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vaLaiyApati akaval
of yOki cuttAnanta pAratiyAr
English Translation by Kausalya Hart

யோகி சுத்தானந்த பாரதியாரின்
வளையாபதி 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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vaLaiyApati 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 # 0919 (opens up in a new webpage!)

1. Worshiping god

O mind, think of him, think of him.
The more you think of him, the more he is the nectar in your heart.
He is the life of our life and the god that gives happiness.
Think of the dear god, O mind, think of him.
Every day praise him and worship him.
Control the five senses and find peace.
Great people understand
that all life in this world and in the sky is because of him.
Praise him, O mind, shine and be bright.

2. Worshiping the goddess.

O mind, take refuge in Shakti, take refuge in her.
She is the highest goddess who gives boons.
She, the heroic Kali, gives wealth and victory.
She gives knowledge and grace.
She makes us do tapas.
Take refuge in her.

This is the story of Auvai and Pathini
and how Pathini’s suffering is assuaged by Auvai.
It is also the story of the diamond merchant Valaiyapathi
and of his chaste wife
who leaves home and becomes a monk to help others.
O mind, I want to write this old story
and tell people to do good dharma.
O mind, make an epic that will be like a beautiful painting
drawn by a skilled artist.
This epic should survive as long as the world
for Tamil people to read and enjoy like nectar.
O mind, this story flows like a poem
and gives benefits to everything.
It has a deep meaning.
It helps for people who sing it to accomplish their duties successfully.
O mind, I will write this story of Valaiyapathi
praying to the great goddess.
May she give us fame.
If you do your duty with the grace of the goddess,
you will be successful.

3. Praising the Kaveri river

May the Kaviri river prosper!
May the Kaviri river prosper!
May the Chola lands flourish!
May rich Pumbukar city that is at the entrance
of the river Kaviri to the ocean flourish!
The ancient city praised by poets is Kaviripumpattinam.

King Thirumavalavan built the city Kaviripumpattinam,
and it is like the city created by Kuberan.
King Thirumavalavan conquered all the Southern countries,
and the northern lands.
He planted the Tiger banner of the Cholas on Himalaya mountain.
He conquered northern enemies
and spread the fame of great Tamil heroes.
Kaviripumpattinam is the rich city built by him.

4. Pumpuhar.

Ships come and go in Pumpuhar.
Merchants from Sonaka,
Romans, Sanar and all other countries
happily buy merchandise on the seashore with gold.

People buy things and give much gold.
Merchants bring many jewels, pearls corals
grains, food, clothes, food grown in the country
and things that others have made in their homes.
Merchants bring things from their countries to sell in Pumpuhar
and take many things on their boats to sell in their own lands.

Fishermen and women dance happily
and people play neytal drums and music spreads everywhere.

Gold and silver are everywhere.
Merchants come and go on the streets
with carts full of merchandise.
Many types of grain are piled up.

The merchants measure and give measures of grais to people.
Many beautiful clothes are sold.
Liquor and fragrances are sold.
The breeze blows all over.
Many types of nuts, fruits and vegetables are sold.
Many shops sell ornaments.

Musical instruments and drums and many weapons are sold.
Merchants exhibit for sale things made by goldsmiths,
ironsmiths, potters, artists, and sculptors.
Many merchants who have gone to other countries
sell and buy things and bring what they have bought home.

They do good deeds with the money they have earned.

One can see many palaces where merchants live.
Vellalars who do farming with love live there.
They care for Tamil just as they care for their grain
and they praise and worship god.
The generous Vellalars live with devotion and culture,
and beautiful arts thrive everywhere.

Many musical instruments like flutes, yaals and drums
sound on the streets and musicians sing as beautifully as kuyil birds.
Dancers dance on stages giving pleasure to everyone.
Students learn all the arts.
Pandits teach good literature to the people.
Actors act scenes of various dramas.

People learn exercises.
Brahmins recite sastras.
Flags fly all over the streets
where warriors march with chariots, horses and elephants.
On the royal streets there are shows of fighting
and soldiers who protect the land march.
Drums sound like thunder.
Beautiful dancers dance as their ornaments make a lovely sound.

Lovers in boats enjoy themselves,
and devotees crowd various temples
of the Jains, Buddhists, Saivas and Vaishnavas.
Guests go to many houses,
thoranams hang on all the streets and lines of chariots go.
People can see many things that happen in the palaces.
Such is famous Puhar city.
How can I praise it properly,
the famous city described by Ilango.

5. Diamond Merchants. Valaiyapathi.

Puhar flourishes with merchants, farming people and warriors.
The Chola king with his royal umbrella ruled the country
and Chettiars made it flourish with their business,
going to various lands across the sea.
Merchants earned great wealth in Puhar and made it a city of gold.

Among those merchants was a diamond merchant named Valaiyapathi.
He traded, buying pearls from Korkai, pepper from Kerala,
sandalwood from Podiya mountain,
saris from Madurai, cardamom that grew on the hills,
silk from Salem and various grains.

