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Home Page » 64 Thiruvilayaadal
March 11,2011
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During the rule of Vara guna pandiyan  a Yaazh(a form of Veena) exponent by the name Hemanathan came to Madurai. Welcoming him, he came to understand that he had won several yazh exponents in foreign countries. He requested him to stay in his palace. Hemanath also agreed and felt happy on the welcome given to him. Though he is an expert in music and none can equal him on that, that thought itself made him arrogant. He sent all his assistants through out the Pandiyan country and made them play the yazh. The people were attracted by their music. The fame of Hemanathan spread every where. For Meganathan who was arrogant by nature already, this fame further made him blind. When he came to the palace to see the king he behaved indifferently. Varaguna Pandiyan decided to put an end to his arrogance.There was one Paanapathrar in that town who was also an Yazh exponent. He called him to the palace and said “Paana pathra, Hemanathan who has come here does not give respect to me or to other artists because of his arrogance. You are the right person to tame him by removing his arrogance. I will arrange a function for you to play yazh in his presence so that your music gains an upper hand than his”. Pana pathrar agreed for that.

He made a vow by saying “O” King, With the blessings of Lord Soma sundarar I will remove his arrogance. I will make all the prizes, awards and gifts that he has received as that of mine. Having vowed thus when he came out of the palace, the yazh music played by Panapathrarar flew like honey into his ears. He looked out to see as to whos is playing yazh. They were all the assistants of Hemanathan. Now he started thinking. “I have given my promise to the king in a hurry. If hemanathan’s assistants can play like this in a sweet manner introducing novelty in yazh playing then Hamanathan will be really an expert. Further the proficiency may be hiding still in him. But I do not have such proficiency in me. What should I do?”. Fear gripped his mind. At the same moment his mind remembered God, and so he went to the temple Lord Sundareswarar. He prayed HIM saying “O” Lord, It is your responsibility to make the world know the fame of Pandiyan kingdom ruled by you.” After praying with a melting heart, he left. For the sake of that devotee(Paanapathrar) He decided to  cut firewood and walk in the streets carrying fire wood on his head. Sundareswarar assumed the role of a wood cutter(Viragu vetti in tamil) and wandered in the streets of Madurai. He wore a worn out dress, made the moon in his head as billhook/sickle (aruvaal in tamil)an kept it in his hip. There was a worn out wooden slipper on his legs. He carried an old yazh on his shoulders. He fixed abnormal price for the fire wood he was carrying, refused to sell the same to anyone and passed off the time till the evening. Then he sat on the pial (Thinnai in tamil) of the palace in which Hemanathan was staying. He put the logs of fire wood he was carrying on his head on the floor and began to play in the yazh he was carrying. The whole area reverberated with the honey like sweet music. On hearing this music the assistants came out and listened the same forgetting themselves in that soul stirring music. Even Hemanathan was attracted by that music. He, who was about to go to sleep, rushed out and appreciated the music. He went near the wood cutter, who had just then finished the music that he played on the yazh,  forgetting himself, and said “Brother, who are you? So much of  such a great music hidden in you,  who is an ordinary wood cutter. I noticed that when you played the whole things moved, and when you stopped playing, the whole things stopped their activities. Even all living things came to a stand still. From whom you learned this rare music?” He replied  “Sir, I have learnt it long time back from an exponent of Yazh. He sent me away rejecting and saying that I do not know how to play yazh. I used to remember on and off whatever little lessons that I have learnt from him and play it occassionaly. For earning my livelihood I used to cut woods and sell the fire wood.” Hemanathan got angry and shouted “Who is that fool who has removed you from the teaching class.” The wood cutter replied “ Sir don’t utter like that. He is one who can fascinate even God by his music. He is an expert on Yazh music.” Haemanathan asked him Who is that star among the  musicians. The wood cutter replied  “His name is  Paana pathrar and the chief musician of the palace.” On hearing this Hemanathan got afraid. If such an ordinary wood cutter himself is such an expert, how and what will be the proficiency of his master? And how high and great will be his proficiency?” Thinking within his mind like this he said “ I bow that Paana pathrar. I submit all my proficiency at his feet. I will leave all the gift articles that I have received here itself  and go. Please entrust all these gift articles to him” Writing a letter like this he left the town over night along with his assistants. Next day there was commotion in the palace. The topic of the day was the leaving of Hemanathan without telling to anyone overnight. Meanwhile the God went to the house of Paana pathrar and informe him all that had happened and disappeared. Worshipping the God who carried fire wood on his behalf, he went to see the king. The king fell at the feet of the Paana pathrar and said “If God himself served for you with aching feet, your feet  liked by him,  is worth for worship. Hereafter do not play in the yazh praising me, but play eulogizing the fame and greatness of God. Paana Pathrar also did the same as requested by the king.

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