The Book of Vanci Canto 28 Summary
[E] Canto 28 – The Dedication of the Memorial Stone
As the evening approached the City of Vanci and the subjects eagerly awaiting the return of their beloved King and loved ones, as they entered, there was a sense of jubilance that ran around the city. “The lover and their women obeyed The commands of the God of Love, the archer
Who shot flower-tipped arrows…”
The lovers got united following the command of the God of love, the chaste queen met her husband and appraised him for his success. At this point the king and queen were visited by Cakkaiyan from Paraiyur. He was famous and renowned for his dancing skills. For the pleasure of the king he performed the dance known as “kotticcetam’, a dance of brilliant skill said to be performed by Siva.
Brahmana Matalan, Nilan and the messenger have come to see the king. To meet them the king went to his audience hall. First Nilan paid him respect and honour, and then said that while they were in the city of Cola king with the Arya kings who had fled the battlefield and sat in the audience hall which was built by the kings of Vajra, Avanti, and Magadha, the Cola king upon seeing the Arya kings who fled the battlefield in disguise, reacted. As a result, they took leave of the Cola king, and went to the king of the city of Maturai.
The Pandiyan king of Maturai also considered this strange that Cenkuttuvan would abuse the princes and warriors who fled the battlefield in the disguise of monks. He considered it stranger even that Cenkuttuvan would use the staff of the white parasol used by the Arya kings to place on the neck of elephants as the sacred scepter of Jayanta, and that he would offer prayers to Siva and Uma in the Himalayas. Upon hearing the indiscreet comments of the two great Tamil kings, Cenkuttuvan began to laugh though it was the laugh of anger.
At this point, the brahmana Matalan stood up and addressed the king. At first he praised the king as someone who destroyed Viyalur, fought nine kings alone on the outskirts of Itumpil, fought an amazing battle on the sea and followed his enemy to a great distance, and also fought and defeated the Arya kings. Matalan then wished him long life and long rule and then reminded that it had been fifty years that he ascended the throne, and since then he had performed various sacrifices of war but yet to perform sacrifices of religion.
Matalan reminded him that one of his ancestors earned glory after uprooting the cadamba oak from the sea, while other by engraving his bow-emblem on the Himalaya, and yet another helped a brahmana versed in the Vedas as a reward for composing poems to ascend to heaven and so on. He recited the long list of his ancestors’ heroic deeds and finally expressed to him that none of them were able to escape death. He reminded the king that wealth and youth do not last forever.
The brahmana continued and said that based on their actions the souls of heavenly body can reborn as mortals, and souls of human body can reborn as animals, and similarly, the souls of animals can take birth as demons. One’s life after death would be determined by one’s action of the former birth. The brahmana told that he was speaking thus not out of greed for some gifts, but because he could not see a good soul take a path suitable only for common people. Therefore, he suggested the king to perform the great sacrifice assisted by the brahmanas as versed in the four Vedas to choose the path approved by the Gods.
No one knows the future, and therefore his soul may leave his body even today, and therefore he must walk on this path suggested by him (Matalan) as soon as possible. Matalan ended his speech by wishing long life for the king and queen and the princes.
“The king of loud anklets, invited Sacrificial priests, instructed by teachers
Expert in four Vedas…”
The king received the wisdom thus given to him by the brahmana versed in Vedas, kindly and respectfully. As the idea sowed by the brahmana sprouted, the king summoned the sacrificial priests and asked to begin the festival of rites, as Matalan had suggested. He gave the order to release the Arya kings from the prison by taking them outside the city of Vanci, where they were told that they could leave for their respective states and cities once the sacrifice was over. He also asked Villavan Kotai to arrange for their comforts and luxury.
The Goddess Pattini was now worshipped by the whole world, who proved to the Cola King that “The virtue of women is useless of the king/Rules unjustly”. And to the Pantiyan king that “The king cannot survive if his scepter/ls crooked”. And finally to the Ceral king that the wrath of the kings will not be appeased till their vows are fulfilled and made known to the kings of the north”.
“She was adorned with ornaments Exquisitely crafted and worshipped with flowers. Images of the guardian deities stood At the entrance to the temple…….
.. Worship The Goddess every day with offerings and festivities.”
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