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Kulasekara perumAL Thirunakshathram- Maasi punarvasu

KumbhE PunarvasU jaatham KeraLE KOLa pattaNE
KousthubhAmsam DharAdhIsam KulasEkaharam AasrayE

This AzhwAr born as a Kshathriyan is an amsam of
the gem Kousthubham on the Lord's chest. He incarnated
on a Maasi Sukla DwAsasi day , when Punarvasu constellation
was in ascendance.He was born as the son of Dhruta Vratha RaajA ,
king of Kolli Naadu, whose capital was VanchikkuLam in today's
KeraLA.

THANIANS ON PERUMAAL TIRUMOZHI

1. Composed by Emperumaanaar Sri Ramanujacharya

Innamudham Oottugen Inge Vaa Pain Kiliye /
Tenn Arangam Paada vulla Seer Perumaal - Ponnan /
Silai Ser Nudhaliar vel Seralar Kone - Engal /
Kulasekaran Enre Kooru /

" O! Green hued parrot! Come hither ! I will give you some sweet nectar!. You should
always mutter the name of Kulasekara- who composed the sweet poem on the auspicious
qualities of Lord Ranganatha lying in the South direction at Srirangam; who is the darling
of beautiful damsels with bow - like eyebrows; who is the King of Chera kingdom; who
is a great Prapanna and who is our crown jewel"

2 Composed by Manakkaal Nambi

Aaram Kedap Paran Anbar Kollaar Enru - Avargalukke /
Vaaran Kodu Kudap Paambir Kai Ittavan - Maatralarai /
Veeram Kedutha Senkol Kolli Kaavalan Villavar Kone /
Seran Kulasekaran Mudi Vendhar Sikaamaniye /

"Kulasekara is the one who put his hand boldly into the pot containing the
deadly King Cobra in order to vindicate the innocence of the Srivaishnavas
when they were accused (by his ministers) of stealing the precious pearl
necklace; Kulasekara is the one who vanquished the valour of his enemies; He was the
king of Kolli; he was the Emperor of other kings: the very gem of the Chera dynasty; the
very crown of the crowned monarchs"

ponpuraiyum vERkulasE karanE maasip
punarpoosath thezilvaNYsik kaLatthuth thOnRi
yanbudanE namperumaaL sempoR kOyi
lanaitthulakin peruvaazvu madiyaar thanga
Linpamigu perunguzuvuNG kaaNa maNmE
liruLiriya venReduttha visaiyiR sonna
nanporuLsEr thirumozinNooR Rainthu paattu
nanRaaka venakkaruL sey nalki neeyE.

[From Swami Desikan's prabandha saaram]

The One who was born in ThiruvanjikkaLam in Maasi punarvasu. He sang with love and
great devotion on NumperumAL of Srirangam (read below) in the very first ten, and then
on His devotees. He longed to be in the association of BhagavatOtthamas of Srirangam
and along with them, wished to enjoy the Lord's ThirumEni. Swami desikan prays to
AzhwAr to bless him with the wonderful 105 verses of PerumAL Thirumozhi (in fullest
entirety in full glory- i.e. with right meanings and inner nuances, enjoyment, anubhavam
of AzhwAr).

Swami Manavala Maamuni's upadesa ratthina maalai says:

Maasip PunarppUsam KaaNmin inRu MaNNulahIr
tEsit thivasatthukkEthennil --pEsuhinREn
Kollinahark kOnn KulasEkaran piRappAl
nallavarkaL koNdAdum naaLL.......(13)

BhumaNdala Vaasis! Isn't today Maasi PunarppUsam? Let me point out the glory of this
day. This is the unique day, when righteous people celebrate the birthday of KulasEkara
AazhwAr, the chieftain of Kolli naadu.

Let us enjoy Sri Anbil Swami's write up on this peerless azhwAr.

Kulasekara, an incarnation of Koustuba, (divine gem of Lord Vishnu) was born to King
Dridavrata at Tiru vanchi kalam. He was born in the year Paraabhava, Maasi month,
Sukla Paksha Dwadasi ( a Friday) in the constellation of Punarvasu. As a prince, he
learned all the martial arts besides becoming proficient in Sanskrit and Tamil. In due
time, he ascended the throne after his father. He married the Pandya princess. He was a
great devotee of Sri Rama. His other names are Kolli Kaavalan, Koodal Naayakan and
Seralar Kone.

