Melpathur Humbled

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poonthanamThe Jnanapana (means the song of wisdom) written in simple Malayalam is Poonthanam's greatest work. Melpathur was the most knowledgeable and learned man of that time. Poonthanam showed the draft of his Jnanapana to Melpathur. Malayalam was not accepted in the learned circle those days and Melpathur had contempt for Malayalam, which was not considered equal to Sanskrit.

He refused to see Poonthanam’s work and told him blatantly to learn Sanskrit and then started writing. This act of Melpathur hurt Poonthanam.

Melpathur was composing Narayaneeyam in those days and when he came the next day to offer dasaka of ten slokas (ten stanzas) before the Lord, he could not utter a single word. A small boy in his teens, never seen before presented himself and pointed out mistakes after mistakes in the slokas composed by Melpathur. After ten mistakes in ten slokas Melpathur realised the divinity of the boy. He fell at the feet of the boy but the boy disappeared and there was an asareeri (celestial voice) saying, “ Poonthanam’s Bhakthi (devotion) is more pleasing to me than Melpathur’s Vibhakthi (learning or knowledge in Sanskrit grammar)”. Melpathur realised his mistake and asked Poonthanam to pardon him and amended his arrogance by reading the works of Poonthanam.

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