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Thursday, February 1, 2024

Sri Kuresar Sarrumurai 2024


Sri Koorathazhwan Vaibhavam 2024


Today  31.1.2024 is a great day for our Srivaishnava sampradhayam – Hastham in the month of Thai –  sarrumurai of Swami Kurathazhwan born in 1010.   

After a prolonged dry spell, the heavens finally relented, sending down delicate flakes of snow at most places in Kashmir valley.  For weeks, the people of Kashmir had watched the skies with longing, hoping for a sign of the changing seasons. However,  snowfall started in many areas of the region covering the landscape in a white blanket.   The winter snow provides drinking water, irrigates paddy fields and powers 19 vital hydropower projects.  

There are a number of old alamnacs in the world like - Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Hindu, Chinese and Mesoamerican etc. In whole of Bharatvarsha, the Yugabd calender is the oldest. It was established 26 years ahead of 'Saptrishi Samvat'. We are currently observing Yugabd Samvat-5125; thus the 'Saptrishi Samvat' is a contemporary alamnac not only to the Yugabd calender but is also contemporary to the other oldest alamnacs in the world. The great thing about these two oldest alamnacs in India is that they are functional and working till date while most of the other such oldest calenders in the world have ceased to be functional and working alamnacs. Both the 'Yugabd Samvat' and the 'Saptrishi Samvat' are based upon lunisolar system of astronomical calculations where both solar and lunar years are recognised as complementary and supplementary to each other. The beauty lies in the fact that this profound knowledge of India has stood the test of time and is considered completely scientific and functional.  

'Saptrishi Samvat' is an indegenous alamnac of Kashmir. This Samvat in Kashmir which is completing 5100 years this year is a testimony of the historical fact that Kashmir's civilization had a distinct and great character. This civilization contributed as the fountainhead of ancient Vedic civilization.

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.   As we proceed, here is something read on Kashmir in a book titled  ‘the Valley of Kashmir’ by Waltair RR Lawrence published in 1895.  

Kashmir in 1887, when the Settlement commenced, may be described as an absolute monarchy. If an aristocracy of power ever existed, the tall poppies were cut down years ago, and the people looked to the Maharaja as their direct lord and master. They yearn for personal rule centered in one man, and they are bewildered and disgusted when rule and power filter into many channels. In Kashmir the Maharaja is represented by a Governor and it is of the highest importance that this official be a man of energy and experience, and that all departments, whether revenue, police, forests, &c., should be absolutely under his control.   It is a small country, and an energetic Governor could visit any village in the valley in a day's ride.  His Highness the Maharaja Pratab Singh, G.C.S.I., recognizing that it was impossible to check these abuses without records and statistics, resolved on effecting a land Revenue Settlement of his country. At first it was extremely difficult to persuade the people that the Settlement would be a reality, or to inspire them with a belief that there would be some continuity in the administration.  Little by little, confidence has sprung up.   

IF one looks at the map of the territories of His Highness the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir one sees a white foot-print set in a mass of black mountains. This is 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, it is approximately eighty-four miles in length, and twenty to twenty-five miles in breadth. North, east, and west, range after range of mountains guard the valley from the outer world, while on the south it is cut off from the Panjab by rocky barriers fifty to seventy five miles in width. The valley is a resting-place for adventurous traders who seek the distant markets of Yarkand and Central Asia, and it furnishes a base whence military operations have been in recent years directed against the wild and turbulent tribes of the Shinaki country to the north and north-east.   

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. Looking to the north one sees a veritable sea of mountains, broken into white crested waves, hastening in wild confusion to the great promontory of Nanga Parbat (26,620 feet). To the east stands Haramukh (16,903 feet), the grim mountain which guards the valley of the Sind. On it the legend says the snow only ceases to fall for one week in July, and men believe that the gleam from the vein of green emerald in the summit of the mountain renders all poisonous snakes harmless. Further south is Mahadeo, very sacred to the Hindus, which seems to almost look down on Srinagar, and south again are the lofty range of Gwash Brari. 

This is no post on Kashmir but on our great Srivaishnavaite so devoted to Sri Ramanuja Acarya – Sri  Koorathazhwan  whose Thanian by Parasara Bhattar says: 

Shrivathsa chinha mishrebhyo nama uktheem adheemahe |

yadhukthasyas thrayee kante yaanthi manggala soothrathaam ||

I salute the great mahaan Srivathsa Chinha Misra (Swamy Koorathazhwan) whose Sri Sookthis became the thirumangalyam of the mother Veda (The 4 Vedas also named as Thrayee as mentioned in the above thanian).  Swamy Kuresar was born in 1010 in Kooram near Thirukachi.  He was destined to be totally influenced by the teachings of Sri Ramanujar.    

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. 

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. Amongst some sections of the Saivite population which at that time was concentrated around Gangaikondachozhapuram, near Chidambaram, hatred towards Sri Vaishnavism and of Sri Ramanuja began to flare up.

Though blinded in that unsavoury incident, Koorathazhwan ensured that Yathi Rajar moved safely to Melukote and ensured great kainkaryams there, lived a complete life, devoted in service, with malice to none; in fact seeking good for the traitor too.  Koorathazhwan ( Srivatsankamisrar ),   gifted us five important stotras, popularly known as Panchastavam. These are Sri Vaikunta Stavam, Athimanusha Stavam, Sundarabahu Stavam, Sri Stavam and Varadaraja Stavam. Before ascetic life, he was a very wealthy person not only endowed with riches – more so with atma gunas and took care of needy by feeding thousands daily.  He was never attached to the material riches and the World.    

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.  

He lived a long life of more than 120 years and in 1132, Sri Koorathazhwaan ascended to Sri Vaikuntam, 6 months before Sri Mudaliandan attained Vaikuntam, in service of Lord Ranganatha & Swami Ramanuja. With his head on Pillai azhwaan's lap, lotus feet on Andal's lap (Azhwan's wife) and hand on Parasara Bhattar's lap, thinking about Swami Ramanuja's lotus feet, azhwaan attained Sri Vaikuntam. 

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, Acharyas.

Here are some photos of Acaryar Kurathazhwan and Sri Parthasarathi perumal taken during evening purappadu at Thiruvallikkeni divyadesam. 

ஆழ்வார் எம்பெருமானார் திருவடிகளே சரணம் -

நம் இராமானுஜன் திருவடிகளே சரணம்.

கூரத்தாழ்வான்   திருவடிகளே சரணம். 


அடியேன் ஸ்ரீனிவாசதாசன்
adiyen Srinivasa dhasan (Mamandur Veeravalli Srinivasan Sampathkumar)
31st Jan 2024



  1. Good commentary. Enjoyed reading and knowing. Today's Newspaper says it hasn't snowed (first para) yet at JnK last similar being in 1966.

  2. Thank you Sir - S Sampathkumar