Kulaśekhara Āḻvār | 8-10


8. The story of Rāma in lullaby


Lullaby to Lord Śrī Rāma... [Raaghavanae! thaalaelO!..]

You were born from the beautiful womb of Kauśalyā
who is praised by the whole world.
You made the crown of the king of Lanka fall.
You are the dark jewel who stays in Kaṇṇā puram
surrounded by new walls studded with pure gold.
You are my sweet nectar!
O Rāghava, thaalelo, thaalelo.


You created Nāṉmukaṉ on your navel
and make him create all the worlds.
You shot the arrow that split the chest
of strong Thaḍagai and killed her.
You are the dark jewel of Kaṇṇā puram
who attracts the minds of all who see you.
You rule the lands in all the eight directions.
O Rāghava, thaalelo, thaalelo.


You are the best son of the dynasty of Kośala
whose dark hair is decorated with kongu blossoms.
You are the beautiful son-in-law of the king Janaka
whose fame remains forever.
You are the son of Daśaratha.
You are the dark jewel of Kaṇṇā puram
where pure water flows like the Ganges.
You are the sweet nectar of our family.
O Rāghava, thaalelo, thaalelo.


You created Nāṉmukaṉ on the lotus.
You are the wonderful son of Daśaratha.
You are the husband of Mithilā.
You are the dark jewel of Thirukkaṇṇapuram
where bees sing in the groves.
You carry the best of bows that shoots heroic arrows.
O Rāghava, thaalelo, thaalelo.


You gave your kingdom to your brother Bhārata.
You went to the thick forest
with your younger brother Lakshmana who loved you so.
Your handsome chest is strong as a mountain.
You are the king of Thirukkannapuram.
You wear the precious crown that rules the world.
You are the son of Daśaratha, thaalelo.


You went to the terrible forest
and all your relatives followed you.
You are the wonderful god of the sages
who have left the desires of worldly life.
You are the king of Ayodhyā.
You are the dark jewel of Kaṇṇā puram
where learned men live.
You obeyed the words of your step-mother.
O auspicious Rāma, thaalelo, thaalelo.


You are the baby that floated on a banyan leaf.
You swallowed the earth.
You killed Vali and gave the kingdom
to his younger brother Sugrīva.
You are the dark jewel of Kaṇṇā puram
where the wind makes the waves bring jewels
to the banks of rivers.
You are the king of Thiruvāli.
You are the king of Ayodhyā, thaalelo.


You made the monkeys build a dam on the ocean.
You destroyed Lanka surrounded by walls.
You churned the wavy milky ocean
and gave nectar to the gods.
You are the dark jewel of Kaṇṇā puram
where the best poets and artists live.
You are the best of archers.
You are the servant of your devotees,
O Śrī Rāma, thaalelo, thaalelo.


You are the son of Daśaratha
whose hair is tied with fragrant flowers.
You bent your bow and destroyed Lanka
surrounded by walls.
You are the dark jewel of Kaṇṇapuram
where beautiful kazuneer flowers bloom on all sides.
You are compassionate and give your grace
to young ones, thaalelo, thaalelo.


You have created the gods,
Asuras and all the directions.
You sleep in Srirangam
where all come and worship your feet.
You are the dark jewel of Kaṇṇā puram
where the fertile Kāverī river flows.
You are the best of archers
and your bow shoots mighty arrows.
O Rāghava, thaalelo.


Kulaśekhara the strong king
who sits under a royal umbrella and carries a murderous spear
composed these ten poems, a garland of Tamil lullabies
describing the god of the Kākutstha dynasty who stays in Kaṇṇā puram
surrounded by good strong new walls.
Those who learn and recite these ten poems
will become the dear devotees of the god.

9. The story of Rāma—Daśaratha’s worry


King Dasaratha laments for having sent Rama to the forest (from the words of Kulaśekhara Perumāṇ)

You were going to become king
as the people of this flourishing country
bowed to your strong feet and worshipped you.
When you were about to sit on the throne,
O Rāma, your step-mother said,
“Go and stay for a long time in the large forest.”
I listened to the words of Kaikeyi, your mother,
and I asked you to go to the forest.
O my dear son, that is what I did to you!


