Thursday, June 14, 2012

Episode 14: The Temple Secret

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. Series 2 begins with Episode 14: The Temple Secret.

A scheming midwife tries to kill the twin sons born to the Queen of Ponnivala. But the family goddess, Celatta, rescues them in secret and then protects them beneath her temple. The boys dine on magical tiger’s milk and receive marshal arts lessons. A baby girl born in the palace minutes later is accepted as the Queen’s only child. She is raised with love by her parents.

A Midwife Is Bribed By Greedy Clansmen

Several clan relatives of the ruling family in Ponnivala hear rumors that triplets (two sons and one daughter) will soon be born to the queen. They decide to bribe the local midwife, asking her to kill the two baby boys before their mother ever sees them. She is to “stuff any male babies down a rat hole” leaving only baby girls to survive. But Lord Vishnu hears about the plan from his seat on the milk sea and decides to help the queen. He alerts the local family goddess and asks her to dig a secret tunnel that will connect the palace birthing room to her nearby temple.

Two Magical Heroes Are Born!

Then Vishnu takes the form a fly on the wall of the birthing room. The midwife blindfolds the queen, telling her that “this is her first experience of childbirth” and that the blindfold will help her not to be scared. While she sharpens her knife in an adjacent room Vishnu transforms into his true self and performs a magical Caesarian on the queen. He lifts out the twin boys who are already strong and warlike. They first “kick the evil” out of the midwife, straightening her back (which earlier had 18 bends).

A Shocked Mother Learns The Truth About Her Only New Born

Then the goddess appears in the room and lifts the two boys in her arms. She whisks them thru her secret tunnel to her local shrine where they will now live safely hidden under her protection. Meanwhile, the queen gives birth naturally to the third in the series, a baby girl. When her blindfold is finally untied the new mother is shocked to learn that she has only one baby girl.

The Twin Heroes Are Raised By A Goddess

The king and queen graciously accept their fate and commit to raising their daughter well. She introduces her to the family goddess and welcomes her into palace life. Meanwhile, the local goddess is secretly raising the girl’s twin brothers in a cave-like space under her temple. There she feeds the boys on the milk of tigers and elephants. Soon they will grow mature and be endowed with magical powers. But all this happens without the knowledge of the royal couple.

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