Author Topic: The women in Periya Puranam  (Read 2569 times)

Subramanian.R

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The women in Periya Puranam
« on: March 01, 2009, 11:23:14 AM »
When we read the life of Bhagavan Ramana, we cannot but get moved with the sacrifices of women in His life.  First comes Mother
Azhagamma, then Echammal, Mudaliar Patti, Desur Akhilandamma,
Suri Nagamma, T.R. Kanakammal, Madhavi Kutti and others.  We cannot forget Ratnammal, the devadasi who fed Him in Arunachaleswara temple precincts, sister of Muthu Krishna Bhagavatar who fed Him on His way to Arunachala.  Maharani of Baroda, Roda McIver and a few others cannot also forgotten.

In Periya Puranam, only three women come under the group of
63 Saints.  These are Karaikal Amma, Queen Mangayarkarasi, wife of Pandya King Nedumaran and Isai Jnani, mother of Sundaramoorthy.
Karaikal Amma's story, we know.  Mangayarkarasi was virtually Tiru Jnana Sambandhar's foster mother.  She only invited the child saint to come to Madurai, to save her king from the clutches of Jain monks.  Periya Puranam says that her breasts swelled with milk on seeing the child saint, the avatara of Muruga.  Isai Jnani is Sundaramoorthy's mother and there are no elaborate details about her.

There are others too.  They are Tilakavati, Tiru Navukkarasar's sister, Paravai Nachiar and Sangili Nachiar, wives of Sundaramoorthy, the wife of Tiru Neelakantar, the potter.  There are also women who erred in serving Siva with their husbands and got punsihed by their husbands for their misdeeds.

Tilakvati's story is unique.  She is the elder sister of Tiru Navukkarasar.  The siblings lost their mother and father at early age.  Then the bridegroom fixed for Tilakavati, got killed in war and even before her wedding, the 'widowhood' came.  She decided to live only for her brother's sake.  She lived an ascetic life, educated her brother and she was doing pooja at Tiru Adigai temple of Siva, near their birth place, Tiru Amoor.  She got pained when Tiru Navukkarasar joined Jain monastery and even became a guru there in today's Cuddalore.  She prayed to Siva for her brother's return to Siva fold.  According to her prayers only, Siva made Tiru Navukkarasar to suffer from colic pain, which could not be cured by Jainist mantras and peacock feathers and the brother returned to his sister and through her to Saivism.

Mangayarkarasi was the daughter of Chozha King and was given in marriage to Pandya, Nedumaran.  Periya Puranam says:

Mangayarkarasi, the darling daughter of Chozha,
She is the lotus eyed queen of Pandya, Pandi Ma Devi...

Arunachala Siva.