After sending the palanquin and the attendants to fetch Yamunai Thuraivar for a debate with Vidvatjana Kolahala, the king and his courtiers, who had mistaken Yamunai Thuraivar for an ordinary kid, started to laugh at him for challenging Vidvatjana Kolahala. The queen who was seated by the side of the king expressed her displeasure at the attitude of the king and his courtiers and asked the king not to underestimate Yamunai Thuraivar. The arrogant king mockingly said, “If this impudent little boy defeats the great Vidvatjana Kolahala, I will appoint him as the king of half of my kingdom.” Even as the king was saying these words, Yamunai Thuraivar entered the court in a palanquin along with his preceptor and companions. The king sarcastically said, “O alavandara (O did he come to rule)?” Though Yamunai Thuraivar did not utter a word, the queen retorted, “Ah alavandaru (yes he has come to rule).” Since then Yamunai Thuraivar was fondly called Alavandar, i.e. the one who came to rule, by devotees. The king and his courtiers received Yamunai Thuraivar and offered him a seat. The proposed debate, which was more of a competition, started. Vidvatjana Kolahala initiated the debate by asking Yamunai Thuraivar some questions about grammar from Kaumodaki and other texts to test his knowledge. Yamunai Thuraivar easily answered all the questions posed by Vidvatjana Kolahala and said, “You seem to be testing my knowledge by asking simple questions just because I am a young boy. Don’t judge my learning and knowledge by my age or size. Have you forgotten the fact that the great sage Ashtavakra defeated Bondi, who was very proud of his knowledge, in king Janaka’s court even when he was a boy? Have you forgotten Nachiketa’s achievement as a boy? Did you forget the fact that Dhruva and Prahlada propitiated the Supreme Lord at a very tender age?”
After listening to Yamunai Thuraivar’s words, Vidvatjana Kolahala started asking questions to test his knowledge. Yamunai Thuraivar thought for a second and said, “Let us start our discussions with logic as it will help us to test our understanding of different subjects. I will put forward three propositions and I will accept my defeat if you refute them with the help of your knowledge in scriptures.”
Vidvatjana Kolahala accepted Yamunai Thuraivar’s proposal and asked him to put forth his propositions.
Yamunai Thuraivar said, “Your mother is not a barren lady. The king is very righteous. And, my third proposition is, the queen is as chaste as Savitri of yore.”
As soon as Vidvatjana Kolahala heard Yamunai Thuraivar’s propositions, he became nervous as he did not know how to refute them. If he tried to refute the first proposition that his mother was a barren woman, people would start asking him how he was born. He did not dare to refute the other two propositions as the king, who was patronizing him till then, would kill him if he dared say that the king is unrighteous or the queen is unchaste. He was at his wit’s end and his face became red with indignation. Vidvatjana Kolahala said, “This guy is playing games, how can I speak against the king and queen or refute established facts. He deserves death if he fails to refute these propositions, which were put forth by him, in accordance with the rules of the competition.”
All those who had assembled in the gathering including the king realized that Vidvatjana Kolahala was outwitted and started to eagerly look at Yamunai Thuraivar for his reply. The young Yamunai Thuraivar started to refute the propositions put forth by him confidently. Refuting the first proposition, Yamunai Thuraivar said, “According to Manu Dharma Shastra, a woman with only one child is like a barren woman. Honorable sir, you are the only son of your mother. Therefore, your mother can be considered barren in accordance with Manu Dharma Shastra.”
Even as Yamunai Thuraivar uttered the aforesaid words, Vidvatjana Kolahala hung his head in shame and people started to chant Yamunai Thuraivar’s name.
With the permission of the king and those assembled in the gathering, Yamunai Thuraivar refuted the other two propositions with the following words:
“According to the scriptures, the king gets a sixth part of the merit and sins committed by his subjects. The scriptures also say that righteousness stands on one foot in Kali-yuga and, therefore, the people are unrighteous. Even if the king is righteous he cannot claim to be righteous as he has to share the sixth part of the sins committed by his subjects. Manu says that a king is a personification of the guardians of eight directions (Agni, Vayu, Surya, Chandra, Yama, Kubera, Varuna and Indra). By marrying the king, the queen is automatically wedded to these eight demigods. Therefore, one cannot say that the queen is chaste.”
All those assembled in the court started to clap and exclaim, “Vidvatjana Kolahala is defeated!”
Thus, Yamunai Thuraivar humbled the proud Vidvatjana Kolahala.
Let us know more about Yamunai Thuraivar in the next post.