THIRUKOLUR PEN PILLAI RAGASIYAM - 41

Below is the translation to Veda Paati's story, narrated in tamil, available in below platforms:

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Did I worship you with flowers made of mud like Kurava Nambi of Kuravapuram near Thirupathi


Swami RAmAnujA who was pleased to hear the previous story from his own life, eagerly awaited the next tale. He looked at the child encouragingly. Pen Pillai started, “Oh Swami, have you heard of the extremely simple but very pure devotee, Kuravanambi?”


Near Tirupati, there was a village called Kuravapuram. In Kuruvapuram lived a potter called Bheeman. He was so poor that he was living only hand to mouth. Everyday, he would make mud pots and sell them for a living. However, he was so pure, good-natured and devoted to the lord that he got the name “Kuravanambi”.

Kuravanambi’s favourite deity was Tirupati Srinivasa Perumal. His heart longed to go to the Tirupati Perumal temple and worship his favourite Srinivasa, but he was too poor to do so.


Hence, he created a small deity of Srinivasa using the mud he used to make his pots. He had a unique and beautiful routine for his simple day.


Every morning, at daybreak, he would turn to the direction of the Tirupati Perumal temple and shout “Govinda! Narayana! Srinivasa!”. With this grand start to the day, he would then go on to make mud pots and sell them. At the end of his day, he would make little mud flowers with the left-over mud from making the pots and offer them to his deity. He enjoyed this little private ritual with his Lord and felt utmost satisfaction.



Meanwhile, another great devotee of Srinivasa Perumal called ThondaimAn, was visiting the Lord in Tirupati. ThondaimAn was a king and would regularly visit the Tirupati PerumAL temple and even have conversations with the Lord. The Lord Srinivasa was like a friend to ThondaimAn. ThondaimAn, being an affluent king, often offered golden flowers to the Lord as his form of worship. One day, he noticed that the golden flowers he had offered had been pushed away, and in their place were mud flowers at the feet of the Lord.


ThondaimAn was surprised and wondered who could have done this. He asked the Lord Himself who it was who moved away his golden flowers and replaced them with mud flowers. The Lord replied, “Dear ThondaimAn, it was one of my favourite devotees who prays to me with sincere love and devotion. He offers these mud flowers to me daily”.


ThondaimAn’s curiosity grew and he blurted, “Oh Lord of the seven hills! Do tell! Who is this devotee? I must see him right away!”. The Lord replied dismally, “Oh ThondaimAn, I cannot reveal his identity to you, unfortunately. This devotee of mine does his prayers to me secretly and sincerely. If I were to reveal his identity, and if he were to find out, he may be heartbroken. I do not want to lose my devotee!”. ThondaimAn promised the Lord that he would watch the devotee secretly and from afar. With that, the Lord gave ThondaimAn the details of Kuravanambi.


The next morning, ThondaimAn went to Kuravapuram in disguise. He hid and secretly watched Kuravanambi from afar. He watched as Kuravanambi faced the Tirumala hills and called out loudly to his heart’s content, “Govinda! Narayana! Srinivasa!”. He then proceeded to do his day’s work sincerely, making pots and selling them. What amazed ThondaimAn further was that, whatever he did, his lips did not stop chanting the name of the Lord. He kept on chanting “Govinda Govinda”, as he made the pots, sold them, and went about his day.

When he was done with his job, he collected the left-over mud balls and made beautiful flowers with them. He then went to the beautiful deity he had created with his own hands and offered these flowers with utmost sincerity. So great was his devotion and love, that the Lord took them instantly. No sooner had Kuruvanambi offered them to the Lord, did the flowers disappear! ThondaimAn now understood where the mud flowers that he had seen at Tirupati Srinivasa PerumAL’s feet had come from.


Seeing all this, ThondaimAn could no longer hide. He went running to Kuravanambi and prostrated at his feet. Kuravanambi recognised the king and exclaimed “Oh King! Why do you prostrate to me? Why have you come to see me?”. The king related all the incidents that happened at Tirupati PerumAL temple and how he ended up here.


This immediately saddened Kuravanambi as he muttered, “Oh, I wanted to do my worship in private. Now, the sincerity and effect of my prayers will reduce as people would slowly come to know about my devotion.” Saying thus, Kuruvanambi attained moksha on the spot leaving his worldly life.

Tirukolur Pen Pillai sadly remarked, “Have I offered flowers with so much love to my Lord, Vaithamanidhi Perumal, like Kuravanambi? Is my devotion heartfelt and secretive? Why then should I even remain here?”.


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