduct.
To pay gratitude never forget.
Bad companies completely avoid.
False witness words never be said.”

“Be in the company of great men.
Avoid the crowd of bad men.
Never on other’s wife cast your eyes.
Save the animals from their pains.”

“Never do acts of sins.
Avoid drinking wines.
To theft, never resort.
Never be after a life of lust.”

“Don’t speak lies.
Avoid vain gossips.
Youth, body, wealth, yes,
They never stay with us.”

“One can’t avoid birth,
Or after birth, the death,
So, search for the truth
While staying on this earth.”

“Lead a life of austerity,
In this world of prosperity.
Try to attain a state of eternity.
This is my advice to posterity.”

476-V30-24. The crowning glory

The crowned kings three,
They had their rule free
From worries or shortfalls,
They ever remained peaceful.

Their capital was joyful
With festival after festival,
They spent days of folk dances
Side by side sang folk songs.

The city guards kept alert.
At nights they never slept.
The soldiers did their duty,
For the safety of the city.

A peaceful life Senguttuvan led,
After winning the wars he led.
His crowning glory spread,
In the world far and wide.

End of Vanchi Chapter

With this the entire Silappadigaram comes to an end

-:oOo:-

Jul 31st

Part 29 - The Blessings and praises

By Raja

(Kannagi’s image goddess was sanctified. Senguttuvan came.  Many subordinate kings came and paid their royalty. Devandhi and others came to Kannagi’s temple and cried.  Kannagi appeared with her heavenly body.  She blessed Senguttuvan and others.)

430-V29-1. Came to Vanchi

From the cape Kumari in the south,
Upto the Himalayas in the north,
King Neduncheraladhan spread
Tamil language during his period.

His wife from the dynasty of Cholan
She gave birth to Senguttuvan,
Who won the war with Cheran,
And he captured territories northern.

The Ganges River he crossed,
And those lands he possessed.
Angry by nature, kings he defeated
In Vanchi’s throne, he was seated.

431-V29-2. Aryan Kings from north told

A princess selected one of the kings,
Among the northern Aryan Kings.
In their presence she garlanded him,
And then she happily married him.

At that time, some kings told,
“When a southern king got hold
On lands upto Himalaya Mountain,
Where have we gone then?”

These words Senguttuvan heard.
To fight them he sent a word.
This was how the war started,
O’er what those kings stated.

432-V29-3. He won the northerners

All the Aryan kings he had won.
They were defeated one by one.
O’er their heads, he loaded the stone.
In holy Ganges, he dipped this stone.

His anger then slowly came down.
A Goddess he made out of the stone.
He got this Goddess installed then.
Royalties from the north he did gain.

433-V29-4. The brief story of Kannagi

From the Kannagi’s eyes
Fell some drops of tears.
Her hairs unkempt black
Covered to hide her back.

Her husband Kovalan died,
As the goldsmith had lied,
Later, the king also died,
When he lost his pride.

Kovalan’s father Masathuvan,
He heard this thro’ Madalan,
He took the renunciation
His wife died of his separation.

Kannagi’s servant maid,
Another her dear friend,
And the holy Devandhi
To Madurai went the three.

They heard the tragic story
And in a state of worry
They went to Ayyai
The daughter of Madhari.

With Ayyai, they climbed the hill
And saw Kannagi’s image in the temple.
They praised King Senguttuvan.
And told him what was known.

434-V29-5. Devandhi spoke

“As Kannagi this stone was born
In the Himalayas Mountain,
After her bath in the Ganges
Now she stands before us.”

“Oh King, I’m her dear friend,
Now seeing her at this end
In the shape an idol of her,
I’ve my great love for her.”

435-V29-6. Her foster mother spoke

“My Kannagi the beautiful,
She ever remained faithful,
Despite Madhavi another woman
She lived with her Kovalan.”

“Kannagi’s left her sweet home,
She went to forest with him.
Oh King, I’m her foster mother,
All these years I cared her.”

436-V29-7. Her friend spoke

“She didn’t tell her own mother,
Nor her foster and my mother.
She went with him to keep up chastity.
Oh king, she has all my pity.”

437-V29-8. Devandhi spoke

“God never blessed me a child
I heard your fiery dream wild
What mistake I did?
Do you know, your mother died.”

438-V29-9. Servant maid cried and said

“The goldsmith, the cheat,
For the sake of an anklet,
He fixed Kovalan in a theft,
And got him killed just.”

“His father Masathuvan,
He took renunciation,
O’er the news of his death
After donating all his wealth.”

439-V29-10. Another friend cried

“How much did she suffer,
For the death of her lover,
Also for the others’ blame
That brought on her shame?”

“Under the Bodhi tree’s shade
There all the monks lived.
Madhavi took renunciation first.
Her daughter, Manimegalai next.”

440-V29-11.  Cried for Ayyai

“While Ayyai’s mother died,
For Kannagi’s fate she cried,
Saying that she failed to protect them
Since Kownthi Adigal entrusted them.”

441-V29-12. Senguttuvan’s surprise

It was a surprise to Senguttuvan,
To see a woman from the Heaven.
From the sky she was descending
With a divine face soft looking.

442-V29-13. Kannagi spoke

“The Southern King Pandian,
He’s a harmless person,
Now a guest in Indran’s Heaven.
I’m like a daughter of his own.”

“This Tiruchengunru is a place,
Where Lord Murugan plays,
And I can’t forget this place.
Often you all come to my place.”

443-V29-14. Come, let us sing

“Oh Vanchi Citizens, come here.
Neighboring Citizens, come here.
Shepherd girls, you also come here.
Let us all sing about her.”

“The woman who burnt the city
With the power of her chastity,
And the king died out of pity,
Let us all sing about her.”

“She’s like a daughter of Pandian,
Now settled with him in the Heaven.
‘Pandian shall die, if justice is broken,’
She made this rule, let us sing about her.”

“It’s our king, who praised her,
The goddess who came here,
The Pandian’s god-daughter,
Let us all sing about her.”

444-V29-15. The shepherds spoke

“We say she’s our Cheran’s daughter,
But she says she’s Pandian’s daughter.
Kannagi is now goddess, no matter.
Let us all sing about her.”

