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

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Sat Feb 10 2001 - 06:56:07 PST

Dear BhakthAs: here is the concluding section of 
KulasEkhara AzhwAr's Dhivya prabhandham of PerumAL Thirumozhi.

There are 105 Bhakthi-laden paasurams in PerumAl Thirumozhi
housed in ten decads. The subject matter of these ten 
decads are:

(1) AzhwAr's yearning to worship Lord RanganAthan at 
    Srirangam and celebration of his Bhagavath PrAvaNyam
    (devotion to the Lord).

(2) Reverence for the devotees of Lord RanganAthan and 
    yearning to join that Bhagavatha GhOshti(aanukoolya-
    Sankalpam).Celebration of his Bhaagavatha PrAvaNyam
    ( devout disposition to the BhAgavathAs of the Lord).

(3) Renunciation of the impediments to God-Realization,
    AzhwAr's parama vairAgyam , rejection of Ihika-
    PurushArthams (pleasures of this world )out of his great 
    love for the sacred feet of Lord RanganAthan (Praathikoolya-

(4) KulasEkhara"s moving prayer to the Lord of Venkatam for His DayA
    to be born as any thing on His hills for removal of obstructions
    to Moksha Siddhi(kaarpaNyam).Expressions of His desire to have 
    the sevai of the Lord of Venkatam at all times (gopthruva varaNam).

(5) AzhwAr's total dependence on the mercy of the Lord of
    VitthuvakkOdu and AzhwAr's mahA visvAsam in the Lord
    as a SaraNAgathan(Aathma NikshEpam/Bhara NyAsam).
    Describtion of the varieties of realtionships 
    between the JeevAthmA and the ParamAthmA : Mother and 
    the helpless Infant , straying Husband and Pathivrathai, 
    unsteady king and loyal subject,Curing Surgeon and 
    the sick patient,the stable ship and the exhausted bird 
    seeking refuge in it in the middle of the ocean ,
    the life-giving Sun and the Lotus that needs it 
    for its existence , the life giving rain and the crop that
    depends on it , the vast Ocean and the many rivers that 
    enter into it (ananaya Gathithvam and Aakinchanyam).
(6) Celebration of Naayaki-Naayaka BhAvam in the form of 
    a Gopi, who never had any samslEsham (union) with 
    the Lord expressing Her longing for Him (madhura bhakthi).

(7) Celebration of the Mother-child love through the anubhavam
    of Devaki vis-a-vis  Bala KrishNan after VasudEvar moved Him
    to AaypAdi for"safety". The Mother(Devaki) , who had to give up
    her own child and her missing the Aanandham of enjoying her
    child growing up. Frustrated Devaki's lament about her 
    misfortune(dourbhAgyam).  AzhwAr experiences the sorrow of 
    Devaki and relates it to his vislEsham (seperation )from 
    the Lord.
(8) Celebration of another type of Mother-Child love through 
    the joyous anubhavam of Kousalai singing lullaby to her child ,
Raamachandran. MangaLAsAsanam of ThirukkaNNapuram PerumAL 
    as RaamAvatharan.In this avathAram , BhagavAn was not separated 
    from His birth mother. AzhwAr enjoys the anubhavam of 
    the blissful mother (Kousalai)singing lullaby to her SuprajA.

(9) Reflection on the Father-Son seperation ( Lord Raamachandran
    as Son and Dasarathan as the Father)and articulation of 
    the sorrow of the father after the exile of his dear son.
    AzhwAr identifies himself with Dasaratha here.The lamentations 
    of Dasaratha are heart-breaking.This is AzhwAr's anubhavam 
    enjoying the Lord as his puthran. 

(10) The tenth and final decad provides the climax to AzhwAr's
     exploration of the relationship (Sambhandham )between 
     the Lord and himself as His Bhakthan seeking liberation from 
     the SamsAric ills to perform nithya kaimkaryam to 
     Him . AzhwAr's joy breaks forth in the form of
     MangaLAsAsanam for Thillai Thirucchithrakoota EmperumAn.
     AzhwAr visualizes the Lord of Dhivya Desam as the happy
     Raamachandran enjoying the beauty of Chithrakootam hills
     with SithA PirAtti . AzhwAr uses the occasion to bless us
     with SankshEpa RaamAyaNam ( RaamAyaNa Saaram).
     This decad is Srimath RaamAyana Sarvasavam indeed ! 
     UtthamUr Swamy's special monograph on Srimath RaamAyaNa 
     Sarvasavam provides excellent description of the tattvams
     celebrated by the great Raama BhakthA , KulasEkhara AzhwAr
     in many paasurams of PerumAL Thirumozhi. It would be 
     appropriate to recall here the two slOkams summarizing 
     the 18 tattvams behind Srimath RaamAyaNam that were
     revealed by Thirumalai Nampi to his nephew RaamAnujA
     over a period of one year at Thiruppathi:
     VidhyA sarvAapi bhAhyathyajanamakhila 
     saddhdharma aadhyAthmikArthA : I
     arTaanAm panchakam Sriraghupathi paratatthvam
     Prapatthi: padham tath( pumarTa:) II

     Seshathvam Paaratantryam tadhavadhiragathithvam 
     virakthirgurOrdhruk I
     SrIsAhyam nirbharathvam suvasathirapi
     TaddhdhyAyitha-ashtaadasArTA: II 

Illustrative Examples of KulasEkhara's Prabhandham
Swamy Desikan salutes this AzhwAr's prabhandham as
" Nann PoruL sEr Thirumozhi" ( the divine utterances
that have deep and auspicous doctrines(meanings)
embedded in them. These unquely Sri VaishNavA doctrines are 
Lord's Parathvam , Prapatthi at His sacred feet ,
Sesha-Seshi relationship , Bhaktha Paaratantryam 
(subservience to BhakthAs),fearlesslness after SaraNAgathi,
SrinivAsathvam and others.

