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The God, In The Guise Of A Musician, Decided A Contest In Singing Between Two Female Performers, In The Presence Of The King

After Varaguna-Pandian was beatified, his son, Rajaraja-Pandian, reigned. His favourite wife was accomplished in singing; but she bore an inward pique against the wife of the minstrel Pattiren, owing to conscious inferiority. Contriving how she might disgrace the latter, she persuaded the king to send for foreign performers, of the class trained to music for temple-service. Among those who came (by sea) from the country called Ira, she selected one, whom she regarded with confidence as adapted to her object. Dismissing this one for a time with presents, she sent for Pattiren's wife, and said to her, somewhat tauntingly, "Will you venture to compete with the singer from Ira?" The other, with humility, replied, "I will do my best." On which the king's wife said, 'Well, go now, and come to-morrow." The next day, through her influence, the king and his council assembled, in order to judge of the performance. In their presence the Ira performer proposed to Pattiren's wife some ensnaring questions, which the other discerning, replied by a few satirical compliments; but declined any dispute by words. On the challenge by music being accepted, and agreement made that the vanquished was to become the slave of the victrix, they proceeded to the trial of skill. First the Ira performer sang and played, in a very agreeable manner; and Pattiren's wife followed, also affording great delight to the audience, and being of the two superior; but the king was under secret influence, and reflecting on the proverb. 'To say as the king says is the way of the world, he affected to find some difficulty in forming a precise judgment, though with a leaning favourable towards the foreigner; and required another trail of skill the following day. On the dismissal of the assembly, the musician's wife went to the temple, imploring the god to guard her against undue influence, and to give her the victory; which a celestial voice assured her should be the case. The next day the god himself came to the assembly, in the guise of a rustic travelling minstrel. The trial of skill again took place, wonderful on both sides, but the king, still having the proverb in his mind, and being disposed to give a decision contrary to his mind, and being disposed to give a decision contrary to his real judgment, came to a resolve to hazard the false judgment, trusting to the complacency of his courtiers to confirm it by the their suffrages. The god, who from the outset had marked the proud bearing of the foreigner, and the humble piety of his votary, now interposed, and as the sentence, "The foreigner's song is best," was rising to the king's lips, caused him to forget it, and made him say, 'This one has conquered," alluding to the musician's wife; a decision which the assembly forthwith and joyfully confirmed. The king, seeing the alacrity of the assembly, and the Ira performer delivered over as a slave, was for a moment perplexed, but speedily said, 'This is no other than one of the diversions of the god himself" ; and, on this ground, honours were tendered to the wife of the musician by a public procession through the town, all the poets and minstrels following in the train; after which she returned to her own abode.


isai vAdhu velluthal

While Rajaraja-Pandian ruled, he had a son born to him, who was named Suguna-Pandian,


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