445-V29-16. Praise to Pandian

“Affected by the tears of a sad woman,
He gave up his life; we praise Pandian.
For this he reached a position higher.
May the Pandian’s tribe live forever!”

446-V29-17. Praise to Cheran

“All the kings of the Himalayas,
Cheran brought them to his knees.
O’er their heads he placed the stone.
May God’s mercy on him be shown!”

447-V29-18. Praise to Cholan

“Oh friends, sing about Cauvery
And its vast beautiful territory.
Oh Goddess of Chastity,
Let us sing on Pugar’s beauty.”

448-V29-19. Sing about Pugar

“The sea on four sides as a fence,
Well secured was Pugar’s defense.
Like Lord Indran in the Heaven,
Well strong was King Cholan.”

“He destroyed three hanging castles.
So strong were his muscles.
About his valor we shall sing.
About Pugar let us sing.”

449-V29-20. Long live Pandian

“With the golden garland
And the shinning diamond.
Oh our beautiful lady
Flower balls let us play”

“Let Pandian who died,
Be blessed, be blessed
Oh our beautiful lady
Flower balls let us play.”

“Like lightning down it came
This lady is here to roam.
Pandian is blessed as we pray
And flower-balls we play.”

“He came, but isn’t here.
He went, but isn’t there.
Let him be blessed, we pray.
Flower-balls let us all play.”

450-V29-21. Praise to Cheran

“On the beautiful swing
Let us play and sing
On the Cheran’s name,
Who was popular and fame.”

“In the five and hundred wars
Limitless food gave Cheran.
Let us play and sing
While we all swing.”

“The land of Greece,
From the Mountain Himalayas,
Upto the Kumari Southern
All were conquered by Cheran.”

“The people of these lands,
They were in his hands,
Which guarded and fed,
While these countries he led.”

“Let us now glorify Cheran
And till our hips weaken
Let us play the swing,
While we happily sing.”

451-V29-22. A creeper song

(About Cholan)

Under a tree shade, the Pugar girls
Pounded the fresh pearls,
With the sticks of sugarcane,
While singing about Cheran.

His strong and broad shoulders,
His chariot with sturdy wheels
His flag colorful and victorious,
All spoke of his days glorious.

(About Pandian)

In their courtyard, the Madurai girls
With a stick made of corals,
They pounded pearls as they sang
On Pandian and his fish flag.

(About Cheran)

In big mortar, the Vanchi girls,
With elephant ivory pestles,
Pounded the beautiful pearls
Singing on Cheran’s glories.

452-V29-23. She blessed

The rulers Cholan and Pandian,
And the best archer Cheran,
They don’t worship here.
So, blessing on them was rare.

She appeared as a light
She told, she was right
She blessed only King Cheran
For his long life and fortune.

(Note: This temple was at the source
of Vaigai River and at Tiruchenkunru.
It was outside the border of Pandian
Kingdom and situated in the Mountain
Region of Cheran’s Kingdom)

End of Part 29

Jul 31st

Part 28 - The Stone Idol installation

By Raja

(The stone brought from Himalayas for the Chaste woman, Kannagi, was installed as a Goddess according to the prescribed procedure, with a grand celebration.)

408-V28-1. Joy at Vanchi

Under one umbrella’s cool shade,
One dominion Senguttuvan made.
Under him the country flourished.
His rule all the people cherished.

In Vanchi, it was evening time.
All the women, there they came.
“Long live the king of the world,”
This way they praised and told.

409-V28-2. Given fomentation.

No more attack to fend.
The war came to an end.
Back went the warriors,
To join their housewives.

With their wounds they went,
Pricked by the tusk of an elephant,
Or, by an arrow, or a spear,
Or, by a sharp sword’s tear.

With their raised bosom,
Their wives embraced them,
Not once, but in repetition,
That gave them a warm fomentation.

410-V28-3. Was this a medicine?

“Is this is a medicine
That may cure my pain?”
When his wife saw him
During that evening time.

“Just like the black cloud,
Her hairs were wide spread
O’er the sweet smoke smell
Of incense that rose up well.”

“Her bright face inside this,
And her Cupid given eyes,
They relieve me from the pain.”
A warrior took her for medicine.

411-V28-4. Joy they gave

The men saw in the gaps
Of their wives’ red lips,
Their smiles most inviting
And now pain relieving.

With their slender bodies
These love starved ladies
Embraced tightly their lovers,
The war-returned warriors.

412-V28-5. The drama girls

With their attractive faces,
And their curled hair dresses,
Even their own shadows,
They exposed their beauties.

They gave a warm welcome,
To their lovers handsome,
Playing veena instrument,
And dancing in merriment.

413-V28-6. Midday came!

Like Senguttuvan the emperor,
Who failed in his duties never,
The midday sun from its center
To the west it moved to disappear.

414-V28-7. Moon everywhere

The Cupid’s controlled moon,
It controlled men and women.
The moon like faced women
They courted their own men.

415-V28-8. She came to see the moon

In his sea surrounded land,
The Vanchi fort in upland
Protected a golden palace,
As a royal living place.

In its decorated courtyard
The king and queen had
Come to visit the moonlight
To enjoy its cool light.

416-V28-9. The queen’s arrival

Torchlight carrying ladies,
Along with singing ladies,
Instrument playing women,
All followed the queen.

Some carried scented pastes.
Some carried garland plates.
The queen’s private guards,
Took possession of their sides.

Incenses and flowers,
Dresses and mirrors,
And beautiful ornaments
Were carried by her servants.

417-V28-10. Also Cheran came

In the moonlight courtyard,
The queen in wait stayed.
King Cheran came then and sat
To enjoy the moon’s light.

418-V28-11. Sakkaiyan’s dance

The anklets in foot and drum in hand,
They gave their combined sound,
When Lord Siva danced around,
Thus it shook the entire ground.

Before the King Senguttuvan,
This dance was enacted by Sakkaiyan,
And the king left for his resort then,
After enjoying the frolic and fun.

419-V28-12. The status of Cholan and Pandian

The guards returned headed by Neelan.
Along with them came Pundit Madalan
They sent word thro’ the palace gateman,
Who went and told King Senguttuvan.

