Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tamarai - Part III: The Great Harvest

  • Tamarai and Kunnutaiya soon begin to plough and to plant seeds on the modest piece of land they have been told they can use. They hope for a good crop.

  • Kunnutaiya goes to fetch seeds from his clansmen. But when Tamarai sees them she knows they have been cooked. It is a trick. She is afraid they will never sprout.

  • Kunnutaiya looks at the crop, which is growing well. But he feels there is something odd. He can not put his finger on the problem.

  • Tamarai has a strong intuition and she quickly discovers that their maize plants have jewels inside each pod. These are not just regular grains!

  • Soon some neighbours are called to help with the harvest. But they are asked to only cut the stalks. They are not to open the cobs. The couple will do that themselves.

  • Tamarai begins the task of opening up each pod. It is hard work. She calls on Lord Vishnu for help.

  • Soon Tamarai and Kunnutaiya’s baskets are full of lovely jewels.

  • But then Tamarai hears some noise outside. She discovers that many beggars have come to their door.

  • Kunnutaiya does not want to give their new wealth away, but Tamarai is very generous. She offers something to every single beggar! By the time she is done the family baskets are empty!

  • But Lord Vishnu has been watching! He has seen that Tamarai’s heart is full of goodness. So he secretly refills each and every basket!

  • The jewels are too numerous to count! The family is wealthy once again!

  • Tamarai wants to use their new wealth to build a small palace. Kunnutaiya agrees. Lord Vishnu comes to show them the spot where the old palace once stood. They will build there!

  • The new palace has been built. The couple now thank (and pay) the many workers who have done such a good job!

  • Payment is done “in kind.” Tamarai hands the lead worker a small bag of real pearls!

  • The nearby Chola king is invited to the ceremonies that celebrate the family’s palace completion. The Chola is pleased. He shows Tamarai and her husband new respect. Indeed he gives them a fine title: “Ruling Family of Ponnivala.”

  • Tamarai and Kunnutaiya are now well-respected. They have become King and Queen of beautiful Ponnivala!
[<==Back to Part 2]

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tamarai - Part II: Her Marriage and Early Years in Ponnivala

  • Tamarai has now grown into a lovely young woman. She is now sixteen years old, but she still loves to sit in her simple garden swing.

  • Kunnutaiya, the servant and shepherd boy who works for Tamarai’s family, has fallen in love with her.

  • Despite Tamarai’s brothers’ objections Lord Vishnu helps arrange a marriage between Tamarai and Kunnutaiya. She is led to the spot in the forest where the wedding will occur.

  • The wedding place is by an old temple. Lord Vishnu, in disguise, leads the way. No family members will be present.

  • Now Lord Vishnu takes on his normal appearance and marries the couple himself.

  • Vishnu magically produces two flower garlands and has the couple place them around each other’s necks, as is the wedding custom.

  • But then Tamarai’s family sends insulting wedding gifts: a dried up old cow and a blind goat, as well as other unwanted things.

  • Tamarai explains the meaning of these gifts to her new husband. They are symbols that say “don’t you two ever come back here.”

  • The two leave on a journey to find Kunnutaiya’s homeland, Ponnivala. They are happily married but sad that they have been treated like this by Tamarai’s family.

  • Tamarai and Kunnutaiya struggle, walking a very long distance in the sun and in the rain.

  • Eventually, after many days, the couple see two temples in the distance. This tells them that they have finally arrived in the land of Ponnivala.

  • Tamarai’s first desire is to clean the old family temple and get it back into a clean and pleasing condition.

  • Next Tamarai helps her husband build a small hut where they will live.

  • Tamarai helps sort the lumber and work out the details of their house design.

  • The women of the area bring Tamarai some of the necessary items for cooking. She thanks the two ladies for their kindness and starts to organize her new home.

  • Finally the house is ready. The couple have even purchased a cow!
[<==Back to Part 1]

Monday, July 28, 2014

Tamarai – Part I: A Beautiful Birth

  • Once, long ago, a beautiful woman spent her time praying near a lotus pond. She was hoping that the gods would grant her a child.

  • She was very determined. She prayed like this for months on end.

  • Shiva and Parvati looked down and saw the woman who was praying so hard!

  • These two gods decided to take the form of deer and then played together.

  • At the end of their play a magical drop of liquid fell onto a lotus bud that was growing in the pond below, near the praying woman.

  • It landed on this lotus flower with perfect accuracy.

  • Soon the flower opened and a beautiful baby could be seen lying inside.

  • The praying woman now opens her eyes. Upon seeing such a beautiful child she stretches out her arms and lifts it up!

  • After so many years of praying, the woman could not believe her good fortune!

  • The lovely girl that was found in the lotus is named Tamarai, the name of the flower her mother found her lying on.

  • Tamarai loves her swing which hangs in the family garden. She sits on it every day!

  • She spends every afternoon here, enjoying the open air and swing’s gentle movement.

  • Tamarai also loves birds, especially the doves that hang around her garden.

  • She feeds these birds every day, and listens to their soft cooing sounds.

  • And so, like this, Tamarai grows to become a beautiful young girl indeed!!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Kunnutaiya Part XI: The Wise Elder

  • Now that Kunnutaiya has two sons, a naming ceremony for them is arranged. The daughter already had her ceremony years ago.

  • The two sons are smart and full of energy. They soon ask their mother what animals the family has outside in the fields.   

  • The boys learn there are horses and they soon learn to ride them bareback!   

  • But Kunnutaiya himself is growing old. His wife Tamarai is worried that their sons are not yet married. She can hardly eat.

  • So Kunnutaiya and his wife call their sons. Both sons agree to marry but vow that they will never physically touch their wives.

  • The wedding takes place but it is strange. It happens far from a village and there are no relatives present.

  • Soon after the marriage the two wives are locked in their own palace. Their husbands never visit.

  • Now Kunnutaiya and Tamarai sense that the end is near. They call their two sons before them.

  • Kunnutaiya talks about how they must respect their neighbours and their clansmen, how they should stay calm and not hold any old grudges.

  • Tamarai speaks about their daughter Tangal. The two boys need to show her respect and listen to her requests.

  • The two brothers touch their parents’ feet and promise to obey their instructions.

  • Then Kunnutaiya and Tamarai quickly pass away. The three children and the palace maids say their last goodbyes.

  • Next the spirits that belong to the couple leave their bodies.

  • Outside Yeman is ready. He will carry both these spirits back to Lord Shiva’s Council Chambers high above.

[<==Back to part 8]