Kulaśekhara Āḻvār | 1-4


Kulaśekhara Āḻvār and work Perumāḷ Tirumoḷi.

Praising the god and his devotees

1. When will I see my god?


When will my eyes be blessed to see and enjoy Periya Perumāḷ- Śrī Raṅganātha?

When will the day come when my two eyes see
the dark god shining like a komalam jewel
who sleeps on the beautiful white shining bed
of Ādiśeṣa, the king of snakes
whose thousand shining foreheads
remove the darkness with their bright diamonds,
as the god’s feet are washed
by the clear water of the Ponni river flowing
in the great Tirupati of Srirangam.
When will my two eyes see the god and feel happy?


When am I going to offer mouthful of praises of the Lord at Srirangam?

When will the day come
that I can praise wholeheartedly our god, Māyaṉ,
decorated with fragrant garlands
and dark as a kayam flower.
He stays in my mind like a pillar
and sleeps on the water in Srirangam
on the fiery snake that has a curving body
and a thousand heads that spit fire
and that looks like a canopy made of fresh flowers.


When will I be able to offer flowers at the lotus feet of Śrī Raṅganātha along with the group of His devotees?

When will the day come
when I can place flowers under his feet
and approach the god with his devotees
where the good Nāṉmukaṉ who has four faces
and eight beautiful eyes praises the god
with his four tongues
as our dear lord shining like pure gold
keeps him on a lovely lotus on his navel
while he sleeps on the beautiful snake bed in Srirangam.


When will the day come when I fold my hands
and worship the king who has the colour of the ocean
and sprinkle pure fresh flowers with my hands
to Maal who split open the mouth of the bird,
the bull among the cowherds
who carried Govardhana mountain to save the cows?
He is the king of the gods in the sky.
He is sweet Tamil poetry, he is Sanskrit.
He sleeps on a snake bed in Srirangam
where the sages who are without attachment
praise him with their tongues.


When will I be able to bow my head at the lotus feet of the Lord of Srirangam?

When will the day come
when I worship, bowing my head,
and see the dear sapphire-coloured god
decorated with garlands
who sleeps on the snake bed in Srirangam
that is rich and filled with palaces and beautiful porches,
where Nārada and the rishi Tumburu praise the god,
playing sweet matchless music on their yaazhs
and Nāṉmukaṉ, decorated with beautiful flowers,
worships him constantly with the incomparable ancient Vedas.


When am I going to develop the intense bhakti which would melt my heart?

When will the day come when I worship
melting in my heart and see the divine face
bright as the moon and the lotus eyes of the god
who sleeps on the snake bed in beautiful Srirangam
surrounded by groves blooming with fragrant flowers,
where Nāṉmukaṉ who stays on a beautiful lotus,
Shiva, Indira and all other gods, Apsarās
and wise sages join together and sprinkle flowers
in all the directions to worship the god.


Oh Lord! When my eyes are going to shed tears of joy on seeing the beautiful Form of yours?

When will the day come
when my eyes, filled with tears,
see the dark-coloured Māyaṉ who sleeps on the snake bed
in beautiful Srirangam on the Kāverī river?
He changes the evil hearts of people to good,
helps them control their five senses
and relieves them from the burden of their troubles and sickness
and makes them his devotees
so they can follow the ways of dharma in their minds.


When am I, the worst sinner, going to redeem my life?

When will the day come
when I, who have done bad karma,
can see and join happily the god
who sleeps on the snake bed in Srirangam
surrounded by groves and flourishing fields
where fish frolic?
When will the day come when I can join him,
protected by his long bent bow, his conch, his discus
that destroys enemies, his cruel shining sword,
his vehicle Garuḍa who flies in the sky?


When am I going to roll on the ground of Srirangam?

When will the day come
when I worship, jumping and rolling on the ground,
and see the dear god who carries a discus
and sleeps on the snake bed in Srirangam
where devotees, joined together as a group
who love the god in their minds,
sing devotional songs,
shed tears like rain, praise him happily
and where the beating of beautiful drums
is like the sound of the ocean.


When am I going to reach the proximity of and be with the great Adiyārs of the Lord?

When will the day come
when I see the group of happy devotees
and join them and am joyful
in the divine temple of beautiful Srirangam
where Maal sleeps facing south,
giving his grace so that the wide sky pours rain,
the gods in the heavens survive,
the earth flourishes,
the people of the world survive,
the sorrow of people disappears,
good health increases in the world
and his devotees survive.


Those who recite these ten on Srirangam will be blessed to attain His Lotus Feet, for sure!

