BHA12-StudyOfFourSastrasByA BrahmanaBoy
Bharathiayar Stories
Madurai Project. Article in Tamil
Translation: Veeraswamy Krishnaraj
1. Kamakshi said, ''Listen to me, king! The husband’s one-half of the body is feminine. Though you hate me, I have no refuge other than you. Though you forgot the love of me, my heart did not forget my love for you. If I were other than your wife, your sinful conduct will deter a face-to-face meeting. I forgive you. It appears you are not in a condition to listen to my story. I will not tell you the story now.

2. Uththandi promised to listen to the story with patience.

3. Kamakshi narrated the story as follows.

4. Kamakshi: ''A Brahmana grandmother had a son who never worked for a living, wandered around town aimlessly, and ate three meals a day at home. The old woman made a living selling Dosa, Idly, and savories and maintained the family with the profit she made.

5. The son continued his loafing.

6. The old woman called her son and said, ''How long do you think you will live without working, eating free food at home, and choking me? I will feed you until my last breath. How will live after my death? I am thinking of getting you married before I die. I am depositing Rupee 1.00 with the Chettiar for that purpose. How will you lead your married life? Hey, dog. Go away from here to the north of the country, learn the four Vedas and come back home.''

7. He did not know the meaning of Sastras. In his mind, he had the inclination to get married. His mother’s suggestion to learn Vedas was appealing to him so he can run a family with his wife. After eating his mid-day meal, he left his house and went north. He came across a sweet palm tree.

8. The tree asked him where he was going. He answered, ''To study the four Vedas.''

9. The palm tree said to him, ''I see! You will be studying Sastras. Let me teach you a Sastra.'' He accepted the offer.

10. The sweet palm tree said, ''That which stands like a tall palm tree, Bōlē, Bōlē.'' He continued walking, repeating the phrase in his mind.

11. A bandicoot appeared before him and asked him, ''Hey Brahmana boy! Where are you going? He said, ''To learn Sastras.'' The big rat said, ''If that is so, let me teach you a Sastra. Learn it.'' The boy acceded to it.

12. The big rat said, ''Like the big rat burrowing a hole in the mud, Bōlē, Bōlē.'' He continued going north by repeating the big rat Sastra.

13. On the way, he came across a lake. We went to drink water from the lake and saw a weed in the middle of the lake. The weed spoke to the boy, ''Aiyare! Wherefrom, are you? What is your destination?'' He narrated his history and said, ''I am on my way to study Sastras.'' The weed told him, ''If that is so, let me teach you a Sastra.'' He accepted to offer.

14. The weed taught him a Sastra, ''Like the weed, waking up in the middle of the lake, Bōlē, Bōlē.'' He continued his journey by reciting the three Sastras. He came across a fox, which asked him where he was going. He replied, ''To learn Sastras.''

15. The fox: ''Ōhō! You go to learn Sastras. Let me teach a Sastra.'' He accepted the offer.

16. The fox said, ''Like the fox waging its tail on seeing a man, Bōlē, Bōlē.''

17. The Brahmana boy was pleased with his luck to have learned four Sastras on the first day. If I were to tell my mother these four Sastras, she will give me permission to marry. Thinking like that and pleased with himself, he was on his way home.

18. By this time, it was nightfall. Thinking that he will continue his journey the next day, he slept on a raised platform in front of a house. He woke up early in the morning before dawn, he uttered the four Sastras that he learned. At that moment, robbers were digging in the backyard with a crowbar. The boy recited the Sastras loud.

19. First lesson he uttered, , ''That which stands like a tall palm tree, Bōlē, Bōlē''

20. The thieves heard his loud utterance, got frightened and thought, ''Ōhō! Someone makes loud noises to wake up the homeowner.''

21. The Brahmana boy recited the second Sastra, ''Like the big rat burrowing a hole in the mud, Bōlē, Bōlē.''

22. Hearing the Brahmana boy. the robbers thought, ''He is shouting, having seen the crowbar, Bōlē, Bōlē.'' They were trembling in their feet.

23. The boy loudly uttered the third verse of the Sastra, ''Like the weed, waking up in the middle of the lake, Bōlē, Bōlē.''

24. The thieves thought they must run out of there soon. The man is telling a secret phrase about our standing here awake with disbelief. Some ran away. The Brahmana boy heard the conversation, thought thieves were in the backyard and went there loudly chanting the fox sastra, ''Like the fox waging its tail on seeing a man, Bōlē, Bōlē.''

25. The thieves left the stolen jewelry boxes from an earlier robbery and took to their heels. The Brahmin boy woke the homeowner and others and showed them the boxes.

