Monday, October 19, 2015


This clip actually precedes the previous one. I have chosen to discuss these two excerpts in reverse chronological in order to clarify the “set-up” these artisans are faced with, first. It is now appropriate to ask why do they agree to this contest? After all, they walked out of the Chola palace in protest. Why don’t they walk away from this ritual as well?

The answer seems obvious from the artisan’s behaviour. They worship Lord Vishnu and call out his name the moment that he (magically) appears. These men then listen to the Chola’s question, put to the great Lord, about to whom he should grant the power to rule over the lands of Ponnivala? The biased “set up” becomes even clearer now. The king has been clever in his decision to call on Vishnu. He knows that no one will contest the power of this great god or question his choice of a dispute resolution mechanism. 

Once again, in this clip, the artisans attempt to say “no” to the king, but they speak in vain. Vishnu follows the king’s statement of the problem by saying that he himself has chosen the ritual means to be used to resolving the issue at hand. The great god even uses the words “this is my covenant” to pronounce his firm decision to all preseent. And he even goes so far as to explain the outcome to the artisans. If these craftsmen fail, they will have to accept their food from the hands of the farmers (which they will find demeaning). Nonetheless, the artisans must show deference to Vishnu. They have no choice. He is the great god. So they bow to Vishnu’s edict and hope for the best. Everyone is now holding their breath.

Signing off for now,
Blogger” Brenda Beck
The Sophia Hilton Foundation of Canada

Have you experienced The Legend of Ponnivala on TV or in print? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

To find out more about The Legend of Ponnivala -- the legend, the series, the books, and the fascinating history behind the project, visit 

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