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From: Velukkudi Krishnan (velukkudi_at_hotmail.com)
Date: Mon Jul 26 1999 - 10:53:30 PDT

To: All Srivaishnavas
Fm: Velukkudi Krishnan.
24th July 99.

     SrIvatsa-chihna-miSrebhyo nama uktim adhImahe |
     yad uktayas trayIkanThe yAnti mangala-sutratAm ||

     We salute Srivatsanka Misra (kUrath aazhvaan), whose
     divine compositions adorn the neck of the Vedas as
     Mangala sutram.

Kurattalvan (/koorattaazhvaan/) is one of the most prominent
acharyas of the Srivaishnava sampradayam. He needs no introduction to
Srivaishnavas.  Born in the village Kuram, located 10 km from Kanchipuram,
his given name was Srivatsanka Misra, but due to his incomparable bhakti to
PerumaaL, he later became known as Kuratt Alvan, or "the saint from Kuram".

Kurattalvan is also remembered for his extreme bhakti for
Ramanuja.  This acharya bhakti is exemplified by his appearance
before the Chola king disguised as Ramanuja, when this king
(Krimikantha Cholan) sought to do harm to the acharya. The
minions of the Chola king, thinking him to be Ramanuja, blinded
Kurattalvan in the process.  For this, Kurattalvan is renowned as
"darsanattukkaaga darsanattaye koduttavar", i.e., he sacrificed
his darsana (eyesight) for the sake of darsana (sampradaya).

Kurattalvan is also remembered for his compassion to all, even
those that did harm to him.  This legendary kindness is said to
have caused Naluran, the Chola king's agent who was responsible
for the summoning of Ramanuja, to attain moksha.

His aversion towards anything other than the sampradayam is
illustrated by his giving up all his wealth and going to
Srirangam to serve Emberumaanaar (Sri Ramanuja).  Endowed with a
phenomenal memory and intellect, he soon become Emberumaanaar's
closest confidant and chief disciple, collaborating with him in
all his efforts. Without Alvan, it is safe to say that it would
have been extremely difficult for Emberumaanaar to have written
his philosophical masterpiece, the Sribhashya.

     arvanco yat padasarasija-dvandvam ASritya pUrve
       mUrdhnA yasyAnvayam upagata-desika-muktimapuH |
     so'yam ramanujamunir api svIyamuktim karastham
       yat sambandhAt amanuta katham varnyate kUranAthaH ||

    All acharyas attained moksha due to their connection with Ramanuja --
    his followers through connection to his lotus feet and his predecessors
    through connection to his tirumudi (sacred head). But even such a great
    saint as Ramanuja felt certain of his own moksha due to his connection
    with Kurattalvan. How can we find words to praise him?

Kurattalvan left to Srivaishnavam his five stotras, collectively
known as the panca-stavam, and his illustrious sons, Parasara and
Veda Vyasa Bhattars. [Varadhan, there is also one composition known
as yamaka-ratnAkara as well as a lost commentary on gadya-trayam.]

Given the great importance of Kurattalvan to our sampradaya, it
is indeed surprising that the temple at Kuram, this great saint's
birthplace, is in shambles today. The last samprokshanam
(renovation) for this temple was performed over 80 years
ago. Adikesava PerumaaL resides in this temple along with
Kurattalvan. Here are a few pictures of the temple in its
present condition.

The local people have made some efforts to collect funds for the renovation
of this temple. Very important members of the Srivaishnava community
are part of the steering committee for this kainkaryam (
Sri Krishna Premi Swami,  Sri Parasara Sudarsana Bhattar
Swami, Sri Sthalayasayanath Thuraivaar Swami to name a few). However,
little progress has been made in the collections so far.


The following is the need for the kainkaryam:

srI kUrattAzhvAn vimAnam - 2.5 lakhs (US $6000)
srI kUrattAzhvAn antharALam (inside) - 50,000 (US $1200)
srI kUrattAzhvAn mahAmaNdapam  - 50,000 (US $1200)
srI kUrattAzhvan front maNdapam - 50,000 (US $1200)
azhvAr AzhAryArgaL sannadhi - 75,000 (US $1800)
thirumadaipaLLi  - 50,000 (US $1200)
thiruveNNAzhi (pradhakshiNam) - 50,000 (US $1200)
srI AdikEsava perumAL sannadhi vimAnam - 1 lakh (US $2400)
srI thAyAr sannadhi vimAnam - 75,000 (US $1800)
madhiL around the temple & in the temple - 50,000 (US $1200)
front gOpuram - 5 lakhs (US $12000)
rAja gOpuram - 1.5 lakhs (US $3600)
samprOkshaNam expenses - 1.5 lakhs (US $3600)

total cost - 16 lakhs - approx US $35,000

To support this kainkaryam, adiyEn has produced a 2 casette upanyasam on
srI. kUrattAzhvAn's vaibhavam that is available to anyone interested
free of cost. Please email Varadhan (varadhan@uswest.net) with your
address and he will mail the casettes.

All Srivaishnavas are requested to take part in this important kainkaryam.
Sri Vaishnava Seva Samiti Inc., has graciously undertaken this as one of its
projects. Tax-deductible contributions can be mailed to SVSS,
at
SVSS
C/O Nagu Satyan
7821 Alder Drive
Littleton, CO 80128-5522.

Please make the checks payable to SMSA Inc and please
include the words 'Koorattazhvan kainkaryam' in the cheque.

adiyEn
velukkudi krishna dasan


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