Like Rama, he was born as a Kshatriya; Like Rama, he was born in Punarvasu
Nakshatra; Like Rama, his Archa moorthi was that of Lord Ranganatha; Like
Rama, he renounced royal pomp and preferred a simple ascetic life. Like
Lakshmana, he desired to do service to Bhagavaan; Like Bharata, even while
carrying out his duties as a King, he considered himself a vassal of the
Lord's Paaduka; Like Satrugna, he valued Bhaagavata seva above all.

Sri Rama is called PERUMAL; Sri Ranganatha worshipped by him is known as
PERIYA PERUMAL; Periya Perumal's temple is known as PERIYA KOVIL; Kulasekara
who was so devoted to all these, came to be called as KULASEKARA PERUMAL. And,
his work is naturally called PERUMAL TIRUMOZHI.

He was fond of listening to Srimad Ramayana. Once, when a lecturer was
narrating how Sri Rama had to fight single handedly the Rakshasas headed by Kara and
Dushana, he was so excited that he rose up from his throne and gave orders to his troops
to march to help Sri Rama. Immediately, the upanyasakar switched over to saying that Sri
Rama vanquished the Rakshasas and returned triumphant. Then only, Kulasekara realized
that the episode was not contemporaneous and regained composure.

He was so much devoted to Bhagavatas that he would even cancel his tour
programmes should any Bhagavata arrive to visit him. The ministers became
annoyed and on an occasion hid a costly pearl necklace that the king used to adorn the
Archa moorthi idol and put the blame on the visiting Bhagavatas.

The king ordered a pot into which a live cobra was let in. He boldly
put his hand into the pot challenging that if any of the Bhagavatas had
stolen the jewel, the cobra would bite his hand. The cobra did not bite and thus he
vindicated the innocence of the Bhagavatas. The ministers apologised. Disgusted with the
royal pomp he anointed his son as king and left on a pilgrimage of holy places.

He composed a poem of 105 verses called " Perumal Tirumozhi"- a classic
example of the yearning of a Bhakta to serve the Lord. Every single verse of the 105
verses of this work is so filled with touching emotion and packed with palpable
sentiments that even a cursory reading is sure to bring tears flowing from one's eyes and
leave an indelible impression in one's mind.

Distributed in 10 decads, each one vividly portrays a different facet of
Alwar's experience of the Lord as shown below : -

DECAD 1 : Alwar expresses his yearnings to do service to Lord Ranganatha and the
Bhaagavatas. He asks-

" When ! O! When am I going to enjoy the sight of the Lord who reclines on
the serpent couch at Srirangam?
' Kanninaigal Enru kolo Kalikkum Naale?'
When! O! When am I going to offer mouthful of praise of the Lord?
' Vaayaara Enru kolo Vaazhthum Naale?'
When O! When would I be blessed with the company of Bhagavatas?
" Adiyavarodu Enru kolo Anugum Naale?'
When!O!When am I going to shower flowers at his feet?
"Kaikal Koi malar Thoo Enru kolo Kooppu Naale?'
When! O! When am I going to bow my head at the foot of the Lord?
" Malar Chenni Enru kolo Vanangum Naale?'
When O! When am I going to develop the amount of Bhakti that would melt my
heart? 'Ullam Miga Enru kolo Urugum Naale?'
When ! O! When my eyes are going to shed tears of joy on seeing the form of
the Lord? 'Neer Malga Enru kolo Nirkum Naale?'
When! O! When am I, the worst sinner, going to redeem my life?
' Vul Vinaiyen Enru kolo Vaazhum Naale?'
When! O! When am I going to roll on the ground sanctified by the Lord's
presence?' Bhoothalattil Enru kolo Puralum Naale?'
When! O! When am I going to reach the proximity of the great Adiyaars of the Lord? '
Isaindu Udane Enru kolo Irukkum Naale?'

DECAD 2 : He expresses his dedication to Bhagavatas. In verse 9, he declares that
those who are overwhelmed by the joy of serving the servants of the Lord are not
insane: It is only the others who are insane.
' Pitharaam Avar Pithar Allarkal / Matraiyar Mutrum Pithare /

Decad 3 : He avers that the act of shunning worldly pleasures and adhering to the
feet of the Lord is the ONLY REAL duty one has.
In Verse 8, he repeats the same sentiments as above . He says -

I may appear crazy for others but it is they who are really crazy. Yes! I am madly in
love with my Lord!'

Peyare Yenakku Yaavarum - Yaanum Oru Peyane /
Evarkkum Idhu Pesi Yen? - Aayane! Arangaa! /
Enru Azhaikkinren ! - Peyanaai Ozhinden /
Empiraanukke /

DECAD 4 : In this, he expresses his longing to be associated with
Tiruvenkadam- the abode of Lord Venkateswara in any capacity- whether as an
animate being or even as an inanimate object.

