NN24. KALI HAD GONE

a poem by Rajaram Ramachandran, India - poetry writer, author, poet

KING NALAN

King cobra’s gift
The Lotus feet’s mercy

Gajendran, the elephant
In danger, cried out
For help, and Thirumal
Rushed up to its call.

He saved it from a crocodile.
He helps those who call.
Behind cows, he went.
We submit to his feet.

In the temple of mind.

Let Mahadevan save us.
With a deer in hand, He dances.
He’s in the hearts of devotees.
And Master of all Devas.

King Cobra surrendered

Chased by Kali, Nalan
In the forest walked alone.
A King Cobra called him,
“Oh King, please come.”

“Under you, I take shelter,
As I’m now in danger.
From this forest fire
Save me at this hour.”

He saw him burning

As the fire was spreading,
The Cobra was burning.
Nalan saw this plight
And went to him straight.

He went to King Cobra

The Fire God’s boon
Came to his mind then.
So, he crossed the fire
And slowly went near.

Save me he said.

“Due to a sage’s curse
I’m burnt like this.
Please help me
From fire save me.”

Like this Cobra said.
His story Nalan heard.
He decided to help him
And from fire save him.

Take me away

Cobra said, “Take me.
In a safe place, leave me.
My curse will leave me
Once you save me.”

He saved the Cobra

Nalan took him away
For him to stay
At a safe distance
From the fire place.

Count ten and put me down

The cobra told Nalan,
“Please count ten
From your first step
Drop me at the tenth step.”

Nalan counted ten

From the first step
To the tenth step,
When Nalan counted ten
The cobra bit him then.

What was the reason?

Nalan asked, “Tell me
Why did you bite me?
With no provocation,
What’s the reason?

Body became dark

When cobra bit Nalan
For a valid reason,
His body became dark,
Short and shrunk.

Explained the reason

“I bit you for the reason
You’ll not be known
To anyone in this body
Which is too ugly.”

“I’m Karkotakan.
I did this in return
For what you did.
Now you can hide.”

Take this robe

“From this forest fire,
You brought me here.
Take this robe for use
Whenever you need this.”

On use, it will shine

“This shape will disappear
Your old one will appear,
This robe, whenever you use,
So, carefully keep this.”

Be a charioteer

“Your name is not Nalan,
But will be Vagugan,
Meaning short-handed man,
And as a charioteer, you’ll join.”

“Go to Ayodhya direct
And there you start
Your fresh career
As the best charioteer.”



NN23. GONE TO HER BIRTH HOUSE
KING NALAN
NN25. STAY AT AYODHYA

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