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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Sri Kurathazhwan Vaibhavam ~ thirumanjanam at avathara sthalam 'Kuram'

Sri Parasara Battar in our sampradhayam is known for his knowledge and immaculate bakthi ~ faith and commitment par excellence -  once a King upon hearing the glories of Battar went to him and asks to visit him, if he requires any financial assistance. Parasara battar with conviction says,   even if namperumAL’s abhaya hastham (hand in protection posture) turns the other way, he would not seek anyone else other than NamPerumal  for help  ! He is the son of Sri Kurathazhwan.    On 26th Jan 2019 was  ‘Thai Hastham’ ~  the day on which thiruvavathara mathotsavam of  ‘Swamy  Koorathaazhwan’  was grandly celebrated.   

Kanchipuram is a city with a 1000-year-old history. It is said to have been in existence since the reigns of the Chola and Pallava dynasties.  Nearer Kanchipuram lies Kooram village and it is here Num Swami Kuresar  was born on  Thai Hastham nakshathiram.  Those days Kuram was a kingdom and he was the King of Kooram.  Every day he organized feeding bhakthas in a grandiose manner. In search of understanding the tenets of Srivaishnavism, 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.

ஸ்ரீ கூரத்தாழ்வான், காஞ்சி மாநகரின் வடமேற்கே அமைந்துள்ள  கூரம் என்கிற அந்நாளில் பெரிய நகரமாக விளங்கிய இடத்தில் கி.பி. 1010ம் ஆண்டு,  தை மாத ஹஸ்த நக்ஷத்ரத்தில் அவதரித்தார். பெரிய தனிகரும் பரம பாகவதருமான  ஆழ்வார் என்பவரின் திருக்குமாரர். நிகரில்லாத வைராக்யமும்,நெறியும் எம்பெருமானார்க்கு இணையான ஜ்ஞானமும் கொண்டவர் இவர்.  திருமறுமார்பன்  (ஸ்ரீவத்சாங்கன்) - திருத்துழாய் முளைக்கும்போதே மணத்துடன் விளங்குமாப்போலே ஐவரும் ஞானபக்திகளுடன் பிறந்திடவே, சுவாமி நம்மாழ்வாரைப்போலே பகவத் குணங்களிலே ஈடுபட்டவராதலால் இவர் நம் சம்பிரதாயத்தில் 'ஆழ்வான்’ என புகழப்படுகிறார்.. ஸ்ரீவத்ஸமிச்ரர், செல்வச் செழிப்பில் மிதந்தவர். பகவானிடம், அனவரதமும், அத்யந்த பக்தியுடன் விளங்கினார். இதனால்,செல்வத்திலும், சுகபோகங்களிலும் பற்று  அற்று எல்லாச் செல்வங்களையும் ஸத்கார்யங்களுக்கும், வறியோர்க்கும் வாரிவழங்கி, ஸதாசார்ய சம்பந்தத்தைத் தேடி காஞ்சிக்கு வந்தார்.  ஸ்ரீ பராசரபட்டர், ஸ்ரீ வேதவ்யாஸபட்டர் இவரது திருக்குமாரர்கள். 

எழில்நகர் புகழ்க் காஞ்சிக்கு வந்த இவர், அங்கு பரம ஞானியாக விளங்கிய நம்மிராமாநுசமுனிகளின் திருவடிகளைச் சரணம் என்று அடைந்து, அவரிடம் கூடவே இருந்து சேவை செய்து இன்புற்றார்.  வைணவத்தின் சிரம திசையில், நாலூரான் தூண்டுதலால்,  சோழ மன்னன், ஸ்ரீரங்கத்துக்குச் சேவகரை அனுப்பி, யதிராஜரை அழைத்து வரச் சொல்ல,  கூரத்தாழ்வான், தானே காஷாயம் தரித்து, பெரியநம்பிகளுடன் அரச சபைக்குச் சென்று,  ”த்ரோண மஸ்தி தத :பரம் “‘ ( முகத்தல் அளவையில்,சிவம் என்றால் ”குறுணி” ”த்ரோணம் ”என்றால் பதக்கு ) என்று எழுதிக் கையெழுத்திட , அரசன் ,கூரத்தாழ்வானின் கண்களைப் பறிக்க சேவகர்களுக்குக் கட்டளையிட,  கூரத்தாழ்வான் ”உன்னைப்போன்ற பகவத் த்வேஷிகளைப் பார்த்த கண்கள் எனக்கு வேண்டியதில்லை” என்று கூறி, தன்னுடைய கண்களைத் தன் கையாலேயே பறித்து, அரசவையில் வீசி எறிந்தார். பின்னாளில் எம்பெருமானருக்காக காத்திருந்து, அவரருளால் பிரார்த்திக்கும் போது கூட, தமக்கு கிடைத்த பாக்கியம், தமக்கு தீமை செய்த நாலூரானுக்கு கூட கிடைத்திடல் வேண்டும் என விரும்பியவர்.