He would load them on a ship
and take them to Lanka, Burma, Singapore and Malaya
and other lands of Southeast Asia.
He would sell them, made a pile of money and became very rich.

He went to many countries and spread Saivism and Tamil.
Being rich, he gave charity to poor people.
He built temples for gods and also towns.
He was a Naranan with nine crores of gold.

This rich man had one bad character—
he would not listen to others and did whatever he wanted
and even though he had became rich and famous,
he did not respect people of other castes.
Since he did not want to change his mind,
people called him Valaiyapathi.

6. Andari

Valaiyapathi’s his first wife was Andari
and his second wife was Pathini.
Pathini had a good character but Andari did not.
They were the opposite of each other.

Andari was beautiful but deceived everyone.
She was proud—
her father was rich and she thought she owned everything.
She talked against everything that other people said.
She often became angry.
She was like her husband Valaiyapathi
and would not listen to what others said.

She was tricky and made her husband do whatever she wanted.
She spoke happily in front of Pathini
praising her but behind her back she made trouble.
Even though Valaiyapathi was frightened of her, he also loved her.

7. Pathini.

Andari was a beautiful wife
but she could not have children.
Valaiyapathi was worried because he did not have a child
and wanted to marry another wife.

One day he went to Madurai to a Vellala friend’s home,
where he stayed for a time.
His friend had a beautiful daughter named Pathini.
As soon as he saw her, he fell in love with her,
and their hearts became one.
Their love began to rise like fire.

Knowing their love, their relatives, Tamil friends,
Saivas and others agreed to their marriage
and they both married happily.
They lived in a beautiful house in Pumpuhar with love.

She the daughter of Vellaala of Madurai was a faultless person,
beautiful in heart and was pretty.
She was chaste and had great qualities.
She respected her husband as if he were her life
and she sacrificed her body, life and mind
to her husband with devotion

She learned dance, music and other arts
without fault to make her husband happy.

Her husband praised her,
“You are my eyes, a precious jewel,
you are sweet as sugarcane,
you are pretty,
you are an ornament,
you are a lovely parrot born in the Pandiya country,
you are pure Tamil and a pearl,
you are a chintamani,
you are the pleasure of my life.”

He praised her and she worshiped him and said, “You are my love, you are my knowledge, you are my life.”

She kept him happy.
and she protected her family life with care.
She learned the Kural of Valluvar.

8. Pathini, a good wife

She got up early morning when the rooster crows,
she washed her face, played music on the yaaz
and sang praising god.

She spread the fragrance of compassion in her life,
and with her friends
she cleaned her house so it shone like a mirror
wiping and straightened everything.

She made decorations in the front of her house,
and brought flowers for worship.
She took a bath and then after preparing hot water,
she called her husband to take a bath.

He would get up, take a bath, put on clean clothes
and worship the gods.
After offering various things to god
they would both eat milk and fruits.

After her husband went to work,
she would cook food and when he returned
she would ask him to come to eat.
She would serve him first and then eat.
Then she would clean the kitchen
and sit to listen to him as he read.
Then he would do his work
and she would attend to her chores at home.

She would wash clothes and make ornaments
and have the servants do their work.
She would grind, pound and do all other such work.
Then she would light the lamps,
make garlands and pray to god.
She would play the veena
and her husband would come
and together they would worship the gods.
After praising god with songs,
they would do arathi, eat and read good books.

Then they would do all the evening work
that needed to be done for the family
and they would go to bed after worshiping god.

Pathini wanted a child to make her husband happy
and she became pregnant.
Andari did not like Pathini’s being pregnant and gave trouble.

9. The nature of the world.

The world is a place where many types of drama happen.
In it, each life is a character.
It shows thousands of types of men and women.
It makes everyone act in all the nine rasas.
The mind wanders like a river or the wind.
It does wrong things and acquires various karma
and shows what is good and what is bad.
It nurtures egoism.
Life is a tree with branches of kama and thorns of jealousy.
Its leaves are like the mind that wanders about.
Its flowers that bloom and fall are like dreams.
Its fruits can be sweet or bitter.
Through life, things appear, die and again flourish.
This is how the tree of life is.
In anyone’s life, there is both happiness and sorrow.

10. The jealous Andari

Andari always found fault with Pathini.
She would always have an angry look,
and her eyes would be red with anger.
She would act as if she were a kind person,
and she would talk nicely to all.
She would act kindly in the front of people
but behind their back, she would talk badly of them.

She would do tricks to hurt others.
She would always sigh seeing Pathini and her husband living happily.
She made a lot of trouble, talking against everyone
and pretending her caste and family are best.

Andari was upset that she did not have a child.
When she learned Pathini was pregnant she was very upset.

