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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 dearly."
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 emerald!" 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 bowed." 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!
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