19Rangarajyam
Posted Date : 06:00 (18/12/2018) = December 18, 2018
ரங்க ராஜ்ஜியம் – 19. = Ranga Rajyam-19
இந்திரா சௌந்தர்ராஜன் - ஓவியம்: ம.செபடங்கள்: என்.ஜி.மணிகண்டன்
Author: Indira Saundarrajan. Images: M. S. Photos: N.G. Manikandan 

Mahābali laughed aloud when Vāmaṉar asked for a donation of land three feet long. Following it, Mahābali said, “O Son of Muni, What kind of show is this? I expected you to ask for a big forest Āśramam, ten thousand cows, a riverine village, a city, nine kinds of gems for a huge sacrifice, and more, you asked for a mere three feet of land and made me laugh. Is this some kind of play? Be brave and ask me for what you need.” After his Asuric belly laugh, he spoke in a business-like fashion. 1

                                          
Vāmaṉaṉ: “I am not playing, Bali! This is my desire. In the vast expanse of the world, I do not own even a foot of land. That is the reason why I asked for three feet of land.” 2
Bali: “In this world, you don’t own a foot of land! What kind of stupidity is this? How is it right that you need only three feet of land? I am a great king. These worlds are my property. From a person of such immense prosperity, you can ask for this world. That would be a gift of pride for me. As opposed to it, your request for a three-foot land is lower than the lowest. 3
Vāmaṉaṉ: All right. First, you give the three-foot land. Later, to comply with your desire, I will ask for the world. Since this is in your ownership. It is sufficient that you give me first the three -foot of land.” 4
Bali: You are a humorous person! Where would you like your three-foot of land? In what direction? Please tell me. After I give you what you asked for, let me do the next deed. 5
Vāmaṉaṉ: Will you break your promise? 6
Bali: What kind of a question is this? You know I am Bali, the great king." 7
Vāmaṉaṉ: What does it matter whoever it is? I like the promiser keeping his word and fulfilling his promise. I will put my foot where I want and make that land mine. Is that acceptable to you? 8
Bali: “Promise made, promise kept.” 9
Vāmaṉaṉ: “This is not enough. I need a guarantee.” 10
Bali: “Assurance. For a mere three feet?” 11
Vāmaṉaṉ: “For such.” 12

                                                            
Bali: “You are by appearance, speech, and deed a little man. All right. I give you my assurance. Is it satisfactory?”13
Vāmaṉaṉ: “Mere words are not sufficient. Just as the father gives his daughter in marriage with a sprinkling of water, you should complete the deed with ritual offering of sacred water.”14
Bali: “Is there anything else?”15
Vāmaṉaṉ: No. That is sufficient. 16
As Vāmaṉar said it with tranquility, a vessel of sacred water was brought in. So far Śukrachāriar (the king’s head priest) was quiet. Now a flood of emotions roiled inside him. Even he could not understand the subtle meaning of the three-foot land. Therefore, he decided to do an act. 17
He morphed into a black beetle, entered the vessel, blocked the water spout and prevented the water flow so the lack of flow would become an inauspicious signal and stop the gifting of the three-foot land. 18
He understood he could not do more than what he proposed to do. He removed himself from his former spot and by the power of his Tapas, flew over the water vessel as Bali began the ritual gift-giving. 19
Mahābali said, “I am ready.” Saying, “Just wait,” Vāmaṉar took his Viśvarūpam (Universal form). Seeing it, Mahābali and others were wonder-struck. Vāmaṉar holding the palm-leaf umbrella between the earth and the heaven, raised his leg. It was broader than the spinning globe of the plan earth. Mahābali was shaking in his core. That one-foot stride encompassed the whole earth. 20
Next, the same leg was raised further so much the foot was beyond the eyesight. Around the leg were visible the sun, the moon, the stars, and the gods. Bali’s corporeal trembling and shaking at the core reached its zenith. The purpose of Śukrāchāriar’s objection became apparent, and Bali searched for him. 21