The oft repeated historic event  of Swami Ramanuja from the virulent Chozha King by Azhwan entering the courthall of Kulothunga in disguise and meeting the cruel fate of losing his eyes and saving  Emperumanar depicts his attachment to Udayavar.  There of course lies more .. ..  miles away on the northern tip of this great Nation existed the Sharda Temple  located in Kishanganga Valley just across the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK) in a small village called Shardi at the confluence of River Kishanganga and River Jhelum which flows from Kashmir.  A famous learning centre of Kashmiris, it is identified by noted historians and chroniclers.   The  valley of Kashmir, known to its inhabitants as KasJiir, perched securely among the Himalayas at an average height of about 6,000 feet above the sea,  is approximately eighty-four miles in length, and twenty to twenty-five miles in breadth.  The mountains which surround Kashmir are never monotonous. Infinitely varied in form and colour, they are such as an artist might picture in his dreams.

In those great days, when Sri Ramanujar lived in Thiruvarangam in the service of Namperumal,  Yathi Raja had succeeded in the stupendous task of systematising an exciting and epochal new philosophy,   ...  to give it polish of irrefutability,  before it could go into and earn an unchallenged place in the annals of Vedantic history, Ramanuja wanted access to  ancient parchment or document called ``Boddhayana vrutti'' - a rare exegetical treatise on Vyasa's ``Brahmasutras'' incorporating the insights of other great commentators of distant past. The ``Boddhayana vrutti'', Ramanuja learnt, was lying somewhere in a musty library in the royal library of the then king of an obscure Kashmiri State.  For great persons, nothing is daunting or unattainable – our Acaryar accompanied by Koorathazhvan went to Kachmeeram,  the  King gave Ramanuja and Kuresa permission to access the archives in the royal library. The royal pundits however, were none too happy and created many obstacles. Ramanuja was not allowed to take the vrutti or notes out. Kuresa, endowed with a photographic memory, memorised the whole book. Back in Srirangam, Kuresa and Ramanuja completed the ``Sri Bhashya'' by incorporating authentic references to the ``Boddhayana vrutti'', the growing influence of Sri Vaishnavism once again stoked the malevolent fires of religious bigotry in the land. The chozha incident perhaps occurred later to this.

Bhagavath Ramanujar when going to Thirukoshtiyur nimbi (18 times) took along Andan and Azhwan [Sri Mudali Andan & Sri Kurathazhwan] [as his thiruthandam and pavithram] and learnt ‘thirumanthiram’ – which he later spread to all who sought to know !.. ..

Living in Thiruvarangam,  Thiruvarangar Himself once directed Uthama Nambi to take his prasadam to Kuresan for he had not eaten anything on that day.   Kuresan considered it a sin to ask for something from the Lord for such was his devotion that he was sure that Lord would shower everything on his benefaction and baktha should not think of asking. Legend has it that the food sent by Arangar was the reason for the birth of two great sons, who were named Vyasa Bhattar and Parashara Bhattar who in posterity became the natural heir to all the spiritual kingdom of Ramanuja.

After the sordid episode of losing his eyes, Azhwan reached the town of Thirumalirumcholai (Kallalagar koil, Madurai)Swami gave us gift of   5 granthas called ‘panchasthavams’ viz.,

1. Sri Sthavam (10 Slokas) on Sri Ranga NachiyAr
2. Sri VaikunTa Sthavam (100 Slokas) on Paramapadanathan.
3. AthimAnusha Sthavam (61 Slokas). - Tharkam (logic); PramANam (authority) and Anubhvam (experience) how EmperumAn is the Sarveshwaran
4. Sri Sundara bAhu Sthavam (132 Slokas) on Azhagar of Tirumalirum Solai
5. Sri Varadaraja Sthavam (102 Slokas) on Hasthigiri Varadan.

                     Heard from our Acaryas  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.

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.  In 1132 Azhwan ascended Srivaikundam  after living in this earth for 120 years  - preceding Andan by 6 months.  He moved to Emperuman with his head on Pillazhvan’s lap, lotus feet on Andal (azhwan’s wife) lap and hand on Parasara battar’s lap, thinking of Sri Ramanuja.  It is our fortune that we are in the lineage of such great Acaryas and have the fortune of worshipping them and reciting the holy works of Azhwar, Acaryas.

ஆழ்வார் எம்பெருமானார் திருவடிகளே சரணம் -
நம் இராமானுஜன் திருவடிகளே சரணம்.
கூரத்தாழ்வான்  ~ ஆசார்யர்  திருவடிகளே சரணம்.

அடியேன் ஸ்ரீனிவாசதாசன்
29th Jan 2019 

Here are some photos of Sri Kurathazhwan thirumanjana avasaram  at his avatharasthalam – Kuram taken on 4th Mar 2018 by me.  

PS :   I have been posting on   Yathiraja ‘Vellai Sarruppadi’  this at   # Sriperumpudur is  more unique, besides the King of all Sages donning white, His disciple Koorathazhwan dons ‘kashayam’ and had purappadu in a closed palanquin.

2.  there is an important Pallava epigraph known as  Kuram copper-plate inscription,  that consists of seven copper plates.  Belonging to the reign of King Parameshwara Varman I Pallava of the 7th Century C.E.,  it is  bilingual inscription  half in Sanskrit, etched in the famed Pallava Grantha script, and the second half in Tamil. The lineage of the Pallavas, especially the many victories of Narasimhavarman I (Mamalla) against the Chalukya ruler Pulakesin and also the Cholas, Pandyas and others, given in detail in this record are pieces of information which have been incorporated into books by scholars on South Indian history.

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