The dear god sleeps on the snake bed
in Srirangam on Ponni River.
Kulaśekhara, the king with a strong army
who carries a victorious shining sword
and sits under a royal umbrella,
composed ten Tamil poems praising the lord of Srirangam.
Those who have learned these poems well and recite them
will stay under the feet of Nārāyaṇa
who showers goodness to all.

2. Praise of the Devotees

The fruit of having my eyes is to see the glorious congregation of Bhāgavatas of Srirangam


If I am able to see and join
the happy group of true devotees
who call, sing and dance, enthralled
and think only of Raṅgam of south Srirangam
who is as sweet as honey, hard to find,
decorated with garlands that never wither,
and who has the goddess of wealth seated on his chest,
that will be the purpose of this birth.


Kulaśekhara Āḻvār longs to associate himself with the Bhāgavatas; and declares his explicit love and reverence for the Bhāgavatas.

If I can see and join the devotees
who praise the god saying,
“O Raṅgam, you embrace Lakshmi
who sits on a lotus with blooming buds.
You cut down the tall mango tree with your shining sword
and you grazed the cows,”
and if I can think only of him and call him,
dance, sing and worship the dust on his devotees’ feet,
why should I desire to bathe in the Ganges?


Kulaśekhara Āḻvār longs to adorn his head with the dust lying underneath the feet of Bhāgavatas.

The devotees sing and praise the god, saying,
“You conquered the bulls.
Taking the form of a boar you split the earth.
As Rāma you conquered your enemy Rāvaṇa.
You came in the form of a dwarf and measured the earth.”
When I see your devotees as they make the front yard
of the god Raṅga’s temple wet with their tears
that are like the flow of abundant water of the rich Ponni river,
I will put on my head the good dust
that is beneath their divine feet.


Kulaśekhara Āḻvār says his mind would praise the lotus feet of Bhāgavatas only and sing pallāṇḍu for them always.

My heart praises and worships the divine feet
of the devotees who call, worship, melt
and praise the god, saying,
“Nārāyaṇa, you are our dear god.
You were not afraid that Yaśodā might punish you
when she saw you stealing and eating the butter,
good yogurt and milk.
You stood there bravely and tapped your arms in front of her.”


My heart melts thinking of these blessed Bhāgavatas of Srirangam!

He has the colour of a dark cloud
and carries a heroic bow.
He killed seven evil bulls, breaking their horns,
and he danced on the snake Kālinga.
My mind trembles
when I think of the devotees
whose bodies shake when they worship the god Raṅgam
who stays in southern Srirangam
surrounded by strong shining stone walls.


My mind will ever be in love with these Bhāgavatas of Srirangam!

In all my births, my heart worships and praises
those devotees who love and serve the god Raṅgam
and wander everywhere to show
the faultless good path to sinners
who do not have devotion
and do not worship the divine feet of Maal
who has no beginning or end,
the wonderful one, the dear god of the gods.


Āḻvār’s love for Bhāgavatas whose eyes are always moist with tears with God’s grace and love.

My heart loves and praises
the feet of the devotees
who love the god Maal and shed tears,
melting in their hearts as they worship him
who is a bright wonderful light, Raṅgam,
the god of Srirangam, who has a red mouth,
teeth that shine like pearls, a body dark as a cloud,
and a chest decorated with garlands.


My mind would always be in love with the service of these Bhāgavatas of Srirangam!

The god has lovely flower-like eyes
and his divine mountain-like chest
wears a fragrant Tulasī garland
swarming with bees and dripping with honey
as he sleeps on the milky ocean.
My heart falls in love with those devotees,
who are fascinated by him
and wander, sing, dance and worship Raṅgam, our dear god.


These God- intoxicated Bhāgavatas are not to be called as mad people; It is "others" who are to be called "mad".

The devotees of Raṅgam, my lord and father,
as they shed tears of joy,
tremble, long for him in their hearts
worship, dance and sing.
They seem mad but they are not.
It is they who do not worship, dance, sing
and praise the god who are truly mad.


Kulaśekhara, the king of Uṛaiyur,
the lord of Kuḍal Nagar and the protector of Kolli hills
composed sweet Tamil poems on the god Raṅgam,
the beloved of Lakshmi who stays on a lotus.
He abides in the minds of his true devotees
who think only of him and serve him as slaves.
Those who learn and recite these poems
will become the devotees of his devotees.

3. The love of the Āḻvār for Raṅgam

I would always stay away from these worldly people!


I do not want to join the people of this world
who all think that this false life on earth is true.
I call you, “O dear father, Raṅgam!”
and suffer falling in love with my god Maal.


I do not join the people in the world
who love women with beautiful waists as thin as threads.
I called you, saying, “O Raṅgam, you sleep on the banyan leaf,
I am calling you, my god!”
My love increases for the god Maal
and I suffer with love for him.


