pachai maamalai pol mene

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Musings 4

My post below was in response to an anecdote shared where Arundathi the wife of Sage Vasishta manages to serve thousand and eight vegetables to sage Vishvamitra.. I am not going into the story.. But it is remarked in that post that Arundathi belonged to a lower caste..
And the story finds a shadow in the Vararuch and Parayi episode which is a legend in Kerala..

My views--

Arundathi is the daughter of Kardama Prajapathi and Devahooti.. Kardama is the son of Brahma.. and many divine beings including Kapila Vasudeva the incarnation of Vishnu were born to the couple..

So I do not understand how Arundathi is termed as a low caste lady.. And the incident of thousand curries has nothing in particular to do with the caste of the lady..

In fact there is a story about Vararuchi and a Parayi.. a Paraya( A supposedly low caste) Lady who became wife of Vararuchi

Once Vararuchi visited a household where the girl was growing as a foster child..

And she was growing in a high caste household, it would appear..
Vararuchii, on his visit to the household put a condition that if he were to take food in the house he should have a meal with 1000 curries of vegetables..

The master of the house was baffled..
But the girl in the house said that this could be managed.. When Vararuchi came for food, she served a curry made of Ginger or Inji...
In kerala it is believed that the Inji Curry is equal to thousand curries.

Pleased with the resourcefulness of the girl Vararuchi married her..
But he came to know that the girl belonged to the Paraya caste..

He did not abandon her but wandered across the length and breadth of Kerala..
Tweleve children were born to them..
When the first child was born he asked her whether the child had a mouth..
When she said yes, she ordered her to abandon the child and continue with their journey..
His theory was that if God has given the child a mouth, He will feed the child too..

This child was adopted by a high nambudiri family and became the great Mezhathur Agnihotri.
Other children followed..
Pakkanar was adopted by a low caste parents, and various parents adopted children like Perunthachan, Uppukottan, Karaikkal Ammayaar etc..

When the twelth child was born, the lady lied that the child had no mouth, in a bid to keep the child..
Immediately the child became mouthless..
This child was consecrated as Vayillaam Kunnil Appan.. the child with no mouth residing in a hillock..
The place Vaayillyaamkunnu and the deity are still there in Palakkad District in Kerala..
All the population of Kerala is believed to consist of the twelve clans started by the children born to sage Vararuchi.. the grammarian of eminence and the Parayi or Paraya woman
Parayi pettra panthiru kulam..
പറയി പെറ്റ പന്തിരു കുലം

A lot of details on this can be read from the monumental Aitihyamala of Kottarathil Shankunn

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