They stood before the king
They told him everything.
“We went to Cholan’s place.
He sat at his grand palace.”

“The defeated Aryan kings,
With their Aryan queens,
They all came with us to salute
The King Cholan and greet.”

“To save their own lives,
They all ran in disguise,
From the battle fields,
Throwing away their shields.”

“It wasn’t a big victory,
To keep such kings in captivity,
Like this King Sembian
Jokingly told his army captain”

“We went from there to greet
The King of Madurai and met.
He received us with due honor,
And told high in your favor.”

“That you’ve rightly won
Those cowards who ran
To save their own lives
As false sages in disguise.”

Like this told Madalan
To the King Senguttuvan,
Who, with interest, heard
What the two kings said.

420-V28-13. Cheran became furious

Cheran’s eyes became red,
O’er what Madalan said,
A furious laughter he gave.
Like a roaring sea wave.

Madalan told him in reply,
“Long live your dynasty.”
But why the king was rough?
Why he had to laugh?

421-V28-14. Madalan spoke

“Oh king, many wars you’ve won.
Small-small lands you made them one.
At Viyalur, you fought and won.
At Nerivoil, nine kings you’ve won.”

“At Idumbil, when you attacked,
An army of chariots out it backed.
Many tough wars you’ve won.
In the north, Aryans kings you won.”

“Oh king, control your wrath,
As a king and an army head both,
Don’t disregard my words.
Listen carefully to my words.”

422-V28-15. The unstable body

Madalan continued:

“Fifty years are o’er,
Since you took o’er,
As a king of this vast land,
Which you did expand.”

“You went all these days,
In the material ways,
Fighting wars for days,
Not in the spiritual ways.”

“A victor you may be,
Also your flag may be
Flying high in Himalayas,
Causing Aryans heavy loss.”

“May be, under your fair rule,
The people are calm and cool.
May be, you’ve taken o’er
Defeating Yavanas in the war.”

“May be, you destroyed many forts,
With your hard work and best efforts.
May be, you did religious sacrifices.
But all these achievements are frivolous.”

“Know this body is perishable.
The riches and fame are unstable.
See the fate of Aryan kings now.
They’re subordinates to you how?”

“The youth remains not so forever.
Can an old become youth? Never.
From this you may understand
No things permanently stand.”

423-V28-16. The nature of life

Madalan further continued:

“The soul that goes to the heaven,
Back it may come as human.
An animal may be born as a man
As animal, a man may be born.”

“So, the soul doesn’t remain
In the same body one,
But in different bodies it’s born.
On its actions it depends upon.”

424-V28-17. I’m unable to bear

“I’m not approaching you,
For any favors from you,
I’m unable to bear the superior souls
Which follow the path of general souls.”

425-V28-18. Do sacrifice

“Now you do sacrifice,
Under Brahmin’s guidance,
As laid down in Vedas.
My request is this.”

“Tomorrow I’ll do good,
If one says, it’s no good,
As his life may disappear
At the very next hour.”

“This is the last day of mine,
Who can say? Surely none.
So, do the religious rite.
Now is the time right.”

426-V28-19. Permission for the rite

King Senguttuvan gave permission
To start the sacrifice function
By the qualified Brahmins,
As suggested by Madalan.

427-V28-20. Arya kings were released

From the prison he sent
And the Arya kings went
To the guests mansion
Till the religious function.

He ordered the Jailors, “Open,
The gates of the prison,
To their places send them.
No more royalty from them.”

428-V28-21. The three were made to understand.

“For the women to maintain chastity,
The kings should rule with integrity.
Better to die when justice has failed.
On Kannagi’s role model, Senguttuvan hailed.

429-V28-22. May God bless

“The power of her chastity
Burnt the Madurai City.
Thereafter under a Vengai tree
She stood in a good country.

To build a temple for her,
Everyone worked for her,
Also went the southern king
A Himalayan stone to bring.

This statue on the due date
Was installed after a rite
And a religious sacrifice.
May God bless us!”

End of Part 28

Jul 30th

Part 27 - The Stone immersion ceremony - II

By Raja

(To make a statue for Kannagi the stone was brought and immersed in sacred water. Thereafter Senguttuvan returns to Vanchi City)

395-V27-15. Past time

The day’s sun set
Down in the west.
No more eves’ red light.
It darkened the night.

Slowly, up came the moon
Which Senguttuvan had seen.
The astrologer near him
Knew the time and told him.

“From Vanchi we were away,
For thirty-two days of your stay,
On this earth who can win you?
Oh King, may God bless you.”

396-V27-16. Reached the palace of art

The king started from that place,
And he passed thro’ that place
Where his chariot could run,
With no serious obstruction.

Many houses, big and small,
Looking neat and beautiful,
On both sides they were seen,
Amidst meadows fresh and green.

Inside a grand palace of art,
The king went and sat,
But his mind wasn’t at rest.
And it went further in quest.

397-V27-17. The status of Cholan

The king sent for Madalan.
And asked him a question.
“After nine Cholan princess died,
How those kingdoms survived?”

Madalan replied, “In the kingdom
Of Cholan, there was seldom
Dearth of water or food grain
Even during days of famine.”

“Not even a slight trouble
Was faced by the people.
King Cholan ruled well
With all his good will.”

398-V27-18. Measure of gold given

Pleased with what Madalan told,
The king gave him fifty thulam gold.
Hundreds of Arya Kings he then sent
To spread his name wherever they went.

399-V27-19. Show and come

The king sent the captured Arya princes
And the beautiful Arya princesses
To visit the kingdoms of Cholan-Pandian,
So they may know the strength of Tamilian.”

400-V27-20. Started for his kingdom

The Ganges had no time to sleep.
It wide spread water was so deep
That the fields had copious water
Non-stop through out the year.

With broad-fresh-green leaves,
The beautiful lotus flowers,
Invited several bussing bees
To hear their droning sounds.

Early in the morning, the sun
Rose o’er the eastern mountain
With his wide spread rays
And he showed the lighted ways.

The ever victorious King Cheran,
Who ruled the kingdom eastern,
After winning countries northern,
He came to this part southern.

With his army he started then,
To go back to his own region,
Having fulfilled his mission,
To his full satisfaction.

