Page Created by Jijith Nadumuri on 27 Nov 2011 16:30 and updated at 15 Dec 2011 17:07




kanaa tiram uraitta kaatai


Inside the Women's quarters {aka nakar}, the women scattered flower like {nikar malar} grains of Paddy {nellu} along with the buds {arumpu} of Jasmine {mullai}, about to get opened {avizh}. It was then evening {maalai}. The sun had already set {pakal maaynta}. They lit their jewel studded lamps {mani vilakkam} and prepared for the night {ira}.

There was a woman named Malati. She fed the child {makavu} of her husband's second wife {maattaal} with milk {paal}. The milk chocked {vikki} the child {paalakan, skt. baalaka} and it died. This happened one day ago {melor naal}. Matali wept {enki} and thought thus:- My Brahmin husband {paarppa} and his second wife {notu manaiyaal} will put the blame on me {en mel}. They will not listen to the truth.' Thinking thus she took the child in her arms.

She entered the temple {kottam} of the wishing tree {taru} of the Amaras (immortals). She then went to the temple of the white Elephant {vel yaanai}. She then went to the temple of the Brownish white Naga {pukar vellai naakar} (naaka could mean nagas, the serpant people as well as devas, the celestials, both in tamil and sanskrit; probably they are the same tribe, or tribes with close kinship; naga nahusha temporarily served as an indra the king of the devas as per mahabharata; he was also an ancestor of the purus, bharatas and the kurus, including the pandavas and the kauravas). Next she went to the temple of the Sun, who comes from the spot of day break {pakal vaay} and who owns {kizhaan} the Zenith {uchchi}.

Next she went to the temple of the deity of the land {uur} the guardian deity of Pukar and the temple of Muruka, the wielder of Spear {vel}. Then she went to the temple of Vajra {vachchira}, the thunderbolt of Indra and the temple of the one who dwells on the city outskirts {puram panaiyan vaal} viz. Machattan. After that she reached the Jain temple of the Nirgrandhas {nikkanta} and then went to the temple of the Moon {nilaa}. She then prayed:-'O Devas {tevarkal}, please end my trouble.'

She finally reached the temple of Pashanta Chattan and lied down in waiting {paatu kitantaal} in front of the deity in the steps. There she awaited for his grace. There appeard then a beautiful young girl {ilan koti} like a lily and said:- 'The Deva {tevar} will not give boon {varam} to those who have not done penance {tavam}'. This is not false {poy}. I say to you a truth {porul}. Give me {taa} the corpse {pinam} of the child in your hands {kai}.' Saying this she grabbed the baby and went into the Cremation grounds {chutu kaatu kottam} covered with thick darkness {tuunku irul}. Then Itankini who eats {tinnum} the buried dead bodies {itu pinam} took the corpse of the child {makavu} and put it in her abdomen {mati akam}. Like a Peacock {mannai} who heard the sound of thunder {iti}, Malati screamed and wept {enki azhutu}.

Seeing the weaping woman, the deity Chattan said:- 'Mother {annai} before weaping like this, see the living infant {uyir kuzhavai} besides you.' Saying this he assumed the form of the dead infant {kuzhavai} and stayed in the shadow {nizhal} of a garden full of Koels {kuyil}. Relived at the sight of the infant alive and kicking, Malati without doubting anything took that unreal infant {maaya kuzhavi} and kept him close to her. She handed over the infant into the hands of his own mother {taay}.

Later on, that divine {tuuya} Brahmana {maraiyon} baby grew into a student {maani} and learned {kelvi} all the heavenly knowledge {vaan porul}, in the Vedas. Soon his father {tantai} and mother {taayar} expired {mutintu}. Then the divine one {iraiyon} went to the place {turai} where his parents lived and settled all the disputes {vazhakku} among their cousins {taay attaan} (precisely, maternal uncle's son). He performed {kazhittu} all the funeral rites (obligations {katan}) of his parents.

He took a woman named Tevanti as his wife {manaivi}. After a short married life, he told her thus:- 'Your flower like {puu vanta} eyes {kan} should bear {porukku} this sight' Saying this he revealed {kaatti} to her his never aging {muuvaa} form, full of youth and beauty {ila nalam}. He then continued:- ' Come to my temple {kottam}.' Telling thus to his wife, he left. Since then, Tevanti of faultless speech {tuu mozhi} went to the temple of Chattan and worshipped him daily.


She was a friend of Kannaki. One day Kannaki prayed thus:- 'My husband {kanavan} has left me saying he is going to visit all the Tirthas (holy places) {teertha turai} to remove his afflictions {aartta}. In return {perttu} of my offerings {vazhipaatu} to the temple {kottam} , please make him return {meettu} back to me.' Tevanti understood that the good woman {nallaal} Kannaki had plenty {kurai} of distress {utta}. Thinking of it, with a sorrowful heart {enniya nencham} Tevanti approached {nanni} her companion {inaiyal} god, Chattan. She offered the deity Hariyali grass {aruku}, the flowers of the Wool plant {ciru puulai} and paddy {nellu}. Then she went to Kannaki and told:- 'You will get your husband {kanavan} back.'

