Page Created by Jijith Nadumuri on 21 Nov 2011 19:35 and updated at 15 Dec 2011 16:41




intira vilavu oor etutta kaatai


The vast expanse of Earth without boundaries looked like a woman. Her robes were the agitating sea. Her breats were the hills. Her garlands were the wide rivers {periyaru}. The dark clouds were her hair. The sun rose on the top of the Utaiya Hill and caused the shadow of darkness to receed using his bright rayas that illuminated the beautiful world. He emerged on the open terraces, on the treasure houses full of ornaments, on buildings with air holes that looked like the eyes of a deer.

Near the Harbor of Pukar were seen the homes of Yavanas {yavanar}. They would kill anybody who trespasses their territory. Their profits always grew. There were also other traders from the far away lands, living on the edge of the polished waters in the port. They lived together. Their goods were carried by ships.

There were hawkers who wandered the streets of the city of Pukar with their Paints, fragrant powders, cool Sandalwood paste, flowers, incense and sweet smelling perfumes. In the area of weavers were seen the delicate work of making cloths from Silk {pattu}, Fur {mayir}, Cotton {parutti}. There were piles of Silk, Coral, Sandalwood, Agar, pure Pearls {muttu}, Gems {mani}, Gold {ponnu} and plenty of rare ornaments in the wide streets. In the streets of Grain Merchants there were piles of Grains {kuula} of various types. There were also pedlers who goes from place to place selling small goods. They sold pastry and Appam. There were women hawkers who sold Wine. There were sellers of Betal leaves. There were Perfume sellers. There were Fishermen offering Fish for sale. There were Butchers cutting different kinds of Meat. Some were vendors of white Salt while some sold Oil. There were overcrowded shops full of food items and shops selling Braziers. There were shops of Coppersmiths, Painters, Sculptors, Goldsmiths, Jewelers, Tailors and Shoe makers. There were shops of skilled tradesmen making various objects with Cloth and soft Animal skin {tol}.


Beyond these shops were the homes of great musicians and experts of traditional music well skilled in sounding Flute and Lute using the seven notes and of Craftsmen who excelled in fine crafts. Their homes were in the suburbs of the city. In the core of the city was the Kingsway {koviyan veeti} and the Chariotway {kotitter veeti} for the flagged cars. There was the Market square {pitikait teruvu}, a wide street where the princes among the Merchants livied in their huge apartments. There were the homes of the Brahmans. There were also other streets joining these big streets with the houses of Landlord families and their tenants who were Farmers. There also lived the Physicians {ayul vetar, skt. ayur vedic doctors}, Astrologers {Kaali kanitar, those who do skt. kaala ganitam, time calculations} and those with various other livelihoods. There were broad streets with dwellings of people who bored holes into glowing gems and those who polished intricate Conches. There stood the houses of Sutas {suutar, charioteers}, Magadhas {maakatar, bards}, Vetalikas {vetalikar, panegyrists}, Astronomers {kaval kanikaiyar, skt. gaval ganas?}, handsom dancers {kuutiyar}, Harlots, Actresses, girls selling flowers and Betal, Maidservants, professional Musicians, all kinds of Drummers and Jesters.

The extensive houses of the Cavelryman having swift Horses lied surrounding the Fort of Pukar. There also lied the houses of the riders of war Elephants, the houses of drivers of big Chariots {netunter} and that of Soldiers with ferocious looks. This part of the city was well known in famous war songs and so were the brave men who lived there. There was an open ground {itainilam} between the two halves of the Pukar city. It was like a wide battlefield {munaiyitam} where two kings meet. Here, using the dense trees as pillars many shops sprang up and it became a permanant Marketplace with continous shouts of buyers {kolvor} and sellers {kotuppor}.


On one fine day in the month of Chaitra the Moon {tinakl} came close to the star Chittira {skt. chitra}. Then the eldery women offered in sacrifice, various Pulses, Sesame balls, Ponkal (boiled Rice mixed with animal fat or suet), flowers {puuve}, Incense {pukai} and Wine to the Kaaval Puutam {skt. Bhutam, spirit} i.e. the Guardian Deity, who came there at the command of Indra {tevar komaan}, the King of the Devas. These were placed at the Altar in front of the entrance to the temple of the deity to ward off the evil that may strike the King Muchukuntan, renouned as the Vetrivel Mannan (the king of victorious spear). After having ritually possesed by the spirit, they performed the Tunankai and Kuravai dances. They chanted a prayer thus:- 'May the king of this great land {perunila} protect the kigdom of two frontiers {irunilam} well. May the Hunger {pasi}, Disease {pini} and Enmity {paka} (affecting the king / kingdom) be removed. May there be rain and prospirity!' Having said this loudly they withdrew. Now the ferocious soldiers living on the outskirts and other brave men of armies competed each other to reach the sacrificial Altar first and then spoke thus:- 'May the evil that might strike our great king be removed! May the bravery of those offering themselves as sacrifice be great!'

