Princess Kamalavalli and God Araṅganātha Perumāḷ
Sakthi Vikatan January 15, 2019
Author: Indiara Saundarrajan. Drawing: M.S.  Images: Manikandan
he temple service done by Nandachōzan, coming in the line of Killichōzan and Rājamahēndiraṉ, was exceptional. He had the singular and unique boon of getting Araṅganāthaṉ as his son-in-law and the consort of his daughter. 1
Because of Nandachōzan, Araṅganātha Perumāḷ took the form of Maṇavāḷar in Uṛaiyūr. That is how we all got the benefit of Azhagiya Maṇavāḷa Perumāḷ Temple. This is a beautiful love story. 2
Nandachōzan had no children. He supplicated to Araṅganāthar. Perumal conferred on him an alternate solution! 3
There was a lotus pond with that day’s blossom in full bloom. Araṅganāthar placed a crying Ayōṉi-c (not born of a womb) baby girl right in the center and top of the flower. The cry of the baby attracted the attention of Nandachōzan near the pond and made him look in the direction and see the infant. 4
Is it a baby? Saffron flower! 5
The king scooped up the baby. He understood. She is Araṅgan’s gift! 6
Since the baby was found on and picked up from the lotus flower, he named her Kamalavalli (= கமலவல்லி = Lotus-creeper). Kamalavalli breezed through (life), waxed like the moon and became the ‘waneless’ ever-present full moon. 7
One day, Araṅgaṉ came just to titillate Kamalavalli. He came on a white horse. He rode the horse by the leafy pond with panache. Until then, Kamalavalli never saw a man eye to eye except for her father, Nandachōzan. She lost her self-awareness and composure and looked at the white-horse Araṅgaṉ intently. At that moment she fell in love with Araṅgaṉ, caught in his romantic clutches. She followed him. Araṅgaṉ too seemed to beckon her by his eyes, took her past the Tiruvaraṅga Temple Tower and disappeared magically inside the sanctum. 8
Kamalavalli realized intuitively he was not a womb-born man, but a Māmāyaṉ who is the universal inducer and supporter of all pregnancies. Kamalavalli was so enamored with and enslaved by Araṅgaṉ, she was stubborn in pursuing him (to the end of the earth). She would not return without seeing and knowing him. 9
The companions of Kamalavalli came rushing in search of her. They followed the hoofprints of the horse and Kamalavalli’s footprints and found her frozen still before the temple tower. They asked her beseechingly, “Princess! Thank God, you are here. We looked for you everywhere.” 10
Kamalavalli was so immersed in her thoughts she did not hear the concerned voices of the companions. Her mind was dwelling on the hero’s smiling face and the galloping white horse. She traced the hoofprints of the white horse beyond the entrance to the temple tower. She followed the hoofprints into the temple past the tower. 11

The temple priests and the guards alerted by the news ran to welcome Kamalavalli. She did not look at them, even tangentially. Her eyes were fixated on the hoofprints, which were not visible to the eyes of others in the melee. 12
A Vēthiyar (Temple Brahmin priest well-versed in Vedas) humbly asked the princess, “Devi! What do you see on the ground?” 13
Kamalavalli: “Are they not visible to your eyes? I followed the hoofprints of a horse of the beautiful Maṇavāḷaṉ. See here! I am still following them.” 14
The Vēthiyar with exasperation: “Horse’s hoofprints? None are visible to our eyes. These are floors with granite slabs. How could the hoofprints leave marks on them?” 15
Kamalavalli saying, “Here, here! How could I follow the hoofprints if they are not visible to me?” She followed the hoofprints of the horse ignoring everybody else. The hoofprints were pointing to the Inner Sanctum. 16
The Vēthiyars and the guards followed Kamalavalli. They entertained doubts in their minds and wondered whether she was in a trance. As Kamalavalli neared the sacred Inner Sanctum, they heard the neigh of the horse. She righted herself from the stoop looking at the hoofprints. There it was: a white horse standing in the fore of the Mandapam at the entrance to the sanctum, smeared with turmeric from the mane to the rear end with shining kum-kum spots and flailing grandiloquent tail. 17
Kamalavalli excitedly burst out, “The same white horse…the same white horse…” 18
The priest: “Princess! This is the temple horse along with the elephant and the cow. Right now, horse worship is taking place.” 19
Kamalavalli: “All that, I don’t know. This is the horse, that handsome man rode on. He invited me with the call of his eyes. I was playing ball near the Palāśa tree pond, and as soon as I saw him on the horse, I followed him.” 20
