Telugu ‘chaaTu’ tales – (5): VemulavaaDa Bhiimakavi – 2

Legend and popular belief has it that the birth of VemulavaaDa Bhiimakavi happened with the blessing of Lord Siva,  to a widow – a staunch devotee of the Lord –  belonging to the village VemulavaaDa as per her own wish, and as a result of this the child, Bhiimakavi,  had inherited a speck of the divine power of the Lord Siva which naturally made him so perfect, pure and powerful that whatever he spoke, it came out true as if everything that he wished was in his control and had to invariably happen.

There are many tales that support the above phenomenon and exemplify the same. In one such tale when Bhiimakavi, still a young lad, was denied participation in the community meal that was happening in a brahman’s home, on the pretext that he was the son of a widow, he gets angry and expresses all his anger and curse on the multitude in the form of a poem, which has become so famous for the result it produced. The poem reads as follows –

goppalu cheppukoMchu nanu guuTiki baMktiki raaku maMchu ii
trippuDu baapa laMdarunu diTTiri kaavuna nokkamaaru ii
appamulanni kappalayi, annamu sunnamugaaga maaruchun
pappunu Saakamul pulusu pachchaDulun chiru raalu kaavutan!

గొప్పలు చెప్పుకొంచు నను గూటికి బంక్తికి రాకు మంచు ఈ
త్రిప్పుడు బాప లందరును దిట్టిరి కావున నొక్కమారు ఈ
అప్పములన్ని కప్పలయి, అన్నము సున్నముగాగ మారుచున్
పప్పును శాకముల్ పులుసు పచ్చడులున్ చిరు రాలు కావుతన్!

Praising amongst themselves, these Brahmans living
By alms ordered me not to be part of this community lunch
So now at once these sweet-meats may turn into frogs,
This cooked rice turn into lime, other eatables into small pebbles!

As he completes saying this poem, all eatables in the leaf-platters, all at once turn into things as cursed by Bhiimakavi which makes the principal host of the feast shiver in utter disbelief.  Along with him, the entire congregation by then gets the taste of what Bhiimakavi  was made and capable of, beseeches him to make things normal praying before him with folded hands that they realized their error of judgment. Feeling pleased by this, Bhiimakavi cools down and reverses the curse by saying another poem, which reads as under –

ghanuDou veamulavaaDa vaMSajuDu daakshaaraama bhiimeaSa naM
danu Dii bhiimana yaMchu gurterigi niMdalmaani nan gaaravaM
buna nii viprulu chuuchi; raMdu valanan buurvasthitiM jeMdi bhoe
jana vastu prakaraMbu lanniyu yathaasvasthaMbu lougaavutan!

ఘనుడౌ వేములవాడ వంశజుడు దాక్షారామ భీమేశ నం
దను డీ భీమన యంచు గుర్తెరిగి నిందల్మాని నన్ గారవం
బున నీ విప్రులు చూచి; రందు వలనన్ బూర్వస్థితిం జెంది భో
జన వస్తు ప్రకరంబు లన్నియు యథాస్వస్థంబు లౌగావుతన్!

Knowing now well that I am the son of the great
Daksharama Bhimeswara of Vemulawada lineage
These Brahmans stopped blaming and honored me;
Hence all things eatable may turn to as were before!

No doubt, tales are tales! But, what makes them so impressive and believable is the way they are imagined and made of… so perfectly that nothing is left to doubt, in this case two spotless poems that can vie with any of the better known poems that appear in the Written Literature pertaining to Telugu language.

2 thoughts on “Telugu ‘chaaTu’ tales – (5): VemulavaaDa Bhiimakavi – 2

  1. This story is attributed even to Veerabrahmendra Swamy, who is also endowed with supernatural powers. These things apart, the poems and the translations, the way the native folk tales are introduced to non-natives is very interesting and highly readable.
    Please continue this pleasant pastime, which reminds us of our forgotten historical anecdotes, enlightens while entertaining! All the best.

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