The stone throwing Slingers and those who hurled a rain of Spears, with flesh sticking to their Shields of dark hide, beat their shoulders and roared as if in a battle of victory. They placed their dark heads, having red eyes that terrorized the onlookers, on the holy sacrificial Altar. Then they prayed:- 'May the king of victories achieve success'. Then the voice of the guardian Deity who will feast on the sacrificial offering of life, sounded like the roar of thunder, through the drums in unison. She was appeased by a perfect sacrifice.


In the land of two frontiers {irunila} i.e. in the Tamil country, Tirumavalavan, eager for a fight, was in great despair. On a favorable day he took out his Sword {vaalu}, royal Umbrella {kutai} and war Drum {muracu} and prayed thus:- 'May meet foes worthy of my broad shoulders any where in this earth.' He then marched to the north, the sacred direction. Finally he reached the Himalayas {imaya}. Then he engraved his emblem of Tiger on the neck of the Himalayas where lived the Devas, thinking thus:- 'May my desire based on firm determination not be destroyed. This great mountain is obstructing my further journey, like a foe.' He thus gave up his northern march and returned back. The king of the great Vajra {vacchira, skt. vraja, pali. vajji; or kingdom of vajra, a yadava king} kingdom, bounded by wide rivers offered him a pearl studded canopy (ornamental cloth) as tribute. The king of Magadha {makata} offered him an audience chamber. Magadha king was a veteran in Sword fight and once a foe. The king of Avanti offered him a tall delicately wrought arch for his gateway. It was made of Gold and Gems. Its construction and art works were a secret even to Craftsmen of great skill. These were formerly created by the architect Maya himself who then gave it to the ancestors of these three great kings who did all help to remove sorrow from their kingdoms. All put together they formed a magnificent Temple porch {mantapam} praised by learned men.


Piles of Merchendise, marked with their amount, weight and the names of the customers were found on the open Waterfront. It had no gate, no bolts for protection. There were no guards to watch over it. If any theif try to remove them, the spirit {puutam} of the Waterfront would make them tremble within themselves and make them go round it with the pain of burden on their heads and stop them from fleeing. If hunchbacks {kuunu}, dwarfs {kutral}, the muted ones {uuma}, deaf {cevitu} or lepers bathed in the pond and went round it, they would at once become free of their ailments and their appearance would gain a glowing color.

All of those who turned mad, after addicted to taking Drugs {vancham}, those afflicted by Paralysis due to taking Posion {nancham}, those bitten by Snakes {naaka} that breath fire and having sharp fangs, those possessed by ghosts having bulging eyes, all of them can end their suffering here if they wend round the tall, bright stoe that stood in the open square and offered worship.

There, in the Crossroad the Goblin {puutam} spoke in a cracking voice, loud enough to be heard for four leages thus:- 'I will eat, those who behave wrongly and those evading expiation, after binding them with a rope. They are those unfaithful women who hide their evil, those lustful men who covet other's wives, those who appear as false witnesses and those who are defamers.'

In the public square there was a statue. Whenever the scepter (royal staff or wand) {araicukol} of the king changed its direction and performance was shown in court by favoring one side against the rule of law, the statue that adorned the public square did not open its mouth but wept and caused to fall symbolic tears.

In the above mentioned five sacred places, costly sacrifices were offered as known to the wise who knew all mystery.

The traditional drum of temple dedicated to Indra's Thunderbolt was lifted up and placed on the neck of an Elephant. The Elephant then carry it around the glowing temple (glowing in the light of lamps). This is done at the beginning and end of the festival. A sacred Flag {mankala netunkoti} was seen pulled up in the sky adorning the temple of a wishing tree (a tree where prayers for fulfilling wishes are done after going round it). Gold plates studded with Emeralds {marakata mani, skt. marataka} and Diamonds {vayiram} with round Coral pillars were seen on the porches {vetikai} of the noble apartments {netunilai maalikai}. Ornamental Fish shaped decorations are seen hanging down in front of the wide doors. The arches of entrances were painted with sacred figures studded with bright Pearls and Rings as well as with Elephant tusks containing many carvings. In the streets were seen golden containers to store water, bright Palikai pots, Pavai Lamps in the shape of women {paavai vilakku, puppet-lamps, dolls in women shape}, golden Patakas (pennants, flags denoting achievement), fans with yanktail and many sweet scented pastes.

