Kulashekhara Alwar (One Of The 12 Alvar Saints Of South India To Vaishnava Tradition Of Hinduism)
Kulasekara Alwar (800820 AD) also known as Kulashekhara Alwar was an Tamil King who from his hyms is Kongar Kon or king of Kongu Nadu from Karur and his mountains were the Kolli Hills.
He is one of the 12 Alvar saints of South India, who are known for their affiliation to Vaishnava tradition of Hinduism.
The temples reverred by these azhwars are termed Divya desam.
He is also one of the famous Hindu Alvar saints of the Vaishnavite movement of South India who composed the Perumal thirumozhi, one of the most celebrated devotional works of the Tamil Bhakti cult. In this work he calls himself ruler of kolli (a mountain in Namakkal dt.), the master of Kudal (Madurai),the ruler of Kozhi (Uraiyur near Trichy) and the overlord of Kongu (Salem- Coimbatore region).
He is also considered the author of the beautiful devotional lyric in Sanskrit, the Mukundamala. His poems are devotional in nature, being dedicated to the most prominent Avatars of Vishnu (Rama and Krishna).
The great Advaita philosopher Sankaracharya is a younger contemporary of Kulshekhara Alwar. Kulasekhara Alwar is said to have married a Pandya Kings' daughter.
Kulasekhara was supported by the Tamil Clans Villavar, Malayar, Vanavar and Pazhuvettaraiyar.
It is believed that he renounced the crown to become a sanyasi and lived in Srirangam to serve the deity of Ranganatha. He is revered as the 9th of the alvars (one of 12 mendicant saints venerated by South Indian Sri Vaishnavism) and composed bhakti songs filled with yearning towards God called paasurams which are an important part of Carnatic classical music repertory.
A great devotee of Rama, he considered the painful experiences of Lord Rama to be his own. He is therefore also known as ‘Perum-al’, meaning ‘The Great’ an epithet for the Lord. His devotion was so intense that he worshipped the devotees of the Lord as the Lord Himself.
His involvement in the myths and legends of Lord Krishna and Lord Rama has produced some excquisite devotional poetry. In one song, he iddentifies himself with Devaki, the biological mother of Lord Krishna, from which Krishna away to Gokul where Nanda and Yasodha, the foster parents, looked after them. Kulasekara expresses Devaki's desolation at being separated from her child and for union with him. This is the same sense of sorrow of separation and yearning for union that pervades the outpourings of all the mystic poets of India.