KulasEkarAzhwar was born as a prince to ChEra king Dhidavradhan and nAdhanAyagi during the 8th century in the month of mAsi and the nakshatram of punarpoosam (same nakshtaram as Lord Rama). The child looked divine and was pleasing to all who saw him. The entire kingdom rejoiced. The child was named kulasEkaran, and he was taught all sAstrAs, epics, arts, Tamil and Sanskrit. He was also trained in fighting, horse riding, elephant riding, etc. In each of these endeavors, he excelled. When Dhidavradhan became old, kulasEkaran ascended the throne, and he ruled like Lord Sri Rama and ushered Ramarajyam in his kingdom. People were content and there were plentiful harvests throughout the year. Rains fell regularly and there was only prosperity. Quite naturally, the citizens bore great love and respect for their king kulasEkarA.
Unaware of kulasEkarA’s strengths, the neighbouring kings (Chola and pAndyA) came to fight him, and in the course of battle kulasEkaran won effortlessly. Impressed the PandyA king gave his daughter’s hand in marriage to kulasEkarA. kulasEkarA was blessed with a son dhidavradhan and a daughter ILai.
One night, The Lord wished to divert kulasEkarA’s attention to Him and He appeared as Lord Tirupati Venkatachalapathi in the king’s dream and blessed him. The king was overwhelmed with the Lord’s love. He became silent and began thinking of the Lord at all times. He became like a lotus leaf, untouched by water, and he ruled the kingdom without any attachment. He spent increasing amounts of time on Thiru vArAdhnam, bhajans, and listening to the leelas of Rama and KrishNa. He started singing in Tamil and Sanskrit in praise of the Lord (the only Alwar to praise Perumal in sanskrit; these prayers are the Mukunda Maalai).
Once, an upanyAsakar was narrating the account of battle between Lord Rama and the 14,000 asuras headed by Ravana’s brothers Kara and Dhooshna. The battle was described as being waged for a long time. kulasEkara was so engrossed in the narration that he ordered his army general to immediately dispatch the soldiers, elephants and horses, while the king himself readied himself for battle to give a helping hand to Sri Rama. The upanyAsaker at last came to the king and said” O, mighty king, We need not go. The Lord Rama has already killed ravaNa and is on his way back to AyOdhyA for his pattAbhishEkam”. This made the king regain composure. Such was kulasEkarA’s bhakti for Rama.
It is said that Lord Rama appeared in his dream that night and said” kulasEkarA, I am deeply moved by your readiness to offer me help in the battle. Since you are having deep affection for me , you did not realize my strength and parAkramam. We can win asurAs with no effort; You are acting just like LakshmaNA, who is also attached to me deeply. From today you will be called kulasEkara perumAL like ILayaperumAL LakshmaNA. Even today he is revered as kulasEkara perumAL. The pAsurams he sang were compiled under “perumAL thirumozhi”. One can see his feeling of deep regret for not being born during RamA’s time in his pAsurams.
He visited many temples and he immersed himself completely in love for Sri Rama. He has sung lullabies for Sri Rama as “RaghavanE ThAlElO!”. He has even sung pAsurams on Devaki’s misfortune for not having been able to enjoy kaNNan’s leelA’s and ” thollai inbam” which yasOdhA was blessed with. In his pAsurams, he also longs to be born as a step in Tirupathi Lord’s temple or a fish in the Holy pushkaraNi or a seNbhaga tree in Tirupathi(standing in front of the temple) or a Big stone which can not be removed so easily. He even wished to be born as a servant holding the Golden Bowl in front of Sriman nArAyaNan to spit the water after rinsing His mouth in the morning. Such was his desire to serve the Lord ceaselessly. He lived till 67 years and then reached Paramapadam. It is also said that his daughter ILai followed her father kulasEkara perumAn and was also blessed with the Lord’s ThiruvaruL.
Sri Kulasekhara Perumal’s aaraadhana murthis
One pAsuram that shows the ardent devotion of this AzhwAr:
AnAtha selvatthu arambaiyargaL thaRsoozha
vAnALum selvamum; maNNarasum yAn vENdEn |
thEnAr poonchOlai thiruvEngadatthu chunaiyil
meenAi piRakkum vidhiyudaiyOnAvEnE ||
He says” I do not want to be a king even if it is to rule this earth and the “vAn lOkam” where there is great wealth, and where there are beautiful damsels dancing around; I do not wish that; All that I want is to be born as a fish in the pond (PushkaraNi) in Thirupathi (as mentioned earlier, or a tree standing in front of Thirupathi or a big rock [or at least as a tall building]).
Sri Kulasekhara Perumal Thiruvadigale Saranam!
Adapted from: http://members.tripod.com/~sriramanujar/kulasekar.html