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Dasavatharam, Koorathazhwan and Ramanujar – A Love Story Again!

Discussion in 'Wednesdays with Varalotti' started by varalotti, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Dasavatharam, Koorathazhwan and Ramanujar – A Love Story Again!

    No one who has seen the movie Dasavatharam can forget the opening scene. In the exchange of dialogues between Kulothunga Chozhan II (Napolean) and Rengaraja Nambi (Kamal Hassan) there would be a reference to Ramanujan and Kurathazhwan. Kurathazhwan is the ultimate in Bakthi, whether it is devotion to God or one’s Guru.

    The period was Twelfth Century AD. Kulothunga Chozhan II was ruling over a major part of Tamilnadu. He had adopted Saivism as his religion. That was also proclaimed as the religion of the State. That was not a big deal. Whatever religion the King followed became the religion of the state. But the King wanted to destroy Vaishnavism.

    Love, whatever may be its form and manifestation, can never be divisive. (Please read my post http://www.indusladies.com/forums/w...erfect-ending-perfect-love-10.html#post352060 to know my take on this Saiva-Vaishava divide. )

    The Chozha King had a diabolic minister by name Naalooran. The King first started a signature compaign against Vaishnavism. All the lords and land owners in the kingdom professed allegiance to the religion of the state. The King proudly displayed the signature scroll to his minister, Naalooran.

    The Minister let out a derisive smile.

    “Your Majesty, you have got the signature of sheep and rabits leaving out the lions and tigers of Vaishnavism. If Ramanujacharya and Koorathazhwan, his main disciple were to sign this scroll then it would be something.”


    The King was furious.


    “Let those two be brought before the court”, thundered the king.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2008
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  2. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Part 2!

    The King’s men went in search of Ramanuja and Koorathalwan. Ramanuja had gone to Cauvery for his morning bath. Koorathazhwan was in the mutt.
    “We want to take Ramanuja to the King’s court.”

    Kurathazhwan saw the mini army assembled before him. He saw the hatred in the Chief’s voice. He knew their mission. Within seconds he went into the mutt, put on Ramanuja’s dress and took Sri Ramanujar’s thridandam (a holy stick carried by Vaishnava Sanyasis) and was ready to go with them.

    “We also want your disciple, Koorathazhwan.”

    Now he was in a fix. If he revealed his identity those rascals would go in search of Ramanuja and would soon find him out. He was thinking of a strategy, when Perianambi, another disciple of Sri Ramanuja, jumped into the fray.

    “Yes, I am Koorathazhwan. What do you want to do with me?”

    Koorathazhwan had to take enormous efforts to hide his tears. Perianambi was an aged man, a devout Vaishnavite and a great scholar. And he was risking his life.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2008
  3. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Part 3!

    The two were produced before the King’s court. The King ordered them to renounce their religion and sign the scroll professing their allegiance to Saivism. Both refused. Naalloran, the evil minister, again smiled derisively. The King was furious.

    “Take them away and gorge out their eyes.” He thundered in fury.

    Perianambi was the first to be taken out. Within minutes Koorathazhwan heard Perianambil’s wail. They had plucked out his eyes.

    “Is the Vaishnavite worm dead or alive?” The King asked his men with a wicked smile.
    Koorathazhwan roared in anger.

    “You called Perianambi a worm, right? Oh, King, you will soon know more about worms. May my curse be upon you.” His voice echoed against the four walls of the court.

    He then ran to Perianambi. The devout Vaishnavite was uttering the Lord’s name and Sri Ramanuja’s name. Life was slowly ebbing out of him. Koorathazhwan placed Perianambi’s head on his lap and let him die there.

    The King’s men then approached Koorathazhwan to pluck out his eyes.

    “Having seen Perianambi in this state, it will be a sin, if I continue to have my eyesight. “

    With these words, Koorathazhwan took the spear from a soldier and plucked out his eyes himself.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2008
  4. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Part 4!

    The story did not end there. The King went on a camp to Tanjore. As he was sleeping in the night, he had an unusual feeling in his neck. There was a small infection. He thought of summoning the Doctor in the morning.


    But by morning the infection had become so great, that hundreds of worms were wriggling on his neck. He died the next day earning for him the epithet Kirumi Kanda Chozhan. The Chozha king with worms on his neck.


     
  5. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Part 5!
    The story did not even end there.

    It was only several years after the death of the King that Ramanuja could meet the blind Koorathazhwan. Ramanuja hugged his disciple and cried.


    “Koorthazhwan, I am your Guru. I have not asked anything from you so far. I am going to ask you something now. You should not refuse.”


    “My life, my body and my soul belong to you, Gurudeva. Your word would be my command.”


