Bharathiayar Stories
Madurai Project. Article in Tamil
Translation: Veeraswamy Krishnaraj

1.     The snake girl captivated Kartthapa Swamigal.

2.     When Kartthapa Swamigal lived with his pupils in Sālivādipuram in South India, the snake girl arrived. She had a complexion of ripe lemon, eyes of a doe, face like the moon and a body, that of a tiger: Build and dexterity.


3.     One evening, the Swamigal ate his noon rice, had a four-hour postprandial sleep, woke up, ate five Dosais and half a carafe milk, munched on fragrant areca nuts, and lectured to his pupils.


4.     Swamigal says:

''Hear me, students,

Janmanā Jāyathē Sūtras;

Karmaṇā Jāyathē Dvijā,''


5.     "At birth a Śūdrā; after sacred thread ceremony a Brahmana: There is no exception to this rule. Only after Upanayaṇam, Brahmaṇathvam dawns on a Brahmana boy. Until Upanayaṇam is complete, he does not care about salivary contamination and touching the lower castes. He grows up like a Chandāla. If a mother touches her son in that condition, and without taking a bath, goes to a kitchen to cook meals, that food is not fit as Naivēdhyam to the deity. Those who serve that food as Naivēdyam are akin to smearing mud while going for a bath and earn sin while doing puja." Espousing such tenets and injunctions, Swamigal establishes his standpoint.


6.     The pupils were nodding their heads in assent with great devotion. The snake girl came in and offered her Namaskāram to Swamigal at that moment.  


7.     In a soft voice, Swamigal said to the girl, "Sit down, my child." She sat down.


8.     Swamy questioned her, "Who are you?"


9.     The snake girl says, "Tāmarai Pū (Lotus flower) takes its birth in the mire. The beetle takes birth in the forest and comes searching for the lotus flower. I am Singala Rajan's daughter. I am on a Yātra (pilgrimage) in the Baratha country and arrived here just now. I came to the street where Amman Temple is. I heard that you are the town's great devotee, Yogi,  and Jñāni. I came to you to receive Mantrōupadesam from you for the liberation of the soul.


10.It was like showering flower petals on his head. He was exhilarated, horripilated, and joyous. Who would not be ecstatic if a princess comes as a pupil?


11.Swamigal, head over heels,  in a hurry, says, "Shall I do the Mantrōupadesam right now?"


12.Roja says, "I am looking for an auspicious day, hour, and Lagnam (ascendant star) for such an important event. I must arrange to offer gifts to a guru laid at his feet. Please advise on an auspicious day."


13.Swamiyār's ecstasy was bursting at the seams, and he consulted astrological charts.


14."Today is Sunday. Tomorrow is Monday, which is a good day; Rāhu Kālam lasts from 7:30 AM to 9 AM. After that, an ascendant star comes. Sastras delineate an auspicious day and hour. Anyone receiving this Mantrōupadesam can be sure of attaining liberation in this birth."


15. Roja displayed a trace of a smile. Swamigal's ecstasy attained feverish proportions.


16.Swamiyar continues, "Listen to me, Singala Desa princess! Is your name Roja? Āhā! An appropriate name for your Kulam and appearance. Life forms are in millions.   


“I was born as a blade of grass, elements, a worm, a tree, animals, a bird, a snake, a stone, a human, a demon, one of the Ganas, a strong Asura, a sage, a god, and all creatures that act or do not act. I was born as all things on this earth, and I am tired. (Translation by”


17.Says Tiruvasakam.


18.Swamigal sang the song in line with his nature and his reputation. The poem had the word snake. Yet, Roja was not afraid. She realized he was an ignoramus. She thought she should not give up on the Swamigal since many others she could not retain. She thought she could manage the Matam to her liking. The snake girl decided she had attained her objective.


19.Swamigal says: Listen, Roja! Births are innumerable like the sand in the river and like the stars in the sky. 'Punarabhi Jananam, punarabhi Maranam.' Human birth is the best of all. If such a person does not find a proper Guru and know the path to liberation, he or she takes birth in the womb, remain there for ten months in misery, come into this world, and experience many untold miseries. The miseries are  not new to you. I will reveal to you the Vairava Mantra. You are a lucky person.


20.Let me make the story short.


21.The next day, the snake girl presented a cobra-owned gem to the Swamigal and received Mantropadesam (initiation with a Mantra). In a few days, the Swamigal was dancing to her tune. That was the story told by peacock Madhukandikai told to Rasika Sirōmani.


22.The peacock said, "Karttha Swamy Became the victim of the snake girl's deceit. He earned a bad name in the town. The townspeople drove him out of town. Later, the snake girl left his company. Their lives faced innumerable difficulties, and they died.


23.Then the donkey Rasikasirōnmani asked the peacock why it told that story.


24.Peacock: The story's object is to tell you that your caste people are easily gullible and suffer from stupidity. But you do not belong to that category. Though you are a donkey, you are intelligent. Justice binds you. Please tell me the story of Thanjavur  Swindler Chetty's story.