(Remeniscences) :Sri Rama befriended the king of forest hunters, Guha and enjoyed his hospitality and displayed His SowlabhyaGuNam through recognizing Guhan as the fourth brother of His besides Lakshmana, Bharatha and Satrugnaa. With Guha’s help,He crossed the river Ganga and took leave of him and reached Sage Bharadwaja’s aasramam om the other side of the river Yamuna.The sage was surprised to see the royal travellers in hermit’s dresses and inquired about what happened. Learning the circumstances that led to the royal party’s journey through the forest,Sage Bharadhwaajaa instructed Rama to establish His residence few kilometers from his own Asramam at a site located on the foot hills ofthe beautiful chitrakoota mountain. Rama obeyed the sage’s command and accepted the kaimkaryam of His brother LakshmaNaa, who constructed a delightful residence according to the codes of building construction.
Sage Bharadwaja in poet Kamban’s words describes the beauty of Chitrkootam as being more than the loveliness ofIndra’s svarga Logam (ViNNInum Inithaal, Devar kai thozhumChitthirakootam). He points out that Chitrakootam is so sacred that even the Devas raise their hands in salutation.
In an entire section named “Chittirakoota Patalam “, poet Kamban describes the extraordinary beauty of the mountain,its flora and fauna in a manner similar to the descriptions found in the 94th sargam of Ayodhyaa Khaandam. Here, Sage Valmiki presents Rama as the describer of the divine beauty of the Chitrakoota mountain to his beloved wife. Sri Rama describes the auspicious peak of Chitrakoota mountain as
“CHITRAKOOTASYA KOOTOAYAM DRUSYATEH SARVATA: SUBHA:”.
Thereafter, he states “If for my part, O Darling Sita, I shall be able to spend this period of exile extending over 14 years (as though in sport), with You. O Sita and Lakshmanaa! adhering to the path trodden by the virtuous and conforming to the highest discipline imposed by myself,I shall derive joy enhancing the piety of my race”.
IMAM THU KAALAM VANITEH VIJAHRIVAAMSTVAYAA
CHA SEETEH SAHA LAKSHMANENA |
RATHIM PRAPATSYEH KULADHARMA VARDHINEEM
SATAAM PATHI SVANIYAMAI: PARAI : STHITHA : ||
— Ayodhyaa Khandam, Srimad RamAyaNam : verse 27
Kulasekhara Azhwaar saw the Tillai Thiruchitrakootam Divya Desam at Chidambaram as the southern Chitrakotam and offered his mangalaasAsanam of Tillai EmperumAn and composed ten verses serving as SampurNa RaamayaNam.
Sri Mutthuswami Dikshitar worshipped Tillai Thiruchittira KootatthuGovindarajan and offered his Naada Naivedyam to the Archaamurthy there through four brilliant krithis set in RaagAs Rathipriyaa(same as the 62nd Mela ragam Rishabha Priyaa), Mesa Bhowli, Surutti and Mukaari. Summary of the meanings of these Krithis along with the commentary on the Kulasekhara Azhwaar’s pasurams are contained in a book (AravaNai Tuyinrohn) that I had the good fortune to publish in 1993 at Tillai Thiruchitrakootam.
Azhwaar describes his daasyaa state to the Bhagavathaas of the Emperumaan of Tillai Thiruchitrakootam this way :
O Ramachandra! I take refuge at the holy feet of the Bhagavathaas, who have performed SaraNaagathi at your lotus feet. (Pasuram 3)
This earth is indeed sanctified by the movement of those Bhagavathas, who raise their hands in salutation to Sri Rama of Chitrakootam with their Anjali mudra (Pasuram 5).
I do not consider any kingdom superior to the one of having the lotus feet of the Lord of Tillai Thiruchitrakootam on my head (Pasuram 7)
My mind does not ever forget the Lord of Thillai Thiruchitrakootam. Hence no inauspiciousness will befall me (Pasuram 9)
O Servants of the Lord! Please recognize the archa murthy staying forever to bless you as Vaikunta Naathan at Tillai Thiruchitrakootam and eulogize him and perform Nitya Kaimkaryam to Him and receive His full blessings (Pasuram 10).
Such is the glory of Chitrakootam celebrated by Sage Valmiki, Kulasekhara Azhwaar, Kamban and Dikshitar.
Sri Chitrakoota vaasineh, Sri Ramachandra Parabrahmaneh Nama:
Oppiliappan Koil Varadachari Sadagopan
(To be continued…)