Faith

Devoted disciple

Kooratazhvan, a devoted disciple of Ramanujacharya, was blinded by a fanatic king. Ramanuja was anxious that his sishya regain his sight. So he asked him to pray to Lord Varadaraja of Kanchipuram. He could have asked Kooratazhvan to worship in any Vishnu temple. Why specifically this temple? The reason was Alavandar, who identified Ramanuja as his successor, had composed a sloka in praise of Varadaraja, wherein he praises the Lord’s capacity to give sight to the sightless, the ability to walk to those who cannot walk, ability to hear to those who cannot, eloquence to one who cannot speak, and progeny to the childless. That is why Ramanuja asked Kooratazhvan to seek Lord Varadaraja’s blessings, said P.B. Rajahamsam in a discourse.

Alavandar’s sloka is unique, because it is the earliest sloka by any Vaishnavite Acharya. There is a sloka of Nathamuni, which has come down to us. It is a sloka that compares Nammazhvar to the Sun. But this sloka does not point to any particular deity. The earliest sloka, which specifically refers to the deity of a temple, is Alavanadar’s sloka in praise of Lord Varadaraja of Kanchipuram. While all the Azhvars have praised deities of different temples, the very first sloka in praise of an archa form of the Lord by a Vaishnavite Acharya is that of Alavandar.

However, while Kooratazhvan did indeed eulogise Lord Varadaraja, through his Varadaraja stavam, he did not ask for restoration of his eyesight. The Lord makes it possible for him to see Him. All that Kooratazhvan wants is for the Lord to make it possible for him to see the Lord and his Acharya — Ramanuja. So long as this is granted to him, he does not care about seeing anything else in this world. Such a great devotee and sishya was Kooratazhvan.


Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jul 27, 2021 9:38:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/devoted-disciple/article34701802.ece

Next Story