I do not join the people who fall in love
when cupid sends his mischievous arrows
from his beautiful bow.
My god Raṅgam is adorned with garlands on his chest.
He is my good god Nārāyaṇa and he sleeps on Ādiśeṣa.
He saves his devotees from falling into hell.
I am crazy for him.


I do not join the people of this world
who desire food and clothes and search for them.
See, I am crazy for the god of the world, Raṅgam,
who drank milk from the breasts of the cruel devil Pūthanā.


I do not join those who do evil things
when there are good things to do.
I am crazy for the ancient god, the cowherd, Raṅgam,
the beloved husband of innocent Lakshmi
who stays on a beautiful lotus.


I will not join those
who are not the devotees of my highest god.
I do not think the life of any other god in the sky is best.
For all my seven births I want to be a crazy devotee
of my dear god in divine Srirangam, the god of gods.


I shun the thought of joining anyone
in my mind who is not your devotee.
I call you, “O god Maal, you have beautiful eyes,
you are my Raṅgam, you are my lord!”
and I become crazy for you, my dear god.


Everyone in the world looks crazy to me.
and I am also crazy.
I tell this to all and call you,
“O cowherd, Raṅgam!”
and I become crazy for you, my dear god.


The king of Chera country Kulaśekhara
who thinks only of the feet
of the god who sleeps on the ocean
composed poems about the devotees
who are crazy for the god.
Those who recite the words of Kulaśekhara
will have no troubles in their lives.

4. The Āḻvār wishes to become a bird, fish, plant, flower, bee, path, river, doorstep or anything on the Tiruvēṅkaṭam hills.


I do not want this body that is a bundle of flesh.
I want to be born as a crane bird that lives
on the branches of the trees in Tiruvēṅkaṭam
of the god who carries a conch in his left hand
and who conquered seven strong bulls.
I want only to be his slave.


I do not want endless wealth or status,
I don’t want to be surrounded by heavenly women
or have the joy of ruling the sky
and a kingdom on the earth.
I want to be born as a fish in a spring
in Tiruvēṅkaṭam filled with groves
flourishing with flowers dripping with honey.


Shiva who has a jaṭā, Nāṉmukaṉ and Indra
could not enter the divine entrance of Vaikuṇṭha
even when they approached it,
but I will enter holding the golden plate
that the king of Tiruvēṅkaṭam ate from
who carries a shining round discus.


Māyaṉ sleeps on the cool milky ocean
where fertile coral-creepers float.
I would have the good fortune of blooming
as a shenbaga flower in Tiruvēṅkaṭam hills
where a swarm of bees sings and praises the god.
I will see the feet of Māyaṉ, decorated with anklets,
who stays in the Tiruvēṅkaṭam hills.


I do not want to sit
on the neck of a rutting elephant that frightens everyone
and know the joy of riding it.
I want to have the good fortune
of standing as a pole in the beautiful Vēṅkaṭam hills
of our dear god.


I do not want to enjoy
the dance and songs of heavenly women
like Urvaśī and Menakā whose waists are thin as lightning.
I want to have the good fortune of being a golden peak
in the Tiruvēṅkaṭam hills
where bees swarm and sing “tenna, tenna.”


I do not want the luxury of sitting
under a white royal umbrella
bright as the moon that rules the sky.
I want to be a forest river that flows
from the Tiruvēṅkaṭam hills surrounded with groves
blooming with flowers that drip honey.


I want to be a path on the Tiruvēṅkaṭam hills
surrounded by cool fragrant groves,
where the god stays who is the meaning of the Vedas
and who helped Nāṉmukaṉ, Indra
and Shiva who wears crescent moon in his Jaṭā
when they performed sacrifices.


O, Tirumāḷ, you take away the bad karma of all.
You are highest god! You stay in the Tiruvēṅkaṭam hills.
Devotees, gods and Apsarās
stand at the entrance of your temple to see you.
I will become a step at the threshold of your temple
and I will see your coral mouth.


Even if I were to become the king
of the world of the gods,
rule it beneath a sole umbrella
and enjoy the waist of Urvaśī,
decorated with beautiful golden ornaments,
I would not want it.
I want to become anything on the golden hills
of Tiruvēṅkaṭam of my god.


Kulaśekhara who carries a sharp spear
that kills enemies worshipped the god
and wished to see the golden shining feet of him
who stays in the Tiruvēṅkaṭam hills
whose slopes are cool and lovely.
He composed poems praising the god.
The Tamil scholars who learn well the poems of Kulaśekhara
will become good devotees of the god.