401-V27-21. The sorrow of Venmal.

In the big and rich country,
Buildings high up to the sky,
As if obstructing the sun,
They did shine in color golden.

Like a fully bent pearl chain,
Their artistic arches stood in line.
In a golden cot the queen,
With a sad face she was seen.

She had no sleep for nights,
As the king went for fights,
And she sat with her pain,
Caressing her pet swan.

402-V27-22. They sang in praise

The assembled shepherd girls,
They sang aloud in praise,
All of them in one voice,
On the king’s success.

“Oh queen, as the king left,
Never a day you slept.
Stop your worry now.
Be ready for a show.”

“The king has come back.
So, don’t be dull or slack.
You should now be smart.
To receive him, you start.”

403-V27-23. The gypsies’ folk song

“The gypsy man drank toddy,
And his walk became unsteady.
As none watched the fields,
The elephants ate the grains.”

“The king like an elephant,
To fight our enemies he went.
Let us welcome him to this place,
With our folk song and dance.”

404-V27-24. The farmers’ sang

“Our king destroyed fortress,
Of northern kings in distress,
Today is the day of their release
From the locked prisons.”

“Oh plough, you’ve got
Work to be done a lot,
So, tomorrow to start
The work, you be smart.”

405-V27-25. The shepherds’ flute play

It was a regular pleasant scene
The shepherd girls were seen
Playing and bathing in the water,
In the cold Thamiraparani River.

The river steps looked colorful
And covered with flowers full.
It resembled like the rainbow
Of the Lord Indran’s bow.

The bees hunted for the honey,
From the blue lotus many,
The cheerful girls played flute,
That drove the listeners mute.

They sang, “Our king has come,
With Himalayas’ cows handsome.
These cows are bathing in the river,
That is cold to make one shiver.”

406-V27-26. A type of folk song

The waves brought white sands,
And covered the river side lands,
A crowd of girls under the tree,
They were in dance-spree.

They sang, “Our king is coming.
Let us welcome his homecoming.
May his shoulders be strong!
May this Vanchi kingdom be strong!”

407-V27-27. He came to Vanchi

The queen heard them all.
When the king would call?
Her heart yearned for him.
She waited for that time.

The victorious king at last came.
He had a warm welcome,
From the Vanchi’s people,
Who celebrated his arrival!

End of Part 27

Jul 29th

Part 27 - The Stone immersion ceremony - I

By Raja

(To make a statue for Kannagi the stone was brought and immersed in sacred water.  Thereafter Senguttuvan returns to Vanchi City)

381-V27-1. The load on Kanakavisayan’s head

After they cut the sacred stone
From the Himalaya Mountain,
They brought the cut stone
Slowly all the way down.

Kanakavisayan and his men,
They had to carry the stone,
O’er their heads for their angers,
That drove them mad as war mongers.

382-V27-2. A get together

In the eighteen years’ fight
Devas won Asuras.
In the eighteen months’ fight
Rama won Ravana.

In the eighteen days’ fight
Pandavas won Kauravas.
But in the one day fight
Senguttuvan won this fight.

383-V27-3. Immersed in water

To the holy Ganges River banks,
The king went with his warriors.
He got the stone immersed in water.
The Pundits sanctified it in holy water.

384-V27-4. Stayed in the town.

Near the Ganges was a town,
Specially designed and done
For the stay of Senguttuvan,
Who fought and won.

The defeated Aryan kings,
They arranged these things.
He stayed as their guest,
To avail a few days rest.

385-V-27-5. Praised the warriors.

The king felt really proud
Of the warriors, who died
Bravely in the battlefield,
All of them were honored.

It was a total horrible scene,
In the battlefield he had seen,
Dismembered soldiers’ bodies,
And severed warriors’ heads.

He felt for their crying widows,
And their mourning mothers.
Many wounded cried in pain.
They suffered this for the King’s gain.

Those who died got his praise.
Those who lived got his prize.
After paying due honors
He relaxed with his courtiers.

386-V27-6. Madalan’s good wishes

When Cheran was relaxing in his seat,
A Brahmin, Madalan came to meet.
He praised, “Oh king, this entire land
Surrounded by the sea is now in your hand.”

“The Madhavi’s illusory song one,
It had its effect on Kanakavisayan,
Your enemy lost his head
In the defeating war he led.”

“May you live long,
As a victorious king.
Your glory let us sing.”
Like this, he greeted the king.

387-V27-7. Cheran’s query

The king asked, “Oh Brahmin,
Incidentally you told me one,
A funny story not known,
In this assembly to anyone.”

388-V27-8. Madalan’s reply

“While the lovers Madhavi and Kovalan
Were relaxing in the seashore garden,
She sang an illusory song,
Which gave a double meaning.”

“As Kovalan’s ill fate played its role,
He left Madhavi once for all.
He came to Madurai with his wife,
There to start a new life.”

“By mistake King Nedunchezhian
Killed the unfortunate Kovalan,
Whose wife came to your town
And she reached the heaven.”

389-V27-9. Reason for coming

Madalan said:

“I went round the Podhigai Mountain,
Where Sage Agasthiar now remains,
And after my bath in the Kumari Ocean,
I came to Madurai on my return.”

“The ill fate of that town,
That was burnt down,
It was due to an anklet,
Which caused this incident.”

“For Kovalan Madhari felt.
For his death she wept.
Due to her mental torture,
She plunged into the Madurai’s fire.”

“Kownthi Adigal heard this.
She was upset o’er the loss.
After her fast unto death,
She also left this earth.”

“I saw King Chezhian then,
Who came to Madurai town.
This tragic news when I learnt,
To my home town I went.”

“I was very much upset.
Kovalan’s parents I met.
I told them what I learnt
On this tragic event.”

390-V27-10. Masathuvan and his wife

The death, after the blame
On their son Kovalan came
As a rude shock to his parents,
On hearing these incidents.

Masathuvan, for Kannagi, felt sorry.
The king’s death gave him worry.
All his wealth, he donated to the public.
At Indra Vihara, he became an ascetic.

Unable to bear this, his wife
In a few days, gave up her life.
For all the deaths countless,
One anklet became the root cause.

