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Inputs for CD ROMs : Part IX--> Part I , KulasEkara AzhwAr

From: Sadagopan (sgopan_at_computer.net)
Date: Thu Feb 08 2001 - 18:57:26 PST

Life of KulasEkhara AzhwAr
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KumbhE PunarvasU jaatham KeraLE KOLa pattaNE
KousthubhAmsam DharAdhIsam KulasEkaharam AasrayE

This AzhwAr born as a Kshathriyan is an amsam of 
the gem Kousthubham on the Lord's chest. He incarnated 
on a Maasi Sukla DwAsasi day , when Punarvasu constellation
was in ascendance.He was born as the son of Dhruta Vratha RaajA ,
king of Kolli Naadu, whose capital was VanchikkuLam in today's 
KeraLA. KulasEkhara raaja was a brave king and protected 
saadhu janams of his kingdom . 

KulasEkharar was a great Raama BhakthA and was deeply 
involved in listening to the KaalakshEpams of Sri VaishNava 
BhaagavathAs at his court. He was so deeply involved 
with Sri Raama charitham as told by Sage VaalmIki 
--in his illusrious Srimath RaamAyaNam --that he would have 
difficulty in relating to the incidents of this IthihAsams 
as events that happened a very long time ago. At one time , 
when he heard from the BhAgavatha pravachanam that Lord 
Ramachandra went all alone to fight with the powerful group of 
14,000 raakshasAs , KulasEkharar became anxiety ridden about 
the safety of the Lord and ordered his ministers to assemble 
quickly his army to join the Lord in His fight.The Bhagavathar , 
who was performing the KaalakshEpam quickly took control of 
the situation and quoted  another famous slOkam from 
Srimath RaamAyaNam that described the Lord's single handed 
destruction of the same 14,000 RaakshasAs at JanasthAnam 
and SitA Devi's welcome embrace of Her victorious Lord :

tamm dhrushtvA ChathruhanthAram MaharshINAm SukhAvaham
bhabhUva HrushtA VaidEhI BharthAram parishasvajE 

KulasEkharar was relieved to hear the good news and
happy over the Lord's safety and cancelled the plans
to march his army in support of the Lord.Such was 
the intensity of KulasEkhara's involvement with 
Sri Raaama Charitham . 

Because of his special reverence for the BhaagavathAs ,
KulasEkharar permitted them to have total access to all
parts of the palace at all times. The ministers were very
unhappy about these priveleges of the VaishNava BhaagavathAs
that interfered with KulasEkharar's conductance of the royal 
duties;they conspired to reduce the influence of the BhAgavathAs
at the royal court.The ministers took an aabharaNam from 
the AarAdhana Moorthy of their king , hid it and blamed 
the VaishNavaas as scoundrels , who stole that piece of
Jewelery. KulasEkharar refused to accept that the vaishNavAs
would do such a thing . He asked the ministers to bring 
a pot containing a poisonous cobra and declared that he will
put his hand inside the pot and if he was right about 
the innocence of Sri VaishNavAs , the cobra will not bite 
his hand.Lo and Behold ! The hungry cobra did not even touch 
the hand of KulasEkharar .The ministers admitted their 
conspiracy .

KulasEkharar was saddened over this incident and decided 
to abdicate; he performed coronation for his son and retired 
to Srirangam to perform uninterrupted kaimakryam to Sri RanganAthan
and be in the company of Sri RanganAtha BhakthAs .He shared 
that blissful anubhavam through two of his Sri Sookthis , one in
Tamizh and the other in Sanskrit :

1.PerumAL Thirumozhi (105 Tamizh Paasurams)
2.Mukundha Maalai (40 Sanskrit SlOkams)

Thiruvarangathu AmudanAr's Tribute to KulasEkharar
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In the 14th paasuram of RaamAnuja NooRRandhAthi ,
AmudhanAr salutes RaamAnujA as a great devotee of
KulasEkharar: " I shall never resort to severe pain-
causing penance , whether in hot deserts or dense forests
or deserted hills or in deep waters .Why should I ? My goal 
becomes achievable by my clinging to RaamAnujA , who is
unexcelled in his firm devotion to the great seers , 
who sing and enjoy the excellent work of KulasEkhara 
AzhwAr --the work studded with gem-like choice words 
(Kolli Kaavalan kalai soRRkkaL) and designed to convey
the import of the holy sAsthrAs ...." (Dr.V.N. VedAntha
Desikan ).   

(To Be Continued)

2.Tell me more Section: Concluding Part 
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