Andari had a brother named Chathan who was very selfish.
He had some friends who were false healers,
false astrologers and relatives.
They all joined together said to Valaiyapathi, “Andari will have the fortune of getting a child.
It is certain that she will get a child—
next Thai month a cradle will swing on the patio.
That child will rule the world
and the wealth of this family
will only belong to the son of Andari
who was born in the family of merchants.
He will get all the wealth that the family
has accumulated over many generations.
Your family is a very respected family
and comes from the dynasty of Masathuvar.
It is a family in which all the people of the family lived together.
It is a Chettiar family. We are different,
we should not accept a girl who was born in a different caste.
We do not agree that you can marry
and live with a girl from a different caste.
The only right wife for you is Andari.
You have loved and brought a girl to us.
You should leave her and her child
if you want to live with your relatives happily.
In two days you should decide what you should do.”

They insisted that Valaiyapathi leave Pathini.
Valaiyapathi worried and began to listen to Andari.
Andari smiled at him with her jasmine-like flower teeth,
embraced him and he lost his wisdom and became confused.
She gave him many kisses, showed love without any affection
and said, “You are my dear husband.
The Brahmins and the shastras
said that I will get a golden child as smart as Agastiya.
Nothing bad will happen to us.
It is very good for us to live happily with our relatives.
My brother loves us.
He talked to our relatives
and convinced them that you should leave Pathini.
It is my duty to do the right thing when we have the opportunity
and it is your duty also.
O, dear one, tell me what you want.”

Valaiyapathi said, “O, dear one, your words are as sweet as a mango.
What our relatives say is probably right,
but still, I married Pathini in front of many people, and they all blessed us.
She is a good wife and she brings good luck to our home.
She is my life and my sweet wife.
How can I leave her?
When I think of such things, my heart bleeds.”

Andari said, “What are you saying?
What kind of family does she come from?
We are from respected family!
She does magic, gives people medicine to please them
and attracts people with her smile.
She is like a mohini.
She threw her eyes like nets and caught you.
She acted like a good person,
and hid all her bad thoughts and cheated you.
She came here to take away the wealth
that your family has earned over many generations

If my father who gave his wealth as dowry had lived
he might have kept me at home
if he knew that you would marry Pathini.
All this time, I have been a good wife to you.

I have been patient to live with her.
O dear one, you are the light of my eyes,
the throbbing of my heart
and a king who has come to rule me.
I told you everything without cheating you.
If you listen to my words, we will live happily
and our relatives will praise us.
If we do not stop this, we will lose respect.
If we do anything against the rules of our society and caste
it will change our fate.
Then all our good days will become bad days.
No one will come to see us in our home
and they will not ask us to come to their home.
Between our families that are related by marriage
fights will increase.
This is the truth. I tell you.”

Valaipathi believed Andari and said, “Dear, you said the right things,
and told me what I need to do.”

The bad Andari said,
“Chathan will talk to our relatives and tell us what to do.
His words are nectar. Do as he says.”

Valaiyapathi listened to her
and forgot how good Pathini was.
He went to see Chathan.

11. Pathini and Valaiyapathi fight

Pathini made many good snacks and waited for her husband.
He came back sadly. She said,
“Come, come, you are my life ,
I decorated with flowers today.
See, I have made good snacks for you.
Please taste them.
I will play the yaaz and sing—let us eat. Come dear.”

Valaiyapathi said, “I hear you.
This house is not your own,
The people of this city hate me now.
I was just fascinated with you in Madurai,
but now I understand everything.
I should live with my own relatives
and give up any other relationship.
That is best for me.”
He shouted at his wife.

She answered him calmly,
“Dear one, who told you this bad thing? Tell me.”
Valaiyapathi looked at her as if he wanted to kill her and said, “Go out, go, go, do not stay in this house.
I told you what I want to say.
I am not going to say anything more.”
He raised his hands as if he was about to hit her.

Pathini said,
“You are my dear husband and my refuge.
What mistake I have done?
Why are you angry with me?
I do not have a mother.
I came to your home as a refuge
and am a slave to serve you.
I gave my heart to you. I am innocent.
When I was living here you said,
‘You are precious like gold, come to me.’
Now, after you embraced me before, you say,
‘You are a devil, go away.’
How could you talk like this.
Did Andari tell you to do this?
Did Chathan tell you to do this? Tell me.”

Valaiyapathi became angry and his eyes grew red.
“How can you talk about our caste badly?
I married you even though you did not belong to my caste.
You are like an actor and you will spoil our caste.
Caste is very important to me.
I will not allow other caste people in my home.
My caste people will be very angry with me.
I can’t do this.”

The good wife Pathini, who had no feeling for caste, said,
“Hatred based on caste, religion and tribe
is only from one’s thoughts. My dear, listen.
We all are Tamils, the dear children of our Tamil mother.
Our mother is one and we all belong to one tribe,
All caste feelings come between us.
It seems at the time of the age of Sangam,
heroism, art and victory are all shone together
because of the feeling that we all belong to one family.
It happened because at that time
everyone thought that we all are Tamils.
Everyone did their own work
and gave the benefits of their work to the country
making it flourish and be peaceful.
People lived together as friends.

