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KING KOLUTTUNGAS CRUELTY
Seeing that Kuresa's reply was intended to ridicule them, Koluttuhga and all his panditas were filled with rage. The king ordered that the two Vaisnavas be arrested and bound. When this had been done, he told his courtiers, "Take these two blasphemers from our presence and put out their eyes.They deserve to die for the words they have spokenin our presence, but because Ramanuja once saved my sister from a ghost, / will spare their lives.Following this cruel order, the king's men took Kuresa and Mahapurna to a secluded place, and, after subjecting them to various tortures, they plucked out their eyes. Despite the intense pain he was forced to undergo, Kuresa was undisturbed at heart, and he prayed to Lord Narayana for the forgiveness of his tormentors. He rejoiced that he was able accept these great sufferings on behalf of his spiritual master. When the king's men had finished with Kuresa, he stood before them with folded hands and said, "May Lord Narayana bless you for allowing me to serve my guru in this way." On hearing these words and seeing the calm demeanor Kuresa was exhibiting, even those cruelhearted men were filled with awe. They called to a beggar who was sitting nearby, and, giving him money for expenses, ordered him to lead the two devotees safely to Sri Rahgam.However, the atrocities that Kulottuhga's men had committed were too much for the frail body of Mahapurna to bear. Lying down on the road, he rested his head on the lap of Kuresa and said to ' him, "You must go alone to Sri Rahgam,for I can tell that the time has now come for me to leave this world. There is nothing to lament over in this, for my mind is fixed on Sri Yamunacarya and I am longing to be reunited with that great soul. When you meet again with my beloved disciple, Ramanuja, offer millions of obeisances at his feet on my behalf." Having said this, Mahapurna gave up his life, meditating on the feet of his guru.Not long after he began these cruel persecutions, King Koluttuhga became afflicted with an in¬curable disease and died a short time later. For one who causes distress to the Lord's devotees everything is inauspicious. The son of Koluttuhga, who was named Vikrama, then began to rule over the kingdom of the Cholas. Although his father had been such an ardent Saivite, Vikrama Chola later on became an initiated disciple of Ramanuja and learned from him the path of devotion to Lord Visnu.