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Re: Persecution of Ramanuja

From: Parthasarati Dileepan (MFPD_at_UTCVM.UTC.EDU)
Date: Thu Apr 04 1996 - 14:29:05 PST

Here are some dates from an excellent Tamil book I have
on Sri Ramanujar's life by pi. sri.  The dates are accepted
as more or less accurate.  I have given some of my own comments
in the end.

1012 - 1044 :  Gangai koNda chOzhan     1017 - Sri Ramanujar avatharam
1044 - 1064 :  Second Rajendran         1049 - Sri Ramanujar
1070 - 1070 :  AthiRajendra chOzhan
1064 - 1070 :  VeeraRajendran
1070 - 1118 :  First KulOththungan      1096 - Sri Ramanujar fl
               (kirimikaNda chOzhan)           to Mysore; Periya nambi is
                                               murdered and KUrEsar's
                                               eyes are gauged out
1118 - 1135 :  First Vikrama chOzhan    1118 - Sri Ramanujar
                                               returns to Sri Rangam
1135 - 1150 :  Second KulOththungan     Started ruling as Crown
                                        Prince in 1133; Responsible
                                        for removing Sri Govindaraja
                                        perumaaL from the Thillai
                                        Nataraja temple;
                                        Sri Ramanujar installs
                                        Govindaraja shrine at

        1137 - Sri Ramanujar's ascension to paramapadham

It is clear that the first and the second Kuloththunga
chOzhaas (K-I and K-II) were inimical to Sri
Vasihnavam.  Independent evidence of this for K-II is
available in the words of Ottakakkooththan,

     "thillaith thirumanRil munRil siRu dheyvath
           thollaik kuRumbu tholaith theduththu ..."

          (... he (K-II) eliminated the mischief of the
          small god (i.e. Govindaraja) by dislodging
          that god from the sacred hall of Thillai

There are some more passages along these lines.  Citing
these, some wrongly claim that K-II, and not K-I, came
to be known as kirimikaNda chOzhan.  They also cite
that K-I, his saivite faith not withstanding, was
supportive of Vaishnavam and even Jainism and
Buddhism.  It is in K-I's reign that Mannarkudi
Rajagopala Swami temple was built.  Therefore, they
claim, no force was used against Sri Ramanuja or any
other Sri vaishnavaas.  Further, they claim, K-II removed
Lord Govindaraja for making space and therefore it is not
fair to criticise K-II.

Well, O's verse clearly shows K-II's aversion for Sri
Vaishnavam; no need for any further elaboraton.  As for
K-I, his nominal tolerance for Vishnu temples could very
well have co-existed with his apprehension about Sri
Ramanujar and his authority over spiritual matters.  The
detailed accounts provided by Sri Vaishnava guru
parambara prabhavam cannot all be active imaginations
of individuals with nothing better to do.  What is to be
gained by creating another bogeyman in K-I?  After all,
Vikrama chOzha has been praised in these accounts.
They could have very well praised K-I as well and
isolated K-II for all the indignation.  Further, Sri
Ramanujar returned only after the death of K-I and
coronation of Vikarama chOzhan.  This timing cannot
just coincidence.

At the very least K-I allowed himself to be manipulated
by the malcontents led by Nalooraan.  These individuals
saw a spiritual revolution in the making and feared losing
their power and clout.  It is likely that Nalooraan felt
betrayed when Amudhanar became a desciple of
Kooraththaazhvaar and turned over the temple
admisistration to Sri Ramanuja.  Nalooraan found a
willing monarch in K-I and perpetrated the horrendous
crimes.  Therefore, either by direct participation or due
to criminal neglect, K-I must bear historical responsibility
for the crimes committed against Sri Ramanuja, Sri Periya Nambi,
and Sri Kooraththaazhvaar (KA).

Later, Sri Ramanuja persuaded KA to pray to Lord
varadaraja to get his eye sight back.  However, KA
prayed for "jnana" eyes with his Varadaraja Sthavam.
He also prayed for Nalooraan's redemption!

-- P. Dileepan

Source: "sri raamaanujar," pi. sri,  sudhEsamiththiran, 1964