The thing that destroyed that life is caste.
God stays in the hearts of all,
above caste, religion, shastra and skin color.
He stays above body and life
and he is inside our hearts.

Our heart is the temple of Siva,
If all the people knew this,
there would not be any caste, all would be the same.

A virtuous life is to live with a good mind,
following good paths in life.
All should respect others just as themselves,
and speak and act in the right way.
All should think of goodness for the world.
Living with love, knowledge, dharma
and sacrifice for others is a good life.

If one looks at the world with discrimination,
it gives only trouble.
Living with others is like a wheel that rolls on.
All wealth will go away in time
and poverty will bring suffering.
Light, darkness, appearance,
sweetness and bitterness, happiness and sorrow,
heat and cold, summer and winter
come in life one after another..
Human fate changes thousands of times.

A husband loved his wife in the past saying,
‘You are my eyes, my precious pearl,
you are the pupil of my eyes,
you are sweet as sugarcane, you are gold.’
He loved his wife constantly,
but now listens to bad people,
has lost his wisdom and thinks wrongly.
He hates his wife.
See what happens.
This is the nature of the world.”

Valaiyapathi said angrily,
“I really understand the world and you also.
Your advice is enough. Get ready and leave.
I loved you, married you and lived with you.
For that I will give you ten gold coins every month
and I will give you a house to live in.
If you do not want these things,
you can go back to Madurai.
You do not have any right in this house anymore.”

Pathini said,
“The body that we have is only rented for a wage.
What do we own in this world?
Today a proud rich man can become poor,
and a poor man can become rich—
these things happen commonly in life.
One’s house and wealth will go away—
if one thinks of it, these things will go away,
our bodies will die and our property will disappear.
I did not give my womanhood to be destroyed.
You loved me and promised me that you would take care of me.
I gave my mind to you because of your good character.
I did not listen to what my caste people said
when I came to your home.
We will get a sweet child soon.

You are proud of your caste.
It is my bad karma that I am in this condition.
I want to ask you something and then I will leave this house.
Is it right for a man to marry a woman in front of the fire
and live with her and then after she is pregnant
to leave her and make her an orphan? Is that dharma?

I am a Tamil girl and without reason you are leaving me
just because you think I am from a different caste.
What kind of cruelty is this? Is this just?
Did you see any fault in my caste?
I came from the Vellala caste
and am an auspicious daughter of that caste.

I was born in Madurai, in a family of Mudaliyars
who know all the three kinds of Tamil.
In Madurai there have lived many sages
and poets who protected our sweet Tamil
and kings who ruled with dharma and strong heroes.
I was born there.
Who can find any fault with me?
Let us call them, let us see.”

Valaliyapathi said,
“I will not listen to you.
Go away, go at once.
If you continue talking
I will not send you the clothes and money
that I am sending with you now.”

Pathini said,
“Dear, am I a bad person? I told you the truth.
Think and help me.”

Valaiyapathi said, “I will not listen to you
whatever you think the truth is.”

Pathini said,
“I know why people call you Valaiyapathi,
one who never gives up.”

Valaiyapathi said,
“I am not going to talk anymore,
My servants will come and see you out.
They will give you some money to go to your home.”

It is terrible, terrible.
Pathini, who was precious to her family,
cried and tears fell from her eyes.
She left her husband’s home without anyone to help.
with only the dress she wore and the bangles on her wrist.
She hated the world and her heart felt empty.
Her only friend was God who is the lord of all.
She left her husband’s home and walked.

She did not take the money
that the servants of Valaiyapathi gave and walked quickly.
She walked in the darkness
hoping that the compassionate lord would save her.
Time and the world suffered and stopped.
The beautiful sky shook.
The stars shone and rain began to fall.

12. The trick of Andari.

After Pathini who was like a goddess left,
Andari embraced her husband and said,

“Oh, dear, you are my king and pleasure.”
She spoke sweet words and said,
“We will enjoy our life
and be as happy as if we lived in the world of Indra,
as the astrologer predicted.
For two months go away for your work.
When you return you will see your child.
His name will be Azhagan.”

Valaiyapathi said,
“I will give my son my father’s name, Shuppan Chetti.”
Even though Andari was a bit upset by this, she agreed.

One day, the physician said,
“Andari is pregnant,” and he received many gifts.
Astrologers said many good things would happen to the child
and received gold and gifts from Valaiyapathi.

Valaiyapathi was happy, talked to all his relatives
and told them to take care of his wife.
Then he left for his business to the country of Kadaram.

After Valaiyapathi left,
Chathan lived as happily as he wanted in Valaiyapathi’s home.
Andari did not say anything and stayed there.
The physician came to their house and left,
and the accountant came and left.
They were Chatthan’s people—
they respected others when in front of them,
but behind their backs, they would scold them.
If people allowed them to enter their houses, they would steal things.
They were always doing something they should not.
Their minds did not think of good things.
All these people advised Andari to do bad things.