The hostler went to the captain of the guards and addressed him, “Captain! A little while ago, this white horse was missing. I walked the horse to this place from the stable a little while ago. Since I forgot the silk drape for the horse, I left the horse here to bring the drape, and on return, the horse was missing.” 21
The hostler: “I searched for the horse everywhere. I could not find it. I panicked before the Sanctum, shed tears and beseeched Perumāḷ, “What kind of test is this?” At that moment, a great hero of a man touched me by the shoulder and pointing in a direction said, “The horse you are looking for is there.” As I turned to face him, I saw him enter the holy sanctum. He never came out, to this moment. Princess Devi’s reference must be to this man. He had a blue upper garment hanging from his shoulder.” 22
The Vēthiyar group (the passel of priests) entered the sanctum that very moment to discover ‘Who that person was.’ Inside the sanctum, the assigned Sanctum priest was in meditation. He opened his eyes hearing the melee. 23
The Sanctum Priest: “What happened? Why all this excitement?” 24
The priests addressing the Sanctum Priest: “Did anyone come inside the sanctum?” 25
The Sanctum priest: “Here! Inside the Garbha Graham (= The womb-house = Sanctum Sanctorum)? Who other than the Initiated can come inside?” As he raised these questions, he turned towards Araṅgan’s Cyaṉa Kōlam (The Reclining Lord’s habiliment) and saw a blue shawl on the holy body of the Lord!” 26
Once he saw it, his heart, mind, and soul melted. “Emperuman! Was it you who came in?” His eyes brimmed with tears. Kamalavalli, standing apart on the side, saw Araṅgaṉ in a shut-eye pose sporting the blue shawl. Her blue eyes froze in place. 27
That time, the king was in royal administrative consultation with the ministers. The head maidservant arrived at the entrance to the council chamber, went on her knees with bowing head, a sign that an important matter was on hand and royal permission to speak. Nandachōzan, having noticed her, pulled the long milk-white shawl off the floor and on to his shoulder, approached her and enquired, “What is the matter?” 28
The maidservant: “King! The princess with the attendants was bathing in the Palāśa pond and seeing a beautiful youth on a white horse, followed him. The young man entered the Tiruvaraṅga Temple, the sanctum sanctorum and disappeared inside the Sanctum. The young man was Araṅga Mahāprabhu as surmised not only by the princess but also by the temple officials. 29
“Having experienced such an extraordinary event, she, as a Yogi, is in constant thought of Araṅga Prabhu. She rejected food and sleep, and babbles, “Araṅga-p-prabhu! Why did you invite me? Leaving me alone, you disappeared. When will you come back to take me as your slave and servant (confer grace to a faithful devotee, that I am)? 30
Hearing what the maidservant said to him, Chōzan’s face had the look of astonishment and later of confusion and agitation. The king asked the maidservant to be near his daughter and offer succor and support. He came back to the council of ministers, narrated the incident and asked for their advice. He said to them, “Dear ministers! What do you think of the mental state of my daughter?” 31
Ministers: O King! Let us go to the princess. We will ask her directly, to appraise the situation. Later, we will come to a conclusion.” They came to the inner chambers of the palace and found the princess performing puja with lights and incense to Tiruvaraṅgaṉ’s small rock idol. Seeing it, fear enveloped them. Kamalavalli, until then, was an ebullient youngster singing, dancing, and playing hide and seek. She was a delightful youngster with an airy and floating persona. Now, it is all topsy-turvy. 32
Changes in life are common. Making allowance for it, will a young girl subject herself to such drastic changes? 33
Nandachōzan was confused and agitated. He spoke to his daughter. 34
King: “What is all this, my dear child?”
Princess: “Father! This is my chosen path. Is it not apparent to you?”
King: “Where is the need for it now?”
Princess: “Father! There is no time (and place) for these things to happen.” 35
Kamalavalli’s perceptive answer shook the council of ministers. 36
Is it appropriate for the princess to fast on this account? A minister interrupted and voiced his opinion, “Painting is possible only when a wall is available.” 37
Kamalavalli agreed with him with beauty and grace. In a soft voice, she said, “I have seen the Panacea! Possibly because of it, I have no hunger pains.” 38
That answer, they did not expect coming from her! 39
More is coming.
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