DSC02900-001

Telugu ‘chaaTu’ tales – (6) : VemulavaaDa Bhiimakavi -3.

There was one more incident, a tale that made this uncommon faculty in the personality of VemulaaaDa Bhiimakavi firmly establish in the memory of general public. That incident is stated to have occurred right in the presence of the king Chokkabhuupaala.  This king Chokkabhuupaala  is believed to be from the lineage of kings belonging to the famous Chalukya King Raja Raja Narendra.

The legend has it that when VemulavaaDa Bhiimakavi first visited the king Chokkabhuupaala, he introduced himself with the following poem, in which he amply describes the prominent side of his personality for which he is well known by one and all –

gaDiyaloepala taaDi kaDagi muttuniyagaa tiTTina meadhaavibhaTTu kaMTe
reMDu gaDela brahmadaMDi muMDlanniyu Dulla diTTina kavimallu kaMTe
muuDu gaDiyalaku monasi yattina gaMDi pagula diTTina kavibhaanu kaMTe
arajaamu loepala cheruvu niiLLiMkaMga diTTina baDabaagni bhaTTu kaMTe

ugrakoepi neanu oepudu SapiyiMpa krammariMpa Sakti kaladu naaku
vaTTi mraanu jiguru buTTimpa, giTTiMpa birudu veamulaaDa bhiimakavini.

గడియలోపల తాడి కడగి ముత్తునియగా తిట్టిన మేధావిభట్టు కంటె
రెండు గడెల బ్రహ్మదండి ముండ్లన్నియు డుల్ల దిట్టిన కవిమల్లు కంటె
మూడు గడియలకు మొనసి యత్తిన గండి పగుల దిట్టిన కవిభాను కంటె
అరజాము లోపల చెరువు నీళ్ళింకంగ దిట్టిన బడబాగ్ని భట్టు కంటె

ఉగ్రకోపి నేను ఓపుదు శపియింప క్రమ్మరింప శక్తి కలదు నాకు
వట్టి మ్రాను జిగురు బుట్టింప, గిట్టింప బిరుదు వేములాడ భీమకవిని.

More than the Madhava bhattu who cursed the palm tree break into three pieces in an hour[1];
More than the Kavi Mallu who cursed the prickly poppy plant shed all its thorns in two hours;
More than the Kavi  Bhaanu  who cursed the well made river bank to break in three hours;
More than the Badabagni Bhattu who cursed the entire water in a pond to dry up in half a day;

I am ferociously angry man capable of cursing
And reversing the curse; have the power to make
Dead tree blossom and reverse the tree dead;
My honored name is VemulavaaDa Bhimakavi!

(Note: [1] An hour here is equivalent to 28 minutes, the meaning of the word ‘గడియ’ –‘gaDiya’ in      Telugu)

Perhaps this amazing introduction might have made the king Chokkabhuupaala become a bit sportive, he wanted to test Bhiimakavi of his legendary and magical powers of his instantaneous making of things as the he wished, he then and there asked Bhiimakavi to change the pillar on which he was placing his hand at that point of time for support, into a tree with glowing leaves, flowers and fruits.

Accepting the challenge with a smile, Bhiimakavi then tellss out the following poem –

aanii taabhyupadaana SRMkhala karaa bhyaalaMbita staMbhamaa!
neanea veamulavaaDa bhiimakavineaniM jitrakuuTaMbuloe
bhuu navyaapRta pallavoepalatikaa pushpoepaguChChaMbulan
naanaa pakva phala pradaayi vagu maanaa! kalpavRkshaakRtin.

ఆనీ తాభ్యుపదాన శృంఖల కరా భ్యాలంబిత స్తంభమా!
నేనే వేములవాడ భీమకవినేనిం జిత్రకూటంబులో
భూ నవ్యాపృత పల్లవోపలతికా పుష్పోపగుఛ్ఛంబులన్
నానా పక్వ ఫల ప్రదాయి వగు మానా! కల్పవృక్షాకృతిన్.

Oh pillar, where on, this hand of the king, adorned with consecrated
Bracelet, known for showering riches, is now placed for support, if I
Am Vemulawada Bhimakavi, you now at once obtain the form of the
‘Wish fulfilling tree’ in Chitrakutam, with sprouts, leaves and fruits!

It is said that as Bhiimakavi completes reading the poem, to the utter astonishment of the king Chokkabhuupaala, the pillar on which he was placing his hand, takes the amazing shape of a tree with full of fresh life in it glowing with leaves, flowers and fruits. But during the process, his hand which was still on the pillar gets entangled within branches of the newly formed tree.

Taken aback and annoyed with the development, the king Chokkabhuupaala, requests Bhiimakavi to convert the tree again to a pillar and make his hand free.

Bhiimakavi then tells the following poem, which makes the lively tree to obtain its initial shape of a lifeless pillar.

Sambhu varaprasaada kavisaMgha vareaNyuDa naina naa vachoe
guMbhana maalakiMchi anukuulata naMdi tanuuna bhaavanan;
kuMbhini chokkanaama nRpakuMjaru paMdiTi malle saalakun
staMbhamu riiti nii tanuvu daalichi eppaTi yaTla uMDumaa!

శంభు వరప్రసాద కవిసంఘ వరేణ్యుడ నైన నా వచో
గుంభన మాలకించి అనుకూలత నంది తనూన భావనన్;
కుంభిని చొక్కనామ నృపకుంజరు పందిటి మల్లె సాలకున్
స్తంభము రీతి నీ తనువు దాలిచి ఎప్పటి యట్ల ఉండుమా!

Respecting me – the one born with blesses of Lord Sambhu; the one greatest
Among the great poets-group – and the divine power of my spoken words,
You have become a tree; now obtain again the form of the pillar supporting
The Jasmine porch in king Chokkanadha’s royal abode, as you were before!

With this poem, the pillar gets back its original form; the hand of the king Chokkabhuupaala too gets disentangled. Greatly relieved and amply convinced of the powers of Bhiimakavi, he then requests Bhiimakavi to adorn his royal court as the ‘aasthaana kavi’ i.e., royal court poet.

This tale ends here.

In the first poem of this tale, Bhiimakavi remembers and mentions four names viz., Meadhaavi BhaTTu, Kavi Mallu, Kavi Bhaanu and BaDabaagni BhaTTu.  These personalities were equally good poets, thought to be the contemporaries of VemulavaaDa Bhiimakavi or his predecessors, who possessed this power of magical utterance. Poems told by them in the instances mentioned in the first poem are also available now with the connected occurrences, which will be dealt with in successive posts.

2 thoughts on “Telugu ‘chaaTu’ tales – (6) : VemulavaaDa Bhiimakavi -3.

  1. Venkat,
    Having been reading all these, I am (though being equivalent to a particle of dust of their feet) of the view that such great poet-sages wasted their supernatural powers for proving petty things to please or threaten the then rulers, instead of contributing to elimination of ignorance from the society. Like Adi Sankaracharya. Any way thinking of those great people itself has become a rare occurrence these days. People have (by and large) become so consumerist of their time also. (Every second they spend should translate in terms of money or enjoyment for personal/exclusive consumption)!
    Fine to have thought of these, because of your initiative!
    Thank you.

    1. Yes Sarma, I too agree to this view. It is a known fact that these days people have become too consumerist…days of ‘I..Me…My’ are having the final say…in mostly every aspect of daily life. To think of these poets…their tremendous ability to make things work with the power of their words….it now makes us think that they belong to a different world altogether!

      Thanks for visiting and leaving this comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s