- Kunnutaiya rules as a good king. His workers respect him.
- Kunnutaiya gives orders gently. He also plays a key role in
helping to resolve local disputes.
- But Kunnutaiya’s wife, Tamarai, is deeply unhappy. There
have been no children born in the family palace.
- Tamarai also notes that the horses have no colts and the cat
has no kittens. There is barrenness everywhere!
- Tamarai wants to visit her brothers’ children. Kunnutaiya
warns her not to go, fearing trouble. But Tamarai is determined,
saying she has a right to visit her natal place.
- In preparation, Tamarai has jewelry made for each of her
brothers’ children. They will be a kind of substitute for the
child she wishes she had herself.
- When Tamarai later returns and tries to hide, Kunnutaiya
quickly discovers that she has been beaten. He had warned her
earlier that her brothers once told her never to go back to her
birthplace, where they now live. He suspects their hand in this
- Kunnutaiya is angry, saying that Tamarai disobeyed him by
going to her natal home. He orders her to leave the palace.
- Tamarai now contemplates suicide. She orders the artisans to
build a high pillar surrounded by sharp stakes.
- When Tamarai climbs this tower Lord Vishnu appears and talks
to her gently, persuading her to descend safely.
- Vishnu also talks gently to Kunnutaiya, who is now feels
guilty about ordering Tamarai to leave.
- Vishnu brings the couple together in front of the Ganesh
temple. He tells them they must work together.
- Acting as an astrologer, Vishnu reads from a palmleaf book,
listing the many good acts the couple must perform that will benefit
- Vishnu tells them they are to dig wells along Ponnivala’s
many roads to benefit thirsty travelers.
- They must also to build shelters where workers can rest away
from the hot sun.
- Vishnu concludes by changing the couple’s fundamental
perspective about what is important, moving them away from negatives
to thinking very positive thoughts.
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