" Can I be born ?" he asks as a kurugu bird in the forest , or as a fish in the pond, or a
temple vessel, or a flower at his feet, or even a pillar, or a flowing rivulet, or as a rock or
even as a stepping stone leading to the innermost sanctum sanctorum in the temple of the
Lord on which the Bhaktas would place their holy feet- all in the sacred Tiruvenkadam?
It can be seen that such a step in every Vishnu temple is called as "KULASEKARAP
PADI"- the ' KULASEKARA STEP'
DECAD 5 : In this, he addresses the Lord of TiruVittuvakkodu saying that even if
the Lord were to forsake him, he will never ever leave him and he has no other
refuge. This he expresses drawing different parallels:-

"Like a child that clings on to the feet of the mother even when she spurns
it indignantly;
Like a Pativrata who holds on to her husband steadfastly even if he is of a
despicable character;
Like the fish that stays even at the risk of death when the waters in the
tank gets dried up (having nowhere to go);
Like a patient who loves the surgeon even though he cuts and
burns his flesh (during surgery);
Like the seagull that perches on the mast of a ship flies all over in the mid ocean
only to return to rest on it (having no other go);
Like the lotus flower that does not blossom by the heat of even fire but
blosssoms only to Sunshine:
Like the fields that though parched always look up to the rain bearing clouds for
succour;
Like the torrential flowing rivers that ultimately merge only in the Ocean and
nowhere else and
Like fortune that favours only that person who is not after it - I will
forever resort ONLY to your feet"

DECAD 6 : Here, he simulates the despair and disappointment experienced by
the Gopis when Lord Krishna does not turn up as promised.

DECAD 7 : This is one of the most heart rending portions of the poem. Here he
imagines himself as Devaki. Devaki laments that even though she gave birth to
Krishna she missed the joy of witnessing Krishna's childhood pranks.
" I am your mother only in name; How unfortunate am I ? I did not put you in the cradle;
I did not sing any lullaby to you; I did not enjoy seeing the various stages of your growth
from babyhood to childhood to boyhood; I lost my pleasure of breast feeding you; I am
so unfortunate to have missed all these. But, Lo! and Behold! What was my loss became
Yasoda's gain!. How fortunate she has been to see your pretending to be afraid of her?"

Azhugaiyum Anji Nokkum An Nokkum /
Ani kol Sen siru Vai Nelippaduvum /
Thozhugaiyum Ivai Kanda Yasodai /
Tollai Inbatthu Irudhi Kandaale"

He calls Yasoda ' Deiva Nangai" - the divine damsel. He pleads to the Lord
on behalf of Devaki tearfully " If possible, can you reenact all these for my sake?"

DECAD 8 : Here, the Alwar simulates Kausalya and describes the joy she
experienced in rearing Sri Rama in his childhood. The cradle song to baby
Rama " Mannu pugazh Kauasalai thun" is very touching. and is being sung
almost in all households as a lullaby.

DECAD 9 : Here is another heart rending episode. Here, the Alwar simulates
the grief of Dasaratha on his banishing Sri Rama to exile. As Dasaratha,
he visualizes how Sri Rama had unjustly been subjected to the hard and harsh life of a
wandering ascetic when he should have been ruling Ayodhya in the cosy comfort in all
his royal regalia. He curses himself bitterly, curses Kaikeyi who induced him and finally
he curses Kooni who influenced Kaikeyi - setting forth the chain of misfortunes and
finally says
" O! Rama! I will also leave the Ayodhya which you left; Nay, I will even
quit this world and go to the other world never to return"

DECAD 10 : Sage Valmiki elaborately dwelt with the story of Sri Rama in his
Srimad Ramayana. Here, the Alwar addresses the Lord in the Tiruchitrakoodam
(Chidambaram) and gives a condensed version of the entire epic in just 11 verses.
DIVYA DESAMS CONSECRATED BY KULASEKARA ALWAR
1.Tiruvarangam
2.Tiruk Kanna Puram
3.Tiru Chitra Koodam
4.Tiru Vittuvak Kodu
5.Tiru Venkadam
6.Tiru Ayodhya
7.Tirup Paar Kadal
[Thanks to Sri Anbil Swami for his permission to share this]

KulasEkara AzhwAr ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam
Regards
Namo Narayana
dAsan

Sri Kulasekhara Perumal’s aaraadhana murthis