Converting A Black Dog into A White Dog
One day the Rayar was sleeping even after the fourth Nalikai from sunrise. And as it was the day for him to get himself shaved, the barber came, but finding him asleep, shaved him so carefully that he did not wake up, and then went away. The Rayar on rising saw himself in the mirror, and when he observed how nicely the shaving had been done, he was very much delighted. He sent for the barber and asked him what he wanted. He replied, “My lord! you must make me a Brahman.” The Rayar then sent for several Brahmans and said to them:- “If within six months you do not convert this barber into a Brahman and eat meals with him allowing him to sit in your company. I shall confiscate all the lands given in free gifts to you.” The Brahmans felt much aggrieved at heart, but said outwardly “Maharaja’s order will be obeyed:” and took away the barber. They made him bathe thrice daily, and taught him to offer oblations in the sacred fire, perform the morning and other prayers, and pronounce the holy incantations and other such things. At the end of the sixth month the Rayar went to the Brahman street to see whether the barber was allowed to eat his food in the company of the Brahmans. When they came to know of this they went to Tennalirama for help. He said: “You need not be afraid. I shall save you all.” He then procured a black dog and led it by a rope round its neck to the side of the tank near the Brahmans street. There he kindled a fire in a sacrificial pit, and performed certain rites over it with the assistance of four Brahman priests. Then he caused the dog to be bathed, notwithstanding its unbearable barking, and dragged it struggling and yelling piteously round the sacred fire. Again he caused the dog to be dipped in water and again he dragged it round the fire, while the poor animal kept barking incessantly. While he was thus engaged, the Rayar came up and asked: “Why do you treat this dog thus?” Tennalirama replied. “I intend making this black dog a white one.” The Rayar called him a madman and bade him desist from the impossible attempt. Tennalirama promptly replied: “When a barber can become a Brahman why cannot a black dog become a white dog?” The Rayar felt that the rebuke was just and returned to the place without going to the Brahman street, where there were great rejoicings.