Guru Parampara Series – Kulasekara Azhwar
Kulasekara Azhwar took avatharam in Thiruvanchikallam in Kerala in a royal household as the son of king Dridavritha. He was the incarnation of Sriman Narayana’s Kousthubham. He took avatharam in the Tamil month of Masi under the constellation Punarvasu. Punarvasu is the nakshatram Sri Rama chose for His avatharam as the son of Dasaratha. Kulasekara was a staunch devotee of Sri Rama and so involved was he with SriRama that when Sri Ramayana was being told in his court he asked the army to get ready to attack. It was only after being told that Ravana had been conquered that Kulasekara kept quiet. Sri Rama was so pleased with Azhwar’s devotion that He named him Kulasekara perumal. He had a golden vigraha of SriRama at his palace who was adorned with an exquisite necklace. When the necklace went missing the ministers suspected the SriVaishnavas who moved freely in the palace. So shocked was Kulasekara by the accusation he put his hands in a basket containing poisonous snakes and not one of them bit. Such was the integrity of SriVaishnavas in Kulasekara’s times and this was the extent of Kulasekharazhwar’s faith in SriVaishnavas. Like Sri Rama he worshipped SriRanganatha and had attachment to SriRangam and the devotees of Rangan. Everyday He went on a yatra to SriRangam mentally. After placing his son on the throne Kulasekara Azhwar moved to SriRangam. His outpourings seeped in devotion are known as Perumal Thirumozhi. These are 105 pasurams. The first three decads are in praise of Sri Ranganatha. In the fourth decad Kulasekharazhwar expresses his desire to be born as something in Thiruvenkatam. The fifth decad is offered to the lord of Vithvakkodu. The sixth decad expresses the gopis longing for Sri Krishna. The seventh decad is Azhwar’s sympathy for Devaki who bore Krishna but missed on all His leelas. The eighth decad is the famous lullaby to SriRama addressed to the Perumal of Tirukannapuram. The ninth decad pours the grief of Dasaratha after sending SriRama to the forest. The tenth and final decad is addressed to the lord of Thillai Thiruchitakootam Sri Govindarajan and the entire Ramayana is told in the 11 verses.
Kulasekara Azhwar is the only Azhwar to have written in Sanskrit. His Mukundha mala comprising of forty verses celebrate the greatness of Bhaghavan Namas. Each verse needs to be learnt or atleast some of them. “Hey Gopalaka” can be taught and children should be taught Ksheerasagara Taranga sheekara (verse 39) as a sloka to be said before sleeping. Let us bow down our heads at the feet of Kulasekaran who has been described as Pure by Swami Desikan. By dwelling on the kalyanagunams of the king who became an Azhwar we will develop bhakthi towards Bhaghavan and Bhaghavathas and cross the ocean of Samsara.
Writeup by Smt Vyjayanthi Sundararajan