391-V27-11. Manayakan and his wife

Kannagi’s father Manayakan,
He followed an ascetic Jain.
His time at religious places he spent.
Rest of his life, in divine path, he went.

His old wife unable to bear,
With none for her to care,
She became weak day by day
And she left this world one day.

392-V27-12. Madhavi became an ascetic

On hearing this bad news,
Madhavi left her house.
She cast away her usual dress.
She wore then ascetic robes.

Before leaving, she told her mother,
Her girl, Manimegalai, be taken care,
Not to give her a life of prostitute,
And corrupt her life as a destitute.

393-V27-13. The reason for Madalan’s coming

Madalan said:

“In the holy Ganges I took bath,
After hearing this death after death,
I wanted to unload the sin.
I came here for this reason.”

394-V27-14. Life in Southern kingdom

King Cheran asked Madalan,
“After the death of Pandian,
How is the kingdom southern
And by whom it is run?”

Madalan told, wishing Cheran,
“Killi Chozhan, your cousin,
In nine small kingdoms he was keen
To keep them under his reign.”

“The nine kings didn’t like him,
And they never obeyed him.
But you defeated them one day,
And brought them to your way.”

“Oh king, listen, Korkkai’s King Chezhian
He came all the way to the Madurai town.
He ascended the vacant Pandian’s throne.
And he brought life to Madurai again.”

Continued......

Jul 28th

26. The Foundation Stone

By Raja

(Senguttuvan invaded north and won those kings who opposed him.
 He cut the stone in the Himalayas to build a statue for the chaste woman)

355-V26-1. The king’s court assembled

The proposed march of Senguttuvan,
Towards the northern region,
Thro’ tomtom in their beats
Messengers announced in the streets.

Thereafter, the King Senguttuvan
Took his seat in the royal throne.
The courtiers, ministers who greeted
“Long live the emperor” were seated.

The king then put forth
His proposed visit to north,
Which they keenly heard,
The details of it he said.

356-V26-2. Cheran’s oath

Senguttuvan, the emperor,
An ever victorious warrior
Said, “The Aryan king’s blame
We’ve heard with no shame.”

“To this blame if we don’t react
It’ll bring me disrespect.
More than their abuses,
We’ve one main purpose.”

“Stone is our present mission.
This should be in our vision.
An idol for this chaste woman
To make, let us bring the stone.”

“Unless we fight to win,
Our enemies may gain.
If I allow this to happen,
I’ll become useless then?”

357-V26-3. Let your anger be calm

The royal court guru said,
“Oh king, many wars you led
To defeat Cholan and Pandian,
Beside others and finally you won.”

“After hearing your oath to win
Will any king oppose you?  None.
They’re afraid to abuse you.
So, have no anger, I request you.”

358-V26-4. Auspicious time

The court astrologer fixed time
“Oh king, this is the best time
For you to start the fight
To go northward now is right.”

The starting time when he heard
“Take the swords,” he then ordered.
One more battle he began,
This time for a stone.

359-V26-5. The people blessed

The soldiers heard the king’s words.
They stood up and drew their swords.
The war drums then sounded.
In the war field they landed.

An army of five battalions,
With a batch of elephants,
And king’s active force,
They marched very close.

The strategy planners,
The war-rules observers,
They all followed the king,
Saying, “Long live the king.”

360-V26-6. Kept vanchi flowers

The king was proud of his soldiers,
Who had all sorts of weapons.
They came willingly to fight.
They marched left and right.

Wearing full-open vanchi flowers
O’ver his beautiful head tress,
The king took up his sharp sword,
And they all marched forward.

361-V26-7. Sat on the back of an elephant

The beating of the war drum
An impression it gave them
“Defeated kings you come
And pay us the ransom.”

The king in the Shiva temple,
He went round in a circle,
And prayed for his help
In the mission he took up.

He sat on the back of an elephant,
And to the battlefront he went.
The strong army moved forward,
O’er the king’s command word.

362-V26-8. Offering of Lord Thirumal

The offering of Lord Thirumal,
It came there from some people,
They blessed the king for victory
Which was sure in his history.

363-V26-9. The drama girls wished

With folded hands the drama girls
Wished, “Oh king, the victory is yours.
You’ll come back to enjoy our play.
For your prosperity we pray.”

364-V26-10. He left Vanchi

The valiant elephant soldiers
The brave horse soldiers
The strong land warriors
They crossed the city barriers.

Their conches they sounded.
War drums they pounded.
Leaving Vanchi King Senguttuvan
Led forward his battalion.

365-V26-11. Reached Blue Moutain (Nilgiris)

The army chief men,
And the army men
They went in rows
Like the sea waves.

The mountain backs shook,
With every step they took,
They crossed every obstacle,
Every uphill task they did tackle.

At the base of the blue mountain,
The king camped with his men.
They set up tents for their stay.
With proper security on the way.

From the elephant, the king got down.
His stepping down style attracted everyone.
Inside a specially erected royal tent,
To sit and relax on a sofa he went.

366-V26-12. Celestial Saints came

The army action gave an echo
Celestial saints were tempted to go
And see what was the cause
For that ear piercing noise?

Before the king they stood
He rose up and welcomed.
Towards him they looked,
And these words they said.

“Oh you King Cheran,
You’ll please listen.
On the Himalaya Mountains,
There live Sages and Brahmins.”

“It’s your duty to protect them.
They should face no harm,
While the fighting goes on,”
They made a special mention.

367-V26-13. The folk dancers came

The Konkan folk dancers,
And the Karnataka dancers,
They came before Cheran,
And danced one by one.

As well-wishers of the king,
They said, “Long live the king.”
By the mode of their dresses
They were seen as folk dancers.

There, each male dancer
With his female partner
Both had a golden chance
To show their performance.

368-V26-14. Kudagar came

The Kudagar men and women,
They sang and danced in their turn.
“Oh the best of the chaste women,”
They said, “We adore, you’re so divine.”

“May you adorn yourself now.
 Before you we all bow.
Look not at the time passing,
But see how the clouds are racing.”

“See how the clouds gather
With a roaring thunder.
The lover did a wonder,
When her chariot came here.”

