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Kuresha – Life – Literary Works – Medieval Vaishnava Poet

Kuresha who lived during the 11th century AD was a Vaishnava poet. He hailed from Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu. His parents were Ramamisra and Perundevi. His first name was Srivatsanka Mishra.

Kuresha was one of the earliest disciples of Sri Ramanujacharya. He accompanied Sri Ramanuja to Kashmir, when his teacher wished to secure from the Saradapith, center of learning associated with Adi Shankara, the manuscript of a theistic interpretation of Brahmasutra (aphorism on Brahman Reality).

The authorities of Saradapith did not allow the book to be taken away. However, Kuresha memorized its contents and reproduced them, when Ramanuja was writing his commentary on Sutras.

Blinded By Ignorant King

During a period of religious intolerance, Kuresha was asked to acknowledge that there is none greater than Shiva. Attempting to highlight the folly of trying to limit the limitless God, Kuresha replied, “Drona is bigger than Shiva” – punning on the fact that drone and siva are also measures of weight where the former is larger. The ignorant king blinded by sectarianism had his eyes put out.

Literary Works Of Kuresha

Of Kuresha’s Sanskrit works, the five pre-eminent stavas (hymns of praise) are –
  1. Sri Stavam – 11 verses in praise of Goddess Ranganayaki of Srirangam
  2. Vaikunta Stavam – 101 verses on Srimannarayana as he is in his heavenly abode
  3. Atimanusha Stavam – 61 verses describing the exploits of the Lord in his incarnations as Rama and Krishna.
  4. Sundarabahu Stavam – 132 verses describing the beauty of Lord Sundararaja of Thirumaliruncholai Temple
  5. Sri Varadaraja Stavam – 102 verses in praise of Lord Varadaraja of Kanchipuram.

He has written Sahasragiti Vyakhyanam, a commentary on Thiruvaimozhi of poet-saint Nammalvar.

He had two sons, Vyasa Bhatta and Parasara Bhatta. The latter was a well known preceptor of the Vaishnavas after Ramanujacharya.