13. Azagan

Andari was not pregnant but pretended she was.
When she got a child, her relatives were surprised
that Andari had given birth,
But Andari did not really get a child.
Instead, she took her brother Chathan’s child
who was born to a prostitute who sold him to Chathan.

Andari loved Chathan’s child
and raised him with love, doing all things that the child needs.

When Valaiyapathi returned Azagan had grown up.
He was not good.
He was like a bull that attacks the person who raises him.
He did not listen to his father or mother.
He drank and hit and scolded his parents.
He destroyed his beautiful house.
He went to prostitutes’ houses.
He grew up as a disciple of Chathan,
like Duriyodhana who listened to his uncle Sakuni.
What is the use of talking about him?

One’s character comes from their own family,
just as the quality of crops depends on the fertility of the land.
Valaiyapathi was happy seeing his son
but realizing that he did not have a good character,
he fought with him and said,
“You are not like my son. Whose son are you?”
When she saw this, Andari was upset
and fought with her husband.

Valiyapathy slowly lost his wealth.
Chathan was doing many wrong things in Valapathi’s house.
Valaiyapathi was sad and always thought,
that it was his bad karma to have a bad life.
He got thin and sick.
He thought of Pathini.
Chathan was always telling Valaiyapathi
that Pathini is not a good woman and Valaiyapathi believed him.
What happened to Pathini? Let us see.

14. The temple of the goddess Kali

Pathini walked in the forest and fields in the darkness.
She was tired and her feet hurt. Her eyes shed tears.
She looked for a place to say and found a small Durga temple.

She prayed to the goddess,
“Mother, give your grace to me, an orphan,
The world has pushed me away and I have come to you for help.
You are the goddess of the whole world
and I am your daughter. Save me.
I do not have any other refuge, except you, Durga.
My body and my mind are tired.
I feel useless and my life feels bitter.
Why should I live?
O goddess, take me to your feet.
If you cannot take me, let me die by your sword as a sacrifice.
What is the use of giving birth to a child
who will suffer like me?
It is enough that I suffer.
My mother died the day I was born
and my husband does not want me.
I forget all thinking it is a dream, then shed tears and suffer.
I will not live leaving your feet.
O mother, your grace rules the world.
You are the fire that destroy evil people
and the flood that protects good people.
Give me refuge and take me.
If you do not help me, I will die in front of you.
O compassionate mother, see me.”

Pathini worshiped and went to sleep.
Kali appeared in her dreams and said,
“I will protect you, do not worry.
In the morning a kind old lady will come
and she will give you refuge.
You will be happy from now on.”
She said this and disappeared.

Pathini got up and worshiped the goddess, saying,
“You are a divine mother.
You are my refuge, you are my refuge. Give me your grace.”

15. Morning

The night was gone and morning came.
The breeze was pleasant,
the fragrance of flowers spread,
roosters crowed noisily flying everywhere,
the birds woke up and sang happily,
the sun rose in the east
and Pathini got up and worshiped the gods.

She forgot everything that had happened as if it were a dream
and she looked at the world bravely.
She thought only of the grace of the goddess and forgot everything else.
She bathed in the pond
and gazed at the world becoming golden in the morning rays.

The lotuses smiled and spread their fragrance
and the bees drank honey from them and sang.
It seemed the lotuses lived without any worry.
She thought that she should be happy just like the lotuses in life.

She imagined the power that made the flowers give fragrance,
the power that gives sweetness to fruits,
that makes the birds sing,
that lives in the hearts of all,
that stays in all temples,
and she thought that power would save her also.
She worshiped the goddess,
“O mother, to take care of me is your duty.”
At that time a person approached.

16. The compassionate old woman, Auvai

Pathini saw an old lady wearing a white sari.
She looked old and young.
Her eyes were compassionate and her red mouth smiled.
She was praised by the whole world as a chaste woman.
Her name was Auvai.

When Pathini saw her,
she realized that she was the compassionate older lady
that Kali had showed her in the dream
and she bowed to her feet.
She said to Pathini,
“Dear, I know you. Do not worry.
You will not have any more trouble in your life.
Come, stay with me and you will be happy.”
Auvai gave fruits and milk to Pathini
and then asked her about her life.

Pathini said, “Divine mother,
I do not have anyone to take care of me.
I was born in the Vellala caste in Madurai.
I lost my mother as soon as I was born.
My father taught me about Saivism and also Tamil.
He married me to a friend of his,
a diamond merchant in Pumpuhar.
I lived happily with my husband.
One day because of his other jealous wife,
he was upset with me and sent me out of his house.
He was very attached to his caste
and I belong to a different caste.

I hate the world and my body.
I walked alone in the night
and came to this Kali temple and prayed,
‘O Durga, if you do not help me, I will not live.’
She came as you, Auvai.
Now you please tell me your story,
Tell me how I can live in the world now.
You are my mother and guru.”