                                                      
Śukrachāriar entered the Kamandalam (water vessel) and blocked the passage in the spout. Having strode two steps, Vāmaṉar looked at Mahābali who said, “I have a tiny spot of my head to offer you. I have no more land to offer you.” He opposed his palms in reverence, went on his knees before Bhagavan. 22
Vāmaṉar with a smile on his face put his foot on his head, having strode this foot on the earth and heaven. Once his foot touched his head, Bāli experienced horripilation in his head. 23
Mahābali wanted to offer the sacred water from the Kamandalam, there was no water coming out of it. Śukrāchāriar in the form of a beetle blocked the waterspout. Seeing the lack of water flow, Mahābali trembled. Vāmaṉar with no trepidation spoke to Bali. 24

                                                                            

Vāmaṉar: “Don’t be confused Mahābali! It looks there is a blockage. Let me unblock the spout with a strand of Dharba grass, and the blockage will clear.” Vāmaṉar asked for a strand of Dharba grass, with which Vāmaṉar poked the spout., Śukrāchāriar’s eye was poked and bled out of the spout. 25
Here on the spot, the sacred water flowed, the three-foot land came into the possession of Vāmaṉar. Mahābali kept his word, as he promised. He fell at Vāmaṉar’s feet in eight-limb prostration (Sāṣtāṅgam) and said, “Emperumāṉ! I understand there is no life in the 14 worlds equal to you in intellect, modesty, power, and performance. I understood the futility and emptiness of my words like” ‘I,’ Mine and Me. Please forgive me. Please give me refuge. Take me as your slave and admit me into your good graces.” He cried and sobbed before Vāmaṉar. 26

Nīlivanam Ṛṣi finished telling Kiḷichozan the story of Vamana Avatara in its essential and meaningful details. He further said, though Śukrāchāriar because of his self-pride and selfishness, lost sight out of his one eye, Mahābali gained wisdom. Mahābali understood there is no atom without the indwelling God. He is All-pervader. He is the omniscient. Ṛṣi said to Kiḷichozan, “you understood that I am sure.” 27
Kiḷichozan: Yes Maharishi! Emperuman’s holy acts are a great lesson to humanity. His stories do not sate me, the more I hear of them. Maccham (fish), Kūrmam (Tortoise), Varāham (Boar), Narasimham, and Vāmaṇam taught me many subtle lessons. Are Ramāvatāra and Krishnāvatāra similar?” 28
Ṛṣi: Did you forget Paraśurāma and Balarāma? 29
The king Kiḷichozan: “You must narrate these Avataras.” 30
Ṛṣi: Know one thing well. This tongue exists just to utter his name. This mind is there just to think of him. These eyes are created just to see him. Since we are mesmerized by the Māyic world, we perform the righteous acts of the senses only sometimes. Avert this mesmerization, and these Avataras would help you think of Emperuman in manifold ways. In the guise of my narration to you, I am lucky to think of him. 31

After the reign by Kiḷichozan, Tiruvaraṅgam under Rājamahēndiraṉ Chōzaṉ became great. When the Kāvēri floods occur around the North-South configured island of Araṅgam, Kaveri runs from East to West entering the south Rajagopuram, and likewise, the Koḷḷida River waters in the North comes into the temple. The inundation got worse. 32
During floods, the devotees could not get Darśan of Emperuman. Realizing the flood pattern, King Rājamahēndiraṉ identified the problems and solutions: Discovering the origins of the seepage (filtration) springs and plugging them; building leakproof floors in the place of wet, muddy floors to forestall bubbling springs; and redirecting the streams to flow along the course of the river. The innermost circumambulatory path around the sanctum sanctorum (= உண்ணாழிகை = Uṇṇāzhikai) was renamed ‘Rājamahēndiraṉ Sutṛṛu.’ 33