26. The people of the house asked, ''What happened?'' He explained everything that happened. Thinking that the boy saved them from losing their wealth, life, and limb, they gave the jewelry boxes to the Brahmana boy in a gesture of gratitude.

27. He took all the stolen goods to his mother and asked her to get him married.

28. Mother said to him, ''Wherefrom did you get these valuable assets? He narrated all that happened since he left home. The mother was ecstatic and got him married to the daughter of a nobleman. They lived happily thereafter for a long time. That is how Kamakshi ended the Brahmin boy’s story.

29. Uththandi, the kingly husband of Kamakshi posed a question, ''What was your motive for telling me the story?''

30. Kamakshi: ''I told you this story to remove your fatigue and give you succor. Here was no other motive.''
31. Uththandi thought, ''See, I am roiled about the wounded mind from the defeat, saving the country and my life from the enemy and finding a way out of this predicament. At this critical moment, she tells me children’s stories about weed in the lake, big rat, fox, and the palm tree. It is all bedtime stories for little children.'' He became angry and charged towards his wife and sank his nails into her neck.

32. Singa Kamakshi dexterously released herself from his grip, saw blood pouring out of her neck, and angrily kicked Uththandi on his face with her right front leg.

33. Uththandi, with great anger, fiery eyes, and quivering mustache, roared, ''Adi Demoness! Let me kill you this second.'' He bit his wife’s neck and drank blood from her jugulars. Kamakshi bit his leg and drank his blood. Kamakshi’s companion lions came running and Uththandi and Kamakshi retracted their teeth from each other. Uththandi left the private quarters of the queen.

34. As events unfolded in Peykadu, let us pay attention to the father-in-law of Uththandi, Gundōdhara Rajan, who sent Narichchi Nallathangai as the emissary to Kadambavanam.

35. When Narichchi went to Kadambavanam with her retinue, she did not go to Gundodhara’s palace but went to her old friend the buffalo Viruththimathi’s home, thinking of some stratagem.

36. Viruththimathi once went to Ponnangadu palace. Vīravarman showered her with plenteous gifts and spoke caring words against all royal protocols. She always reminisced those words in mind frequently, regarded them as highlights of her life, and entertained love for Vīravarman. When Narichchi Nallathangai came, Viruththimathi enquired, ''How are Vīravarma, his wife and children? Are they well?''

37. Thinking Viruththimathi will chase her away when she discovers that she became the traitor and worked for Uththandi Rajan, Narichchi simply said to Viruththimathi, ''Yes.''

38. Viruththimathi asked her, ''Are you coming from Ponnangkadu?''

39. Nallathangai: ''I am coming from Peykadu.''

40. Viruththimathi: ''Why did you go there?''

41. Nallathangai: ''You must have heard there is a war between Peykkadu and Ponnangkadu. To stop the war somehow, the queen Mākāli, Vīravarman’s royal consort sent me to Peykadu’s queen Kamakshi, who sent me to her father with a secret message.

42. Viruththimathi: ''What secret?''

43. Nallathangai: ''I should not divulge the secret until the secret’s intent finds fulfillment. I should guard against leakage because things may go wrong. Once the objective is achieved, I will reveal the secret.'' Accepting her explanation, Viruththimathi hosted her and her retinue to the royal treatment.

44. In the evening, Nallathangai asked Viruththimathi, ''Do you go to the palace often?''

45. Viruththimathi said, yes.

46. Narichchi: ''Does not your king Gundodharan have four wives?''

47. Viruththimathi nodded her head in assent.

48. Narichchi: ''What is the reigning queen’s name?''

49. ''Reigning queen’s name is Svarnambha.''

50. Narichchi: ''Peykkadu Kamakshi mentioned her mother’s name is Mīnakshi.''

51. Viruththimathi: ''Yes. Mīnakshi is the third wife. Gundodhara Rayan loves Mīnakshi more than he loves the reigning queen.''

52. Narichchi: Among the queens, with whom do you have the most friendship?''

53. Viruththimathi: ''With the reigning queen.''

54. Narichchi: ''I wonder whether Mīnakshi and you are in talking terms?''

55. Viruththimathi: ''We do talk to each other. She calls me. She offers me turmeric and kumkum. Mīnakshi does not share with me secret matters as Svarnambha does.

56. Narichchi: ''Who is the confidante of Mīnakshi?''

57. Viruththimathi: ' Mallichchi Mānikkavalli and Mīnakshi have two bodies, but they have only one life.''

58. While they were conversing, suddenly Gundodhara’s soldiers barged in, arrested and manacled Narichchi Nallathangai, and threw her into the jail. She cried loudly while they manacled her. Viruththimathi comforted Narichchi telling her the soldiers made a mistake and she will go to Svarnambikai and straighten the matters soon. She left for the palace.