Author Topic: Arunachala, the greatest trickster  (Read 1876 times)


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Arunachala, the greatest trickster
« on: February 18, 2009, 01:56:24 PM »
There are thousands of stray verses in Tamil, which were sung
extempore by various great poets during the past 18 centuries.
There are a few compilations by Tamil scholars from 19th century
giving as many of them as possible, with possible mentions about the
poets.  One Kalamegam is a great poet, who lived in Srirangam, in
Tamil Nadu.  He was a Saivite but had no disrespect for Vishnu and he treated them as one.  He was eking his livelihood as a cook in
Srirangam temple.  One day, when he went to Arunachala, he sang a song in the shrine of Arunachaleswara, calling Him a great trickster.
He asks in the poem:

O Arunachala!  A portion of cooked human flesh is in the pot.
Another portion is on your leaf.  A few bits are still there in the spadle.  How come the boy, came in fully and alive, when you
called him?  What a great trickster are you!

The allusion is to the story of Siruthondar, one of the 63 Siva Saints.  Siva went to him as an old brahmin ascetic and asked for cooked human flesh.  He styled himself as Kabaliga and wanted human meat.  Siruthondar cut his son and his faithful wife cooked it and served Siva.  When Siva called for his son, O Seerala! (it is his name), the boy came running from the backyard!

There are hundreds of such verses.  But only some of them are translatable, because in many verses, there are pun on the same word in Tamil.  I shall try to post some.

Arunachala Siva.