Monday, June 04, 2012

Episode 10: The Pillar of Destruction

In this feature, we outline the chapters of The Legend of Ponnivala as we've laid them out in the animated and print series. The sub-story descriptions are those that occur in each episode, and are drawn from our Teacher's Handbook.

A young Queen, insulted and beaten at her own brothers’ orders, visits the temple of the goddess Kali. Her brothers follow her there to beg forgiveness. She then lifts the curse she laid on their family. But, returning home, she finds her own husband now is angry with her. Cast out, the Queen becomes very depressed. Fortunately, Lord Vishnu offers her help.

Two Brothers Beg Forgiveness

While the bruised and dejected heroine stands before the goddess a priest of this temple happens by. He asks who beat her and why. Upon learning the story he makes the excuse that he has forgotten something and then runs to her brother’s home. There he talks with the two brothers and begs them to go to the temple and ask their sister’s forgiveness. Only then will their children be brought back to life. The two men reluctantly go and fall at their sister’s feet. She does not want to look at them but the goddess advises her to forgive them and then to enter the home where she was born.

Many Children Miraculously Revived

The queen forgives her brothers, but demands that they run off, out of sight. They do this and she proceeds to visit her natal home with the temple priest as her escort. Inside she finds the dead bodies of her brothers’ fourteen children. The priest tells her she has special powers and begs her to revive them all. The heroine bargains and asks permission to take two of the female children for her own purposes. The priest allows this and all the children are brought back to life using a golden wand sent to the sister by Lord Shiva himself.

Two Brides-To-Be Become Stones to Await Their Grooms

The heroine takes two girls of her choosing from the palace, dragging them against their will to a spot near the village (Ganesh) temple. There she magically turns them into two upright stones. Calling on Lord Vishnu, she asks that these girls be guarded by beetles and wasps until such time as she can bring her own (as yet unborn) twin sons back to that very spot to marry them. Finally, satisfied with her accomplishments, the queen gathers her servants and start out on the path back to her own palace.

The Queen is Banished from the Palace by an Angry King

Now back at home, the king finds his queen asleep and exhausted. He suspects trouble because she has covered her whole body with her sari. Asking to see her arms and legs he soon knows the real truth about her terrible beating. He banishes her from the palace. She plans on suicide and calls in the stone masons to build her a 60 foot tower from which she will jump to her death.

The Queen Contemplates Suicide

...but is saved from death at the last moment

When it is completed she climbs up and then calls on Lord Vishnu, asking that he assure her that when she jumps her body will be broken into many pieces. Vishnu dissuades her with his cunning and exhorts the couple to perform a long list of good works instead. Vishnu implies that when these many fine deeds are complete, that they will be granted a child.

No comments:

Post a Comment