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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Thaiyil Hastham ~ Sri Koorathazhwan Sarrumurai

Today, 8th Feb 2o15 is a day of significane ~ today is ‘hastha’ nakshathiram in ‘thai’ -  the day on which a great saint ‘Swamy koorathaazhwan’ was born, thousand and five  years ago.  We are fortunate to read something about this mahan Sri Srivathsa Chinna Misrar, who was a living example of Sri Vaishnava lakshanam. This song by Thiruvarangathu Amuthanar in ‘Ramanuja Nootranthathi’ typifies his glory.

Num Swami was born on Thai Hastham in Kooram village near Kanchipuram. He was the King of Kooram and every day he organized feeding bhakthas in a grandiose manner. After realization, he renunciated all his material wealth to the poor and set on foot to Srirangam. There he identified his noble Guru, the enlightened Sri Ramanujacharya, obeyed him and became the choicest and most celebrated disciple of him. A strange bond of kinship developed between master and student over the years. Kuresar was Ramanuja’s aide in scriptural study, disputations and exegesis acting as a faithful shadow.

Acharyar Ramanujar was  institutionalizing his philosophy and set about writing down the principles later known as ‘Ramanuja darsanam’. In this he was assisted by the principal disciples – Kuresan, Dasarathi  and Embar.   In search of  ‘boddhayana vrutti’ – a rate treatise on Vyasa brahma sutra that  was lying somewhere obscure in a Kashmiri state, Sri  Ramanujar at a ripe age  undertook a digvijayam by foot in pursuit of the vrutti and propagating his message. Kuresan also accompanied him. Kuresan by sheer power of his prodigious memory was able to accurately recall vast passages from the vrutti word by word  assisting the making of  commentary  of Acharya on Vyasa’s brahma sutra.   

Many of you would have seen the film Dasavatharam which had many factual mistakes especially about history and religion. The character of “Nambi” – the kallai mattum kandal – was portrayal (though not appropriately) of Kuresan. (see post script).

Sri Ramanuja and Kuresan were septugenarians when the Chola kingdom was ruled by tyrant Kulothungam who was to be known as kirimikanda chozhan. He was bent on rooting out Vaishnavism and trying to destroy Ramanuja issued summon to Acharya to appear in his court to punish him in some manner. Getting wind of the king’s evil designs, the disciples dissuaded Acharya from going to Gangaikondachozhapuram and Kuresan volunteered to go as His proxy. With great anguish  the Acharya left Srirangam to the
 land of Melkote and lived in exile for over 12 long years.  When Kuresar declined to write according to the designs of the King, the  incensed King ordered his courtiers to harm Mahapurnar and blood streamed out the eyeless cavities giving poignant agony. Mahapurnar breathed his last on the lap of Kuresan.

After this unsavoury incident, a blinded Kuresan  returned to Srirangam. After a few years he reached the town of Thirumalirum cholai (Kallalagar koil, Madurai)Swami gave us gift of 5 granthas called ‘panchasthavams’  Heard from knowledgeable sources that the sthavam on Azhagar though written at a stage when he was suffering with blindness, old age and being away from his Guru, he vowed to praise the Lord without any self-pity and everything is only positive in his writing.   Such was his will power and devotion to Almighty and Acharya.  Kuresan despite the great physical handicap continued all kainkaryam and remained eternally faithful shadow of Acharyar. Ramanujar took his dearest disciple to Lord Varadharaja and commanded Kuresan to pray for restoration of eye sight. Kuresar agreed for restoration of eye sight for seeing none else than his Acharyan; when Ramanujar commanded, he prayed that moksham be granted to himself and also to Nalooraan, a person who had sort of betrayed the Acharyar before the Chozha, wishing that all srivaishnavaites be blessed. Such was his benevolence even for those who had done harm.

Kuresar prayed to Ranganatha to release him from his mortal body and be merged at the Lotus feet and received the supreme blessing. This he did to go in advance and welcome his Master. Kuresan passed away peacefully.   On the day of his Thirunakshathiram, let us fall at the feet of Kuresan and pray for all good things from him and from Ramanujar.

Azhwar Emperumanaar Jeeyar Thiruvadigale Saranam.

Adiyen – Srinivasa Dhasan.

PS 1 : the cinema ‘Dasavatharam’ might have been well taken, but the dialogues and intense abhorrence for Hinduism and its values are apparent. Though there are many historical blunders and abject wrong portrayal – the character of Nambi does instill interest and some good depiction of the steadfastness and mental strength of a Srivaishnavaite. ‘Adieyn Ramanuja dhasan’ – enum vaarthai Srivaishnavargal parimarra chol.

PS 2 :  The above is only an excerpt of my earlier post in Dec 2009 ~ the full text can be read at :

PS 3 :  Today there was no purappadu at Thiruvallikkeni divyadesam as Sri Kuresar is also in Balalayam

PS 4 :  it is a practice to recite Divyaprabandham at home only from Sri Kurathazhwan Sarrumurai after anathyayanam.

the temple at Kuram and Azhwar sannathi there

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