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kuNTalakEci akaval
of yOki cuttAnanta pAratiyAr
English Translation by Kausalya Hart

யோகி சுத்தானந்த பாரதியாரின்
குண்டலகேசி அகவல்
ஆங்கில மொழிபெயர்ப்பு : கௌசல்யா ஹார்ட்
In Tamil script, unicode/utf-8 format

We thank Dr. Kausalya Hart (Univ of California, Berkeley, CA, USA) for providing a soft copy of this
translation work of hers and for permission to include it as part of Project Madurai Collections.
Preparation of HTML and PDF versions: Dr. K. Kalyanasundaram, Lausanne, Switzerland.

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kuNTalakEci akaval of yOki cuttAnanta pAratiyAr
English Translation by Kausalya Hart

NOTE: The source verses in Tamil script (unicode) of kuNTalakEci akaval has been published earlier under PM release # 0938_01 (opens up in a new webpage!)

1. God is compassionate and gives happiness to all.
He has kind eyes, a heart that gives grace
and words filled with love.
He is the lord, our faultless king
Let us worship his divine lotus feet.

2. The Kundalakesi, whose story I will tell,
is one of the five Kaviyas.
We have only nineteen poems from this work—
the rest are not available.
I will tell the story as I know it to the world.

3. Vaanigamani, a merchant, lived in a famous city
where education, business and wealth flourished.
His daughter was Pathirai, beautiful as a a painting.
She was lovely as a a swan,
she had a waist like lightning,
a shining face like the moon,
lotus eyes,
a sweet mouth like an alli flower
and curly hair as dark as smoke.

As she wandered one day in the upstairs of her palace with her friends
she was like a prattling parrot,
her beauty like a peacock’s and her like a cuckoo bird’s.

At that time, the soldiers of the king
were taking a thief to prison.
She was attracted to him and she was shocked to see
he was being imprisoned
and worried that the king might punish him.
She thought, “This young man is as handsome as Kama,
and my heart desires him.
Who could think he could be a thief?
I feel as if I love him.”
She stood there, shocked.

The handsome man was Kalan,
the son of the minister of the king,
and he was a thief.
He had joined a Buddhist ashram,
but he did not follow their moral teachings.
The king saw that he was doing many bad things
and ordered his soldiers to cut off his head.
It was the result of his bad karma.
The kings’ soldiers were taking him to be punished.

When Pathirai saw him she got upset
and her body became pale.
She felt sad, her heart hurt,
she was like someone who is sick and unable
to recover.
She could not think of anything but him.

She worshiped the Buddha always.
Whenever her parents spoke to her of marriage, she would say them,
“I love a man and do not want to even look at anyone except him.”

The father of Pathirai, the minister requested the king to release Kalan
and the king did so.
Kalan came out of the prison by the grace of God.

The father of Pathirai arranged the marriage
of Kalan and Pathirai.
After they were married, they lived happily, loving each other.
Her father gave them a house to live in and wealth to spend.
Believing the love physical love is important,
they did not separate from each other
even for a small time and plunged into love for each other.

Kama is not something that is easy to control.
It is like trying to extinguish a fire with oil.
or stopping a storm with the storm itself.
How can those addicted to the joy of love to get out of it?
This life is unstable, and desire and passion give only trouble.

The ordinary life of people gives only desire, hatred, exhaustion,
sweetness, bitterness, and hot and cold.
All these things are like waves in the ocean,
always moving here and there.

Today a person may love another,
the next day hate that person
and become a cruel enemy, a Yama for them.

Is it not a wonder that Kalan and Kesi
did not love each other forever
and slowly began to dislike their life together,
as most couples do.
They loved each other for a long time,
but then they began to complain about each other and to fight.

One day Kesi was angry and said to her husband,
“I am the beloved daughter of a wealthy man
and am a good person,
but you wandered around, without any decency
and were in prison. CHECK
You are a thief”

Angrily, Kalan said,
“I am your husband, you are my wife,
Do you call me a thief?
Woman, you are a terrible person,
and I will get revenge on you.”

