Published:06 Jan 2014 7 PMUpdated:06 Jan 2014 7 PM   Sakthi Vikatan
இது நான்கு வேத சாரம்எழுத்துச் சித்தர் பாலகுமாரன், ஓவியம்: பத்மவாசன்
This is four-Veda essence. Author:Wordsmith Balakumaran.  Painting by Padmavasan
Naradar helps Gautama find a two-faced cow.
Can you find one?
Siva helps Gautama to wed Akalikai.
1. The Devas and Asuras, to get Ambrosia, churned the Milk Ocean. First came the dark foam mixed with Halāhala poison (Halāhala (Sanskrit हलाहल), which caused shortness of breath and sent them helter-skelter, abandoning the churning pin. Siva stood there wondering whether the world will end. Siva scooped up the poison and swallowed it, accepting the possibility of his death. Parvati stopped the poison from going down beyond the throat. The bolters came back and churned the Milk Ocean. A multitude of objects and living beings emerged from the ocean. Akalikai was one among them.
2. She was a great beauty but a modest woman with a faint smile, strutting walk, and tenderness in the eyes. She paid homage to all, and all had the urge to reciprocate her gesture. Akalikai straightened her frame, causing them to exhale deeply with despondency. She smiled faintly, and they all returned the favor.
3. Is she the best offering from the milk ocean? Is she Mahalakshmi?
"No. No. Don’t stop now. Keep on churning the Milk Ocean until Mahalakshmi emerges from the blessed Milk Ocean.
That put the zeal in their churning effort. Indra and Gautama Muni took time off from their work and looked at Akalikai with great curiosity
4. Āhā! What a beauty! Indra desired her all for himself. 'Should I ask her, or should I grab her and run? What should I do to have her? He went in circles thinking of such a momentous opportunity. His mind was a beehive of activity making plans. He was on pins and needles.
5. Gautamar looked at her with wonderment.
'She is a rare beauty! She will help me to focus the mind. Householder's Tapas is the most appropriate for me, and she will be the best choice for me to uphold it. She will safeguard my penance. For my upliftment, she will show me the way and be the guide and the light of my life. Since my choice of her will bring Dharma, why should I reject it?
6. She will make the journey in the Tapasvin's life easy. Would it not be easy for me if she walks with me? Tapasvin's life is full of hardships: the body is susceptible to excessive heat, which she can cool down by her embrace. I could continue my effort.
7. 'Should I go to her and ask her directly for her hand. What if she rejects? Could I ask her again?
This predicament is my life. Won't my life take a turn for the better? He lamented inside he needed Akalikai.
Siva gives whatever a devotee asks. Let me plead with Siva in Kailas, worship him and ask him like a small child, 'I want her. Let me have her.' 

8. 'Sivane, My Sivane, I will sing praises of you.' He sang Siva poems in his heart, chanted Mantras, and kept Siva only in his thoughts, which reached surfeit and burst into a flood of light, making Gautama open his eyes.
Siva: "What do you want, Gautama?'' His sweet voice embraced him; a gleam of light grazed his head, making him stand up with his raised opposed palms and tears rolled off from his eyes.
"Sivane, I must have Akalikai, who rose from the Milk Ocean. I need your help to lead a life of Satya and establish Satya in this world. My belief is Akalikai will help me do it. That is why I beg of you to have Akalikai on my side."
Siva: "Is that so? You must make an effort."
Gautama: "Certainly, I will do it. I could do a greater effort." He became overwhelmed with emotion.
9. Siva smiled, which blossomed bigger on his face.
Siva:" You will have Akalikai on your side if you see a two-faced cow. Saying such mysterious words, Siva disappeared. Gautamar was shaking in fear, wondering what animal had two faces.
Gautama: Two-faced Cow! Where would I find it? Even Kamadhenu has no Lakshana (attribute) like that! Gautama was in a quandary. At that right moment, Naradar came to him.
Naradar: What is with you, Gautama? You are in a dilemma. I see grief written on your face. What is it. Out with it.
Gautama: I had a Darsan of Sivanar.
Naradar: Adada! You must be a man of merit, Jñāvān and Uttaman.
Gautamar: I begged him to help me win Akalikai's hands.
Naradar: That is wonderful. That takes to courage to ask Siva. You asked him right. Did you win her hands?
Gautamar: No
Naradar: Why not.
Gautamar: He imposed a small test.
Naradar: A test for you. You know all that one must know?
Gautamar: The test is more unusual.
Naradar: Let me know what test it is.
Gautamar: I must see a two-faced cow. Where is such an animal? Even Kamadhenu cannot force herself to give such an appearance.
Naradar: Hey, that is not a big deal. There are tons of two-faced cows all over the world.
Gautamar: Narada! Play not with me. I am in a dire situation. Don't you see?

10. Naradar: No such animal exists. Here is a herd of thousands of cows. A multitude of them is pregnant. One of them, any moment, can present you with two faces.
11. Gautamar: Is that so? How is that possible?
Naradar: Why don't you look for them.
As Naradar was standing nearby, Gautamar looked around. A cow crossed its front legs, made distressing sounds, scratched the earth with its horns, and wandered back and forth. A loud mooing sound came from the cow. Both men were standing there.
The cow's birth passage opened, and a flood of water came pouring down. A face appeared at the outlet, emerging from the womb through the birth canal.
Naradar: Look! Naradar pointed out the two-faced cow. The front head was anxious, and the rear head was trying to catch a breath. Naradar showed Gautamar a two-faced cow and patted the cow and the calf, saying, ''Good Job.''
Gautamar: Thank you. Not to Naradar but to the cow. Gautamar joined hands with Akalikai. Gautamar and Akalikai thanked Naradar.
Gautamar: Ayya, your sharp mind, no one else has. Jnanis appear great because you make them look great. Naradare! Please bless me.