Tuesday, 20 August 2013

God given Mango

Punithavathi, daughter of Dhanalakshmi Ammal and Dharmadathan, was any other beautiful woman, born in a Vaishya (merchant) community.She lived sometime during the sixth century AD. What set her apart, though, was her devotion towards Lord Shiva.

She was married to a merchant by the name Paramadathan. One day Paramadathan sent two mangoes home which Punithavathi kept aside for him. Meanwhile a Shiva bhakt approached her house and asked for alms. Punithavathi had not completed cooking and had nothing to offer to the hungry monk. She offered one of the mangoes given by her husband to as Bhiksha or alms.

In sometime, her husband arrived home for lunch. After having the food cooked for him, he wanted to taste the mangoes. Punithavathi gave the mango left to Paramadathan.

He savoured the mango and since the mango tasted good requested his wife to serve him the other one too. Not knowing what to do, Punithavathi, prayed before Lord Shiva to help her salvage the situation. Lord Shiva appeared before her and gave her another mango.

After eating the mango given by the Lord, her husband wanted to know where she got the mango from as it tasted divine. Unable to tell a lie to her husband, Punithavathi told him the truth as it was.Paramadathan was unwilling to believe her and asked her to prove her claim. Punithavathi, once again prayed to Lord Shiva in all earnestly.

Since her husband had not believed in the Lord, though Shiva appeared before Punithavathi and gave her another mango, the mango disappeared when her husband touched it.

He was astounded at he saw. That very instant a transformation descended upon him and he saw his wife as Goddess incarnate. He told her that he cannot be her husband anymore.He left her and married again. Punithavathi walked up the Mount Kailas on her head and Lord Shiva was pleased with her. She became one among the three Nayanmars. She prayed to the Lord to give her a demonic look. She gave up on her external beauty and her body. Lord Shiva yielded to her request and addressed her as ‘ammaye’ (meaning my mother). From then on she is fondly remembered as Karaikkal Ammaiyar.

Her works include Arpudha Thiruvandhaadhi and Thiru Irattai Mani Maalai. She stands tall as an embodiment of devotion and faith to this day!