Friday, September 19, 2014

Princess Tangal Part XI: Building A Shrine

  • Tangal is now taking a magical journey. On the back of a golden goose she is flying between the land of the living and the land where her dead siblings lie. She is taking seven pots full of magical substances with her. What kind of a funeral has she planned for her two warrior-brothers?

  • The goose drops Tangal off where her pet dog is loyally protecting the seven leaf plates containing a sacrificial meat offering prepared, much earlier, out of the wild boar her brothers had victoriously speared through the heart.

  • Tangal burns these offerings with her magical wand.

  • This frees her little pet from his duties as a guard, so he can accompany her to the dying ground where her brothers lie. She requests that he show her the way.

  • First the odd pair find the river where the two warriors washed their swords after their last battle, and where they received a sign from Lord Vishnu that their lives must now be brought to an end.

  • Climbing up the river bank, just as her brothers did before her, Tangal finds their bodies. She sees that her two siblings have been accompanied in death by the family’s magnificently loyal assistant, Shambuga.

  • Tangal sets he pots down and begins to weep. This sight of her brothers’ limp bodies is too much for her to bear.

  • Then Tangal begins to sprinkle some of the magic water she has in one of her pots on the dead bodies that lie before her.  

  • After some time the bodies begin to rise up off the swords they fell on. Tangal is amazed and astonished.

  • She sees the three bodies rise to their feet. With hope and words filled with emotion she calls out to them. She asks how they feel.

  • Ponnar is the first to respond verbally. They are OK. Tangal begs the three to come back with her and begin life where they have left off. She wants to erase their deaths and return to the old family home. But Shankar explains that they cannot do this, that the era of their reign has passed and others must now step in.

  • The three men gesture respectfully to Tangal and then transform themselves back into three lifeless prone bodies.

  • Tangal prays to Lord Vishnu, asking him to produce two biers, one for her brothers to fide on and another for their loyal assistant. Vishnu complies with her request and compassionately supplies what she needs, alone with a number of assistants who will carry the two heavy loads.

  • Tangal wants to transport her brothers out of the remote mountain place where they now lie, and down to a village called Virappur where shrines can be built and people will create an annual festival that will celebrate and remember their heroic deeds.

  • Just before the long journey begins the Lord of death, known as Yeman, appears with another little box. The spirits that returned briefly to the prone bodies in order to speak with Tangal will now be taken heavenward for good. He has brought a box that will carry the three souls.

  • Now the long funeral procession sets out. Tangal, the dead heroes’ devout little sister, is determined to lead the way.

  • Once the bodies reach Virappur Tangal asks that Lord Vishnu transform their carrying biers into something much more grand. The bodies are then given a brief tour of the village so that all can pay their respects.   

  • Next the entire entourage transforms into a small folk shrine. No one in the warrior’s party is forgotten. Even Ponnachi and the horses the two men once rode take the form of statues that are designed to stand loyally on both sides of the two heroes themselves.

  • Tangal is the first to worship at this newly built temple. All the required ritual offerings are provided by Lord Vishnu’s grace. Tangal, taking the role usually assigned to a man, officiates. She is the one to say the appropriate prayers that honor her brothers’ two names.

  • And then something even more surprising happens! A lovely golden chariot descends from the sky. It has been sent by Lord Shiva himself and it is positioned to allow a landing right beside Tangal herself.

  • Tangal now rises in this chariot directly to Shiva’s own Council Chambers in Kailasa. This is the very place where Shiva reincarnated her sixteen years previously, choosing to take the youngest of the seven Kannimar and transform her into a small embryo that he then placed in her mother Tamarai’s womb.

  • Tangal reaches Kailasa in no time and is welcomed back by the great god and his wife Parvati, acting in unison.

  • Tangal thanks the divine couple. She expresses her gratitude for their help in returning her to a life that will now continue to unfold in her pre-birth-on-earth abode.

  • Tangal’s captured parrot shoes soul is now freed as well, completes this mystical cycle by rejoining its forest mate. The two love birds also return to their previous life as birds that dwell in Lord Shiva’s own heavenly paradise.
[<== Back to Part X]

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