Saturday, July 12, 2014

Shambuga, The First Minister – Pt. VI Final Days

  • Shambuga, the ritual specialist, is assigned to skin the boar’s carcass and lay its meat out in seven separate portions. The heroes have prepared a ritual offering using the remains of this sacrificial beast.

  • This kind of offering is an old custom, a ritual performed just before going to war. And very soon the real fight begins! A fierce band of hunters launch a surprise attack on the hunting party. They want revenge. Komban was their wild boar!

  • As usual, Shambuga fights bravely and with great skill.

  • They are thrown into one great heap. 

  • But this is not true victory. In another story, the one about the two kings, we learn that these men die heroically, falling forward on their own swords. They know they can not return to Ponnivala with pride. All their support fighters have been lost! 
  • After seeing that his masters have died, and after finding that they first gave up their special (Kshatriya or warrior) chest threads, Shambuga decides it is time for him to die (loyally) beside them.

  • Shambuga does not own a sword, so he breaks a pointed limb off a sacred suma tree near by. 
  • Shambuga thrusts the blunt end of the great branch into the ground.

  • Next Shambuga says his final prayers, thinking of his two masters.

  • Then Shambuga falls forward onto his own homemade instrument of death.

  • But the story is not over. Now the heroes’ own sister, Tangal, comes to this tragic dying ground and resurrects her brothers using pots filled with special substances, plus a wand and some secret chants.

  • When Tangal’s brothers “awaken” so does Shambuga! He is given the same treatment they get. Tangal uses her magical powers on him as well!

  • The three men pay their last respects to the lovely Princess Tangal.

  • The three men stay “alive” just long enough for their loving sister to hear their last words. Then Tangal calls upon the gods to provide biers to carry them down the mountainside to a village at its foot.

  • Tangal prays for all three men as Lord Yeman, the god of death, arrives to take their life spirits back to the gods.

  • Tangal sits beside Shambuga as she gives the order to carry the three biers in a formal procession down the steep mountain path to a little village below.

  • Shambuga’s bier is carried down that path right behind that used for the bodies of the twin kings. Afterall, he had served as their faithful assistant all his life!

  • After reaching the village of Virappur, Tangal sees to it that her two brothers’ bodies, plus Shambuga’s, are all turned into stone statues. Together they form a small shrine centre. She now says her own words of prayer.

  • The heroes’ loyal horses are soon added to this sacred site. Shambuga’s statue stands there in memory of his loyal service to these twin Ponnivala kings. People worship there to this day.   
[<==Back to Part 5]

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