Summary of Sundarisvayamvaram (Marriage of Sundari) Tullal

A. Purushothaman

(Based on the text given in the Malayalam book, 60 tuLLal kathakaL edited by Sahityapanchanan P.K. Narayana Pillai and Cheppatt Achyuta Varier, published by Shriramavilasam Press and Book Depot, 8th Edition, 1964, Pages 249 to 261.
Xerox copy of the pages provided by Prof. Vattapparampil Gopinatha Pillai)

At Dvaraka, when Sundari, the daughter of Krishna and Satyabhama attains the age for marriage, Krishna approached Balarama, requesting him to suggest an appropriate bridegroom.
Balarama said: The Pandavas are now in the forest. Even though Arjuna's son Abhimanyu is the right bridegroom, in the present circumstances I have second thoughts. Now Duryodhana's son is a better bridegroom.

Accordingly, Balarama sent a messenger to Duryodhana expressing his desire to conduct the marriage of Sundari with Duryodhana's son.
Duryodhana happily accepted the proposal.

Hearing this, Subhadra (Abhimanyu's mother) became worried. Subhadra met Satyabhama and said: Long ago, we had decided that Abhimanyu will marry Sundari. Have you forgotten this? I am now worried and unhappy.
Both went and met Krishna.
Krishna said: Balarama considers the relation with wealthy Duryodhana as proper now. I agree with him. Pandavas are timid. While Dushshasana insulted Panchali (Draupadi) why did the Pandavas remain silent? Bhima did not use his power. Arjuna remained inactive. Now they are living in the forest. They may not return at all.

Distressed by hearing the words of Krishna, Subhadra and Satyabhama decided to end their lives then and there. Then Krishna said: Do not worry. I know that Abhimanyu is the best bridegroom for Sundari. There will be a solution.

Subhadra conveyed everything to Abhimanyu who returned from the forest after hunting. Abhimanyu consoled his mother and said: With Krishna's help I will succeed in marrying Sundari.

Meanwhile, a messenger sent by Sundari arrived at Dvaraka and conveyed the following message to Abhimanyu: I have considered you as my husband since long time. If you do not marry me, I will die.

Abhimanyu replied: I will reach there and marry you. Happy to receive this reply, Sundari worshipped the goddess praying that Abhimanyu shall become her husband.

Abhimanyu bade farewell to his mother Subhadra. Subhadra said: You should seek the help of your relatives.

Abhimanyu started his journey. On the way he reached a forest in the night. Abhimanyu slept in there. Then a demon who wanted to eat Abhimanyu, attacked him. Abhimanyu said: Let me do my morning rituals. The demon agreed. Abhimanyu worshipped the Goddess. The Goddess appeared and presented a sword to him. Holding the sword, Abhimanyu challenged the demon. They started fighting and Abhimanyu killed the demon.

Meanwhile , Ghatotkacha arrived there. He wondered how Abhimanyu was able to slay the demon. Ghatotkacha asked: Who are you? Abhimanyu being angry did not answer. Instead, he challenged Ghatotkacha. Both started fighting. Ghatotkacha created wind and rain by illusion, but Abhimanyu was not affected. Ghatotkacha was surprised. He said: I am Ghatotkacha, son of Bhima.
Hearing this, Abhimanyu stopped fighting. He paid obeisance to Ghatotkacha and said: I am the son of Arjuna. I want to have a favour from you.
. Ghatotkacha took Abhimanyu to his home. Abhimanyu met Ghatotkacha's mother Hidimba (Kamalavalli) and conveyed everything.
Hidimba gave good clothes to Abhimanyu. Both Ghatotkacha and Abhimanyu proceeded further.

On the way they arrived at a forest where Iravan (Arjuna's son with Uloopi) was residing. Iravan and Abhimanyu started fighting. Then Ghatotkacha told Abhimanyu: This is your elder brother Iravan. Both stopped fighting and embraced each other.

Ghatotkacha conveyed everything to Iravan. All three proceeded. On the way, they stopped, waiting for the marriage procession of Duryodhana's son from Hastinapura.

The marriage procession of Kauravas started from Hastinapura. When the procession reached the place where the three brothers were waiting, they asked: Where are you going? Karna said: We are going to Dvaraka for the marriage of Duryodhana's son. Who are you to ask?

The three said: The Pandavas are great. We shall fight you.

The three brothers defeated the Kauravas and asked them to go back to Hastinapura. They tied up Duryodhana's son.

Meanwhile, in the forest, Arjuna returned from his penance, after obtaining Pashupata from Shiva. When Arjuna went to meet Yudhishthira, a lizard made certain sounds.
Yudhishthira asked: What is the meaning of the lizard's sounds?
Sahadeva said: The three sons of Pandavas have defeated the Kauravas. They are waiting for you. All obstacles for the marriage of Abhimanyu with Sundari are removed now.
Arjuna, happy to hear this wanted to go and meet the sons.
Yudhishthira said: Do not go now. If you are discovered by Kauravas, we will have to spend another twelve years more in the forest.
Arjuna said: Do not worry. I know the technique for disguise.
Arjuna met the sons and all were happy.
The three proceeded to Dvaraka and paid obeisance to Krishna.
Meanwhile Balarama was unaware about all this since he was sleeping under the influence of Varuni (drinks). When he arrived at Dvaraka, he found Lakhshana, son of Duryodhana, tied up to a pillar. Balarama released Lakhshana and let him go.
Abhimanyu's marriage with Sundari was celebrated with joy.

1. Ulloor S Parameshvara Iyer, in his Kerala Sahitya Charithram (4th Edition, volume 3, Page 440) states the text is authored by Koyippurattu Panikkar, a disciple of Kunchan Nambiar (A.D 1700-1770).
2. The book, 75 tuLLal kathakaL edited by Dr. V.S. Sharma, published by D C Books Kottayam (1976) has reproduced some portions of the text (pages 857-865).
20th March 2011