The Book of Vanci Canto 27 Summary
Canto 27 – The Lustration:
Cenkuttuvan successfully brought the stone and then he went to the bank of holy river Ganga and paved the stone enraged with the image of the goddess as had been instructed in the scriptures, assisted by the Brahmanas who were well versed in the sacred rituals.
On the southern bank of the river, Cenkuttuvan parked with his soldiers in the camps which the Arya kings of the north had him built. These camps contained everything to cater to the needs of the Ceral king.
Cenkuttuvan then sent for the sons of the warriors of his army who had slain the enemies on the battlefield before falling to the ground after being hacked themselves by the swords and arrows of the enemies and had them wed with the heavenly nymphs. Those warriors who had died were praised in a round dance and then the king sent for those who had survived the battlefield and had shown to the enemies the power and strength of the southern kings.
He addressed to his soldiers and gave them sirissa flowers. He then adorned himself with a wreath of palm leaves and white dead nettle and took his place on the throne. At this point, he was approached by Matalan, the brahmana, who had earlier been with Kannaki and her husband, Kovalan. The brahmana said to the king the following words: king live forever! The song
“May our Of Matavi in the seaside grove burdened the crowns Of Kanaka and Vijaya. Ruler of the world,
Puzzled by the Matalan’s speech, Cenkuttuvan asked him to explain himself. Matalan told the king that whole story of Kannaki and Kovalan. He told him that after having a lover’s quarrel with Kovalan. Madhavi sang the song of the seaside grove, which instead of uniting them, drove them further apart. Kovalan came back to her chaste wife Kannaki and together they left for the city of Maturai, where Kovalan was killed by the order of the Pandiyan king, who himself died when he realized the injustice he has done. It was Kannaki, Kovalan’s wife ,who came to Cenkuttuvan’s kingdom and who was witnessed by the hill dwellers, who had been placed on the crowned heads of Kanaka and Vijaya.
“by the sea, may you live forever!”
The brahmana continued his story and narrated to the king that he had gone to the Potiyil hills, to bathe in the renowned waters of the Kumari, and when he was returning he heard about Matarti, who upon hearing what happened to Kannaki and her husband and the injustice done by the Pandiyan king, threw herself in fire and died. When Kavunti heard about the incident she was greatly enraged, but later was pacified when she learned about the death of Pandiyan king. But grieved because of the death of her companions she decided to starve to death, and thus ended her life.
When Matalan heard all this in detail he was grief-stricken. He went to the city of Pukar, the capital of Cola kings, and told about the entire incident to the people. When Kovalan’s father heard what happened to his son and his daughter-in-law, he decided to give up all his wealth and entered the sevenfold monastery of Indra, where he took severe vows to renounce the earth and escape the cycle of rebirth. His mother gave up her life in grief. Kannaki’s father also gave up his wealth and took holy vows before Ajivikas, and her mother also gave op her life in grief after some time.
When Madhavi became aware of the entire incident she decided to lead a life of virtues, and therefore she entered Buddhist hunnery, where she learned the holy word. Matalan said to the king that because they all died after they heard the news from him, he had come to absolve himself by bathing in the river Ganga. Cenkuttuvan asked him about the Pandiya kingdom and what became of it.
“Her hair, wreathed in flowers, She removed, and entered a Buddhist Nunnery And was taught the holy word…” The Brahmana Matalan informed the king that the throne of the was ascended by a Pandiya king of moon’s lineage, which was renowned for the way it protected the people who lived in the kingdom. The new Pandiya was like the sun mounted on his one-wheeled chariot by seven horses.
Cenkuttuvan listened to the wondrous tale of the brahmana whole night, and when the sky turned red announcing the dawn, Cenkuttuvan’s told him that it has been thirty-two months since they left the city of Vanci.
Later in that day, the king sat on his royal throne and asked the Brahmana Matalan, to whom he asked if the new Cola king be just and kind. Matalan told him that it would not be pos-, sible for the spear of Cola to stray from the right path. The king wino once gave away his own flesh to satisfy the hunger of a hawk and to the life of a limping dove can never do injustice to his subjects. ‘The Ceral king gave the brahmana fifty measures of gold equal to his (own weight. Next day, Cenkuttuvan began his journey south with his victorious army.
Back in the city of Vanci the queen was sorrowful because of (her parting with her husband. The maidservants had heard the news of Cenkuttuvan’s victory and went to the queen, praised her and told her that Cenkuttuvan had been victorious in the battle and returned home. They sang songs in the praise of the king and his victory in the battle. Cowherds played on their flutes and the fisherwomen sang the Tove song,
“… The conches Sounded. Throned atop a speedy elephant, Under a wreathed parasol, Cenkuttuvan With a chaplet of white dead nettle on his crown, And cheered by his subjects, in a procession of carts Drawn by elephants, entered Vanci.”
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