17. Story of Auvai

Auvai said, “Dear, your story melts my heart.
This village is very beautiful
and my life is golden and calm.
This is a temple of Kali in this beautiful village.
The Ponni river flows in this town
and on its banks are many roads, groves, inns
and flowers and flourishing gardens.

In this village, there was a rich man named Ekappan.
I was born to him and he raised me with love.
When I had grown up, he gave me in marriage
to my uncle’s son and then passed away.
I gave birth to a girl.
Later my husband was involved with a prostitute
and lost his health and money.
I raised my daughter lovingly and she married and had a child.
One day a snake bit my daughter and she died,
and her motherless child also died.
I became sick and my heart was broken.
I lived as if I had already died.
I gave all my property to a monastery
and came to understand the nature of the world,
of the body, of people and of life.
I experienced everything and felt sorrow
living in this ocean of rebirth.
I understood that those who are born have to die.
I was looking for a guru to find out how to live well.

I found a bhikshu named Prajnanar.
I worshiped him and he taught me
how the Buddha left his home.
He told me of the Buddha’s teachings
and how one should live this life,
and he took my sorrow away.

Like Manimekalai who worshiped her guru Aravana Adigal
and became a holy person,
I worshiped Prajnanar and became an ascetic.
I went to an ashram in Kanchi
and found a guru name Kunda Kundar.
From him I learned not to kill anything.
I meditated to be released from this birth.

I found another guru name Purana Ananthar
and worshiped him.
From him I learned the knowledge of Self.

I went to Chidambaram, saw the lord Nataraja and found peace.
There I learned from a guru the doctrines of Shaivism.
He taught me the Civananabodham.
I learned the falseness of the world and found what is true.
Shaivism teaches us the way of dharma
and tells of saraiyai kiriyai and sadhanam.
It taught me yoga.
Shaivism teaches who Shiva is, what life is
and what true knowledge is.
It tells of pathi, pasu and pasam
and takes away the troubles of the three impurities.
It teaches how to love god
and how to take away the karma of this earth.
I followed Shaivism.
There is nothing else for me to live for, dear one.”

Pathini said, “I have understood the truth of life.
O compassionate one, you have shown me the path.
You understand the world and are a saint.
You learned about Shaivism, Buddhism and Jainism.
Take away my confusion. You followed Shaivism
and were released from the karma of the world.
You do not dislike any religion.
There are people who teach others to live
without hatred of other religions.
Can you tell me about that sort of people?”

Auvai said, “Wise men have no desire
or hatred in the world, wanting to know the truth,
worshiping God and keeping him in their heart.
They will not involve themselves in anything
and will patiently endure the troubles of the world.
They will think only of good things
and do not do things for themselves.
They will only say good things and remove any bad thoughts.
They are like a turtle that has self-control
and will control the desires of their five senses.
They will be wise and will live in the world.
They are like oceans, rivers and spirits.
They connect everything that happens in the world and live.
They do not eat much, sleep well and do not talk much.
They live in pure ways, keeping themselves
from their imagination and living a true life.
They are good ones who know the good path of life.”

Pathini said, “I have found a life that is good for all religions.
You know my life. Show me the way.
O mother, you are my god and guru.”

Auvai said, “O beautiful girl, you were born
in a Tamil family with wise and compassionate people.
You are from the community of Velalar
and fulfilled all the duties of a wife.
You will have a fine son.
You can stay with me and I will feel as if I have a daughter.
You will be happy with your son
and will not want the desires of life.
I follow the path of tapas.
You live with the thought of Shiva, compassion, learning
and you are able to see gurus who have religious teaching.
You have a faultless life and follow all your principles.
You should do service to women of the world and live happily.”

Pathini said, “You are the bright light of the city of Kudal.
I thought I could not live but you showed me the way.
You are greater for me than my own mother
and I am like your child.
I have no refuge and am an orphan.
I am tired of the worries I have but you saved me.
You are my mother, I praise you.
Is there any other refuge for me than you?
I gave my heart and my life to you.
My life should be as you desire.
O guru, I worship you, bow to your feet and praise you always.”
Auvai embraced her and taught her wisdom.
Pathini followed all her teachings and was happy.

18 The birth and childhood of Uthaman

Pathini gave birth to a son.
Auvai named him Uthaman.
He grew up as a good child.
He had a lotus face,
he shone brightly like the sun,
he was wise, had lovely eyes,
an auspicious smile, sweet words
and was peaceful like the moon.
He was as regular in his duties as the sun
and was heroic as a lion.
His body was like gold.
He was not frightened of anything
and bad people were afraid of him
while good friends liked him.
He worshiped all the saints and helped all people.
He learned all the arts and obeyed his elders.
She was very happy seeing him grow.

