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The God Gave Paradise To The Heron, And Ordained That The Lotus Tank Should Produce No Living Creature

There was a heron accustomed to live on the fish of some large lotus-filled tanks, near the south bank of the river Vaigai; but from want of rain the tanks became dry, and the bird flew to another place, where was a tank named Achcho, in which rishis were accustomed to bathe. While they were bathing small fishes fell down from their hair, and this circumstances indicating great abundance, the heron was at first inclined to feast on them; but on further thought, it reflected. "This is a holy place, it will be sinful to feed on these fishes." When the rishis had ended their bathing and worship, the heron heard them read from books to their disciples of the fame and excellence of Madura, and in consequence it resolved ongoing thither. Having arrived, the heron continued for one patsham (or fifteen days) to bathe in the tank; at the end of which a fish of its own accord leaped out on the bank, and strong instinct urged the heron to devour its prey; but it recollected that the place was holy, and considered that severe punishment would follow it therefore abstained; and Siva now visibly appeared, asking what gift it desired? The heron said, "Let me lay aside this body, and be received into your paradise." The god asked, "Is there anything else?"when the heron said, "In order that all my species may be kept from danger, let there be no fishes, frogs or anything that lives in water, produced in this tank." This request also was granted; and hence to this day the Pottamarai produces no living thing.


nAraikku muththi


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