Soldiers, Let's Move!
Akhand Gyan - English|February 2021
The King said, “Those who truly love God, they have no interest in trifle things of the world. I, today, swear to prove my words.”

King Dridhavrata of the kingdom of Travancore (southern half of modern Kerala province, in southwest India) did not have any child. Intense prayers were made to propitiate Lord Narayana, who is said to have been pleased and thus blessed the king with a saintly son. The child was named as Kulashekhara. The prince was educated in all the arts of war and government. Besides this, he was also provided with the learning from the Vedas and other sacred texts. When the prince grew up to the right age, Dridhavrata enthroned him as the king and he himself retired to the forest to pursue a life of renunciation.

Kulasekara was a mighty king, whose internal administration was an exemplary model of justice and righteousness. Peace and happiness prevailed in his kingdom. However, besides all these traits which were worth admiration, the king considered himself to be self-dependent and all-powerful, thus denying the need of any God in life. He had a worldly mindset and remained surrounded by the illusions and delusions of materialism.

But, the Lord, on the other hand, had different plans for Kulashekhara. He showered His bountiful grace and thus began to sprout devotional feelings in the otherwise materialistic heart of the king. Gradually, Kulashekhara started realising that the worldly attractions are trifle and ephemeral. His mind now entertained the thoughts of striving towards the ultimate truth behind one's existence. It was during these moments that the Lord inspired His Commander-in-Chief, Vishvaksena, to go as His representative and initiate Kulashekhara into the true Spiritual Knowledge. Thereafter, Kulashekhara used to revel in the ecstasies of the spiritual visions and felt his inner being deluged with divinity and serenity. Immersed in the blissful oasis of the inner world, he would compose devotional songs and hymns, which were later compiled and recorded in the form of a book named 'Divya Prabandham'. With each passing day, the spiritual intoxication deepened and he developed a strong feeling of detachment. He cherished a deep yearning in his heart to visit the holy abode of Srirangam and settle down there forever, deluged in the devotion of his beloved Lord.

However, the responsibility of governing the kingdom being the king prevented him to do so. The same luxuries and riches which earlier appealed him now held no significance to him. To soothe his inner being, he started inviting learned Brahmins, wise men, and sages in his royal court, and listened to the discourses from the sacred texts. In this manner, there used to be spiritual gatherings for days together, which brought some relief to the king's inner craving. During these discourses, Kulashekhara used to assimilate the distinctive pearls of wisdom and strung them into a garland of poems. This compilation was called the Mukundamala and exists even today.

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