Wise men praised him saying he was a good child
and that he was an Uthaman.
One day when he was with his friends
they were praising their fathers.
Uthaman did not have a father.
He ran to his mother and asked,
“Where is my father?” He was upset and cried.
She said, “O son, he is a diamond merchant
who lived a virtuous life in Pumpuhar.
He married me in Madurai and we lived happily.
His first wife tried to separate us. She said to him,
‘You are from a merchant caste but she is a Mudaliar.’
She scolded me and I left the house.
Auvai gave me refuge.
O son, she is my only relative and help.”

Uthaman said, “I will not put up with being scolded.
I will go now, find my father and make sure
that people respect you.
This the duty of a son to his mother.”

Pathini said, “Son, if Andari sees you she will curse you.
She will ask Chathan and he will give us trouble.
That will be dangerous. Let us be quiet, dear child.”

Uthaman said, “We should not be submissive because we are afraid.
People will say we are cowards.
Tell me to go bravely and be successful in finding justice.
I will show everyone that I am a heroic son.
If anyone opposes me, I will will collect the entire village
and tell the people the truth,
showing everyone that I am your and my father’s son.
Give me your blessing. I will go and return.”
Pathini asked Auvai to bless him also.
Both the mother and Auvai gave their blessing, saying,
“Go and come back with victory.”
Uthaman bowed to his mother and Auvai,
worshiped the goddess Kali
and, at an auspicious time, left and went to Pumpuhar.

19. Unstable wealth.

How can I explain all the terrible things that happened
because of Azagan, the prostitute’s son?
The merchant had gone to earn money.
When he came back, he saw that his house was destroyed.

Chathan, Andari’s brother, had taken the house with the help of Andari
and used it badly with his son Azagan.
He saw that Chathan’s prostitute wife Alli had come
with her son to his home and lived in a bad way
and that Chathan had given all the property of the merchant
to his prostitute wife.

Valaiyapathi thought,
“The wealth that has been gained with great effort
and saved for a long time is gone.
It is hard to make wealth,
hard to keep it, and hard not to worry when it is gone.
Wealth is always impermanent and gives only fear.
It stays in the hand of misers and gives pride and deceit.
It makes people sick.
Those who have wealth worry and hide it
because they are concerned thieves may come
and take it away at night.
If someone has wealth
it is important to share it with others and live happily.
One should do dharma.

I did not use my money for good deeds.
Chathan came into my house and gave my money to his prostitute.
Andari did all this, giving everything to the prostitute’s son.
She is a bad person.
She took the prostitute’s son Azagan and said he was our child.”

20. The trick of the Prostitute.

Chathan had given all his wealth to the prostitute Alli.
and, losing everything, he became sick and tired of life.
At that time, Alli took her son Azagan and left Chathan.
When the people of the city knew these things,
they lost all respect for Chathan.
Valaiyapathi who had come back learned these things
and hated Chathan.

Chathan understood what happened
and suffered like a worm that has fallen into fire.
Thinking of Alli, he said,
“She is a woman who dresses up to attract men.
She wanders around in the street.
She destroyed me with her bad deeds.
She is a beautiful devil.
She uses desire to hurt those who fall for her.
Her eyes are like a net, and she smiles at men
and pulls them into her heart,
confusing them with her beauty.
She dances and sings and makes their hearts desire.
She is a devil prostitute.
She feeds men with the fruit that is her body
and stays with them, making them fall into passion.
She makes men become sinners
then throws them away onto the street.
Like monkeys that go from one branch to another,
men come to her, go away, and then come back.
She has no shame.
I trusted her and lost everything.
I will get back at her.”

Chathan went to Valaiyapathi and asked him for forgiveness.
The he went searching for Alli and killed her.
Chanthan then was himself murdered and died.
No one knows where Azagan went.

Who lives happily believing and trusting prostitutes
who say they love someone and hurt them?
Prostitutes are like those who push a swing and then go away.
They smile at men, love them, destroy their lives and go away.
Who can live happily trusting this sort of prostitute?
Can anyone change the mind of someone
who has fallen for a prostitute?
That person is like a someone who eats the husk instead of the rice.
Chaste women are like a full pot whose water does not shake.
It is a good life to live with good women
who have chastity, patience and love.
If a man thinks of other women, it will give trouble.
The basis of a good life is chastity for both men and women.

The city heard what had happened to Chathan
and Andari suffered because she had trusted him.

Uthaman, the son of Pathini, learned about Valaiyapathi and Pathini,
and he knew the city was talking about them.
He, an honest young man, went to see Valaiyapathi.

21. Uthaman and Valaiyapathi

Uthaman was a hero as beautiful as the sun
and his face was handsome.
When Valaiyapathi saw his son Uthaman,
he was attracted to him and said,
“O young man, who are you? Why have you come?”
The young man answered,
“I bow to you. You married your wife Pathini in Madurai,
brought her here and lived with her happily.
Your bad first wife made you hate Pathini
and you chased her from home.
She is a goddess born in the family of Vellalars.
God helped her and she went to the temple of Durga.
An old lady Auvai, gave her refuge and took care of her.
She stayed with Auvai and I was born to her.
O father, my mother is Pathini and she calls me Uthaman.
I came to see you to tell you about my mother.”

