Appreciating Kamban --- An enjoyable Encounter


The time had come for Rama to leave Ayodhya. He had commissioned boats from Guha the chieftain on the banks of Ganga.It was at that time that Bharatha arrived there with the intention of pleading before Rama to return to Ayodhya and accept the throne. Guha who had such a great respect for Rama was watching the scene from a distance!

'அஞ்சன வண்ணன், என் ஆர் உயிர் நாயகன், ஆளாமே,
வஞ்சனையால் அரசு எய்திய மன்னரும் வந்தாரே!
செஞ் சரம் என்பன தீ உமிழ்கின்றன, செல்லாவோ?
உஞ்சு இவர் போய்விடின், "நாய்க்குகன்" என்று, எனை ஓதாரோ

"The dark-complexioned Rama whom I love like my life, is the natural heir to the throne of Ayodhya. Bharatha had acquired it by deceit.The arrows of my bow are actually emitting fire! If Bharatha succeeds in his mission will not people call me a dog? So thinks Guha!

It is all under the mistaken impression that Bharatha had come to usurp the throne from Rama!

'நம்பியும் என் நாயகனை ஒக்கின்றான்; அயல் நின்றான்
தம்பியையும் ஒக்கின்றான்; தவ வேடம் தலைநின்றான்;
துன்பம் ஒரு முடிவு இல்லை; திசை நோக்கித் தொழுகின்றான்;
எம்பெருமான் பின் பிறந்தார் இழைப்பரோ பிழைப்பு?' என்றான்.

The elder of the two looks like Rama. the younger one looks like Lakshmana; both are attired in saffron, which are the clothes of the saints;what is their real intentlon? llWill the brothers of Rama ever commit such blasphemy?" so thought Guha.

தாய் உரைகொண்டு தாதை உதவிய தரணிதன்னை,
"தீவினை" என்ன நீத்து, சிந்தனை, முகத்தில் தேக்கி,
போயினை என்றபோழ்து, புகழினோய்! தன்மை கண்டால்,
ஆயிரம் இராமர் நின் கேழ் ஆவரோ, தெரியின் அம்மா!

This is the stanza in which Guha makes a mental comparison of Rama and Bharatha and declares that even one thousand Ramas will not be equal to one Bharatha. Kaikeyi his mother fought with Dasaratha and got him the kingdom of Ayodhya for him to rule. But what did Bharaha do? He spurned it like an evil force. With worry writ large on his face he wants to set right the injustice meted to Rama!

சுற்றத்தார், தேவரொடும் தொழ நின்ற கோசலையைத் தொழுது நோக்கி,
'கொற்றத் தார்க் குரிசில்! இவர் ஆர்?' என்று குகன் வினவ, 'கோக்கள் வைகும்
முற்றத்தான் முதல் தேவி; மூன்று உலகும் ஈன்றானை முன் ஈன்றாளைப்
பெற்றத்தால் பெறும் செல்வம், யான் பிறத்தலால், துறந்த பெரியாள்' என்றான்.

Guha was eager to get introduced to Kosalai. Here Bharatha introduces her as the first wife of Dasaratha, the mother of Rama who gave birth to one who has given birth to all the 3 worlds; unfortunately, she lost all good things because of her association with me, says Bharata! The bitterness in his heart doesn't leave him.

All of them in the troop renounced items of luxury. Bharatha was eating roots and raw vegetables only. They were sleeping on the fioor. They wanted to undergo all the ordeals that Rama went through in his life in the forest.

தொழுது உயர் கையினன்; துவண்ட மேனியன்
அழுது அழி கண்ணினன்; 'அவலம் ஈது' என
எழுதிய படிவம் ஒத்து எய்துவான் தனை
முழுது உணர் சிந்தையான், முடிய நோக்கினான்.

Rama shows to Lakshmana the condition in whch Bharatha was seen. His hands could be seen always worshiping. His skin appeared all wrinkled and withered. He was, in short, grief personified. Bharatha could regain his composure only after he embraced Rama and fell at his feet!

The next article will be on Aranya Kandam.

(To be continued)

October 2009