But Kannaki replied thus:-'Even if I get back {peru} my husband, still my heart {nencham} will agitate {katukku} due to a dream {kanavu}. In this dream my husband held {pitittu} my hand {kai} and we went to a great city {perum pati} and entered to see its inside. There in that city {pati}, its inhabitants {uuraar} recited {pataa} some terrible {tatu} words {vaartai} as if placing a Scorpion {tel} on my body {mel}. They said like an omen:- 'A calamity {teenku} will befall {uttatu} upon Kovalan'. Hearing this awful words, I went in front of the protector {kaavalan} (king) and said this cursing words {katturai} to him:-' A calamity {teenku} will befall {utta} upon the city {uur} and the king {kaavalan}'. Then I did not speak further {uraiyaten}.

It was all like {pol} some terrible error {kuttam}. O, you having tight bracelets {cheri toti}, you heard about the terrible error {kuttam} caused {utta} to my relation {utten} by the king of great strength {uruvan} and what I caused {utta} to him in return. If you heard {kelkin} about its good outcome {nal tiram} you will smile {nakai} chearfully.'

Then Tevanti replied:- 'O lady with golden bracelets {pottoti}, you are not disliked by your husband {kanavan}. You failed to observe a vow of ceremonial fasting {nonpu} on behalf of him in your previous birth {pazham pirappu}. To ward off the ill effects of the non performance of the vow, you should go to that spot where river Kaveri joins {chenru} with the sea {katal}. There is a Seaside grden {kaanal} where Neytal flower (white indian water-lily) opens {avizh} its petals {matal}. The two holy ponds named Somakundam (the pond of moon) and Suryakundam are situated in that place {turai}.

Women should bath {muuzhku} in these ponds and worship {tozhutu} the temple of Kama holding a spear {kama vel kottam}. They will then enjoy with their husband {kanavan} this world {ulakam} with all adornments {taiyal}. Then they will go {poy} to Heaven, the world {puumi} of pleasures {pokam, skt. bhogam} and be reborn {pirappar} there. We shall go there one day {oru naal} to play {aatu} (in the waters).' Then Kannaki having the best robes {ani izhai} and adorned with choice ornaments {aayizhai} replied:- 'For me, going there will not be a respectful {peetu anru} thing to do.'


When Kannaki and Tevanti were conversing thus, a young maid {ilaiyaal} approached her and said:- 'Kovalan has arrived {vantu} at the gate of the fence {katai talai}. It seems he is determined to stay with us and be our protector {kaavalan} for a long time {neeti}.'

Kovalan then entered the bedroom {chekkai ul} of Kannaki. He saw her tired body {vaatiya meni} though adorned with fine bracelets {pain toti}. He saw her sorrow {varuttam}. I kept the company of a lier {calati} with a selfish {calampu} doctrine {kolkai}. I have destoyed {tolaintu} a mountainous {kunram} heap of wealth {vaan porul} which i received from my family {kulam taru}. This sorrow {ilampaatu} has brought me shame {naanu}.'

Then a smile {muruval} bright {kel} with virtue {nalam} emerged in Kannaki's chearful face {nakai mukam}. She said:- 'Here are my Anklets {cilampu}. Take them. Do whatever you feel fit with this ornament {izhai}. Kovalan then said:- 'With this Anklet {cilampu} as caiptal {mutal} I will recover {eettu} all the wealth {porul} and jewels {kalan} I lost {ulanta}. Let us go to Maturai, the city of tall towers {maata maturai}. Come along with me {ennotu} from here {inku}. Rise up {ezhu}, O lady, with flower petals {etu alar} on your hair {kotaay}.'

Thus, Kovalan succumbed to the conclusive outcome {katai} of his Karma {vinai} and left as if accepting its command {viyam}. Then the time {kaal} of the dawn was such that the intensity {kanai} of darkness {kankul} was yet to be diluted by the light of the sun {chutar}.


The dream {kanavu} seen {kanta} by the beloved {kaatali} Kannaki made the song like uttered words {chollai vari} of Matavi, having dark wide eyes {karu netun kan}, into a thing of past {muutai}. Thus, Kovalan succumbed to the conclusive outcome {katai} of his Karma {vinai} and left as if accepting its command {viyam}. Then the time {kaal} of the dawn was such that the intensity {kanai} of darkness {kankul} was yet to be diluted by the light of the sun {chutar}.

Share:- Facebook