Valaiyapathi said,
“What did you say? Are you my son?
You are the son of a woman who left her home and went away.
Go, go, we will not accept you in the Chettiar caste.”

Uthaman said’
“My father, consider me and think.
My mother is a chaste woman with good qualities.
Who chased her into the streets?
All Tamil people are equal.
They belong to one caste.
You disgraced Vellalars.
Your first wife told you that Pathini is bad
because Chathan told her to say that.
You trusted her and hurt Pathini
and chased her away from your home.
It is important to know what is good and bad
and to think that all people belong to one tribe.
Think how my rich grandfather gave his daughter to you.”

Valaiyapathi said,
“If the village accepts you as my son
and my heart accepts that, and if you give good evidence
I will see what I can do.
I do not know you, and I do not want to see Pathini. Go away.”

Uthaman said,
“I am going. You will understand later,
I will bring the evidence, This is a promise,
I will tell the truth. You will know then.”

Valaiyapathi said,
Bring your evidence, Tell me your side.
Whatever the Panchayat says we will accept.”

22. Andari changes her mind,

Andari was upset because she was not pregnant
and the child was not hers.
Though she had been bad, she became compassionate
and began to feel kindness for Pathini.
Her heart felt hurt.
She called Uthaman and found out about what had happened.
Her pride went away and she told her husband Valaiyapathi,
“Dear, this good boy is your son. That is the truth.
Let us accept him as our son in our old age,
and give our wealth to him.”

Valaiyapathi did not agree. He said,
“The boy talks a lot.
Let him bring evidence and prove the truth
then we will think about what can we do.”

23. The goddess gives Pathini refuge

Uthaman went to see his mother
and told her what Valayapathi had told him.
When Pathini heard this, she wanted to tell her husband
the truth about her child Uthaman.
She prayed to Kali and asked for her help.
“Kali, give me your grace. I am a chaste wife.
Would you like me to shed tears?
Show my husband my chastity.”
Then she went to sleep.

Kali came in the dream to Pathini and told her, “Pathini do not fear. All will know your son is Uthaman.
I will have Auvai tell your husband that you are chaste
and make him understand the truth.”

The next morning Auvai got up early
and went to the town with Pathini and Uthaman to tell the truth.

24. Success.

The elders of the Panchayat saw Valaiyapathi, Pathini and her son.
They asked Andari what had happened.
Then Auvai talked to them and told them about Pathini.

Auvai said, “Justice does not have caste or divisions.
Tamils think that caste and their divisions are the basis of morality.
It is cruel to mention someone’s caste and hate them.
I saw what Pathini went through because of her caste.
She was born in the Vellala caste in Madurai.
Valaiyapathi married her and they lived happily in Puhar.
His first wife said many bad things about Pathini
and her husband sent her out of their home.

Pathini came to the Kali temple in the night.
I saw that she is a chaste woman,
kept her in my home and took care of her.
She gave birth to a son and we called him Uthaman.
She never did anything wrong.
O elders, you should understand
what Pathini went through and help her.”

The panchayat heard her and said,
“This Uthaman is the son of Valaiyapathi.
We should accept his wife’s words.
Uthaman, the son, will get all the property of Valaiyapathi.
He is the son of Chettiars.”

All the village people agreed to what Auvai had said.
Valaiyapathi said, “I did something wrong
listening to my first wife. Pathini is a good wife.
Uthaman is my real son. Let’s forget what happened before.
Whatever is going to happen in the future will be good.
This village, Azagapuri, is a beautiful place.
It will have good shops and merchants
will go in ships and trade.
My son Uthaman will take care of my business.
He will make sure our traditions are alive and flourish.
My wife Pathini will be praised by all.”

25. Pathini’s words

Pathini said, “Vanakkam, I bow to you.
My chastity shines here.
Valaiyapathi understands everything that happened
and has taken Uthaman as his son.
When he chased me from his home, I saw the world
and saw what people think.
I saw what life is and became an ascetic.
Auvai helped me. I joined her and did service.
I reached the feet of Shiva.
O husband, take care of our son
and make sure that you and he make our tradition flourish.
All people are born in the world
through the maya of the unique lord.
Everyone born in the world is good,
and we all belong to the same mother
and to the same Tamil people.
It is wrong to talk about caste.
People should live loving each other, happily.
We all should live helping one another.
People born in this world do not live forever.
This life is precious, from the cradle to the burning ground.
Life is something that happens in between.
We should all live on true paths,
being pure, being ashamed of doing bad things
and doing good.

We should think of the grace of God,
love everyone and take refuge with Lord Shiva.
If we do these things, we will reach moksha.
May you all live auspiciously.”


This file was last updated on 01 July 2023
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