You listened to my cruel words and left quickly,
leaving this great kingdom
with its victorious elephants, chariots and horses
and went to the forest.
Your lovely wife, decorated with ornaments,
her long eyes like spears smeared with oil,
and your younger brother Lakshmana followed you.
How could you walk in that cruel forest?
O our Rāma! You are my dear lord.
What can I do?


You are the son of the family of Kauśalyā
who has long red-lined eyes that are like murderous spears.
Your mountain-like arms can fight anyone.
You know how to melt my heart.
You slept on a soft bed in the palace.
Now how are you going to sleep
under the shadow of a tree in the large forest?
When did you learn to sleep on a stone bed?
You come from the dynasty of Kākutstha.
You are a dark god, O king.


Come here and then go back to the forest.
Come and see me one more time and then you can go.
To marry your wife Sita
who has lovely hair decorated with flowers
and beautiful bamboo-like arms
you broke the bow of Shiva who rides the bull.
Now you are going to the wide forest
and you make my heart suffer.
Surely I must have done bad karma.
O son! You are leaving,
yet my heart does not split in two.


Your soft feet will hurt
when you walk on the gravel stones
as sharp as the points of the spears enemies hold.
Your feet may bleed.
Willingly you are going to the forest
where no one wishes to go.
The sun will be hot and hunger may give you cruel pain.
You are the son of me who am a sinner.
O son! You are going now
because I listened to the evil daughter of king Kaikeya.
Surely I must have done bad karma.
What can I do to stop you?


From now on I will not hear anyone
calling me “amma” with love.
No more will I feel the tight embrace
of his ornamented chest on my chest.
I cannot kiss him on his forehead.
I will not be able to see his majestic walk
that is like the stride of an elephant.
I will not be able to see his lotus face anymore.
I have lost my dear one, my son.
Surely I have done terrible deeds,
yet I am still alive.


His hair was decorated with fragrant flowers
but now it is matted into jaṭa.
He wore soft beautiful garments on his waist
but now he wears orange clothes like a renunciate.
He does not wear any ornaments.
Is it right that my son with such handsome arms
should go to the forest instead of me?
O, Sumantra! O sage Vasiṣṭha!
You are learned men of the Vedas.
Tell me!


O Kaikeyi, you have sent to the forest
my divine son who is as precious as gold,
his brother Lakṣmaṇa and my daughter-in-law
whose nature is gentle, whose waist is thin as lightning
and whose speech is as sweet as a Pūvāy bird’s.
People will blame your own son Bhārata
for what you have done,
and you are going to make me go to heaven in the sky.
What are you going to get from all this?
O Kaikeyi, How could you live happily in this huge world!


You broke the bow of Paraśurāma
who carries the mazhu weapon
and destroyed his great tapas.
Without thinking how I will suffer
and without thinking how your mother will suffer,
you just listened to my words
and my promise to your step-mother
and left for the forest.
You are my dear one.
I wish that you could be born as my son
for the next seven births.
May I have that fortune,
O king with long, strong arms.


I will leave Kauśalyā whose hair is decorated
with beautiful flowers dripping with honey
and Sumitrā to suffer.
I have listened to the cruel words of the evil Kaikeyi
who followed the advice of Kuni.
You are going to the forest, leaving this rich palace happily,
and I will leave this place
and go to the gods’ world happily,
O king of the dynasty of Manu.


Daśaratha, decorated with garlands,
his arms strong as mountains, suffered when his son,
the beautiful dark Neṭumāl, went to the forest.
Kulaśekhara, the king of Kozhiyur
who carries a sharp spear and rules under a royal umbrella
composed ten Tamil poems
that describe the suffering of Daśaratha.
Those who learn these Tamil poems
will avoid the bad paths of life.

10. Praising Rāma


He is the light that illuminates the whole world
and he stays in beautiful Ayodhyā surrounded by high walls.
He was born in dynasty of the sun
and he sheds his light on that royal line.
Heroically, he conquered the whole sky.
He is Rāma, tall, with beautiful eyes,
whose colour is that of a dark cloud.
He stays in Thiruchithrakuḍam in Thillai.
He is our dear king, our god.
When will the day come
when I see him joyfully with my eyes?