Like this the women sang
Their favorite folk song.
They sang happily,
And danced merrily.

369-V26-15. Artists came

Along with well dressed women,
Several artists came then.
They said, “Long live the king,
Let him return as a victorious king.”

370-V26-16. Sanjayan came heading others

Dancing girls, horn blowers, loaded carts,
Jokers and clowns and fancy chariots,
In hundreds they came there,
Headed by Sanjayan the leader.

Sanjayan told, “Oh king, for stone
If you’ve to fight and return,
That job we would have done,
For this, why should you strain?”

“Long live the king,” he greeted.
This in chorus others repeated.
They came ready to support,
A noble cause, ‘stones to get.’

371-V26-17. They know not great Tamil’s ability

The Cheran declared, “The ability
Of our Southern Tamil army
The northern kings may not know,
But our will to win we’ll show.”

He told Sanjayan to keep ready,
Several boats sturdy and steady
To cross Ganges, the river mighty,
And bring the stone heavy.

372-V26-18. The Southerner’s royalty

Thousands of able servants,
Brought deep sea pearls,
And sandalwood in plenty,
As Southerner’s royalty.

The king’s sealed letter
They handed it over
To comply with his order.
They returned thereafter.

373-V26-19. He went to northern parts

The king Senguttuvan started then
From his camp at Blue Mountain,
And marched to win the small kings
Spread over northern wings.

The Ganges River he crossed,
Its north bank he reached,
In a boat moved a team
Who, in hundreds, helped him.

After crossing all the barriers,
And the blockades in the interiors,
He entered the territory of the enemy
And set up a base camp of his army.

374-V26-20. The enemy for war

Kings Uttiran, Vichitran, Uruthiran,
Bairavan, Singan, Chithiran,
Dhanuthiran, and Sivedhan,
They formed a compact union.

Kanakavisayan joined this team.
They started the war in time.
To see how the Southerner fought,
There a big army they brought.

375-V26-21. The war started

To appease its hunger,
A lion jumped o’er
An elephant from herd,
Despite its large crowd.

King Senguttuvan, like this,
He attacked the joint force.
With a tactical formation,
To win was his determination.

The war drums pounded.
The white conches sounded.
These war-sounds echoed
And in eight directions spread.

376-V26-22. The dusts rose

The shoulders like mountain,
The spear handed army men,
The fast moving charioteers,
The elephant and horse warriors,

As they marched forward,
The dusts rose upward
That choked any elephant’s neck bell
From its ringing well.

377-V26-23. The devils enjoyed

Both the sides clashed.
The chariots were smashed.
The heads were severed.
And the bodies rolled.

The river like blood flowed.
The war wounded cried.
The hungry ghost danced.
The cruel devils enjoyed.

378-V26-24. He wore Thumbai flower

More damages were done
To the kingdom northern.
On the kingdom southern,
Grand victory was seen.

Both sides lost heavily.
But the final victory
Was on the Senguttuvan’s side
Who won it with pride.

He fought and won,
It wasn’t a new one.
He wore a Thumba flower,
As the final war-winner.

379-V26-25. Kanakavisayan was caught

The enemy Kanakavisayan
Fell in the army net of Senguttuvan.
The enemy soldiers fled.
As to fight more they were afraid.

They ran in disguise
As bearded sages,
As female dancers,
And stage singers.

380A-V26-26. The victory dance

The victory of the southern king
O’er the northern defeated kings
Gave the soldiers a moral boost
And they celebrated it with a grand feast.

It was a dance so mixed,
The devils o’er the dead
And the winners over the glad
They danced side by side.

380B-V26-27. He brought stone

The devils there were fed
With the flesh of the dead,
For which they blessed
The king as he hosted.

The king instructed his army
To show maximum courtesy,
To the Veda Pundits there
And to save their sacred fire

To the Himalaya Mountain,
He went with his craftsmen.
Who cut a proper stone,
Fit to carve the chaste woman.

End of Part 26

Jul 27th

Part 25 - The beautiful scene

By Raja

(When the King Cheran Senguttuvan went to see the mountain side, the hill tribes gave an account of Kannagi, who stood under the neem tree and the wonders thereafter.  Sathanar, who was there that time, he also told about the fire that burnt Madurai.. Senguttuvan wanted to erect a statue to worship Kannagi.  The Northern kings’ arrogance made Senguttuvan invade north.)

339-V25-1. The visit to the mountain

King Cheran held his bow flag high
On the Himalayas he fixed it to fly.
In that dynasty was born Senguttuvan.
Whose sword never failed to win.

On the balcony that was like silver shine,
He was sitting with Velmal, his queen.
Also with him Illango was there.
They saw nature’s beauty everywhere.

The non-stop sound of the stream,
It was so nice to attract them.
“Let us go to the mountain side,
To see its beauty,” he said.

He crossed the front gate of Vanchi Town,
And walked towards the mountain,
With Velmal and other shepherdess
Who showed their eagerness.

340-V25-2. Stayed in the fine sand hill

It was like the Lord Indra’s place,
Where the heavenly ladies
Can go and have their play
And to relax they could stay.

It was there for heavenly pleasures
With a garden full of flowers,
A beautiful flowing river,
Ponds many full of water.

Seated o’er the royal elephant,
He reached the mountain front.
It was covered by colorful flowers,
Fruit bearing and flowering trees.

The flowing stream sound,
The flower strewn ground,
The hunting honeybees’ sound,
Kept them all spell bound.

Its sides the river covered,
With sand hill that spread
On the top of this fine sand hill
They went there to assemble.

341-V25-3. Sounds echoed

They heard mixed sounds,
The shepherds’ folk songs,
The prayers to Lord Murugan,
The songs of the labor-women.

The hunters’ noisy sound,
O’er honeycombs what they found,
The gurgling flow sound,
From the waterfalls around,

The sound of elephant’s wailing,
With a tiger while it was fighting.
The drumbeat sound of hunters
Who chased animals in the forests.

The hunters’ strained sound to lift
An elephant that fell inside a pit,
The Cheran’s army march sound
When they pounded the ground.

All these echo sounds,
They cheered their minds.
These sounds appeared musical
And in their minds an effect magical

342-V25-4. The mountain tribes’ offers

It was the courtyard of the palace
Where the defeated kings in queues
With ornaments and gifts stood,
Gave the victor as much as they could.

