chapter  4
Becoming na-yaka: sovereignty and ethics in the Tanja-vu-ri A- ndhra Ra-jula Caritra
ByChris Chekuri
Pages 17

According to the seventeenth-century Telugu text Tanja-vu-ri A-ndhra Ra-jula Caritra, the aging king Vijayara-ghava Na-yaka persisted with his worship in the midst of an enemy attack on his palace in Tanjavur.1 The enemy forces belonging to the neighboring Madurai king were sent to avenge mistreatment by Vijayara-ghava, including his spurning of a marital proposal. As a pious and devoted monarch, the 80-year-old Vijayara-ghava signaled to his worried courtiers that he should not be disturbed from his place of worship. As the enemy forces continued to advance, breaching the fort walls at critical places, the hapless courtiers made several attempts to seek the monarch’s directive. Incredibly, even with a crisis at hand, the Tanjavur king paid no attention to the military details, and only made hand gestures to his commander to do the needful. The battle outside raged on, leaving many hundreds and thousands dead, and when the news of a successful enemy breach came, the devout monarch simply signaled to the courtiers “let them come, we will see.”2