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KulasEkara perumAn

Date: Thu Oct 30 1997 - 03:43:07 PST

Respected sri vaishNavALs,

SrimAn vEnkata nAthArya kavitArkika kEsari /
vEdAntAchArya varyOmE sannidatthAm sadAhridi //
poigaimuni bhoothathAr pEyAzhwAr thaN porunalvarunkurukEsan vittuchitthan/
tuyya kulasEkaran naM pANanAthan thondaradippodi mazhisaivandhajothi/
vaiyamellAm maraiviLanga vALvElEndhum mangaiyarkOnenRivargaL
magizhndhupAdum/ seyyatamizh mAlaigaL nAm theLiyavOdhith theLiyAdha
maRainilaNgaL theliginRomE/ (from AdhikAra sangragam by Srimad vEdAntha

Before we start off our "AzhwAr charitam", Let me wish my heartiest
Idhayankanindha DeepavaLi Greetings to each and everyone of Bhakti Group.

KulasEkarAzhwar was born as a prince to ChEra king Dhidavradhan and
nAdhanAyagi during 8 th century(?) in the month of mAsi and the nakshatram
of punarpoosam(same as that of Lord Rama). The child looked divine and made
everyone who saw it happier and cheerful. The entire kingdom was in a
jubilant mood. The kid was named kulasEkaran and when he grew he was taught
all sAstrAs,  epics, arts, Tamil and Sanskrit and was also given training
on fighting, Horse riding, Elephant riding, etc. In each endeavour, he
excelled and came out in flying colours. When Dhidavradhan became old,
kulasEkaram ascended the throne and since then he was ruling like Lord Sri
Rama and brought in RamaRajyam to his kingdom. People were very happy and
there was rich harvest throughout the year; there were regular rains and
there was only subheeksham. Hence the citizens had great amiount of love
and respect for their king kulasEkarA. 
Once without knowing kulasEkarA's strengths, the neighbouring kings (Chola
and pAndyA) came to fight and during the battle kulasEkaran won with no
difficulty. Impressed PandyA king gave his daughter to kulasEkarA for
marrying her. kulasEkarA was blessed with a son (whom he named
dhidavradhan) and a daughter ILai. 
One night, The Lord wished to divert kulasEkarA's attention to Him and he
appeared as Lord Tirupati Venkatachalapathi in the king's dream and blessed
him. The king was overwhelmed with the Lord's love and became silent and
was only thinking of the Lord at all times. He became totally like water in
Lotus leaf (Water never wets the Lotus leaf) and was ruling the kingdom
without any attachment; He was spending his time more and more on Thiru
vArAdhnam and Bhajans and listening to stories of Rama and KrishNa. He even
started disliking the battles since he did not like to see more loss of
lives in the battle. He started singing in Tamil and sanskrit with full of
love and Bhakti in praise of the Lord. He spent his most of the time only
on religious activities and attending discourses. Once when the UpanyAsakar
was narrating Rama RavaNa yuddham where the battle was giong on for a long
time and RavaNa was giving a tough fight, kulasEkara was so much attached
to the story and it the discourse he ordered his Army General to
immediately organise to send the soldiers, elephants and horses and the
king was also making himself ready for the battle to give a helping hand to
Sri Rama. The upanyAsakar and all others were totally perplexed and could
not say anything. The upanyAsaker at last came to the king and said" O,
mighty king, We need not go. The Lord Rama has already killed ravaNa and is
on his way back to AyOdhyA for his pattAbhishEkam". That made the king
silent and he came to normal; Such was kulasEkarA's bhakti for Rama. It is
told Lord Rama appeared in his dream that night and said" kulasEkarA, I am
deeply moved by your readiness to offer me help in the battle. I Sice you
are having blind affection and live for me , you did not realise my
Strength and parAkramam. We can win asurAs with no effort; You are acting
just like LakshmaNA, who is also attached to me deeply. From today you will
be called kulasEkara perumAL like ILayaperumAL LakshmaNA. Even today he is
reverred as kulasEkara perumAL. The pAsurams he sang were compiled under
"perumAL thirumozhi". One can see his feeling of deep regret for not being
born during RamA's time in his pAsurams. 
As he was getting more and more involved in Bhagavadh Bhakti and Bhagavadha
