Lullaby to Rama that is then followed by the lament of a forlorn father
Kulasekara Azhvaar praises Thiru Kannapuram as a town with fortified walls and the temple with a huge tank
Why hasn’t my heart split into two? Dasaratha on being forced to banish his son to the forest
After a couple of decads on Krishna, his love for the Gopis and mother Devaki’s feelings of missing her son through the entire growth phase, Kulasekara Azhvaar dedicates the final three decads of the Perumal Thirumozhi entirely to his favourite Lord Rama.
While the 8th decad comprises of Lullaby to Rama, the 9th one is a lament by Dasaratha on how his old promise to Kaikeyi has come to haunt him at the most inappropriate time and how, as a father, he has had the misfortune of having to banish his beloved son to the forest on the eve of his coronation.
In the 8th decad, he praises the Lord of Thiru Kannapuram while describing the different events in Rama’s life. He praises Thiru Kannapuram as a temple surrounded by huge fortified walls ingrained with gold and the sacred water being holier than the Ganges. He praises the place as one where Cauvery flowed in full speed. He describes the removal of weeds and the consequent blooming of lotus flowers in the huge tank. Kannapuram was a place where red lotus grew everywhere around the temple.
கன்னி நன் மா மதில் புடை சூழ் கணபுரத்து என் கருமணியே
களைகழுநீர் மருங்கு அலரும் கணபுரத்து கருமணியே
Kannapuram as a Location
Early in the morning he found bees circling around the temple with a buzzing noise that seemed to be in melodious tunes. Kannapuram, he says, was a place where learned sages lived and one where elders resided.
Kannapuram is praised as a temple by the seashore where strong winds washed ashore jewels.
காலின்மணி கரை அலைக்கும் கணபுரத்து என் கருமணியே
Kulasekara Azhvaar praises the Lord of Kannapuram as one who is seen with fragrant flower garland in his crown.
The Greatness of Rama
Through the verses, he describes the greatness of Rama through the different events including the removal of the ten heads of Ravana, the king of Lanka in the South. It was his arrow that pounded the chest of Tadaka who did not give up till the end.
He praises Rama’s handsome features and sees him as one with lovely locks.His greatness is then brought out through his clan. Rama is praised as the Son in Law of Janaka and as Dasarathi, the descendent of Emperor Dasaratha and as the consort of Mythili.
கொங்கு மலி கருங்குழாள் கௌசலைதன் குலமாதலாய்
தங்கு பெரும் புகழ்ச்சனைகள் திருமருகா தாசரதீ
Leaving charge of the kingdom to his brother Baratha, who is praised as being the noblest, Rama entered the blazing forest unmindful of the heat along with his devoted brother.
பார் ஆளும் படர் செல்வம் பரத தம்பிக்கே அருளி
ஆரா அன்பு இளையவனோடு அருங்கானம் அடைந்தவனே
He killed Vali and handed over the Vanara Kingdom to the younger brother Sugreeva. He describes beautifully in a verse the event of building a causeway with big boulders and rocks amidst high waves in the sea
Description of Lanka
Lanka is praised as a city with high fortified walls alongside the huge sea. It had to be his special bow, incomparable in its features, that he destroyed the huge city.
He makes a comparison of Srirangam and Thiru Kannapuram.
Kulasekar Azhvaar dedicates an entire decad, the only such in the entire Nalayira Divya Prabhandham, to moaning of a desolate Dasaratha.
While the entire city of Ayodhya was awaiting the coronation and eagerly looking to see Rama as the king, Dasaratha laments that the step mother has ordered his dear son to the dangerous forest. ‘Listening to her, I have taken the kingdom away from you. It is a pity this I have done this.’
You were to lead the royal elephant of our kingdom. You were to drive the chariot and the horses. But the harsh words from my cruel tongue has driven you to the wild forest accompanied by your consort, who looked beautiful adorning the jewels.
Sita’s eyes are praised as being lovely and long and he compares the sharpness to a spear smeared with ghee. He asks as to how he would move along the thorny forest and tehn wonders as to what he could do now having sent him away.
Dasaratha then describes the physical features of Rama and his valour.
‘His eyes are beautiful and shoulders long and strong like a mountain. Calling himself a sinner, he says that his son who was to sleep on the soft bed in the palace has to now learn to lie down under a leafless tree with the rock as his bed in the cruel forest.
He describes Sita as one whose hair was decked afresh with flowers and whose beautiful shoulders shone like a bamboo.
Once again, he is reminded of his son and asks him to return at least for a while just for a glance.
He wails that it is his past sins that have damned him to such a state. As he visualizes this dear son straying away into the forest amidst the deadly wild elephants, Dasaratha wonders as to how his heart has not yet split into two.
How unfortunate would it be if in the forest where sharp stones under the heat of the blazing sun cut open the sole of Rama’s feet causing it to bleed? “You have to now bear the torturous heat that will cause severe hunger. Listening to the words of my wicked wife, I have turned a sinner but what can be done now. There is no remedy in place’.
My son may still be calling me father with his dear sweet voice but I am not able to hear it. No more will I be able to embrace his chest and be able to enjoy his gentle caress. His steps when he walked were like elephant’s majestic walk, his face like a blossomed lotus.
Dasaratha laments as to why he should still live having sent his Godly son away in a moment of thoughtlessness.
He calls out for Sumantra and Sage Vashista and cries out that his son should have been in silk robe but instead is likely to be in dabha grass. He adds that it was time for him to be decked with flowers, but he is now with matted plaits. Would not his body be losing its lustrous beauty.
He then poses a question to Kaikeyi. By sending out the learned Rama and the beautiful Sita and handing over the kingdom to Bharata will she not be bring infamy to him and by sending her husband to his death bed, has she gained anything. He taunts her saying that they can all enjoy the huge wealth of the land.
He describes the greatness of Rama by reminding one of the episodes relating to Parasurama. Despite possessing features that are rare and keeping aside all the greatness (of Rama) and not considering mother Kausalya’s painful afflictions, it has finally come down to my earlier promise to Kaikeyi. Nothing else is important now for the son to fulfill. He lauds the greatness of Rama and says that in all his future births he would desire a son like him.
Finally, he bids adieu to this life stating that having left Kausalya and Sumantra in a state of grief and having had to listen to kaikeyi who was unduly influenced by hunch back Mantra and meeting her unfair demands, ‘I made my son leave this city that was all set for festive celebrations.’
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