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The God On Account Of Gauri, Became An Old Man, A Young Man, And A Child

While Vicrama-Pandian was thus ruling, there was a Brahmin named Virupatchi, his wife's name being Subavrithai, who were childless; in consequence they worshipped the seven celestial females, (fabled to be in paradise, corresponding with the seven rishis) and obtained thereby the gift of a daughter. At five years old the child, named Gauri, asked to be taught a prayer for the speedy change of her mortal form and the Brahmin, being surprised at her early good sense, taught her the Parvati-mantram. While the father was waiting for a suitable husband, she passed the eighth year of her age without being betrothed, (which the Brahmins consider to be a disgrace); and one day a Vaishnava Brahmin coming to beg alms, the father, perceiving him to be learned in the Vedas, bestowed the daughter on him in marriage, with the usual ceremony of gift, and without saying anything on the subject to any one. The neighbours, on learning the circumstance, at first blamed him; but on further examination found no other fault than that the husband was a Vaishnava; and approved the marriage. When the Vaishnava Brahmin brought his wife to


vrutha kumAra bAlar

his own village, and to his parents, they disapproved of his marrying a Saiva woman; and the woman, seeing nothing but Vaishnavas aroung her, without any Brahmins, wearing ashes and beads, sighed for her own people. One day the parents shut her up alone, and, without calling her, went away to a distant marriage feast. In this interval an aged Saiva Brahmin, in appearance, came to her and asked for food; and on being admitted into the house and food being given by the woman, since he was too infirm to feed himself she assisted him to eat, when he suddenly changed to a young man, richly habited; and on surprise being expressed by the Brahmin, as also fear with reference to the return of the husband's parents, the young man suddenly became a child. The parents having returned, and finding her with a young Saiva child, turned both out of doors; and while she was in the street, sorrowing deeply for her misfortunes, she meditated the Parvati-mantiram, on which the child instantly disappeared, and the god himself approached towards her, seated on his bullock vahan, (or car), and taking her up with him, while the clouds rained flowers, and the town's people were astonished, he carried her through the air to Madura.


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