He saved the sacrifice of the rishi Viśvāmitra
who knew all the mantras and the Vedas.
He shot a strong arrow and split the chest of Thaḍagai
who came to fight him, making her blood flow out.
He killed all the strong Rākṣasas.
See him. He stays in the Thiruchithrakuḍam in Thillai,
surrounded with cool flourishing groves
blooming with flowers with green tender leaves.
He is the dear god
who is seated on a throne studded with diamonds
as three thousand Brahmins praise him.


To marry Sita whose long dark lovely eyes are lined with red,
the heroic Rāma broke the bow of Shiva
who rides an angry bull and carries a mazhu weapon.
He conquered kings who carried sharp spears.
He stays in divine Chitrakūṭa in Thillai
surrounded by tall walls.
I worship the feet of those who worship the feet of Rāma
who carries a cruel bow in his hands
that conquers his strong enemies.


Rāma left his kingdom, obeying the words of Kaikeyi
whose curly hair was decorated with bunches of fresh flowers.
With the help of Guhan, his dear devotee, he crossed the Ganges.
When he was in the forest, he gave his sandals
and his kingdom to Bhārata who came to see him.
He stays in beautiful Chitrakūṭa in Thillai.
Those who see him happily with their two eyes,
will be equal to the gods in the sky.


Rāma killed the Rākṣasa Viraḍan
who had strong mountain-like arms.
He received his bow from the great sage Agastya
who created rich Tamil.
He cut off the nose of the beautiful Rākṣasī Śūrpaṇakhā.
He took the lives of Karan and Dushanan.
He bent his bow and shot arrows to kill the deer Māṛiṣā.
He stays in Chitrakūṭa in Thillai
and this earth is fortunate that devotees wander there
bowing their heads and worshipping him.


Rāma was separated from Vaidehī, his lovely wife.
He was sad and sent Jatāyu to Vaikuṇṭha when Rāvaṇa killed him.
He became friends with the king of monkeys Sugrīva,
killed Vali in the Kiṣkindha forest
and relieved the suffering of Sugrīva.
He made Hanuman burn Lanka
ruled by Rāvaṇa, the king of the Rākṣasas,
so that Hanuman’s anger would abate.
I worship the feet of the devotees who praise Rāma,
the dear god who stays happily in Thiruchithrakuḍam in Thillai.


Rāma shot his arrows to calm the stormy ocean.
He made a bridge with the help of the monkeys
and reached Lanka on the other side of the sea.
He killed the Rākṣasas who carried strong long spears,
took the life of Rāvaṇa the king of Lanka
and gave the kingdom to Rāvaṇa’s brother Vibhīṣaṇa.
Returning to Ayodhyā with his wife
who was lovely as Lakshmi, he was seated on his throne.
I will not consider anyone my king
except Rāma who stays in Thiruchithrakuḍam in Thillai.


Rāma reached Ayodhyā filled with gold
and beautiful diamond-studded palaces.
He heard his own story
from the mouths, red as coral, of his two sons
who were born to Sita, the princess of Mithilā, to save the world.
If we hear and drink in the story of Rāma
who stays in Thiruchithrakudam in Thillai
we have no need of sweet nectar.


Rāma killed Ṣaṇmukha
and saved the son of the good Vedic Brahmin
and he wears a jewel-studded ornament
for that heroic deed that Agastya gave him.
His brother Lakṣmaṇa killed the Rākṣasa Ilavaṇan
and Rāma granted him moksha.
He was separated from his brother Lakṣmaṇa
by the curse of the sage Durvasa.
If our hearts never forget the god
who stays in Thiruchithrakuḍam in Thillai,
we will not have any trouble in our lives.


By his grace all people
and creatures in the world go to Vaikuṇṭha.
He fought with the strong Asuras and conquered them.
When the dear god who is decorated with garlands
returned from the forest, the gods in the sky welcomed him.
He stays always in Thiru-Chitrakūṭa in Thillai.
O devotees of Rāma, praise him saying, “avan ivan!”
and worship him always.


Kulaśekhara, the king of Uṛaiyur,
who rules under a royal umbrella
and carries a victorious shining sword
composed a garland of ten Tamil poems
describing Rāma, the son of Daśaratha,
who has endless fame and who is with Hanuman always.
They who know and recite these ten sweet good Tamil poems of Kulaśekhara
will approach the feet of Nārāyaṇa who shines with goodness.