While AzhwAr was king , his raajadhAni vibrated with 
the sounds of daily preparations for his yAthrA to Srirangam 
to worship Lord RanganAthan ( ghushyathE yathra nagarE
Ranga-yAthrA dinE dinE).He longed for the sevai of 
the Lord of Srirangam and pined over the royal duties that 
interfered with the journey to Srirangam . Keeping in mind all
of our procrastrinations to make that journey and stay 
at Srirangam until shaking our mortal coils , KulasEkhara
sets the first decad to express his longing to arrive at
Srirangam to feast on the beauty and reflect upon 
the anantha kalyANa guNams of the Lord reclining on AdhisEshan
there. Dr.K.C.VaradachAri has transalted this decad beautifully:

" The touch of the feet of the Lord is that has made SeshA ,
the thousand-headed , fierce serpent and Kaveri, the river , 
enjoy their supreme bliss. When shall I have the pleasure of
witnessing the splendor of the Lord of Srirangam ? When 
will be the day , when I can see the Lord and enjoy Him?
When will be the day whenI can sing His praise to the fullest
powers of my speech ? When will be the day  when I shall be
with the servants of the Lord at Srirangam ? When will be
the day , when I can loudly praise Him and offer Him fresh
flowers with my own hands and do obeisance ? When will 
the time come , when my tears of ecstasy shall flow on
seeing that wonderful Lord (MaayOn)? When will the time come ,
when I shall see Him without interruption and place my
head at His feet ? When will that time come , when my 
mind gazing at His moon-like face will melt into Him ?
When will the time come , when I, a sinner , shall be 
redeeemed through becoming fit to enjoy the darsanam of
the Lord? Moving with devotees with unabating love for Him ,
singing His excelelnt names, propelled by love with intense 
emotion, thinking of Him with tear drops of ecstasy falling
like rain , melting throughout the day praising Him , when
will that time come , when I shall worship the Lord at Srirangam ,
where the lordly music simulates the billows of the ocean 
(in the yonder world) on which He is lying on the serpent ,
adorning the discus , awaiting battle? When shall I roll on
the floor dancing with ecstasy ? When is that day to come ,
when standing before Him and His devotees I too can become
one of them ?" ( First decad: Paasurams 1-10).  

Other passages revealing AzhwAr's VairAghyam and his total
dependence of the Lord are referred below to appreciate
the intensity of AzhwAr's spiritual journey:

" I shall not join those who have love for their bodies.
I shall not move with those , who are unable to leave
the contemplation of delicate waisted women(indhriya Sukhams). 
I shall not join those whose sole preoccupation is food and 
clothing and enjoyemnts of the perishable pleasures of 
this world. With those , who seek such lowly pleasures,
I shall not join .Nor shall I join those , who do not seek
our Lord only. I shall not think of the (transient)pleasures 
that one can get from the demi-gods and others ( who are but
lords of senses). On the other hand , I shall set my mind on
the Lord of Srirangam and become absorbed in His devotion."
(Meyyil Vaazhkayai: Third decad dealing with prAthikoolya 
Varjanam aspect of SaraNAgathi). 

KulasEkara AzhwAr's deep attachment to the archai form of
the Lord at Thiruppathi pours out in the form of moving
plea to be any thing on the sacred hills of ThiruvEnkatam:

" I who am enlightened shall not seek the transient human
frame again. I shall seek to be a bird in the temple at 
Thirumalai. I do not pray for Indra"s pomp surrounded by 
immortal beauty of the apsaras and the heaven (Svargam) ,
but shall seek to be a fish in the streams of Thirumalai
hills. I do not seek to rule over the kingdom , the joys of
riding elephants . I do not crave to see the dance of Urvasi,
Menakai and others and hear their music. Even though I gain
the company of the excellent , gold-bejeweled Urvasi ,
I shall not desire her. I shall seek instead to be
ANYTHING on the sacred hills of ThiruvEnkatam ( to be
near my Lord always )" (PerumAL Thirumozhi: V.1,2,5,10).

His total and unconditional devotion to the Lord is 
etched in the paasurams for the VitthuvakOttu AmmAn:

" I am like an infant which cries out thinking of its
mother's grace , though with anger fierce , she has 
thrust it away from her face. Even like  well-born girl,
who only her husband knows ,though deeds such as men may 
mock her husband does, so will I sing , though thou wilt 
not be my Lord. ..Like the subjects looking to the (just)
rod of the king , though he regards them or not , I am 
like a  sick man, who though surgeon cut with knife and
brand , yet loves him with a love as long as life. Like a
great (sea) bird on a ship , which goes around and 
sees no shore and comes atlast back over the tossing sea 
and perches (safely)on the ship's mast , I am returning to 
the Lord's (sacred and redeeming ) paadhAravindham ."( PerumAL
Thirumozhi: Paasurams 1-5).

Other references on KulasEkhara AzhwAr's Prabhandham
(1) Audio recital of the PerumAL Thirumozhi : Beautiful
recordings by Srimans Navalpaakkam Ananth and Narayanan
of Bharain (Students of Late Sevilimedu SrinivasAcchAr 
Swamy) .These recordings are made possible through the deeply
appreciated kaimkaryam of Sriman Venkataraghavan of Bharain: 

(2) Two Postings on Mukundha Maalai(Text, Translation &Commentarry):
( and previous postings): V.SatakOpan & Sri Ram Gopala Swamy.

RaajAthi RaajAya RaamabhadrAya mangaLam
KulasEkhara AzhwAr ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam 
RaamAnuja Daasan, Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri SatakOpan 



           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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