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Kulasekhara and Kambhanattaazhwaar

From: V. Sadagopan (
Date: Thu Mar 28 1996 - 20:30:43 PST

Dear Members of the Prapatti group:
As referred to earlier, the subject is monumental.
It will take many postings even to scratch at the surface of 
comparing the works of two great Rama Bhakthas.
I will take an illustrative example here.
I have made 4 audio tapes for one Sri Rama Navami
that cover the subject in little more details. That covers
Pancha Rama Kshetrams (Ayoddhi, Thiruvelliangudi,
Thiruvellore, ThiruppuLapoothangudi and Thirupputkuzhi).
These tapes contain krithis of Thyagaraja as well in the
body of the tapes. One day , we can get them reproduced and 
distribute them and collect some funds for a good cause 
and send it to India or use it for covering part of 
 the cost of production of the 108 Divya desam CD ROM.
Yes, We ahve that project , which needs additional 
attention now.

Kulasekhara  Azhwaar"s magnum opus on Sri Ramachandra
is the decad on Thillai Thiruchitrakootam . He has covered 
the Sampoorna Ramayanm here. He salutes the Lord as
the one, who enjoyed the bliss with Sita Devi at the foot hills
of Chitrakootam. Kambar has a whole chapter on the beauty of 
Chitrakootam. Here Rama shows to Sita the many 
beautiful aspects of Chitrakootam. This section is a tender
address of Sri rama to his beloved consort, who forsook the 
pleasures of the palace to accompany him.
One verse is symbolic of the beauty that Kambar Captured.
These verses defy translation. I will try anyway.The verse is:

                    THOURUM TUVANRI

Here Rama addresses Sita and points out the multifacted
beauty of Chitrakootam. He says: " O Dear One,O My nectar,
 who chose to appear out of the milky ocean instead of the
salty sea! Please see the beautiful site of the descending
white cascade coming down the mountainside studded 
with red Padmaraga gems. Does it  not  the water
fall look like the swiftly moving white tails of deer moving
across the red slopes of the mopuntains?
Kambar describes in the other verses of this section
the  splendid beauties of Chitrakootam .
Kulasekhara was moved by the beauty of Tillai nagar
that he was reminded of the beauty of the Chitrakootam
of the north  and called Tillai as Thiruchitrakootam. He 
was  a great Rama Bhaktha and was moved by the beauty
of the Archa murthy of that Kshetram and saw in Govinda Raja 
Sri ramachandra and composed his Sampoorna Ramayanam
then and there.

I will take for illustraion purposes the 10.3 verse of PerumaaL 
Thirumozhi ( Breaking the bow of Siva to marry Sita In the 
Svayamvaram ) . The verse starts with the first line:
" Sevvari naR nedunkaN Sethaikaahi ".
Meaning of this verse is as follows: I salute the feet of those
Thondars,of Sri Rama seated in Tillai Thiruchitrakootam at 
the temple with big MadiLs and moats with mighty waves.
He is the valourous one , who broke into two the mighty bow of 
Siva to take the hand of  Sita with the beautiful long dark  eyes
with red rekhas. He is the one , who on the way from Mithila to 
Ayoddhya  confronted the haughty Parasurama  and broke 
his  beautiful bow as well. I salute the feet of those Thondars,
who worship Sri Rama of Tillai Chitrakootam having the intimidating
bow (KOthandam ) in his mighty arms.

Kambar has dozens of verses dealing with the topics
covered by Kulasekhar Aazhwaar succinctly summarized.
We will just describe the beauty of Rama as described by 
Kambar. That verse is as follows:

ThOL kandaar ThOleh kandaar thpdu Kazhal Kamalam anna
TaaL kandaar ThaaLeh kandaar Tadakkai kandaarum Ahdeh
VaaL konda KNNaar Yaro Vadivinai mudiyakkandAr
OoZH konda samayatthu annaan Uruvu kaNdarai otthaar.

This verse describes the beauty of Rama as seen by 
the beautiful women of Ayodhya.Those, who fixed their gaze
on the beauty of the shoulders of Rama did not move their
sight away from his shoulders. Those , who saw the lotus feet
wearing the ankle ornamnet denoting his valour did not shift
their eyes from those sacred feet. Those, who started to look
at the big and beautiful hands  did not look elsewhere. No one
saw all the limbs of the beautiful Rama that day. They dwelled 
on their favorite limbs and were like the people of different 
religions visualizing the Para Brahmam in their own favorite 
form .

I must agree  that it is indeed a monumental task to capture the
enjoyment of Sri Rama by Kulasekhara nd Kambar in this mode
of posting. I think, a kalakshepam format permitting a leisurely
approach dwelling on the multilayered meaning of these verses
is a better approach.

Oppiliappan Koil Varadachari Sadagopan