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Sambandar, Cured Kun Pandian Of His Fever

From Jaganatha Pandian, down to Kun Pandian, there were nine other kings. Kun Pandian, being warlike and powerful, went and conquered both the Sora and Soren kings, and took possession of their countries. But they humbling themselves, redeemed their countries; the first, by large numbers of elephants, horses and other gifts; and the latter, by giving his daughter, named Mangayarkarasi, to the Pandian in marriage. One of the Soren king's subjects, named Kulachirai, gave large gifts to the Pandian in lieu of the usual marriage portion; and the king, being pleased with his conduct, took him to be his minister.


suram thIrththal


It so happened that, as the king was deformed, he was persuaded to embrace the Jaina faith; and the Brahmins were in consequence distressed; their religion was depreciated; and the bare head, rolled up mat, drinking vessel suspended from the wrist by a cord, peacock-fans, and other emblems of the Jainas, their disgusting poverty, and the more disgusting recitations of their books, were everywhere perceptible. Notwithstanding, the queen and minister secretly preserved the Saiva faith; and not daring to put the Vibuthi (or ashes), on their forehead, they put it on the crown of their heads. They also went by stealth to worship in the Saiva temple; when there one day, a Pandaram, of the Saiva sect, approached and saluted them; who, in reply to inquiries, said he came from Chidambaram, and that a prodigy had recently appeared there in the person of the son of a Brahmin, who, when only three years of age, had displayed extraordinary precocity, and had since confounded persons of maturer years; adding, that he had spoken about coming to Madura. On receiving this intelligence, the queen and the minister wrote on a palm leaf a short epistle, inviting the Brahmin to come, and sent it by the Pandaram. When the young man was about to set forward, his elders and friends came round him to represent the great danger of one so young going among a hostile sect, adding also, that it was a bad time. He replied, that he cared not about good or bad times or days, the Supreme Being protecting him; and setting out on his journey, when he came near to Madura, he blew the trumpet usually indicating conquest. Some of the Jaina sect encountering him, asked, scornfully, "How one so young could assume such airs of superiority or defiance?" but he went tranquilly on till he came to Madura; and then took up his abode in the house of a Brahmin. While there the adverse party, by means of their ceremonies, sent a flame to destroy him; but as he contained unhurt, they came and set fire to the house in which he sojourned. On learning that this was the work of the Jains he said, 'Let the flame go and seize the king who protects these miscreants." In consequence of this malediction, Kun Pandian was seized with a burning fever from which he sought relief in vain. His queen and minister now took the opportunity of recommending the young Saiva to his notice; but the king objected on the ground of impropriety, owing to a difference of faith, which objection was, in the end, overruled. The Jains however interposed; and though they could not prevent the king from seeking a cure; yet, to interpose as much difficulty as possible, they proposed, that they themselves should try to cure the king on one side of his body, while the Saiva did the same with the other side; to which arrangement consent was given. They now tried their utmost efforts; but the king instead of being benefitted, only became worse. It next came to the Saiva's turn, who exhibited some of the sacred ashes; on which the Jains exclaimed that this was unfair, as the ashed might conceal some medicine. The Brahmin then said, "Let me have some of the ashes from the kitchen of the god's temple brought to me;" and on this request being granted he proceeded to rub one side of the king's body entirely with these ashes, and left that side cured. The king begged him to cure the other side also; and since the adverse party could not oppose the young Brahmin cured the other side also in like manner. At the same time the hump on the king's shoulders became reduced; and in place of Kun Pandian (hump-backed), he acquired the name if Savuntiran (beautiful). Gratefully acknowledging his obligations to Sambandar, he embraced the Saiva faith, received instruction, and became a holy man.


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