You are here: Sri Vaishnava > Alvars > Kulasekhara Alvar Add/View Comments

Kulasekhara Alvar

Sri Parthasarati Dileepan
March 1, 1996

This year the thiru nakshathram (birth star) for Kulasekaraazhvaar falls on March 1, 1996 (Tamil Month of Maasi, Star: punarpoosam.)

Kulsekaraazhvaar was a King of the Chera country of Tamil Nadu (present day Kerala.) He is credited with one poem called PerumaaL Thirumozhi (Lord's sacred poem) containing 105 verses in Tamil, many of which are dedicated to Lord Rama and Lord Krishna.

Kulasekaraazhvaar was a legendary Rama bhakthaa. He devoted almost a third of his verses to Lord Rama. While other Azhvaars celebrated Rama's victory over evil Ravana, Kulasekaraazhvaar chose to sing lullaby to Rama, with ``RaaghavanE thaalElO.'' In another part of his poem, he pours out his heart and wails ``emm iraamaavO'' expressing Dasarathaa's sorrow upon Rama's departure. Azhvaar's Rama bhakthi was so intense that one day, during a discourse of Srimad Ramayana, he became distraught and ordered his generals to get his armed forces ready so that he can rush to the aid of Lord Rama!

For Sri Vaishnavaas there is no greater expression of devotion for our Lord Sriman Narayana than devotion for our Lord's devotees. As a matter fact Sri Vaishnavas consider reverence towards our Lord's devotees as the culmination of our reverence to Lord Sriman Narayana. No other Azhvaar expressed this principle more elegantly than Kulasekaraazhvaar. This is completely in character for he is said to have unhesitatingly put his hand inside a pot with a cobra to prove the innocence of our Lord's devotees maliciously accused of steeling the royal jewels.

Unlike Thondaradippodi and to some extent Namaazhvaar, whose relevent verses tend to be guidance for our behavior towards fellow devotees, Kulaseakaraazhvaar expressed these sentiments in the first person. There are several verses where he starts out with beautiful description of our Lord, and then, when we expect him to finish by surrendering to such a Lord, he ends with a surrender to the devotees of such a Lord! Here is an example:

     aathi yantham anantham aRputham
     aana vaanavar thampiraan
     paathamaamalar soodumpaththi
     yilaatha paavikaL uyndhida
     theethiln^anneri kaatti yengum
     thirintha arangan emmaanukkE
     kaathalsey thoNdarkku eppiRappilum
     kaathalseyyum en nencamE.

     "All pervading Lord of Sri Rangam has shown us
     the impeccable code of prapaththi (surrender),  the
     code, if followed, is sure to save even those with
     no devotion for the Wonder, the Lord of heavenly
     gods who is the beginning, the end, and the
     infinite.  In all my lives my heart shall be filled
     with love for these devotees who love our Lord so

For me personally, the first 10 of the 105 paasurams of this Azhvaar's PerumaaL Thirumozhi never fails to evoke nostalgia for Sri Rangam. These verses resonate with the longing in a sweet melancholy tone. Here are some samples:

     karumaNiyaik kOmaLaththaik kaNdu koNdu en
     kaNNiNaikaL enRukolO kaLikkum naaLE.

          "I long for the day I can behold my Lord and
          delight at the sight of the dark gem the

     maNivaNNan ammaanaik kaNdu koNden
     malarsenni yenRukolO vaNangum naaLE                 

          "I long for the day I can see my Lord of
          emerald hue and worship with my head

     oLimathisEr thirumugamum kaNdu koNden
     uLLamika enRukolO vurugum naaLE

          "I long for the day when my heart will melt
          away at the sight of the luminous sacred face
          of my Lord of Sri Rangam."
kulasEkaraazhvaar thiruvadigaLE saraNam!

Back to the Srivaishnava Home Page