Wednesday, March 21, 2012



The second programme was Karadiyum Kurangum by Sri Karunakarachariar who is well known for the sprinkling of humour in his discourses.

Ms. Sumathi introduced Sri Karunakarachariyar stating that the topic Karadiyum Kurangum usually is about Jambavan and Hanuman, but with Karunakarachariyar one can never be sure. It could be something totally different too.

It was different though the moment we saw the programme list my sister, Jayashree and I knew for sure it was the story of Srimathi Parinayam which we have heard from our Thatha many times!

Ms. Sumathi went on to explain why Sangeetha Vidwans were called Jambavans. Once Narada went to Jambavan’s place and at the entrance, he could hear lovely music. He did not want to disturb Jambavan and waited for him to complete. After sometime, to Narada’s surprise Jambavan came from outside. Narada asked him about what was happening inside and Jambavan simply stated that in the morning, the saptaswaras cleaned up all his musical instruments and ensured perfect condition! Such was Jambavan’s authority on music!

Karadiyum Kurangum story goes like this

Ambarish was a king from Ishvaku Vamsam (ancestors of Lord Rama). His mother had prayed that her son should not ask anybody other than Narayana for anything. A great king, Ambarish was ruling well. One day, pleased with his prayers, Lord Indra appeared before him and asked him what he wanted. Ambarish said he had everything he wanted. Lord Indra insisted that he ask for some thing and Ambarish explained how his mother had prayed that Ambarish did not ask anything from anybody except Narayana. An angry Indra threatens to attack Ambarish with his vajrayudha. That’s when Lord Narayana gives Ambarish his Chakrayudha to protect himself. Such was the king’s devotion for Narayana.

Years rolled by and Ambarish had a daughter named Srimathi. The very beautiful Srimathi was devoted to Lord Narayana and wanted to get married to him.

One fine day, Narada came to Ambarish’s court along with his nephew Parvathar. Ambarish welcomed them and asked them to bless his daughter for a good bridegroom. Smitten  by Srimathi’s beauty, Narada calls the king aside and suggests that Ambarish gets Srimathi married to him. Taken aback, the king requests for some time. Parvathar takes the king aside and makes a similar request that Ambarish gets Srimathi married to him. Again, not knowing what to do, Ambarish requests for some time to think it over.

Finally, Ambarish comes back saying that as both the Rishis like her, he will have a swayamvaram conducted for his daughter and whoever she chooses can get married to her.

The swayamvaram was to take place a week later and meantime, Narada goes to Vaikundam. When Mahavishnu asks him about his visit, he requests for a boon that the moment Srimathi looks up at Parvathar his face should be like a monkey. Mahavishnu grants the boon.

Later Parvathar goes to Vaikuntam and asks Mahavishnu to make Narada look like a bear the moment Srimathi looks at him and gets the boon granted.

On the day of swayamvaram, the beautiful Srimathi holds a garland and walks forward. The moment she goes near them she screams “kurangu” and “karadi” and faints.

Though Narada and Parvathar know the reason for the other appearing like an animal, they join hands and try to blame the king. The king wakes his daughter up and makes one more attempt. Again she screams “karadi” and “kurangu” but smiles at the place between the two Rishis and garlands the handsome man with bow and arrow standing in the middle. The next moment, Srimathi vanishes.

Now really angry with the king, the Rishis curse him that he is caught by the darkness called “thamas”. The chakrayudha again comes to the rescue of Ambarish and scared by the chakrayudha, thamas turns back and follows Narada and Parvathar. Not knowing what to do, they run to Lord Narayana. The ever smiling Lord, welcomes them.

Finally waking up to the fact that Srimathi was devoted to the Lord and she vanished after garlanding somebody, the Rishis conclude that it was Lord Narayana who Srimathi garlanded.

They curse Lord Narayana that he takes the thamas on Himself and when He is in trouble, He will have to take the help of karadi and kurangu.

The Almighty accepted the curse and says He will use it in one of his avatars – Rama Avatar. Thus in Rama avatar, He was caught by thamas that he forgot that he was God and lived like a human being and was helped by Hanuman and Jambavan in Ravana samharam!

Sri Karunakarachariyar listed out the morals in the story as below

  1. A mother should pray for a child like Ambarish’s mother
  2. Don’t ask anybody other than God for anything
  3. God helps such men who pray to Him
  4. Even Maharishis can slip
  5. Be careful while making a wish – never ask anything negative, be positive
  6. Sincere prayers are always granted
  7. A bhakta is always saved
  8. Even the Almighty accepts Maharishi’s curse
  9. Mind is a monkey and its hold is like a bear’s!


  1. Very interesting story. Of course, I have heard it before, but its still wonderful to read it again. And you have given the details so perfectly. Thank you Lak, great blog! :D

    1. very interesting always like to hear swamiji's discourses. last time i heard thayin manikodi enRa thalaippil garudanai paRRi. karthru and vinathaiyin kadhai.
      thx a ton.