It was like this, the tribal people,
One by one, came to assemble,
To give the king what they brought,
And for a long time they did wait.

They brought elephant’s ivory,
Incense woods in plenty,
Fans made of deer hairs,
Sandalwood pieces in pairs.

Some had vermillion sticks
Black lining eyelash pastes,
Cardamom, musk of the deer,
Coconut saplings and black pepper.

Some others brought mangoes,
Herbal garland, jackfruits
Garlic, creepers, sugar canes,
Fruit basket and banana bunches.

Some had cubs of lion and tiger,
Young ones of monkey, bear, goat, deer,
Mongoose, male peacock, civet cats,
Cock and the talking parrots.

The hillside people brought them,
As tributes to offer them.
This was the scene of crowd,
All felt it great and proud.

343-V25-5. What the hunters’ said?

“For the next seven births,
We’re your humble slaves.
Oh King, long live your rule,”
Said the hunters of the hill.

“We saw a chaste woman,
She lost her breast one.
Under the Vengai tree she stood
And her face looked very sad.”

“A heaven blessed woman,
She was taken to the heaven
By the Lords with her husband,
Right from this forest land.”

“From which country she came?
What was her mother’s name?
Know not we as your citizens,
Oh king, may you live many years.”

344-V25-6. What Sattanar said?

To protect the motherland,
Senguttuvan held in his hand
A powerful spear to defend,
With his head that didn’t bend.”

Out of his love for the king
There Sathanar was standing.
As a Tamil teacher he said,
What he knew about this maid.

“Oh king, listen to this story,
Of a chaste woman weary,
Her anklet became the cause
For her husband’s untimely demise.”

“Before King Pandian she told,
With her one anklet she stood bold,
And presented him her case
With her sad and angry face.”

“Then her husband’s innocence,
She proved in the queen’s presence,
By breaking her second anklet
Which differed from queen’s anklet.”

“From the source of her breast,
There was a fire outburst,
That burnt and brought down
The big Madurai town.”

“From his lion shaped throne
The king looked crest fallen.
Thus he lost his crown.
He died and fell down.”

“At his feet the queen fell and died.
This way her respect she paid
To the king, whom she adored
And till her last she loved.”

“The Pandian’s kingdom unsafe Kannagi found,
Not willing to settle in her parent’s land,
She came perhaps to your land,
In the heaven before joining her husband.”

345-V25-7. The fate of the kings

“What happened to the King Pandian?”
So eager to know was Senguttuvan.
His sadness drove him to say,
What he felt in this way.

“For kings like us this is a lesson.
Before such bad news reach anyone,
The news of our death shall go first,
To prove that we’re honest and just.”

“Born in a family good and royal,
To safeguard the interest of all,
To see that no curse befall
The king has a definite role.”

“There should be no fear
And it’ll be horrible to hear
That there’s no fall of rain
‘Cause of king’s bad reign.”

This way Senguttuvan said.
He fell very much sad.
For the Pandian who died
As a result of his misdeed.

346-V25-8. Who is the wonderful person?

The king asked the queen
“Both died for a noble reason,
Who’s great? The queen
Or the other woman?”

347-V25-9. Needed wife’s praise

The Cheran’s queen heard and said,
“For Pandian’s queen, who died
‘Cause of her love for the husband.
To get heavenly pleasures, she was bound.”

“Let us worship this chaste woman,
Who walked up to our dominion.”
The King agreed with her views.
He asked the poets for the ways.

348-V25-10. Wherefrom to bring the stone

The poets said, “Let us bring
A stone from the upper wing
Of the Himalaya Mountain,
Not from our Podiya Mountain.”

“This stone let us immerse
In the Holy River Ganges,
And in the Holy River Cauvery then,
To sanctify this sacred stone.”

349-V25-11. King Cheran suggested

The king asked, “Why not a stone,
From our Podiya Mountain,
And dip it in Cauvery as laid down
In our age old tradition?”

350-V25-12. Cheran’s oath

“The king of Himalaya Mountain
Will he not give us stone?
An idol to make for this ideal woman,
Who’s now a goddess in the Heaven?”

“If he doesn’t give the stone,
My life becomes useless then.
We’ll get them at any cost,
Even if we should fight till last.”

351-V25-13. The sword of Vanchi

King Cheran said:

“If anyone with us dares to fight
We shall show our might.
At our Vanchi’s boundary
We’ll have a definite victory.”

“Our city Vanchi is one,
That’ll never bow down,
When I’ve my winning sword,
You’ll now take my word.”

352-V25-14. Villavan Kodhai said

Villavan Kodhai in the crowd
What in his mind he said,
In all his words very cool,
“Long live your fair rule.”

“The king with tiger-symbol flag,
And the one with fish-symbol flag,
They both ran away defeated.
This news everywhere spread.”

“Those from the Kongu and Kalinga,
And others from Bengal and Karnataka,
They joined to fight the Tamilian army.
We know, you won elephants many!”

“We still remember those days,
When you fought in many ways,
The invading Aryan armies,
And gave them a hot chase.”

“The entire Bharath you fought,
Under one Tamil land you brought.
Who is dare enough to oppose
When you bring a stone from the Himalayas?”

353-V25-15. Arumbilvel said

“To our Vanchi people we’ll inform,
Thro’ our messengers beating tomtom,
But don’t spread far and wide this,
At borders to avoid our enemy’s spies.”

354-V25-16. Battle call in Vanchi

The king agreed to this suggestion.
They went to Vanchi in jubilation.
In Vanchi the news was carried
Thro’  tomtom messengers forward.

“Let our noble king long live
Let his kingdom God save.
To bring stone from the Himalayas
To the north our king goes.”

“If any king comes to fight,
You show all your might.
We shall win in any event.
The stone we shall get.”

End of Part 25

Jul 26th

Part 24 - The Hill Dance

By Raja

Third Section – Vanchi Chapter

(Kannagi reached Tiruchengunru and stood under a Vengai  tree full of flowers.  As the Goddess of Madurai instructed, fourteen days passed after the death of Kovalan.  From the heaven he came along with the messengers.  He took Kannagi along with him in his heaven bound journey. This scene, the tribal people had seen and began to worship her as their family Goddess.)

