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The Life of Kuresan-6

From: sampath kumar (sampathkumar_2000_at_yahoo.com)
Date: Tue Jan 25 2000 - 01:07:44 PST

Dear friends,

By the time SriRamanuja was a septuagenarian, his
stature as a giant of an "AchAryA" in the Vedantic
galaxy of India became secure. Sri Vaishnavam had
reached its pinnacle of development around that time. 

While the followers of Ramanuja were multiplying by
the day, he also began to make a few enemies. The
growing influence of SriVaishnavism once again stoked
the malevolent fires of religious bigotry in the land.
Amongst some sections of the Saivite population which
at that time was concentrated around Gangai-konda-
sozha-puram... near Chidambaram ... hatred of
SriVaishnavaism and of Sri.Ramanuja began to flare up.


The King of ChozhanAd at that time was a tyrant who
was also a Saivite fanatic. His name was Krimikantha
Chola of the clan of the Kollutunga kings. This tyrant
was hell-bent on rooting out Vaishnavism in his
kingdom and the best way to do that, he thought, was
to destroy Ramanuja.

He issued royal summons to Ramanuja to appear in his
court for the ostensible purpose of engaging him in
scholarly debate with his own royal pundits. The real
intention however was to coerce Ramanuja to recant
from SriVaishnavism and if he refused ... to have him
murdered in cold blood.

Ramanuja's followers got wind of the king's evil
designs and promptly dissuaded Ramanuja from going to
Gangai-konda-sozha-puram. Fearing for their Master's
safety, the disciples of Ramanuja persuaded him to
flee from the land of the Cholas. 

Kuresan then volunteered to go as Ramanuja's proxy and
respond to the royal summons. 

With great reluctance Ramanuja thus left Srirangam
with a small band of acolytes and fled to the distant
but salubrious land of Melkote or Tirunarayanapuram. 

Ramanuja lived in exile there for 12 long years... a
difficult period in life for the aged AchArya.

In Melkote Ramanuja however once again re-built his
pontifice from scratch. He consecrated a temple of
Lord SampathkumAran. He developed a colony of devout
SriVaishnavas from amongst the local residents. In
good time, Melkote became a thriving centre of Sri
vaishnavism second only in glory to Srirangam when
Ramanuja had lived there. 

   *****    *******     *******

One day a Vaishnava member who had travelled very far,
and for many days, from Srirangam arrived in Melkote
and sought audience with Ramanuja. 

The "AchAryA" rushed to meet the visitor from
Srirangam, eager to know tidings from his beloved city
of Lord Ranga from where he had been so abruptly and
violently uprooted by medieval bigotry.

"Pray tell me quickly how fare my beloved SriRangam,
my beloved mentors and my dearest disciples?", asked
Ramanuja.

The visitor replied,"All fare well in the city of
Srirangam, Sire, except that you are sorely missed by
everyone."

After a few more inquiries and a pregnant pause
Ramanuja asked,"And how is my disciple Kuresan?".

It was then that the visitor, in a voice choked with
pent-up emotion, began to narrate to Ramanuja details
of the grim fate that had befallen Kuresan at the
hands of the Chola tyrant, Krimikanta Chozhan.

(contd)

dAsan,
Sampathkumaran
  









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