"ghushyate yasya nagare ranga-yAtrA dinE-dinE |
tamaham SirasA vandE rAjAnAm kulaSEkharam || "
"innamudamUTukEningE vA paingkiLiyE,
tenn-arangam pADa-valla sIrp-perumAL, ponnanj
cilai-sEr nudaliyarvEL cEralar-kOn, engaL
"Aram keDapparanbar koLLArenRu,
vArankoDu kuDap-pAmbil kaiyiTTavan, maRRalarai
vIrankeDutta sengkOl kolli-kAvalan-villavarkOn
cEran kulasEkaran muDi-vEndar sikA-maNiyE"
The three taniyan-s associated with shrii kulashekhara aazhvaar make reference to his varNaashramaM and his respect for shrii bhaagavata-s as well as his deep attachment to the Lord of shrii ra~NgaM.
The first taniyan in sa.nskR^it refers to his birth as the kshatriya king ruling the land of Kolli and his devotion of shrii ra~NgaM as follows:
"ghushhyate yasya nagare ra~Nga-yaatraa dine-dine |
tamaham shirasaa vande raajaanaaM kulashekharaM || "
This taniyan salutes with bowed head the king of Kolli city, revered as kulashekhara whose subjects were famous for shouting about their joyous experiences related to shrii-ra~Nga-yaatraa that they performed following the illustrious and exemplary pilgrimage to shrii-ra~NgaM by their king. Here shrii kulashekhara's status as a king of Kolli-naadu and his deep devotion to shrii ra~Nganaatha, serving as a model to his subjects, are alluded to.
The two tamil taniyan-s associated with shrii kulashekhara-aazvaar also refer
to him as the titular head of cheraa kingdom and as a great bhaagavata.
In the first tamil taniyan cited below, the author offers nectar-like food to a beautiful parrot in return for singing the glories of the chera king, kulashekhara who distinguished himself through the compositions extolling the kalyaaNa-guNa-`s of shrii ra~Nganaathan of shrii ra~NgaM.
"innamuda muuTukEni~NgE vaa pa~NkiLiyE,
tennara~NgaM paaDa-valla siirp-perumaaL, ponna~nchilai-sEr
nudaliyarvEL chEralar-kOn, e~NgaL kulsEkaraneRE kuuRu"
In the second tamil taniyan, a major incident that served as a tuning point in his life is alluded to. This taniyan offers its respects to shrii kulashekhara perumaan in the following manner:
"aaram keDapparanbar koLLaarenRu, avargaLukkE
vaara~NkoDu kuDap-paaMbil kaiyiTTavan, maRRalarai
viira~NkeDutta se~NgOl kolli-kaavalan-villavarkOn
chEran kulasekaran muDi-vEndar sikaa-maNiyE"
The incident is referred to in the above taniyan is related to the spiriteddefense of shrii-vaishhNava bhaagavata-s in his court. The context of the incident is described below.
As an enlightened ruler, shrii kulashekharar defended the rights of the weak and punished the wicked and served as a model king. One day, shrii ra~Nganaatha blessed shrii kulashekhara by revealing his svaruupa-guNa-vibhuuti cheshhTitaM-s. From th day on, shrii kulashekhara lost his interest in being a king and spent most of his time with shrii vaishhNava-s in his palace.
The ministers were unhappy about this special affection that shrii kulashekhara had for the bhaagavata-s. The ministers wanted to reduce the role of shrii-vaishhNava-s in the king's life, so that the king could devote more time to his royal duties.
The ministers came up with a plot, which accused the bhaagavata-s as having stolen the nava-ratna haaraM of the deity of shrii kulashekhara. Actually the ministers had themselves removed the precious stone necklace and blamed the bhaagavata-s falsely.
Shrii kulashekhara was very upset about the charges and refused to accept that the bhaagavata-s stole the necklace. In support of his conviction that the devotees of vishhNu would not steal, he set forth a challenge to prove that the bhaagavata-s were innocent of the charges made by the ministers. He volunteered to put his hand in a vessel containing hungry cobras. If the bhaagavata-s were innocent, he stated, the cobras will not bite his hand. On the other hand, if they were guilty he predicted that the snakes will bite his hand and kill him.
To implement this challenge, shrii kulashekhara put his hand inside a vessel full of poisonous cobras, comforted by the belief that the devotees of vishhNu would not steal the Lord's jewelry. Lo and behold! the cobras kissed his hand and did not bite him! The ministers were put to shame by the king's conviction and his winning of the challenge to certify the innocence of the shrii-vaishhNava-s.
kulashekhara was deeply offended by the behaviour of his ministers and decided on the spot to reliquish his title. He appointed his son to succeed him and retired to shrii-ra~NgaM to enjoy the beauty of shrii ra~Nganaatha for the rest of his life.
Oppiliappan Koil Varadachari Sadagopan