The Book of Vanci Canto 30 Summary
Canto 30 – The Granting of a Favour :
After looking at the divine form of the Goddess Kannaki, Cenkuttuvan turned to Tevantikai and asked her about Manimekalai and her act of renunciation of the world. Tevantikai after blessing the king told him the story of Manimekalai.
Manimekalai was born to Madhavi, and was famous amongst dancers. Her eyes were cool and she herself was unaware of the simple charm that she possessed. Her breast was risen, and her waist was slender. Her teeth were pearl white and her mound of love was widened Her thighs were rounded and feet were tender. And because she had not yet been taught the art of dancing, the men of noble families did not consider her a dancer.
“Actions had their own reward. Those who are born, Die, and those who die are reborn.”
After the death of Kovalan and the incident of burning of Maturai, Madhavi entered the nunnery and she said to her mother that Manimekalai should not be a courtesan, for it is a life of troubles. She then removed the lock of hairs of Manimekalai braided with flowers, which enraged the God of love and in his rage, he threw down his bow and flower arrow. Manimekalai entered a Buddhist nunnery, which made the king and other people very unhappy. The monk who received her said that it makes him sad that she is giving her life at the prime of her youth
Once the story was over, she went into the state of trance and stood up. She spoke to the king being unaware of what she was saying. She said that amongst the women who have come for the dedication of the Goddess Kannaki, there are twin girls born to the wife of some Arattan Cetti, and a little daughter of Cetakkutumpi. She said that near the temple of Manklatevi there was a hill, where there were many water-bodies from where springs leaped. Those who would bathe in the water of these pools could also remember their past life.
Her voice then addressed to the Brahmana Matalan and told him that he gave the water to Matalan while he was resting at the gate of that temple. The voice then asked the brahmana to sprinkle the water on three little girls mentioned above. The voice then revealed its identity as God Pacantan. The entire incident amazed the king Cenkuttuvan.
Matalan said to the king that once a woman named Malati was offering milk to the child of her husband’s second wife, and the child died. In her despair, she pleaded to the God Pacantan, who took the form of the child and came to her. He grew up in the care of her foster mother, and married Tevantikai and lived with her for eight years. And after eight years he showed her his divine form and asked her to come to his temple. Matalan said that while he was in the temple the God came in the form of brahmana and gave him the water which he kept. “Few are the days of your life You cannot escape from your fate.
The best help to reach heaven. Follow these
Perhaps, O people who live on this good earth.”
And then he asked to sprinkle the water on the little girls and as a miracle they remembered their past life. One was the mother of Kannaki, and she began to cry for her daughter. Another was the mother of Kovalan, who lamented the loss of her son and daughter-in-law and asked her son to come back to her. The third was Matari, who said after she returned from the river Vaiyai, she heard the news and she couldn’t find Kannaki in her house.
It was further told that they could not follow Kannaki to heaven, for they did not perform any other virtuous acts. But since they loved Kannaki very much the two of them took birth as twins and the third, Matari, was born to Cetakkuttumpi, who had rendered his life in the service of Vishnu. Matalan added that people who would do good acts would go to heaven and people who were attached to earthly things would have rebirth. Matalan finishes his speech by praising the king.
Pleased with the words of Matalan, the king offered various grants for the temple of Pattini and gave Tevantikai the responsibility of offering flowers and perfumes and incense. The Arya kings who were released from the captivity were also present. They prayed to the Goddess and asked her to grace their countries. Cenkuttuvan and all the other kings praised the Goddess. Matalan and the king went to the sacrificial hall. The poet says that he also entered the hall with them.
There in the hall stood Tevantikai who was once again under the possession of a God. She said to the poet that he was sitting with his father in the audience hall when an astrologer predicted that he would ascend the throne and not his elder brother Cenkuttuvan, which made him renounce the world and he took holy vows, so that his brother could become the king. The poèt says to the audience that they had now heard his story by the daughter of gods, and then asked to choose the right path by disregarding both pleasure and pain. He also gave certain instructions such as not to tell lies, neither to spread rumours, nor to give false evidence, nor to hurt living beings, to avoid bad, to care for ailing ones, and so on.
Here ends the Cilappathikaram. It ends in truth, With the story of Maniuekalai. Like a mirror Reflecting the far hills, it reflects the essence Of the cool Tamil country, enclosed by Kumari And Venktam, and by the eastern and western seas. It comprises of five landscapes of pure and impure Tamil Where live Gods and humans following their duty.
And practicing virtue, wealth and love. Its noble language expressing in perfect rhythm Good sense, theme of love and war, Exquisite songs, the lute, musical mode, chants, Drama, acts and scenes, dances .
That conformed to the established rules of the vari Round dance and Cetam, put in simple and perfect Tamil.
The Book of Vanci Canto 30 Summary The Book of Vanci Canto 30 Summary The Book of Vanci Canto 30 Summary