Sunday, May 24, 2015

Kulasekara Azhvaar Dasaratha’s state of mind

Refers to hunch back Manthara 

Sentiment, Despair, Anguish, Anger - Kulasekara Azhvaar captures the different moods of King Dasaratha immediately after spelling out the wishes of Kaikeyi to his dear son Rama

If Thirumangai Azhvaar describes beautifully, in the Periya Thirumozhi, the desperate state of mind of the rakshashas of Lanka after the death of their King Ravana (, Kulasekara Azhvaar in his Perumal Thirumozhi provides a similar description of a 'sad story' from an earlier episode in the Ramayana.

Similar to the hapless asuras, King Dasaratha too is a helpless state of mind having banished his dear son to the forest as per the wishes of Kaikeyi.

If the asuras in the Periya Thirumozhi pleaded (with Rama) for protection, here in the Perumal Thirumozhi Dasaratha is seen pleading (with Rama) for his return for he believes that it was not right on his part to have sent him out of the city merely to fulfil the wishes of the 'wicked Kaikeyi'.

வந்தாளின் இணை வணங்கி வளநகரம்
தொழுது ஏத்தமன்னன்  ஆவான்

நின்றாயை அரியணை மேல் இருந்தாயை
நெடுங்  கானம் படரப் போகு என்றாள்

எம் இராமாவோ உனைப் பயந்த கைகேசி தன் சொற் கேட்டு

நன்றாக நானிலத்தை ஆள்வித்தேன்
நன்மகனே உன்னை  நானே

He starts off by saying that it was just about the time for him to pass on the mantle to his dear son, the day for him to on the majestic Lion Throne and be crowned the King of Ayodhya. Alas, bound by my old promise, I had to accede to the wishes of the ‘wicked’ Kaikeyi.

செவ்வாயேன் செவ்வுரை கேட்டு இருநிலத்தை வேண்டாதே
விரைந்து வென்றி மைவாய
 'களிறொழிந்து தேரொழிந்து மாவொழிந்து'
வானமே மேவி

Dasaratha is seen visualising the sudden physical transformation in Rama and as he describes this, he becomes inconsolable. ‘You sent back our majestic huge elephants and the beautiful fast horses. You are now on barefoot in a wild forest that is full of thick thorns. The ‘soon to be queen’ is now bereft of even the basic jewels. From sleeping on a soft beautiful bed, my dear son, you will now have to spend your time sleeping on rugged rocks’ and ‘I am just helpless mute spectator’ bemoans Dasaratha.

மெல் அணைமேல் முன் துயின்றாய்

இனிபோய் வியன்கான மரத்தின் நிழல்
கல் அணைமேல் கண் துயிலக் கற்றனையோ

He then turns sentimental and pleads with Rama to come once more and show a glimpse of his handsome looks. ‘I was proud and happy when you broke Lord Shiva’s bow to win the beautiful Sita’s hand. But now are you going to ‘break my heart.’

Kulasekara Azhvaar then captures the change of mood. Sentiment turns to anger and despair. He calls his wife Kaikeyi a ‘dreadful sinner’ and a ‘wicked women’ as he visualised Rama suffering from hunger in the soaring heat of the forests but alas ‘I do not now even have the power to feed you’ for I listened to the foul words of Kaikeyi.

தூ மறையீர்  இது தகவோ சுமந்திரனே வசிட்டனே
சொல்வீர் நீரே

Dasaratha now moves into a lost state. ‘How am I even alive after sending my son away? I am not worthy of being a man’.  He calls Sumantra and the wise Sage Vashishta and asks if what he had done was right.  Should he not have been the man to have gone to the forest after having placed the kingdom in the safe hands of the young and handsome Rama, he asks them.

As he remembers once again those words of Kaikeyi, his mind turns angry again. ‘how wicked can a woman be’ he asks. ‘What pleasure would she have derived by sending Rama to the wild forest and now sending her own husband to death’ indicating that his time had arrived.

நின்னையே மகனாகப் பெறப்பெறுவேன் ஏழ்பிறப்பும்

And he shifts one last time to sentimental mood. ‘How could you, my dear son, take Kaikeyi’s promise for real’ and says that for the next seven lives, he would like Rama alone for a son.

The finale
தேன்நகு மாமலர்க் கூந்தற்
கௌசலையும்  சுமித்திரையும் சிந்தை நோவ

கூன் உருவின் கொடுந் தொழுத்தை சொற்கேட்ட
கொடியவள் தன்  சொற்கொண்டு


கானகமே மிகுவிரும்பி நீதுறந்த வளனகரைத் துறந்து

நானும் வானகமே மிகவிரும்பிப் போகின்றேன்
மனு குலத்தார்  தங்கள் கோலே

Kulasekara Azhvaar then brings out the final unbearable state of mind of Dasaratha. Seeing Kousalya and Sumitra by his side, he hits out once more at Kaikeyi for it was her sinful wish that has been the cause for this gloom all around Ayodhya.

Kulasekara Azhvaar's reference to Kaikeyi’s advisor Manthara.

Dasaratha laments that listening to the ill advice of the hunch-back, Kaikeyi wanted Rama out of the Kingdom.

Kulasekara Azhvaar ends these set of verses with final expression from Dasaratha to leave this world ‘With Rama leaving the city, I too have no desire to remain in this city. My time has come to leave the city and head to the abode of heaven.'

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