    “Go to Kancheepuram. Pray to Varadaraja Perumal. For your Bhakthi He’s sure to appear before you. Please ask Him to restore your eyesight.”


    “I will, Gurudeva.”

    With the help of few other disciples Koorathazhwan travelled to Kancheepuram from Srirengam. It was a two weeks’ journey.
     
  6. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Part 6!
    They reached Kancheepuram in the night. The next morning Koorathazhwar had his bath, finished his morning prayers, prayed to his Guru and appeared before Lord Varadharaja.

    This Lord has another name, Perarulaalan. The deity of supreme love. Koorathazhwan had been to the sanctom and sanctorum of the temple and had worshipped the Lord’s form many times, when he had his eyes.

    Remembering that form, remembering the words of his Gurudeva, with eternal love flowing in his heart, Koorathazhwan composed and sang Varatharajasthawam, a beautiful poem praising the Lord’s grace.

    Perarulaalan, his beloved, Lord Varadharaja was immensely pleased and appeared before his blind devotee in a vision.

    “Koorathazhwan, tell me, what do you want?”

    Had the devotee asked for the seven worlds, the good Lord would have placed them at his feet.

    Seeing the Lord, hearing His voice, now Koorathazhwan’s heart was so full of love, that he forgot his mission. He even forgot his Gurudeva’s words. He forgot the fact that he was blind.

    What bliss was he enjoying at that moment! If people could enjoy that kind of a bliss, there would be no hatred in this world. Why should people hate each other, and that too in the name of God?

    He felt bad that he had cursed the Chozha King.

    Then he remembered the evil Minister, Naalooran. Naaloran was still alive.
    Koorathazhwan folded his hands before the graceful Lord and told him in a shivering voice,

    “Naalooran, the minister should enjoy the same kind of bliss which I am enjoying now in your presence. I want no more than this, my Lord.”

    Koorathazhwan had done the unthinkable. Forgetting his eyes, forgetting the previous enmity, forgetting the hatred Naalooran had for Vaishnavites, he had blessed him and had given him eternal bliss.

    By asking this boon he had grown in love at par with the God Himself. Later when Ramanujar heard of Koorathazhwan’s act even he could not muffle his sobs.

    Religion and God are all about love, the highest kind of love, which does not hold anything for itself, the highest love which does not have a place for hatred or evil.

    The Lord granted the boon, blessed Koorathazhwan and disappeared with a mischievous smile on his beautiful lips.

    May Koorathazhwan who was kind enough to give benediction to his enemy teach us how to love. May he make us love more and love deeper. May he always bless us.

    Ramanujasya sharanau sharanam prapathye
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2008
  7. Lalitha Shivaguru

    Lalitha Shivaguru Platinum IL'ite

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    Dear Sridhar,

    Kindly accept my bow down on the net. By bringing another Love story you have brought new dimensions. Yesterday only it was Chithra mami in her blogs about forgiving and today it is about Love.

    Let me tell you these kind of love stories how much ever we read it always shows a new meaning in life. To forgive a person who has done so much wrong is the greatest Love which the azhwar has shown us. And as mentioned earlier these stories have a definite positive effect on our kids.

    Though you are acting as a courier person, but these stories mean a lot to us and especially my children who are eagerly waiting for them. But i never agreed with you calling as a courier person which is a different issue but the way you have brought the love in these stroies makes our hearts yearn for more.

    I pray to Lord Renganathar to fill your heart with more and more of love so that we can also enjoy them (toooo selfish I know but can't help it)
     
  8. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Varalotti,

    It is not only the children of Lalitha who eagerly read these stories, yours truly does too with much interest.
    I may have read or known a couple of these stories from ages gone by. But when I read them again now and that too as written by you, it gives me a special pleasure indeed.
    There are so many stories from that era. We-- I--, will be really thankful if you can bring some of them to our notice.
    So well written Varalotti, but, I do not need to add that anymore!

    L, Kamla
     
  9. brindhak

    brindhak Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Sridhar !!..

    Thankyou so much a for presenting a good story about Koorathazhwan and Periyanambhi..

    I was very emotional when seeing the secenes of 12 the century in Dasavatahram... Your writngs helped me a lot to know what was happeneing !!..My eyes were filled in tears seeing Kamal's acting...and now its filled reading your writings !!

    What great souls...Periyanambhi and Koorathazhwan..... Oh my God he pluck his eyes.... :(
    Thankyou so much for this post Sridhar... :bowdown.. Please illuminate us with the stories of that period whenever you find time...
     
  10. Cindhuja

    Cindhuja Gold IL'ite

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    No words to explain my thanks to you for presenting this information in this space. I have heard bits and pieces of the story, but alwayz wanted to know the full story. That too after watching Dasavatharam i felt bad for not knowing the complete picture. You really made my day. Thanks a ton.
     

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