Angry, his mind burning,
he laughed as if he was really happy.
and waited when he could hurt her.

A friendship in which someone shows his lips and smiles
while he is angry in his heart will not lost long,
like a fruit that bitten by worms.

One day Kalan told her,
“You are young and a sweet fruit,
the daughter of a rich man.
Wear splendid clothes and precious ornaments and come with me.”
The innocent Kesi went with him as he wanted
dressed and ornamented beautifully.
Kalan wore a silk dhoti decorated with golden thread
and looked like Kama the god of love.

He smiled at her without really loving her and said,
“You are as dear to me as my eyes,
beautiful and sweet as sugarcane.
You are a good girl, you are my beautiful doe.
I was released from the prison
by the grace of our god Bodhinadar.
I want to take some sweet rice for the him and worship him.
Let up go to the top of the mountain. Come.”
She went with him.

They both went up the hill.
After a little while he said angrily,
“You are like a thief.
You told me that I am a thief,
and yes, I am a thief.
You are beautiful but you are bad, filled with pride.
See, I am a thief and I am going to rob you and kill you.
You have a cruel heart.”

Kesi, lovely as a golden creeper, looked at her husband
who was staring at her with his fiery eyes.
She was distressed and hurt,
and after thinking for a while said,
“To worship one’s husband is the duty of a chaste woman.
Dear, you do as you please,
but O my sweet husband,
before you kill me, give me the boon
of going around you three times and bowing to you.”
Kalan agreed to her wish.
She went around him three times,
and pushed him from the hill. Alas!

Kalan, worshiped the Buddha and thought,
“O Buddha, I bow to you.
I came here to do an evil deed and that bad deed has killed me.
My bad thoughts have given me this result.
O lord Buddha, I worship you.
Forgive me and take me to your lotus feet.”
As he worshiped the god, Kalan fell from the mountain
and rolled down into the dark valley below.
His whole world became dark.

Kesi thought, “I killed the one who came to kill me.”
She laughed a little,
but the next minute she thought,
“I am an evil wife who has killed her husband.
I did something bad.
Can the result of this bad deed ever go away from me?
O god, what can I do?
Why I am here without falling with him?”
Tears fell from her eyes and she stood there.

Those born in this world will be born and die
again and again because of their karma.
The world goes around.
Those who are born learn
and hear and see this world.
The things people have because of wealth are not stable.
They all go away.
Those who are here today may not be here tomorrow.
Women are born, grow up, get children
becoming mothers, then get old and die.
Such is the body.

But when we think of the soul,
it comes to the earth, becomes filled with desire,
and grows with its relationship to the world,
acquiring karma, losing knowledge and falling into desire.
Without knowledge and the ability to shed the desires of the world,
again and again they fall into the results of their karma
and are born.

When one considers this, birth is a sorrow.
To be released from the suffering of rebirth,
saints shed the desires for this world.
Those who receive the grace of god are saints
and will attain moksha.
I will follow their path
and release myself from the troubles of birth.”

Kundalakesi went to an Jain ashram.
Then she went to a Buddhist ashram and joined it.
She thought of the feet of the Buddha as her refuge.

She became a Buddhist monk and controlled her senses and mind.
She conquered her thoughts and made her own life
and the life of others divine.

She was like a ship that is not affected by
heat, rain, cold, hunger, good food, disgrace or fame
and thought all are the same.

She did not eat much,
always worshiped the pure lord Buddha
and by the grace of the god, her confusion in life was released.

She was like people who sit in front of a fire
and do think of its smoke,
or of the sick who do not think of the bitterness of medicine.
or of those who practice tapas not thinking of the trouble that it gives.
Such people care only to do good deeds, never evil deeds.

Kesi went to the Sangam where pure people stay
and did tapas, forgetting all her desires
and receiving faultless wisdom.

She felt the presence of the Buddha
and received all the benefits of her tapas
and the results of her birth.

Is there anything better than not to be born
and get the benefit of life?


This file was last updated on 01 July 2023
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