The five groups of the king's councilors called Aimper kulam, assembled in that place togather with the eight kinds of courtiers called Enper aayam. There gathered the Princes {araca kumarar}, sons of noble Merchants {parata kumarar}, Horsemen, Elephant riders, Charioteers with swift horses. They proclaimed their support to the sovereignty of the king of Pukar. They prayed thus:- 'May our king of great glory be victorious!' One thousand and eight kings placed golden pots filled with the holy water of Kaviri river on their heads. This water taken from the bathing Ghats of the river. It had the sweet smell of pollen. This holy water was then ceremonously poured {veeluneer} upon the Idol of Indra, the king of the Devas {vinnavar talaivan}. Then the Idol glowed, due to that holy water flowing over it, making the heaven and earth to wonder. Sacrificial rites were performed in the Temple of the Mahadeva {periyon} Siva the Unborn, in the Temple of the six-faced {arumuka} Murukan weilding the red Spear {cevvel} of glowing beauty, in the Temple of the elder one {valiyon} Balarama having the complexion of white Conch shell, in the Temple of the younger one, who grew tall {netiyon} (allusion vamana who grew tall) viz. Krishna (or vishnu) of blue body {neela meni} and in the Temple of Indra {mannavan} having the white Umbrella and garlands. The rites were done as ordained by the four Vedas {naanmarai} that emerged from the word of the first born {mutalvan} Brahma, of great wisdom. Meanwhile, the festivals of the four types of Devas {naalvakai tevar} (probably referring to vasus, rudras, maruts and sadhyas) and the eighteen Ganas {muuvaru kanankal} (probably referrign to the eleven rudras and the seven maruts) were performed without any defects and keeping in mind their distinctions.

The Jaina Temples {aravoor palli} and their holy Ashramas {aranoom patai} were situated in the city. Their sacred charitable houses {punniyat taanam, skt. punya sthana} were situated in the suburbs. Public reciters were seen as performing in another place.

In yet another place, in a display of the mercy of the great ruler having flagged Chariots {kotitter}, the handcuffs of the kings who didn't allied with him were being removed. In some other places arose unheard music of Dancers and Flutists and other artists creating melodies on the Lute and bards reciting poems composed by Pulavar (scholars, learned poets). The Drums in every street of the city, glwoing with the festival celebrations {tuyilaatu} reverberated without stop.


Matavi was then still with her lover. She looked beautiful in a pair of earrings of crescent shape. The gentle wind {malaya marutam} from the Potiyil passed through the city carrying with it the bees sounding in high pitch and the gentle rays of early Summer. The wind carried the fragrance of the Matavi flowers, homegrown {ilivalar} Mullai, Jasmine {mallikai}, Mayilai, the potted blue lotus {taalik kuvalai} and the red water lily {cuulcen kaluneer}. The wind resembled Kovalan who wander with playboys and bards of sweet voice. The wind elated in the undending joy of love. It took pleasure in the garden full of the smell of pollen {poopoti}. It then entered into the fresh bunch of blooming forest flowers in the Marketplace and scattered the smell {putumanam} of incense {pukai} and wet Sandalwood paste {chaantu}. It secretly listened to the playful talks and laughter of lovers. One playboy said:- Afraid of the Serpent Rahu, the wandering Moon {tinkal} fled the bright sky. He reappeared in your body bearing a black cloud {karumukil} which is your hair. The small Rabbit {kurumuyal} symbol on the Moon looks like the parting of your hair. Two small fishes became your eyes, with the Kumil flower in between looking like your nose!' Another one said:- 'You are a flash of lightning created by the Fish bannered {meenerruk kotiyon} Kama who came down to look for his body by drinking up the drops of Amruta {amutu} (ambrosia) that fell from the moist lips of the Moon who well on this vast earth.' A third one said:- Has the sweet Lotus {kamalam} searching for its companion, the goddess Lakshmi {tirumakal} disguized itself as the two large darkblue lotuses on each side of the Kumil flower? Or has it reborn again into the glowing red Silk Cotton and Jasmine to show that Lakshmi had entered this city to bless the king of this land {irunila mannar} with wealth in plenty?' Yet another one said:- 'Yama of wide mouth and devourer of many lives is afraid to oppose the king of straight Scepter {cenkol}. His manhood is battered yet he won't give up but continues his work, for seeing the smiling face of a woman who talks at length foolishly, soft words like a lute, after having robed off her modesty.'

Women were like the great army of Kama (god of love and lust), the one without a body. They gave battle and won. They never fled but opposed the male bodies {aanmaiy} with their female bodies {penmaiy}. They rubbed all over their chest and painted their breasts with Sandalwood paste. Those marks were still fresh on the husbands who entered their own homes, next day. They grasped their sulking wives who pretended displeasure but who were chaste as Arundhati. They made love to their husbands but with self restraint. The blue lotus eyes that looked like Sapphire on the glowing faces of women turned reddish. They failed to clear up even when they saw guests in their house who worried helplessly thus:- 'Who in this vast world {ulakam} can find a cure to this?' During the days of festivals such scenes of love were quite common.


Kannaki's dark eye {karunkannu} in the left {itattu} throbbed, like a water Lily that trembles when the sweet pollen inside it come out and oozes honey. Matavi's reddish eye {chenkannu} in the right {valattu} too throbbed. One shed the tears of sorrow and the other shed the tears of joy for all the thoughts each of them had held tightly within themselves on the day of the festival of Indra {vinnavar komaan}, the king of the Devas.

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