Bhakti and was spending all his time in such activities, the ministers were
not clear as to how to bring the king back to his administration. The king
had even consecrated a Golden statute of Sri Rama in the palace where he
was spending most of the time with other pundits and upanyAsakALs. 
Once during a Ramanavami day (the birthday of Sri Rama), the king was
astonished to see a big nice Navaratna mAlai which had adorned Sri Rama
missing. He was confused as to how somoen can come inside the palace with
so much security and so many people around. The ministers were asked; One
of them (may be the chief minister) hesitantly stammered to say" May be ..O of upanyAsakALs, or
pundits...could..........have.....take...." He did not even finish his
statment. The king was shivering and was literally shocked to hear that
statement as if he has stepped on a Red hot burnt iron; He could not
believe his ears as to how these minister can even think of these GREAT
BHAKTAAS as ones who could have flicked; "What are you saying? Are you
talking about these adiyArs of Sriman NARAYANA. Are you not ashamed to say
that? Is your tougue still alive? How dare you think them as thieves when
their love is only for th Lord and they consider the Gold and dust the
same; Those UTTHAMARGAL - Do you think they have stolen the MAALAI? . He
did not stop with that. He called somone to bring a pot wherein he had
arranged to place a poisonous snake; Bewildered ministers obeyed. He showed
them the pot with the snake inside. He said and prayed to the Lord" If the
mAlai has been taken by one of the BhaktALs, let the snake bite me; If not,
I will come out unscathed.". He put his hand inside the pot. The snake
NEVER TOUCHED his hand. The minister came out openly saying "we are very
sorry and we beg your pardon. We are the ones who removed the MALAI and put
the blame on BhaktA so that you will start disliking them and will
concentrate on administrative matters. Please forgive us for this
irresponsible act." KulasEkarA thought silently after listening to all this
and understood the underlining concern of his ministers for the kingdom and
the rule. He immediately decided to bring his son into the pictute and
trained him for some time before he started off his kshEtrAdanam throughout
India singing Lord's Glories and GuNAs. 
He visited almost all the temples and he lost his heart for Sri Rama. He
has sung lullabies for Sri Rama as "RaghavanE ThAlElO!". He has even sung
pAsurams on Devaki's misfortune of not able to enjoy kaNNan's leelA's and "
thollai inbam" which yasOdhA was blessed with. One can greatly be moved by
his pAsurams where in he longs for being born as a step in Tirupathi Lord's
temple or a fish in the Holy pushkaraNi or a seNbhaga tree in
Tirupathi(standing in front of the temple) or a Big stone which can not be
removed so easily; He even wished to be born as a servant holding the
Golden Bowl in front of Sriman nArAyaNan to spit the water after washing,
girgling and cleaning His mouth in the morning. Such was his desire to
serve the Lord ceaslessly and that too from a king!.( One can imagine our
plight with so little(or no) material possessions and for that we walk with
so much pride with even a very little achievement(which too is possible
only with His grace)).  

He lived till 67 years and then reached His abode and it is also told that
his daughter ILai followed her father kulasEkara perumAn and was also
blessed with the Lord's ThiruvaruL.

A sample pAsuram to taste the sweetness and longing deaire of AzhwAr before
we conclude this post.
AznAtha selvatthu arambaiyargaL thaRsoozha/
vAnALum selvamum; maNNarasum yAn vENdEn/
thEnAr poonchOlai thiruvEngadatthu chunaiyil/
meenAi piRakkum vidhiyudaiyOnAvEnE/

Such an "ARPUTHAMAANA" pAsuram. He says" I do not want to be a king even if
it is to rule this earth and the "vAn lOkam" where there is great wealth,
and where there are beautiful damsels dancing around; I do not wish that;
All that I want is to be born as a fish in the pond (PushkaraNi) in
Thirupathi (as mentioned earlier, or a tree standing in front of Thirupathi
or a big rock [or at least as a tall building]).

kulasEkarAzhwAr thiruvadigaLE saraNam

Ram Ram
adiyEn madhava dAsan