327-V24-1. Question and answer

The tribal asked Kannagi:

“Sparrows we scared away,
And parrots we drove away,
From our rich corn field
To save our grains yield.”

“After our work in the hills
We took bath in the waterfalls.
When we came here, we saw you
So beautiful you’re, who’re you?”

Kannagi replied:

“I cursed to burn Madurai Town,
Along with its King Pandian,
As I lost the husband of mine,
Alone now here I remain.”

328-V24-2. The big among Goddess

When the tribal heard,
The events what Kannagi told,
They were very much scared.
With folded hands they prayed.

They saw her with her husband,
Both were going sky bound.
A scene never before they saw.
It kept them all in awe.

“Never a Goddess like her we saw before.
We should worship her now therefore.”
So saying, they invited all others
To worship and say their prayers.

329-V24-3. They invited the town people

The tribal said:

“Oh inhabitants of this place,
Let us have her as Goddess of our race.
In this hill side, a place so high,
There’s a flowering tree, Vengai”

“Under this tree’s shade
Let a temple be made
Let the trumpet be blown.
Let the drums beaten.”

“Let the bells ring.
Let us pray and sing
Incenses you bring.
And come to this wing.”

“Let us bring flowers.
Offer her like showers.
She lost her one breast,
Upon her let us trust.”

“Oh you our kind mother,
Let this hill town prosper.
Let us all assemble here,
And liberally praise her.”

330-V24-4. A girl bathing in the stream

“Oh you ornamental beauty,
To tell you it’s our duty,
Glowing powders you sprinkle.
Let this holy place twinkle.”

“In the hill’s waterfall
Take bath let us all.
You must hear this call
Again we invite you all.”

“Don’t have any fear.
Accept what I say here.
He said this to me.
He enjoyed and left me.”

“He never came to me.
Perhaps he has forgotten me.
Never mind, in the waterfall,
Bathe with him let us all.”

331-V24-5. Fainted mentally

“Oh my friend, this stream water
It runs on his hill rock forever.
Why it has no rough behavior,
Like his cruel manner?”

“In this water that touches his rock,
When other women came like a flock.
Why immediately I got heart pain.
Can you tell me its reason?”

“In this water touching his hill,
Thro’ flower gardens up the hill,
When other women took bath,
Why I got pain and wrath.”

“In his hillside fresh water,
He took bath whenever,
With other women there,
Why I got pain and shiver?”

332-V24-6. Let us sing folk songs

“Oh maid! One more thing to be said,
That our black eyes became red,
When in this fresh stream water
We took bath hours together.”

“Let us sing in praise of the Lord
Murugan, our merciful hill God,
Who killed a demon in the mid-sea,
Where he was hiding like a big tree.”

333-V24-7. The song praising the Lord’s spear.

“Lord Murugan never left Thiruvenkunram
Tiruchendur, Tiruchengodu and Thiruveragam.
Once, a demon hid in the shape of a tree
It was Murugan who killed him under the sea.”

“The Lord has beautiful faces six,
And his hands twice the six,
Like this he’s the only one,
To remain second to none.”

“Riding on his peacock back,
With his spear he did hack
The demon which stood as a tree,
Hiding deep under the sea.”

334-V24-8. Will Velan come?

“Oh maiden, in the hill of my lover
He’s from the plantation of pepper.
Which acts as a medicine,
But for me he’s my medicine.”

“Why mother didn’t know this?
She thought Murugan came close.
She was in a state of trance,
Don’t you find it a mere pretence?”

“Listen to this, oh maiden
To satisfy my passion
Will Velan come here?
I find it’s a joke mere.”

“Isn’t a funny question?
What became of our Velan?
To cure my love disease
Will he come here please?”

“Fool they’ll call him,
If he ever wish to come.
So, he’ll not be here,
I’ve my own fear.”

335-V24-9. Request for wedding ornaments

“Lord Velan will play furious dance,
When he comes to this hot place.
But with his consort Valli he’s calm,
When both of them come.”

“We’ll request him for presents
Of fitting wedding ornaments,
When my wedding takes place
In their holy presence.”

“Oh Velan the guardian of our tribe.
We’re from your Valli’s tribe.
We trust, you’ll shower your mercy
In the marriage when we’re busy.”

“Oh Arumugam! Valli is your consort.
She’s from our family caste.
Bless those who fall at your feet,
For a successful wedding meet.”

336-V24-10. We told him

“Our folk songs and dance
Hiding at a distance
He heard us and went,
While this message I sent.”

“Decorated with Kadamba flower,
Holding in your hand a spear,
A visit here you paid,
In search of a maid.”

“Your six faces weren’t there,
Nor your peacock was there.
Your hunter-maid wasn’t there,
Nor strength in your shoulders.”

“So, as our God Murugan,
Who will take you? None.
The inhabitants of this hill
They’re fools duped by you still.”

337-V24-11. Let us sing about the chaste woman

“Like this when I told him,
Of the large scale blame,
He went back distressed
As he was less impressed.”

“Our man hails from wide space,
I guess, he would visit this place,
And rush here in a hurry
Proposing me to marry.”

“It is remarkable that Kovalan
Thro’ his wife, a chaste woman
He got into a higher position.
With her he’s in the Heaven.”

“When the king swerved,
The punishment he deserved,
Madurai came under fire,
‘Cause of the curse of her.”

“Let us praise her for this.
While singing like this
Let us ask for gifts of ornaments.
Let him bless us with lovers.”

“She has now earned a name.
For chastity she has a fame.
She lives ever in our heart,
When her husband back she got.”

“The heaven praised, she’s good,
Under the Vengai tree she stood.
She then got eternal peace.
With him in the heavenly place.”

“We, the maids of this town,
To praise this noble woman,
And to pray for our prosperity,
We have a golden opportunity.”

“She only can grant us boon,
For our marriage very soon
With our lovers each one,
To live happily in this town.”

338-V24-12. Praising the King

“When we sang like this
Our lovers came towards us.
They also married us.
Our king may God bless.”

End of Part 24

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